Hey Hey Come Out and Play!

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Well folks it’s a busy month according to the calendar, it’s officially bike month, ocean’s month, great outdoors month, LGBT Pride month, safety month, and men’s health month. And while the latter is the most a propos I certainly don’t want to alienate the ladies all month and ignore other current issues that do effect our health and wellness, so there’s no official theme this month, we’ll keep things fun and fresh and touch on (at least) one of these topics each week!

Since Friday was the UN’s World Environment Day (every June 5th) we’ll acknowledge the oceans and great outdoors this week. Let me first say that if you can’t figure out how environmental wellness effects your wellness then remember that the Earth is actually not very earthy at all, but 90% water, primarily ocean. Thus, if they’re lacking in health we shall suffer, the air we breathe in our great outdoors is also relevant, but what I’m going to touch on today is in fact how we can take advantage of our open water (so we don’t have oceans here in Toronto!) and great outdoors to contribute to and engage in our fitness, health and wellness most effectively and enjoyably.

I love making lists, not everyone has this interest, but I excel at this and have made a list of things I’d like to do this warm-weather season, like a summer of 2015 bucket list, so that I do it rather than just think it. Not surprisingly they are all outdoor activities. Whether you’re a list maker or not you may want to make this one or at least schedule some time to do things that will contribute to your fitness and wellbeing. Yes, time spent in nature has positive effects on our wellbeing, but I believe few would argue that a hike or run outside beats a step class or elliptical session in what’s usually an air conditioned basement, or even an interval training session inside a private boutique studio (yes, I said that!). So here are just a few ideas to inspire your own Summer 2015 Bucket List

Become a Regular: at your local park, beach or pool and do your workout there.

Take a Hike Buddy! Or  a run, or a ride. Toronto has plenty of amazing parks for this including off road hiking and cycling trails. And if you’ve got a day off you’d like to spend outside many surrounding regions and townships have some incredible places to day trip with admission under $20/car. Try Rattlesnake Point to hike and Durham Region Trails to ride.

I’ll Race You! If you missed out on the offer to be trained for and personally coached through your race last year, it was as stated a one-time deal, but fret not, that doesn’t mean we can’t make your program specific to a race goal. Whether you’re a first timer, or an experienced athlete, we can optimize your program so that you can finish or achieve a personal best, no matter where you’re at. And if you think “I’d never run a race!”, well there are so many types of races you can participate in that require no running (cycling, sailing), or are based only in running from one obstacle to the next (obstacle races), or incorporate a bit of everything (triathlons).

Row Row Row Your Boat: Have you tried dragon boating? If the last time you played a team sport was in high school now is as good a time as any to join a recreational sports league. From the classic softball to the more recently popular ultimate frisbee there are teams for every level of athlete, and if you’re intimidated to the point of fear there is a league for volleyball and ultimate frisbee called “not-so-pro”, so really, you need not be afraid!

Come Out and Play! And if it’s a beautiful day and you wonder why the heck your trainer is keeping you indoors, it’s simply because that’s what your program says, and there are no assumptions about what your preferences are. If you give just a little notice prior to your session about wanting to go outside on a nice day, we can take much of what’s done indoors to the outdoors with little equipment OR we can go “naked” in what I call a Run & Play: we’ll use local parks and public landscape features in a running route to add body weight resisted exercises to create an interval workout. This is my favourite intense and effective strength and cardio workout style to get strong and torch calories!

There’s so much more I could go on all day, we haven’t touched on recreational activities like gardening, paddling, and many other water sports, nor adventure sports, hopefully this has got your creative juices flowing though. Happy Summer of 2015!

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© Lisa Kingsley-Correia and Create Fitness Health and Wellness, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

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The NINJA: May 2015

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Unfortunately the newsletter just doesn’t format the way I want it to on the WP site, and you don’t want to miss it because this month’s issue is just beautiful! Click to get it now!

Try Getting Inside Out

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When we think of beauty it generally comes from an outward and/or outside perspective, which as visual creatures makes a lot of sense. As such we also often get caught up in concerns about what to wear, how to do our hair, putting on makeup, and also take it into the things we surround ourselves with: our homes, vehicles, work spaces, etc. We make our appearance and spaces we see everyday attractive to our eyes as best we can. We are also highly feeling creatures, we enjoy things that are nice to touch and generally will avoid say fabrics that are uncomfortable. In fact short of an expensive pair of the nicest shoes ( if you’re a woman, and even then we’ll complain) we tend not to subject ourselves to discomfort, actually we avoid it at all costs… mostly. For some reason when it comes to taking care of the inside of our bodies, even when they are incredibly uncomfortable from unhealthy food, excess alcohol and soft drinks, a grand lack of movement and exercise, and our minds and immune systems are depressed, we continue on doing what we’ve been doing often until we reach illness, all the while never leaving the house without a perfect coif or letting the lawn grow more than 2 inches.

