Tag

Nike

Browsing

Not All Protein Bars Are Created Equal. Here’s Why…

No matter what kind of workout I’m doing, I give 100% in the gym. It’s funny, when people see me exercising and in my zone, they always ask me, “What are you training for?”. I usually giggle before responding, “Life. I’m just trying to be better than the person I was yesterday!” If you can imagine the look at people’s faces when they hear that. Ok, I know…I’m a bit of an overachiever with a competitive streak, but this is just how I’ve always been.
Genuine Health fermented Greek yogurt proteins+

When you train hard, your body needs quick replenishment to help rebuild muscle tears, restore glycogen levels and stabilize your blood sugar. Recently, I’ve been carrying a protein bar or two in my gym bag for after my workouts and I’ve become obsessed with Genuine Health’s fermented Greek yogurt protein+ bars. In the past I have stuck with protein powders post sweat sesh and runs because let’s be honest, protein bars usually taste like Astronaut food or sawdust. Furthermore, I had made the conscious decision to refrain from promoting one until I found a bar I truly loved. So yes, these fermented Greek yogurt protein+ bars are great for post workout and when consumed before exercising, supplies me with steady energy to make it through one of Larry’s intense sessions alive at Track Fitness , (home of cult-fave Circuit 60 and ClimbMax classes) but the best part – they taste effing AMAZING!

What else makes these bars so special? The fermentation process promotes overall gut health; something extremely important to me considering my health condition, amplifies the nutritional value of minerals, vitamins and amino acids and helps support the immune system. And if that’s not enough, fermented Greek yogurt has it’s own amazing nutritional benefits giving these tasty bars 15g of protein from grass fed California dairy conveniently on-the-go.

Fermented Greek yogurt proteins+ comes in Cherry Almond Vanilla and Cinnamon Pecan flavours while also in protein powder format. For more information on these products and the rest of the brand’s amazing product portfolio, head to GenuineHealth.com or follow @GenuineHealth on Instagram and Twitter. #LoveYourGut #LoveHowYouFeel

Nike 2016 Innovation For Everyone Event in NYC

Nike Innovation For Everyone

The fitness apparel game has changed with more players seeking marketshare than ever before. Brands whose core business had only been about high street fashion are now jumping onto the fitness craze bandwagon. With some, actually making quite beautiful contemporary activewear with luxe technical fabrics. This change in the landscape has no doubt left big players like Nike to continue to push the envelope on their apparel and footwear technology innovations. About a week ago I made the longest possible trek from Toronto to NYC (approximately 28 hours and 6 missed flights due to bad weather conditions) to Nike’s highly anticipated “Innovation for Everyone” event.  Tired and extremely frustrated, I had seriously contemplated cancelling my trip altogether knowing that I missed so much of the festivities. However having been to more Nike media events than I can count, I knew that if I sat this one out I would most likely regret it. Similar to previous innovations summits I’ve attended, the event featured TV, print, and digital media from all over the world who checked their egos at the door and anxiously waited for the special reveals of Nike’s most technologically advanced products to date.

Nike Innovation For Everyone

Nike Innovation for Everyone

On day one, Nike’s President & CEO gave attendees a peek in the breadth of innovations we were all going to see during the event including Nike Air VaporMax; the future of a global icon, Nike Anti-Clog Traction technology that has a mud-beating polymer and will take a player’s game on the pitch to another level, Nike HyperAdapt 1.0 – the world’s first sport informed adaptive lacing shoe and of course the new and improved Nike+ app. Celeb Nike Brand Ambassador and notorious funny man Kevin Hart took to the stage to help kick off the festivities. What came as a surprise to most, the comedian and actor bypassed opportunities to make the crowd erupt in laughter and instead spoke passionately about training and what he’s been able to achieve through social media and the Nike+ Community. To build off the latest updates to the app, Hart hosted a private NRC/NTC combined session for the first time alongside elite athletes Sonya Richards Ross, Victor Cruz, Shalene Flanagahan and Global Nike Running Head Coach Chris Bennett.

Nike Innovation For Everyone

Nike Innovation For Everyone

Nike Innovations For Everyone

Nike Innovations For Everyone

This June Nike+ will get a refresh and the brand promises the new app will inspire athletes to pursue their potential.  And what can be more motivating than hearing Kevin Hart’s voice cheering you on at every milestone? The actor’s voice has also been integrated into the app similar to elite athlete cheers you get when completing a run in the existing platform. What else can you expect to see from it this summer? The “plus” now equates to “personal”. Members will be able to stay connected to the Nike+ Run Club, Nike+ Training Club and the SNKRS apps. And if that’s not enough, a personal store based on the info members provide the app that houses performance product recommendations personalized to members’ sport and lifestyle preferences. Also, a unique QR code that can be scanned upon arrival in a Nike retail outlet allowing store employees to immediately pull products for you based on your profile and reserved invitations to their favourite sneakers. These combined offerings taking care of each step of a member’s athletic life. “We live in a world where technology and data are all around us. Technology is at it’s most powerful when it serves people. And today athletes want more than a dashboard – they want a relationship” says Nike President and CEO Mark Parker. The biggest impact I think will be within the Nike Training Club component which until now was reserved for the ladies. Internally the Nike team discovered that tons of men were actually also using the app and with the workouts designed specifically women, it only made sense to add male-centric workouts into the app to appease everyone. This means that in the future we can also expect to see men incorporated into NTC Live events and workouts both regionally and across the globe.

