Hit the Gym with Your Valentine this Week

IMG_2367Whether you have a valentine or not, hitting the gym with a friend or group is a great way to hold yourself accountable, stay motivated, and have a whole lot of fun!

Here are five moves for you to try while getting a sweat on with your sweetie!

I shared these moves on CH Morning Live, so if you’d rather watch, check the video here!

1. Partner Squat.

IMG_2370Facing each other both of you lower together holding right hands. Keep arms tight pulling towards each other, strong through the arms. As you return to stand continue to pull arms as if trying to complete a row, by pulling your right elbow back behind your body. Complete 12 repetitions with the right arm, followed by 12 repetitions on the left arm twice.

2. Plank with Dead Lift.

IMG_2372.PNGPartner A holds a plank position on their hands while partner B holds their ankles. Partner B folds at the wait completing a Dead Lift, lowering Partner A’s legs to just below Partner B’s knee height. Partner B returns to stand. Partner B completes 10-12 repetitions 2-3 times alternating positions with Partner A.

3. Leg Pushes.

IMG_2377Partner A begins lying down, face up, with their head towards partner B. Partner A extends their legs up straight towards Partner B who pushes them away. Partner A engages their core, controls their legs as they lower, returning them up towards the ceiling and to Partner B. Complete 10-12 repetitions, 2-3 times before switching positions.

4. Plank High Fives.

IMG_2382Partner A and B face each other in a plank position on either their hands and knees or hands and toes. Partner A and B simultaneously clap right hands together, then left as if playing “patty-cake”. Complete 10-12 claps 2-3 times.

5. Forward Fold and Chest Opener.

IMG_2385Partner A and B sit on the floor back to back. Partner A completes a forward folding reaching towards their toes bringing their nose down towards their shins. Partner B leans back onto Partner A with their arms extended out towards their sides, opening their chest. Hold for 10-15 seconds before switching positions.

5 Reasons Why Working Out With Your Valentine Is Sweet

This post originally appeared on the Huffington Post blog February 4, 2016. To view the original post click here. Tune in to CH Morning Live Tuesday February 9th at 7:50am when I share 5 Workout Moves For You And Your Valentine.

vdaytribe-01(1)With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, step away from the chocolates and create a new healthy habit with your loved one, and hit the gym!

Working out with your partner is a great way to spend quality time together, be motivated to actually hit the gym and have a ton of fun. Research shows that working out with your partner will motivate you to work out longer and harder. So, grab your loved one and do something good for each other with these five reasons to get a sweat on with your sweetie this Valentine’s Day.

1. You’ll actually go!
It might be tempting to skip that yoga class after a long day at the office, but knowing that your partner is rolling out their mat too will prevent you from letting them (and yourself) down. Your active time now becomes “us” time, and that lonely or boring workout in the gym just became a lot more fun with some great company. Now who’d want to skip that?

2. You’ll try something new.
If your regular workout routine has you doing the same thing every day, sharing the experience with your partner will give you the opportunity to try something new together or find a fresh perspective on your old workout. Been nervous about joining that new run club? Have the confidence with your partner by your side and try it together!

3. You’ll be more motivated.
Bringing your own cheerleader along to your workout can make a huge difference on how motivated you are to work hard. Having someone in your corner will boost your promise to healthy living and your confidence in achieving your fitness goals.

4. You’ll work harder.
Most of us have at least a little competitive streak, and healthy competition is a good thing because it makes you work harder and for longer. Research from Kansas State University shows that working out with a partner (particularly one you believe to be fitter than you) will inspire you to increase both your workout time and intensity, and in the case of this study, by up to 160 per cent when working out with a partner, and up to 200 per cent when working out in a group.

5. You’ll have more fun!
The more fun your workouts are, the more you’re likely to do them. Find something that is fun and challenging for both you and your Valentine, and encourages you to be as committed to your workouts as you are to each other.

Looking for free fitness experiences in Toronto? Grab your Valentine and check out my Toronto fitness community, Tribe. From yoga to running, Tribe has you covered with five free weekly workouts.

Guest Post: What’s It Like To Rock Tribe’s My First Race Program

Through the Tribe “My First Race” mentoring program I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and running with over a hundred new or returning runners. Folks who literally got off the couch to join our run, those returning after having a baby, and those looking to connect with family through fitness.

As we begin our third “My First Race” program I wanted to share a story of an amazing inspiration, Ljiljana Stanojevic, a fierce mother who not only met her goal of racing Spring Run-Off as part of our training program, but then went on, with the motivation of her daughter, to race a 15km road race and a half marathons during 2015. Ljiljana has a drive and energy that is truly contagious and you can’t help but be inspired when you sweat with this gal. Please enjoy the “My First Race” story of Ljiljana.

When I joined the ‘Learn to run’ program I couldn’t run. I thought it would be easy to start running, but all my attempts failed and I ended up with sore muscles and an injury. During a weekly yoga class held by Tribe Fitness at MEC Toronto, I heard about the ‘Learn to Run’ program with Canada Running Series and signed up without too much hope that I would ever be able to run, was I ever wrong.

IMG_2043My first day of training was interesting. I was nervous and I thought that all the other participants would run with ease while I fell behind. Thankfully, all of the Tribe mentors were there and were so encouraging, patient and supportive, explaining what to expect and the difficulties that everyone can face when beginning to run. We were all given a training schedule provided by Tribe. During this first session we ran for 1 minute, walked for 2 minutes, and repeated that for a specified amount of time. During the week we were told to run two times on our own as part of the program and once a week we would meet and run with Tribe. The running time would increase and the walking time would decrease every week.

A draw to this free program is that we were teamed up with experienced run mentors from Tribe. We would connect through email and in person at the weekly runs. My mentor, Jenna Pettinato, was amazing. She helped me by providing valuable advice and sharing her own experiences. She understood the difficulties that I had and followed up with my training through emails. If it wasn’t for her, I wouldn’t be running today.

IMG_2042What I loved most about the ‘learn to run’ program is that Tribe is like a family. They care and help each other and always welcome new members. I felt very comfortable during my training and later on during the runs with Tribe. Tribe’s founder Heather Gardner invited various representatives of sporting goods and supplies stores to come during the training sessions to talk to us about proper clothing, running shoes, nutrition etc. which was very helpful. We learned more than just running, we became part of a community.

The goal race was Spring Run-Off. Everyone knows it finished with a giant hill. During the Spring Run-Off killing that hill would have been impossible without the Tribe cheer squad standing at the bottom cheering everyone on. You get an energy boost when you see a bunch of people yelling words of encouragement, holding signs, dancing, and telling you that you can conquer the hill.

One thing I would tell a new runner would be, you can do it! It’s an amazing program. Your mentor and all the Tribe members will be there to help you all the way. You will not regret it. Trust me, you are going to kill that hill!

If you’d like more information or to sign up for this free training program, find all the details here.