Don’t get me wrong outward appearances do affect us and our confidence in our outer world. A bad hair day and coffee-to-shirt introductions suck,  but not quite the same way feeling like crap (physically, mentally, emotionally) affects your confidence and all the other realms of your life. And all of these internal crap feelings are heavily affected by how you treat your body. You know this!

Yes, internal beauty is harder. It doesn’t just require a layer of paint, a clean shirt, or a dusting of rouge. It requires follow through, self-discipline, and forcing yourself to do things even when you don’t want to. Whether that is to put on your running shoes and just go, or to choose broccoli over buttery mash, or stop at 2 glasses of wine rather than the bottle. In fact, let’s be really honest it’s why I have a job, it’s a hard go alone and without always knowing which piece of conflicting information is the right one for you, it can seem impossible!

Remember though, that it’s always easier to be confident and enjoy your day feeling beautiful on the inside with a stained shirt, than it is to feel like a bag of rotten that with a pretty face full of makeup. It’s also why the CREATE slogan is Be Healthy. Look Fantastic. Feel Awesome! It’s a whole package deal. Today think about how you can apply follow-through, self-discipline, and just plain forcing yourself (if you must) to get that step ahead on your internal beauty that will no doubt show up on the outside.

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© Lisa Kingsley-Correia and Create Fitness Health and Wellness, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

Are You Getting Fresh With Me?!

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On a final note of renewal for April we’re looking at food. Springtime offers a number of unique renewal opportunities when it comes to food. And so often the way we look at food is one of the bigger challenges in getting fit and healthy. Spring offers a few fresh perspectives:

Changes in cravings: Often comes spring we’ll actually want to eat more of the fresh seasonal foods available. I’ve heard this time and again, and have many years experienced it myself. Take this opportunity to stray from your grocery list and adopt a new habit such as a big bowl of fruit for breakfast. Listen to those cravings of wanting those baby greens, fresh fruit and the more readily available or locally grown fare.

Opportunity to try something new: if you’ve never tried a fiddlehead, spring garlic, or baby broccoli, spring is the only time you’ll find them. They are some of the few foods that aren’t conventionally grown for the purpose of consumption in their early days, or only grow at this time of year and aren’t grown for mass consumption. If you have tried them before, don’t forget about them. Adding diversity to your healthy diet keeps boredom from setting in and can help keep you on track– that’s not only relevant to spring but anytime you feel tired of the same old thing, look for a new recipe using healthy foods you don’t normally choose.

Opportunity to grow your own: this may not be for everyone on a grand scale, but trust me when I say you can grow chives, for example. Growing food does take time and effort and having a full veggie garden isn’t something everyone can commit to (so awesome if you can!). But even growing a few herbs on a windowsill is very rewarding and feels so nice compared to dried herbs or even fresh ones from the store. I remember my first attempt at growing food lacked grand success but those few cherry tomatoes (four I think, harvested at different times, and shared with my partner) are experiences I won’t forget. Not only did they bring greater awareness to the overall process and effort required to produce food, but there is a sense of satisfaction (if not for your stomach with such small yields) and appreciation for that food you just don’t get with picking up a piece of produce from the grocery store. And since then I’ve had success growing some more substantial amounts and varieties. I’ll probably never be a farmer, but trust me when I say you can grow chives (you might actually have trouble not growing more chives than you want or need if you don’t contain them in a pot!).

So are you getting fresh with me this spring?!

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© Lisa Kingsley-Correia and Create Fitness Health and Wellness, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

A Personal Water World

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Having already covered breath and oxygen I think it goes without saying that when it comes to physical renewal water is runner up on the importance rank. Yet, most of us, even those seeking to be healthier, fitter and feeling renewed are going about our days dehydrated. I might even go so far as to say parched.

At the risk of sounding like a broken record to those who’ve ever read a word about hydration: once you are thirsty you are already experiencing a level of dehydration. And if you’re someone who “needs” their lip balm or hand cream regularly chances are you need a glass of water too. I also loathe to break it to you: not juice, iced tea, or (goodness forbid!) soda or coffee. Yes, some of these things will offer a level of hydration your body isn’t really saying “please hydrate me, and feel free to add a solid shot of sugar and/or caffeine and/or colour and flavour with that”, it’s just telling you it wants water. We survived a very long time without those others and our bodies never need them, despite the fact that our love and addiction to sugar and caffeine might tell us we do.

So when and how much water does your body crave on a daily basis? Well, starting your morning with a glass of water and then another as soon as you can handle it is a very good time to rehydrate after a long night of not drinking anything (or maybe the few sips you grabbed off of the bedside at 3:00, but that’s because you were so dehydrated your body woke you to tell you to drink, in this case you definitely need it!). Also important timing is during exercise, aim for a glass every 15 minutes or so. This is of course somewhat dependent on your size, gender, level of exertion, and whether you sweat heavily or lightly relatively speaking. Women tend to sweat less than men, and if you notice during a workout that you are drenched relative to your workout compadres you’ll want to drink more than the suggested guidelines, use your best judgment here. It’s also important to hydrate pre and post exercise. Don’t hit the gym or the road with what feels like a turbulent body of water in your tummy as you move, lest you feel sick, but a few glasses leading up to and another one or two after exercise are sure to keep you hydrated. If you will be exercising more than an hour at a medium to high intensity consider electrolyte replacement or a pinch of salt and an orange juiced into your drink (this sounds gross, but you won’t taste the salt). As for how much outside of your exercise routine: your weight in kg as the number of ounces to drink daily is ideal, if you only know your weight in pounds divide by 2 for a good approximation (i.e. 150 lbs divided by 2 is 75, so 75 oz. daily). To clarify this is in addition to your workout water, not including.

For many this will seem like a lot, and if you find yourself hitting the bathroom what seems like a comical/irritating/”again?!” number of times work your way up to your ideal. Our bodies are the most amazing adaptation machines, your body will love you for it, and the rest of your mechanisms (particularly mind and bladder) will adapt. Happy hydrating!

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© Lisa Kingsley-Correia and Create Fitness Health and Wellness, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

I-I-I-I’m Staying Alive + 8 More Reasons to Breathe Deeply

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Smile, breathe, and go slowly
-Thich Hnat Hanh

Spring is here, officially anyhow. Whether or not the weather is in agreement with the celestial cycles is a different story. Regardless, I see it creeping into people’s behaviours, myself included, although we’ve only had a small taste, the change is coming! Although most of us are urban dwellers who essentially deny any relation to nature per se our seasonal behaviours are undeniable. And so I, and many others have begun cleaning out closets and purging of old stuffs. This is also a fantastic time to adopt new habits, and to take on some healthy practices (anytime is,now however, is a time when people seem to be gaining momentum and motivation to assist their new habits).

If you pick up only one healthy renewing habit this year let it be this. Breathe. I know you do it every day, all the time. Recently I was told by someone they already know how to breathe, not sarcastically, but breath practice is the easiest way to:

Stay alive. And now that we have that out of the way its other benefits include

Reset your nervous system to low stress, calm

Begin a relaxation or meditation practice

Give your body what it craves most. More than chocolate, coffee and even water!

Brings you immediately back to the present moment

Releases toxins, more so and more consistently than any other system

Overall efficiency of your body systems. The primary “nutrient” your body requires is oxygen, pretty much nothing works without it for more than a few seconds.

Improves posture. Breath practices encourage the same muscles because full deep breaths require good posture, so you end up practicing and enforcing that too.

It’s uplifting and energizing. If you think that contradicts the first point, it kind of does. Quick as possible explanation: when you’re stressed your nervous system is in fight or flight mode, since it’s an evolutionary thing our bodies don’t know that we can’t log on to the Skype meeting of our lives, it’s like “AAAAAHHH! Run! Bear!”. You couldn’t possibly stop and take a few deep breaths if you were being chased by a bear, so your system goes into calm mode right away, even if you still can’t log on to Skype. On the other hand, when you’re feeling tired a few deep breaths bring oxygen to your brain and muscles, and returns you to the present moment, creating an uplifting and energizing effect. Tada! Non-conflicting contradiction.

So, if only for 2 minutes, find the time to just breathe. Fully and deeply in through your nose, into your belly, then expanding your ribs out as much as you can, into the upper chest lifting those last few ribs until you’ve inhaled as much and as fully (but not necessarily forcefully) as you can. Now passively exhaling through mouth or nose, not forcing out the last bits creating a vacuum, just until your naturally inclined to breathe in again. Remembering the brief pauses at the beginning and end of each inhalation.

Still not inspired after all this inspiration?! Seriously, inhalation is also known as inspiration, and if you’re still having trouble with it CREATE is offering you a free consultation to figure out how we can inspire your inspiration, fitness, and wellness, Call 41-994-6267 or click to fill out an online form.

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© Lisa Kingsley-Correia and Create Fitness Health and Wellness, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

THE NINJA: March 2015

Hey thanks for stopping by, The NINJA format simply isn’t as beautiful here as it is on my main site, but don’t miss out head on over to check it out, and you can still always find the weekly blog right here!