New Years Resolutions

The majority of resolutions made by North Americans fall into one of two categories: self-improvement & education, and health & fitness. This year I kept my goals simple, but in keeping with the trend, resolved to learn (how to better use my DSLR) and to adopt a few new healthy habits (flossing every day and drinking warm lemon water every morning). If you too fell in line with the masses (and in particular if your health and fitness goals are loftier than mine), here are some resources to help you keep those resolutions.


Get Fit

Nike Training Club: We’ve written about this amazing app before and having been in bridal boot camp mode for a couple months now, I stand by our initial impressions.  Looking for a high intensity calorie blasting work out?  A focused 15-minute ab burner?  Help building muscles and gaining strength?  Nike Training Club offers all that and more with minimal equipment and amazing instructions.  It’s easy to follow and crazy effective.  I rely on NTC workouts on days when I’m lacking focus at the gym and it consistently kicks my ass way harder than I kick my own.

Passport to Prana: Another repeat on this blog, but whether your a current practitioner or looking to build a yoga practice, the value of this pass can’t be beat.  Valid for a year following activation, this $30 card allows you to attend a yoga class at all of the participating studios.  There are about 40 studios downtown and at regular prices of $15-$25 a class, the pass pays for itself in no time.  Bonus: there are several participating studios throughout the GTA, so you have no excuse when  you’re visiting relatives in the suburbs :)

Pedometer: There’s nothing new about it and its as simple a piece of fitness equipment as you can get, but a pedometer provides a great impetus to make those small changes to your day (taking the stairs, parking further from the building, walking to the grocery store, etc.) that can mean big changes in the long run.  I’ve been “working” from home for the past couple of months and days where I don’t leave the house are not uncommon.  Had I been wearing a pedometer that informed me I’d taken a mere 100 steps in a day, I think I’d be much quicker to strap on a pair of running shoes!  There are loads of different pedometers out there from the high tech to the very low.  Think about your fitness goals and what you actually want to keep track of and then stop by your local sports store.

Race Goal: The only time in my life that I’ve run even remotely regularly is when I committed to running the Sporting Life 10k a few springs ago.  I am not a runner (in fact I find running to be a painful experience) and knew I would crash and burn if I didn’t train for the race.  And since I joined the race with my new boyfriend I couldn’t possibly let that happen. So I ran. Outdoors, on the treadmill and even on some trails. And come race day, I killed it and it was pretty much the best feeling ever.  If you’re looking for some inspiration, the Sporting Life race is a super easy starter.  It’s mainly downhill, you’re paced with runners your own speed, and now is the perfect time to start training.  Plus I’m now engaged to that new boyfriend, so you never know!


Learn Something New

Ladies Learning Code:  Since Robyn and I started blogging we’ve been talking about taking a course to learn code.  If you’re a blogger or have ever tried blogging, you know how frustrating it can be to not be able to make your blog look and work the way you want it to.  Ladies Learning Code is a women-run not-for-profit organization that teaches beginner-friendly technical skills in a comfortable, social environment.  I’m waiting for the Photoshop & WordPress for beginners classes to come around again and then maybe I’ll see you there!  If you’re interested in blogging specifically, I’d also recommend staying tuned for the new e-courses coming up soon from A Beautiful Mess.

Henry’s School of Imaging: If, like me, you’re looking to expand your photography skills this winter, Henry’s is the place to start.  They offer camera specific courses to teach you how to use those fancy new gadgets as well as more advanced general photography courses.  Camera 101 courses are three hours and $75.

Art Gallery of Ontario: If getting creative with your hands instead of your computer is more your speed, I’m a big fan of the art classes at the AGO.  Just being in the AGO makes me feel inspired and the studio space and instructors are amazing. Although the painting 101 class was my favourite to date, the drawing classes allow you to work in the gallery itself, sketching the works of art you’ve previously admired from afar.  If you’re a member, you get a significant discount on the classes (almost worth the price of membership itself).  Some of the courses started this week, so check out the curriculum now!

Toronto District School Board: For more general interest courses, the TDSB is a great place to start.  Check out the Winter 2014 course calendar for reasonably priced classes on everything from bird-watching (yes, there’s a class for that!) to salsa dancing.


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