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.

Driven By Beauty

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Whether we like to admit it or not, no matter how shallow it sounds, it is true, we are wired to like beautiful things. Naturally then, we are more likely to enjoy a beautiful meal, a workout in a beautiful place, a fitness routine with beautiful form, or the beautiful feeling of a goal accomplished!

My point? When is the last time you focused on not just the beauty of weight loss or growing strong muscles, and focused on the beautiful fitness, health and wellness routine you are creating? Are you having trouble hitting goals or milestone targets? Are you bored of your routine? Do you like the food you’re eating? Does the idea of reaching your goal light a fire under your ass to go do it?! If not, then you need to find the beauty in these things, find the passion and desire to succeed by creating something you want to do, eat, or experience!

A few quick tips:

Make your food attractive and pick brightly coloured fruits and veggies, and even beans, seeds, and grains!

Take your fitness to a nice park, your backyard (outdoor space in your building, a terrace/courtyard perhaps?) find a yoga studio where you like the decor and feel comfortable, or a fitness gym/studio where the “toys” speak to fun and fitness in your language.

If your goal doesn’t offer strong drive for you, it’s time to revise or rewrite until the feeling you get when you think about achieving it–whether it’s crossing a finish line, feeling good walking by a mirror in the buff, on the beach in a bathing suit, or achieving a strength goal–is a beautiful feeling that has you magnetized and focused more on what you want for the long term than what may act as a distraction right now.

My Beautiful Goal: Did you know that cancer is the leading cause of death in Canada and 30% of all deaths in our country are from cancer?! I am working towards a beautiful goal of raising $2500 for the Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer benefiting Princess Margaret Hospital and Cancer Research Centre and riding my bike 200km! But there’s a story behind my goal that keeps me driven and passionate and is a beautiful full circle; in fact Canadian Cycling Magazine thought it made a great story and published it! And that’s a beautifully awesome feeling! I feel so honoured and so grateful that perhaps my story could inspire others, maybe it could help you connect with the beauty and purpose behind your healthy lifestyle goals. You can check it out here. And if conquering cancer is a cause you’d like to support, I’m so grateful for any donation you’d like to contribute. You can sponsor me in the ride here (all proceeds got to the ride and you get a tax receipt too).

Want to learn more about how to incorporate a beautiful routine into your life? Sign up for the weekly Awesomeness Update, or if you’re feeling ready to take action call 416-994-6267 or fill out an online request for a free consultation on how we can help create a program for you.

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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: 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!

The Eye That Beholds Beauty… Like A Boss!

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Happy May! It’s a new month and a new theme, this month we’re looking at beauty. May is a month when we can count on more beauty coming into our lives and it’s often so inspiring. There’s beautiful weather and beautiful flowers that start to spring up, these often bring beautiful smiles and much more beautiful attitudes and perspectives. And I hope for you it brings more beautiful days enjoyed in parks, on decks and docks, beaches and patios and other beautiful places nurturing beautiful relationships with friends and family. And, I will at the risk of sounding shallow, point out that to some degree most of us partake in fitness programs not only to have beautiful healthy insides, but also to enhance our outer beauty too.

I challenge you to start this month with finding the beauty in your everyday. We get caught up in our routines and go around on autopilot lost in thought much of the time, we forget to stop and smell the roses. It’s not just about the roses though, it’s in everything, even the things that seem the same day in and day out that aren’t actually all the same. If you take the time to notice you’ll see the finer details of difference that can keep a seemingly repetitive routine beautiful. You can actually stop and smell the roses, and try more: stuck in traffic crank tunes and enjoy your time to yourself, actually enjoy every sip of your coffee or every bite of your dinner (put down the mug/fork between sips/bites while feeling the texture and taste of it), focus on every rep/breath/stride of your workout, respond to texts or emails with thought (even if they’re not sent to you that way), talk to your local barista/grocery cashier.

