5 Moves to Help You Keep Fitness a Priority on Vacation

When it comes to reaching your fitness goals, consistency is key. So don’t let dashing through the terminal be your only workout while on vacation. Here are five full-body moves that are equipment free, and can happen in minimal-space or out on the beach to help you make it happen no matter where you are. Plus, squeezing in a quick workout or two during your vacation will make it easier to get back in the swing of things after you’ve unpacked your suitcases. Here are five moves I shared on CH Morning Live on Thursday April 4th. Watch the segment here.

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If you’re a beginner, do 30 seconds of work, 30 seconds rest per move. Intermediate: 40 seconds work, 20 seconds rest Advanced: 50 seconds work, 10 seconds rest.

1. Traveling Lunge: Standing with feet hip distance apart, step forward in to a standing split position and slowly lower your body until your front knee is bent to at least 90 degrees. Pause and then return to standing. Using the same leg, step backwards with the right leg and slowly lower your body until your front knee is bent to at least 90 degrees. Pause and then return to standing. Those two movements are one set, continue for a designated amount of time (see above) then repeat on the other side.

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2. Plank Walk Out: Start standing with the feet shoulder width apart and arms hanging down to the sides of the body. Slightly bend the knees and bend over and placing the hands shoulder width apart on the floor, so your body is in the shape of an inverted V. Walk forward four steps forward with your hands until you reach a plank position. Walk hands back in towards your feet and return to stand.

3. Marching Hip Raise: Lie face-up on the floor with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Raise your hips so your body forms a straight line from your shoulders to your knees. Lift one knee to your chest, lower back to the start, and lift your other knee to your chest. Continue to alternate back and forth and to make it harder, lift those hands up and decrease your base of support.

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4. Plank Jacks: From a high plank on your toes, jump both feet out and in while keeping your shoulders stacked about your hips and core stable. To decrease the challenge, perform a step touch with each foot reaching it out to the left and back center before repeating with the right.

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5. Push-ups: Get into a high plank position with hands on the bench or stair directly under shoulders. Begin to lower your body until your chest grazes the bench/stair. Keep your back flat and eyes focused about three feet in front of you to keep a neutral neck. Push back up.

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Others ways to sneak physical activity in while on vacation:

  • Explore your destination by foot either walking or hiking around.
  • Hit up your hotel gym and hop on the treadmill or lift some weights before you start your day.
  • Take a drop-on class at a local studio. Not sure where to go? Ask around your hotel or at an active wear store.
  • Bring compact workout gear in your luggage. Consider a skipping rope, resistance band, or folding yoga mat.
  • Partake in local sports. Whether it’s surfing or SUP, who can resit getting active in a stunning beach destination? If you’re not comfortable on the water, take a class, and enjoy this full body workout.

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So whether you’re on the road for work, fun, or visiting family, there’s no need to take a vacation from your workout too!

What’s your favourite way to workout on vacation? Share it in the comments!

5 Yoga Poses For Runners

With the sidewalks clear, training is full steam ahead for the 2017 race season including the next big GTA race the Around the Bay Road Race which goes March 26th.  Yoga is a great compliment to running as it will keep your stretched and injury free. Here are five postures I shared on CH Morning Live on Tuesday March 7th. Watch it here and check out the postures below.

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Standing Back Bend

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Standing tall with big toes together and heels slightly apart, place hands on the lower back and gently arch the spine opening through the chest looking up.

Standing Forward Fold

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From standing position with feet six inches apart, exhale and fold forward. Bend knees slightly if pressure is felt on the lower back. Head should hang heavily from the upper spine. Slide the index and middle fingers of each hand between and around the big and second toes gripping the big toes firmly. Press your toes down against your fingers. Bend your elbows out to the sides, pull up on your toes, lengthen the front and sides of your torso, and gently lower into the forward bend. Hold for 5 to 10 breaths.

Low Lunge

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Place both hands on the floor, inhale and step your left foot back, keeping your right foot between your hands in a lunge. Lower your left knee onto the floor, placing the top of your foot against the ground. Bring your hands to your right knee while sinking your hips toward the floor. Hold for 5 to 10 breaths, and then repeat on the other side.

Pigeon

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From Low Lunge, bring the right leg forward in front of the body with the right knee bent and the foot flexed. Extend the left leg behind the body with the left toes on the floor. To extend the pose, place the left hand or the left forearm on the floor. Hold for 5 to 10 breaths, and then repeat on the other side.

Downward Facing Dog

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From Pigeon, exhale placing both hands on the floor and stepping your feet back lifting the seat towards the sky. Spread hands and feet as they are pressed onto the floor. Focus is on lengthening the upper body. Legs should be straight, but may be bent as needed. Hold for 5 to 8 breaths.
Repeat low lunge and pigeon using the other leg.
Take yourself through this sequence after your run and enjoy your recovery. Happy running!
*Outfit provided by New Balance Canada
*Yoga mat, bottle, strap provided by Gaiam Canada

4 Fun Outdoor Winter Activities For Kids & Their Adults

I’m very excited to be teaming up with the Physical Activity Resource Centre (PARC) as a guest blogger, supporting them in developing content on a variety of topics, but all around the idea of physical activity for all. Here is a post I wrote to to support families to get out and move this winter – even when the temperatures drops and all you want to do is watch Paw Patrol on Netflix. View the original post here.

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Cold weather doesn’t mean you need to keep the family fun indoors. With the appropriate clothing and a sense of fun and adventure you and your family can have a season of excitement. Here are four ways you and the family can move more this winter. Give one a try this weekend!

Hit The Ice.

Whether you’re a family of seasoned skaters or just getting started, many municipalities offer free skating events over the winter. Dress for the environment, particularly if it’s an outdoor rink, and bring along some healthy snacks, and some water for a mid-skate break.

Take A Hike.

Put on your winter woollies, pack a couple healthy snacks, and head out to explore a locally marked public trail or walk way. There is no need to search to far in Ontario with the Bruce Trail spanning 890km from Niagara to Tobermory. Be sure to stick on the path following the well-marked trail blazes, and take extra care where the trail is rocky, icy, or where it passes by caves, cliff edges, or crevices. For more information on the Bruce Trail, check out the Bruce Trail Conservancy website.

Enjoying a staycation? Explore a new hiking trail in your area or discover new routes around your neighbourhood. Keep an eye out for local wildlife and record what you find! Maybe it’s a neighbour’s dog, a squirrel that’s searching for hidden acorns, or a bird that hasn’t migrated. Look them up when you get home to identify the species and learn more about the local ecosystem.

Overcome This Obstacle.

Keep the fun local to a park nearby, or your own back yard, and create a fun winter obstacle course for both you and the kids! With 5 or 6 small stations, have fun racing through them all as quickly as possible, or for those with a taste for competition bring along a timer and race kids vs adults. In the end, be sure to keep it fun and safe for all. Station ideas might include:

  • Create 5 snow balls and accurately hit a target (tree, sign post, X marked in snow) nearby.
  • Run to a tree in the distance then run around it three times.
  • Slide down a hill and climb back up returning to the top as quickly as possible.
  • Make 4 snow angels in different areas of snow.
  • Pull a sibling or parent on a toboggan to cross the finish line!

Evening Flashlight Walk.

With the sun setting earlier and the dark nights lasting longer the winter months are a perfect time to see your neighbourhood under a new light, the moon. Head out for an after dinner family flashlight walk. Provide each family member with a working flashlight and venture through a local park, along your street, or even exploring your own back yard. Use your flashlights to explore by night and keep safe while doing it. Be sure to stick to a route you are familiar with and have traveled on during the day.