All Posts By

Justin Baker

Simple Cardio Routine You Can Do Anywhere!

By Blog

Cardio that can be done without the gym and without running – amp up your fitness routine!

Cardio doesn’t have to be hard, or on a treadmill, or eat up a significant part of your day. Did you know for general well-being and Cardiovascular health all you need is a minimum of 30 minutes per day?

There are simple ways of adding it in without needing to hit the gym, here are a few to consider:

  • Taking walking breaks/lunches throughout your day
  • Setting a daily movement goal such as steps or distance traveled
  • Taking calls/meetings as you walk (if possible)
  • Walking to run errands whenever possible

Sometimes getting outside isn’t an option, especially mid-winter in rainy Vancouver. If that’s the case and you’re looking for an easy option we’ve built out 2 Interval Cardio workouts you can perform anywhere!

Easy On The Knees

Plank Hop-Out
Start in the plank position, hop your legs towards your chest, then back out

Side Steps
Squat to a comfortable position and take 5 steps to your right, then 5 to your left

Jumping Jacks
If jumping is uncomfortable, step out one foot at a time while your arms swing overhead

Shadow Boxing
Punch across your body alternating arms

Butt Kicks
Think high-knees, but reverse it to kick your heel to your butt, alternating sides

Experienced HIIT

Squat Jumps
Add a pulse at the bottom to really feel the burn!

Reverse Lunge to High Knee *alternating legs*
Step back into your lunge, as you step back forward draw your knee up towards your chest

Mountain Climbers
For an added oblique burn, add a twist drawing your knee towards the opposite shoulder

Jumping Jacks
For more burn, add a band and jump out against the resistance

Plank Hold
You know it, hold it as long as you can. Up for a challenge? Try going from your hands to your elbows during the hold

Here is the timing to follow, depending on your goal and fitness level:

12 Minutes: 60 Seconds Each, 2 Rounds + 2minute break between rounds
21 Minutes: 60 Seconds Each, 3 Rounds + 2minute break between rounds
28 Minutes: 60 Seconds Each, 4 Rounds + 2minute break between rounds


We recommend trying it first for the 2 rounds, then slowly working your way up to 4 rounds.
If you’re still looking for more recommendations on your cardio routine, feel free to reach out to anyone of our Personal Trainers. They can assess your current levels and help recommend what cardio is right for you.


Most importantly, Try to have FUN with it!

Top 10 Foods to Boost Your Immune System

By Blog

Best foods to help you stay healthy through the winter months

With the emphasis on staying healthy and safe this year, more people are looking for tips to boost their immune system. COVID-19 has brought a lot of changes to our daily lives and one of those being the conscious effort in staying healthy. 

A healthy lifestyle has been proven to help build a strong immune system, which includes:

– Healthy foods 

– Regular exercises 

– Reduced alcohol

– Not smoking 

– Adequate sleep 

– Reduced stress 

On top of a healthy day to day life, you can also look to boosting some of the benefits through nutrition.

While there is no specific food that will prevent the contraction of viruses,  certain foods that are higher in specific vitamins and nutrients can aid in boosting the immune system. Focus on adding these 10 types of foods into your diet:

  1. Cruciferous Vegetables: These are POWERHOUSE veggies that come with a list of beneficial nutrients for our bodies. This includes broccoli, cauliflower, kale, cabbage, bok choy, collard greens, rapini – the list goes on. These veggies include Vitamin A, C, K and Folate, the dark green ones have higher contents of A and C. 
  2. Citrus Fruits: Lemons, oranges, limes and grapefruits are packed with vitamin C . Careful if you’re going for juices as they can be quite high in sugar Aim to get these fruits in their whole format.
  3. Peppers: Green and sweet bell peppers are also high on the vitamin C content
  4. Seeds & Nuts: These guys fill two categories with their great levels of Vitamin D and being high in Vitamin B. These are easy to add in to smoothies and salads, or  on their own as snacks. For some seeds and nuts,  you want to make sure they are either ground or broken when eating them.
  5. Oily Fish: High in your omega’s, but again another Vitamin D super star. It has become clear as we learn more about COVID-19 that Vitamin D is a major player in preventing serious symptoms. 
  6. Spinach and Leafy Greens: These are packed with Vitamin A and  many other nutrients. This fibre rich addition is a great foundation for salads, quickly added to smoothies and many more uses! 
  7. Ginger Root: Most commonly known for its ability to ease stomach upset. Ginger is also a superfood when it comes to immune response. It is anti-inflammatory which aides in fighting off most viruses since inflammation directly affects our bodies immune response.
  8. Turmeric: This is widely known for its bright yellow colour and mainly anti-inflammatory benefits. It has been found that turmeric activates the production of certain cells that are the force of your immune system! Try adding some to your tea, smoothies, or making a turmeric latte.
  9. Whole Grains: These help regulate our digestive process, assisting in a healthy stomach and gut. They also come packed with B vitamins which are crucial for a healthy system but more specifically our energy levels! 
  10. Water:  Saving the best for last! Water! It seems like an obvious part of the equation, but often it is forgotten how important this is.  Adequate water is crucial to our bodies to help eliminate toxins, in cellular function and aids in digestion.!

As you can see with a lot of the foods listed, there are multiple uses and benefits with the main message being eat a variety through your day. What are your go-to remedies through cold/flu season? 

Finding Your Motivation

By Blog

Helping you find your motivation

We get it. Finding the motivation to stay fit can be hard at times, and more often than not other things come in the way. We’ll review simple but actionable ways to help you find your motivation and set yourself up for success.

Key principles in motivation to help you stick to your fitness goals

Motivation is the driving force behind our actions, for good or bad. This comes from a variety of influences but ultimately decides if we will take action or not. As the cooler weather, rain and short days set in, motivation can at times be hard to muster up to physically get into the gym. We all look for that kick-start, the drive to get up and go, but sometimes it’s just not there. Understanding a little bit more about motivation can help in finding it. Here we will break that down into easy to implement tools to re-ignite your internal drive for exercise.

Motivation can be broken down into two types, intrinsic and extrinsic motivation.

Intrinsic: Internal forces that drive behaviour. Such as thwarting off disease, the feeling of accomplishment, stress reduction, feeling better.

Extrinsic: External forces that drive behaviour. This can be weight loss goals, physical appearance, being accountable to another person.

Everyone has different motives behind their fitness journey. The ultimate goal would be to find a balance between internal and external desires to create a lasting lifestyle. 

To figure out how you are motivated and how you can better use your motivation, try answering these key questions:

  • What is it you want to get out of your fitness routine? 
  • Do your goals align with a longer-term lifestyle change? 
  • If they do, what is the desired outcome and commitment you’re making to yourself?
  • If they don’t, what kind of lifestyle goals can you align with your current ones?

Use these questions to align your goals with your motivations, recognize if your goals are more internal or external. If they are more external, try finding a few more internal and vice versa.

Setting yourself up for success

Creating an accountability system

Accountability can come in a few different forms, such as:

  • External accountability with friends and family checking in.
  • Your own set of accountable systems that you use to track your workout days.
  • Let people know what you are working towards, find a friend who can check-in and celebrate each other’s successes.
  • Work with a trainer or sign up for group fitness classes. These external accountability partners can pave a great way to success in your fitness routines. 

Setting your days for success

Find your time that works in your schedule and stick to it! Are you someone who needs their workout to set the tone of their day? Or is after work  for stress relief  a better option? Know your optimal workout time  and schedule that into your everyday

Some simple daily actions to keep you on track can include these:
  • If you workout in the morning, have your workout clothes ready to go the night before. Remove the decision making in the morning, creating a “grab and go” atmosphere. 
  • If you are on the opposite end and workout at the end of your day try packing your gym bag in your car, having your gym clothes ready to go right when you get home.
  • The easier we make the process the better chances we have to act. Simple daily habits like these may seem small, but have the power to create major change. 

Motivation gets you started, habits keep you going

Align your goal with a lifestyle as opposed to a deadline

Goals are a great place to begin to kick start your motivation.  After setting these goals, we find issues in actually maintaining the behaviour. When you can align your lifestyle with your goals, you will find more internal reasons to continue beyond the goal. 

For example: One might want to lose 10lbs before their wedding. We would want to know why that weight loss matters besides looking good. Could it be for improved livelihood and energy? What about thwarting off disease later in life and reducing the burden on their partner? There are many ways to internalize an external goal. A critical look into why the goal matters is one way of aligning that goal with your lifestyle.

Create a reward system

Create a system of rewards for immediate post-workout and through regular intervals into the future. These can be as simple as your post-workout routine of a warm shower and smoothie or other yummy breakfast. 

Future rewards can include “after 6 weeks of following my routine I will treat myself to a massage.” Keep these going and find different creative ways of adding to your rewards to keep you motivated. 

Other tips on staying motivated? Let us know your tricks in the comments below! 

Energy Boosting Tips to Beat that Midday Slump

By Blog

We’ve all been there. Our energy has been great all day. We’ve had a productive morning all the way until 2 pm hits and we are  left wanting to check out and take a nap. We’re left getting that afternoon coffee which we know*will keep us up at night, or opting for a quick sugar snack to ease the slump. There are some simple tricks to help you overcome this midday slump. Below, we’ve compiled some tips from snack ideas and small activities to help you overcome the siesta hour. 


If you are thirsty drink water, if you are hungry drink water, if you are tired drink water – this tends to be a catch-all for most of our bodily ailments. Usually, the thought is to have something with caffeine for that extra zing in the afternoon, but water may be the one thing we need. Not enough water in a day can lead to fatigue. On average most people need 2-4 litres of water a day depending on their activity level. 

Smaller Lunches: 

Eating a smaller lunch can assist in avoiding the midday slump. Although the research is unclear, it is assumed that a larger lunch provides a bigger spike in blood sugar with a bigger crash into the “slump”. Try something lighter, with more nutrients to help maintain your blood sugar better. 

Healthy, Whole Snacking: 

To maintain energy levels, it’s best to eat small meals more frequently throughout the day (yay for snacking). When adding an afternoon snack, focus on complete foods. For example, nuts/seeds, hard-boiled eggs, and smoothies can all offer you a great source of healthy fats, fibre, and protein. This will help keep you full and provide sustained energy levels. 

Stay Away From Sugar: 

Sugar provides quick energy, but can also provide quick crashes. It may feel good in the moment, but typically you’re left more tired than before. Try a piece of fruit such as a banana or apple, this will provide you with enough fibre and sugar to give  that boost without crashing shortly afterward.

Get Some Movement: 

It has been found that a midday workout can not only boost your energy but also increase productivity. If getting to your gym midday isn’t possible, try going out for a walk or use some online resources for desk yoga, stretches, or mini exercises. 

Take a Walking Meeting:

In our age of working from home and virtual meetings, this is becoming a larger trend where it’s easier to plug in and take a walk. A walking meeting is a great way to add some movement and variety into your day. Not to mention if it’s a bright sunny day, the boost you can get from some time outdoors.

Other Tips: 

Although the midday slump has more to do with our daily activities, you want to also check in on your sleep hygiene. If you sleep is impacted at night, you may be more prone to tiredness throughout your day. Try staying away from any screens an hour before bed. Take time to relax, This can be through reading, meditating, or any other self-care that allows you to relax.

Mindfulness Practice – Adding mindful practices into your every day

By Blog

What is mindfulness? 

“Mindfulness is the ability to be fully present and engaged in the moment, aware of your thoughts and feelings without distraction or judgement” – headspace

This practice can be in the form of meditation, journaling, gratitude practice, movement base with yoga or walking. 

Mindfulness practices can increase our ability to be present in the moment which in turn helps us regulate emotions, decrease stress, anxiety and depression. It does so by allowing us the time to observe our emotional reactions, assisting us to develop healthier and more compassionate responses. 

Mindfulness focuses on the present moment and all that is in our present control. The past has happened, the future is not yet here and all you have is this moment. 

Finding what works for you 

When we approach mindfulness, the most common tool used is meditation. Meditations is training our awareness and perspective, learning to observe our thoughts and feelings without judgement. Meditation has some physiological responses too that have been noted through scans such as MRI’s on brain activity. These show a slowing response in our processing, assisting in increasing focus and improving cognitive aging! This all acts like a muscle though and requires consistent work to reap the most rewards – just like our daily exercise.

Meditation is a practice, which requires daily work to get used to. For some people it may not be the easiest practice to start with and it might be better to start in some form of mindful movement to break up your day. This can be walking in nature or some stretching to recenter your mind. As you practice this movement the goal would be to focus on the moment, like the fresh air, how the sun feels, how your stretch deepens with your breath. Using meditative processes while practicing these movements will help you become more mindful about the activity. The goal is to be present and aware, taking time from our busy minds to refocus. 

Other forms of mindful practice can include journaling and gratitude. Journaling can help you focus on what you presently feel and align your emotions in a positive way. Let yourself recognize you have the power to choose how you feel and how you perceive your day. Write down your thoughts and experiences, describe what you felt or are feeling. which ones you want to feel. 

Gratitude is the appreciation of everything you have in life. This can be material, physical, well-being and security. Starting a day with writing down all you are grateful for is a perfect way to align yourself with the present moment. We often wish for more, without recognizing and being grateful for all that we have. 