At one time I wanted every day to be a brand new adventure, and thought the only way to see life’s beauty was by doing something brand new and out of the ordinary daily, for most of us this isn’t even remotely realistic; even if you’re on an adventure you still have to brush your teeth every day. You may notice the more memorable and enjoyable everyday moments aren’t the ones you were caught up in your thoughts, but paying attention to what’s going on, surely a new adventure helps to facilitate this, but it’s always available. It’s about how fresh you feel running your tongue across your just-brushed teeth (and other fine details of your routine) that we can appreciate the beauty of our everyday life.

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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.

Be A Space Case

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If you’ve been having trouble implementing some of the previous renewal suggestions so far this month despite your efforts perhaps it’s a space case: we are so loaded down with stuff and schedules and to-do lists, we often haven’t created enough space in our lives for these things.

Think about how much harder it is to get things done in a messy space, how helpless we feel in a dirty or crowded space, and how challenging it is to remember to do and implement new habits into your routine when you feel like you’re overwhelmed by an already packed schedule. Does something here really speak to the way you are currently living? If so perhaps you need to be a space case.

If you’re already feeling challenged or helpless and time pressed and lost in a mess, this all sounds fantastic and ideal, but how and where to start?! Nike have a good point when they say “just do it”. Of course not all at once, but rather than ponder and dread and procrastinate and avoid the problem face it head on, in a manageable 10 minute chunk of time if you have to.

1. If time is an issue address your calendar first. What’s in there that’s making you feel overwhelmed, that you said “yes” to when “no” was really ok? Or what is an old habit in your routine that you know you don’t need to do? Make some time priorities for yourself, and really question the validity of “have to” outside of work and obligations that will truly cost you, or meetings and events you really will regret missing. Now you’ve likely found at least a few minutes to spare.

2. As a matter of priorities you manage to find time to do lots of tv watching, facebook creeping newsfeed cruising, internet surfing (we’ve all been click baited into an hour of time wastage before whether we like to admit it or not, and then wondered why we wasted that hour), and probably even useless/junk email checking. So when the thought crosses your mind that you should put down the remote, the mouse, or the phone because you know you’re wasting time: just do it and don’t look back. You will never regret missing a binge session of Storage Wars or 25 gifs of the most epic fails.

3. Now that you’ve got some time, start looking at your space even if you think “all I needed was a bit more time”, but have a cluttered or messy space, your mind may still have a level of overwhelm you don’t recognize due to being “used to it”. Use some of this time rather than making new habits and filling up your schedule again to make some life space, or work space, creative or family or active or spiritual or even cooking/food prep and eating space. Make your living spaces places you want to spend time and enjoy yourself. Spaces you find aesthetically pleasing.

4. If all of this seems scary and out of your comfort zone that’s a good thing. Often fear is an opportunity to move and grow into “better” people to ourselves and our family, but is a stretch outside of our idea of what we’re capable of, or challenges us to accept a different belief than one we’ve been carrying around for a long time. Be scared and do it anyhow! The reason we procrastinate and fill our time with non-meaningful activities is often our excuse not to be who we want to be or achieve what we want to achieve. Comfort zones are important and gut feelings are too, don’t get me wrong, but can we all acknowledge that many times they are hindering and holding us back? Allow yourself to be scared and move through it, don’t wait to not be scared of something new or different. You may never get over that fear, but you may step out of it and realize it’s usually very freeing and not as fearsome as you thought.

5. Embrace this idea: failure is awesome! Fear of failure to embrace a new change, let go of an old habit or something that once meant a lot to us stops us because maybe we failed at it, or something like it before, but failure is usually inevitable prior to success. You walk don’t you? Ever seen a toddler walk on the first or even the fiftieth attempt? I’m sure you get the point here, and to add to it often failure comes with fantastic lesson(s) with each attempt. We wouldn’t have most of the many amazing tools we use every day if failing was a sign we should give up on something. So go ahead and fail at any or all of this; just renew your “can-do” attitude and try try again!

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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: April 2015

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As seasoned readers of this blog know. I love my blog, but not such a great fan of complicated technology, so the weekly blog gets posted here, but in order to keep the high quality look to my newsletter you’ll have to bang out one more click. Thanks for the love ninjas!