So many of us start the year with the best of intentions to make positive, lasting changes in our lives with the goal in mind of improving our health, our relationships, our financial status, and our overall well-being. Unfortunately, the vast majority of changes we begin on New Year’s Day peter out before January is over and it seems that for many people, it takes another year end to get motivated to make another attempt at changing their habits.
Yet another benefit of exercise is improving relationships! When you exercise, you improve your mood and self-confidence, which in turn helps build positive relationships. This month, we have brainstormed some fun active dates, which will increase quality time as well as fitness! Bring a picnic or finish your date with sushi, a smoothie or a home cooked meal to complete your healthy vibe!
1. Skiing. Chairlift chats and fresh air make this a Fernie must!
As I sat in the back of the studio readying for the teacher to guide a yoga class, a woman and her young daughter softly rolled their mats out in front of me. My task was to take notes of the instructor’s words, poses and movements and use them as a training tool for when I taught my own classes. For the next hour my page remained blank and to this day I can’t recall anything she taught. It wasn’t that the level of instruction was weak or uninteresting but rather something more meaningful gathered my attention.
2014. Hard to believe.
Another new year! With another New Year’s comes another batch of New Year’s resolutions. Resolutions can be tough to keep. Common advice to improve the chance of achieving goals includes: sharing your goals with others, putting your goals in written form, and making your goals specific and realistic. On that note, I would like to share my 2014 resolutions with you, in written format. Instead of doing one big resolution, I am committing to twelve smaller ones (one for each month).
Last July, I drove off the MV Highlanders and into another world. It was 6:45am and the sun had just begun to warm the cliffs around Channel-Port aux Basques, the exotic sounding south-western terminus of Newfoundland. While this island, part of Canada’s most easterly province of Newfoundland and Labrador is not actually another world, it does have its own time zone and an ethereal beauty that will steal a little piece of your heart.
As someone who is licensed to practice two regulated professions, I have the opportunity to navigate through a life in medicine with a unique perspective.
In the fall of 2004 I packed my van and drove across Alberta and BC to take a yoga teachers training course in Victoria on Vancouver Island. I was not flexible! I had a reputation for being loud, I loved meat and had just come off a summer of being one of six women fighting fires with over 100 men. Nervous was an understatement. My three biggest fears were that the course would be all women, they would be vegans, and maybe a few would hit on me... all my fears came true.
After such great feedback from June’s Ab Challenge, I decided to create a Leg Challenge for you to begin the New Year with. Even if you are skiing every day, this quick routine will help to keep you balanced and prevent injuries.
Make sure your knees are over your toes during all exercises and you never experience any sharp or shooting pain. Exercises should be performed at a slow, controlled pain free pace!
Vitamin K is an essential nutrient for all of us as it has many roles in the human body, primarily in enabling us to clot blood properly.
Growing up, family members outnumbered seat belts. Sundays, all eight of us would pile into the car and drive into town to The Cathedral. Religion (Christianity) is an important part of who I am today. Growing up as a Christian, Christmas was a big holiday (holy day).
Current research shows that stretching post activity is more beneficial than pre activity (dynamic warm up is recommended before exercise). Here are some easy-to-do stretches to help you unwind from your day of skiing and be ready to go for your next day. All you need is something approximately waist height (table, counter, back of truck, back of couch etc). Hold each stretch for ten slow breaths and gently ease into your stretch. Remember that stretching should never hurt!
1. Quads. Place your toe up on ledge behind you and gently lean back.
Our lives truly are the sum of our memories, so as we collectively age, it becomes more and more imperative to retain the memories we already have (as well as the memories that we're holding onto for our ancestors) and continue to effectively make new memories of our day to day lives. The ability to generate memories peaks when we're quite young, and so as we navigate our way through adulthood, we have to work harder and harder to remember things that occur around us, particularly as we are inundated with distractions such as noise, pollution, our other thoughts, and our electronic devices.
The roots of Remembrance Day go back to 1919, almost 100 years ago. Each November, countless Canadians don plastic poppies and remember. We stop for two minutes, and we remember. What do I remember? The only wars during my lifetime affected me only indirectly. They didn’t change the essence of my life. Still, I remember and I reflect.
With the November nip in the air should come the motivation to get ready for a strong year on the ski hill. For optimal ski shape results, perform these five exercises three times each, three days weekly:
1. Bottom ¼ squat x 1 minute. Get yourself into a low pain-free squat (ideally quads are parallel to the ground) and go slightly up and then back down. Pulse back and forth in your ski or snowboard stance, with your kneecaps lined up over your second toe through the motion.
This Thanksgiving, my son Jack turns six months. Crazy. I love fatherhood. I’ve been lucky. I have a supportive partner and our son is pretty easy-going. Our friends and family have showered us with gifts and time and tips and free babysitting. We have a lot going for us, and parenting is still overwhelming. My respect for single parents has increased; I do not know how they do it. Fernie’s baby boom shows no sign of slowing down. Here are some things I’m learning from being a new Dad.