Friday, 6 November 2015

'Tis the SWEATY season

This is it - In my opinion the best season for outdoor workouts. It's not too hot, not too cold and not too icy. The fall leaves are changing, the air smells like sewage (it makes you run faster), and people aren't overly angry yet since we're still warmer than 0 degrees celsius. 

The only challenge I have at times is deciding what to wear for my fall-time runs. I usually go with full or three-quarter leggings on the bottom. The tricky part is the top. Do I wear a lighter top and struggling with a colder warm-up? What about a warmer top, which has been sweating in excess at the top of the hill? OR do I wear two layers and then be stuck running with one around my waist? Yes, yes - what a trivial problem I have. Must be nice to have this as my dilemma - IT IS NOT MY ONLY DILEMMA IN LIFE - let me ASSURE you. 

My new thing has been the double-layer-hide. I'll wear two layers, but I hate having to run with an extra garment dangling from my body - SO - I hide it somewhere along my running path. I hide it very well, because well let's be honest - I smell good and who knows what dog or human would take it as their own to put under their pillow and smell? Right? 

This has been an excellent strategy until I forget where I hid my garment, or more recently completely forgot about it until about 1km after I had passed it on my way I had to run all the way back for it adding a 2km to my run. I got an extra 2km in, all against my own will. Not bad right?

So, this leads me to my strategy to get those extra steps in throughout the day - hide your things in the evening and you will have to move FAST and find them in the AM when you're running late. Hide your friends' lunches, their phones and wallets. You will be helping them reach their fitness goals. And if they get mad - tell them you're do it for THEM. Yes, this is about THEM. 

You're welcome. Have a great weekend. 

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Sweat, Love and HILARIOUS Cheesy videos

I attended rounds last week which discussed Exercise related Emergencies. The rounds were very well done and they re-sparked my love for my favorite workout couple. 
Hal Johnson and Joanne McLeod! 
If you want to learn more about them check out my previous blog post:

I've been spending a lot of time in front of the computer working on a variety of projects and's turned into me spending most of my time watching old PARTICIPACTION videos and very little time doing actual work. Let me show you why! 

I have to hand it to Hal and Joanne. They truly know how to get their workout everyday, even while doing simple activities such as:

- STOP that online shopping and get to that grocery store:
On the flight/train ride/car ride:

"Don't worry, no one will notice."

And lastly - just in case you develop any injury from your exercising: 

I hope you can all share the same enjoyment I have for these videos. 

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

The Sedentary Sniffles

I’m sick,  the simple cold sick, but enough to prevent me from going to my favourite aerobics class back home. It's just a runny nose and a little dry cough, but it’s enough to make me out of breath even after 3 high kicks. So what have I been doing? Well other surfing the interwebs for wonderful new workout clothes and music? A lot of stretching, foam rolling and drinking juice. It’s quite lovely actually.

Some less cardiovascular challenging activities I have been doing are: walking (fall is the perfect season for the breeze and a great opportunity to see fall fashions (which again leads me to my online shopping interests),  yoga videos at home (this way I can keep my coughing to myself and take a break when I need to) and stretching with straps.

Research dating back to the late 1990s shows that taking a break from repetitive strain and stress of exercise on the body is beneficial to the body to allow it to adapt and become stronger. So despite being sick and going through a box of tissue a day, I’ll consider this wee little cold a blessing and I hope I’ll look forward to aerobics next week stronger than last week! That's right - I'm a SURVIVOR.

Saturday, 3 October 2015

High kicks for happiness, High kicks for warmth, High kicks for YOU

Hello my high kicking friends. As we head into colder temperatures our workout goals may also including BRINGING THE HEAT in addition to staying fit and having fun. I thought I would re-post one of my favourite posts and the inspiration for this blog. 

Happy High Kicking! The HIGH kick is FOR YOU. Not for anyone else. 