Nike Innovations for Everyone
Nikki Neuberger, Vice President of Global Brand Member Services

Nike Innovations For Everyone

Nike Innovation For Everyone

Adaptive lacing? What the hell is that, right? My thoughts exactly as I impatiently sat in the airport thirstily refreshing my twitter timeline looking for updates from the event I was beyond fashionably late for at this point. Well, the HyperAdapt 1.0 is Nike’s latest platform breakthrough deep utilizing deep rooted research in digital, electrical and mechanical engineering into a product designed for movement. The self lacing shoe challenges the traditional understanding of fit as we know it and is said to be the solution of individual preferences and idiosyncrasies in both lacing and tension preferences.  “Innovation at Nike is not about dreaming of tomorrow. It’s about accelerating toward it,” says Tinker Hatfield the sneaker icon behind the Air Max 1, Air Jordans 3 through 15 and more. “We are able to anticipate the needs of athletes because we know them better than anybody. Sometimes, we deliver a reality before others have even begun to imagine it.” This I can attest is true specifically for running and training, the brand has thought of every single convenience function imaginable. From a technology standpoint, Nike seems to have pushed past it’s competition in athletic footwear apparel with this innovation however, I am not completely sold on the design aesthetic. Although relatively light, I can’t say I’m a huge fan of the flashing blue light in the midsole, I think shoes with flashing lights are reserved for children under the age of 10, but this design hiccup is certainly trumped over the fact the shoe that ties it’s own laces. Below, soccer star Cristian Ronaldo, is the first athlete to try on the Nike HyperAdapt 1.0.

Nike Innovation For Everyone

Nike Innovation for EveryoneTinker Hatfield watches as attendee locks himself into the HyperAdapt 1.0

Nike Innovation For Everyone Tiffany BeersNike Senior Innovator Tiffany Beers played an integral role in the development of this shoe and is also known for her work on the self lacing Nike Mag, Air Yeezy, Tom Sachs x Nike Mars Yard collabo, the ParaNormans and more.

When I finally got to the event grounds, I immediately beelined for the shoe to see if first hand. When you step into the shoe, your heel hits a sensor and the system automatically tightens. Then there’s two buttons on the outer side of each shoe’s upper to tighten and loosen if necessary so you can adjust until the fit is perfect providing a tailored-to-the-moment custom fit. The Nike HyperAdapt 1.0 will be available ONLY to members of the Nike+ community beginning holiday 2016 in three colour ways. Click here if you would like to receive a notification when the shoe becomes available.

Nike Innovation For Everyone

Nike Air VaporMax

Nike continued to tackle technology in footwear by redefining and re-developing the widely adored Air Max shoe. Debuting in 1987, the Air Max was the first shoe to have a visible air cushioning unit. If you’re old enough to remember it’s inaugural release like me, you have literally seen the legendary shoe transform in the 90s when the entire sole because an air unit. The next leap in technology is Nike Air VaporMax’s standalone outsole.

Nike Air Vapor Max

The VaporMax doesn’t require the air unit to be insulated anymore by a secondary rubber layer for added durability and protection and has more air than ever directly under the feet. They did have a size 8 on display and of course I squeezed my size 9 foot into the shoe to take it for a quick test drive. Having a Flyknit upper combined with eliminating the bulk of a foam layer, the shoe significantly reduces waste and weight while increases flexibility. I tried to get the dish on available colour ways but seeing as though this shoe won’t release until spring 2017 (yes you read that correctly) this decision has yet to be made.

Nike Innovation for Everyone

Having missed an entire day of announcements and excitement, I had to get a crash course in the remaining vignettes throughout the innovation grounds. I crept up to the KD9 booth where Kevin Durant sat perched on a chair for what seemed like hours surrounded in masses of media, microphones and cameras all there to learn about the shoe’s design elements, inspired by Kevin’s new found love of photography and combines flyknit uppers with Zoom bags, first hand from the ball player and Nike Basketball Senior Design Director Leo Chang.

Nike Innovation For EveryoneNike Basketball Senior Design Director Leo Chang

Nike Innovation for Everyone

And what seemed to fascinate most, even if they were there for running, training and basketball categories was the new Anti-Clog Traction technology for football (soccer). This redefining technology literally repeals dirt off the footbed of the cleat avoiding mud buildup that creates added weight to the shoe throughout a game in inclement weather conditions:

If you can believe it, all of that went down within the five hours I was in the city before having to rush to head back to the airport butI did manage to squeeze in the reveal of the Olympic kits for the upcoming games in Rio and chatted about training, go-to beauty products and boyfriends with Canadian 800m Olympic hopeful Melissa Bishop.
Nike Innovation of Everyone
Nike Innovation for Everyone
Nike Innovation for Everyone
Nike Innovation for Everyone
Nike Innovation for Everyone
Nike Innovation for Everyone
Nike Innovation for Everyone
Nike Innovations for Everyone
Nike VP of Footwear Innovation Tony Bigell speaks to the System of Performance for Allyson Felix’s Track Spike
For more details on Nike’s “Era of Personalized Performance” and complete list of 2016 innovations that you can expect to see in the near future click here.

Hudson’s Bay Lifestyle Collaboration: Street Friendly Activewear

HBNewYour

Although I’m frequently doing checks and balances throughout the calendar year in regards to setting goals and making sure I stay on track to attain them, there’s something about the beginning of a new year that’s always extra special. It’s filled with so much hope and excitement of both the unknown and what’s to come. A few years ago I got in the habit of writing down my goals for the upcoming year on December 31st. Funny enough, when I started SoSasha.com I created a dream list of brands I wanted to work with and I’ve been extremely fortunate to collaborate with almost all of them. Until 2015, there were only a few that I had not yet knocked off my list and Hudson’s Bay, Canada’s iconic heritage department store, was on this short list. So naturally I was thrilled when they asked me to share some personal tips and tricks that I have up my sleeve to keep me inspired and motivated to achieve my overall wellness goals in 2016. For the rest of the month of January, you will discover what keeps me going from recipes, helpful fitness related apps and devices, beauty secrets, my go-to pieces for outdoor winter running plus my favourite workout and athleisure looks that get me to and from the gym in style. The timing couldn’t be better as Hudson’s Bay has just recently launched their active wear shop online.

HBNewYou

HBNewYou

HBNewYouLole Look: Kavita Cross Back Top // Printed Running Tight // Java Jacket // Deena Duffle Bag

During the winter months, I have a tendency to dress in more muted or dark colours. Most likely a reflection of my mood due to the dropping temperatures. I’ve decided to shake things up a bit and jump on this “New Year, New Me” bandwagon, so I am trying to take a brighter approach to my workout wear this winter (pun intended), which you may have noticed as of late on Instagram. I may have actually gone from one extreme to the next, but I have added a few new killer tights to my collection; think bold and colourful patterns that can put energy in anyone’s step, no matter how gloomy and cold it is outside. My styling tip…when getting a bit crazy with prints on the lower half of your body, remember to keep it super simple up top. I usually opt for solid coloured bras and tops in white, grey or black in order to not compete with the pants.

HBNewYou

HBNewYou

HBNewYou

HBNewYou

HBNewYouPhotography by David A. Pike for Hudson’s Bay

Adidas Look: Originals Mosc Printed Leggings // ClimaHeat Marled Zipped Hoodie // Aeroknot Burnout Tank // Arianna III Running Shoes 

 Need more tights-piration? Here’s a few more of my faves that can be found at Hudson’s Bay : Nike Dri-FIT Legendary Engineered Lattice Tights // Reebok Graffiti Yoga Tights // Stella McCartney Activewear Tights // YAS Graphic Cut and Sew Leggings

Head to TheBay.com for more legging and tights options and to preview the rest of Hudson’s Bay active wear collection. Make sure to follow @HudsonsBay on Instagram for more active wear trends and get more of my tips by using the hashtag #HBNewYou

Nike Toronto #GetOutHere Winter Series

#GetOutHere

Yes, we are approaching winter. And yes, it is cold here in Toronto. However, this doesn’t mean that we need to settle for indoor gym workouts or worse, no workouts at all. For the second year in a row, Nike Toronto is offering outdoor winter training and run programming to help athletes stay motivated and to take on the seasonal elements. If you have been following my snapchat stories on Tuesday nights you have seen sneak peeks of my four week #GetOutHere training journey with my media group; where we have been getting to trial new NTC and H.I.T and Run workouts lead by Nike Master Trainer Eva Redpath and Nike+ Run Coach Inge. Each Tuesday we have pushed our limits and had a little fun along the way, while testing out some of the brand’s latest cold weather apparel and technologies.

#GetOutHere

#GetOutHere

#GetOutHere

#GetOutHere

#GetOutHere

DSC08006

#GetOutHere

#GETOUTHERE

#GetOutHere

#GetOutHere

#GetOutHere

Now it’s your turn to join in on all the fun. To help celebrate the arrival of Nike.com (commerce) here in Canada and the beginning of winter, Nike is currently hosting Nike.com “Live” from November 19-21 . A pop-up where you can expect special NRC runs and workouts, plus you can schedule 1:1 meetings with run coaches, trainers and even customize your own pair of Nike iD’s. We kicked off the Live sessions on Thursday morning at 6AM at 229 Richmond Street West, where the brand has converted a parking lot to an enormous outdoor fitness space which also houses the Nike.com crate, featuring all the new products from the running and training categories. Rumour has it, there’s a few vacant spots still left for some of today’s sessions. Click here to view availability and to sign up!

#GetOutHere

#GetOutHere

#GetOutHere

#GetOutHere

#GetOutHere

#GetOutHere

#GetOutHere

#GetOutHere

So what is the recipe for surviving outdoor workouts this winter? Make sure its fun, have the right training partner and of course stay warm. During our sessions, the ladies and I have been staying cozy and warm in the Nike Pro Hyperwarm Limitless HoodieHyperwarm Limitless Tights Therma-Sphere Max VestTherma-Sphere Max Jacket and Air Zoom Agility 2 training shoes – all are available for purchase now on Nike.com. Here’s a peek of some of the other new product that can be found in the container:

#GetOutHere

#GetOutHere

#GetOutHere

#GetOutHerePhotos courtesy of Streets of Toronto (Alen Palander, Tyler Hayward and Nathalia Allen)

Nike.com “Live” may be coming to an end in Toronto today, but the party is far from over. This Monday night marks the beginning of the #GetOutHere four week winter series with Canada’s only Nike Master Trainer @EvaRedpath on the rooftop of the TIFF Bell Lightbox. Attendees will taken through a 60 minute H.I.T workout and will get the opportunity to test out the latest training apparel and footwear. Spaces are extremely limited so you will have to act quick if you want to take part. Head over to Nike.com/Toronto to view all available programming and to register for #GetOutHere.

My Road To Recovery Diary Part One

Road to Recovery Diary

If you’ve ever been injured, you are well aware of how tough the road to recovery is. I have suffered injuries over the years of course, but outside of my health condition, nothing has ever put me on the sidelines until now. Hearing the words “You can’t run” was like hearing I was sentenced to death. I will admit, a tad bit dramatic seeing as though I was only told to refrain from lacing up for 4-6 weeks but that really did seem like an eternity at the time. Plus, I was just about to begin training for a half marathon in the Cayman Islands in December.

This injury is a result of one simple thing. Not listening to my body. After suffering a second degree ankle sprain back in May on a trail run, instead of staying off of it completely, I continued to train for the Nike Women’s 15k, hike, cycle, paddle board, skateboard, mountain bike all while traveling working on projects. Overcompensating for my injured ankle resulted in a painful hip pointer injury combined with hamstring tendonosis. Rest with a solid recovery and performance program was my only option after sitting down with Dr. Jaritt Ptolemy and my Strength and Conditioning Coach Danford GomesAt the beginning of September, I began my three phase road to recovery program created by the guys at The Movement Academy here in Toronto to get to that Cayman Islands Half Marathon start line on December 6th.

Road to Recovery Diary

Phase one in September meant putting away my running shoes and committing to a strength training program in the gym three times a week, while getting electro acupuncture and facial stretch therapy treatments twice a week. I will be the first to admit, weight training is not my jam but I am willing to do what I need to do to return to running. With my crazy busy  work and travel schedule, it’s a challenge to find time in the day to work out with a coach and I am left squeezing in workouts when I can, often times at crazy hours. In lieu of working out with Danford in person, we are using a new wearable technology called PUSH that is designed to optimize my training by tracking my movement during my workout so Danford can analyze my performance and make the necessary changes to my program to help me get stronger.  He has the ability to monitor the duration of my workouts (both overall time and active time), the velocity output, and use key metrics to ensure my training is properly optimized. It’s almost as if Dan knew my true feelings about weight training and knew I needed something for accountability. To be honest, if I didn’t wear this band, there would be a high probability of some skipped workouts here and there. Training with PUSH takes accountability to a whole new level. Coach Danford can even see how long my breaks are between each set, usually predicting that I have stopped at some point to take a selfie or check Instagram.

Road to Recovery Diary

For the month of September, my rebuilding stability program looked something like this 3 times per week with 15 minutes of light cardio to warm-up:

Move 1: Alternating step ups on a box with 10 lbs weights in hand (12 Reps x 4 Sets)

Move 2: Inverted standing row with TRX (12 Reps x 4 Sets)

Move 3: Left leg split squats with 10 lbs weights in hand (10 Reps x 4 Sets)

Move 4: Right leg split squats with 10 lbs weights in hand (10 Reps x 4 Sets)

Move 4: Seated row with 40 lbs (10 Reps x 4 Sets)

Move 5: Deadlifts with 40 lbs (5 Reps x 10)

IMG_2952

Road to Recovery Diary

With the development of poor mechanics from running with the ankle injury, I am forced to start from the beginning and learn to run. Not only does Dr. Jaritt help with my treatment and mobility, but he is also assisting me with developing better form. Learning the “proper” technique for doing dynamic warm-ups like A, B’s and C’s, and getting my legs used to running again by with doing strides and band sprints on turf has also been a priority in order to get me to a place to begin hitting the pavement again in October.

Road to Recovery DiaryApparel courtesy of Nike Canada Photography by Nathalia Allen AMillionMinds.ca

My patience and hard work in September has paid off and I am being rewarded with running again next week – finally! I know it will begin extremely short distances and slow paces at first but it’s better than nothing. Based on the requests and questions I have been getting from you guys on social media and email, I will be sharing my progress from now until race day here and will also be having Dr. Jaritt share critical tips that will be useful for any of you that are currently injured or looking to prevent injury. You can follow along on my recovery journey on social media by using the hashtag #SSRoadToRecovery

Nike Women Toronto 15K Race Weekend Activities

Nike Women 15k

Ladies, we’re officially in the home stretch with less than two weeks before the Nike Women Race Series hits Toronto for the very first time. From Thursday June 11th to Sunday June 14th, you can pretty much expect a total Swoosh takeover in the city, with a line-up of activities that will not only inspire you but celebrate women in sport.

Nike Women 15kPhotography by Jess Baumung and Nathalia Allen (respectively)

Toronto’s Harbourfront Centre will be the home of the Nike Women Village and will offer different Nike+ services for runners, a retail space where you can preview and shop the upcoming Fall running collection before the rest of the world, special guest appearances from athletes and coaches, plus 33 NTC workouts lead by the amazing Eva Redpath and other Nike Master Trainers in the Crystal Coliseum – a 30,000 sqft custom built studio situated on a floating barge on Lake Ontario – like NBD right!

TO15_Expo_Map-ZoomIn

Registration will be open to the public for all race day programming on June 6th. You can find more details on Nike.com/Toronto and the Nike+ City Pass (available for download for iPhone, Blackberry and Android) which will be your race weekend concierge on the go giving you access to all the amazing programming, registration for classes ad navigating your way around the Nike women Village, otherwise known as Mecca. See you at the finish line!

Upgrade Your Workout In 20 Minutes With Equinox’s MetconBlitz Workout

Equinox MetconBlitz

For many people, having a crazy busy schedule is often times the reason that they are not getting in regular workouts. The misconception is that you need an hour or two each workout to reap the benefits of exercise. This could not be further from the truth. Through my partnership with Equinox here in Toronto, I have done workouts with their highly trained staff in sessions ranging from anywhere between 30 minutes and 1.5 hours and believe it or not, I have worked just as hard, or sometimes harder in a shorter session than I have in a longer one.

In my personal opinion, the best kind of workout is the one that’s quick, engages your whole body, requires little to no equipment and makes you use your own body weight.  I often times see people in the gym spending hours lifting the heaviest weights but yet they cannot sustain their own body weight when challenged to do chin-ups, push-ups nor have any cardiovascular endurance. Equinox Toronto instructor Julian Ho, teaches eight signature Equinox classes at both Toronto locations which include some of my favourites; METCON3, Shockwave and 3SUM and is also an avid athlete who rock climbs and competes in ultra marathons. This guy gets it. He’s super busy and understands the need to obtain the best results from a workout when you’re strapped for time.

Julian Ho

Ho designed a 20 minute MetconBlitz workout that can be done anywhere and can be modified for different fitness levels allowing you to not only sculpt but also get the benefits of a conditioning session. I had a fun challenge putting myself through the workout outdoors this week. It’s effective because you speed up your strengthening with giant sets, meaning three or more exercises that target the same body part performed in a row. “giant sets can magnify the intensity by increasing the duration your muscles spend under high tension,” says Ho. “That quickens the onset of muscle failure, so you get more results in less time. The tempo varies, which forces your metabolic system to keep adapting without burning out.” claims Julian.

Perform each exercise for 1 minute in this specific order without resting in between. If you’re looking for the modified version…simply do each move for 45 seconds and recover for 15 seconds between each exercise. According to Ho, for best results, do this routine two to four times a week.

MetconBlitz Moves

1. Prisoner Squat/Rear Lunge Combo: Stand with feet slightly wider than your shoulders and place your hands behind your head; squat. Rise up, take a big step back with right foot, and lunge. Step forward to starting position and squat again. Rise up and then lunge back with left leg. Return to starting position and repeat. Continue at a medium tempo, alternating legs with each lunge.

2. Power Lunge (shown below): Stand with feet a stride’s length apart, left in front of right, and bend knees into a lunge. Jump as you switch legs, landing in a lunge with right foot forward and left foot back. Continue as fast as possible, switching legs each time you jump.

Equinox MetconBlitz

Equinox MetconBlitz

Equinox MetconBlitz

3. Deep Olympic Squat: Stand with feet slightly wider than shoulders and raise arms overhead (as if you were holding a bar). Take 5 seconds to lower into a deep squat, then rise up and repeat.

4. Renegade Arm Extension (shown below): Get in a plank position with hands under shoulders. Raise right arm to shoulder height in front of you with palm facing left. Lower right hand to starting position and repeat with left arm. Continue at a medium tempo, alternating arms. For more of a challenge, lift the alternating leg with arm simultaneously.

Equinox MetconBlitz

5. Clapping Push-Up (shown below): Get in plank position (lower knees to the floor if necessary). Bend elbows, lowering chest toward floor; push up explosively and clap your hands together before returning to starting position. Repeat as fast as possible.

Equinox MetconBlitz

6. Negative Push-Up: Get in plank postiion (lower knees to floor if necessary). slowly bend elbows, taking 5 seconds to bring your chest toward the floor. Push up to starting position and repeat.

7. Lateral Skater (shown below): Stand with feet together, then jump to the left, landing on left foot as you tap right foot on the floor slightly behind you. Push off left foot as you jump to the right. Continue at a medium pace bouncing from side to side in a skating motion.

Equinox MetconBlitz

8. High Knees and Hot Feet: Stand with your feet hip-width apart and arms extended at sides. Hop up as you drive right knee toward your chest and bend left elbow (as if you were running). Immediately repeat on opposite side, raising left knee as you bend right elbow and extend left arm. Continue at a fast pace, alternating sides, for 30 seconds. Then stand with feet shoulder-width apart, bend knees and elbows, and quickly run in place (in a semi-squat position). Continue at a fast pace for 30 seconds.

9. Mount Everest Climber (shown below): Get in a plank position with hands under shoulders. Jump right foot forward, brining right knee toward your chest. Switch positions, extending right leg behind you as you bend left knee and bring left foot forward. Continue, alternating legs.

Equinox MetconBlitzPhotography by Nathalia Allen (amillionminds.ca) and all apparel courtesy of Nike Canada

10. The Mission Impossible (X Plank and Skydiver): Get in plank position with your feet wide apart, then walk your hands out to the sides and slightly forward so your body forms an X. Hold on for 10 seconds. Next, lie face down with arms extended over your head, palms facing the floor, and legs extended behind you. Raise your arms and legs as high as you can, then bring your arms out to your sides and behind you as you turn your palms toward the ceiling. Return to the starting position and repeat, keeping your arms and legs raised the entire time. Continue for 10 seconds. Repeat the sequence (X plank for 10 seconds and skydiver for 10 seconds) twice more.

For more information on Equinox, locations, class descriptions/schedules and how to join the best gym in the world head to Equinox.com.

Living The “Fit Life” With Equinox

The Fit Life with Equinox

With spring around the corner, everyone is obsessed with getting in shape and leading a healthy lifestyle, so my friends at Equinox have asked me to share my guide to living a “Fit Life“. To be honest, if living a fit life was easy, everyone would be doing it. Most don’t because staying fit takes dedication, hard work and often requires a complete change of lifestyle; however for those that make their best effort, the benefits of living this way are endless. Why? It helps you live a longer, happier and fulfilled life. Not mention, it also allows you to get a better quality of sleep, increased energy levels and minimizes the chances of getting sick.

1. Set Measurable and Attainable Goals: Growing up my coach always used to say, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail“. For some reason when I retired from playing tennis, I briefly forgot the importance of goal setting when it comes to fitness and wellness.  With the help of  my dear friend, Equinox Group Class Instructor and Canada’s only Nike Master Trainer Eva Redpath (pictured above), I have re-learned the importance of goal setting. Sure, ideas of things we want to achieve always come to our minds, but one of the most important things I have learned from Eva is that goals don’t mean anything unless you write them down. For some reason, putting your goals to paper automatically gives you a responsibility to make sure they get done. There are two types of goals – those that can be measured and those that cannot. “I want to run a half marathon” to most people is an example of a set goal.  A lot of people want to run a half marathon but the question is when and how fast? A better goal would be, “I want to run the NY Half Marathon in 3.5 hours”. That is a goal that you can work to achieve in a specific amount of time, at a specific place in time. Not only is it measurable, but it’s also attainable.

If working out and living a more fit life is new to you, you’re going to need some assistance helping this new lifestyle stick. According to Eva, “Commit to just 30 days to start off. This is the initial conditioning phase and a month is a great block of time to commit to a change. Research shows it takes anywhere from 21 to 30 days to form new behaviours.”

Eva Redpath’s 3 Tips for “Making Goals Stick”

  1. Create a daily goal. Forget choosing something that you can only do a couple times a week. That will only make your habit harder to stick. Picking something you can incorporate daily
  2. Don’t jump in with both feet and try to change your life in one day. Choose a goal that can be measured and start off small. If you want to “close down your kitchen” at 7pm so you can stop eating before bed…try it first at 9pm and work your way down to the goal time
  3. Form a trigger. A trigger is a ritual you use right before executing your habit. If you want to get more sleep, this could mean creating a way to go to bed the exact same time each night. If you want to quit smoking you could drink a glass of water every time you have the urge for a cigarette

The Fit Life With EquinoxEquinox Toronto Boxing Instructor Nate Bower (natebowerfitness.com)

2. Find Fit Friends: When you look at the things you like to do with your friends they usually include; traveling, eating and partying. These are all fun and great, but if you want to lead a “fit life” why not bring your friends along for the journey? You’re human, so not everyday will you wake up and want to workout, so it’s nice to have others around you that enjoy staying fit and active to keep you motivated. Joining a run crew, a cycling club or a fitness facility that promotes a healthy lifestyle can work wonders. My friends and I have been making regular sweat dates to hit up the group classes at Equinox. They are designed to not only be challenging but fun. The highly trained instructors, like Eva Redpath and Nate Bower, ensure that you walk away from a 50 minute class feeling good about the work you just put in. Learn more about Nate and his signature boxing class at Equinox Toronto here and details on Redpath’s cult fave “Signature Stacked Class” here. 

The Fit Life With Equinox

The Fit Life With Equinox

3.  Shop The Perimeter of Grocery Stores: Close your eyes and picture your grocery store. Chances are the organic, fresh produce section, the meat and seafood departments and the dairy case are all located around the perimeter of the store. Ironically, these are the foods that we should be eating on a daily basis, so this is where we all should concentrate most of our shopping time. Why? The center aisles is where you will find all the non-perishable, gluten laden, sugary and processed foods. Bypassing the middle aisles means you’ll rarely be faced with the temptations of potato chips and cake mixes.

The Fit Life With Equinox

4. Stay Hydrated: Our bodies often confuse thirst for hunger. Staying hydrated helps you avoid overeating and unnecessary snacking. More importantly, water enables your mind and body to function properly. There is tons of confusion still over how much water one should intake daily.  Everyone has heard the advice “drink eight 8 ounce glasses of water a day” but this only equates to 1.9 litres of water. The “8 by 8” rule remains popular because it’s easy to remember but not supported by hard evidence. Recent studies have shown that the adequate intake (AI) for men is roughly about 13 cups (3 litres) and the 9 cups (2.2) litres for women.

The Fit Life With EquinoxPhotography by Nathalia Allen @amillionminds and Dirk Teunissen @InciteVisuals

5. Get Moving At Least Once a Day: I don’t care if it’s for 15 minutes or for an hour, it is important to move your body daily. Getting a workout in will help release endorphins; which is a natural mood elevator, help decrease any pain related issues, reduces stress, alleviate anxiety, sharpen memory and can boost brain power. It’s very easy on our busy days to say we don’t have time to fit in a workout, but trust me when I say a 15 minute workout is better than no workout at all.

I would love to hear from you…if you have any questions or comments on living a “fit life” hit me up on Twitter or Instagram. For more information on Equinox, to find locations nearest you or to schedule a visit, head to Equinox.com

#OnTheRunTO Series Spring 2015

OnTheRunTO Series Spring 2015

In 2014 I had a remarkable year of both personal and professional developments and many of these changes I can credit to running. Last year I beat medical odds and smashed my Nike Women San Francisco race goal and along the way I met some amazing women. In case you missed out in December, I announced my #OnTheRunTO series (the winter series can be viewed here), which will be shared here each quarter. The goal of this project is to introduce you to some fabulous ladies to keep the cycle of inspiration going amongst our community. Here you will learn a bit about the women featured, how we got connected and the pieces from the current Nike collection we are running and training in.

OnTheRunTO Series Spring

OnTheRunTO Series Spring

After a miserably cold winter where runners were challenged to run in the most extreme of conditions outdoors, we couldn’t be happier to welcome spring. In addition to the excitement of warmer weather on the horizon, the city’s running community has been buzzing since Nike’s announcement that Toronto will be on the list of cities to host a Nike Women Series race (you can learn more and  register here before March 29th 2015, if you haven’t already done so). We got a bit of a head start on prepping for the outdoor run season and began testing out Nike Women’s spring running and training items, which are designed to help you push yourself in comfort and style. last month at Toronto’s Forme Fitness facility.

OnTheRunTO Series Spring

Meet Vanessa Cesario: My initial encounter with Vanessa was actually not through running but within the fashion and blogging circles here in Toronto. Although we’ve known each other for almost two years, it wasn’t until last year that we discovered we shared a love of fitness and running. This young lady frequently surprises me, literally revealing a new talent every time I connect with her. Vanessa, a recent Humber Media Studies graduate and Freelance Creative Contributor, has also worked in the public relations field and is the stylish Creative Director of one of Canada’s leading fashion blogs, The Brunette Salad. If this isn’t enough, she has been developing her photography skills over the past year, has shot numerous social media campaigns for some national fashion brands and recently shot me for a designer fitness collaboration campaign.

OnTheRunTO Series Spring

Why Vanessa Loves Running: “Honestly, my whole life until about two years ago was a constant weight struggle for me. I went up, down, up, down…and always looked at exercise merely as a way to burn calories. And I have to admit – running was always my least favourite aspect of physical activity. After changing my whole outlook on my body, diet and health in general, I started to look to exercise as a means of well being – for not only my body, but my mind as well. I tend to get nervous very easily, and came to realize that running was hands down the best way to blow off steam and de-stress. Running time is ‘me time’, where I can clear my mind while doing good for my body.”

OnTheRunTO Series Spring

Her Fave Items: Choosing my favourite items when it comes to Nike is hard. My personal style is very athletic inspired, so when actual workout clothes are  as stylish as this, my heart just sings.  If I had to narrow down my go-to pieces  from the spring collection, I’d say the Legendary Lava Tights; they are so comfy, super flattering, and the high waisted design ensures that you don’t reveal too much while performing certain moves while training or doing yoga – not to mention that insane print, in addition to the Nike Free TR 5 shoes for training. For running, I’ve been rolling in comfort in the  Nike Air Max 2015 and happy to have been one of the first to trial the shoes here in Canada. They provide the right amount of support and cushioning that I need for the distance I currently run. My Epic Lux Printed Running Capris are great because the Dri-Fit fabric makes sure I stay dry during running. They also have more spandex content than most running tights which makes them more supportive and helps keep them in place.

Vanessa is also wearing Nike’s Epic Lux Printed Capri Tights, Dri-Fit Knit Running Tank Top, and Dri-Fit Studio Tank

Meet Melanie Botswain-Watson: If you’re immersed in Toronto’s run community or attend any of the Nike NTC consumer classes, this is not a face you’re seeing for the first time. A Communications Officer at the Toronto Public Library by day who also moonlights as a model for Nike Canada seasonal campaigns, this lady probably burns more fuel points than anyone I know. If you’re looking for a new workout to try here in the city, Mel is the girl you need to talk to. She has tried just out about every single club, group fitness class and run group in the 6, often times doing two workouts a day!

OnTheRunTO Series Spring

Why Melanie Loves Running: “Running is a really important part of the mix of things I do to keep fit, healthy, sunny and social.  For me, its all about balance and variety. I’m positive that my running has improved because of the training I also do at the gym, yoga studio, spin class, pool  and whatever other space is hosting the next crazy workout I’m eager to try. I find real strength in running with a group. I run with various run crews; Parkdale Road Runners for instance and I love to drop in on runs with other groups such as the Nike Run Club and Tribe Fitness. Having a bunch of supportive, inspiring people, many of whom became mentors that I look forward to seeing, is the best kind of motivation. I hope that my journey inspires other people to incorporate fitness and healthy choices in their daily lives”

OnTheRunTO Series Spring

Her Fave Pieces: The Epic Lux Running Tights are perfect because they feel like second skin. They offer full leg coverage, great for temperamental spring weather, but have sheer panels behind the knees and down the legs for ventilation and added style. I also love that these tights have understated, but always important reflective detailing…plus not only one, but three pockets for necessities such as ID, phone and fuel. My Dri-Fit Knit Long Sleeve is also an essential piece because of it’s versatility. It can be layered with other pieces on cooler days or just worn on it’s own. The phrase “Run Fast Live Fearless” is cleverly hidden on the inside of the shirt’s hem and I expect this powerful reminder will help me through the difficult runs. The Woven Bliss Pants are also fun and functional.  A cool alternative to tights for training, which are now a vital piece in my workout wardrobe.

Melanie is also wearing Free Flyknit 4.0, Pro Fierce Bra, Free TR 5 Training Shoe, Dri-Fit Studio Tank

 OnTheRunTO Series Spring

When I first started running I was doing it to help battle my pain related issues with fibromyalgia and rare kidney disease. However, over the last 6 months I have noticed a bit of a shift. I realized that running has impacted more than just my life. Through this sport, I have been able to connect with other people from all over the world and has given me the unique opportunity to motivate and enhance the lives of those around me – most importantly those who also face challenges due to illness. I am shocked every day at the feedback I get from people on social media, who have the same ailments as me or suffering from something completely different. Knowing that I have shown them that they too can reclaim a bit of their life back from mental or physical illnesses through consistent exercise is huge! Ironically, although they say that I am empowering and motivating them, their comments push me to keep going, especially on the days I find it difficult to get out of bed due to pain in the morning.

OnTheRunTO Series Spring

My Fave Items: Yes, all of Nike’s products are insanely amazing and no matter how many things I receive – to be honest I always want more.  My non-running workouts have increased as of late due to my partnership with Equinox, so it’s important to have training gear that not only provides support, but also comfortable enough to perform. The Pro 3″ Core Compression Training Tights  is ideally what I wear. I feel most free having my legs bare when I workout. Although they are short, I never have issues with them riding up exposing areas that shouldn’t be seen. In regards to footwear for training, it’s really important to have the right shoe that can accommodate the type of workout you’re doing. The Free TR 4 Training Shoe is ideal for my cardio, boxing and strength training. They are lightweight but still provide dynamic support, plus they look great. Based on my gait analysis, the Air Zoom Structure 18 Running Shoe is suited for the way I run and will be the shoe I race in this season most likely. The new firmer foam along the heel in this updated version helps to reduce my pronation and the responsive cushioning is perfect for distance running.

OnTheRunTO Series Spring

I am a sucker for bold tights. In my personal opinion, If you look good…you run good. I’ve had my eye on the colourful Epic Luxe Printed Tights since the Nike Women Showcase in New York back in the Fall. The fit ensures that I am comfortable during long runs, I never have to worry about them sliding down or getting baggy in odd areas, taking away my concentration during training and storage in three separate places. The mesh panels will definitely come in handy during warm weather runs this season.

I am also wearing: Pro Indy Freeze Frame Bra, Tech Fleece Moto, Dri-Fit Knit Short Sleeve  , Rival Pro Bra, G87 Tank Top 

OnTheRunTo Series SpringPhotography by Nathalia Allen www.amillionminds.ca (@amillionminds

For more information on the above mentioned products or to view the full collection, head to Nike.com/Women. All featured products in this post are available for purchase online (excluding Canada), Nike retail locations, in addition to Sport Chek and Sporting Life in Canada. Special thank you to the generous team at Forme Fitness, the ladies involved in this edition of #OnTheRunTO, Photographer Nathalia Allen and of course Nike Canada. For additional info on Forme Fitness’ unique training facility and their small group training classes, head to FormeFitness.com.

Fitness & Wellness Resolution Tips with Mogo Money

Mogo Money Health and Wellness

Most people start off the new year with good intentions to make changes to their lifestyle and majority of these usually are health and fitness related.  As many as 40% of North Americans make new years resolutions and only an alarming 8% actually achieve these goals. One of my personal goals this year is to find more ways to be fiscally responsible by avoiding credit card debt and I’ve been enjoying taking on this challenge over the past month with my Mogo Prepaid Visa® Card. To help make sure that your wellness resolutions don’t go unresolved this year, I’ve teamed up with Mogo Money to share some of things that I absolutely love that will help you stay on track!

1. Freshii’s Metaboost Salad: Eating healthy on-the-go used to be a challenge but with Freshii locations in over 60 cities and 12 countries worldwide, the brand has made nutritious meals both accessible and affordable for everyone. The ‘Metaboost’ salad, which contains field greens, spinach, kale, mangoes, carrots, edamame beans, shaved almonds and goat cheese, is currently one of my faves on the menu. Click here to find a location near you.

2. Fountain’s Hyaluronic Molecule Food Supplement: While topical lotions and potions promise to give us glowing, healthy skin, it’s important to remember that the key to radiant skin is actually what we put in our bodies, not on them. Fountain’s Hyaluronic Molecule is a concentrated beauty supplement that helps keep your skin looking healthy and youthful.

Fountain Hyaluronic Molecule

3. Nike+ SportWatch GPS: Whether you’re training for your first race, which may be the Nike Women 15K in Toronto, or a seasoned marathoner, the Nike+ Stopwatch is an amazing tool for both training and race day. It keeps track of your location, pace, distance, laps, in addition to calories burned. If that wasn’t enough, it also stores all your run history and keeps tabs on your personal records, giving you encouragement along the way. Available in Canada at the Nike (Toronto Eaton Center) store, Sport Chek & Sporting Life locations and on Nike.com in the US.

4. Jabra Step Wireless Headphones: There is no better way to enjoy music while working out than with wireless headphones. Once you experience the freedom of not having your headphones connected to a device, you will never look back. Designed for training enthusiasts, the Step Wireless headphones are lightweight, durable, and water resistant. With accompanying gel hooks and a selection of different sized ear gels, these are perfect for those that have tiny ears.

Jabra_Step_wireless_01

5. Everlast Weighted Jump Rope: No access to a gym? No problem. Skipping is the cheapest and easiest way for a total body workout and can be done virtually anywhere. Similar to a speed rope, you will improve your agility, footwork and endurance. With a weighted rope like this one from Everlast, you burn a significant amount of calories and can be effective for increasing strength and promoting weight loss.

6. Gap Full Zip Jacket: Everyone needs that one transitional piece that can take them from their fave fitness class and continue Saturday errands in style.  This heather grey shell from the GapFit’s latest collection is light weight making it perfect for the upcoming Spring months and works well with other layered pieces (think tanks and long sleeves) in colder temperatures.

7. Nike Studio Wraps: If yoga, barre and pilates is your thing, this will take your practice to the next level. Nike’s Studio Wraps are an innovative training shoe designed to help you get the most out of these forms of exercise by providing extra support with the help of studio ribbons, traction (to enhance grip on indoor surfaces), while providing a barefoot like experience. The added bonus – protection from studio floors. Available in Canada at the Nike (Toronto Eaton Center) store, Sport Chek & Sporting Life locations and on Nike.com in the US.

Nike Studio Wraps

 8. Vitamin Water Zero: We all know it’s important to drink water but do you know why? Getting the proper amount of water helps maintain the body’s fluid balance which helps transport nutrients in the body, regulate body temperature, digest food and more.  It also helps with calorie control, kidney function, pain prevention and clears skin. It also provides fuel for muscles. Prevent yourself from getting bored of drinking the recommended nine – 16 cups of H20 daily by mixing it up with other hydration options such as Vitamin Water Zero, a sugar free flavoured water which is loaded with vitamins and sweetened naturally with stevia extract.

9. Nike Free 4.0 Flyknit: Designed to help you unleash your natural stride, the Flyknit 4.0 is a great running shoe that’s not only lightweight, but also provides adequate support and flexibility – made possible by a unique polyester yarn upper and hexagonal flex grooves on the soles.  Knit-in flawier cables cradle the mid foot for support where you need it most.

Accepted anywhere Visa cards are accepted, Mogo Prepaid Visa® cardholders receive perks such as unlimited transactions, free text balance updates sent to a mobile device and no monthly fees. PLUS, a choice of 40 unique card designs to choose from so you can have a card that reflects your own personal style. For more information on Mogo Prepaid Visa®, head to Mogo.ca.

Other posts similar to this you may like…

My Winter Weekend With Mogo Money

Nike Women’s Run Series Announces 15K in Toronto

Detoxing & Metabolism Boosting with Cedar Juice

Follow

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

Join other followers: