Category

FITNESS

Category

Test Driving the ASICS Metaride Running Shoe

It’s been almost six months of running in the Metaride shoe, ASICS newest innovation in running footwear and it’s become one of the three shoes that are in my shoe rotation each week for my runs. I get loads of questions about the Metaride when I post in them on Instagram or when other runners see me in them during my runs, so I’m going to share a few facts about the shoe here. Keep in mind though, no matter how well I explain the shoe’s technology or describe how it feels to run in them, the Metaride is just something you have to experience for yourself firsthand.

ASICS Metaride Running Shoe

Asics Metaride Running Shoe

ASICS Metaride Running Shoe

Every runner, whether you’re a jogger, age group competitor or elite runner, the goal is to always run faster and more efficient and ASICS made a strong claim about this shoe helping runners do exactly that. How? The new innovation they call Guidesole technology. The design teamed figured if they found a way to stabilize the ankle at a certain angle with the shoe’s design, it would be able to reduce energy usage and that would allow for more efficient running. The result, a shoe that has given me, and countless other runners, a completely new running experience, where it feel as if my legs are legit rolling automatically with little to no effort.

ASICS Metaride Running Shoe

How It Works

The Metaride shoe works, and works well, because it optimizes all three phases of the gait cycle when you run: footstrike, toe-off and the flight phase…this is when your foot is off the ground. Here’s the trifecta that makes this shoe so unique and a dream to run in:

  1. The improved cushioning helps to reduce muscle fatigue when the foot hits the ground.
  2. The stiff foot and unique curved sole, increases running efficiency by reducing the movement of the ankle joint because guess what? Too much ankle mobility at higher speeds actually wastes energy.
  3. The shoes center of mass is closer to the heel, making it super easy to swing the foot forward

My thoughts when I first saw the shoe wasn’t so positive. I wasn’t sure how I felt about the design and it was slightly bulky, so naturally I thought the shoe was going to be heavy. However I did like the circular upper knit of the shoe. It’s super breathable and helps the shoe fit true to size. On the downside, is the shoe’s weight. It’s heavier than what I am accustomed to wearing and comes in around 10.4oz, significantly heavier than the other two shoes I currently run in, but the additional size and weight is worth the feeling of a more efficient stride.

Photos by David Pike

The MetaRide basically forces you to land mid-foot and then has an extreme toe spring. The landing feels really springy and then launches you forward in your stride. There is a bounding sensation almost when you first put them on, but that settles down as you get into your mileage. After 5-6 km’s on my first run in them, I totally forgot about the sensation of feeling like my feet were in a rocking chair.

Is the Metaride shoe perfect? Nope…but will I continue to run in them throughout the fall/winter season? Absolutely. My only wish is that they develop a lighter version of the shoe or a racing version, as this design is made specifically to be a trainer. The Metaride is available both in store and online for $300.

The Ultimate Sweat Getaway – The Carillon Miami Wellness Resort

For the last few years my goal has been to find a warm and sunny place to seek refuge during the winter months. The ultimate wellness vacation, if you will, where workouts, spa treatments and meditation are literally the only thing on the agenda. I finally found it guys and turns out, I didn’t have to look very far. Located in the north end of Miami in the family friendly hood of Surfside, The Carillion Miami Wellness Resort is legit the perfect spot for the fitness obsessed. Not a newbie to the Miami scene, the property actually was built back in the early 1950s, but went through a major rebrand, plus an expansion. The hotel now consists of three separate towers of accommodations, a huge state-of-the-art fitness facility with featuring Technogym cardio and strength training equipment, multiple movement studios, restaurants, a juice & coffee bar and 750 feet of private beachfront.

It’s a luxury to stay in accommodations that make you feel just as comfortable as you do at home. We had one of the two bedroom suites (that range from 920-1,140 sqft) with partial beach views to call home during our stay. It had a separate living room with a pull out sofa, a fully equipped kitchen and spacious bathrooms.

SHOP MY JOE FRESH NIGHTIE (NOW 20% OFF) ON JOEFRESH.COM/CA

It’s unique; world-class wellness center is what sets this hotel apart from the rest in Miami. There are 20+ fitness classes a day for guests to choose from that caters to all fitness levels. Several digital program boards can be found throughout the property that lists the daily class schedule. Classes generally start at 7am, usually with sunrise meditation, which is absolutely beautiful when you get to see if during a class from the Ocean Studio, and end daily around dinnertime. There’s a mix of everything from yoga, cycling, boxing, kettle bell training, Pilates, strength training, Tabata, Barre, dance classes, TRX, roll & release and even treadmill running classes. Seriously, the list just goes on and on.

It was the perfect time to put some of the new Joe Fresh activewear collection to test.  I have been living religiously in their essential strappy sports bra for months, but a brand new design has been released just in time for summer. It has a deep v neckline with a cute and subtle mesh detail. The best design detail however I feel honestly lives in the back of this bra. Multi straps criss cross around the shoulder blades down to the band. Not only cute, but also functional. With my breast size cup being anywhere between a B & C cup, it actually provides me with enough support to wear across all the activities that I do. I liked pairing the light purple colour of the strappy mesh sports bra with these the new purple printed cropped leggings. If you adore this print and love activewear sets instead of separates, the strappy mesh sports bra comes in this print as well.

I wanted so badly to give you guys an inside peek at the group classes but we had to respect the privacy of the other guests and residents – yup, there are people that live at The Carillon year round and I am JEALOUS of their year round access. I did two boxing classes during my stay and it was the real deal.

Took a few boxing classes with this no nonsense coach during my stay and it was the best workout I have had in ages.

I used muscles I didn’t even think I had and could barely raise my arms for the remainder of the trip, let alone pick up Maxie. The instructor was badass and it was far from a fluffy class. We mixed up bag work and worked individually with him and the hand pads. I learned SO much about proper technique and developed a great foundation to build off of.

SHOP MY JOE FRESH STRAPPY SPORTS BRA AND HIGH WAISTED LEGGINGS ON JOEFRESH.COM/CA

Guys, these are the best fitting leggings I’ve ever worn. I’ve worn so many different style of tights over the years from different brands, but this high waisted legging with reflective feature may forever be my favourite. Ok, yes they don’t have the beautiful patterns that some of the other Joe Fresh tights have that are seasonal and this is probably done on purpose. It’s a style that carries over from season to season and is a collection staple. I first got them in green and decided before the trip that I couldn’t leave without another pair, and bought these. What makes them so great? They are the most supportive leggings without being restrictive somehow. They are a perfect length for ladies with long legs like moi and the waist band is high and actually stays put through during any and all exercises, even squats, downward dogs and lunges.

Shop my Ultra Soft Crop Leggings on JoeFresh.com/CA. Tank out soon but currently available in other colours here.

My comfort level is in strength and functional training, so I also managed to get in some solo workouts outside of the group classes, but I wanted to take the opportunity while I was there to work on my weaknesses. Yoga and meditation. Yup folks, it was time to progress a bit from the hand holding of guided meditation and headstands to being able to sit alone with my thoughts for an extended period of time and transition finally to balancing solely on my forearms. IT IS SO DAMN TOUGH. I did manage to get up after a couple of attempts and held it for what felt like forever (in real time about 20 seconds) and I was on a high for the rest of the day. Chilling in the Ocean Studio at sunrise or alone on the beach at 6am set was the perfect way to stat the day and was the perfect spot for solo meditation. Watching the sunrise in Miami is just magical. Almost as good as the sunsets.

I posted one of my solo workouts on Instagram during my time at The Carillon Miami Wellness Resort in their epic gym and I think I got just as many comments about the tights as I did about the exercises. You can view the killer upper body workout that I shared here. The peach and purple pattern on these printed crop leggings reminds me of a painting. I’ve paired them with my plum stappy sports bra, but I started my workout with the new tank top that comes in a gorge orange sherbet colour, that I knotted in the middle. The best thing about these tanks, besides being a flattering razor back and moisture wicking, is that they are only $16, or 2 for $24. I swear by them and have them in every colour they come in.

Still needs some work and foot placement is off but finally transitioning from a regular headstand to this.

Well, if the fitness facility hasn’t won you over, then I think the food and the wellness programming is going to blow your mind. Full spa amenities, obvi, with massage, face, body and Ayurvedic experiences. And hello, the property also has a thermal experience, which is the heart of their spa offering.

It’s actually one of the country’s most expansive hydrotherapy circuits. Similar to Body Blitz here in Toronto, the thermal spa has a series of hot and cold areas to help warm, cleanse and relax guests prior to treatments or after workouts. I am not kidding you, it’s open all day…closes as late as 8pm and it’s complimentary for guests of the hotel. I had to ask a few times just to make sure I was hearing correctly.

The Carillon Miami Wellness Resort also has a nutritionist on staff that you can speak to during your stay with to help design a tailor meal plan just for you or a 28-day kick start weight loss program. They even have a Grocery Guru program where you can get educated on how to grocery shop intelligently and even medical nutrition therapy is offered. If you’re all sorted on the nutrition front, you will be happy to know that the property has so many healthy food options on it’s in-suite dining menu and lobby resto, The Strand Bar & Grill. The seasonal and ingredient driven menu highlight’s southern Florida’s organic community and has tons of options for guests who are calorie conscious. We loved the breakfast so much there. Our favourite thing on the menu post workout in the morning was the insane, mile high Avocado toast.

Most impressive – the wellness lectures that are also made available to guests free of charge. They occur almost every single day and are held midday in the hotel’s wine lounge. For guests who are anti-aging obsessed, there several therapies such as; Cryotherapy, Salt Float Zero Gravity Therapy, Infrared Sauna and other methods to reverse the aging process. These non-traditional spa services each can provide pain relief, detoxification, relaxation, anti-aging results and promotes healing. These non-traditional service offerings can be a la carte or can be paired with additional spa services to enhance results.

Scoop Maxie’s pink polka dotted swimsuit for only $14 here

Now the million dollar question that I know some of you fit mamas are wondering, “Is the resort family friendly?” – it 100% is. There were definitely families around and it was still surprisingly, very quiet. The property is quite spread out, so even though they were at capacity during our visit, you would have never known. There were tons of beach chairs available every single day (no additional surcharge to lounge under a shaded chair between workouts) and always room poolside to chill and eat lunch between taking dips.

Our suite had a huge bathtub. It was amazing to soak in at night after the workouts and it made it easy to give Maxie her baths. The food options for kiddies were beyond delicious. Adults traveling without a family could enjoy their stay without babies and kids milling about, as there are sections of the resort and pools that are adults only. For families with older children, the hotel has options for kids to join in on the fitness fun. I saw a little girl around the age of 5 taking daily private ballet classes. I mean, how luxury is that?! There are also group family fitness classes on the north tower lawn a couple days a week where everyone in the family can get in a sweat together. Maxie is still a bit too young for that, so my mom and I made her feel included and created our own mini workouts with her. I almost cannot handle how cute these matching outfits are. Maxie’s bodysuit is from the Joe Fresh toddler activewear collection.

The bond between my mother and child is just incredible. Also, love how my mother has embraced knotted her tanks. SHOP OUR LOOKS: Printed Active Legging // Toddler Active Bodysuit // Mesh Back Tank

I think one of the best things about Miami is that the gastro scene is on point and there are delicious and healthy food options just about anywhere you go. We rented an SUV while we were there and returning back to Sacred Space Miami to eat at Plant Miami was a non-negotiable. If you’re planning an upcoming visit to Miami, pay a visit to this lifestyle complex that houses a gallery, plant-based restaurant, a curated wellness and lifestyle store, workshops, and Flow yoga and meditation studio.

The Sacred Space Miami

The Sacred Space Miami

The Sacred Space Miami

The Sacred Space Miami

The Sacred Space Miami

SHOP MY LOOK: STRIPED BIKINI BRA // OVERLAP BEACH SHORT, STRAW PANAMA HAT

Have you ever com to the end of a trip looking forward to going home and getting back to your routine? That’s usually me, except this time, this experience was such a vibe, I could have easily stayed a full week. Maybe even a month LOL. With Miami being only a stone’s throw away, I doubt this will be my last visit to The Carillon Miami Wellness Resort. Having experienced it for a few days, I could create an elevated experience to fully optimize the program and amenities.

You can shop my favourite active pieces right now from my very own “Make Moves with Sasha Exeter” product page and find the rest of our looks online by heading to JoeFresh.com/ca and from now until December 31st, 2019, you can enjoy 25% off regular priced items when you use my promo code “Sasha25”. Click here for full promo details.

This post is sponsored by Joe Fresh and The Carillon Miami Wellness Resort, however all views and opinions are my own and not of the brands I have collaborated with.

Receive 25% off All Joe Fresh Activewear and More This Year

Y’all asked. We’ve answered!

Seriously, you guys rock. There has been such an overwhelming response to my activewear campaign with Joe Fresh and the pieces itself, I am blown away. The support you all have given me and the brand has been next level and trust me when I saw it has not gone unnoticed. So to thank you, we’re giving you 25% off your online purchases when you use the code “Sasha25“.

This ain’t no one time offer either. This is good for the rest of 2019 and that is actually the best news because the rest of the collections dropping this year just get better and better. Here’s a look at some of my favourite looks from the first summer collection…part two will hit stores and online in June.

Ohhhhh and guess what, I have my own little section on www.joefresh.com/ca that houses all my favourite pieces from the active collection each season. So much easier to quickly find the pieces you see me wearing in the gym.

  • From the homepage, hover over the “Active” tab
  • Select “Sasha Exeter”
  • Click on the “Shop Now” tab

Photography by Bettina Bogar for JoeFresh.com

Here are the terms to the promo you need to be aware of. The “Sasha25” promo code is valid online only  at www.joefresh.com/ca. Save 25% off regular priced items only. It is only available to Canadian residents only at this time….but hoping that may change in the future. To redeem online, enter the promotional code in your shopping bag. The offer excludes Baby Gift Boxes and clearance items. Cannot be combined with any other coupons or promotional offers, is not redeemable for cash and cannot be applied to previous purchases. Offer valid from May 6, 2019 at 12:01AM EST to December 31, 2019 at 4AM EST.  Joe Fresh reserves the right to cancel any order due to unauthorized, altered, or ineligible use of discount and to modify or cancel these promotions.

This post is sponsored by Joe Fresh, however all views and opinions are my own and not of the brands I have collaborated with.

My Active 48 Hour Getaway in Whistler, B.C.