How to practice this daily

Like exercise, mindfulness is a practice that requires consistent effort to reap all the benefits. You want to find the time of day that is best for you to have your own mindful practices. This can change depending on your schedule and what feels best for you. An example of a day of mindfulness: 

      • In the Morning, meditate and journal first thing: Gratitude and Intention setting
      • Midday, take a break and move distraction free: Go for a walk outside, even just around the block without any devices and try to notice new things about your neighbourhood
      • If the weather does not permit walking, there are options to do some desk stretches or midday mindful movement. Even a quick breathing exercise: Inhale for 4, hold for 6, exhale for 10 repeated 3-times is a great way to reset your nervous system. 
      • Before bed, meditate or set some time to journal: Reflect on your emotional state, what good things happened through your day – find a positive thought to help carry you to sleep.

Our challenge to you is to add some mindfulness into your day for the next two weeks, we’ve prepared a handy calendar you can download below to track your own progress! Let us know how you feel after trying out some of these tips. 


Delicious and healthy Granola – DIY

By Blog

Give this delicious Granola recipe a try!

1/2 c. olive oil or extra virgin coconut oil (melted)

3/4 c. pure maple syrup

2 tbsp. turbinado sugar (we used Sugar in the Raw)

1 tsp. kosher salt

3 c. old-fashioned rolled oats

1 c. unsweetened coconut flakes

3/4 c. raw sunflower seeds

3/4 c. raw pumpkin seeds


Best-Ever Granola

  1. Heat oven to 300°F. Line large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. In large bowl, combine oil, maple syrup, sugar, and salt. Add oats, coconut, and sunflower, and pumpkin seeds and stir to evenly coat.
  2. Spread mixture onto a prepared baking sheet and bake, stirring every 15 min., until granola is light golden brown and dry, 45 to 55 minutes. Let cool completely.
  3. For Ginger-Pecan Granola: Omit pumpkin seeds and reduce sunflower seeds to 1/2 cup. Add 1 1/2 cups pecans (roughly chopped). Bake granola per recipe instructions, tossing with 1 1/2 tablespoon grated fresh ginger (from one 2-inch piece) when it comes out of the oven.
  4. For Cumin-Thyme Granola: Omit coconut. Add 2 tablespoon each cumin seeds and fresh thyme leaves and 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon to the bowl along with oil and maple syrup.
  5. For Spicy Sesame-Tamari Granola: Omit sugar, salt, and sunflower seeds. Use only 1/2 cup coconut and increase pumpkin seeds to 1 cup. Stir in 1/2 cup tamari with oil and add 1/2 cup sesame seeds and heaping 1/2 tsp cayenne along with oats.
  6. For Coriander-Almond Granola: Omit sugar, coconut, and pumpkin seeds. Add 1/4 cup coriander seeds (lightly crushed) and 1 1/2 cups sliced almonds along with oats.
  7. For Sweet and Spicy Granola: Omit coconut and increase pumpkin and sunflower seeds to 1 1/2 cups each. Bake granola per recipe instructions, tossing with 1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon and 1 teaspoon chipotle chile powder when it comes out of the oven.



4 Arm Exercises That’ll Help You Feel Stronger While Kayaking

By Blog

We found this great article from you might like by Victoria Moorhouse


Kayaking can be such a serene summer activity — the sights and sounds of the rippling water and the warm sunshine touching down on my shoulders transport me to a much calmer state.

On the flip side, kayaking is also really, really challenging. The constant paddling to propel the boat through the water makes my arms feel like jelly — as you can imagine, lifting the kayak into the back of my dad’s truck is quite a feat afterward. But I’m tired of cutting my kayak sessions short because I’m feeling the burn, so I’m tweaking my at-home workout routine and adding in arm exercises that’ll help me feel stronger in my paddle strokes.

“In order to get the most out of your kayaking experience and to ensure you can get through whatever the water may throw at you, you will want to make sure that your upper body, as well as your core, is strong to withstand the balancing act that is required!” Annie Mulgrew, an NASM-certified personal trainer instructor, says.

“With each stroke, your body is working to maintain stability, so adding strength training to your workout routine that focuses on your core muscles — especially your obliques — as well as your upper body, as mentioned before, will make you a stronger kayaker!”

In fact, Mulgrew says the sport also requires the use of muscles in the upper back, shoulders, your chest, and your biceps and triceps. You can start boosting your kayaking stroke strength with this short workout curated by Mulgrew.

Do each of these exercises for 12-15 reps using medium weights. This entire circuit can be done for 3-5 rounds. Rest about 60-90 seconds between rounds.

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