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.

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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!

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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. Continue reading

Nike Training Club

We are getting to that time of year when holiday parties make moderation and keeping a healthy diet challenging to say the least. I try to amp up my workouts around December to counter some of the guilt-inducing chocolate, latkes and eggnog that I have trouble refusing.

After doing the same  full-body High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) workout program for about a year now, I’ve grown quite tiresome of it lately. I’ve already talked about how spinning is a staple in my exercise routine,  but we all know that nothing gets you results like doing sets of lunges, squats and burpees (oh my!).

To the chagrin of Blackberry users out there, I need to tell you about the FREE Nike Training Club app (available as of yesterday on Android, too!) for your iPhone or tablet. I’ve only used it a couple of times so far, but I’m pretty sure it’s going to change my life.

With over 100 workouts to choose from, the Nike Training Club app has workouts for everyone at every level. You start out by choosing your goal, followed by your fitness level, and then select a workout from a list of varying lengths (15, 30 and 45 minute workouts). I’ve been doing the 45 minute high interval cardio workouts and they remind me of group-style bootcamps that I’ve done in the past.

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