Those of you who know me - or have every come to aerobics with me, or HECK - even spent more than 2 hours with me know I LOVE the HIGH KICK. It is quite possibly my favorite body movement in life. Let me explain the High Kick before I go into great detail about why I LOVE it so much.

Basic High Kick

Throughout the High Kick series remember to breathe and enjoy yourself - it always helps to SMILE.

1) Start with both feet together and your hands on your hips.
2) Ensure strong posture by tightening your core, chin up, shoulders down and back.
3) Before you HIGH KICK it is important to understand that you must acknowledge your limits. You kick to your limits - not to the level of the lady, man or child next to you.  
The High Kick is FOR YOU - not for anyone else.
With one SMOOTH and SWIFT motion you kick your right leg up but KEEP your left leg stable, strong and supportive until you reach YOUR LIMIT.
4) Gently place your right foot back in place with your left.
5) Repeat on the left side.

If you are injured or cannot do the high kick for health or mobility reasons HAVE NO FEAR!!!
You can still get the benefits by choosing a part of your body you do want to fling in a CONTROLLED manner and  give that a try. Perhaps your arm? Forearm? Finger?

How good do you feel?

I love the high kick for a variety of reasons. Here are are the top 5:
1) I always feel alive when I High Kick - if I can kick that high I must be living right?
2) The feeling of being able to High Kick higher than previous times is a feeling of accomplishment.
3) High Kicking in a room of strangers at aerobics gives me a feeling of unity achievable in no other manner.
4) Health Benefits of High Kicks: Flexibility in your Hamstrings, Strength in only your core but also your entire lower body. Win -Win!
5) High Kicks can cause for hilarious events (falls) to occur and as long as everyone is okay at the end it can make for some funny stories and laughs.

I invite you to try some high kicks to this fabulous workout tune:

Sunday, 6 September 2015

Spectacular Sweaty Selfies

Since my post last week I have been fortunate enough to receive sweaty selfies from lots of my friends. Friends upside down, friends doing a wall sit, friends doing a bicep curl. I LOVE IT. Not only did it motivate me to sweat even harder so that I could reply with an EXTRA SWEATY selfie it allowed me to reconnect with some friends I haven't heard from in a while.

I continue to send aggressive eye pictures to Rebecca and my dear friend Emma has joined in on the fun workouts and although we don't do them together, we keep each other accountable after each workout (sorry for the yelling Emma). I encourage you all to take selfies next time you workout and send it to someone you haven't been in touch with for a while. Maybe it will encourage them to work out and it will put you back in touch. 
Here are some tips on taking the PERFECT workout selfie:

1) BE SAFE. GOOD for you - you ran on the run/bike path for X kilometres, but BEFORE you snap that sweaty picture look both ways. NO ONE wants to end up in the ER because of a collision with a bike, rollerblader (or a horse if you are in Montreal). 

2) PICK THE PERFECT LIGHTING. Sometimes it barely looks like I am sweating, other times I look DRENCHED. You must play with the lighting and the angle. I am no photographer so unfortunately I cannot tell you the best angle or lighting but you are smart human beings. TRIAL and ERROR. LAW and ORDER. Play with it, own it, FLEX it. 

3) The MESSIER, The WETTER, the REDDER the BETTER. Don't fix your hair, DO not wipe that sweat off, and do NOT wait until your face isn't as red as a BEET. Embrace it. You worked hard. Your body is showing your GLOW. 

If you need more non-workout selfie tips I have included this wiki-how link. Some tips included "do something cheerful" and "know what poses are passe. " The article is full of accurate diagrams and tips. Please enjoy.

Dear friends, continue to send me pictures of your sweaty self. It motivates me and gives me a good laugh. Enjoy the song of the week. 

Saturday, 29 August 2015


The last few months have been exceptionally hard to get in a consistent sweat. My schedules changes week to week as does what I'm required to know or do. Yes I am making excuses, you are absolutely right. But it has been the most difficult time so far to commit to a good healthy exercise routine. Part of the problem is when I wake up at that INCREDIBLY early hour to try and get in a sweat before I have to be at work EXTREMELY early the snooze button ALWAYS WINS. So I tell myself "It's okay, you'll do it when you get home." Do you want to know what I do when I get home? Many things...and one of them is NOT working out. 

I identified the problem, my lack of motivation and my lack of accountability. Back in the day, when I was on sports teams and ran with a running group I literally had to show up to some location with some workout clothes on and I listened to a coach or did the workout of the day using the motivation of teammates. I was accountable to those teammates because I was expected and in some ways needed to show up for practices so we could run appropriate drills and exercises. Well, no one needs me one but myself. BUT THEN...I found this whole new world on the INTER-WEB. 

I found a pretty basic and reasonable workout plan I bought from a certified kinesiologist online and was able to join an "accountability group." Yes I don't know these women, and Sue is from Florida, Jen is from Ohio and I don't really know where anyone else is from...but really would it make a difference? We post daily after our workouts, or sometimes before if we are trying to find excuses. These are all busy women that work, have kids and take care of farms...if they can find the time so can I. And when I start thinking that I can't...THEY REMIND ME I WILL. 

An additional accountability tool I have been using is my poor friend Rebecca. She does not live in the same city as me and that maybe a good thing for noise control. I have COMMITTED to sending her a sweaty picture of my face - mostly involving a creepy eye for the next two weeks...which I am hoping will turn into 2 months...and then maybe two years. I am NOT SORRY. I am lucky to have someone that is not frightened by the sweaty creepy eyes that are sent her way on a daily basis. TRUE FRIENDSHIP.

So my friends, if you too are having this probably and haven't been able to commit or find your fitness community or perhaps it just isn't in your schedule right now, please think about the E-WORLD of E-WORKOUTS. 

GO get it.

Sunday, 26 April 2015

But what's REALLY going on in your mind...

We've all had those days...we get on the treadmill, the bike or even go for a run outside and we're just...BORED. We're not even tired, or out of's the boredom that makes it hard to finish our workout. Often when I run I think about school, my friends, what I want to do when I get a vacation...or better yet a job. But somedays I don't want to think about any of it all. I wish I had a fun distraction that would make my workout an escape from the frequent thoughts that already haunt my day. That's why working out with a friend is ideal, but sometimes schedules prevent the sweaty company of others becoming a reality. 

I've tried running while reading on the treadmill - I almost rolled my ankle and fell of the end of treadmill with my limbs in the air. I've also tried watching TV shows while running but then the SAME commercials come on...and honestly - I HATE COMMERCIALS. LEAVE ME ALONE. Music is a great distraction and a motivator, but if your'e like me and update your playlist once since 1999 it's pretty repetitive. It can be difficult to find that perfect distraction. Sometimes if you're lucky you can find very interesting people to watch in dismay or horror (sometimes both), but again this is LUCK. PURE LUCK. SO WHAT IS LEFT YOU ASK? Here are a few games and distractions I think help:

1) Multiplication tables - do you remember those? One day when your PHONE BATTERY DIES you can thank me for encouraging you to practice your multiplication tables.
2) Freestyle rapping. We all have a little Biggie Smalls/Eminem/Snoop Dog/Miss Elliot in us. That's right - rap it out - and if you're feeling good then RAP IT OUT LOUD. You may have a career you never knew about.
3) Think of NOTHING...and then when you realize you have actually starting thinking of thinking of nothing...START OVER...Honestly - try thinking of nothing for 10 seconds - bet you can't...
4) FOR THOSE INTENSE WORKOUTS - try and count the drips of sweat as they fly off of can even track your progress on an excel sheet. 

Do you have any tips on keeping yourself on those hard days of workouts? Please share. 


Monday, 6 April 2015

The MANY workouts of New York

This weekend  I got in a car with two lovely friends and we drove down to the BIG APPLE! Between eating some of the best food I have ever eaten, having the definition of "normal" reinvented and visiting some of New York's finest attractions I noticed New Yorkers have come up with many unique ways to encourage day to day exercises. Here are some of my favorite ones:

1) Running from Cookie Monster, Elmo and Sponge Bob because they want you to give them 15 dollars for taking a picture with them at Time's Square.
2) Rollerblade soccer - I wouldn't say this is for everyone. It was terrifying and addictive to watch.
3) Neighbourhood Basketball - the intensity is unparalleled
4) Dancing for hours because you keep saying "I'll leave as soon as there is a bad song..." only to realize they somehow never play a song you can't sing at the top of your lungs.
5) Walking for hours and hours and more hours - to get to the next food stop (of course)
6) Zumba (the Latina Dramatic Type) - these ladies of all ages move their hips in ways I didn't know were possible.

I had an amazing weekend and I cannot wait to go back to the Big Apple! I definitely recommend it New York for a variety of workouts and experiences.
No surprises for the song of the blog below:

Thursday, 26 March 2015


A couple weeks ago my dear handsome, intelligent and athletic friend asked me if he could join me the next time I went to Hot Yoga. He workouts out regularly and enjoys a variety of quick, efficient workouts resulting him enjoying his protein shakes and bars after getting his sweat on. I wasn't sure if he would LOVE Hot Yoga but who am I to decide that? I have been enjoying the warmth and benefits of hot yoga for a few years. I find when you do something for a few years you forget that it may not be so "normal" or extreme. Well bringing a newcomer can quickly remind you that things are normal as thought. 

We arrived to a intermediate level class Sunday evening. The yoga studio was extremely busy with sweaty bodies finishing their workouts drinking tea and relaxing in the main area. We got changed and I set our mats up in a far corner as requested by my dear friend. We spent the few minutes before class relaxing outside and drinking tea. Upon entering the room he realized the warmth...and as we climbed over all the fit, shirtless yogis I could see he wasn't exactly sure what he got himself into. 

The thing with yoga is if you haven't mastered the basics for awhile it may be hard to keep up. Often the teachers are walking around the room adjusting the students, they are not always performing the sequences for the students to follow. So I can appreciate the struggle the newcomers may face as I often face them when it there are series or postures I have yet to try. My dear friend kept up quite well. Slowly the sweat started to drip, eyes started to sting and THAT beautiful sound of RAIN falling on your mat was heard across the studio. But we all know it is not RAIN - it is A REVERSE SHOWER...whereby you are not having the warm water of your shower clean you, you are internally cleaning yourself by SHOWERING your environment with your electrolytes and fluids. It is a wonderful sound and generally accompanied with harder postures where you are told to focus on your breath...but you are REALLY JUST HOPING FOR THE TEACHER TO SAY "take one last breath" until you can halt the uncomfortable sensations. (I hope to reach the point where I can just BREATHE INTO THE PAIN like it doesn't exist...but I am not quite there yet...).

At one point during the class I heard one of those  St. Bernard Mountain Dogs PANTING after chasing a mountain squirrel. Guess who? My dear friend. As the class was in down-dog he was lying on his back just PANTING...I ask "are you okay?" and he between pants he asked "WHY...IS...IT...SO...HOTTTTTTTT???????" With this we flowed through to a few more sun salutations. He did just great. A couple times the teacher came over the adjust him, I heard a variety of noises. An "Ow" and "NO NO" followed by "my body will not do that." Points for honesty. 

At the end of the class I think we both enjoyed our favorite part- Shavasana and THE BEST PART OF ANY HOT YOGA CLASS - THAT MOMENT. You all know what I am talking about. The RUSH OF COLD FRESH CLEAN AIR on your sweaty body. Oh- if someone could bottle that feeling....

It was all in all a great experience. I got a great workout with a dear friend - and I think it was also an excellent source of entertainment. 

Next time your going to do one of your favorite workouts bring a friend that hasn't tried it yet. As per this will be a WIN- WIN - WIN (mostly for you!)

Song of the post -  FOR OBVIOUS REASONS: 

Monday, 23 March 2015

The unusual suspect - ET CA FAIT MAL!

I had the luxury of coming home this weekend. I love being home for a number of reasons - my family, friends and favorite familiar spots; this list includes my favorite yoga studio, gym to do BODY ATTACK, and now barre studio. Two of my dear friends opened up The Dailey Method Ottawa less than two months ago. I feel like I have been watching an amazing journey unfold before my eyes. From listening about how much Sarah loved her first workout at the Dailey Method in Vancouver, to being at the opening of the studio earlier this year has been inspiring and given me motivation to pursue my own career and health goals. The studio isn't just a place to get your workout on - it's also a community of warm welcoming faces and support for anyone of any fitness level to achieve their fitness goals, improve their alignment and a happy environment that can provide a place to destress and smile. Before I get even more sappy, I will tell you about the workout because that's what this blog is about.

I tried the Dailey Barre class which is a bit of a faster pace than the Dailey Basics class. It was lead by a high school friend Sarah S, who was enthusiastic and gave the most excellent instructions while adjusting my alignment so my already burning quads felt even more on FIRE. SOMEONE CALL 911 - FIRE BURNING. The best thing about the workout is that you do get a whole body workout but you're working your core the ENTIRE TIME. My abs and obliques are pleasantly sore, and my quads and hams are definitely feeling it (I wouldn't use pleasant as a descriptor.). I had an excellent time and I can't wait to come back and do some more classes. What I appreciated from my weekend and workout at home is how a community can make you feel so warm, loved and care for (despite the fact that it is -20 on the 3rd day of spring). From all the hugs, sweaty high fives and teasing this weekend I can say I feel refreshed, renewed and extremely sore. Sometimes when we first start working out, or get back into the groove the best thing you can do for yourself is to do it people that support and encourage you. It doesn't have to be at a studio, it can be a running group, community fitness center or maybe a couple friends you meet consistently to hit the ball around or go for a walk. It makes the world of a difference to feel all the love - even when you're a sweaty mess. 

Have the most excellent week!!

I am so proud of my friends at the Dailey Method - for my last ounce of sappiness....I have chosen this song:

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

The REALITY ...and sometimes it isn't so pretty...

It's been about 2 weeks now I have been trying to get back onto the CHOOO CHOOO exercise train. There have been drenched towels, empty water bottles, sore muscles and most of all exhaustion. People always say - it's hard at first...but soon you will have more energy, you'll sleep better and you'll feel great. WHEN IS THAT? WHEN IS THAT I ASK THESE PEOPLE? Okay fine, maybe I am a little dramatic but I am sore. VERY SORE. I don't feel great, I feel like it's a challenge to sit down to go pee and ...don't get me started on the getting up from the toilet. I am constantly thirsty and way hungrier than before. I have gone through this before..."the beginning." It's the hardest part for me. Not caving into the soreness and skipping the early morning workout so I can sleep and rest my muscles. Do not get me wrong, we all need rest and we do need to listen to our bodies...but we need to also decipher excuses from actual pain and injury. Yes may shoulders may prevent me from blowdrying my hair but that doesn't mean I can't go for a run or walk. I force myself out of bed, or the couch after work and get to the gym and do my thing. In times like this, when I'm tired and sore I try and surround myself with others that are on the exercise CHOOO CHOOO train. Group fitness is the best for motivation, music and smiles. 

Regardless of where you are on your fitness journey we all have hard days. Listen to your body. Is it a legit pain, are you feeling unwell or are you making excuses? Be honest with yourself.


Sweat it out folks!

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Springing back into shape!

Today I went to a pretty tough exercise class. It's called MetCon. This is a description taken from a Men's Health article: 

"Metabolic Conditioning workouts, or MetCons for short, are fast paced, high intensity workouts completed in a short period of time that will challenge your cardiovascular capacity, put your metabolism into overdrive and rapidly burn fat."

