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Nik Ledgerwood






North of extraordinary With great technique, your fitness goals are just around the corner. With great Technik, an Audi gives you the perfect driving experience at Audi Edmonton North. The Audi Q5 achieves a class of its own. With its distinct profile, quattro permanent all-wheel drive and an 8-speed Tiptronic transmission, the 2017 Audi Q5 has carved its place on Edmonton roads as the SUV that has it all. Sporty, progressive, spacious and functional. And fit. The 2017 Audi Q5 is the perfect fit for Edmonton streets. Visit Audi Edmonton North for the perfect Q5 experience that is truly north of extraordinary.

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Audi Edmonton North 18855 Stony Plain Road NW Edmonton, AB (587) 772-AUDI (2834) local or 1 (855) 642-AUDI toll-free for more details. NORTH OF EXTRAORDINARY

Image shown is a 2017 Audi Q5. Dealer #4991570














july/august 17



contributors ANDRE LESSARD


From 256lbs to runner, to 4 time Boston Marathoner. Andre Lessard shares his adventures through his Instagram page body.inmotion. It's not about the destination, it's about the journey.

Christal Sczebel is a Certified Holistic Nutritionist and the Owner of Pure & Simple Nutrition located in Edmonton, Alberta. She is also an avid blogger at her little space on the web, Christal aims to help others discover their best health through nourishing and balanced eating, self-love, and developing sustainable habits that last!. She is passionate about getting her clients and readers off of the dieting rollercoaster and into a place of balance and true enjoyment of whole foods. Christal lives in Edmonton with her husband and two fur-babies. She loves to stay active, eat good food, travel, host dinner parties and blog about it all!



Erin Smandych is a nutrition coach and natural foods private chef who is passionate about showing people how to make healthy eating effortless and delicious. She offers a variety of services, including one-on-one nutrition coaching, tailored meal prep sessions, private chef services, and also teaches a variety of nutrition workshops around the Edmonton area as well as abroad.

Yvonne Sanche is a registered massage therapist and owns St. Albert Sports Recovery. Focusing on athletes' recovery, she specializes in therapeutic massage, Rapid Adhesion Release and stretch therapies, including Fascial Stretch Therapy.




Bridging the Gap  At Sherwood Park Sports Physiotherapy, our leading edge physical therapy, athletic therapy, chiropractic, massage and exercise training services work together to help you bridge the gap from injury to performance.

More than just treatment. We provide solutions to injury and training concerns with our integrated TEST-TREAT-TRAIN approach to wellness.

Our training programs are customized to teach efficient movement strategies, reducing the risk of injury and improving performance.

Each assessment peels back the layers and identifies the major problems that are contributing to your past, present, future injuries or suboptimal performance.




Our integrated team of professionals work together providing you the treatment you need at the time you need it.

We are here to help, book with one of our therapists today!

editor’s note Welcome summer… The flowers have bloomed, the River Valley is green and the stair climbers are out in their full glory. We only get a few short months of this beautiful weather that those of us who have lived here our whole lives realize that we need to take full advantage of it. In this summer edition of YEG Fitness, we’re talking about some of these activities to help you get outdoors and enjoying staying fit and keeping active. Whether it’s an outdoor group class or going for a run or bike ride in the River Valley trail system, there is just so much to get you moving. And with all the farmer’s markets opening up again, you can keep your diet in check as well (and feel good about spending some time on a patio in the evening to enjoy a cold one – life is all about balance). If you haven’t checked out our latest project City ‘N Social yet, visit to hear from some of the business owners and leaders in the city who are doing great things creating a connected wellness community. We just started up the podcast and have sat down with a number of these members of the YEG Fitness community to chat about all the great things happening in our beautiful city. So stop what you’re doing (after you finish reading this edition) and head out to enjoy the great outdoors. Go for a stroll with some friends in the evening after dinner. Play a round of golf or match of tennis with an old friend. Or try out one of the many free outdoor group classes being offered around the city (you just need to look for them on Instagram). There are so many great things to do in our city. You need to look no further than your own back yard to keep active and YEGFit.


Printed in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

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No part of this publication may be copied or reprinted without the permission of YEG Fitness. The fitness and nutritional information in this publication are not intended to replace professional medical advice. Readers are encouraged to consult a health professional before beginning or changing in their fitness or nutritional activities. Opinions expressed in this publication are those of the contributor and not those of YEG Fitness or its employees and associates. Advertising in this publication does not indicate an endorsement by YEG Fitness.




Try our favourite summer smoothie to put a smile in your day!


Ingredients: 3/4 cup unsweetened cashew milk 1/4 cup pomegranate juice 1/2 cup frozen strawberries 1/2 frozen banana 1/2 cup chopped kale 1/2 cup spinach 1 Tbsp flax seed Pomegranate seeds for garnish

Directions: In a blender add all the ingredients. Blend on high. Poor into a glass or to-go-container. Garnish with berries. Prepare to start smiling :D

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Mega Bounce Run – July 8, 2017

The Mega Bounce Run is a 5k obstacle course with an emphasis on fun for all ages. Participants will jump and slide through 10 mega sized inflatable obstacles. Mega Bounce is open to all levels of runners and walkers.

Spartan Race Red Deer – July 22-23, 2017

The Red Deer Spartan Weekend is an obstacle course race where participants attempt to run through numerous obstacles as fast as possible. For the Super course, runners can expect to take anywhere from 90 minutes to 3+ hours to complete. The Sprint course is 5-8k with a fastest time of 40 mins. Runners must be 14+ in order to compete. Kids can participate in the Junior race.

Edmonton Marathon – August 20, 2017

The Edmonton Marathon Festival includes the Half Marathon, 10 km, 5 km and Kids Mini Marathon events! The events will feature the usual elite field of runners, as well as a recreational, and walkers division, plus a wheelchair category for the marathon.

1. WHAT'S YOUR FAVOURITE COUNTRY YOU'VE TRAVELED TO? I actually got the chance to live and play soccer in Stockholm and that would have to be one of the best cities I have ever been to. Especially in the summer time.

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2. WHAT'S THE BEST WAY FOR YOU TO STAY ACTIVE? We have a pretty heavy training program throughout the season so other than that I like going golfing in my spare time along with walks and hikes with my family. 3. IF YOU WEREN'T PLAYING SOCCER, WHAT WOULD BE YOUR DREAM JOB? Dream job would have to be something to do with traveling the world. I love new cultures and exploring different ways of life. 4. HOW DO YOU RECHARGE AFTER A PRACTICE OR GAME? Usually with a good meal and a massage. A nap is sometimes in my afternoon schedule as well. 5. FAVOURITE SPORTS TEAM (BESIDES FC EDMONTON)? I grew up watching and supporting Manchester United. I don’t really support a team anymore but when they play I find myself wanting them to win. 6. WHAT'S ON YOUR BREAKFAST PLATE TODAY? Scrambled eggs, toast, and some fruit. Morning coffee is a must for me. 7. LOCAL CELEBRITY YOU'D LOVE TO MEET. Connor McDavid. I think what he has done at such a young age and being captain is phenomenal. 8. FAVORITE WAY TO SPEND A DAY OFF? Golf in the morning, a walk and afternoon coffee with the family in the afternoon and a nice dinner to end it off. 9. BACON CHEESEBURGER OR KALE SALAD? Kale salad. 10. WORDS YOU LIVE BY? Work hard, play hard.  I strongly believe in a good balance to everything. Can’t celebrate or party if you haven’t worked hard for it.







Hey you... Y EG runner! 780-455-5068

(1) Lateral Monster Walks

With a band around your knees start with feet shoulder width apart, toes pointed forward, knees slightly bent, keep your core tight and step to the side. 10-20 reps in each direction.


Like a caged beast breaking free from its shackles, the YEG runner is ready to tear up the river valley trails, sets of stairs and organized races throughout the city. There is no shortage of excitement and enthusiasm when the snow melts and running season kicks into high gear. However, it is important to remember you have to control the beast inside and train smart. Injuries such as plantar fasciitis, patellofemoral pain syndrome (runners knee) and Achilles tendinitis are lurking in the weeds to bring your enthusiasm to a quick halt! At Optimize Physiotherapy we see running injuries all the time. Do you think we start rehabbing these injuries with running? Of course not! We always focus on mobility and sorting out muscle imbalances with accessory strength work. If you want to stay injury free you have to get on this proactively! Trust us, maybe not right away, maybe not even this year but if you neglect it then it’s only a matter of time before the running shoes are thrown in the closet and you’re ripping through your benefits at an awesome physio clinic like Optimize Physiotherapy. Try these 3 exercises to help with stability before your run and on days off. Repetition builds habit!

(2) Russian Step Up

Using a box or step 15-25 inches (depending on your height) step up onto the box, making sure to keep your core tight and your pelvis square to the front. As you step up drive your opposite knee up and maintain balance and control. 10-20 reps per leg.

• stabilize

(3) Single Leg Glut Bridge Laying on your back with your knees bent, have one foot flat on the ground and the other leg straight out. Raise your hips so that you are in full extension. In the finish position you should create a straight line from your shoulder to your knee. Hold for 3 seconds and alternate legs. 10-20 reps per leg.

• optimize

It’s Time to Talk About Fitspo. BY MARY-HELEN CLARK Fitspo was once something you might find while scrolling through your social media feed is now everywhere. Even companies like Nike and lululemon have used Fitspo in their marketing campaigns. On January 1st, everyone is posting “new year, new me” with a bunch of memes about how sweat is fat crying and how nothing tastes as good as skinny feels. And we all suddenly feel super empowered, meet our fitness goals and live happily (and healthily) ever after. Right? Not exactly. For many, these inspirational memes designed to empower us and make us feel really good about ourselves actually make us feel horrible. Shara Vigeant, the owner of SVPT Fitness, has found that some of her clients have used the inspirational messages and fit bodies they’re placed over to motivate them, but it ends up deflating when their progress doesn’t instantly result in a taut body.




“A fitness journey is supposed to make you feel good about yourself, not feel worse,” Vigeant says. “And if you’re comparing yourselves to these fitness inspiration posts, you’re never going to feel good about yourself.” Ideally, fitness inspiration was meant to help you feel empowered. However, in practice, not everyone is built the same way. You may be working your butt off, but rock hard abs or a size three waist just isn’t in the cards for you. The problem with Fitspo can be that those just starting out on a fitness journey are often already struggling with self esteem and see the perfectly airbrushed photos as the goal. When they’re not reaching the goal right away, it chips away at the parts of their psyche that are already fragile and can ruin their progress and motivation. “What I’m against is that these fitness inspiration posts glorify body types that are unrealistic for many, and make us feel that we aren’t good where we are right now,” Vigeant says. “They’re meant to be inspirational, like ‘oh, you can do this’ but what we’re finding is that a lot of people are coming and feeling defeated because they’re seeing these images and

wonder if that’s how they’re supposed to look. They think because they don’t look like that, then they aren’t fit, or whatever. So we’re seeing a lot of low self-esteem, setting goals that are unrealistic, to reach that body. I’m seeing so many clients coming in with body image issues because of it.” However, not all fitspo is bad. Some of it can be really encouraging and help you stay motivated. To help figure out the difference, Vigeant suggested the following tips: 1. Make it something that is non-goal specific, or attainable (like, I’m going to be my best self today). 2. Make it realistic. 3. Does it make me feel good? Not like I have to look like the person in the photo At the end of the day, fitness and motivation are supposed to make you feel good about yourself. Sweat is not fat crying. Pizza and bread taste as good as skinny feels. But most importantly, you are not working out to look like Kendall Jenner or John Cena. You’re doing it for you. So don’t let a photo on Instagram make you feel like you aren’t doing your best.

FUEL FOR THE FITNESS ENTHUSIAST We all know that balancing all our daily commitments isn’t easy and something usually falls by the wayside – namely, our diet. In 1999, on the go food options were limited and almost exclusive to burgers and fries. There had to be a better way, so in November of that same year Booster Juice opened it’s first store in Sherwood Park, AB as a way of providing delicious, convenient and healthy alternatives to the traditional fast food menu. Today, the signature strawberry tornado is hard to miss (or ignore) when cruising around Edmonton on your way to your local gym, your recreational sports league or to try that new class on Whyte Ave. What continues to set Booster Juice apart from a growing range of health-conscious food options is the commitment to staying ahead of the next big trends in health and fitness. From super foods like chia seeds and hemp hearts to a signature collection of boosters, everything is selected for premium quality and maximum health benefits. Below are some of top picks to keep you fuelled (and full) for all your fitness adventures!


Looking for a perfect pre- or post-workout meal to help fuel muscle building and recovery? Look no further than Booster Juice’s High Protein category. Each great tasting smoothie contains a minimum of 20 grams of high quality whey protein. Soy protein options are also available and each smoothie can be made dairy-free, for those with dietary restrictions. Just talk to your local Booster Juice to find out how you can customize your favourite smoothie! Want to feel a little ‘super’? The High Protein Superfood category has the additional benefits of incorporating superfoods such as matcha green tea, açai power berry, pomegranate, caja and goji for a smoothie that’s big on taste and nutrients!


Vegetable based smoothies are a natural choice for those who are pursuing an active, health-conscious


lifestyle. Packed with micronutrients, vegetables are an essential part of a balanced diet and at Booster Juice, all smoothies under our Hardcore category are made with fresh, never frozen vegetables such as spinach, beets, carrots and kale. From the unmistakably earthy taste of the UnBEETable to the sweet pineapple and kale combination of Tropi-Kale, you’re guaranteed to feel good about choosing Booster Juice! Looking for a faster way to get in those vitamins? Try a fresh pressed shot of wheatgrass, available in single or double ounce shots, a known source for vitamin A, E , K, B6, iron, zinc and selenium.


Did you work up an appetite? Don’t want to hit your workout on an empty stomach? Booster Juice has a full line of made fresh daily food items which include chicken, steak and vegetarian options. Try the subtle spice of our Chipotle Chicken Panini, or change it up and get an extra serving of vegetables in with the Sundried Caprese Wrap! In addition to grilled fresh wraps, panini and quesadillas, Booster Juice also offers unique pastries known as Booster Bakes and probiotic greek yogurt – further proof that “feel-good” food can taste good too! Next time you stop by, think about making it a combo by pairing your favourite smoothie, or freshly squeezed juice, with a wrap, panini or quesadilla – perfect to enjoy now, or later. No matter what you choose, you can feel confident in knowing you’re providing your body with quality ingredients needed to keep your energy up while you’re on the go. From the classic Strawberry Sunshine to the unique taste of summer’s feature flavour – the Watermelon Explosion (available starting July 17, only for a limited time), Booster Juice’s large menu of product and flavour offerings ensures there’s something for everyone! Find a location near you at




Embrace Your Inner Love For Spandex BY TIFFANY BAKER Women’s Cycling Manager, ERTC PHOTOS BY PATRICIA DOIRON





taring at the wall of spandex (apparently called “Lycra”) outfits in the clothing section of my favorite bike shop, I quickly devolved into pep-talk mode, “If I want to be a cyclist, I have to look like a cyclist. Confidence comes from within, right?” I then imagined myself bending over reaching for the handlebars, the mental image of the resulting Lycra-encased muffin-top made me shiver. And then there were those bikes. Bikes that cost more than my first car. Shiny ones, colorful ones, oddly shaped ones, expensive ones. The choices equally overwhelming and equally enticing. I was drawn to them because they seemed to make other women look so fast, graceful, and strong. Those women seemed to have something I didn’t. Something I wanted. Their confidence and grace oozed from their pores as they rode by, laughing together, chatting about their weeks, their lives. They were friends. It was no wonder they were surrounded by attractive men with zero body—fat in equally tight clothing—these women were fabulous. Wait. am I back in high-school? My early perception of women’s club cycling seemed to parallel those tumultuous years. Perhaps you can relate; wearing uncomfortable name brand clothing to try and fit in, saving every dollar for that all-important first car, staring at the ‘cool’ girls wishing to be just like them. Maybe you were smarter than me and longed to be a part of something more productive like a sports team, or math club but if at some point you’ve wanted to be a part of something bigger than yourself, but weren’t sure you were good, strong, smart enough, whatever enough, you know what I am talking about.

And if you can relate to any of this when thinking about joining a cycling club I have some great news for you. The ‘cool’ girls want to be your friend! Or more accurately, our group of amazing women would love to ride with you. And if you keep telling yourself “I am not strong enough, not fit enough, not good enough,” you are wrong, I promise. I know this because I lead Edmonton’s largest women’s road cycling group and I meet women everyday who think they are “not something enough” and then they become better, stronger, and more capable on and off the bike. We absolutely want you to ride with us and I know the women in the other Edmonton based clubs think the same. YEG’s women’s cycling movement is gaining speed and momentum and it’s not just for those who look perfect in Lycra. Our movement is for all women. Bring your old bike, too tight shorts, cellulite, sense of humor and zest for life and you will have the time of your life. We are lucky, Edmonton has women’s groups for all disciplines: road, cyclo-cross, mountain, and even fatbikes. Groups that teach beginner skills, offer training to help reach goals of all levels, and provide women with the kind of supportive and understanding environment that can only be created by women. I know this because I started Edmonton’s largest women’s road cycling group two years ago and worked to create a group of amazing

women (40 strong so far this year) who are accepting of everyone who rides with us. You might be thinking it’s too late in the season to give it a try. Kind of like trying to avoid changing schools in the middle of the year. Being the “new kid” when everyone is already established sucks. But that’s where cycling differs. We always have “new kids” joining our group and our established members take each of them under their wing to help get them up to speed. Literally and figuratively. I know of other groups working with us in tandem towards the very same goal. Creating a women’s cycling culture in YEG that makes every woman feel strong and confident. No matter what your discipline or goal, there is a women’s biking group in YEG that would be excited to have you join them. And I promise you, the butterflies you have are shared by almost every woman when they start. So, come and share those butterflies. We promise you that riding with other women will help you to feel strong and confident. Even in Lycra. Share my aversion to Lycra? We’ll introduce you to the Spanx of cycling: bib shorts. Come ride with us (or any YEG women’s group) and we’ll share some other great tips and tricks.





RUGBY – It’s More Than Just A Game BY ANGELA LIEU


e hear it all the time in sports, “it’s more than just a game.” Rugby is no different. Rugby is blood, sweat, and tears; it’s commitment, hard work, and sacrifices. Rugby is a competition. A competition in skill, teamwork, strength, and fitness; and fitness is key. A rugby game is 80 minutes long with one brief halftime stoppage. There are 15 players from each team on the field at one time, and each team can have up to seven substitutes. Players that sub off the field are not permitted to re-enter the game; therefore, fitness is very important. Most starting players play the entire game. Rugby players not only need good stamina; they also need to have endurance and strength from their necks to their ankles. Although sprinting and running are a given, what sets the fitness required in a rugby game apart from that of other sports is the tackling. Unlike football, where there is a stoppage after each tackle and each dropped ball, a rugby game continues on. Both the tackling and tackled players must get up immediately and continue to play; this adds a challenging aspect to the physical and mental fitness involved that sets rugby apart from other team sports. In Edmonton, due to the long winters, the rugby season only runs from May to September; but any rugby player will tell you that they are more fit in those four months than they are all year. Players practice twice a week and play at least




1 game a week. Keeping up cardiovascular endurance and their strength training is important. Players find that they are faster, stronger, tougher, and more confident than when they first started. It’s a bit if of a rugby cliché, but it is 100 per cent true when someone says that there is a rugby position for everyone. Regardless of size or ability. Unlike other sports, where a particular body type is preferred for athletes, a rugby team needs athletes that are big and strong just as much as it needs athletes that are small and fast. Big and strong players are needed for scrums, tall players are great in line-outs, and small, speedy players make excellent backs. What one needs to get started in the sport of rugby are determination, resilience, and effort. The fitness and the skill will come, inevitably. If you were not fit before joining, you can be sure that you will be by the time you leave. New players are often hesitant to try rugby because it is a full-contact sport. Although contact sports are not for everyone; most people that give rugby a chance stay part of the rugby community for years and years to come. Rugby is much more than “just a game”. However, it is a game, and it is a game that is dynamic, physical, inclusive, and fun to play. I love rugby because being a good rugby player isn’t all about speed or strength or skill; it’s about heart, hustle, and tenacity. It’s about running without fear,

taking down someone twice your size, getting up when you’re down, and pushing until the 80th minute. It’s about supporting your teammates, chasing down every ball, and giving everything in the scrum. The game can take someone that is timid and unsure, and turn them into someone that is confident and fearless. Aside from the game itself, one of the best things about rugby is the camaraderie. I began playing rugby 11 years ago and my closest friends today are still those I learned to play rugby with all those years ago. I have made countless friendships along the way.  Any rugby player, from any club, anywhere in the world will tell you that there is no bond like the bonds formed by rugby teammates. A rugby club is a family; whether you are a rookie, veteran, or alumnus, you will always be a part of the club, and the members of the club will always have your back. Each year I have played, I have met incredible people, from all walks of life, that I know I can count on both on and off the pitch. Beyond the training and the competition, the culture and sportsmanship embedded in rugby is like no other.  Rugby can be seen as violent and intimidating, but at its core, it is a sport that is about respect, gamesmanship, and integrity as much as it is about the backwards pass. Over the last decade, rugby has had a huge impact on the person I’ve become.  Not because of where the sport has taken me, but what the sport has given me: friends to last a lifetime, discipline, dedication, fearlessness, confidence in my own strengths and abilities, leadership and teamwork skills, and opportunities to be a part of a community that is much bigger than a game; I wouldn’t trade it for anything.  If you are looking for a fun and competitive activity over the summer in Edmonton, rugby is the sport for you! There are rugby clubs all across the city that offer programs for men, women, and kids of all ages! Angela Lieu Edmonton Rugby Football Club (The Pirates)





Katie Chamberlain and Kent Morrison Every Wednesday  the alarm goes off at  5 a.m. Usually we hit snooze once, but that’s all we can afford. Spin starts at 6 a.m. sharp.  Ask anyone who knows us and they’ll tell you, we are very different people. Katie is the social one. She commands the room; she plans the party and invites everyone to join. I’m the quiet one. Much more thoughtful in my approach.  You can see the difference in our workouts too. She teaches a spin class at least three times a week. The rest of the days (sometimes the same days) are full of HIIT classes, circuits and, lately, the occasional yoga class. I workout on my own. I choose hours when I think the gym will be empty. I’m there to lift hard and lift heavy. I grit my teeth and get it done. But on Wednesdays we work together for 50 minutes on the bike while the sun is starting to rise. We’ve tried tandem exercises in the past, but we’re too competitive for that. I don’t like that she can plank for minutes longer than I can. She hates it when I correct her form while she squats. We literally work for competing companies. That’s enough head-to-head. We don’t need it at the gym too. Even on the days when we go there together, we rarely see each other until we’re done. It takes a certain level of respect to let your partner walk their own path and respect that they’ll meet you at the end. We’ve never really talked about it, but exercise has done a lot to nurture our relationship. It’s the healthiest form of stress relief we’ve found. It’s funny how you can’t help but feel content after an hour at the gym knocks the wind out of you and gets those endorphins pumping. There’s nothing like conquering a sweat session together. Our approaches are different, but the goal has always been the same. Healthy body, healthy mind, healthy hearts. 


My favourite part of Wednesday  morning is  7:05 a.m. That’s when we’re driving home from spin. We’re sweaty, but we’re not tired. When most people are just getting out of bed, we’ve already kicked some ass. And we did it together. The rest of the day is easy after that.   By Kent Morrison



Trying to navigate all that life is full of, including a couple of businesses, a few kids and family/social commitments, making time to stay fit and healthy has been one of the most challenging parts of life together. Growing up, both John and I were highly active, competitive athletes that spent more time running, jumping and skiing than anything else. It was all that we knew. We both married early (I was 24 and John 25) and life quickly took over. Staying active was easy for me as I was a personal trainer, but for John, his new business demanded a significant amount of time and energy. We quickly found that the pace of life was going to require more out of the box thinking and a new perspective on staying fit. Fitness for both of us became more of an attitude than a strict practice and both of us had to learn to be more flexible than ever before as we quickly found ourselves managing multiple business and three young kids! It's been a work in progress over the past 15 years and while we still have our family activities that influence the importance of sport and fitness to our kids, the turning point was our commitment made several years ago to our mental fitness. Meditation has played a pivotal role in both of our lives and has provided a safe foundation for all of its moving parts. We both have our own personal practices but I think that the most influential has been the ability to practice together. It may not look like your normal partner work-out, however, after a long and stressful day where the last thing on the mind is connecting with your partner, sitting back to back and feeling their breath move with yours, has been the most grounding and nurturing practice for our own personal wellbeing and that of our family. And just like those days where you are too tired to get to the gym but do it anyway, digging into this practice when times get tough, has gifted both of us the ability to move mountains with strength, grace and a whole lot of gratitude. By Mandy Trapp


Athletes and Floating BY KRISTEN PEARCE – DRIFT FLOAT STUDIO Float Therapy (REST - Restricted Environmental Stimulation Therapy/ Technique) has been used in the sporting world with great success since the early 1980’s. Some of the professional sports teams utilizing floatation therapy include, the Philadelphia Eagles, the Philadelphia Phillies, and the Dallas Cowboys. In addition to these major sport franchises various athletes such as Steph Curry, Carl Lewis, Jade Johnson and Tasha Danvers have all used float therapy to improve their athletic performance. Research suggests that float therapy boosts an athlete’s performance in multiple ways: - Control over the negative effects of stress - Elevation of mental training - Decreased recovery time after demanding workouts or injuries - Reduced production of lactate - Sports Performance Improvement and Mental Training Visualization - Injury prevention - Pain reduction In a float pod gravity isn’t a factor. The complete relaxation that it provides, gives all the muscles the much needed break they desire. The benefits are truly impressive. Inside the pod every single muscle in the body gets the rest it needs and the time to recover. Epsom salts are made of magnesium and sulfate. These are muscle relaxants and protein builders for your joints. Not only can you truly decompress in the float pod but you absorb the minerals directly into your muscles allowing you to be noticeably less tense as soon as you get out. 18




For athletes, stress management is of the utmost importance. Floatation therapy has been used successfully in clinical stress management and has been found to reduce blood pressure, cortisol levels and other stress related neurochemicals such as norepinephrine, adrenaline and adrenocorticotropic hormone. These neuro-chemicals are known to trigger the fight-or-flight response which is very good for lifting a truck off a trapped body or tearing out someone’s liver or running like hell in mindless terror. But they are not so hot for the kind of clear-headed strategy and perfectly coordinated finesse required in most sports. Float therapy puts the athlete in a calm, centered state of mind that allows them to work at peak efficiency.


When the athlete is in the float pod, the actual rate of recovery post-physical exercise is enhanced. Recovery that would generally take a very long time gets compressed into just a few hours. Since floating in water that has high concentrations of epsom salt reduces the gravitational pressure on the body, pressure is taken off strained muscles, joints and bones. Blood is now able to circulate more freely and reach joints, tendons, muscles and ligaments that may be sore or injured. This increased circulation allows your body to carry away waste and biochemicals such as lactic acid, cortisol and adrenaline. Lactate production can seriously impede the ability of the athlete to think clearly. It is especially difficult to remain calm and concentrated in the final phases of a game or competition. By reducing lactate levels, floating has an extremely positive impact on strength of mind, strategic thinking, and mental clarity. By reducing the amount of negative neurochemicals and increasing the beneficial ones, floating can also provide athletes with pain relief. The relaxation response created while floating increases the body’s production of beneficial hormones such as dopamine and endorphins, eliciting the body’s natural pain relief response. The release of endorphins coupled with the ability to become extremely aware of knots, tensions, and painful spots allows for athletes to heal faster and overcome fatigue.


Athletes that use float therapy in combination with visualization techniques experience a very significant improvement in their performances. As the person’s brain transitions into a theta state, it becomes much more open to suggestion. The central nervous system can essentially be trained to produce “perfect performance”. Today a number of athletes across the world use this technique to relax and up their performance in their chosen sport. Most recently basketball player Steph Curry of the Golden State Warriors spoke of his performance increase due to floating. Researchers have known for quite some time that an athlete's mental game plays an extremely important role in their performance. A 1998 study perfectly sums up why floating works so well to improve an athlete’s mental training suggesting that Floatation REST works to enhance athletic performance because it provides a profoundly relaxing experience in an environment conducive to greater amounts and better quality of sport related imagery, planning strategic thought processes than possible in other environments. The athlete is able to walk through each step of the technique, play, or game and fully focus on the visual, auditory, tactile and olfactory imagery.


Most sports injuries do not occur through direct physical contact, but by incorrect muscle tension, overstretching or pulled muscles. The best way to prevent injuries like this is to loosen muscles prior to exercise. In a floatation pod, general muscle tension is reduced significantly, even after just short periods of time floating. This can lead to substantially reducing the risk of such injuries.




Getting Comfy with Silence How a few simple changes helped my meditation habit stick BY VANESSA GOODMAN My nose is itchy. Don’t scratch it. Can’t scratch it. Want to scratch it. Stop thinking about my nose itch.

It’s not because meditating is hard. It’s adopting the habit that can be hard. And part of that, I think, is the desire to make it perfect off the start line. I know I (and maybe some of you) have determined that mediation looks, sounds, and feels like a white-robed monk in complete silence and stillness, at the same time of day. Every day. Facing the sun. For like two hours. What if I get itchy? What if I can’t last until my timer? What if my feet fall asleep sitting cross legged? What if I can’t commit to the same time every day? What if morning doesn’t work for me like so many accomplished meditators suggest?

Shoot, now I’m thinking about thinking about my nose itch. And what is that sound?!? My Shih Tzu is snoring. SNORING. DON’T YOU KNOW I’M ATTEMPTING TO MEDITATE?

The very reason why I needed to get into a meditation habit—my what if-ing everything to death—was the exact thing that was holding me back.

Bring it back to my breath. (Inhaaale. Exhaaale. Inhaaale. Exhaaale.)

CONSULT A PROFESSIONAL All those doers I mentioned? Here’s where they come in. I decided to seek professional help to set me on course with a few tools and the reassurance that perfect isn’t the goal. Adopting the habit in a way that works for me… yeah, that’s the goal. So I hit up a class at Canada’s first mainstream meditation studio here in Edmonton, Lifestyle Meditation. Quite similar to seeing a personal trainer to tone up or a nutrition coach to tweak eating I viewed a guided meditation session as a means to putting some course markers on my path to a mediation habit. A guided session with Tracy Montgomery not only reunited me with my intuition, it introduced some new motivation to get comfy with silence.

I gotta be close to my 12 minutes. Slowly squint right eye open just enough to see 2:17 tick down to 2:16 on my iPhone timer. I can do this. Inhaaale. Exhaaale. Ugh. I think my foot is asleep. STRUGGLING MEDITATORS UNITE We all know it; meditation is as good for your mind and soul as squats are for your legs. As chicken breast is for ab definition, and coconut oil is for, well good for life. But knowing it’s good for you and actually practicing are two very different things. There are some very accomplished doers out there. Their meditation practice is daily, 30 minutes or even longer. Their mental strength and calm demeanor is admirable. And they make meditation look child’s pose kinda easy. So why do I struggle to conquer my nose itching, dog snoring, and clock watching?




And that I did. Coupled with some blog posts/vids/Insta stories on meditation, and a commitment to find my unique mode of silence over a period of several weeks I shook off the notion of perfect. WHAT IF IT WORKS? The most important ‘what if’ was the one I had actually omitted. What if it works? And it does. But I realized I was initially trying to do the fitness version of couch surfer to full Ironman in one training session. Not likely. Habits take a bit longer to build than that.

A few weeks of trying and testing, sitting and silencing was necessary. I tried different times of day. Upon awakening, before bed, mid-morning, post eating, pre-workout, post-workout. I tried different positions. Laying, sitting, legs outstretched, cross legged. I tried different timing, 10, 12, 15, and 20 minutes. And that one time when I accidentally fell asleep three minutes in. I tried pairing meditation with another routine habit like a workout, lunch, and, after walking my boys to the bus in the morning. After all that it was pleasurably obvious that a few simple changes to my notion of a perfect meditation practice helped make the habit a little easier to adopt. For those who’ve mastered the art of escaping to silence in the middle of a hectic airport departure lounge or managed to put their to-do list on hold, this might seem simplistic. But for those of us for whom snoring dogs and itchy noses barricade us from mediation these three small changes made the biggest difference for me. 1. YOU CAN MOVE. I scratch itches and outstretch my legs when the sleep tingles in my feet get too annoying. Someday I envision being statue still. But until then, bangs get brushed to the side, mosquitoes get flicked, and toes get curled.

2. ANYWHERE, ANYTIME. In front of my south facing living room window on a sunny morning at 8:30 a.m. after breakfast is my ideal. But so is a few minutes of silence in my car between client meetings with a protein shake on the go. 3. FIND 12 MINUTES. When I first started interval training years ago, 12 minutes was the key number. Three rounds of four different exercises. So I used this same number; 10 almost feels too short yet 15 feels a little long. I hope to build up to 20 or 30 minutes, but for now, 12 is the perfect in between. LESS PERFECT, MORE HABIT I’ll admit my meditation habit still isn’t as regular as I hoped it would be. However, those 12 minutes I carve out at least a few times a week add up to over half an hour of peaceful silence. Now that’s only 0.36 per cent of my week. A ridiculously small amount of time. But it’s amazing how much intuition connecting can happen in 0.36 per cent. Even with itchy noses, snoring dogs, and sleep tingly feet. It doesn’t look perfect, but it doesn’t have to in order to be a beneficial meditation habit. By: Vanessa Goodman Health & habits lover, OCR enthusiast, communications professional (@nessa.pearl on Instagram)





Could Your Digestion Be Holding You Back?


f you’re suffering from bloating, heartburn, stomach cramps or any other kind of digestive discomfort your athletic performance could be impacted. Your digestive system is responsible for breaking down and absorbing the fuel for your muscles, brain and, other vital organs. For you to train and perform well your digestion should be optimal. It’s also super uncomfortable to run with heartburn, or to do a spin class with bloating, or to do box jumps when you have gas. Optimizing your digestive system will have you feeling full of energy and can lead to improvements in performance. How can you make sure your gut is on track? Here are four ways to know if your guts are acting normally: 1) You should poop every day. At least once. Your body actually has a reflex designed to make your bowels move every time you eat a full meal. Your stools should be formed (one or two pieces) and not be too loose or watery. Many people struggle with having just one bowel movement daily. This can be a problem for your cholesterol levels, hormones, and more. Simple ways to make sure your bowels move more consistently include drinking plenty of water, eating lots of fiber (seven-ten servings of vegetables a day!) and using dietary supplementation as needed. 2) You shouldn’t taste your food more than once. Meaning if you have burping, burning, or you’re bringing the taste of food back up after meals you might be suffering from

gastro-esophageal reflux disease (also known as GERD or heartburn). This is not only uncomfortable but it is indicating a problem with your digestion. Ulcers can cause heartburn and if typical treatments don’t reduce your pain you’ll need further testing to determine if you have an ulcer. Other causes of heartburn include high stomach acid levels, low stomach acid levels and bacterial imbalances in the digestive tract. 3) Only your car should be full of gas and only your balloons should be blown up. Being bloated and gassy is not normal. Your abdomen shouldn’t get bloated or feel taught like a drum after eating. If you suffer from bloating, it’s important to figure out why it’s happening. A lot of women get bloated with natural changes in their hormones specifically suffering from premenstrual bloating. If you bloat every time you eat, it’s more likely an issue of impaired digestion. If you eat very quickly your body doesn’t produce enough enzymes to break down your food and often you’ll feel bloated after eating. Try to take 20 minutes to consume your meals when you can. Other causes of bloating and gas include bacterial imbalances in the digestive tract, a food sensitivity, commonly milk or whey protein, or gall bladder issues. If you’re bloated, gassy, constipated or having heartburn, it’s important to figure out why. It’s definitely not comfortable training with these symptoms and if they last for a long time, they can impair your performance and can also indicate that there may be larger health problems.

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Taking The Path Less Travelled With Chris Tse BY CHRIS TSE – BLITZ CONDITIONING To say that the Edmonton River Valley is the crown jewel of our city would be an understatement. So much of our history and culture has revolved around the North Saskatchewan River and it’s exciting to see that we have begun to explore even more of it. Dragon boat festivals, triathlons, and winter carnivals are all centered around this park system that is twenty-two times the size of Central Park in New York. Whether you are fat-biking over the snowy winter scapes or hiking through the evergreens that reach endlessly towards the sky, there are so many ways to access this escape from the urban jungle. In the past few years, I have become more passionate than ever about getting people out and active. Personal training and teaching group fitness are just the beginning - we need to show people the amazing possibilities they can accomplish when they have been empowered by their own health. When you show a tourist or even someone born in Edmonton those little gems for the first time, they gain a new passion and respect for what this city has to offer. Much of the Valley is covered in multi-use pathways which provide paved or gravel paths everyone can access. For those who seek more of an adventure you are only a few feet away from single track trail. The single track trails have been largely carved-out by mountain bikers and hikers who want to get a bit deeper into the woods and challenge themselves with jaw-dropping descents and breathtaking views. I wanted to show you a few of my favourite spots to hike, run, and bike: 1. WOLF WILLOW STAIRS It may be a bit of a hike but park at Fort Edmonton Park and go across the footbridge to the Wolf Willow area. If you want a bit more of an adventure, head right of the staircase and that will lead you to “Two Truck Trail” which eventually crosses back to the north side of the Quesnell Bridge which allows you to loop back to the parking lot. 2. HAWRELAK PARK: CONNECTS TO LAURIER, EMILY MURPHY, AND QUESNELL BRIDGE If you are looking for a great staging place to explore so many different parts of the river valley this is it. Hawrelak Park connects to so many other parks through single track, multi-use, and paved trails. Each of the trails affords a different set of challenges - big drop offs and muddy spots to off-leash furry dog friends can all be found in this area.

Park at the Huskie’s Football Field and go west towards the High Level Bridge and Emily Murphy Park. You will be met with a few different choices for paths: multi-use and single track. For those who want a bit more of an adventure follow the multi-use pathway to a hill and it will split-off into a single track trail called the Master’s Degree - It’s a roller coaster ride so enjoy! These three trail systems are great for all skill levels and hikers, runners, and bikers alike. Hope this helps you get out there and to have some fun!









reat is one way to describe Joanne Courtney’s rise to the top of the curling world. The Edmonton native together with skip Rachel Homan, lead Lisa Weagle, and third Emma Miskew, is an early favourite to represent Canada at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in PyeongChang, South Korea. It has been an exciting year for the team. After winning the national championship, they went on to dominate the World Championship in Beijing. It was a big deal for Canadian women’s curling since the last time Canada won gold at the Worlds was in 2008. The team also set a record as the first team to go undefeated through the entire championship winning all 13 games. “It was an amazing experience given that it was my first time representing Canada,” says Courtney. “Getting to wear the maple leaf was incredible.” Joanne was born on March 7, 1989 in Edmonton. She began curling when she was seven years old after her brother had picked it up the year before. She started playing in bonspiels when she was eleven. There were only a few girls her age in the junior program and one of the parents put them together and started getting them to do extra practice on top of the tournaments. In Canadian curling, the players usually create teams. There’s rarely a scenario where a head coach has tryouts and forms a dream team. Instead, players typically align themselves with three other people who compliment one another and who share the same values and work ethic. At 15 Joanne was lucky enough to be on a team that lost the final at their junior provincial competition and from then on, she was hooked. “I remember being complimented on my sweeping ability even when I was 15,” she says. “My upper body has always been pretty strong thanks to several years in gymnastics at a young age.” The conditioning helped her to develop an athletic build and she took note of how the men were sweeping when they were on television. She tried to mimic that on the ice. She became passionate about sweeping in her late teens and once she was in her early twenties, she started investing in a trainer to ensure that she would build muscle and feel like she was a better sweeper than her competition. A ton of work went into the actual technique of sweeping, but it’s impossible to get the majority of your body weight over the brush if you aren’t strong enough to hold yourself up. “When I started competing in women’s play seven years ago, I heard that there were curlers in the national program that maxed out at 10 push-ups,” she says. That alone fueled a fire for her to make a big investment in fitness and to out-muscle her competition. “The sport has changed a lot in the last ten years and most curlers at the elite level are in incredible shape. I’m in the best shape of my life but there are times when I don’t feel like it’s a significant advantage anymore because everyone is fit. That motivates me to work extremely hard in our short off-season since I don’t want to fall behind.”







To be a good sweeper, and to heat up the ice as much as possible when sweeping, you want to get your body in a position where you have as much of your body weight as possible on the broom. “When I’m sweeping, I’m essentially trying to hold a plank at an angle while using my broom to hold me up,” says Courtney. “If you kicked my broom out from under me while I’m laid out sweeping, I would fall on my face. While holding that position, I have to move my broom back and forth and also move sideways down the sheet of ice.” In curling Joanne is best known for her sweeping ability and is in the conversation as being one of the best female sweepers in the world. Her skill in sweeping and her fitness level associated with that is the main reason why she got the call three years ago to join the team that she’s on today. She admits that she hasn’t always been the best player when it comes to throwing the rock but her teams have always appreciated the athleticism that she brings to the game. To play at an elite level it takes a greater toll on the body compared to the recreational level. Like any sport, the high repetition of a movement can lead to injuries. There are a lot of knee injuries and shoulder injuries in curling. That said you could play competitively for a very long time if you can avoid serious injuries. There are many thirds and skips in elite curling who are over fifty. The career span for someone who does a lot of sweeping can be a bit shorter; the more senior sweepers on tour are in their mid-forties. “Given the high level of commitment involved, I’m not sure how long I will play at this level,” says Joanne. “After the Olympics next year, life may change a bit if my husband and I decide to start a family. I can see myself playing for at least one more Olympic cycle, but the commitment level would change if I have a few little ones to look after.”




The great thing about curling is that it is accessible to a wide variety of people. You can start around six or seven years old and play for as long as your body can handle it. Once your knees can’t handle delivering the stone anymore there’s the option to push the rock with a stick. There’s also wheelchair curling, deaf curling and blind curling at the national and international level. It’s taken some time for curling to catch on as being viewed as a sport and not just a hobby. The common perception is that it’s a game for middle-aged men who drink a lot of beer and aren’t in the best shape. To be fair, it definitely used to be that way before curling was introduced at the Olympics. There used to be ashtrays built into the benches on the ice and a ton of partying throughout events. If you stop by a recreational league or event, there might be some pints on the backboards but you won’t see that at the elite level. “Curlers are still very social and enjoy a good time, but most of us know that there’s a time and a place for that,” says Joanne. The Olympics have done some amazing things for the sport of curling. Joanne recalls how she used to get made fun of in school when she would talk about her sport. It wasn’t cool like soccer or hockey. She found after the Vancouver Olympics however, that people started to appreciate the intricacies of curling. That year the Canadian men and women’s teams did an incredible job at representing curling. “I often get asked what sport I play because of my huge arms, and there used to be a lot of surprised expressions when people would find out it’s curling. There’s still some surprise but I feel like it’s less than before,” she says.

JOANNE’S CURLING BASICS “It’s basically shuffle board on ice. Each team alternates in throwing rocks down the sheet of ice and after eight rocks have been thrown by both teams, the team with the rock(s) closest to the middle of the rings scores. Each time all of the rocks are thrown from one end to the other is called an “end”. We do that eight or ten times depending on the format of competition and it takes about two to two-and-a-half hours to play a game. Teams are made up of four players with each person throwing two rocks (the positions are called lead, second, third and skip). I play second, so I throw the second set of rocks. When it isn’t my turn to throw, I sweep. The heat on the ice created by sweeping decreases the friction between the rock and the ice and allows it to travel farther (depending on who you ask effective sweeping can drag a rock six to eight feet farther than it would go on its own – that is super helpful when you’re trying to place the rock in a specific spot as it gives the thrower more room for error). Sweeping also affects the trajectory of the rock. It keeps it from grabbing the pebble (tiny droplets of water on the ice) and makes it curve (or curl) less.”  




BANFF YOGA FESTIVAL BY CAROLYN DICKSON During May 26 – 28, I had the opportunity to check out the second annual Banff Yoga Festival. I had never done something like this before and was pretty excited to learn that there was a yoga festival in my own backyard. Founder Kaeleigh Doherty started the festival by having an “a-ha” moment after she was denied from her Masters program she had spent 2 years trying to get into. “I was tired of doing things I didn't want to do- just for money,” she says. “I started thinking what I am great at, what I love, and how I could use my skills to facilitate or bring something new to Banff. After that "A-ha" I thought what the worse case scenario would be. Where I was in my life and the downfalls of bankruptcy didn't feel too much different from how I lived so I thought ‘I've got nothing to lose.’” I managed to attend 5 different classes. And I really mean ‘different’. My biggest worry about the festival was what if these classes are all the same and I get bored doing the same poses over and over? That, my friends, is not an issue. Sure, you’re

going to be doing downward facing dog until the dogs come home but, you should be doing it daily anyways. The first class I went to was Moon Cycles & Yoga, taught by Mindy Johnstone who owns the Rocky Mountain Yoga Room in Banff. The class centered around how we are affected by the moon phases and how to approach your practice during the Full Moon and New Moon, especially around that time of the month, ladies. I learned a lot from this class. Mindy and the Rocky Mountain Yoga Room is definitely somewhere to check out if you’re in Banff. The second class was Learning to Fly with Terri McCollum. It was a fantastic flow class. The really fun part was trying to do the many versions of Crow Pose I cannot do. The class did help me learn how to do Crow Pose a lot better than what I was attempting before. This class made you work up a sweat, just in time for lunch. There were a lot of different vendors at the Banff Yoga Festival, including my friends company who I’m an





ambassador for, Herbologie. We were situated right next to Yummi Yogis – a sustainable food truck located in Calgary (please come to Edmonton, stat) where I ate all of my meals other than the energy balls I snuck

yoga session with a DJ and it’s all I want to do now. It was a great, invigorating way to start the day. An awesome way to end the day and festival was taking the Closing Class: Flow to iRest with Anne Douglas

from Herbologie before my classes. If you’re in Calgary and haven’t tried the Pad Thai, you’re a crazy person! The last class I attended on Saturday, I stole the owner of Herbologie away from her booth to help clear and refresh her mind. We went up to Mt Norquay and enjoyed some Mountain Meditation with Stacey Irvine. It was a great way to end the day and set an intention for Sunday.

and Lydia Zamorano. Lydia took us through a flow class and Anne ended it with an amazing meditation.

Sunday morning, I attended the Junction 9 Trifecta class led by Kate Mak, Jilaine Beddoe, and Randelle Lusk. I had never attended a

There wasn’t a single class I thought “meh, could have done without” and I sure wish I could have gone to every single one of them. Kaeleigh has an amazing thing going on here and you shouldn’t think twice about attending next year’s event. If you’re looking for a festival like this before 2018, check out Banff Yoga Festival’s sister festival, Okanagan Yoga Festival!

BY TONY NGUYEN AND JORDAN PARISEAU (Co-Founders of F.R.E.E. Fitness) As personal trainers, the most common fitness goal we hear is, “I want my beach body ready for my summer vacation.” For those of you who work your tails off to enjoy a nice vacation away, there is no place quite like a beach to relax, unwind and to catch up on much needed sleep. It helps us get away and recharge from our daily stress. However, with that comes irregular workout schedule, decreased activity levels, more food and, of course, booze. But that is okay because we all know that life is about balance.


Getting out for a vacation workout can sometimes be a challenge. We often find ourselves procrastinating around it, finding excuses to do other things, or just putting it off until “later”. If this sounds like you, then you know exactly what we are talking about. To help get over these self-imposed stumbling blocks we have put into place simple body weight exercises that have helped us achieve successful workouts on our vacations. We call them our “Killer B’s”. These exercises have worked for us, and maybe they will work for you to help keep you feeling lean, strong and beach body ready even after you return from your summer vacation!




BREAKFAST JOG Rare is the day that you go to the beach and do nothing. With activities like swimming, building sand castles or playing beach volleyball you are often working up more of a sweat than you think. However, for some that is simply not enough. One of the best forms of exercise you can do at the beach is to go for a 15 to 30-minute jog the moment you wake up. Yes even before breakfast! Scheduling this into your day results in a higher rate of follow through than saying that you will do it “later”. Additionally, a morning jog during can be one of the most scenic moments of your entire vacation. Wake up, hit the beach and start your day with a breakfast jog!

BODY-WEIGHT SQUAT The body-weight squat is one of the best exercises you can perform to strengthen and tone your butt, quads, hips and, core. Keep your chest upright, drop your hips down while bracing your core, sit in your imaginary chair and stand back up. Performing this exercise while your feet are submerged in the sand makes it extra satisfying! Did you know that your feet have between 3000 to 7500 nerve endings? By performing your squats at the beach, sand acts as a natural exfoliant to help keep your feet feeling fresh and soft. If you are looking to challenge yourself, try adding a load to your squat by holding a weight or your 32-ounce piña colada (just kidding).

BURPEE The burpee is truly a full-body training exercise that is completely functional. This exercise involves your chest, arms, core, quads, hamstrings and butt. Not only that, performing this exercise can quickly raise your heart rate similarly to cardio. Start by standing up, place your hands into the sand, kick your feet out to form the top of a push up position while touching your chest to the sand, kick your feet back to your standing position and jump! Burpees in the sand can be more beneficial for an individual as it is softer on the joints and requires more mechanical work to execute the exercise. Burpees are about speed, so try performing five sets of 10, 15 or 20 with a minute rest between each set.




BEACH (MOUNTAIN) CLIMBER The beach climber is typically known as a lower-half exercise; however, by alternating your feet through the sand, this exercise will surely increase your heart rate and improve your cardiovascular system. Not only that, your core, back, chest and shoulders will feel the burn during this dynamic exercise. Start by submerging your hands and feet into the sand in a push up position. Next, bend one knee and bring it close to your chest while bracing you core. Kick your bent leg back while alternating your opposite leg towards your chest. Try performing 5 sets of 30 seconds to really feel the beach climber burn.

BURPEE One of our favourite core exercises here at F.R.E.E. Fitness is the bicycle crunch. Not only is this a great core exercise, it also involves many larger muscles such as your quads, hamstrings, hips and lats. Start by laying on your back, bracing your neck with both your hands. Lift your shoulders and feet off the ground at the same time by engaging your core. Next, bring your right elbow towards your left knee until they meet. Be sure that you are bracing your core by tucking your rib cage downwards, rather than just moving your elbows. Repeat by performing the same movement on the opposite side. Try 5 sets of 30 bicycle crunches per side! There you have it! Our five Killer Bs for you to try during your next summer vacation! Happy beaching.

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EXPRESS YOURSELF BY ANTONIO MESSAM My name is Antonio Messam and I'm a professional Dancer and Personal Trainer. I have performed for stars such as Ariana Grande, Jason Derulo, and I choreographed for Juno Winner Simone Denny. At the age of 18, I was homeless and attempted suicide at the age of 19 because of this. After my failed attempt, I decided that if I were to survive, I would help dedicate my life to ensuring others would never have to experience the pain that I had. 

A few years later I established myself as a dancer. Performance opens up a side of myself that allows me to feel emotionally connected to myself. My students tell me the same thing. A feeling I never understood until later in my life. I decided to dance because I needed money to survive and at the time I saw opportunities in the dance industry. I taught a young boy how to dance and his mother told me that I inspired him. Before meeting me he never listened in school or got along well with others. After working together for a short time, in difficult situations he began to ask himself, "What would Antonio do?” I never understood how I made an impact on him or others until later in my life. His mother told me that she loves dance fitness classes and asked if I could create one that was unique and different. At first I refused because I didn’t know where to start. She encouraged me to try and KAI Dance Fitness was born. KAI means "life". I chose this name because I did not create this program for myself. I created it for others. After I learned more styles of dance and my skills improved; I decided to call it “Antonio's Dance Fusion” because of the mixture of many styles including pop, reggae, African, and belly dance. What makes Dance Fusion unique is that I do not teach you how to dance; I encourage you to express yourself. Expression is the key to most of our decisions in life because it dictates our emotions. If I can have you express joy, love, and passion, I made a difference in your life to live healthy and well. If you are looking to start dancing or build your skills, I encourage you to take a class! Classes allow you to learn from a professional and you feel comfortable in a private area where others are not judgmental. Improvement comes from taking your time to train your mind when executing a move. Many people believe that dance is purely physical, but in reality it's more mental. I always practice my techniques mentally before I execute the movements because my mind controls me. This will make you sharper and keep you safe while practicing or performing. 34



"I decided that if I were to survive, I would help dedicate my life to ensuring others would never have to experience the pain that I had."




Sun Sense for Athletes Whether you’re an elite or recreational, amateur or professional athlete you know the importance of taking care of your body. You challenge your cardiovascular system, and reduce your risk of heart disease while increasing lung efficiency. You lift weights to increase your muscle mass and reduce injuries. You try to eat well. Your bone density is excellent. Perhaps you do yoga to maintain flexibility and soothe your mind. Your risk of metabolic disease is lower because of your lifestyle. So why do so many ignore the body's largest organ? Skin cancer is real. It’s on the rise, and it can be disfiguring or deadly. It’s also something you can try to prevent with your behavior. With 90% of skin cancers estimated to be associated with solar or artificial UV light, you have the power to influence your risk.

1. Avoid the most harmful sun rays between 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. Run, train or ride before or after these times. 2. Dress in gear that blocks UV. Many sports clothing items will have a UV rating. Look for it! 3. Wear a hat (visors shadow your face but leave your scalp, especially part lines, exposed) and slide on sunglasses with 100 per cent UV protection. It's like a license to buy those Oakleys! 4. Wear a broad-spectrum, photostable, sweatproof and waterproof sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher, and reapply it every 2 hours. Indoor tanning nonsense: The WHO (World Health Organization) has placed UV tanning beds in the highest cancer risk category Group One or carcinogenic to humans, in the company of arsenic and tobacco. Tanning bed UV rays emit 10-15 times more radiation than mid-day sun. Alberta passed legislation to ban the sale or access of indoor tanning to minors. If you have a need for colour choose a sunless tanning lotion or go for a spray tan. There are many options now like Selfie or St. Tropez that produce a natural color: no more orange! Pre-tanning for a vacation is not necessary, as a tan only provides an SPF of two to four and exposes you to radiation just to prepare for more radiation. That makes as much sense as smoking a cigarette outside because you’re going into a casino full of smokers!

BUT WHAT ABOUT VITAMIN D? Yes, UVB produces vitamin D in the skin, whether from the sun or an artificial source. However, with exposure comes DNA damage. Because of this, Health Canada recommends obtaining your Vitamin D through diet or supplements. Aim for 600 IU daily.

BUT I HEARD THAT SUNSCREEN CAUSES SKIN CANCER? WHAT ARE THE MAIN TYPES OF SKIN CANCER? BCC: Basal cell carcinoma is the most common and, thankfully, most treatable form; it often looks like a sore or pearly bump that won’t go away. SCC: Squamous cell carcinoma is less dangerous than melanoma but can still metastasize; it looks like a thick, scaly bump or open sore; it is more aggressive on the lips and ears. Melanoma: The most dangerous sun-induced skin cancer as well as the one more likely to occur in younger adults; genetics can play a factor in your risk of melanoma as well; the ABCDE’s (asymmetry, borders, color, diameter and evolution) are what to watch for. As athletes, exposure to the sun happens in one of two main ways: training outdoors or by tanning in an indoor booth.

Almost all of our skin cancer patients have never worn sunscreen. Ever. Current research also shows that sunscreen doesn’t penetrate the stratum corneum, or the flaky outer layer of skin. If you’re not convinced, choose a physical sunscreen instead of a chemical one, with the active ingredients zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. The most difficult part of sun sense is avoiding something that feels good. Tanning can cause endorphin release in the brain. However, so do a lot of things that are detrimental to your health. Life is all about balance. It is unreasonable to expect everyone to avoid the sun completely. However, with a few smart choices you can reduce your risk dramatically. Get to know your skin and get suspicious or changing spots checked by your family doctor. Be healthy, inside and out!

Outdoor training sun sense:

BY JAIME GONEK, BSc(MLS), MLT of Symmetry Dermatology

Expecting anyone to stay inside during all daylight hours is ridiculous. However, there are things you can do to reduce your exposure:

Reviewed by Dr. Chris Keeling, Board-Certified Dermatologist and Mohs Micrographic Surgeon




BY ERIN SMANDYCH Summer grilling can be for so much more than just burgers and steaks! Fire up the BBQ this month with this simple plant-based meal that comes together in a snap.

Grilled Caesar Salad with Crunchy Herbed Chickpeas & Almond Parmesan (dairy-free, gluten-free, vegan) Serves 2 as a meal, 4 as a side 2 heads romaine 1 tbsp olive oil For the dressing

Make the chickpeas: preheat the oven to 375 F. Toss the chickpeas with the olive oil and spices, and spread out on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for 45 – 55 minutes, or until golden brown and crispy, tossing halfway through baking.

¼ cup water 2 tbsp olive oil 1 tbsp nutritional yeast Juice from 1 lemon ½ cup cashews, soaked overnight and rinsed well ¼ tsp apple cider vinegar 1 tbsp white miso paste 1 ½ tbsp capers ½ tbsp Dijon mustard 3 cloves garlic ½ tsp sea salt

While the chickpeas are baking, make the dressing and the almond parmesan: in a high-speed blender, combine all dressing ingredients until smooth, and adjust flavors to taste (this will make extra, store any remaining dressing in an airtight container up to a week).

For the chickpeas

Heat your grill to medium. Halve each head of romaine lengthwise, leaving the base intact so the leaves don’t come apart. Brush the romaine lightly with olive oil and grill each side until nicely charred (about 2 minutes per side).

1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed well 1 tbsp olive oil ½ tsp garlic powder ½ tsp oregano ¼ tsp basil ¼ tsp thyme ¾ tsp sea salt 1/8 tsp pepper

For the almond parmesan, place the almonds, nutritional yeast, and sea salt in a small food processor and pulse until nice and crumbly. (Make ahead: store the chickpeas, almond parmesan, and dressing in airtight containers in the fridge up to 5 days).

To serve: plate the grilled romaine halves and drizzle generously with the Caesar dressing. Top with chickpeas and almond parmesan and enjoy!

For the almond parmesan ¼ cup almonds 1 tbsp nutritional yeast ¼ tsp sea salt




Thyme Honey Grilled Peaches with Coconut Whip (dairy-free, gluten-free, vegan) Serves 4 4 ripe peaches, pitted and sliced 1 tbsp coconut oil 3 tbsp raw honey Pinch sea salt 6 sprigs fresh thyme (plus extra for garnish) For the coconut whip 1 cup coconut cream (the cream that separates to the top of the coconut milk can, don’t include any of the water) 2 tbsp coconut sugar ½ tsp vanilla Pinch of sea salt Preheat your grill to medium. Place your sliced peaches in a large piece of heavy-duty foil. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the coconut oil and honey. Stir in the salt and pour over the peaches.




Sprinkle thyme over top and seal up the foil packet. Place on the grill and cook, lid closed, 15 – 20 minutes, or until peaches are cooked through, moving the packet occasionally. Make the coconut whip: Place the coconut cream in a medium sized mixing bowl that has been chilled in the freezer about 10 minutes. Using a hand mixer, whip the cream until stiff peaks form, about 5 minutes. Add in the vanilla and salt and whip to combine. Serve the grilled peaches with a dollop of coconut whip and a small sprig of thyme.


Throughout the years, incremental improvements have turned the beasts of the past into the sleek, and sometimes stylish, performance pieces they are today. And there are a lot to choose from!


POLAR M200 - $189.99

FITBIT CHARGE 2 - $199.99

This watch has 24/7 activity tracking along with sport profiles which allow you to see the data relevant to the activity. When it comes to running, it’s about keeping it simple; time, pace and distance. Heart rate is tracked using Garmin Elevate wrist heart rate technology.

Best bang for your buck; the M200 shows pace, distance and heart rate. It has many activity profiles for all your adventure and 24/7 activity tracking! After each workout, the watch lets you know the training benefit so you know how you improved.

This is for the socialites. It’s fun to compete with your friends in step challenges! It tracks speed and distance during runs along with heart rate. However, the GPS on this one is as good as your phone since it connects via bluetooth to it and uses its location services.


POLAR M430 - $329.99

The 235 is the watch to get you to the next level. V02 Max estimate, training effect, recovery time, and downloadable training plans to help you reach your new PR. This watch can also predict your finish time with Race Predictor.

Polar has stepped up their game with this one. 24/7 activity tracker. Running index is a great way to track your fitness progress and running programs to help you get to where you want to be. Recovery advisory and fitness test will further track your progress to ensure you train smart.

Advanced For The Data Junky

Intermediate For Looking to go Faster

Beginner For Keeping it Simple

Did you go for a run today? How far did you go? I’m certain you know down to the second decimal point how far you have traversed all thanks to a small device on your wrist; your GPS watch.

GPS watches are still relatively new, but they are a great way to track your fitness. Garmin introduced the first GPS in 2003 with the Forerunner 101. It was big, specifically 3.26" x 1.71" x 0.91". Its main feature was, you guessed it, GPS! It also boasted customizable data pages, auto pause, auto lap and virtual partner. It allowed runners to accurately measure their speed and distance - sort of. The technology back then was not as reliable, nor as sleek as the watches available today.

GARMIN 735XT - $649.99

POLAR V800 - $619.99

Do you like data? Look no further. On top of all the premium features this watch boasts running metrics to help you become a more efficient running machine. It measures cadence, vertical oscillation and ground contact time with left and right foot balance. Analyze your data and you will see exactly what you need to work on to reach the podium on your next race.

It takes heart to get to the next level and the Polar V800 will help you get there. It is heart focus and will measure the pulse of your fitness. Based off your heart rate it will tell you your recovery status. You can also take the fitness test to better determine if you’re on the right track. Want to know if you’re gaining power in the legs? You can always take its jump test! YEGFITNESS




The Hope Run Is Back In 2016, the Hope Run hit the Edmonton running scene with a 5km walk/run and 15km run with all proceeds going to Make-A-Wish Northern Alberta to help grant the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions. Stemming from the inspiration of a group of twenty-somethings in Edmonton, the inaugural year raised over $40,000 and had 276 runners come out to the event. As a result, four wishes were granted for children in the Make-A-Wish program, with the goal of 2017 being to grant even more! “The main inspiration behind the event is about doing something to help out kids who got a dealt a pretty unlucky hand in life. My sister Kelly and I started talking about doing something philanthropic and then we spoke with friends and everyone was really enthused and wanted to help out and it evolved really quickly from there” said Stephen Scragg, member of the organizing committee. The great thing about partnering up with Make-A-Wish is that you are able to see exactly where the money goes. It was amazing to have four different wish kids and see their wishes come to fruition as a result of the run. A 4-year old was able to have her wish granted to meet princess Ariel, a 10-year old and his entire family got a trip to Disney world, an 18-year old got to go on a shopping spree and a 9-year old went to Hawaii with his family. To be able to see the stories and wishes come to life is what motivates the Hope Run committee to make this year even more successful! “We definitely want to improve from last year and increase our proceeds. Our goal is 500 runners, which is a bit of a jump, but the motto of the committee has 40



always been “shooters shoot,” so we’re going to aim high and try our best to get there” says Stephen. There are a lot of amazing runs in Edmonton during the summer, so a big focus for the Hope Run is proving an experience you can’t get at other runs, which includes giving out some awesome apparel. In 2016 all runners got custom Hope Run apparel including shirts, buffs, socks and more! 2017 will not disappoint with custom socks and buffs currently being designed and developed by committee member, Joel Eden, for all runners this year. Keep an eye out for the unique apparel along with the Hope Run’s infamous mascot, Hope Man, which can be spotted around town and at many runs in the Edmonton area! Keep your eyes peeled for fitness classes that are by donation only, Dani Parks plans on hosting a yoga class at Hive Fit Co. She joined the committee this year, inspired by fitness and passion for helping others. If you are part of a fitness company and would like to help out message The group is very excited to once again support Make-AWish Nothern Alberta. The event takes place September 2nd in Rundle Park. You can follow the group on Instagram and twitter (@mawhoperun) to see what Hope Man and the committee are up to this summer and for more information! To sign up for the Hope Run on September 2nd visit www. All proceeds benefit Make-A-Wish Northern Alberta, and the committee guarantees you won’t regret coming out!

We Are

MASTER ATHLETES BY YVONNE SANCHE I’m sure as children we all had dreams and aspirations of being professional or Olympic athletes. We’d sit in front of the T.V. during the summer and watch the Olympic coverage unfold. Mesmerized by world records being smashed, we’d head outside and set up neighbourhood sprint races and, of course, street hockey. Into our teens we honed skills and discovered our talents in some sports and our lack of enthusiasm in others. Some of us were fortunate to excel into collegiate level athleticism, gaining scholarships and accolades while the majority of us accepted the fact that perhaps, just perhaps, a career in professional sports wasn’t in the cards. As we say in powerlifting, “not today”. What happens to the rest of us? Where does the athlete living inside of us go? Does it wither away or does it make a second coming, resurging with a vengeance? Enter the master athletes! When I was in my early 20s, I would enter road races, and I often saw the “master” category and ignorantly thought that it wasn’t a very competitive category. Well here I am, many moons later, a master competitor, and I was very, very wrong. Do you know the saying, “40 is the new 20”? Yup, this is exactly the case in sports today. Allow me to throw in some data to put it in perspective. In 2013, the Canadian Powerlifting Union National Championships had 11 master women and 14 master men competing. The highest Wilks score among these 11 women was 383.5 and among the 14 men it was 420.04. In 2016, the

number of competitors at the national level boomed to 60 master women competitors and 67 master men competitors. The highest Wilks score among these women in 2016 was 404.51 and 447.12 among the men. These numbers not only suggest that the sport has gained popularity but they also suggest that people over the age of 40 are getting stronger and increasingly competitive. I will be the first to admit that exercising and competing at an older age has some disadvantages. Recovery, a word misunderstood in our twenties, is now a staple in our lives. It takes longer to recover from challenging workouts, and I’m sure we have been faced with sports injuries and other health concerns that stopped us in our tracks. There are many people dealing with herniated discs, rotator cuff repairs, carpal tunnel surgery; the laundry list goes on. When asked, these individuals unanimously replied that although they may be out of the game at the moment, they had plans to come back. They weren’t quitting, they simply needed to change their mindset, recover, and train wiser. As Sylvia Gaucher, a silver medalist at 2016 IPF Worlds Powerlifting Championships, stated, “Despite wanting to train and work hard there are days that the old body will not cooperate with my young minded will.” Despite these challenges, we still set out goals to accomplish. Shawne Flaherty is a prime example of overcoming challenges. Born with Noonan Syndrome, a rare life threatening condition that involves heart defects, she completed the Boston Marathon earlier this year in the sweltering heat with a time

of 6 hours and 22 minutes. Her love of fitness and zest for life motivates her to compete, and it shows. She’s a motivator and you’ll find her speaking at Running Room events, sharing her experiences with others. She has now completed 30 half marathons, and at the age of 48, has no time for stopping anytime soon. What motivates each of us differs. Some of us love the competition and some of us want to keep active and healthy so that we can meet the demands of our lives. We are a sandwich generation, raising children and caring for aging parents. For Gerald Wendt, a member at Saint City Fitness, he started Crossfit at 56-years-old to support his son. Juggling a full time job, caring for an aging parent, tending to his family, and still finding time to workout have impacted his energy levels at times. Fortunately with age comes wisdom, and Gerald attributes sustainable energy levels with proper nutrition and forming good health habits. He advises the younger generation in order to age gracefully, one must form these habits earlier in life. We are at an age where we can impact influence on our children. Instilling a healthy lifestyle at an early age is more likely to become a part of their lives as they age. We get opportunities to mentor our spawn, passing on our love of sport to them, keeping our fingers crossed that they carry that gene. Children need coaches and mentors to help guide them, and we get an opportunity to become ambassadors of our sport, passing on some wisdom to younger athletes, avoiding the same mistakes we made. We have developed programs to help youth refine their skills.

Co-founder of Farm Strong Athletics, Evan Taylor, believes it is important as an older athlete to coach and mentor upcoming youth. “If you like kids and you’re a good coach,” he jokes. Evan has been heading up the Future Champs program, which teaches youth proper Olympic lifting technique and hones this skill to harness strength, speed and power for their sport. “It’s important to pass on lessons we have learned as athletes.” Don’t think for a second that we have stopped learning. Being a master athlete has taught us more than athleticism. It teaches us to accept our faults and treat ourselves with grace. Sylvia follows an excellent creed. “Embrace the sport and work hard, but realize there are ups and downs and you can’t be at your peak at all times.” Because of sport, our social platform is strong and we are a tight community, leaning on one another through lower times and celebrating victories at greater times. We treat each other with respect, showing empathy, and yet— allow healthy competition to brew. In competition we have mastered the delicate balance of conquer our individual goals and support in unity. The next time you are at a race, take a look around you, look beyond the bib number. No matter the age, we have all worked hard to get to that starting line. Our challenges may be different, but we come together to celebrate our achievements. As we age, the athlete inside of us doesn’t wither away, it simply exudes in a different form with a embracing our sport, encouraging our youth and enjoying life.




FIVE THINGS TO DO BEFORE AND AFTER WORKING OUT TO PROTECT YOUR SKIN As you workout to keep your body strong and fit, you need to take care of your skin as well. There are steps that you can take to protect your skin before and after a workout. Doing so will prevent skin problems that those who work out often usually experience such as sweat rash and sweat spots.



1. Remove makeup Wash your face to remove dirt and makeup from your face. This will leave your pores clear and ensure they don't get clogged. Bacteria thrives in warm, damp conditions so when sweat mixes with dirt on the skin it will forms grime which forms blemishes.

1. Quick change Only when sweat stays on the body for a while does bacteria start to develop and cause skin blemishes. Remove your gym clothes right after a workout.

2. Keep it off your face When you are working out, you want to keep sweat off your face. You can't help sweating but you can prevent sweat from dripping all over you by holding your hair back from your face and wear a sweatband. This will minimize chances of sweat getting into the pores and blemishes forming. 3. Apply moisturizer with sunscreen If you are working out outdoors, you need to keep your skin protected from the sun. Clean your skin then apply a moisturizer with adequate SPF on your face, neck and chest. 4. Hands off As you work out, you may want to get sweat off your face with your hand- don't. When you are working out and perspiring, the pores open up even more to release sweat. This makes it easier for dirt, bacteria and oil to get in, clog the pores and cause blemishes to forming. Keep a small towel with you and use it to pat sweat off your face. 5. Stay dry There are gym clothes made of fabric that wicks away moisture away from the body right away. Apart from keeping you dry and comfortable as you work out, gym gear made of these fabrics absorb sweat before it can clog the pores and start forming blemishes. When you finish working out, there are other precautions you need to take to avoid post-workout skin blemishes. You have taken steps to protect your skin before your workout and you need to take more afterwards or else you will lose the benefits of the precautions you took before.




2. Cleanse your skin thoroughly When your workout is over, you need to cleanse your skin. If you wiped off makeup with wipes before working out, you should now cleanse your skin thoroughly. The best products to use for your skin are those dedicated to women who work out.

YEG Fitness Skincare In 3 Steps:

1. CLINIQUE - Pep-Start Quick Cleansing Swipes ($19)

Pep-Start Quick Cleansing Swipes help keep skin out of trouble by removing the excess oil, dirt, and debris that can clog pores. They smooth skin through mild exfoliation, instantly moisturize, and prep skin for flawless makeup application. Great for all skin types, they are perfect to use on the face, neck, chest, upper arms, and back.

3. Hydrate and rebalance your skin Choose a facial moisturizer with an SPF of 30. It should be ultra-light, sweat-resistant and won't sting eyes. Choose one that is highly effective for fighting free radicals and preventing dark spots. 4. Protect and nourish with a replenishing serum A deep replenishing serum restores moisture and vitamins after the toughest workout. It should also works to encourage collagen regeneration and the formation of new skin cells to help keep your skin in good condition. 5. Be consistent Skin care products are meant for use not only on days you workout but daily. Use them consistently and even on the days you don't work out so that your skin remains resilient, with a healthy glow.

2. Origins - A Perfect World™ SPF 40 Age-Defense Moisturizer with White Tea ($55) This moisturizer is formulated with Advanced Age Prevention to support the skin’s defenses through multiple pathways with Silver Tip White Tea and new plant actives. It’s infused with SPF 40 Moisturizer to provide broad-spectrum protection.

3. B. Kamins - Replenishing Serum Kx ($136)

This product is recommended for people displaying signs of skin aging; surface wrinkles, dehydrated skin, loss of skin tone, and elasticity, as well as clients who desire a product offering retinoid-like activity without side effects. It is also good for people who are active in outdoor sports and desire a hydrating protective serum under their SPF and people with excessively dry skin due to skin type, age, sun exposure, or illness.


GRILLED NECTARINE & CHICKEN BLT SALAD WITH CREAMY BALSAMIC DRESSING Have you ever grilled nectarine? It’s amaaaaazing.  The open flame and the heat caramelize the natural sugars in the nectarine and create an unbelievable flavour. It’s still sweet, and still distinctly a nectarine, but it also gains a flavour that’s syrupy with a touch of smokiness. Perfection.  Nectarines are little nutritional gems. They are full of vitamin C, antioxidants, and contain a nice amount of dietary fibre. The natural fruit sugars create a lovely sweet flavour making them another true representation of “nature’s candy”. Along with the organic chicken breast, crispy romaine, soft and velvety avocado, juicy tomatoes, crunchy beef bacon, and sweet tangy balsamic tahini dressing, the nectarines shine as the star ingredient in this salad. I recommend making sure you get a little piece of the grilled nectarine for each bite of salad you take, as the nectarine makes each of the other ingredients taste that much better! PREP TIME: 10 minutes   Serves: 2

COOK TIME: 5 minutes

TOTAL TIME: 15 minutes

INGREDIENTS 2 small palm-sized cooked organic chicken breasts, diced (bake or grill as preferred) 4 cups chopped romaine lettuce 1 avocado, peeled, pitted, and diced 3 cocktail tomatoes, quartered 3 strips cooked organic grass-fed beef bacon crumbled 2 nectarines, pitted and sliced 1 tsp olive oil Dressing: 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar ½ tablespoon olive oil 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup 1 tablespoon tahini 1 tablespoon water ⅛ tsp salt


Pre-cook the chicken and the bacon ahead of time and set aside. Heat the grill and reduce to low. Drizzle the sliced nectarine pieces with 1 tsp olive oil and place on the grill, not over direct flame for 3 minutes, then flip each piece and grill 2 more minutes. While the nectarine is grilling prepare the salad. Add the romaine to a large bowl, top with the diced avocado, sliced tomato, chopped chicken, crumbled bacon, and once grilled, the nectarine pieces. Whisk the dressing ingredients vigorously in a small bowl and drizzle over the salad. Divide the salad between two bowls/plates and enjoy!

⅛ tsp black pepper

Christal Sczebel is a Certified Holistic Nutritionist and the Owner of Pure & Simple Nutrition located in Edmonton, Alberta. She is also an avid blogger at her little space on the web:







FIT OVER FIFTY Bill Peake - 53 - Firefighter with the City of Edmonton




I think I am someone who has always tried to enjoy life and the people around me, and had a thirst for adventure. There is also in me a bit of a drive to continually learn and try to improve myself. I was blessed with good genes and received affirmation related to fitness and athleticism at a young age.  I was a competitive gymnast and had supportive parents and a great coach, which early on gave me a foundation of basic strength, kinesthetic awareness and confidence to attempt a lot of different activities. Over the years I have dabbled in baseball, wrestling, volleyball, mountain biking, canoeing / kayaking, triathlon and crossfit.  I have always chosen active careers, including various construction jobs, youth work, personal training and now firefighting.  I have always been fascinated with how the body works and tend to use myself as a guinea pig trying out workouts and nutrition concepts. I enjoy helping people and I value the depth of relationships that come out of doing active things with others. I recently heard that the biggest issue facing men over fifty is loneliness.  Thankfully, that is not a concern for me at all because of the amazing family and friends around me and the activities that we do together. Firefighting is very physical and I see it as imperative that I stay fit in order to do my work well. There is a tough physical test as one of the main components to even get on the job.  I got hired when I was fourty-eight, but to get there I had to outperform a thousand or more other applicants, many of whom were half my age, so right off the top I had to train hard just to advance in the recruitment process. The job itself can be quite demanding, and there are times when a lot is at stake so we have to be up for it.  We are always carrying something (or someone), lifting or moving things - our gear alone adds another fifty pounds to our frame.  In the down times, there is an expectation that we are working out to maintain and improve our fitness because it is such a key part of our job.  I also have a role within the department as one of their Peer Fitness Trainers, so that helps keep me on my toes as well. 46



Currently my main activity is in the weight room. This summer, however, I will be joining a group of experienced cyclists for a mountain bike trip riding the Canadian portion of the Great Divide, so I am now putting in a lot more time on the bike. Having some kind of a goal like that is usually what helps me keep fit. A decade or so ago I would sign up for triathlons and compete against my previous times to keep me motivated to train. Trying to get on with the fire department was a huge goal that kept me highly focused, and now the desire to be an exceptional firefighter keeps me going to the gym. My family plays a big role too - they are very supportive and active as well. My kids and I had a great time attending The Great Canadian Fitfest together recently. They are all great athletes and continually inspire me. My wife was into quality foods and alternative health long before it was cool and I believe her influence on what we eat and how we take care of our bodies plays a huge role in all of us staying fit. When I was twenty-five I could just jump into anything and do okay.... not so much any more. The body hurts more, my knees make funny noises and conditioning feels a lot more specific. Last weekend I did a 160 km training ride with the guys I am going biking with this summer and basically got my butt handed to me. I tend to forget that I am not twenty-five until I do something like that. So at fifty-three I have to work harder at conditioning for the things I want to do, I need to warm up properly and spend more time in general on mobility and fitness. It is true more now than ever at this stage that if you stop moving, you stop moving. Maybe I should take up yoga...



YEGFITNESS - July/August 2017

YEGFITNESS - July/August 2017