A Stellar Workout

With summer here, time to put aside the cozy house-coats, hot cocoa, and turn off that lazy-man fireplace. To get a stellar workout and stay motivated all summer, we’ve compiled a list of our 6 favourite techniques to stay on the ball!

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1. Get motivated
Make yourself some goals. Whether its a certain weight you want to hit, a certain look you want to achieve, or simply just a feeling you want to obtain, make a goal as the motivating reason to working out. Next time before you go to workout, or during the time that you are working out, just remember your goal and your reason and that alone will help give you more energy to push through your session.

2. Invite some friends
Recently, I got two girlfriends of mine to join my gym with me. It gets more more excited to go to the gym because I get to see them and catch up. Going to the gym becomes more of an activity to do with a friend than just a task.
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3. Try a new class
Whether its a class at your gym, or a new type of workout class that you’ve never even heard of before, break out of your comfort bubble and try something new! It’ll feel like less of a workout and more of just a fun new activity!

4. YouTube
I have recently discovered some amazing workout videos on YouTube! They’re a great way to do a quick workout right at home. Plus there’s a great selection online so you can learn a lot of new techniques that you may have never seen before. My favourites lately have been from a channel called Fitness Blenders. They have a great range or videos to choose from between 10 minute workouts to an hours and a half workout!
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5. Hydrate!
No matter what type of workout you choose to do, just remember to stay hydrated. When you workout you should try to workup a sweat so your body can get rid of a lot of the bad toxins. Water will keep you hydrated while you sweat away. If you don’t drink enough water during your workout, you could feel lightheaded, dizzy, and get cramps. Water will also help your body maintain a healthy temperature.

6. Breathe. Inhale. Exhale.
A lot of times when people workout, they tend to hold their breath. Without even noticing it!! Try to be very conscious and aware of your breathing patterns when you work out. Your body needs fresh oxygen pumping through during your sessions. The longer and deeper breaths you take, the more oxygen can be absorbed and the faster your body can recover. Try to avoid taking many quick breaths, your body uses more energy to take these short breaths and doesn’t even absorb much of the oxygen. Loooonnnggg and slowwww inhale. Annnnndddd exhale.
Good luck and have a stellar day!

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Silky Smooth Springtime Legs!

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With spring comes shorts, skirts, and silky smooth legs. Oh wait. Not quite. Our legs have been hiding since last fall and aren’t looking too friendly these days.

Instead of hiding them in pants, tights, and maxi dresses while everyone else is frolicking around in the sun, we’ve put together an emergency exfoliation guide for you! Bye-bye yeti-legs, and hello to boyfriend approved legs!

Why is Exfoliating Important?
  • Increases cell turnover
  • Gets rid of yucky and flaky dead skin cells
  • To avoid a dull complexion and get a silky look
  • Allows skin to absorb moisturizers better
Step 1:

Get rid of the loofah. It’s stuffed with bacteria and is too abrasive for most of your skin anyways.

Step 2:

Meet your new best friends, a simple washcloth or exfoliating gloves.Exfoliating gloves are great because you have more control of the pressure as well as the areas on your body you are able to exfoliate.

Step 3:

Shower and start scrubbing. Using your washcloth or exfoliating gloves, start scrubbing in circular motions. It might tickle, but start gently and slowly increase the pressure to a level that your body is okay with. To increase the level of exfoliation, use a sugar scrub. Sugar scrubs are better than salt, because unlike salt the round edges of the sugars don’t scratch up your delicate skin.

Step 4:

Rinse away the Yeti evidence with lukewarm water

Step 5:

Pat dry and apply moisturizer while skin is still slightly damp

 

Some of our favorite products for stellar legs:
  1. Exfoliator Gloves. $1-5 at your local drug store
  2. True Blue Spa Sugar Scrub. $13.50 at Bath & Body Works
  3. St. Ives Mineral Therapy Body Lotion. $5-8 at your local drug store
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How to get better sleep

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We’ve all been there. You know you’re never going to fall asleep because your head is full of work, school, whatever. Here’s a few tips for turning your brain off and winding down so you can get some actual, quality shut eye. 

Take a warm bath | A warm bath helps to initiate that sleepy, tired feeling before bedtime because the resulting drop in your body temperature helps slow down metabolic functions like heart rate, breathing and digestion. Try adding chamomile or lavender oil to the bath for extra calming benefits. 

Have a glass of milk | Milk helps you relax in a couple of ways. Tryptophan is an amino acid in milk that helps slow down the processing of data in the brain. The more relaxed you are, the more ready you’ll be to transition into sleep. 

Switch off electronics | I know you’ve heard this one approximately one zillion times, but switch off the TV, your laptop, and put your phone away at least half an hour before you plan to sleep. The light from these electronics sort of tricks the brain into thinking it’s still thinking time, so if you need to do something to unwind, try a book. 

Keep a pen and notepad handy | It’s very common to suddenly remember all the important things you forgot to do right before bed, and if you think you’re going to forget them your brain holds onto those thoughts even harder, making it more difficult for you to fall asleep. Writing them down helps relieve that extra space in your brain. 

Exercise | This seems like a no brainer, but regular exercise helps stimulate melatonin which helps facilitate deeper sleep. Not too close to bedtime though.  

 

Written by: Wynzie Chai 

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Friday How-to: Guide to espresso based beverages

espresso based beverages

Here’s a cool infographic from Coffee Nate that shows you a few of the most common espresso based beverages you can get. 

I think they should just have these posted in coffee shops to clear up the confusion, don’t you? I was a barista for more than 5 years and one of the most frustrating things was when someone ordered a cappuccino expecting a sweet, creamy, iced beverage (thanks Tim Hortons).

Now, who’s down for a coffee? 

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