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FITNESS + NUTRITION + WELLNESS

Mind, Body and Soul MUKAI MAROMO, TABATA FOR RUNNERS, PLANK WORKOUTS + MORE!

ISSUE #29

PLUS

M A R | A P R 2019 YEGFITNESS.CA

The Rise of the Holistic Wellness Practitioner


contents 10 #IAMYEGFIT 12 PLANKING WORKOUT GUIDE

mar/april 19 32 TABATA FOR RUNNERS

FEATURE

35 WELLNESS AT WORK

16 BUST THROUGH YOUR WORKOUT PLATEAU

45 UPPER BODY PUSH/PULL SUPERSET

20 MIND, BODY & SOUL

51 2019 SHOE GUIDE

28 MIND(SPACE)

53 STRETCH ROUTINE

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MIND, BODY & SOUL COVER PHOTO BY DES ILES

We can help you tell your story. ADVERTISE WITH US Contact info@yegfitness.ca for more information.

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editor’s note The fitness and wellness communities in Edmonton are stronger than ever. With so many different programs to keep people active and a multitude of options to treat people when they need to work out their aches and pains, we truly are lucky to live in this city. With that in mind, we’re back again with the nominees for the Best of YEG Fitness Awards for 2018. Each year our readers nominate their favorite fitness studios, trainers and wellness providers to share who they believe are doing great things in YEG. On February 6, we’ll be announcing the winners of each category at our awards night and we hope you’ll be there to help celebrate the achievements of each nominee with us. We’ve also gone a bit of a different route this month with our cover model. As most of you know, we are all about making fitness more about a lifestyle and less about a look. Our goal with YEG Fitness has always been to make fitness accessible to all in whatever works for you. It’s all about steering your own path and finding your fitness. Each of our cover models have their own stories and we’re excited to have them share theirs with you.

EDITOR TJ Sadler tj@yegfitness.ca CREATIVE DIRECTOR Joel Verhagen COMMUNITY DIRECTOR Nelson Moreno nelson@yegfitness.ca PHOTOGRAPHERS Jeffery Paul Kelly Des Iles EDITORIAL ASSISTANT Melissa Lilley

Printed in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

So as we turn the calendar year and start off into 2019, we hope you’ll follow along with us on a new journey into fitness. YEG Fitness will be stepping it up this year to keep providing the great content we always have been, while making sure you’re engaged to try new things and work towards your own goals. Because fitness is truly an individual achievement. One that we should each aim for in our own way and celebrate our achievements with each other along the way.

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CONNECT WITH US @yegfit /yegfitness @yegfitness For advertising inquiries, contact info@yegfitness.ca

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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.

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Do you even Do the words “Hip Hinge” mean anything to you? If not, then pay close attention to the following: Almost all low back injuries can be completely avoided by training our bodies to move with a proper movement pattern. Everyone needs to break bad habits and learn how to properly bend forward. This will prevent low back injuries, eliminate pain, and ensure that your body is performing at an optimal level both in the gym, and in everyday life. Over time, we are all guilty of developing poor movement patterns and tend to “bend through our back” when picking something up off the ground, or when performing a task below waist height. Do yourself a favour and learn how to move! Practice this simple drill that will ensure perfect posture and alignment of the spine when bending forward. Repeat this as many times as necessary to make the proper adjustments. Try starting with 3 sets of a million…

One } Two }

Establish a “neutral spine” position by tucking the rib cage down, and bracing the core.

.

a Three } Four } Five } Six }

Use a dowel, broom stick, golf club, or a hockey stick as a guide to create perfect spine alignment. The dowel should maintain contact with three points at all times during the movement: head

b

.

between shoulder blades

.

c

tailbone

While maintaining a straight back, shift the butt backwards and bend through the hips, bringing your upper body forward. Continue to move in this pattern until tension is felt in the back of the legs (hamstrings). Once the tension is felt in the posterior chain, slowly bring your body back into an upright position, ensuring you contract the glutes to bring yourself into full extension in standing. Repeat. You should feel this in the posterior chain (glutes and hamstrings) and not in the low back.

780- 455- 5068 / / w w w. o pt imize ph y sio. c om mo bilize • s t a bilize • o pt imize


contributors Brianna Meghawache Nourished by Bri takes a holistic approach based on real whole foods with an emphasis on plantbased choices to maximize your nutrient intake and health potential and minimize the stuff your body doesn't need to thrive. Bri is a passionate and creative Registered Dietitian with a background in managing emotional eating, sport performance, chronic disease prevention and management, and weight balance!

Dean Tumibay Dean Tumibay is an Edmonton-based physiotherapist, photographer and general fitness enthusiast. After being a part of Edmonton's growing Yoga community for almost 4 years, and in that time developing his photography skills through working with Yogalife studios' social media team, he branched out into offering his services for other fitness facilities as well as community events. Now, an avid spinner at YEGcycle, a parttime runner, and still an occasional yogi, Dean continues to pursue his passion of connecting with different communities in the city through photography, and shining light on his favourite offerings by individuals he knows are passionate about what they do. You'll most likely find Dean at YEGcycle, reading in a local coffee shop, or taking photos at Mind (S)pace.

Danielle Murray Danielle Murray is a Wellness Consultant specializing in corporate wellness education, culture, initiatives, and experiences. Danielle was formerly a competitive figure skater, competing nationally before retirement from the sport in 2004. Navigating the stress of her career and subsequent effect on her mental health, led her to shift her focus to the tools that she used to cope through those challenges. She is an E-RYT 500, RCYT, YACEP, a Training Facilitator and lululemon ambassador. At Holos Refuel, Danielle has the opportunity to combine her love for the outdoors, adventure, and stress mitigation education.

Katie Jolicoeur Katie Jolicoeur is passionate about making yoga accessible in our community, she is the founder of a not for profit called Be Free Yoga Foundation. The Be Free Yoga Foundation brings the tools of yoga, meditation and storytelling to the most resilient in our community, specifically working with those living with mental illness, or experiencing mental health issues. Katie has been teaching yoga for 8 years and is proud to be a lululemon ambassador, as well as a lululemon Here To Be ambassador for her work in the nonprofit sector. Katie is a writer, a student of yoga, a lover of horses and all things magical, and most recently a new mama.

APPRECIATE. WHERE YOU STARTED.

If you’re without employer-sponsored benefits, we have a plan that fits your needs and your budget—so you can spend time enjoying the little things.

1-800-AB-CROSS | ab.bluecross.ca ®

*The Blue Cross symbol and name are registered marks of the Canadian Association of Blue Cross Plans, an association of independent Blue Cross plans. Licensed to ABC Benefits Corporation for use in operating the Alberta Blue Cross Plan. †Blue Shield is a registered trade-mark of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association. IP18-021 2019/01

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Founder & President Edmonton Combat League

MUKAI MAROMO PHOTOS BY DES ILES 10

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1. It's the weekend. How are you spending your time? Lately I have realized that the weekend, presents time for me to work on me. Instead of engaging in the party scene, I now take the time to work on my personal projects on Saturdays, clean my place Sunday mornings and then go for family dinner Sunday evening. 2. When you're headed to the gym, what's on your music playlist? It’s a mixture of some super old school tunes and some hip-hop/rap music top 5: • Legend Has It - Run The Jewel • Ghetto Rock - Mos Def • No Easy Way Out - Robert Tepper (Rocky IV Soundtrack) • Remember The Name - Fort Minor • Don’t Make Me - 8 Ball & MJG 3. If you could be any superhero, who would you be? Kaptain Afrika lol, if it had to be an existing one, Blade 4. What's the best thing about the fitness scene in YEG? Variety, I love how diverse the YEG fitness community is! Whether you are interested in more specialized activities like martial arts, crossfit, olympic and powerlifting, or looking for the generic everyday weight training, or more meditative practices like yoga etc, there’s definitely something for everyone.

5. McGregor-Mayweather Rematch. Who wins? Mayweather hands down haha (was there ever any doubt?) 6. What was the last fitness activity you did? GoodLife fitness this morning, the workout consisted of a combination of plyo and traditional weight training, it was leg day and my legs are on fire right now. 7. What's on the top of your bucket list? I want to learn how to skydive this summer. 8. Where would you like to go on your next vacation? Montreal, inside Canada, and Brazil internationally. 9. What's in your gym bag right now? Boxing gear (gloves, shoes and handwraps) 10. What words do you live by? Endeavor to be the best at whatever you do! It’s something my father instilled in me growing up, if you are going to do something, you might as well do it big and go the distance...

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A Quick Guide to the Exciting World of Planks by Carrie Habinski

PHOTOS BY JEFFERY PAUL KELLY PHOTOGRAPHY

It’s midday on a Thursday afternoon as I guide a handful of my clients at Evolve Strength by saying “let’s all get down on the floor and perform a plank!”. Groans, moans and eye rolls are met and welcomed by yours truly. Poor planks! A bad reputation, misunderstanding and a lack of thrill are all stereotypes that follow its name. This is all incredibly unfortunate as the benefits to this exercise truly outweigh its lacklustre reputation. So where do we begin? For starters, we have all heard that performing a plank is a fantastic way to build your “core”. But what does “core” really MEAN? Let’s open with the fact that your core is defined by a multitude of muscles, not simply your abdominal muscles. Instead, your pelvic floor muscles, transverse abdominis, multifidus, internal and external obliques, rectus abdominis, erector spinae, diaphragm (gluteus maximus, latissimus dorsi and trapezius as secondary core muscles) all collectively make up this simple four letter word. There are so many immensely important muscles that collaborate as an incredible system that support a simple plank movement. 12

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In addition to strengthening the core, performing a plank can often be thought of as a rehabilitation exercise for individuals with symptoms of back pain. Jason Dyck, a physiotherapist at Evolve Strength, states that “a well-executed plank requires the lower back to maintain a neutral spine position, making the plank a commonly prescribed strengthening exercise that is less aggravating than an exercise involving movement into either flexion (i.e. sit ups) or extension (i.e. back raises)”. Even though performing a front plank is mainly a static core function to help support your back, posture, stability and balance, there are many modifications to turn the groans, moans and eye rolls into enjoyable, functional and more dynamic movements, making the plank a more memorable experience.


CLASSIC FRONT PLANK - Connect to the floor through your elbows and toes. (From the knees instead of the toes if modifying). - Your shoulders should be aligned over the top of your elbows. - Draw your obliques into your belly button and then bring your belly button to your spine. Holding those two cues. - Push your shoulders away from the floor to round the upper to mid back slightly, encouraging a neutral spine from the neck down. - Engage the glutes and quadriceps.

FRONT PLANK TO ALTERNATING ARM EXTENSION - Keep your form from the classic front plank cues described above. - Every two breathes, extend one arm out in front of the body. - When the arm is extended, ensure to keep your hips neutral and not shifted overly to one side. - I tell my clients, “if there was a hot cup of coffee on your back, is it spilling right now?�. - Alternate extending the arms in front of the body and touching the floor.

LATERAL PLANK KNEE DRIVES

LATERAL PLANK PLYO KICKS

- In a side laying position, line the top of your shoulder to your hip down to your ankle on the one side of your body.

- Keep the side laying position as described above.

- Once stabilized in that position, draw the top knee up towards your chest while maintaining high hip positioning.

- This time, take the top leg, keeping extended fully, and kick it towards the top of your body. - Having your top arm extended out in front of your chest, as a guide, greatly helps as a marker to bring your toe towards the hand. - To finish the move, bring your top extended leg (now kicked), back to starter position. Y EGF ITN E SS

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HIIT Training For Runners BY JOHN STANTON Running Room

High-Intensity Interval Training is growing in popularity while benefiting the athlete with weight loss, lower levels of blood sugar and improved heart health. An added benefit for the busy athlete is it takes less time, only as little as 20- 30 minutes 3 times per week. As your muscles work at a higher level, outside your current comfort zone, they adapt, grow more resilient and stronger.

Remember you are unique as an athlete, listen to your body, challenge yourself but stay focused on each week becoming stronger and on staying injury free.

The best way to get the maximum results out of your HIIT training is to include aerobic, body weight and resistance training. Be sure to add some easy jumping jacks, high knees, light running on the spot and gentle spinning to warm up properly. Following your HIIT effort cool down with some gentle stretching, foam roller or yoga to help your muscles recover after your workout.

Start your running work out with eight sets of 20 seconds at your current max effort interspersed with 10 seconds of rest. Try these intervals two times per week, they can be run outside or on the treadmill.

Run at a high intensity, about 80 per cent effort. Be sure to run within yourself, so you maintain proper form and controlled breathing. Be patient, you will soon see your body responding with added strength and performance. HIIT workouts are designed to push you at or near your max.

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Think frequency, how many intervals are in each of your workouts. Then intensity, just how hard are you running and finally time how long is your interval with how much rest time.

Week two repeat the eight sets @20 seconds followed by 20 seconds of rest on two days per week. Give yourself some recovery days when you can swim, walk or do some yoga. Week three add some additional speed by adding another day of intervals. This sprint session run done on a one to one basis 30 seconds of high intensity followed by 30 seconds of rest

To add some strength to your workout, include some body weight exercises. Great options are push-ups, squats and bear crawls. Weight machines are a start point and safe way to add some strength training to your HIIT Focus on lifting heavy with fewer reps. The heavier weights add intensity so cut the number of reps and move quickly between machines. Include core, upper body, arms and legs. Listen to your body, focus on becoming stronger and leaner while avoiding injury If you are bored on the treadmill, switch to the stationary bike or elliptical for your interval training. The real advantage of indoor interval training on machines is you can pre-set the duration and intensity of each interval. Set an intelligent level that matches your current level of fitness. A beginner cannot train at the same level as a high-performance athlete, to start. Given time we are all performance athletes. The advantage of HIIT, you can choose various types of workouts and perform a wide variety of exercises which boost your motivation level.


training with your eyes closed BY DR. GREG WELLS

The Miracle Drug

No, I don’t have a magic tonic to sell you that will cure all your ills. But I am trying to sell you on a real and honest idea, which is that sleep is just about one of the best things you can do for your health and performance. Plus, it feels great! Here are just a few facts about chronic sleep deprivation, which is defined as six or fewer hours per night: 1. We have higher levels of three inflammatory markers, including C-reactive protein, which is associated with a number of diseases such as heart disease and stroke. 2. For women, the risk of a fatal heart attack increases 45%. 3. We have a 15% greater chance of developing or dying of a stroke. 4. Women are at a higher risk of developing breast cancer with more aggressive tumours. 5. Men have a 50% greater chance of developing colorectal adenomas, which are pre-cancerous tumours in the colon. And the list goes on…. We have the evidence that lack of sleep increases inflammation and suppresses the immune system, which is why chronic fatigue is associated with heart disease, stroke and cancer. That’s why I call sleep a miracle drug. You can literally do nothing and get healthier! If you’re caught in a late-night/early-morning lifestyle habit, it’s time to pay attention and make a change. It’s not worth permanently damaging your health. You’ve got to stop making excuses and sleep properly. You already own this miracle drug. It’s time to take it at the right dose: 7-8 hours per night.

Training With Your Eyes Closed

There is a reciprocal relationship between sleep and exercise. If you sleep properly, you will probably perform well during your next workout, and if you exercise regularly, you will be able to sleep well. By understanding and applying the science of sleep, you will know how to optimize your health, fitness and performance. Scientists recommend that people get between 7

and 8 hours of sleep per night because that is the amount of time required for all of the critical sleepbased recovery processes to occur. Acute exercise experiments indicate that exercise is associated with a small, but reliable increase in Stage 2 and slow wave sleep. One example of a critical restorative process that occurs while you are sleeping is the release of Human Growth Hormone (HGH). HGH promotes fat breakdown and increases in muscle mass, which allows the body to recover from the physiological stresses that occur during exercise and daily life. If you are sleep deprived and have less HGH in your system, not only will you restrict your body’s ability to recover while you are sleeping, but it also appears that you will limit your ability to exercise the next day. Lower levels of HGH may decrease the amount of time you can exercise due to reduced energy stores in your muscles. The more you can commit to getting a proper amount of sleep, the healthier and more effective you will be.

Today's POWER-UP:

Sleep, Recovery and Regeneration Tactic: Progressive Relaxation Muscle tension consumes energy inefficiently and decreases circulation, leading to physical aches and pains. Whereas if you can achieve a relaxed state, you can get relief from aches and pains and improve digestion, cardiovascular function and sleep – all of which will improve your mental and physical performance. The good news is that you can induce this magical state using a technique called Progressive Relaxation, which consists of alternating 3-5 seconds of tension and 10-15 seconds of relaxation of various muscle groups.

HERE’S HOW:

• Sit in a chair • Lean back and make yourself comfortable. • Close your eyes. • Lift your toes as high as possible. Hold. Release and let the tension go into the floor. Point your toes. Repeat. • Tense the upper part of your legs. Hold. Relax. Feeling your legs against the chair and your feet against the floor. Experience the relaxation. • Tighten your stomach muscles . . . Then relax. Take a deep breath. Feel the tension in your chest. Exhale and relax. Concentrate on how calm you can get. • Make tight fists with your hands and hold for about 5 seconds. Unclench your hands and let the tension flow out, noting how it feels different to relax. • Do the same with your upper arms, then your neck. Frown, and then relax. Take a moment to notice any other areas of tension and concentrate on releasing those as well. • Take a few deep breaths and open your eyes – you will be totally alert and relaxed!

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Bust Through Your Workout Plateau By Nicole P & Lara R – 2GFitness Are you bored of your workout routine? Do you have to talk yourself into hitting the gym, track or fitness class? Just aren’t seeing the results you want anymore? It’s possible you’ve hit a plateau, which can be a real downer when it comes to trying to stay fit. But what is a fitness or weight-loss plateau? A plateau is a time when you no longer see progress in your workouts and results. For instance, maybe you can’t lift heavier or you haven’t gained muscle in a while, or you stopped losing the excess that was coming off great a couple weeks ago. Basically, a plateau is caused by our body becoming comfortable with the stresses we are placing on it through our workouts or with the type and amount of food we eat. At a very basic level, we reach a plateau from doing the same things day after day. Your body is no longer feeling challenged and has stopped responding as you want.

So, how do you bust through a plateau? Luckily, there are a few choices you can make to address a plateau. The first choice is simple: change nothing – not your workouts or your nutrition – and be happy with the progress you made to this point. That’s a perfectly acceptable choice and there’s nothing wrong with choosing to stay where you are. But, if you really want to push through the plateau and continue making changes to your body, we suggest incorporating small changes, one at a time. Allow a reasonable period between tweaks to see whether your body will respond before implementing another change. Otherwise, how do you know what worked or what had no effect at all? For instance, let’s say you have been following the same workout plan for the past three months and consuming basically the same foods for the same period. Over the three months, you gained a nice amount of muscle in the right areas and you lost a few inches and pounds. But now, what the hell? You can’t seem to lift any heavier and you certainly aren’t seeing any more changes. continued >>

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FREE Spring Fling Yoga Challenge! We hope to encourage not only a regular yoga practice, but are adding in a Self-Care and Community Bonus system to help motivate you to move towards your best and balanced Self!

Complete 30 classes in 60 days (no special pass purchase required) from March 1 to April 30 to win a prop pack (block, strap, lemongrass hand drink & carry strap), with bonus prizes for each additional 10 class levels you complete! (60 classes get a Bliss robe!)

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Here are 3 ways to bust through your toning or weight-loss plateau. 1. Stop doing the same workout routine! If you are the local elliptical queen or king, start lifting weights (which you should have been doing all along, anyway). Are you still doing shoulder presses with the same 8 lbs for 10 reps and 3 sets for 5 weeks running? Well, it’s time to pick up some heavier weights and start drop-setting. 2. Tantalize your taste bud. Are you primarily eating veggies in your goal to lose weight (while sabotaging your ability to add some muscle)? It’s time to shake it up – your muscles NEED protein, carbohydrates, good fats and water in order to get stronger and build enough to add some tone. This means, rework your nutrition to include all of the macro nutrients in appropriate portions based on your activity level. 3. Take a rest week. This especially applies to those of you who workout 5-6 days a week, with rarely a break. Your muscles need a rest in order to recover and rebuild. If you are continually breaking them down through your workouts, when, if you rarely rest, are they supposed to repair and rebuild themselves?

Here’s a quick recap of some very simple ways to help you break through your plateau: • Do not change everything all at once. Make small changes in your workouts and nutrition. • Do not change variables on a weekly basis. Make a small change and then give your body some time to adjust and react. If you change things every week, how will you know if you are progressing? You need to create a reference point and then use progression techniques again on your new exercise variables. • Rest

PHOTOS BY JEFFERY PAUL KELLY PHOTOGRAPHY

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Sexual Wellbeing and how we are “doing it” BY SABRINA SOUTO, The Sexual Soul

F

or nearly two decades through private practice, I have been supporting families who have exhausted all other options within their fertility journey. I form “self-discovery partnerships” that often result in a new addition to their family. The true gift, however, is seeing one or both partners transform themselves to get there—an otherwise backburner task for most of us until faced with an often-painful life circumstance. About 6 years ago, it dawned on me that most couples need to have sex to conceive, seems obvious I know. Since my whole practice revolves around digging deep and going beyond the norm, I knew I needed to explore the sexual side of ourselves even more than I was. All I could offer at that time was How is your libido? When do you ovulate? How often do you “connect”? Is there pain during sex? Erectile dysfunction? I looked high and low for other practitioners, but no one seemed to work the way I did in this realm. So, as I do when there is something deeply heartfelt, I sat in prayer and asked for guidance. And wow has it been a ride, and quite painful at times. Fast forward six years, I now have a five-year old and a partner of ten years. And, as I look back on my past and think about my future, I see arrows pointing at the words “sexual well-being” everywhere. My curiosity as a child and now also my son’s, intimacy issues in my own marriage, a close friend committing pedophilia, angry feminists, my patients only sharing their sexual abuse experiences now, my sudden menopausal symptoms and feelings of irrelevance, the #metoo movement and Gillette commercial, and much, much more—there is a deep sense within me that knows the way we have been “doing it” needs some serious levelling up. What do I mean by this? Well, let’s look at the heart for a moment before we dive into sexuality. We all understand the heart pumps blood. It gets really happy when we exercise. It is a muscle and wants to do its job. It also gives and receives love. We know this intuitively, but rarely look at the scientific explanation. Science shows that our heart gives off an

electromagnetic wave that—literally—communicates with other people, and all cells of the body. When the heart expresses love, it biochemically changes your body for the better. The heart also spiritually leads us to our purpose. Phrases like “your heart’s desire” are commonly referenced because they are true. Believe it or not, this is why many men have heart attacks after they retire. Doctors call it stress, but, beyond that, they usually feel they don’t have a purpose anymore. So, the heart stops, because the mind has overpowered it. We are just beginning to understand this, so you can only imagine how fixed our understanding of sexual well-being is, if we have just begun to look at the heart, a key internal organ, this way. So, let’s explore sexuality and a few of its layers. In most cases, we focus solely on the “body”. Ie. Hormones, Parts, etc. For instance, when we are aroused, we feel the need to find a “bodily” solution. Or perhaps do we think “Hmmm, is this my body’s way of telling me I need to create something new? To explore this feeling? Rather than just getting it out?” Or, when we perform acts of constriction/bondage in the bedroom, or fantasize about them, we think of it just as a “bedroom activity.” We don’t worry about how this form of power effects our vibration and translates into other areas of our lives (for instance, in our work). But, we really should. And finally, for now, when we connect with a partner sexually, we often do it for some of these reasons (1) for pleasure or (2) to conceive (3) to preform (4) because we should. Most of the time, we’re so concerned about all the above, we can’t even have true intimacy. Intimacy in my world means transforming all the inauthentic ways we “do it” that block us from love. It won’t look like it does on TV. The thing is, sexual well-being isn’t just about sex. Just like fitness isn’t just about getting a six pack. Sexual well-being goes way beyond what we have been conditioned to believe. So, I challenge you to start thinking intuitively about sex. Think carefully about how you’re “doing it” and how this precious part of you is expressed. Use the heart example as your guide and try to go beyond. You got this. Y EGF ITN E SS

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Mind, Body and Soul The Rise of the Holistic Wellness Practitioner Mal lor

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PHOTOS BY DES ILES

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L

ast year, the wellness world got a makeover. People started having more open and honest conversations about their mental health, green beauty went mainstream, and CBD took over the world (just a slight exaggeration). All the while, as investigated last year's wellness trend report, people embraced intermittent fasting, breathwork gained traction, and we all started to realize that social media might be contributing to our anxiety. Building upon the progress we've made in 2018, we're predicting that wellness will only continue to become more accessible this year. Another big theme on our radar is the blending of old and new. More and more ancient practices that have withstood the test of time will enter mainstream consciousness, and we're hoping this return to simplicity sparks a connection that's real and timeless in all of us. This month we brought together three holistic practitioners to talk about their philosophies towards wellness and how they are helping their clients work towards their goals of whole-body wellness.

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Amber Kupina

I am a healer in Edmonton practicing Shamanism. I began a journey of what I like to refer to as self-realization when I was 19 years old. I took a self-development course that lead me into wanting to understand the depths of who I am, why I am the way I am and grow my spirituality. This path led me into meditation, going and seeing healers to dive deep into myself, see the parts of myself that I had previously chosen not to and to heal. I studied holistic nutrition and took my yoga teacher training, both of which broadened my understanding of the connection between the physical, energetic, mental and emotional aspects of our being. I met my spiritual teacher in 2013, Pete Bernard, Algonquin Medicine Man, and have been trained by him in Shamanism. This work has transformed my world and has reminded me of the endless possibility time space holds for us. I work with the Spirit world, the non-physical aspects of our being and consciousness. As human beings, we all experience emotional wounds, forms of trauma, pain and suffering. I believe we come here to learn from our experience and to use it to our advantage, to expand our ability to understand, our consciousness and to remember who we really are and what we came here to do. 22

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Spiritual healing is not limited, we heal all aspects: emotional, mental, physical, spiritual, energetic and karmic. Through energy medicine and journeying we heal the energetic system storing cellular memory of trauma and old programming, as well as healing the sub-conscious blueprints that are creating our reality and patterns. Using Ceremony, we tap into Ancient wisdom and begin to understand why we are the way we are. Recognizing the impact that people, places and events have had on us and taking the responsibility to change that impact. Healing teaches you that you are not what has happened to you, that everything has a ripple effect that influences the collective and that the world needs you. My work consists of one-on-one sessions healing specific issues of the individual’s choice, discussing the issue, understand the experience of it and then moving into Ceremony. This can be anything, some examples are: energy healing, healing affinities, inner self-image, getting back soul parts, power retrieval, past lives, healing wounded agreements, self-sabotage, meeting your Spirit Guide, healing DNA, Animal totems, healing ancestral lineage and the Akashic records. I work on animals as well, most often dogs, cats and horses. I also lead group healing circles where I speak on a specific topic and guide a group healing. These sessions occur approximately once a month where we connect as a community, return to oneness and heal as a collective.


Nicole Broadhurst

I am a Registered Acupuncturist and Traditional Chinese Medical Doctor (TCMD) specializing in sexual health and reproductive medicine. I see clients with a wide range of diseases and ailments. My clients come to me for everything from pain and digestive issues to sexual dysfunctions and families trying to conceive. I treat from a foundation of non-judgment and always have an understanding that there are many factors that contribute to a person’s physical health. Because of this, we should never overvalue or undervalue a potential stressor on the body. I tend to take on a protective role for my clients and I am constantly blown away by the amount of strength a person can have. Because human beings are multi-dimensional, we have so many factors that affect our physical body; mental, emotional, physical, spiritual and sexual. I have come to realize that our Sexual Health is a profoundly important aspect of ourselves and is an invaluable contributing factor to of our overall health and wellness. Similar to our mental health, our sexual health can give us a lot of insight into how we go about your life, relationships (business, personal, family etc.), and see ourselves in the world. It is an avenue for healing. I find it is really easy for us in the Eastern Medical field to over-value spirit, emotions and energetics, just in the same way Western Medicine can over-value physicality. The truth is, any of these areas can be over-used or neglected and cause a stressor on the body to show up. I try and be very aware that our industry of Wholistic Health, can seem unapproachable or inaccessible for a lot of people. It is my responsibility to make sure my practice has a foundation of inclusivity and diversity. Suffering does not favour one type of people and as a practitioner I find it to be a moral obligation of mine to be able to cater towards anyone that comes to me for help navigating their health. I try to constantly be aware of how I am doing in each of these areas of myself - mental, emotional, physical, spiritual and sexual. This can be anything from having consistent and regular workouts, ones that I really enjoy doing (i.e.: Spin, Gym, Swimming, Yoga) to sitting at home journaling or praying. It is a constant engagement with myself and a foundational belief that I deserve, and want, to live my life feeling happy, healthy and successful.

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Mallorie Buoy (Prem)

The holistic practices of yoga have been the foundation throughout my spiritual journey and path to wellness. I have been practicing yoga for thirteen years and teaching for the past ten, studying in ashrams around the world and exploring ancient mysticism to bring my body, mind and spirit into alignment. Yoga is infinite in what it offers to its practitioners, and it has been my healer and my lifeline through an extreme injury, through a long season of depression and PTSD, and through many life changes and challenges. Yoga has opened up for me a comprehensive understanding of my body, both inside and out, and it has been a doorway to understanding that which exists beyond what we can physically see. Yoga is but one path to wellness that has led me to experience life with clarity, contentment, inspiration, and joy. Through studying yoga in all its vastness, the world of ritual and ceremony opened up for me and continues to support me daily. In a society where most are over-identified with the thinking mind, I desire to live more directly from a place of soul. I believe this to be our purpose in life, this remembering that we are not just talking-heads, but that our potential and our joy run so much deeper. It can take time, however, to live in alignment with our inner clarity, when collectively we are programmed towards a very fast and achievement-based existence. Embodiment practices that honour the deeper questions of life cultivate within me an ease and presence unlike anything I have experienced before. Waking in the morning to light a candle, to give thanks, to breathe and move my body intentionally, to honour the seasons and cycles of nature - these practices bring me back home to myself. I never set out to share this way of life so prominently in the way that I do now. I was a school teacher navigating my own existentialism, uncovering my purpose and healing my own heart through alternative wellness practices; however, through a clear commitment to heal myself, such intimate truths arose that guiding others within their own journey unfolded so naturally that I could not resist if I tried! I am now supporting womxn as they find their way back home to themselves, simply by sharing with them the ancient practices and philosophies that awaken what they know to be true. I guide womxn to lead and live from the soul, which occurs with ease when one remembers who they truly are. This remembering can take time, however, as we first need to shed all of the beliefs we have of who we think we are. We think we are not enough until we have achieved something great, we think we are unlovable until we look a certain way, we think we do not have purpose until we impact thousands. These thoughts have been conditioned into the subconscious mind, thus so many require practices that remind them of their inherent worthiness, lovability, and purpose. My personal journey of remembering began a decade ago, and I am now guiding others to their personal truths through ceremony, deep listening, philosophical teachings, personal practices, breath and body work, and energetic support. I am extremely conscious of ensuring these practices are accessible to everyone. Regardless of one’s resources, these wellness practices are ancient and can stir anyone’s heart into a place of personal healing. Through foster parenting and spending most of my days with young adults who navigate homelessness, addiction, trauma, brain disease, and mental illness, holistic therapies continue to be a very real way of moving through life, for both me and the young adults I am guardian to. It is so very important to me that the lexicon of spirituality not be trite, but that it is communicated how deeply these practices can impact those experiencing the realest of life’s challenges. This work is but a way of life, supporting me in living my life meaningfully and from my soul, and I am so grateful to simply share what it is that I am learning along the way. Y EGF ITN E SS

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ADVERTORIAL

A Physician’s Guide to Treating Acne BY JAGGI RAO, MD, FRCPC Clinical Professor of Medicine, University of Alberta, AB, Canada

At Rao Dermatology, our philosophy is that beauty is about being comfortable in your own skin and body. Fashion is a trend, but beauty lives within a person. Please remember you are beautiful! Acne is among the most common dermatological conditions seen in primary care. It is estimated to affect 2 million Canadians, and 85 to 90% of adolescents. Individuals of all ages can have acne, but most cases develop in adolescence. Acne is considered a chronic disease with up to 50% of cases persisting into adulthood. Its impact on psychological, social, and emotional wellbeing can be devastating, and can be worse than that reported by patients with chronic asthma, epilepsy, back pain, or arthritis. Early and aggressive treatment is important to prevent scarring and help improve quality of life. Maintenance therapy is recommended for optimal outcomes. In this article, we provide a guide to address a growing need to have a logical and practical approach to treating various forms of acne.

Background of ACNE

• Acne is a chronic inflammatory disorder of pilosebaceous units of the skin. • Acne nearly always affects the face (99%), but can also affect the back (60%) and chest (15%). • The pathogenesis of acne is multifactorial. The most notable pathophysiologic factors that influence its development are: hyperkeratinization, increased sebum production, Propionibacterium acnes colonization of the follicle, and inflammation. Studies have also suggested that genetic, hormonal, and dietary factors may also have a role. • Treatment should target as many factors as possible in order to prevent the formation of microcomedones and prevent scarring and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.

Practical Tips

• It is very important to focus on individual patient considerations. • Topical therapies should be applied to entire affected areas of the face. • Combination treatment leads to better patient adherence. Simpler and combined regimens provide increased convenience and better outcomes. • Managing patient’s expectations (i.e. efficacy, side effects, and treatment duration). Minimum follow up time should be eight weeks between appointments. This will give sufficient time to see the effects of interventions. • Always consider patient tolerability and skin type. • Opt for a more tolerable retinoid, causing less irritation and dryness. • Counsel on proper application and moisturizing of the skin. • Less is more. • Use non-oily moisturizers and gentle cleansers. • Over-the-counter lotions and cleansers, such as those containing BPO, salicylic acid or alpha hydroxy acids are also available, but can be less efficacious than prescribed products depending on acne severity.

Clinical Severity

Acne is commonly described as mild, moderate or severe. A descriptive scale, known as the Physician’s Global Assessment (PGA), is also used to categorize acne. The determination depends on types, severity, and number of lesions.

We have helped many Albertans, we can help you! We accept referrals and new patients. Please call 780.437.7189 or Email us at info@raoderm.com for more information.

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Register today for 2019 AUGUS T 17–18 , 2019

edmontonmarat hon .ca Bosto n Q ua l i fi e r


MIND (S)PACE, in its simplest and most beautiful form is a conversation about running. While hitting the trails last summer, the creators, Andrea and Austin came to the conclusion that there is a gap in the conversation in Edmonton’s running community around why we run. They feel runners are able to tap into and talk to experts and their peers about shoes, training, racing, nutrition, goals, etc…but there needed to be space held for a conversation to support people in a question to understand their running why…to be inspired by community members whose purpose in running is bigger than toeing the line of a race to beat a specific goal time. They wanted to be in a conversation about values, mindset, mindfulness, and what self-care actually could look like for runners - so they created MIND (S)PACE. MIND (S)PACE is generally held on the first Monday of each month, and has included conversations surrounding goal setting beyond the norm, running as healing, and connecting with core values. Conversations are announced a month in advance, and registration can be found on their website: www.mindspaceyeg.com

PHOTOS BY DEAN TUMIBAY 28

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ADVERTORIAL

Aurora Yoga & Spa Aurora Yoga & Spa, a bright and beautiful space in the downtown core. Since opening in 2016 they have focused heavily on Soul to Skin Wellness. Located on Jasper Ave and 112th, just above Salon Blunt and across the street from Second cup, Aurora is a great location for yoga, post run in the river valley, or a massage on the weekend before a nice cup of tea. Whether you’re a casual bike rider, runner, weekend golfer, OCR racer, or a CrossFit enthusiast, you are hard on your body, often times due to the repetitive moment from your favorite fitness activities or imbalances within your body. Aurora wants you to hit your goals this year, and we want to be a part of your journey. We offer a variety of services from facials, waxing, body wraps and more but as we all start moving into our training seasons, we want to take this opportunity to talk to you about three main services to help you maximize your full body health this year.

Athletic Foot Care

Foot Care amongst athletes is something many push to the side, but we are here to tell you, you don’t have to live that way! You don’t have to live with “gross” feet EVER. Sandal season is just around the corner (we hope) and we love helping our clients. Whether its ingrown nails, peeling skin, bruising and damaged nails we got you covered. We start our pedicures off with an anti-bacterial and anti-fungal foot soak, afterwards taking a full look at your feet to discover any corns, calluses, ingrown, athletes’ foot, warts, bruised and lifting nails ect. Sound scary? No fear. All of our tools are metal and easily sterilized. All files and liners of the sink are disposable for zero possibilities of cross contamination. It’s okay to be hard on your feet! Just remember to treat them with the ultimate in self-care. All of our pedicures include a scrub, moisturizer and massage and of course a polish if you choose.

Massage

Our amazing Massage Therapists are all Registered and can be claimed under insurance. BONUS we even direct bill to most insurance companies. And don’t think just because we’re a spa that we can’t give great deep tissue massages, because we can! Jaime, the owner and a massage therapist since 2006 is highly sought out for her deep tissue work and provides onsite training to her staff members on how to work more intently within the hips and shoulders to provide relief for the everyday desk worker to athletic warrior and all of those who fall in between.

@aurorayogaspa Aurora Yoga & Spa

Yoga

We offer a wide range of classes to suit all the skill levels who walk into our space. From active Aurora Flow classes with Jennifer Neilson that will leave you sweating, to beautiful soothing Candlelit Yin Classes with Graham Parsons that encourage surrender and space, or the bittersweet Happy Hips classes with Jaime Mckeag Reber where you may not be happy during the class but you will leave on a looser and happy note.

780-423-4668 hello@aurorayogaspa.com

We are open 7 days a week with varying hours to meet the needs of our clients. You can book online through www.aurorayogaspa.com through the mindbody app or give us a call at 780-423-4668. We look forward to meeting you.

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No Equipment? No Problem! Do you struggle to find time for the gym? Do you feel your exercise program is limited to machines, bands, cables and dumbbells? If so, have a read below. I have created a bodyweight only workout program that can be done in your bedroom, basement, hotel room or outside in the comfort of your backyard.

BY CHRIS SHARKEY Owner/Head Trainer Shark Bodies Fitness

PHOTOS BY JEFFERY PAUL KELLY PHOTOGRAPHY

This mobile mini circuit will have you activating your core, make you move side to side, up and down, and strengthen your body head to toe. Let us make 2019 about your health and fitness, save this workout to bring with you, complete it anytime and anywhere. Go ahead give it a try. Start on exercise 1 and work your way down to 6, completing the exercises in circuit fashion one after the other to get your heart rate up and get a good sweat going. You can moderate your speed and intensity to make the circuit harder or easier depending on how you feel. Be sure to time your rest upon completion of the circuit and prepare for the next round of fun!

3 POINT LUNGES - 3/leg Standing tall to start, you will start on either your left or right leg, stepping back into a reverse lunge, forward lunge and side lunge, then repeat on that leg 3 times before moving on to the next leg.

PRONE W PULLDOWNS

- 10

Lying prone/face down on the floor, arms extended overhead, palms facing one another, you will imitate a pullup, pulling your elbows towards your butt, elevating your chest, squeezing down through your lats, keep your core engaged as not to over arch your back.

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GLUTE BRIDGE W/ WALKOUT

- 10

Lying supine/on your back with your knees bent and feet flat to start, perform a glute bridge, hips to ceiling, flex your butt, core engaged, step each foot out once to balance from your heels keeping your bum off the floor, core still engaged, walk your feet back in and drop your bum to the floor/start position.

LOW PLANK ALTERNATING REACH - 8/side From low plank position on your elbows, you will reach/lift your opposite arm and leg off the floor, alternating sides, returning to a low plank position between each rep.

SINGLE LEG TOE TOUCH/SQUAT - 10/leg From a standing position you will balance on one leg, reaching opposite arm to toe, squatting down on one leg, then return to standing while maintaining balance.

LATERAL SKATER JUMP TO SINGLE LEG BURPEE -5/leg You will perform a lateral skater jump, moving left to right and right to left, when you start on your left foot and jump lateral to balance on your right foot, you will then get your hands to the floor to hop back into a single leg burpee on your right foot, from there jumping back up to your starting position to repeat your lateral skater jump right to left, where you will burpee on your left leg) *3-4 Rounds of this circuit with 1.5 to 2 minutes rest at the end of each round* Y EGF ITN E SS

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BY KYLE FAIRALL

S

ince opening my gym to the public in October of 2018, my life has become busier in all the best ways and more full than I ever could have imagined! As an endurance runner (8km+) and someone with an incredibly packed schedule, I often struggle to find time to get my kilometres in, let alone find time to incorporate the kind of strength training and conditioning I believe necessary to improve my performance and keep me on top of my mental health game. This is why I have come to love High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), and more specifically Tabata, a variation of HIIT, which yields a number of cardiovascular and strength benefits in a minimal amount of time. Tabata was developed in the late 90’s by Japanese Olympic Speed Skating Team coach, Irisawa Koichi and then later analyzed by his training coach, Izumi Tabata. It consists of eight rounds or sets of 20 seconds of intense work, followed by 10 seconds of rest (total set time: 4 minutes). According to the initial study in 1996, Tabata can effectively improve one’s anaerobic capacity and VO2max by as much as 28% and 14%, respectively (1). As many runners know, HIIT in general is recommended as a means of improving ones anaerobic capacity (meaning you can work harder and for longer before you hit an oxygen deficit), as well as VO2max (when combined with increased anaerobic capacity, means higher volume of oxygen to these muscles during that time), which means running harder and faster for longer without feeling as fatigued. Add strength training to this, which is cited as one of the most effective ways to prevent injury, improve neuromuscular coordination, and improves stride efficiency (3), and you have the perfect recipe for a quick and effect addition to any runner’s repertoire. In addition to its obvious benefits to ones aerobic and anaerobic capacity, Tabata also boasts a number of other benefits, from naturally increasing testosterone and HGH production, to inciting further development of type 2 or fast twitch - muscle fibres used in powerful burst of movement like sprinting (2). Though the original Tabata study was done on a stationary bike, you can find many different Tabata-inspired formats in gyms and studios world wide that incorporate resistance training, plyometrics, callisthenics, and more. This is another reason why I am so into Tabata these days - it’s versatile and can be easily adapted and made accessible for all bodies and abilities.

PHOTOS BY JEFFERY PAUL KELLY PHOTOGRAPHY

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If you are looking to start incorporating Tabata into your workouts or training programs, here are a few tips to keep in mind: 1. Keep the intensity HIGH during the work phases. If you are just starting out, ease into this idea of “high intensity� - the point of this is to work your body or targeted muscle groups to exhaustion, but not to the point where you throw up or lose control of your bodily functions. Move at the pace of YOUR body, not mine or the human you may have seen on YouTube trying to execute similar moves. 2. Integrate varying degrees of impact and incorporate weights. This is not an essential piece of a Tabata workout (remember: the original workout was done on stationary bikes, and is often used in CrossFit gym on air bikes, etc.), but if you are looking for ways to get in a fast and effective strength training workout, as well as have a little FUN, this is key. 3. REST REST REST. If you are training at your highest intensity possible during the work phase, you need to incorporate adequate rest into your program to give your body the time it needs to heal and regenerate. It is recommend to do no more than 2 full Tabata workouts/ week for this reason.

Workout Looking to try Tabata? Give this one below a whirl and let us know what you think! As always, check with your health care professional before engaging in any kind of fitness program, especially one this intense. Time: With a one minute break between each round of exercises and 5 minutes of stretching at the beginning and end of this workout, this will take you roughly 40mins. During times when I am even more pressed for time, I will cut the Tabata rounds down from 8 to 4, making each set 2minutes in length and resting just 30 seconds in between. 5 min dynamic stretching Perform the following activities in a work to rest ratio at 20sec:10sec.

4. If you are new to fitness, recovering from surgery or a traumatic event, or have not participated in fitness for an extended period of time, consider adding a single Tabata round at the END of a typical strength training workout.

1. Spot Sprints (warm-up) Begin by running in place, moving your feet and pumping your arms as fast as you are able.

2. Weighted jumping sumo squats (unweighted or standard jump squats as a regression) Start with your feet wider than shoulder width apart with toes pointing out at roughly 30-40degrees. Hold the kettlebell in both hands hanging between the legs and move into the squat by pushing hips back and down. Keeping shoulders back and in line with your heels, and knees out and inline with your pinky toe. Explode upwards from the bottom of the squat to straight legs and pointed toes, landing on the balls of the feet then the rest of the foot with control and back into another squat.

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3. Hip hinge kettle bell swings (standard kettlebell swing if you are prone to lower back pain) Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, toes pointed forward, and knees slightly bent; look straight ahead. Hold the kettlebell between your legs using a two handed, overhand grip.

4. Bent over double-handed kettle bell rows (seated if you are prone to lower back pain) Start with a kettlebell in each hand, hinging forward at the hips until upper body is parallel with the floor. Bring a slight bend in the knees to avoid hyper extension. Start with arms hanging directly below shoulders and depress shoulder blades to ensure stability. Keeping head and neck in alignment. Simultaneously pull the kettlebells towards the torso as you draw the shoulder blades together, keeping the elbows close to the rib cage. Lower to starting position with control.

6. Flutter kicks with Kettlebell hold Laying on your back holding the kettlebell in both hands just above your chest and legs extended. Point your toes and bring legs to a hover as you cross one leg over the other at a rapid pace. 5 min static stretching

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5. Alternating Kettlebell clean with contralateral press Start with the kettlebell on the floor between your feet and your feet about shoulder distance apart. Squat down and grip the handle of the kettlebell with your left hand while your right arm extends out beside you to counter balance. Keeping shoulders down and back and chest aiming forward, drive through the heels to standing as you draw the kettlebell from the floor up to the shoulder in a straight line up the middle. Take the arm around the kettlebell to get it up and on to your left shoulder. Press the kettlebell up and to the right as you twist through your torso and pivot on your left foot. Come back to neutral with the kettlebell on your shoulder and then move the arm around the kettlebell again as you lower it back do to the ground by way of squat.


Disrupting

Wellness at Work BY DANIELLE MURRAY

There is a shift unfolding in the world of corporate wellness and culture. This shift has been a long time coming. Thanks to an overwhelming amount of data and research we have come to understand that the approach of working oneself to the bone and spending 10 hours at your desk is both counter-productive and ineffective. Studies have shown time and time again that those who are at the top of their field and consistently productive are those who prioritize their health and happiness. Nevertheless, initiating reform in corporate culture, operations, and delivery of health and wellness benefits can be an arduous task. One of the questions I receive regularly as a Corporate Wellness Consultant is how to begin this process in organizations. Changing the culture and mindset of a community will take time and dedication. What I have found to be most effective is a strategic and incremental approach. Think about what unfolds with fitness and lifestyle in January every year. Resolutions are made, the gym is packed, and diets are started. More often than not by February most will have fallen off the wagon. As a wellness professional I have witnessed this unfold year after year. In my opinion the most effective way to launch a wellness program that will implement lasting change is to begin with small changes that over time will influence a shift in mindset and motivate teams and individuals to maintain a healthy and balanced lifestyle.

PHOTOS BY DES ILES

This article will detail a few of the strategic approaches I take when working with clients and organizations. Keep in mind that every situation is different, and your team may need to implement another plan. One of the most important parts of this process is to remain in conversation with the individuals and collective, be prepared to pivot if the plan is not providing the desired outcome. Y EGF ITN E SS

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1. WHY

3. PRACTICAL APPLICATION

In the book “Start with Why” Simon Sinek tells us, “People don’t buy WHAT you do; they buy WHY you do it.” It is crucial that you know the why before you begin this process so that you may provide information when engaging in conversation with your peers and leaders. I am not referring to simply financial benefits, which can play a factor in the conversation, I am referring to the heart of wellness. Take time to ask questions and really listen to the answers and concerns. What do people find is their biggest obstacle in their personal health and wellness? What do they feel is the source of their stress? Are there ways in which they feel that they could benefit from further support? When you understand these needs, the answers will support you in the articulation of WHY.

One of the biggest concerns when companies begin a corporate wellness program, especially in the current economic climate is, “How much is this going to cost?”. Take a deep breath. It doesn’t need to be expensive. As I said at the beginning of the article, the best approach is to make gradual changes over time to initiate evolution in mindset and culture. It will not be effective or beneficial to drop a wellness bomb. Simple initiatives like breathing techniques for stress mitigation can be utilized in the moment and day to day. A great way to promote participation is to initiate stress prevention breaks throughout that day. Take 5 minutes to practice the breathing exercises twice a day company wide. This is only one very simple idea however the effects can be far reaching with consistency.

2. RECRUIT THE LEADERSHIP

Taking these first steps is a great way to begin a conversation about health and wellness. One of the keys to success as you move forward is to remember there is no one size fits all approach. Be creative, listen, and remember WHY.

Perhaps you are part of the leadership, or perhaps you are working to influence the leadership to implement change. No matter what your position is if the leadership is not onboard and does not have the desire to support the team in new initiatives it will be hard to influence habits and change mindsets. We look to these people as our guides, our role models to show us the way. If they aren’t interested in taking part in the conversation and remaining engaged moving forward it will be hard for your initiatives to remain successful in the long run. Sharing solid facts and proven outcomes as well as the expected return on investment can support your conversation so be sure to do your research. For Example, The University of Michigan Research Center found that the ROI was $3 for every dollar spent on workplace wellness, and this proactive approach led to decreased turnover and increased productivity. Cultivating a positive environment emphasizing wellness will not only have lasting effects in the office, it will also improve overall quality of life for everyone engaging in the programming, management included.

@desilesphotography

www.desilesphotography.com

sweat, lifestyle, monthly subscriptions + events

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Balanced Breath Meditation Begin with a few moments of simple breath observation, noticing sensations of breath and body. Gradually deepen the flow of your breath. Start to bring the breath into an even balance by fully exhaling, and then lengthening the inhale through the nose for 4-6 counts pausing for a moment at the top of the inhale. Exhale through the nose for an even amount of counts, pausing at the bottom of the exhale. Continue the flow of breath following this method, as you become more comfortable with the practice adding length to the inhales and evenly matched exhales. Also, be aware of the quality, movement, sensation and sound of your breath. When you are ready to complete your practice slowly decrease the length of your inhales and exhales until you return to your natural breath. Take a few moments to observe if you feel different than when you began.


The 9 Best Journals to Track Your Fitness and Wellness Goals For 2019 BY MADDISON ALCEDO

There’s no reason to wait until the New Year to set health and fitness goals for yourself. While we’re not suggesting you should ditch your Fitbit, jotting down your workouts each day—doing it in a notebook the old-fashioned way—is an easy way to help keep yourself accountable and stay on track. It’s easier to maintain that healthy lifestyle you promised yourself with the right tools. Our favorite fitness journals, listed below, will help track not only your exercises, but your meals and mental health each day.

Food and Fitness Journal 2019 available at amazon.com $8

This genius 2019 food and fitness journal has room for daily entries, tracking several wellness areas like sleep, weight, mood, and even vitamins and protein consumed.

Sore Today Strong Tomorrow Fitness Planner available at amazon.com $18

This super motivational fitness journal includes unique planning pages, like a monthly habits chart and tracker, as well as a monthly workout tracker so that you can look back at your progress a month at a time.

VOTED ONE OF THE TOP 5 SPIN STUDIOS IN YEG

your first tru ride

is always on us TRY YOUR FIRST CLASS FOR FREE Food Exercise Sleep Wellness Journal

BOOK ONLINE AT TRURIDE.COM/NEW

available at papersource.com $15 Instead of pages with dates, this journal includes pages that are designated by goals, and you write in what date you want to achieve them. If you’re looking for an overall wellness planner, this one has everything you need including daily food and exercise pages as well as a sleep log.

/truridecycle

truride.com

* One time use, new clients only. For YEG residents only.

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Eat Pretty Live Well

available at amazon.com $13 This journal lets you track everything from vascular activity to strength training. And the workout pages include helpful “goals met” checkboxes as well as note space to keep track of specific details from every workout.

Fitlosophy Fitbook: Fitness Journal and Planner for Workouts available at amazon.com $18

This 12-week, weekly fitness planner has room to track measurements and log daily meals. It also includes daily workout pages to track progress in several areas including strength training, cardio, workout classes, and flexibility. Plus, the journal also comes with a free download for the Fitbook+ Goal Setting smartphone app where you can keep track of your goals anytime, anywhere.

Workout Journal

available at amazon.com $13

This daily workout planner can last six months or more with up to 60 weeks of pages to log everything from cardiovascular activity to strength training. And the workout pages include helpful “goals met” checkboxes as well as note space to keep track of specific details from every workout.

Fitlosophy 16-Week Fitness-Meets-Gratitude Journal available at amazon.com $19

With 114 pages for daily health ratings, workout notes, meal planning, and mood checks, you’ll be able to mark off goals to change your habits for good.

available at amazon.com $13

Fitlosophy Weekly Fitspiration Planner

Complete with a sticker sheet and 80 pages to jot down your progress, this fitness log will help you organize six months worth of workouts, steps, water intake, sleep habits, and meals.

Not only does this 52-week planner come in a stylish gold or silver color, it includes 600 stickers and 14 goal-setting bookmark inserts.

Erin Condren Wellness Log

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available at amazon.com $45


ADVERTORIAL

Reducing Race Day Anxiety

Runners, this one’s for you. Have you ever experienced that feeling at the start line, your stomach is doing flips, your heart rate is elevated, and all the build up of nerves and adrenaline make you feel like you’re going to be sick? How about the night before, trying to fall asleep, but your race day worries get the better of you and instead of sleeping you lay awake thinking about how your lack of sleep will affect your performance the next day? It’s ironic — running and exercise are supposed to help reduce anxiety, so it seems odd that running may sometimes cause us anxiety. But fear not. It’s more common than you may think for runners to experience anxiety pre-race, or even during the race. And because this can drastically affect race performance, we’ve come up with our best treatment tips to help reduce that pesky runners anxiety. 1. Talk to someone. Sometimes all we need is someone to share our thoughts, feelings, or concerns with — someone who will listen without judgment, and maybe even offer some objective advice. A psychologist is a really great option for this. Talking through our fears or concerns with another individual is often an effective way to reduce or eliminate them. A psychologist can also give you tools to work with outside of your session. Breathing techniques and visualization are common ways to help a runner reduce the stress and anxiety they may feel before a race. 2. Seek out relaxation. As race day approaches and training winds down, it might be helpful to seek treatments that are

known for helping to reduce stress and anxiety. Acupuncture, Reiki, and massage are three highly effective treatments for increasing relaxation in the body and reducing, or even eliminating symptoms of anxiety and stress. Booking yourself for these types of treatments well in advance of your race will keep you mentally prepared and ready to deal with race day, or race week stresses. Be sure to communicate your concerns with your treatment practitioner in advance so they can provide the most effective massage, Reiki, or acupuncture appointment for you. 3. Be conscious about what you put into your body. What we eat can have a big impact on how we feel mentally as well as physically. Consuming large amounts of alcohol, sugar, and caffeine are known to increase symptoms of anxiety, so well in advance of race day is an important time to re-think our diets and what we’re putting in our bodies. Seeking out guidance from a nutritionist is one way you can ensure you’re fuelling your body with the best ingredients pre- and post-race. A nutritionist can create a specialized plan with foods designed for optimal sports performance and anxiety reduction. As you start to plan for your running races this year, we encourage you to consider not only the physical preparation, but also the mental preparation needed for race day. If you’re like so many out there who suffer from race day anxiety, making a plan to seek treatment before (and after!) you race is a critical part of performance. The wonderful teams of psychologists, Reiki practitioners, massage therapists, acupuncturists, and nutritionists at Park Integrative Health are here to help you prepare for your best race yet!

Unit 970, 3890 Sherwood Drive Sherwood Park, Alberta T8H 0Z9 (780) 570-8480 pihealth.ca @parkintegrative

Our Hours

Monday – Friday 8:00 A.M. – 8:30 P.M. Saturday – Sunday 8:00 A.M. – 3:30 P.M.

Park Integrative Health

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Tips To Get More From Your Fitness Tech This Year BY MITCH WESTON

Want to improve your fitness? Use wearable tech to give you an extra edge If you're using a fitness tracker or GPS running watch to get fit, there are loads of ways to make your sessions even more rewarding. That's where this list of tips, tricks and advice from our fitness experts come in. From improving the accuracy of your devices to interpreting the data better – you've got the power to give your routine a real shot in the arm. You still have to put in the hard yards no matter which wearable device you're rocking, but thankfully there are ways to gameify your exercise and remain motivated. So, without further ado, here are our top tips to help you achieve your goals…

GET STARTED Make your fitness band more accurate Calibrating your fitness band is optional, but it's recommended for improving the accuracy when it comes to measuring the distances

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you've travelled. Most fitness trackers will have their own method of calibration, requiring you to log a set distance, but it's worth checking the set-up and taking the time to do it. Connect your stats If you're already a bit of a fitness fanatic by the time you've bought your new running watch or fitness band, the chances are that you'll have tried other fitness platforms, such as Strava, Endomondo and MyFitnessPal. These kinds of services will play nicely with pretty much any running watch or smartwatch – so why not hook one up for more data and insights? Fitbit, Garmin and Polar all have the option to hook up to Strava and has the power to add a new dimension to your training through Segments, performance comparisons and much more. Buy a fitness device you WANT to wear That fitness gadget you're about to fork out for is going to have to live on your wrist or about your general person 24/7 to really make it a useful fitness aid. This may sound obvious, but make sure you're investing in something you're

happy to wear every day. If it gets irritating, that'll be the beginning of the end. Also consider whether the wearable has the option for interchangeable bands to reduce the chances of getting stuck with a band you just don't like wearing. Take time to add accurate personal information It's important to make sure you've put in accurate personal info for height, weight, age and gender. These will all be used by your fitness tracking wearable to estimate things like calorie burn and recovery time. This is likely to be found in the profile section of the partnering web tools or smartphone app for most trackers. Take a fitness test Before you set off on your training program, it's a great idea to assess your current fitness levels. Apps like Endomondo and multi-sport watches such as the Polar M200 have pre-programmed tests you can do using your watch or smartphone and a heart rate monitor. These will give you benchmark stats you can use to see how your fitness compares against the average. You can then do one of these tests weekly or monthly to monitor your improvement.


GET FITTER

BURN FAT

Be goal orientated Every training session should have a goal, which feeds into weekly goals, which feed into larger goals. For example, the big goal might be running a 10K race in three months, but along the way you should have smaller ones built in, such as a PB at your local 5K fun run or adding a mile to your longest run with a friend.

Beware the calorie count Unless you've had lab tests to ascertain how much energy your body gets at different heart rates and that information is all plugged into your fitness tracker, the calories burned number you see on your wrist isn't going to be more than a guess. Wearables that pair with heart rate monitors can make it more precise, but you'd need to be heart rate tracking all day. So treat that calories burned figure with caution.

Get support from the community Community is a powerful motivator for fitness. Tap into your fitness tech's social side by following other users who are all trying to do what you're doing. Research shows that people who share their fitness data are more likely to stick to a fitness plan, so receiving support with likes and comments can really help. Seen someone run 5km in the time you're chasing and want to find out how they got there? Drop them a comment next to their activity and ask for advice to help make improvements.

Set reminders and move more If you're just starting out on a fitness plan, one easy tip is simply to move more often. Lots of fitness bands like the Fitbit Charge 3 and Garmin Vivosmart 4 offer gentle reminders that let you know if you've been sitting still for too long. Research has shown that moving regularly is essential to your overall health and getting up for a short walk every hour will add to your overall fitness.

Sync your data daily Some of the smarter wearables sync your workout stats over Wi-Fi or Bluetooth without you having to do a thing, but there's value in doing it yourself. By regularly reviewing your most recent workouts, you'll start to own your progress. The happy feeling as you see another hour session added to your month can get pretty addictive and will become a real motivator to keep working hard.

It's LIT There's been a lot of publicity for High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) as a great way to get fit and burn fat fast, but using your heart rate monitor for some long, slow, low-heart rate running is a surefire way to burn more fat. Yes, this Low Intensity Training (LIT) might take longer, but you'll be working in the fat burn zone the whole time.

AVOID INJURY

Heart rate training can also help you decide on goals: aiming to complete your session at a certain bpm is a worthwhile aim for a session. Plenty of wearables have goal tracking built in, and you can build schedules in apps like Garmin Connect, Strava and Polar Flow. Remember, keep those goals achievable and regular or you'll simply get demoralized. Put your heart into it Check your tracker's user guide to see if you can add your own heart rate zones instead of settling for the default zones. The more personalized data you can add, the more accurate your results will be – and that means you can make each training session more effective. Start obsessing over your form There are some great wearables out there that can give you lots of hidden insights into your running form. From the Garmin Running Dynamics Pod, watches like the Garmin Forerunner 935 and devices like the award-winning Stryd, all of these fitness gadgets provide running dynamics data to help you improve your running cadence, stride length and overall running form. Get some gym smarts Gyms are beginning to play nicer with wearables that you own. From MyZone's heart rate chest strap being used for classes to using your Apple Watch and the new GymKit feature to sync the smartwatch with gym equipment. That will then allow you to merge distance and incline data from the treadmill, with heart rate data for a complete picture of your session.

STAY MOTIVATED Get some badges If you're a Fitbit user, then earning badges is a good way to keep the motivation up once the novelty has worn off. There's a host of rewards available and ticking them off can become a bit of an obsession. Garmin, Apple and Withings do the badges thing too, so it's not just about Fitbit. Climbing 20,000 flights of stairs gets you the Shooting Star badge and walking 1,997 miles earns you a Taj Mahal badge. Want the Nile reward? A total of 4,132 miles will get you the achievement named after the world's longest river.

Know when to rest During any training schedule it's tough to spot when it's time to ease off and rest. Wearable technology is changing this. Products like the FAM Sports CheckMyLevel, the Polar Vantage V and the Garmin Fenix 5 are able to use your latest workout stats to monitor your training load and recommend the optimal rest time and recovery period. Warm up well Warming up and cooling down are essential parts of any training session, but they're all too easily fudged, cut short, or worse, ignored altogether. Your wearable can improve your approach to this vital part of your workouts. Most of Garmin and Polar's sports watches allow you to build warm up and cool down segments into your pre-planned sessions. These can be time, distance or heart rate based.

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Shifting Your Mindset BY KATIE JOLICOEUR

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n a world that is moving so quickly where we are constantly being stimulated it is common to feel overwhelmed and experience stress in our lives. The need to feel like we have to keep up and keep moving forward, and growing and not to mention feel like we need to be sharing it all on our social channels to prove we are doing it effortlessly. But really we may feel overwhelmed, exhausted and maybe even burnt out, at the very least stressed out. I have experienced burn out multiple times in my life and my career and gone through times of extreme overwhelm and stress and I know I am not alone in this. More of us are feeling this way then I think we want to admit. So what can we do about it? Over the years of walking this line of showing up and working hard and exhausting myself I have learned what the signs are that I am creeping up to or maybe running full speed into burn out. Learning what stress feels like in your body, learning how much stress is ok, and when it's becoming a problem is key. This is a very individual understanding, there is no one size fits all, and not all stress is created equal. Some types of stress taxes us more than others, again that's a personal experience. One of the biggest practices in supporting yourself and learning what stress feels like in your body is to first find awareness. Self awareness around how things feel to you, how stress shows up for you, when it begins to turn into overwhelm and if it’s leading to burn out. The most tangible way I have been able to navigate this is through physical space, our physical bodies. They will tell us what is going on if only we take the time to listen, really listen. When we begin to learn what stress feels like to us individually we can have a look around to see where we are, what is causing us stress, and if we are able to do anything to create change. There are certain things in life and certain periods in life that we can not change, or shift or adjust, or we may not be able to leave 42

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certain situations, but we can learn how to better support ourselves through them. When we are moving into or through stressful situations our sympathetic nervous system is activated, triggering our fight, flight, freeze response. Typically our muscles begin to tense, our breathing becomes more rapid or shallow, our heart rate increases. Sometimes this can all happen without us fully realizing it until after we leave the situation, or the stress has subsided and we wonder why our jaw hurts or our neck feels tense. Can you check in with your physical body multiple times a day, in varying situations - how does your physical body feel, what sensations are you noticing, what emotions or thoughts might even be arising? As you are moving into this awareness try your best to stay in a place of observing not judging your reactions or sensations as right or wrong, but just simply being aware. This practice alone can create a huge shift in your day to day. Overtime as this practice becomes more fluent and you are able to recognize when you may be moving into a stressful or overwhelming situation you can begin to welcome tools to support you. One of the best tools in supporting your nervous system and bring yourself back into a rest and digest state is our breath. During a stress response our breath becomes very shallow therefore our diaphragm does not experience a full range of motion (our diaphragm is one of the main muscles we use for breathing, a balloon shaped muscle that sits under our lungs) When we can begin to find a deeper breath, a belly breath our diaphragm increases its range of motion, flattening out as we are inhaling and coming back into the balloon shape as we exhale. The movement of our diaphragm stimulates the vagus nerve which is directly attached to our parasympathetic nervous system helping to remind our body we are ok and we can come back into a rest and digest state, allowing our body to regulate our stress hormones.

One of my favourite types of belly breathing is taking a full inhale through the nose filling the belly and counting how long your inhale is, and fully exhaling back out through the nose letting the belly pull in and counting how long the exhale is. This is a practice you can do anywhere and no one will even know that you are doing it. Another tool I use is matching my deep belly breathe with a mantra instead of counting. A mantra can really be any sort of statement, but I tend to lean towards “I am” statements. Saying the “I am” in your mind as you inhale and the last part as you exhale. Eg inhale - “I am” exhale - “grounded”. The last word can be any word that resonates with you or what you are hoping to or wanting to feel in that moment. Often if I am feeling stress because I am nervous I will remind myself that I am safe, I am not actually in danger as my body might have me believe. Times when I have felt particularly heavy or lost I have used “I am light." The key is in using these practices during times when we are already feeling grounded and in our rest and digest state, so when our stress response is triggered we have access to these tools, it is already familiar to us and to our body. If we have been experiencing longer periods of stress, overwhelm, or have moved into burnout we may actually need a wider range of tools to support us through it, sometimes even taking some time to rest and recoup, maybe talk therapy is helpful, finding a yoga or fitness class that feels supportive to you, and allowing yourself to be supported, asking for support if needed. Just because our stress and mental health isn’t always visible from the outside does not mean it lacks importance, if you were physically injured you would take the time to heal and rest, our mental health deserves the same respect.


Supporting Your Spine BY DR. JORDAN MACINTYRE Flex Chiropractic & Performance

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egardless of your fitness level, your ability to move is a critical part of your daily life that you probably take for granted. Whether you have a steady workout regime or not, it is important to take some time to focus on your general mobility. Managing your ease of movement can drastically decrease your risk of injury. As a chiropractor, I regularly have conversations about managing movement and how it can impact a patient’s quality of life. One key way to maintain your functional health is to pay attention to the little things. Find a neutral posture or home base for your body and hold that position before doing anything, from getting out of your car at work to loading up that last heavy squat set at your favourite gym. Two great examples of ways you can improve your mobility and stability at home include: 1. Cat / Cow: Place your hands, knees and feet on the ground with your hands below your shoulders and your knees below your hips. Tuck your chin to your chest, arch your mid back towards the ceiling, and roll your sit bones towards the ground. Finish the movement by extending your chin upwards and dropping your chest then your low back, down towards the ground. Avoid any movements that cause pain. 2. Core Bracing: Lay flat on your back with your knees bent and feet on the floor. Place your fingers just inside the front of your hip bones and cough. When you cough you should feel your Transverse Abdominus muscle activate. Your Transverse Abdominus is an important muscle in stabilizing your spine. Once you have found this muscle, try to engage it without coughing. This simple exercise is a great way to help you engage your neutral posture before doing an activity like lifting something heavy. Finding your neutral posture or home base can be challenging without optimal spinal and body wide joint mobility. Chiropractic care can improve your range of motion and enable you to reach a sturdy neutral position within your own body mechanics, reducing stress on your system and decreasing your risk of injury.

The start of any chiropractic treatment plan involves a thorough discussion and assessment. If you are suffering from lower back pain, the true cause may not even be apparent to you. Alleviating your pain and improving your mobility is usually more complicated than simply treating the injured area. Therapies such as Active Release Technique®, Graston Technique®, low level laser, or shockwave are often used alongside traditional chiropractic treatment to deal with an injury or complaint. People whose work requires them to be seated for prolonged periods of time often experience back pain which requires treatment that addresses their joint restrictions in addition to their muscle tension, for example. The most important part of any treatment plan however, lies in its execution. Finding a qualified chiropractor who can create the right combination of treatments for you, is the best way to decrease pain, increase function, and reduce re-aggravation. When searching for a chiropractor ensure you find someone who listens to you, completes a thorough assessment, and provides you with a clear understanding of their treatment plan. Make sure you have an open line of communication with your chiropractor and ask about the progress being made at each visit. We are all creatures of habit and it can be easy to forget about maintaining our functional health and managing our movement. Don’t wait until you’re experiencing pain or limited mobility! Remind yourself that you can avoid injury and discomfort whether you’re at home, at work, or at play by thinking about your movement and identifying positions during your daily activities that might be causing you issues. If you are having difficulty finding your neutral posture or are experiencing limited mobility and pain, a trip to the chiropractor could be just what you need.

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Keep on running! But be smart about it! BY MARGIE RITCHIE

As a runner turned triathlete, I learned a few things to help me stay healthy and running. Namely, preventative exercises that help to maintain good form and function. As always, consistency, in anything, is the key. Whatever distance you are training for it’s good to have a coach or a training plan. A good coach will review your training plan regularly and give advice about adjustments when as necessary. Whether you’re training with someone or alone there are a few things to keep in mind. Keep a log and keep it simple to view cumulative data liker weekly mileage or changes in pace so you can see anything might indicate overtraining. Data that should be included is, distances or exercise duration, intensity or perceived effort, injury, fatigue level, sleep duration, and motivation. How did you feel? Review data weekly or monthly to see if training volume needs to be adjusted. Warm up! Regardless of the length of the run. It is better to do a good warm up routine with great form and a shorter workout than skipping the warm up and going into a hard workout and potentially getting injured. Vary your training surface. Run on pavement, grass, trails or running tracks. Keep your muscles and neuromuscular system challenged so to prevent an overuse injury. If you are running on an uneven surface you will need to slow 44

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down and keep scanning the ground for safe places to land. Vary your training intensity. Incorporate aerobic, long steady-state running, tempo training, speed work, hill work, and fartleks into your routine. You can even incorporate a bit of each type into one workout as long as you warm up appropriately first. Vary your training type. Cross train with another sport you enjoy. Know that if you choose a sport with major stop-go activity or rapid changes in direction like soccer or volleyball an appropriate strength training and warm up for those activities will be vital to prevent injury. Strength training. As we age, strength training is a key to being able to continue running. Running is a very linear activity using muscles in one plane. This can lead to overuse injury and imbalances in other stabilizing muscle groups of the hip, butt and core. Old injuries can affect your running gait creating more imbalances. An assessment by a physiotherapist, athletic therapist or kinesiologist can bring these to light. Make sure you understand the correct way to do the prescribed exercise so that it is effective for the targeted muscles. Then it’s your job to do the exercises regularly! Incorporating them into your warm up so you don’t forget about them. Yoga and Pilates, are other ways to stay strong and flexible.

Rest days. This could be the priority for those who have a competitive mindset. Make sure you incorporate rest days in your training schedule and take them. Try not to make these days when you have to cram in chores like house or yard work. An easy walk is a good option on these days. Recovery. Along with rest days, make sure you are getting adequate sleep every day. This is when our bodies’ recover the best. And is essential for muscle, nerve and brain health. Good sleep hygiene like going to bed and rising at the same time or limiting caffeine before bed is crucial to proper rest. And finally, listen to your body! Sometimes it just feels like work when you set out on a run. Sometimes you may feel over tired or just “off”. Your body may be telling you it’s time for a rest. Do your warm up routine, see how you feel. If you don’t feel better after maybe repeat the warm up and then leave it at that. Running smart is about responding to what’s happening now. Not being rigid in your training. Remind yourself that quality training is better than quantity. Hopefully these tips can help you make smarter decisions in your training!

PHOTO BY VIVID RIBBON PHOTOGRAPHY


UPPER BODY

PUSH/PULL SUPERSET BY JORDAN JESKE

PHOTOS BY JEFFERY PAUL KELLY PHOTOGRAPHY

We all know we should be living a healthy and active lifestyle and going to the gym should be part of that equation. Unfortunately, it can be intimidating and stressful for many. I know a lot of people that won't go past the cardio equipment for lack of confidence and fear of being made fun of internally or bumped off a piece of equipment because they took a break to get water or someone just straight up took over! Going to the gym also requires time and discipline. Gone are the days that you need to spend 2+ hours in the gym. Getting in a 30-60min workout will help you maintain consistency and making those small 1% changes every day will yield massive results long term. Unfortunately, the time spent at the gym isn't always efficient. A large amount of that time is usually spent on our phones, talking to friends or trying to navigate the gym which can cause our workouts to suffer. This Upper Body Push Pull Circuit tackles all of our problems and can be done with only ONE piece of equipment, The Functional Trainer (Cable Machine). You will be able to set up, camp out and perform supersets of exercises, take breaks and grab water without someone stealing your machine. Just bring a “BACK OFF� sign just in case though! Complexity kills execution, so our goal is to keep it simple, so you can keep it consistent. You can change this workout up by playing around with the rep ranges and variations of the exercises.


Sample Rep ranges and what they work. 1-6 reps = Pure Strength (will not make you bulky) 8-12 reps- Hypertrophy or toning/building lean muscle 15+ reps- Endurance

CHEST PRESS

Start with the cable attachments at their highest position. Make sure your elbows are higher than the handles when you pull the weight down to protect the shoulders. Keep your arms straight as you step forward with one leg into a split stance position. Make sure the heel of your back leg is up and on your toe. Once in position bring your hands back to your chest and press forward. Think in a rainbow type pattern.

1b. X

PULL DOWNS

Keeping the handles in the highest position on the cable machine. Face the machine and grab the left handle with your right hand and right handle with your left hand making an X with your arms. Drop down to one knee, keeping your pelvis tucked and core neutral. Pull the handles across your body so that your hands finish at your armpits with your thumbs facing up and shoulder blades back and down. Repeat for desired reps.

2a. SQUAT

& ROW

Set the handles at chest height. Step back and pull the handles away from the machine. Keeping your arms straight, drop down into a deep squat, making sure to drive your knees out and creating a strong base. As you stand back up, row the cable into your chest. Make sure to lean back slightly and get full extension of your hip, squeezing your glutes. This is a great exercise for creating more hip mobility, getting comfortable in a squat position while working your upper and mid back.

2b. HALF

KNEELING SHOULDER PRESS On one knee facing away from the machine. Make sure to be centred front/back and side to side. Have the handles on the lowest setting. Half Kneeling is a great position for most people because it is easier to engage your core and we get to work on lower body stability at the same time. Make sure your legs are each at 90 degrees and squeeze the glute of the knee that’s on the ground. This will stabilize your lower body. Bring the handles up to your shoulders. Make sure your pelvis is tucked and core set. Press both handles up at the same time or you can alternate back and forth for desired reps.

Horizontal Row and Vertical Press

Horizontal Press and Vertical Pull

1a. CABLE


3a.

ANTI ROTATION AND ROTATION

Core

Half Kneeling Pallof Press - Grab one handle and make sure to have the right knee down if the handle is on your right side. Vice versa for the left. Bring the handle to the center of your chest. Making sure your pelvis is tucked and core engaged. Press the handle straight out keeping your hands in the center and not letting yourself get pulled back to the machine. Hold for 2s. Bring it back in and repeat.

3b. HALF KNEELING CABLE ROTATIONS Staying on one knee. Change the handle out for a rope attachment. Keeping the handle on the right side if you are on your right knee. Press the rope out in front of you. Making sure your lower body is stable, keep your arms locked out straight as you rotate away from the anchor point over the knee that is up. Come back to center and repeat. Start light to get a feel for the movement. I would rather low weight and higher reps to begin with.

ROPE CURLS

Classic Arm pump to finish off the workout. There are many variations for curls on a cable machine. For this we are going to do a rope hammer curl. Standing on your feet, make sure you are over top of the cable. Make sure you can get your arms to full extension before you curl back up. No rocking back and forth. Keep core tight and you can set up in a mini split stance position to help keep your pelvis and core engaged. Repeat for reps

4b. TALL KNEELING TRICEP PULLDOWNS Changing this one up from the traditional pulldown you may have seen in the gym. Most people butcher the tricep pulldown by overloading the cables, rounding their shoulders and trying “muscle� the weight down. We need to keep our spine tall, shoulders back and elbows in tight. Drop down to tall kneeling, on both knees. Facing out from the machine. The rope directly in front of you. Tuck your pelvis, Squeeze your glutes and rep it out. Superset back and forth.

SAMPLE WORKOUT

90s of rest. Not only will your workout be more efficient you will burn the greatest amount of calories.

90s rest. Again, we want to make the most of our time. Rather than doing core at the end. Do a set of situps, planking or other variations during your

2a) 4 sets 8-12 reps 2b) 4 sets 8-12 reps 90s rest or core

1a) 4 sets 8-12 reps 1b) 4 sets 8-12 reps

3a) 3 sets 10 reps a side.

Arm Pump Finisher

4a. CABLE

3b) 3 sets 10 reps a side. 90s rest no core 4a) 20.16.12.8.4 4b) 20.16.12.8.4 Don't take any breaks. Try and find a weight you can finish the entire superset with.

Have fun and let me know how you do!! Getting into a routine doesn't have to be painful. Keep it fun, simple and short and you will start to notice the changes over time. Don't give up!!


PHOTO BY ADRIAN MUELLER

WILD MUSHROOM SANDWICH Caramelized Onion. Wild Arugula. Truffle Aioli

BY JUSTIN O’REILLY Chef de Cuisine – Kanu Cafe

MUSHROOMS

1 lb Wild/Cultivated Mushrooms 1 tbsp Red Wine Vinegar 1 tbsp Tamari 2 tbsp Olive Oil ½ tsp Sea Salt Method: In a medium sized pan on med-high heat add mushrooms to dry pan & sauté until they become brown & release their moisture. Add oil & sauté for 1 min or until cooked through. Then deglaze the pan with red wine vinegar & tamari. Season with salt.

CARAMELIZED ONIONS

1 lb Onion (thinly Sliced or slivered) 1 tbsp Olive Oil TT Salt/Pepper Method: In large pot on high heat add oil then onions. Stir until some onions start to brown. Reduce heat to very very low & cook down stirring occasionally until golden brown & sweet, about 2 hours. Season To Taste (TT)

TRUFFLE AIOLI

1 cup Cashew (soaked) 2/3 cup Water 1 Garlic Clove ¼ cup Truffle Oil 1 tsp Truffle Salt (regular sea salt will work) 1 tsp Agave 1 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar Method: Using Vita-Mix blender (or any high speed blender), puree until super smooth. 48

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ASSEMBLY

Build your Sandwich. 1. Toast two really good slices of bread (we use a stone ground sour dough from Bon Ton Bakery). 2. Spread toast with Aioli. 3. Add onions & arugula (or any greens you like). 4. Add Mushrooms. 5. Eat open faced or closed and enjoy.


A Short and Sweet Review of Dairy-Free Milk Alternatives A wide array of milk alternatives will often greet you these days when you walk down the dairy aisle of large and small chain grocery stores. With an even wider and more confusing array of information sources online flaunting the benefits of various dairy-free “milks”, it’s a wonder there aren’t more perplexed shoppers crowding the aisles and comparing labels! Here in this short review you’ll find myths debunked, products reviewed, and recommendations made on a few dairy alternatives that are available to you today.

Why “not-milk”? When clients come to me looking for plant-heavy meal advice, they have a variety of reasons why they want to use dairy milk alternatives. For many, it is due to a lactose intolerance or milk protein allergy or intolerance. For others, they seek vegan options for health or ethical reasons or are discovering how to lessen their impact on the environment by supporting industries that need to use less water and land to sustain production. Some simply never enjoyed drinking milk and want a different-tasting alternative to supply some of their daily needs for calcium, vitamin D, vitamin A and B12. Some are looking for ways to reduce carbohydrate intake or calories. Whatever the reason for choosing dairy-free, there are plenty of ways to sustain a healthy balance of nutrients through plantbased alternatives.

BY BRIANNA MEGHAWACHE, BSc, RD Nourished by Bri - Whole Foods Nutrition Coaching

Is soy safe? The short version of it is this: soy foods that are not over-processed are beneficial to heart health and hormonal health for just about everyone! (Caution should be used in those with thyroid disease). Soy beverage is one of these foods, and it provides just about the same vitamins and minerals that cow’s milk provides. Many of my clients are surprised to learn that other alternatives contain very little protein, whereas soy is definitely comparable at 8 to 12 grams per cup. Thus, as a direct substitute, and for those without soy allergies, unsweetened soy beverage is a great choice!

Almond, Cashew, Coconut, and Other Nut-based Milks One of the first dairy-free milks to grow exponentially in popularity was almond milk. Unsweetened varieties contain little carbohydrates if unsweetened and have typically less than 3 grams of protein per glass. A close second was coconut milk, which has been around for years in Asian cooking. The one-liter milk alternatives at the grocers labeled “coconut beverage” typically contain coconut cream mixed with filtered water and a food emulsifier, as well as fortified vitamins and minerals. Other nut milks include cashew milk and hazelnut milk, which tend to be

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creamier than regular skim milk and have less calories. Be careful that you don’t rely on sweetened varieties – they can sometimes pack over 10 grams of added sugar per glass! Some talented raw chefs I know have crafted blends of delicious nutbased beverages to use in lattes, smoothies, cereals, or straight from the glass – but note that homemade nut milks do not have specific fortified vitamins and minerals like calcium, vitamin D, and B12 that the commercially-sold brands have. As with other dairy alternatives, be sure to check and compare commercial product labels to note a product’s calcium and vitamin D content and its suitability in replacing your dairy products!

Oat Milk, Rice Milk, Nut-free Milks For those seeking allergen-friendly foods or those needing to embark on a food elimination challenge, nut-free dairy-free milks are sometimes the only answer! Oat beverage, rice beverage, hemp, and quinoa beverage are all lesser known and harder-to-find alternatives, but each have their own unique tastes! Oat beverage tastes great in lattes; rice milk has a mild taste and can accompany a variety of dishes; hemp milk and quinoa milk are slightly nuttier. Hemp milk contains a higher amount of omega-3 fats than most milk alternatives. Here are some favourite brand-name dairy alternatives of my clients: Natur-A Soy Beverage So Good Oat Beverage Silk Unsweetened Organic Soy Beverage Rice Dream Rice Beverage Pacific Organic Almond Beverage Silk Unsweetened Almond Beverage So Delicious Coconut Beverage

How to make your very own homemade nut milk: Step 1: Purchase 1 pound of raw nuts of any kind – my favourite blend is half almonds, one quarter cashews, and one quarter hazelnuts. Step 2: Soak nuts in plenty of water for 24 to 36 hours. Optional to drain the water halfway through and then refill with fresh water and keep soaking. Step 3: Drain and rinse the soaked nuts, and remove as much of the skins from almonds and hazelnuts as possible by picking them out or rolling the nuts in damp paper towel. Blend the soaked and de-skinned nuts in a high-powered blender with 4 to 4.5 cups of fresh distilled water. Blend for 4 minutes total, scraping down the sides when needed. The water portion should look white and opaque. Step 4: Let the blended mixture drain through a cheesecloth and collect the milk underneath. Save the leftover blended nuts (freeze if storing) for making homemade crackers, adding to veggie burgers or nut loaf recipes, adding small portions to smoothies, or in baking or raw food power bites. Step 5: Sweeten with 1 tbsp honey or maple syrup if desired, chill 2 to 4 hours and enjoy! Homemade nut milks are good for up to four days – if the liquid separates, just shake or blend back together!

Make your own dairy-free coffee creamer! 1 cup Silk Original Unsweetened Almond Beverage 1 cup So Delicious Unsweetened Coconut Beverage 2 tbsp pure maple syrup or other sweetener 1 tsp vanilla extract Optional: ½ tsp cinnamon

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The Best New Shoes for 2019 BY MIKE DENGROVE From insanely light cross-country models to supremely soft marathon trainers, these shoes promise a lot of fun miles in the coming year. For running gear geeks, Austin, Texas, is the place to be in the final days of November. Each year, the industry descends on the city for The Running Event—part retail workshop where stores can share best practices, and part gear expo where brands can show off the latest in shoe tech and stylish apparel. At this year’s show, the theme in general was shoe fit and comfort. While previous years have brought us a foam war—with each brand trying to deliver a bouncy, soft midsole—the companies really turned their focus to the shoes’ uppers and how they interact with your foot. We haven’t heard the last about foams, to be sure, but this year’s shoe promises to better wrap your foot with less risk for blisters and hot spots. Here are 7 of the most exciting shoes launching in 2019.

New Balance Fuel Cell Rebel Price: $130

One of the shoes that got the most attention at the show is the Fuel Cell Rebel. If you know anything about any Fuel Cell models NB has previously built, forget it. The company is keeping the name but scrapping the nitrogen-infused foam it had used before. Instead, the name will live on in a speed-based series of shoes. The Rebel is rooted in the company’s “miler project,” given the company’s success at the mid-distance with runners like Jenny Simpson. This shoe has a bold fin sticking off the outer edge of the shoe, to smooth the landing for runners who make ground contact out on the side of their foot. We were told “this shoe is not for jogging.” No, it looks clearly built for speed.

Saucony Mad River TR Price: $110

I absolutely love the concept of this trail shoe. I’ve often said that a running shoe is just a tool, and we should tweak it as needed to make it work the way we want. By that I mean you shouldn’t be afraid to punch an extra eyelet in the upper to change how you lace the shoe, or even take a knife to the mesh to relieve pressure or irritation. Saucony has taken that concept here and actually suggested where you might customize it. Do you run a course with lots of stream crossings? Break out the Milwaukee drill and poke holes in the outsole—obviously when the shoe is not on your foot. Labels on the rubber even tell you what size drill bit to use. Or maybe you want to wear the shoe in the winter on slippery roads? More markings show you not only where to place the screws but also what size to use. There are also multiple options— ghillies and eyelets—for lacing the shoe up tight.

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The Best New Shoes for 2019

Brooks Cascadia 14

Saucony Liberty ISO 2

Price: $130

Price: $160

A big overhaul that caught our attention is the Cascadia—a trail titan that typically doesn’t see major changes. But the new version has been reworked top to bottom. Under the foot, a new trail rubber has a wet-grip formulation for more secure footing. Brooks says it took the rebound out of the rubber, so when you hit rocks on the trail, the rubber sticks better, rather than deflecting off it. The company has also retooled the lugs underfoot for more secure footing and changed up the pivots—those triangle wedges of firm foam at the four corners that deliver extra stability on uneven ground. Perhaps the biggest change, however, is the new knit upper. It’s a sleek execution for a shoe that’s typically had a burly construction. The knit material is lightweight but secure thanks to its no-stretch design. To give extra protection, Brooks is using a Cordura mesh just above the midsole, where you’re likely to snag rocks and sticks on technical trail. The changes are reported to bring the shoe down an astonishing 1.2 ounces.

The Liberty offers a versatile mix of comfort and support for long runs. This shoe still gets the full-length layer of Everun as a midsole, making for a bouncy, cushioned ride. Saucony beefed up the plastic post under the heel and arch a bit. It did so by making it slightly longer and extending a few plastic ribs of the post farther into the midsole, basically firming up that region. It also bolstered support by adding a genuine heel counter inside the shoe to lock the back half of your foot in place. Previous models have had a simple plastic strap that wrapped around the heel but didn’t really offer much in the way of structure. Saucony also added a “high tensile polyester fiber” to the heel and midfoot. It’s a thread that winds around the shoe’s upper and is stitched in place to add even more structure and support, much like traditional overlays would have but in a lighter execution.

Reebok Forever Floatride Energy Price: $100

We’ve really loved the direction of Reebok the last couple years, and the team there has been cranking out some great shoes using a new Floatride midsole foam. But, to reach more runners with a lower price, they’ve come up with a slightly different kind of foam they’re calling Floatride Energy. It’s a lightweight expanded TPE—essentially, small plastic beads are steam molded together. Reebok says it’s 30 percent lighter than traditional EVA and delivers better energy return, but it’s not as soft as the midsole material used in other Floatride shoes like the Run Fast. Add to that a simple full-length rubber outsole that will give good durability and value. The early results are exactly as Reebok describes: It’s a lightweight training shoe that feels quick when you want to run fast. It doesn’t have the premium construction and plush build of pricier shoes, but it should be a real bargain for younger runners and those on a budget.

Asics Gel-DS Trainer 24

Brooks Adrenaline GTS 20

Price: $120

Price: $130

The DS Trainer has a bold new look. It’s the first Asics shoe to get a knit upper. And our early indications are that this change alone has greatly improved the long-time tempo shoe. That’s likely also due to the full-length layer of FlyteFoam Lyte. It’s a lighter version of the foam the brand has been rolling out to its cushioned titans like the Nimbus and Kayano. Although it reduces weight, it still offers excellent cushioning power and responsiveness. Asics added a new heel counter into the knit upper, so you don’t get any slippage on heel lift. Don’t like the mottled design? No worry. Our test samples came in a slick blacked-out option.

You’re forgiven if you looked at this picture and thought you were seeing a Ghost. That’s exactly what Brooks has in mind here with the Adrenaline. It’s the stability brother to the Ghost, with a similar design and fit. The difference between the two going forward is the level of support. The GTS 20 will continue using guide rails for support, just like those found on the GTS 19 that’s hitting stores right now. Those rails are in place of the traditional medial post—a firm wedge of foam under the arch for stability. But, while the shoe still delivers support for those who need it, it doesn’t scream “stability shoe.” The new engineered mesh upper has a sleek design that any runner will be proud to lace up.

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Creating a Stretch Routine BY YVONNE SANCHE

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often hear the same questions from my clients, “what should I be stretching?”, and, “how do I stretch?” I try to keep my answers as brief as possible, but sometimes it’s not that simple. For example, there are cases where someone feels “tight” but there is joint instability and the individual requires stability and strengthening exercises. Or perhaps the muscle tightness sensation is due to nerve impingement. In cases where your symptoms don’t disappear from stretching or self-myofascial release, it’s time to visit your trusted physiotherapist, chiropractor and/or massage therapist.

on my back and doing stretches with my knee bent and then progress to straight leg stretches. A plan example in the supine (on back) position can be as follows:

For the sake of this article, let’s say we’re dealing with general tightness in healthy populations that can be alleviated by a decent stretch routine. To begin, let’s first define the term flexibility and mobility.

Warm Up Your Joints and Tissues First

Flexibility: the range of motion of a specific joint and more specifically, the ability of the muscle to lengthen or stretch. Mobility: refers to how freely a joint can move through its range of motion. Flexibility, tissue health, and how well the nervous system controls the joint all fall under this umbrella.

Flexibility Training

Just like anything else, if you want to see positive changes you need to train it by changing your habits. If you never stretch, start a training plan. Yes, stretching is boring, but if you have a plan, you’re more likely to be consistent and follow through. There’s no need to overcomplicate it, especially when first beginning. To help you get started here are a few suggestions and tips.

Design Your Training Schedule

• How many days a week can you commit? • How long will each session be? • Will you designate a session for lower body and another for upper body or will every session deal with the entire body?

Set Attainable Goals

Being realistic about your goals will help lead you to success. If you’re a person that can’t touch your toes, maybe doing the splits might be a goal for the future. Try setting goals that are specific to your sport. Maybe your goal is simply to maintain and help with recovery from sport? What measures will you use to gauge your progress?  

Design Your Routine

I like planning a sequence routine that flows easily from one stretch to another. I also plan sequences that starts with easier stretches and slowly ease my way into the more intense ones. For example, when I focus on the lower body (low back and down) I start my stretch routine lying

• Low back stretches • Bent knee stretches – knee to chest (same side), knee out to side • Gluteal stretches • Straight leg hamstring stretches – using stretching strap • Straight leg adductor stretches – using stretching strap

Self-myofascial release using a foam roller and/or a tennis ball can be good to help prepare your body for the upcoming stretch practice. Of course, if you are stretching post-workout you can omit this section. I like to warm up my spine, hips and feet before starting my stretches. I find that a stiff spine makes it difficult to breathe deeply and get into the stretches comfortably. Here are a couple of examples: • Cat/cow yoga pose • Quadruped thoracic rotations • Hip windshield wiper exercise • Roll out the feet

Use Props When Needed

Invest in stretching tools like a yoga block, stretching strap, foam roller, tennis ball or lacrosse ball, and a bolster. Don’t strain yourself trying to get into position. The idea is to be able to relax in the position and these tools will help ease discomfort.

Stretching Variables

• Change the angle of your stretch – we don’t need to stretch in a linear fashion. Change the angle to get that right spot. For example – doing a straight leg hamstring stretch play with turning your toes in and out to get different directions. • Breathing – this is very important. Deep belly breaths help to promote relaxation and are great for recovery, post workout stretches, and faster breathing is good when you are warming up to workout. If you catch yourself holding your breath, maybe the stretch is too intense, and you need to back it off a bit. • Stretch duration – I believe in leaving that up to the individual, but I always say that you want to stay in the stretch long enough to impact change. If your right side is tighter than your left, logically you would spend more time on your right. With this information I hope you are off to a great start in your flexibility training. Yvonne Sanche is a registered massage therapist, and level 3 fascial stretch therapist. She owns and operates St. Albert Sports Recovery. Y EGF ITN E SS

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6 Things

I Learned When I Stopped Weighing Myself and Started Caring for Myself BY LOUISE GREEN

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or years, I have facilitated fitness programs for plus-size women. Their reason for joining is almost always a pursuit of the idealistic thin body that is projected upon them daily. And let’s not fool ourselves, this isn’t just about plus-size women—women in general feel the daily pressure to achieve the perfect body. A recent survey found that women of varying body sizes have 13 negative body thoughts per day, one for nearly every waking hour. My clients usually arrive with an elusive diet plan in place ready to change for good, along with a truckload of guilt when they can't stick to their (often hard to stick to) eating goals. I relate and empathize deeply because for many years I was exactly the same way. Every couple weeks I'd fall off the diet wagon and feel like a colossal failure. My life was full of attempting to be “good,” followed by hunger, restriction, and the inevitable failure when I couldn’t sustain the latest diet trend. Mondays were for starting over. My relationship with exercise was as stop-and-start as the diets. It was always all or nothing. I thought this was the path to health, but I couldn’t have been further from the truth. It wasn’t just my physical health that suffered, my inability to stick to my “health plan” only deepened my self-loathing. At the root of it all, my pursuit was really about acceptance; to feel part of a society that typical54

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ly only celebrates the thin, young, and flawless. Well, many years ago I decided I was done with our society’s form of acceptance, so I ditched the scale and followed my own path to health. Since then, I’ve never been more happy, healthy, and free.

is often the culprit in our lack of follow through. Instead of looking at the numbers on a scale, which barely tell you anything, measure your success by how good and strong you feel.

Here are reasons that ditching the scale turned out to be the healthiest thing I could do for myself— and you can do for yourself.

Often as part of my attempts to lose weight I would start going to the gym and gain weight! My body composition was changing as I built muscle mass and reduced fat, but instead if seeing these gains as wins, I would feel like a failure. When you replace fat with muscle you may see the scale going up, not down—another reason why ditching the scale and focusing on other physical benefits trumps all!

1. Diets. Don’t. Work. Sadly, statistics show that the diet industry is worth over $60 billion yet only 5 percent of dieters lose their goal weight and keep it off for five or more years. There is no other industry in the world that fails so many people while thriving so economically. Don’t get hooked into this cycle, believe me, get out now and kick the scale to the curb! 2. Success is not measured in pounds, and the scale hurts more than it helps. Exercise has endless benefits, including better body composition, better sleep, more energy, improved self-esteem, and improved physiological health, yet we focus so much on the number on the scale to judge its effects. I have seen many people declare that their fitness program “isn’t working” simply because the scale isn’t moving. Just like I used to, they ignore all the other benefits of exercise and often throw in the towel. This is part of the stop-start cycle of diets and exercise, and the scale

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3. The scale will mislead you.

4. Restrictive eating can lead to unhealthy practices. When we are constantly referring to a number on the scale it can become obsessive. Been there, done that. I would weigh myself in the morning, on an empty stomach, naked, after going to the bathroom or after a workout. I’d try anything to see a smaller number and it became all consuming. As Psychology Today reports, "Dieting, along with the frequent and compulsive weighing that accompanies it, can lead to eating disorders. According to one source, people who diet are 8 times as likely to develop an eating disorder as people who don't." Fixating on weight can make food feel like an enemy to be avoided. It's not! It's the fuel that powers your body! On that note…

5. Athletes need to eat. Yesterday I rode 75 kilometers on my bike and last night I was starving, like nothing-could-quenchmy-appetite starving. I had burned almost 2,000 calories and my body was crying for replenishment. When you’re athletic, you should follow a model of healthy abundance not restriction. Eat the food! Listen to your body, not the scale. 6. Our weight is not our worth. Many women believe that if they don’t fit into the thin ideal their identity isn’t as valuable. We need to work on changing how we give value and worth to some body types and not others. We see kindergarten children hurling the word fat at each other because even at a very early age children are affected by our media message. Our value can never be ruled by a scale unless we allow it to be. Everybody is valuable. Never let the scale dictate your worth. Ditching the scale and no longer feeling like I have to weigh myself has allowed me to rule my own life and pursue my athletic dreams in the body I have (my real body, right now, not an imaginary thinner version). It’s allowed me to find a healthy balance in nutrition, to kick ass in fitness and sport, and to believe that I am valuable and worthy of achieving anything I set my mind to. I know this can be true for you too.


Acupuncture: Your Secret Weapon to being your Best Self BY HEATHER BRACKEN The Garden Acupuncture and Holistic Centre

When it comes to managing your health, bolstering your wellness routine with acupuncture is a total gamechanger. And yet, what’s so crazy is how few people take advantage of the healing capacity of this ancient medicine on a regular basis. Truly, this could very well be one of alternative medicine’s best kept secrets. Many of my long-term patients (we’ll call them acupuncture converts) describe their continued experience with acupuncture as a “life-saver” or their “secret weapon” to being their best selves. In the beginning, most patients walk into the treatment room a tad curious and hoping to experience this “little bit of magic” they’ve heard whispers about from their friends. Many are at the end of their rope in attempting to manage whatever ails them. They have tried everything else and have exhausted every other therapy. In my personal experience, first as a patient and now as a practitioner, I believe that whatever brings a patient in to see me also comes along with a healthy dose of skepticism – and who can really be blamed for that? Acupuncture by its very nature carries with it a certain brand of mystique and intrigue. How exactly does this traditional medicine work? Could it be all placebo? Or if not… if this stuff really does work, there’s always the question of what these teeny-tiny needles are doing to stimulate our bodies to heal.

How does acupuncture work?

The answer to this question is multi faceted, as there are many different styles of acupuncture that are used for specific ailments. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), we believe in treating the mind and body HOLISTICALLY. This means that although you might be coming in for a headache, as practitioners we look for all the possible disharmonies and imbalances within your body. Through this, we can then work together to encourage it to operate at its highest potential. In the model of TCM, everything is interconnected, so while the

headache is the issue that brings you in, the headache is only the branch symptom. As acupuncturists, we go hunting underground for the root cause of the headache. Most patients are already looking to replace whatever “band-aid” therapy they are currently using, so the concept of healing the root cause is typically met with relief. When treating issues such as stress, anxiety, depression, sleep, hormonal health, digestive issues, immunity, headaches, addictions, etc… acupuncture points works via stimulation of the nervous system. From a scientific perspective, nervous system activation is the whole mechanism of action for how acupuncture works. When a tiny (and I mean TINY) needle is gently inserted below the skin’s surface, the needle stimulates the nerve below. This nerve then activates a chain reaction that sends a message to your spinal cord, which then affects the hypothalamus-pituitary axis deep in your brain. This then sends ANOTHER message back down your spine, directing it to a specifically chosen organ, hormonal system or body tissue in order to stimulate the desired effect. This could be a flood of serotonin or dopamine to reduce stress, a calming effect on the smooth muscles of the stomach or a way to reduce the pain from an irritated nerve. Another method of treatment to reduce pain and inflammation is by needling the affected area to bring about a healing response. When treating a localized area such as a knee joint or the low back, we use needles or cupping to loosen the surrounding muscles and ligaments, reduce any possible joint inflammation and to bring in healthy, oxygenized blood flow, thereby stimulating the body’s natural healing capacity.

What makes acupuncture different?

What sets acupuncture apart from other therapies is its multi-dimensional approach to healing and its ability to treat multiple issues simultaneously. While we are busy working on repairing your torn rotator cuff, we can also be

treating your insomnia, boosting your shaky immune system and lowering your heightened stress level caused by late nights and too much coffee. When my patients find themselves struggling with feelings of emotional overwhelm, oftentimes coupled with anxiety and depression, we do more than simply chill out their overstimulated nervous systems and calm their busy minds. We also work to replenish their exhausted adrenal glands, and for many individuals work to rebalance digestive problems, hormonal issues or skin irritations that have been free to run amok. In addition, because we are ever-searching for ways to heal your issues from their causative factors, we’ll always address points such as finding you the right blend of vitamins and minerals, getting you to flirt with the idea of less caffeine, prescribing herbal medicines or providing you with different stretches and exercises to get your body feeling stronger. On an emotional level, we’ve got your back too. Being attentive listeners is a crucial part of our job, helping you identify areas where we can build you up and champion you to be your best self. Encouraging simple things like slowing down, creating healthy boundaries within your relationships, cultivating an earlier bedtime or establishing a 10 minute daily meditation practice can be the impetus for immeasurable healing.

Why should i add acupuncture to my wellness routine?

TCM’s broad spectrum of treatment and the cascade of positive effects that come from a single acupuncture session make it an invaluable asset to your health. Every one of us, no matter how healthy, has blind spots and areas that could use some extra attention and support. Being that there are few issues that acupuncture cannot effectively treat, this makes it the perfect way to round out your wellness routine. Y EGF ITN E SS

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Profile for YEG Fitness

YEGFITNESS - March/April 2019  

Our March-April edition features our cover story on Mind, Body and Soul.

YEGFITNESS - March/April 2019  

Our March-April edition features our cover story on Mind, Body and Soul.

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