Sounds intense doesn't it? IT SURE WAS. Did I feel like I was getting a good workout? Absolutely! Did I sweat? Oh yes!!! Did I want to accidentally aggressively roll my exercise ball at the instructor when he was demonstrating a cruel challenging exercise! OH YOU BETTER BELIEVE I DID!!!! This workout was a discouraging one. It was really hard not to get frustrated with myself when I couldn't hold my arm straight over my head holding a 8lbs pound doing my 20th squat and by the end of the class I was modifying most things just so I could still get some sort of a workout. This was not what I am used to. I used to always take the most challenging options in fitness classes refusing to do push ups on my knees or modify anything to make it easier. Those days...well they just aren't right now unless I want to injure myself to the point of not being able to exercise for a while. 

What I learned today was humility. Unfortunately I chose not to prioritize exercise for a while and I cannot expect to be at the same level as I used to be. And perhaps I will never be able to do some of the exercises or lift the same weights as I used to, but it's okay. Exercise has taken a different meaning for me now. It's not about how fast, how much or how's about how I feel getting to the gym, during the workout and when I leave. So yes, maybe I fell off my bosu ball kicking my exercise accidentally to the woman next to me (it legit was an exercise), or the instructor patted me on the back and said "don't worry, I know this was a hard one." BUT I FEEL GOOD. I went to the gym, worked super hard and had an energetic day as a result. We must be proud, gentle and kind to ourselves...even in times of wanting to accidentally let go of the dumbbell when the instructor is walking by....

Sunday, 8 March 2015

Happy Sweaty Women's Day!!!

It was not that long ago that women were discouraged from ridding a horse due to a risk of "deformities in the lower body..." (Walker, 1837).  Women made their first competitive appearance at the Olympics in 1900 - in lawn tennis and golf. Things have changed drastically since those days. Women are now ENCOURAGED to do physical activity. World Health Organization Guidelines recommend women participate in physical activity to improve womens' health and help prevent diseases and conditions that are major causes of death and disability such as: cardiovascular disease, diabetes, osteoporosis and breast cancer. Big surprise that physical activity also reduced stress levels, anxiety and depression therefore improving mental health. MUSCULAR WOMEN? GASP!!! NO MORE! Women's bodies are celebrated in all different shapes and sizes. My prized possession? My biceps. What's your favorite part of your booooddddyyyyy? Be proud, be strong, be a WOMAN!

So LADIES leave your men at home...or bring them with you and have a most sweaty Sunday.

Friday, 6 March 2015

The Truth and NOTHING but the TRUTH

So it's been about three years since my last blog post. THREE YEARS? Where did I go? Did I keep sweating? Is sweat still the solution? 

Let me start with - I went to Medical School (I am still in medical school). Years and years (literally) of school, exams, extracurriculars and adventures I started my medical career 3 years ago...about the same time I stopped writing in the blog. Coincidence...I like to think not. Yes I have kept sweating, not as much as I like, but here and there whenever time permits. I come back to the blog and back to physical activity because I realize it is quite probably the best solution (for me at least). 

The last three years have been tough, long hours, new experiences, a realizing everyday I have SO MUCH MORE TO LEARN. But at the end of the day when I leave class, the hospital or clinic - it's me, my thoughts and my body. Taking that time to run on the treadmill, try a new workout or attending the hottest of all yoga classes I realize for that brief period of time that nothing else matters. I owe it to myself to make that time for me. 

I love the gym and the yoga studio - there is something about being surrounding by other sweaty bodies, but sometimes time doesn't permit it. So I have started doing workouts at home. INSANITY, yoga DVDs from my favorite teachers (Mark Laham) and little videos on instagram have ensure I can keep my workouts going even if they are super short.

THE CLOCK will NOT STOP ME. Do not let it stop you either. If getting your sweat makes you happy, then do it, you owe it to you an no one else.