Traveling almost five hours by plane and two hours by car for only two short days, not to mention the jet lag, sounds a bit crazy but a destination as dope as Whistler can definitely make you do some out of the ordinary things. I took off with a bunch of friends a couple of weeks ago for a quick getaway to kind of go off the grid and do all of the outdoorsy things. Honestly, I hadn’t had that much fun in a long ass time.

We stayed at the Four Seasons Resort Whistler, which as you can imagine was a treat in itself, and fully took advantage of literally every activity offered on-site. The amazing thing about traveling with like-minded friends is everyone in the group was down to take advantage of the short time we had there, so we did all of the things imaginable during this time of the year – ski, snowboarded, hiked, worked out, and even ran some trails.

The only way to beat the jet lag – 6am gym workouts with my girls @BlueBirdKisses and @Melsays

But here’s the fun part. Everyone on the trip are all Apple Watch users. Some new and most like me, have had the various versions since the first generation watch debuted. So, as you can imagine, the weekend turned pretty competitive with everyone clamouring to close their activity rings first. Apple Watch has come a long way over the past few years with several updates to both the hardware and software. The one thing I really love about the Series 4 is that no matter what workout or activity I do, the native workout app that is built into the watch can accurately track it thanks to the insane amount of workout options that are now readily available. From badminton, volleyball, functional training to even mind and body movement, the watch captures any and everything. For those two days, we were basically hitting our goals half way into the day.

I’ve used my watch pretty much every day since getting my very first one over 3 years ago and you know what, I’m still discovering features that can enhance how I use it in my daily life and for training. I picked up a few new things during these few days, but I think that was destined to happen when your amongst a group of people that also rely on their watch day to day. The biggest thing for me was how to properly categorize all the different types of movement I do within one session at the gym. My workouts are always start with some cardio (Peloton ride) or dynamic warm-up, HIIT or strength training and usually conclude with stretching or intervals on the assault bike. Instead of choosing only one option on the Activity App when I start my workout, I can actually now account for each individually by swiping right on my watch face while the workout is in progress and selecting the new (or + button) to begin a new workout, so I am getting credit accurately for each style of movement. I will have to take you guys through it live in action on my IG stories one of these days.

We were extremely lucky to be able to ski and snowboard on the best slopes in the country during this time of the year. It was low season so no lines at the chair lifts and not much action on the mountain. I actually don’t ski or snowboard, but promised myself that this year I would do more things that challenge and scare me. So, I was suited and booted in rental gear (I now deeply regret not purchasing a sick outfit of my own before we left Toronto)  and did a couple hours of lessons from two insanely amazing instructors. Far from an expert and left learning how to ride both the heel and toe side…the foundation of snowboarding and enough to get me pumped to pick it up again next winter.

I would have never imagined how much of a workout an hour of beginner snowboarding would be, but thanks to this dope third party app we all used called Snoww, think Strava for skiers and snowboarders where you can follow friends and compare/track your stats, I was able to track everything from the amount of time I spent on the hills, distance, max speed, vertical and the number of runs completed. Let me be clear though, my vertical, distance and max speeds were a joke and not worth mentioning but it was still really cool to be able to have all that data and have the met. I am just happy I was able to stay on my feet and survived without broken bones. What was really cool about the app, was that I was able to track my friends in real time to see where they were at. With everyone being at various levels, we were split up into different groups and I could see exactly where the girls in my crew were at any given time.  I was able to iMessage them to meet up without even having to take my phone out of my pocket. Brilliant, because my worst nightmare is dropping my phone on a chair lift. The watch’s communication capabilities with messaging, calling and notifications, legit makes it the perfect device for hitting the slopes hands-free.

There was no better way to decompress after our time on the slopes than with a calming yoga flow inside of Audain Art Museum. I am sure you remember seeing it on my IG stories. It was stunning space that was sun drenched thanks to the huge windows and had beautiful lines that left you no choice but to admire every square inch of the place. Yoga was one of the new workouts that has recently been added into the Workout App with Watch OS 5. Looking back at my metrics, I burned less than I would normally during a yoga class but this flow was restorative in nature and exactly what we needed after all the travel and hill time. At the end of our session, we did some guided meditation and used the Breathe App to help with breathing. I love this app so much that I have it as a complication on my watch face. I use it several times a day. With reminders pushed to my watch throughout the day, I end up taking a few moments to do some deep breathing and it significantly lowers my stress level. Below you can take a look at my metrics from that day. You’ll see that I more than doubled my move goal, exercised for 258 minutes, which I am pretty sure that’s the most I’ve ever done in one day and crushed my stand goal:

My favourite part of our Whistler adventure was the trail run on the last day. It’s so much different than road running and my god there is no better place to do it. It’s known for some of the best single track trails for mountain biking and we ended up on one of them halfway through our route. It makes me want to move back out west to consider this my backyard. We had Ray Zahab, ultra distance runner, Canadian adventurer, and Explorer in Residence of the Royal Canadian Geographic Society lead our trail run. But before heading out that morning, we spent an hour or so hearing tales of his unsupported expeditions to some of the planets hottest and coldest places plus his experience running 14,000+ km across the world’s deserts. Ray is also an obsessed Apple Watch user and uses it for his training, fitness tracking and even navigation on his expeditions which has allowed him to speak at numerous Apple Distinguished Educator events internationally.

Photos shot by Mirae Campbell and on my iPhone XS

We learned some tips on how to run optimally to avoid impact and injury on the trails and to focus our gaze a foot in front of us while running instead of directly down at our feet, which I assume most would to in fear of tripping or falling. I’ve just looked back at the metrics that was collected in the Activity App on my phone from my watch and my pace was so much slower than what it normally is but the elevation gain was about 133m and going uphill and downhill in dirt, snow, and ice is bound to slow you down. The air was so fresh and the surroundings was so lush, it was really a beautiful experience and makes me want to seek out trails to run outside the city at home. It really was the perfect way to end this trip.

I could actually go on forever about this watch and the funny thing is, even though I’ve gone through every watch series from one to four, I am still learning new things about it that help make my life and training better. I get messages from so many of you saying you’re on the fence about getting an Apple Watch and I think once you truly understand the depth the device has, it’s really a no brainer. I’ll be sharing some of the new tips and tricks I’ve discovered on my IG soon that have been game changers for me and useful in my day-to-day life and with training.

10 Ways To A Healthier You in 2019

February is a tough month. For one, it’s freezing cold, unless you live on the west coast. It also seems to be the month that people start to find it hard to keep up with their new year’s resolutions, especially when it comes to health and wellness. Why? Well, most make the mistake of setting one huge goal that is difficult to attain, instead of one more smaller goals that when achieved, can give them the confidence to set more larger goals. However, when someone falls off track towards this one big goal, it becomes harder to stay motivated to stay the course.

Full transparency here, I’m not into New Year wellness resolutions. Come to think about, I am not into resolutions at all. I do however love to find ways to incorporate more healthy habits into my daily routine that help keep me happy, healthy, focused and closer to my goals. Luckily for you, I’ve collaborated with long time partner, Joe Fresh, to dish on some of these things that you can start integrating into your life right away. I’ve linked some of my favourite pieces from the current collection as well and stay tuned for next week but there will be a giveaway announcement here and you won’t want to miss it!

TREAT YOUR WORKOUTS LIKE AN APPOINTMENT IN YOUR CALENDAR

I know, sounds a bit dramatic, but implementing this has significantly changed my life once I started working out again post baby. Blocking time out in your calendar pretty much ensures that you’re not going to miss that workout, run or class, even if you’re schedule get super hectic because guess what? – You’ve already accounted for that time off work or mom duties.

IMPLEMENT ACTIVE RECOVERY

Our bodies are designed to move every day and suffer when we don’t. Some form of activity, even if it’s not intense, is beneficial. It also keeps the momentum going. Have you ever had a lazy weekend or came back from the holiday break and struggled to get back into your workout routine? One missed workout can easily turn into two and from there; it can be a slippery slope. Momentum actually works both ways, so keeping up a habit of doing some sort of movement even on off days from workouts, means you’re more likely to stick to it. Plus guys, it’s important to mix things up, it can’t be hardcore workouts all the time. An active recovery session like Yoga can reduce soreness and speed up the muscle building process.

Knotted Front Tank – coming soon // High Waisted Legging $16

DRINK LEMON WATER (THE RIGHT WAY) TO IMPROVE DIGESTION

Indigestion issues are so common today. The foods we eat are usually the main cause but there are a few simple things that can make a world of a difference like; not having your morning coffee on an empty stomach, taking a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and starting the day with lemon water before you do anything.

Printed Leggings $29 // Moisture Wicking Tank Top $16

I do ALL of these things before my morning workout and noticed BIG changes. Everyone at some point has done this little trick, but did you know lemon water is most effective when it’s warm and not cold or hot? It’s important that warm water is used because the temperature is what extracts the Vitamin C from both the lemon and it’s peel. Besides aiding in digestion, it helps to balance pH levels, hydrates your lymph system and promotes healing in your connective tissues and cartilage.

GET AN ACCOUNTABILITY PARTNER

Not new news by any means, but it’s one of the best ways to keep you on track and motivated. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to do all your workouts with your accountability buddy, but at least having someone to check in with or to push you even via a text when you feel the least bit motivated helps. I have a few accountability partners. Réjean, a small group of equally obsessed fitness fanatics who I share Apple Watch metrics with and of course Maxie because she watches my every move and is my biggest cheerleader.

Strappy Sports Bra $19 // Active Knee Length Short $24

THINK OUTSIDE THE (WORKOUT) BOX

Not every single workout needs to be intense and sometimes I find choosing to walk instead of driving, taking the stairs over escalators and running after my kid all day can yield more steps and calories burned than some low impact workouts. Now that Max isn’t always in her stroller, I take full advantage when we don’t have the stroller with us during outings and we take the stairs.

On Me: Sherpa Sweater $29 // On Maxie: Long Sleeve Graphic Tee $8 // Essential Leggings $8

Strappy Sports Bra $19 // Active Short $19

With her in my arms, it’s an unbelievable workout. Some days, I even bypass the elevator and climb or go down 12 flights of stairs in our condo building. Moms don’t be afraid to incorporate your kiddo into your workouts either. Babies are the perfect size to add weight to lunge, squat overhead movements, and you know what…? It’s so much fun and a great way to bond with your baby.

PRACTICE MINDFULNESS OR MEDITATION

We live in a busy world and if you’re not multitasking and doing four things at once, society views that as being lazy. We do the laundry, cook dinner and keep one eye on our kid. We plough through our food during meals and even spend what should be restful time like getting a manicure or massage, brainstorming for meetings, creating to-do lists and responding to emails. We all need to slow down, just a little bit anyway.

Racerback Sports Bra $16 // High Waist Legging $16

Introduce mindfulness into your daily routine. Mindfulness is the practice of purposely focusing your attention on the present moment and accepting what comes your way. Introducing mindfulness techniques or meditation can help relieve stress, reduce chronic pain and play an important role in the treatment of anxiety and depression. There is more than one way to practice.

Strappy Sports Bra $16 // High Waisted Elastic Waist Leggings $29

I started by just sitting quietly for 10-20 minutes focusing solely on my breathing or on a mantra that I would repeat silently. Then worked my way up to doing this for longer periods of time, practicing mindfulness during other times in the day; while I was eating, while out on a walk, even while I was in labour. This practice will allow your mind to focus more on the present moment in times during the day when you need it the most.

KEEP A JOURNAL

This is a new-ish habit I’ve introduced into my own life and now that I am doing it, I could go on and on about the benefits of writing in a journal.

Medium Wash High Waisted Jean $39 // Long Sleeve Bodysuit $24

It’s effective for many different reasons and can help you reach your goals sooner. My old coach used to say that the goals you have for yourself are not real until they are written down. Writing things down somehow just makes you more accountable. are only real until they are written down. The process of writing can also help you clear your head, make an important connection between thoughts, feelings and even reduce the effects of mental illness.

INCREASE YOUR FRUIT & VEGGIE INTAKE BY JUICING

More and more folks are juicing these days after either discovering or re-discovering the New York Times Best Selling book, The Medical Medium. This is great, however people seem to be hung up on this celery juice fad that the author pushes in his book.

While it definitely has some benefits, you can get way more out of juicing than sticking to just celery juice. Our consumption of fruits and veggies is far below the suggestion consumption, so juicing is a great way to consume not only a large number of them but also a variety. I’ve done it for years and have found that consuming fresh juice super charges the body with phytonutrients, which has helped me with my illnesses and with liver detoxification. The time spent in the kitchen also allows me to introduce these veggies and fruits to Maxie in a fun way. It’s never too early to start introducing healthy eating habits and she gets to discover all the different textures, colours and sometimes tastes while I press the juice.

On Me: Soft Knit Knot Tank $19 // Essential High Waisted Legging $16 On Maxie: Long Sleeve Graphic Tee $8 // Essential Legging $7 // Leather Footlet $16 – similar here

How Can Maximize the Benefits of Juicing

  1. Buy only organic fruits and vegetables, this should be a no brainer, and buy in small amounts. The best juice is made from fresh produce so buy only what you need and use within a week.
  2. Wash your veggies thoroughly and with citrus fruits, you may want to remove the peel because they can leave a bitter taste in the juice. However, make sure to keep the white portion of the rind because it’s super high in antioxidants.
  3. Make sure not to load your juice with fruits and veggies that are high in natural sugars like carrots, apples and oranges. It will make it your juice taste great no doubt but just winds up being counter productive.
  4. Chew your juice. Sounds odd but this is one of the first things I learned when I started. Our mouths produce an enzyme when you chew that is necessary to initiate the digestion of carbs and makes them readily available for energy. Chewing while you’re drinking your juice also matches the temperature of what you’re consuming to the temperature inside your body so the nutrients are best assimilated and bioavailable.

GET THE BEST SLEEP OF YOUR LIFE

Yes, keeping your bedroom dark, cool and quiet are obvious ways to help induce sleep, but there are some other tips that I’ve found helpful over the last couple years that have dramatically made a difference in my quality sleep. To be honest, quality sleep is often compromised with a baby in the house, which is to be expected, but for the most part, I have developed some really good habits in the bedroom that set me up for sound sleep and here’s some of them:

Bralet $14 // Crossover Faux Fur Slippers in Black $14

Set a schedule and stick to it. Go to sleep and wake up at the same time every single day, even on weekends. If you have a baby this can a bit difficult unless he or she is sleep trained. But here’s the deal with consistency, your body cannot establish a normal rhythm, if you don’t allow it to get into a pattern. If you stay up late, don’t sleep in.

Establishing a sleep ritual that you start an hour before bed works wonders. Mine now includes 15 minutes of reading or writing in my journal. NO SCREEN TIME.

Ditch Your Cell Phone. Did you know radiation emitted from your cell or iPad can increase the amount of time your body requires to reach deep sleep cycles and also decreases the time in those cycles?

Improve The Cortisol Awakening Response (CAR) The more awake you feel in the morning, the more tired you will feel in the evening. The best way to do this is to expose your body to natural sunlight shortly after waking up so draw those blinds open as soon as your alarm goes off.

SWEAT IT OUT

Never underestimate the powers of sweat therapy. For me, infrared saunas are like a cure all for everything. It aids in detoxification, relaxation, provides relief from sore muscles and joints, clears skin, improves circulation and more.

Photography by Bettina Bogar and David Pike for Joe Fresh

I swear by it and lucky enough to have a sauna at home but for those who don’t, using one at your gym or hitting up spots like Dew Sweat House for a 55-minute session works wonders. I just had my first Dew experience and can’t wait to tell you all about it.

Now I want to hear from YOU so let’s make this a giveaway. What are the healthy habits you incorporate into your daily routine? Mainly because I am always looking for ways to improve my health and life and I think others would benefit from learning new things too. Post your favourite healthy habit on this IG post for a chance to win a Joe Fresh gift card valued at $250. To be eligible you must 1) Like the photo, 2) follow me and @Joe Fresh and 3) comment with your healthy habit. For bonus entries you can leave more than one habit or tag friends, but sure be sure you tag each one in a separate comment. Contest is open to Canadian residents only and closes on Friday morning at 10am. You can enter as many times as you want until then. The winner will be DM’d directly on Saturday March 2nd.

This post is in partnership with Joe Fresh however all views and opinions are my own

Peloton: The Most High Performance Workout Designed For The Home

This post has been a long time coming. I wanted to answer all your questions about Peloton when I got back from Miami, but then I was asked to speak to my experience as a user with CBC News and thought maybe best to wait for the segment to air and the article to come out, which you can read here.

 

Before I dive into it, I feel compelled to let you know that this post is NOT in any way a sponsored post. I am not being compensated by Peloton to share, which I know may be a shock for some of you. I, like many other Canadians, have waited patiently for the brand’s arrival this side of the border after having gotten a taste of a couple classes while visiting NYC. Leading to a full on obsession with the workout. It’s been a competition of sorts amongst some of my friends…who was going to get one first. Two were actually savvy enough to smuggle their bike in long before the release here almost a year ago,

Lots of questions have come through my DM’s on Instagram, so I am going to answer the most popular ones below. But I want to start by saying this…most workouts get skipped because of lack of time, lack of energy, and most importantly lack of motivation. Running, cross training and lifting are all apart of my weekly routine and before having Maxwell, I never had an issue getting my workouts done. But things have changed considerably since having her though. Fatigue, the unpredictability of the baby’s sleep schedule or her getting sick, and trying to balance a lot more on my plate, made skipping a workout here and there more likely. Not great for a new mom who needed the endorphin high and movement to keep her chronic pain illness in check. My Peloton makes getting in that workout SO much easier. Could you imagine, getting in the best cycling workout right in the comfort of your home? Without having to drive or Uber anywhere. At any time of the day, even while your baby naps. It’s like having a private cycling studio in your house and it’s actually pretty damn amazing.

How It Works

Welcome the world’s largest cycling class! Peloton, originally solely an indoor cycling studio in NYC, is now a high performance workout you can do at home. You can jump in the saddle and do one of the 14 live studio classes a day and feel like you’re right there with the NYC class riders or select one of the 11,000+ on-demand workouts to do when your schedule allows. You get guidance and motivation from some of the world’s best instructors to help you reach your potential with real-time metrics visible on your screen throughout your workout to keep you on track like; cadence, resistance, output, and heart rate. There is no guessing game when it comes to your progress either. The bike keeps a very detailed record so you can track it over time.

You can follow other riders around the world, give them high fives during class and also challenge other riders. I’m super competitive so this sometimes gets really out of hand. On the right hand of screen is where you’ll find the leaderboard. You can see every single rider that has taken the class or ridden the course plus you can also query to see which riders are currently cycling at the exact same time you are, to see how you rank against them. It’s crazy motivating and usually it’s just the thing I need to push myself that extra bit when I think my tank is on empty. And if you’re motivated by Apple Watch badges, you’re going to looooooove the achievement badges you get to celebrate your milestones. It’s pretty dope to hear the instructors announcing some riders achievements. during a class. To think that so many people have received the Millennium Club (1000K rides) or more, gets me on that bike at least 1-2 times a week, unless I’m traveling.

Classes and Programming

The best part, YOU get to create the workout that YOU have time for that day based on your personal fitness level, preference for upper body weights or without, music genre and instructor. There’s 90, 60, 45, 30, 20 minute classes and even 10 minute classes that actually work well as a warm-up or cool-down alongside another workout. Is the Peloton only for experienced riders? One of question I am asked repeatedly and the answer is absolutely not. There are classes and even multi-week course (think, cycling for beginners) where you can build and improve with a program designed for first timers.

Music is the one thing that can get me through a workout I am not really trying to do or when my energy is low. The playlists some of these instructors come up with are craaaaaaaazy good. I usually query the music genre and instructor before every ride to make sure I have the right vibe for my workout. Friday nights are kinda lit…and I get it poppin’ with Robyn Arzon’s Live DJ Ride. For 45 whole minutes I get to do a HIIT or Tabata ride to a live DJ mix right there in the studio. Anyone who has a Peloton will say it’s one of their favourite parts of the class programming.

The smartest thing Peloton has done for consumers, is not make it only about workouts on the bike. Yup, you are not confined to just riding folks. Valuable information for those of you who travel a ton. The Peloton app, compatible for both smartphones and iPad, also has workouts off the bike like pre-run warm ups, guided runs, bootcamps, strength, stretching, cardio, walking and now Yoga, which was just launched last week. So now, you can take your workouts on the go.

Bike Specs

Open concept living spaces, home gyms or even small condos, the bike just works anywhere you put it because of it’s design and small footprint. I live in a 1150 sqft condo and we never thought having cardio equipment in here would be possible. Mine lives in my home office and the  4 x 2″ footprint means all my office furniture and decor got to stay put, yay!

My plan when I got the bike was to ride while Maxie was asleep or during her nap time so the quietness of the belt drive was a huge plus. It’s almost silent and as long as my office door is closed and my headphones are in – I can ride without disturbing anyone else in the house. I prefer my cycling workouts to mimic outdoor rides so I’m not really into using the weights but if you who love spin classes that incorporate upper body weights, you’re going to love the classes that use weights which can be conveniently stored within reach in the weight holders.

But the most impressive is the screen guys. I swear, it’s like being behind the wheel of a Tesla. The 22″ HD touchscreen is completely sweat proof and so large it makes any rider feel like they are front row and center in every class.

Pricing

Ahhh, alas the part you’ve probably been waiting for. You may actually be pleasantly surprised at the pricing. You can take a look at the full pricing online but the Basics Package (meaning bike only) will run you $2,095 CDN that also includes a 1 year warranty. There are three other packages, including a family package perfect for couples who are both looking to ride. I actually have the Essentials package that comes with clip shoes, headphones, and weights. The package is on sale now for $3,034. Oh and I also got the bike mat as well. Turns out, the mat was necessary because the amount of sweat that drips onto the floor during my workouts is insane. It can double as a yoga mat or use it for floor workouts so that’s a bonus. It doesn’t matter which package you choose, or if you get the bike only, your purchase comes with a white glove delivery service and set up so you don’t have to lift a finger or waste time with the assembly.

So should you get the bike? Well, I can’t tell you, or anyone else, what to do, but what I can say is this…the Peloton bike is going to be best money you’ve ever spent on your health. Monthly subscription fees for bike owners is $49 but you can purchase a digital subscription if you don’t have the bike and have access to all the classes via the app for only $19/mth. If you’re love spinning or cycling and find yourself weekly at Soul Cycle or one of the other boutique ride spaces, then Peloton is really a no brainer.

Not yet convinced…? Check out a Peloton bike live in a studio nearest to you and sign up for a free ride. Test the bike out as much as you want before purchasing. They say consumers touch (ride) the bike 7 times before making a purchase, but I am certain you won’t need that many trial rides to know this investment is worth every single dollar. There are currently 5 studios in Canada – 3 in the GTA area. For more on Peloton and to find a studio near you check out OnePeloton.ca.

My Go-To Cold Weather Running Gear

Well winter has arrived, which means we can pretty much expect single digit temperatures for the next several months. If you’re anything like me, your runs and workouts don’t stop because of a little snow or cold weather, so the only way to feel comfortable and avoid skipping them is to have the right winter gear that can handle the elements. I have certainly worn my fair share of technical winter running clothes over the years in the worst elements imaginable  – rain, hail, sleet and tons of snow so I am pretty particular with the pieces that I wear. They must have breathable fabrics, allow me to move freely, keep me warm of course, plus also be wind and waterproof. That is pretty much a non-negotiable. A combination many brands can’t seem to execute successfully across the board.

Asics Canada + Sasha Exeter

Asics Canada + So Sasha

The  ASICS Lite-Show collection and you can find pieces from it on their website under “Cold Weather Running“. It’s all I’ve been running in over the last two months and so far…so freaking good. I’ve actually found myself wearing less layers than I usually do for this time of the year and have persuaded so many of my my friends to grab pieces from the collection too. I know so many of you also follow my homegirl Ana of BlueBirdKisses.com and she’s been raving about her pieces on her IG stories lately.

Asics Canada + Sasha Exeter

ASICS Canada + Sasha Exeter

ASICS Canada + Sasha Exeter

ASICS Canada + Sasha Exeter

ASICS Canada + Sasha Exeter

So yay, no more double layers of tights and four layers up top that used to make me feel like the abominable snowman moving as slow as a tortoise. Now on the bottom, it’s just the one pair of the Lite-Show winter tights.  They are extremely thick with an ultra warm lining that make them a little more stiff than regular running tights. Right now, I have three in rotation; two pairs of black (one 7/8 length and one full) and the deep blue. All black is usually my favourite for running and workouts, but for some reason I’m really into the blue. For my easy runs, I’ve only needed to wear one of my Thermopolis Plus LS long sleeves and my jacket but for faster runs or doing hills, where the jacket is just simply too warm for right now, I opt for all season long sleeve as a base layer with the Lite-Show Winter 1/2 Zip over top (also comes in Performance Black and Red Alerte in case you’re not into the Mid Grey/Ironclad colourway I’m wearing above). On the days that it’s colder, I sometimes wear the jacket until I’ve done a 2k warmup and then drop it back off at my concierge before back outside. 

ASICS Canada + So Sasha

ASICS Canada + Sasha Exeter
I am literally obsessed with these Dynaflyte 3 running shoes from the Lite-Show collection

But guys, it’s the Lite-Show jacket that’s really going to be the hero of the collection once the deep chill arrives. I literally have no idea how it’s only priced at $100 CDN. I swear, if it was a product from a competitor, you would 100% be sold in stores and online for over $350. And please don’t let the affordable price point fool you. It’s still one of the best winter outerwear pieces I’ve ever worn. It comes in black and the colour I’m wearing here is called Cordvan. It’s lightweight but still SO thermal and moisture wicking – the number one combination you need to be looking for when it comes to winter running gear! If you’re new to running in the cold, then my suggestion is to invest in the jacket, a thermal plus a regular long sleeve for layering. Those should be top priority but if you can, go the extra mile (no pun intended), and grab a pair of the Lite-Show tights too.

Accessories. Can’t forget those because they are obviously super important this time of year. I know a lot of you had questions about the gloves, ear warmers, hats I wear. You can find all the winter appropriate accessories you’ll need this season at the Toronto flagship location at 364 Queen St West but my Lite-Show headband and beanie you can find right now online. For my American friends though, you can shop all the winter accessories online on the US site. My Lite-Show gloves were great for the fall but as the temperature drops I have had to layer an extra pair overtop so I will probably be upgrading to a new thermal pair shortly to make sure my little fingies are warm during rain and wet snow. The socks will also get an upgrade too. I love the look of no-show socks but once December rolls around they won’t be very practical. I usually switch up to a single tab or quarter sock to protect the ankles more.

Y’all seem to love all the new training and running gear you’ve been seeing on IG and my stories so I will be sure to post and link the items here too as new collections drop.

SHOP ALL MY COLD WEATHER RUNNING PIECES

Tech Talk: Everything You Need To Know About Apple GymKit

If you own an Apple watch and cardio is a big part of your gym workouts, sit down and get ready to have your mind blown.  And if you’re not already an Apple Watcher user, chances are you will be after you’re finished reading this. Along with the Watch0S 4 updates recently, whether you are set up with the most up-to-date watch or still rocking the Series2, you can now make it work directly with your favourite gym cardio equipment.

Thanks to a new fitness-focused feature and NFC (the technology used for tap payments like ApplePay), you can now share tons of information between your watch and compatible gym equipment that’s actually accurate. So, no more frustration when you’re finished your workout with the discrepancy over mileage or calories burned or freaking out half way through a treadmill run when you discover you forgot to start the activity app on your watch – HELLO, ME ALL THE TIME! Now, every single intricate detail to your workout will be synced with your your watch and because it already has all of your basic info such as height, weight, sex, etc – it can give you a more accurate read of what you did during your workout. This info is then stored on your watch and goes towards your activity rings. Forgetting to start your watch at the beginning of a workout will never be an issue again. You can just tap the watch at any point mid or post workout and the data will sync up. So if you’re competitive about closing your rings everyday this is the best thing ever because you will still get full credit for your sweat sesh in the workout app.

So Sasha - Apple GymKit

If you’re not sold yet here’s why Gym Kit is so damn brilliant. Using the Apple Watch independently of your cardio equipment of choice, you’re pretty much only going to get one accurate reading and that’s for heart rate. It’s virtually impossible to accurately track distance and elevation and like, who properly calibrates the equipment before they start a workout anyways? Nobody.

I got invited to Equinox Yorkville a few weeks ago to test out my Apple Watch Series 3 with their new Life Fitness equipment they just recently upgraded to so they could facilitate GymKit and guys, it is a definite game changer. Also, super bummed because for years I was a member at the brand’s two Toronto locations and the minute I gave it up, they bring in this state of the art equipment *cue the tears*. After stepping on the equipment, I tapped my watch and started the workout from the treadmill auxiliary panel. This automatically activated the workout app and away I went running through a simulated trail route I had picked somewhere in Ireland. The data between the two devices were completely identical and even if I stopped to take a break just to see what would happen, the workout immediately paused on my watch too.

So Sasha - Apple GymKit

The data I was able to collect from my treadmill working was actually shocking to say the least. I was able to see distance, time, accurate calories, average pace, elevation gain, in addition to both average and recovery heart rate. It is pretty much impossible to obtain that much data from any other indoor workout.

Ok, so I understand you may not all be runners and some of you would rather walk off the side of the cliff than do a treadmill workout but the Apple Watch also works brilliantly with the stairclimber and indoor bike. You will have the ability to accurately capture the number of stairs climbed, which was not possible before with the watch and if you’re a cycling enthusiast, then you will be happy to know that it will retrieve the same data as a treadmill workout with the watch but it will also capture RPM and power wattage from the bike. If you’re an avid rider you know those are difficult for even outdoor cyclists to capture.

GymKit Compatible Equipment

This was everyone’s number one question to the Apple Canada team during our briefing session. What brands are going to be compatible with GymKit technology? The top three industry players are obviously on board; Life Fitness, Matrix Fitness, and of course TechnoGym. But there’s also Schwinn, Stair Master, Star Trac, Cybex, SCIFIT, and Nautilus with skin in the game too. Even though all the major players are on board, it doesn’t necessarily mean that your watch is going to connect at every piece of cardio equipment at the gym. Well, not yet anyway! It’s currently limited to treadmills, bikes (minus spinning bikes), ellipticals, and stair masters.

Photos by George Pimental and Nathalia Allen

Where Can You Find GymKit Equipment in Toronto?

Equinox Yorkville is the first club in Canada to support the newly launched technology with Life Fitness equipment, but a roll-out to other clubs is planned for the near future says Apple Canada. GymKit has already been introduced into fitness clubs in the United States, London, Japan and Hong Kong.

How I’ve Overcome Obstacles To Forge My Own Path

How do you do it?” – a question that seems to find it’s way into my email inbox and DM’s every single day. There has been so much interest lately around how I balance work with life as a new mum and how I continue to battle two chronic illnesses. But what majority of you seems to be most interested in, is how I’ve managed to create a personal brand, monetize it and strategically secure long-term partnerships with top tier brands; without having 100,000+ followers. If you’ve been following me for a while, you probably already know the answers to these questions, but I know over the last year throughout my pregnancy and sharing my motherhood journey, I’ve gained a new audience that are not familiar with my backstory.

 

The inspiration for this post came a few weeks ago after getting a sneak peek of upcoming Tomb Raider movie. Yes people, Lara Croft is back and the film is out in theatres tomorrow! You’re not going to get any major spoiler alerts from me – SORRY, but what I will say is this; she is one badass woman who has the confidence to forge her own path and the storyline is inspiring AF.

I like to believe that where I am today is because I’ve done the same. Not allowing adversity in get in the way of what I want. I have overcome two chronic illnesses. A rare genetic kidney disease and fibromyalgia – a chronic pain related disorder. Even after doctor’s said at the age of 28, I would never have the quality of life I once had. I was identified as someone destined to move ahead quickly within my company by the leadership team and had much success as a Trade Marketing Manager, but was forced to put my full time career on hold in order to get better. Actually, in order to save my life.  I had hit rock bottom but I wasn’t ready to quit. Did not want to throw in the towel and spend the rest of my life on meds lying around like a vegetable. I wasn’t even 30 yet. I believed I still had time to turn my life around. What did that look like? Two years of working my butt off with a team of pain specialists, the best kidney doctor in the country, a naturopath, nutritionist, chiropractor, acupuncturist, a team of pain specialists, cognitive behavioral therapy to help me mentally deal with all the physical trauma, an insane diet change, medicinal marijuana and a progressive exercise program I created for myself that got me back to being a functional human after being on bed rest for the better part of a year.

Photography by Jess Baumung & Video by Shawn Pinnock

Being able to beat all odds and fight my way back to health gave me the confidence to forge my own path in other areas of my life too. I left a toxic relationship and ended my engagement just months before my wedding. I also created something that I have been able to turn into a full-time job today. Contrary to what people may think; I did not up and leave my full time job to launch my blog. Nor was I making money right away when it first launched. This website started off as a fun little project with the intention to be therapeutic while I got healthy again. It was a creative outlet, not something that I wanted to get into for free stuff or because it “appeared” to be an easy way to make money. The money making part took time. To be honest, once I was well enough to return to work, I kept my job for as long as possible to help ends meet and so I could invest in SoSasha.com. In the beginning I was just creating unsponsored content. There were no big brand partnerships and daily deliveries from PR companies during the first year. And I was totally fine with that. I knew I had to put in the work, get my name out there and create a portfolio that would allow me to one day pick and choose who I got to partner with. However, not having those things didn’t stop me from creating quality work. I knew the value of investing in a professional photography and didn’t cut corners when it came to my visual content. When I started employ the same strategies on my own brand as I used with the corporate brands I spent years building, things started to get moving. I started building solid relationships and working on sponsored content with companies. Some of those brands I still work with today. This year actually marks the fourth year I have worked with General Motors/Buick. I learned quickly what brands looked for in content creation, then began pitching my own campaigns that allowed me to organically share whatever was going on in my life linked to brands I partner with.

That being said, I wanted to share a few things that have helped make me successful in this space. You don’t need to have 100k followers to make this a career but you do need to have good work ethic, drive, creativity and be able to handle the word “no” because you may hear it more than you would like to along the way. Brands and agencies are becoming more aware that having a large following doesn’t necessarily mean someone has a lot of influence.

5 Tips On Creating A Successful Personal Brand in the Digital Space

  1. Know Your Why. Have a clear understanding as to what you want to create and why you are doing it. Wanting free product or a quick and easy way to make money is not going to cut it. Knowing this will not only help give your brand an identity but will help you make the right decisions about the kind of projects you take on.
  2. Invest in Yourself. If you don’t, nobody else will! Having sleek website design, strong photo content and/or quality videos will be worth your time and money in the end, trust me!
  3. Actually be AUTHENTIC. Stay away from taking on projects where you are not 100% into what the company is about. At this point, I think people can tell when something is inauthentic. Before saying yes to working with a brand ask yourself, “if this product or service wasn’t given to me as part of a campaign, would I actually spend my own money on it?“. I live by this barometer. If the answer is yes, I know that its a safe bet to align with the brand. To be honest, a lot of the brands I work with are with products/services we have already been using and loving.
  4. Create Stories and Experiences. It doesn’t really matter what the nature of your content is, I think if you’re able to create an experience or tell a story to your followers you will have a devout audience. If street style content is your thing; once in a while try to incorporate a backstory to the outfit; for example highlight if the outfit is made from sustainable materials or perhaps the designer of your look has a special story that connects you to the brand. If you’re into food content, it may be a good idea to explain why food is important to you – have you developed food sensitivities that force you to create gluten free or vegan recipes? Do you love food so much that it’s the inspiration for your travel that allows you to share culinary wanderlust adventures? Just some food for thought – no pun intended.
  5. Blog > Instagram. This is a very common mistake I see made over and over again. With Instagram being the preferred social channel for the last few years, so many people have been putting all their eggs in one basket.  I will admit, it’s kind of hard not too. It’s fun to create a visually appealing grid, it’s much easier than creating blog content and we are love the instant gratification of receiving likes. Creating a huge profile on that one platform is short sighted. I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that nobody owns their own content on IG…Instagram does. Also, when Instagram fizzles out and we move on to another new social platform, where will that leave the ones that are not content creating on other platforms. The real value of your brand relies on where all your content lives and to be frank, your earning potential working with brands is larger when you have more to offer than just a pretty Instagram account.

    This post is in partnership with Warner Bros. Canada for the release of the new Tomb Raider movie, which hits theatres everywhere March 16th. All views and opinions in this post are my own. 

 

5 Things You Should Consider When Looking To Hire A Trainer

I am working with a trainer for the second time in my life. The first time was while I was pregnant with Max (because I needed someone to force me to dial down and modify my workouts) and now postpartum. For years my workouts have always been with my team, a personal strength coach during my years playing tennis or workouts I created for myself. Getting back into a groove in the gym post pregnancy has been tough. Well, at least for me it has been. My body just wouldn’t move the way it used to and I was SO DAMN WEAK. I could have easily used my pelvic floor and wrist issues as an excuse to delay the hard work that was waiting for me because I was getting so discouraged but I figured if not now then when? And let’s be honest, when you’ve just had a baby people give you a free pass and tell you that you look great no matter how washed you look. If you’ve had a baby you know what I’m talking about, “Oh girl please, you JUST had a baby like yesterday and you look amazing!” But for my mental health and self confidence I had to get moving again and enlisted the help of a trainer.

There’s been so many of you sliding into my DM’s lately asking for advice on trainers like; how to find one, who is reputable in the city and why I’ve made SWAT my home for training and workouts? For me, the choosing SWAT Health was an easy decision. I needed someone who understood my limitations that came with postpartum fitness. That means, having the knowledge to put me through a Functional Movement Screen before taking a couple weeks to focus solely on creating a solid foundation again. With the plan of eventually progressing to a more intense program. A trainer who could be creative enough to come up with challenging workouts with the proper modifications for my wrist injuries. Not an easy task when it’s impossible to load any weight onto your hands. Most importantly, even though I am retired, I want to still train like an athlete. This meant the person chosen for the task probably needed to have been an athlete at some point too or experience training them, in order to come up dynamic workouts I would enjoy. I couldn’t think of anyone better than SWAT Health’s Co-Founder Kyle Ardill. The SWAT concept is based on a 360 approach to health and wellness incorporating chiropractic, physiotherapy, and massage into their offering. Since my body needs serious rebuilding right now, I am taking advantage of ALL of it. It’s been a crucial component to my journey because Kyle, Darcy (Chiro) and Phil (RMT) can all communicate to ensure they are providing me with the right rehab program within their respective disciplines to get me results. The education of the PT staff at SWAT is so diverse, the team has you covered whether you’re looking to do power lifting, HIIT/cross training, athletic based training, or group class workouts.

Kicked off my training program on January 8th with an FMS – Functional Movement Screen

So how do you find the right personal trainer? Things have gotten a little interesting in the fitness industry because of social media and it has certainly turned into a hot topic. With so much information at people’s fingertips thanks to the   internet and weekend fitness certification courses, becoming a personal trainer has replaced “handbag designer”, and “DJ” as the new fallback career in 2018. But here’s the thing folks, knowledge in personal training is not measured in a  CanFit Pro certification or having a big social media following. I think it’s also important to point out, a person’s physical appearance on Instagram doesn’t necessarily tell the whole picture. Looking fit doesn’t always mean someone has the knowledge base to train clients. There are loads of folks on the internet sharing their transformation before and after photos and using this as marketing tool to get clients and actually charge them money, which is appalling. More often than not, these transformation trainers as I like to call them, usually have leaned out because they stop putting garbage in their mouths, stopped binge drinking and started working out a bit. Not because of any well thought out training program they expertly developed for themselves. Yet, they are selling training to uneducated consumers who think they are getting a deal because their prices are competitive. And nobody should just assume that someone is a fitness expert because they have the word “fit” in their IG handle. I could go on and on but I think the point here is that people need to be informed, know what to look for and expect when hiring a professional in the field of fitness. If you’re thinking about a finding a personal trainer to help you achieve your fitness goals, I applaud you for making this first and very important step in your fitness journey.

Here’s 5 things you should consider when looking to hire a personal trainer:

  1. Certification vs. Experience. This is usually the first mistake many people make when they begin their search for a trainer. Instead of doing their due diligence and finding out how what a trainer’s experience is in terms of diversity in disciplines, they feel satisfied knowing that the person they have chosen to train them is certified. If you’re pregnant or a new mom, the goal should be to find someone who has worked with prenatal and/or postpartum clients. You may want to know if that person has experience training an athlete, has worked with a rehab client, who has the knowledge base to change up a client’s programming on training day if they are stressed or walk into a session injured.  Someone who is passionate about fitness and continues to educate themselves through courses and programs. A trainer who reads and does research, always wanting to learn because things are always evolving. Anyone can get a certification in personal training in 48 hours but not just anyone has the extensive knowledge base to tackle a wide range of training scenarios. You want a trainer that can provide a wide range of results for a wide range of the population.
  2. Authenticity. Yes folks, your trainer should be authentic…in other words living the lifestyle. And guess what? Your trainer should also be fitter than you, not the other way around. Ever. I never could understand how people would spend their hard earned money on a trainer that looks like a bag of milk. Your trainer shouldn’t be eating their weight in chicken wings or drinking energy drinks/soda. You wouldn’t hire a dentist with bad teeth, a lawyer that has never won a case or an accountant that doesn’t have their books straight. You need someone that has some credibility. Someone who is not a contradiction to the system. Someone who not only talks the talk but walks the walk.
  3. Results. What is a coach/trainer without results? Results are everything. Take the time and do your research. Ask your potential trainer for “receipts” aka show you results they helped their clients achieved. If they can’t show you results you can applaud and admire, then how can they help you reach your goals?
  4. Good Communication. This person should be an excellent listener and communicator. They have to hear what you’re saying. They can’t simply force you to do what they think you should be doing. It has to be a two way street; where they are providing you information and recommendations based on their experience in similar types of situations and the information you have given them. You both should be working together as a team. Your PT should be open and available to answer your questions and concerns outside of training via phone, email or in person. Last but not least, an excellent trainer will be able to fully explain why they are having you do the exercises in each of your workouts.
  5. Personalized Programming. There are a lot of IG famous people, Insta coaches and a plethora of template programs that people are purchasing online. You cannot pay money for a program that is not personalized. I repeat, you cannot pay for a training program that is not personalized. If that is the route you choose to go, there are tons of free options available online. Your program should be created specifically just for you based on where you are and what you want your end result to be.
Follow

Get every new post on this blog delivered to your Inbox.

Join other followers: