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Bayer Winter Health

Do You Have A Healthy Holiday Action Plan?

This post is sponsored by Bayer. To make sure these products are right for you, always read and follow the label.

If you don’t have a plan to keep your health on track this holiday season, you’re not alone! Busy holiday schedules can make it feel almost impossible to maintain even the simplest healthy routines.

Try keeping a simple list of your top health goals for the winter. Make sure to write it down on paper where you and your whole family can see it and track their progress. Start with simple goals- achieving something small can give you the boost you need to stay motivated! Need some goal inspo? Keep reading for my top 5 healthy holiday goals.

My Healthy Holiday Action Plan Goals:

1. Try a winter-friendly workout

• Why not beat the winter exercise slump with a new workout tailored to the colder temperatures? If you’re someone who typically gets active outside, try an indoor activity like aqua aerobics, indoor rock climbing or an indoor group exercise class. Challenge yourself to find one new workout a month, or list your top three and cross them off once you’ve given them a try!
• Don’t be too hard on yourself if a cold temporarily puts a wrench in your workout goals. Just make sure you get back on track once you’re rested and recuperated. If lingering nasal congestion is an obstacle, try a nasal saline-spray to clear your sinuses. hydraSense® Daily Nasal Care products are100% naturally-sourced seawater that is clinically proven to reduce and relieve your nasal cold symptoms. hydraSense® Daily Nasal Care products can be used alongside your other oral cough and cold medications.

2. Focus on fruit

• Ok, this one should be on everyone’s list this winter! Farmers’ markets and apple picking orchards may be closed, but that’s no excuse to cut back on those l vitamin-packed fruits. Eating a variety of fruits is fun, so why not challenge yourself to eat the rainbow?
• Frozen fruits are an easy-option if you struggle to keep fresh in the house, but make sure to check for added sugars. While it’s easy to track your own fruit intake, it can be harder with kids. Not sure if your little ones are finishing their apples and getting their vitamins? Try supplementing with FLINTSTONES® multivitamins. You’ll love that they’re the #1 brand choice of pediatricians. They’ll love that they come in delicious chewables or gummies!

3. Drink more water

• You know water is important, but it can be harder to remember in the winter when you’re not feeling hot and sweaty. There are many great apps out there these days to help you log your water intake. If you’re looking for something with a fun twist, try Plant Nanny. When you drink water, you help an adorable plant friend grow!
• Don’t let this one drop when you’re not feeling well. Getting enough liquids is especially important when you’re sick. Try adding a vitamin-C tablet to your water. Redoxon® Tablets give you ten oranges worth of Vitamin C*, which should motivate anyone to drink up!

* Redoxon® is not meant to replace food.

4. Schedule your sleep

• Bedtimes aren’t just for kids. The best way to get your sleep back on schedule is to pick a consistent time to hit the pillow. Write it down so you can track how often you’re making it to bed on-time. If you’re consistently going to bed too late, think critically about what’s making you miss the mark.
• One of the major bedtime derailers is your cellphone, so limit screen time one hour before sleep.

How will you challenge yourself and your family to take on healthy goals this winter?

This post is sponsored by Bayer. To make sure these products are right for you, always read and follow the label.

Join Springfree Trampoline Canada For Their Summer Jumpoff Event!

We’ve had a blast working with Springfree Trampoline Canada this summer and it has definitely helped me keep my figure from expanding with all the summer fun and travel we’ve been doing. Now Springfree wants to invite you to their Summer Jumpoff event to benefit Cystic Fibrosis this Saturday, July 29 between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. at Young Dundas Square in Toronto!

Springfree has partnered with two-time Olympic Gold Medal-winning trampolinist Rosie MacLennan to host a Canada 150-themed event that is sure to be an amazing time. Trampolines will be set up with the TGOMA interactive gaming system and guests will be invited to play a custom, Canada-150 themed version of the Quizzle game where the questions will all be Canadian trivia! For each 150 questions correctly answered collectively by event guests, Springfree will donate one trampoline from the event to Cystic Fibrosis Canada.

Tgoma Springfree Trampoline

Cystic Fibrosis Canada was an easy choice to partner with as trampolines are great therapy for those who suffer from Cystic Fibrosis as it is an exciting, low impact alternative to traditional exercise.

Plus, since Cystic Fibrosis primarily affects children and young adults, trampoline jumping is also a creative way to encourage exercise for children in a way that’s fun and still makes them feel like a kid – a feeling that may sometimes get lost amongst the daily treatments and physiotherapy required to maintain their health and lung function.

I hope you’ll be able to make it to the Springfree Trampoline Summer Jumpoff Event this Saturday, July 29 between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. at Young Dundas Square in Toronto as it promises to be an amazing event, and for a great cause!

In the meantime, if you do happen to be in the market for the greatest trampoline known to man, I’m also excited to announce that as a special offer just for you guys, if you order a trampoline from the Springfree Trampoline Canada website, you can use code SpringInto150YYZ4 to get a tgoma game system (RV $399.00) absolutely free! tgoma is an interactive Smart Play attachment for your Springfree trampoline that allows you to use jumping power to play different games which are both educational and fun!

Disclosure: I was provided a Springfree Trampoline in exchange for my participation in this program.

GoodLife iHeartExercise Healthy Heart Challenge

Join The #iHeartExercise Challenge With GoodLife Fitness!

Around this time last year is when I decided that I was tired of feeling sore, tired and lazy all the time and decided to something about it. I teamed up with GoodLife Fitness to give myself the jumpstart I needed and while there are still days where I don’t feel like picking my butt up off the couch, overall I am much more active than I was. I definitely feel a lot better than I did 365 days ago.

Well, February is Heart Month all across Canada and GoodLife, in partnership with the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre, will be running a 29 Day Healthy Heart Challenge on Facebook throughout the month. This will consist of a daily challenge, along with exercise tips, recipe ideas, suggestions for reducing stress and getting better sleep, and advice for preventing heart disease and stroke.

If you are looking for a boost to get you started and don’t want to jump all in right away, GoodLife’s Healthy Heart Challenge could be exactly what you are looking for. Simply head over to the GoodLife Facebook Page and get started! I promise you that you will feel better about yourself after only a few challenges. You really have nothing to lose and everything to gain by taking small steps towards a healthier you.

You can share these daily tips with your social network through Facebook and Twitter all month long using the #iHeartExercise hashtag. And, if you have a friend whose heart you care for, bring them in during GoodLife’s Open House. From February 15 – 19 every Canadian has the opportunity to work on their heart health in their local GoodLife club!

PS – It’s going to be hard but that’s what makes it worth doing!!

Hockey Dad Fitbit

Fitbitting: It’s All The Rage

Seriously, if I had to hear one more thing about Fitbit and how everyone has one of these things, I was going to lose it! As if I had the time to wear a clunky man bracelet all day long so I can care about how many steps I was taking. If I wanted to count steps I could just guesstimate based on what I had accomplished that day.

This was me about 2 months ago before I got my first Fitbit Activity Tracker. I started with the Fitbit Charge and, well, you guys know what happened there… What I didn’t share in my last story is that I only lasted 2 days without a Fitbit before I went back to Best Buy and purchased the more expensive Fitbit Charge HR, which comes with a watch wristband that makes it practically unlosable.

For anyone who doesn’t understand the fuss over the Fitbit, let me try to explain it. Imagine everywhere you go there is a giant scoreboard in the sky with all your friends listed on it and the scores posted are how many steps you have taken that day. Even the least competitive person will have a hard time looking at the scores without feeling the need to move around a little, so you can imagine what it does to someone like me who has played competitive sports his whole life.

As my wife will corroborate I have gone from lazy, sleeping in all the time couch potato, to annoying “Let’s go for a walk!” guy. Where I used to lie on the couch to play video games, now I stand and march while I play, which is tough at first but you get the hang of it. The funny thing about it is that while I love competing in the weekly challenges against my friends, the need to do physical activity has actually overtaken my desire to win, which is just the best. That said, I still get miserable when I forget my Fitbit on the charger for the day… Baby steps, people.

Being open to, and loving, the Fitbit hype has allowed me to open my mind to the other fitness aid options out there. When Best Buy reached out to me about their fitness options, I was surprised at how much they had to offer in both tech and non-tech gear. They have asked me to go through their online fitness catalogue and share a few items that caught my eye, so here are just a few things I would love to work with.

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Fitbit Charge HR Fitness Tracker

1. Fitbit Charge HR Fitness Tracker

I had to lead off with the star of today’s show, the Fitbit Charge HR. I have now tried the Flex and the Charge and recommend this particular Fitbit solely for the watch band that it comes with. I found the other versions easy to knock off my wrist and feel safer knowing this one is staying put.

Check out the Fitbit Charge HR for yourself on the Best Buy website.
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Breville Juice Fountain Plus Centrifugal Juicer 2. Breville Juice Fountain Plus Centrifugal Juicer

Ever since I discovered Booster Juice a few weeks ago I have been fascinated with the idea of creating my own healthy concoctions from the comfort of my own home. While I haven’t tried this juicer yet, Breville is a company I trust to make a quality product.

Here is a link to check out the Breville Juice Fountain Plus Centrifugal Juicer over at Best Buy.
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JayBird X2 In-Ear Sound Isolating Bluetooth Headphones

3. JayBird X2 In-Ear Bluetooth Headphones

If you’ve been reading my blog for any reasonable amount of time you will know that I am a headphones junkie. Seriously, I love headphones, mostly because they provide my ears with the gift of music, but also because I love the different feel and designs they offer. These look like they would be perfect for running with.

Here is more info on the JayBird X2 In-Ear Bluetooth Headphones!
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Weider Pro Power Cage

4. Weider Pro Power Cage

While this purchase seems a little out of character for me, I have recebtly started weight training and I love how compact this system is. That and the fact that compared to some others I have seen, this one is way more affordable for the average person.

Here is a little more info on the Weider Pro Power Cage.

Fitbit Charge

Lost Fitbits and the Mysteries of the Mind

The mind is a strange thing, isn’t it? For instance, I know that McDonald’s is extremely unhealthy yet I will still stop in for a Happy Meal whenever the mood strikes. I’ve been finding my battle with exercise to be equally as mystifying even though it should be pretty straight forward. It seems I get bursts of motivation and then slowly watch it fade away.

As an example, earlier this year I partnered with GoodLife Fitness and they even brought a camera crew to my house so I could share the story of my fitness issues. After that I started going to my local GoodLife on a regular basis but in recent months have seen that slip down to about once every couple of weeks. What happened, you ask? The truth is that I have no earthly idea. I loved going to the gym, with my music blasting and sweat pouring down my face. It gave me a new confidence that I had been sorely lacking but now I’ve let that feeling slip away for no good reason.

Then last week I purchased a Fitbit Charge in hopes of giving myself a boost and lo and behold I was exercising more than I ever had before. I joined a bunch of step challenges with my friends and the motivation to out-step everyone had me outside or at the gym walking at every free moment. What is that about? Does my brain really need competition in order to convince me to get off the couch? Is being healthy for my family not enough?

Just when I had finally convinced myself to stop beating myself up over matters of the brain that I could not comprehend, the unthinkable happened. My precious new Fitbit fell right off my wrist while I was out, never to be found again. I was definitely disappointed but wasn’t prepared for what came next. For the next two days I barely lifted a finger and was feeling really depressed about my loss. I’m admitting this to you all because even I found it completely ridiculous that a tiny black band that simply told me how many steps I did that day could cause such an emotional roller coaster in my brain.

I tried to contact support to see if anything could be done but apparently their warranty doesn’t cover stupidity so I did they only thing I could think of to do. I dropped $170 on a brand new Fitbit with a watch band this time instead of the band with the snaps, which, had I researched first, I would have seen a number of people having the same issue with them falling off. Oh yeah, because I was so emotionally distraught, I also got irrationally upset that Fitbit wouldn’t replace the band that “I” lost. Oh brain, you crazy kat!

The lesson here, people, is that the brain is a powerful thing and sometimes you need to give in to its craziness in order to get yourself on the right path. Am I happy to have wasted almost $150? Absolutely not. Am I going to walk, instead of drive, my butt all the way to GoodLife this afternoon to get a workout in? You bet your ass I am!!

Nike Running SportChek

Back To School Also Means Back To Fitness

This is a tough thing to admit but I tend to make a lot of excuses when it comes to my health and well being. No matter how often I think about being active, I always seem to have an excellent reason to do the exact opposite of that. Take this past year, for instance. I was working out at my local GoodLife Fitness at least 4 times a week and started training for my first 5K in the Canada Army Run. How many times do you think I’ve gone running from that day to about a week ago, almost a full year later? Zero! That’s right, in some twisted trick that my brain played on me, I had completed my goal and therefore had nothing left to prove. Even my time at GoodLife has been reduced to once a week, which is completed unacceptable.

Now that the kids are back in school and I have realized just how many hours there are in the day, I have decided to pick myself up off the couch and get my butt moving again. I figure one of these days it’s going to click, so as many times as I get off track I think it’s equally as important to keep fighting for consistency in my exercise regimen. I also decided that I couldn’t keep running in the discount running shoes I had been using, so I turned to Sport Chek for some assistance and decided on the Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 32 running shoes. Between the sole support and the mesh uppers, these shoes make it feel like I am running on top of clouds. Look at them up there in all their orange glory!

Just so you don’t think I’m a selfish monster, I also let my wife and kids pick out some new shoes. Besides, back to school seems like a special enough occasion to warrant some shiny new kicks, right? That and the fact that my kids have been running with me to keep me motivated. My wife, who has also been joining me on this exercising adventure, went with the Nike LunarGlide 7 women’s running shoes and I could tell by the spring in her step that she made the right decision. The kids? Well, my daughter saw the Skechers Twinkle Toes shoes, glittery with light up ability, and practically started shaking with excitement. My son chose the Under Armour Micro-G Velocity shoes because of the colour… Kids, am I right? I told both children that they could pose any way they would like to show off their new shoes and, go figure, they both decided to wear the shoes on their hands instead of their feet. Again, kids.

Under Armor SportChek

Under Armour Mirco-G Velocity Kids’ Grade-School Running Shoes

Skechers Twinkle Toes SportChek

Skechers Twinkle Toes Sport Chek

And there you have it. I have now successfully run 5 times in the last two weeks and I am starting to get that confidence back in my stride. Here’s hoping it sticks around but as you all know, I won’t be afraid to admit it if I get knocked down again. I would also like to say thanks to Sport Chek for helping me select my awesome new running shoes. I expected the price to be obscene and was pleasantly surprised to find that it was going to cost me an arm and a leg for excellent quality equipment. You can find out more about what’s happening at Sport Chek by checking out their Facebook and Twitter pages.

Disclosure: I was compensated for my participation in this program, however I did in fact fall off the health wagon again and the shoes really do feel like what I imagine clouds to feel like.

GoodLife Begin DadFit

Project #DadFit – New Beginnings

Here we are again at this old familiar territory. Things were looking up for a while. I ran my first official 5K, was working out and running 5-6 days a week and even started eating healthier. I had never felt better in my life, mentally and physically, but I have let it all slip through my fingers. Now I sit here on the couch watching Real Housewives of (insert city here) because I’m too lazy to bother looking for the remote control, and I am not proud of myself at all.

All is not lost, however. I have faltered and regained footing before and I know that I can do it again. In fact, my new beginning starts today! My family were excited to welcome a video crew from GoodLife Fitness to our house this month so that I could share my story and struggles with staying fit. It’s not always easy to talk about our shortcomings but I do so with the hope that it will inspire me to work harder and possibly strike a chord in others who are dealing with the same struggles.

The GoodLife Fitness video is about Beginnings and I am really happy with how it turned out. Today is Monday, April 27th and on top of being my daughter’s birthday (Happy Birthday, Baby) this is the day that I begin my journey to a better me.

#DadFit Hard Work

Project #DadFit – This Sh*t Is Hard

I knew the journey to a healthier me would be challenging but I had no idea it was going to be this difficult. Late last year I started running, hit the gym multiple times a week and even had P90X3 going strong. Nothing could stop me. Or so I thought.

Enter the busy Christmas season, snow on the ground and a bout of laziness and everything I had worked for is now far in the rearview mirror. I’ve wanted so badly to get back into my routines but I’m struggling to find the starting point. I’m now back to my old ways, which happen to include non-stop snacking, shortness of breath, sucking in my stomach to fit into my clothes and a complete lack of motivation to do any of the things I used to love doing, such as blogging and podcasting.

Inconsistency seems to be the only consistent thing in my life right now and I’m slowly working my way through it. What is this thing that holds us down even though we want nothing more than to move forward? I’ve watched all the motivational videos, seen what being out of shape can do to you and even interviewed a bunch of health experts, yet here I sit, unable to muster the strength to get off the couch.

I took a first step yesterday when I signed up for a trial membership at my local GoodLife Fitness and plan on attending my first session in the coming days. There is a lot of work to be done and I honestly have no idea if I’ll be able to get it done, but I’m going to keep chipping away at it in hopes that it’ll eventually stick.

I’m going to go ahead and assume that others are going through the same struggles that I am so I can feel like less of a failure and more of an every man. If you are struggling, feel free to share your story in the comments and maybe we can work through this thing together.

McDonalds Cinnamon Melts

Project #DadFit – The McDonald’s Conundrum

DISASTER!

Just as I was getting back on track after a horrendous Halloween nightmare, a brand new McDonald’s pops up quite literally around the corner from my house. I have two major detractors to my DadFit plan and they are pizza and McDonald’s.

If I am being completely honest, while I have still been working out, I have also been to the new McDonald’s for one reason or another on four of the seven days it has been opened so far. As you can imagine, this type of behaviour is NOT conducive to a healthier me… To be fair, three of those trips were only supposed to be coffee runs that somehow ended up with breakfast attached to them.

Also, cinnamon melts. C’mon, man!

Anyway, I need to figure out what I am going to do with this new wrinkle. It’s easy to say, “have some self control, man”, but people who suffer from junk food addiction will understand what I am talking about. My first course of action is going to be driving a different way to work and I’ll go from there.

In the good news department, the excellent people at New Balance read about my journey and hooked me up with some sweet new kicks (is it cool to call them kicks?) to help with my running. I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this yet but I signed up for next year’s Ottawa Race Weekend 10K and I’m a little frightened by it. We’ll dive in to more about the race and the shoes in a later post but for now, I’ll leave you with this question.

How about you? Do you have a health kryptonite? What is it and how do you deal with it?

New Balance Running Shoes

Canada Army Run

Project #DadFit – Week 4: Canada Army Run 5K – Completed!

Weight Last Week: 202.9 lbs
Weight This Week: 201.2 lbs

When I originally signed up to run in the Canada Army Run, I had never run a 5K before and figured it would be great motivation to keep exercising. I was definitely right about that part. I have never pushed myself harder than with those training runs and by the time race day had arrived, I had already completed about eight 5K runs around my neighbourhood. Still, I wasn’t really sure about this whole race thing.

When I arrived on race day, the intimidation hit me within minutes and at one point I actually thought about not going through with it. What if I tripped someone? Or got lost? What if I cramped up or did something to make me look ridiculous? I didn’t know any of the rules and every single one of the other 11,256 racers looked like seasoned veterans to me. Then I got a message from my wife and kids, who had made signs for me and were chanting “Go Daddy Go!”, which made me completely forget about all my worries, and maybe tear up a bit, and got me focused back on the race.

Canada Army Run Go Daddy Go

Thing 1’s Sign

Canada Army Run Go Daddy

Thing 2’s Sign

Watching the opening ceremonies, the tributes to our veterans and current serving members of the Armed Forces made me remember what we were running for that day and the atmosphere was absolutely electric. As I ran the course, there were a number of times where I thought I was going to stop to walk for a minute, as I am accustomed to doing, but every time that thought crept into my head, I would pass a cheering section of people who were all clapping and holding signs of encouragement for all the runners. It was an extremely moving experience and one I will never forget.

With only a half a kilometer left, I saw the finish line appear from around the bend and all the adrenaline and emotions I had in my body came pouring out onto the road. I feel like I floated across the finish line, Jay-Z blaring, arm raised proudly as I knew that I had accomplished something that I will be proud of for the rest of my life. To have the opportunity to thank and accept my medal from a serving member of our Armed Forces was an incredible honour as well.

I had set a goal to run in this race and not only did I follow through but I ran the 5K without stopping for the first time ever and shaved 3 minutes off my best time. I know I sound like a broken record here but coming from someone who has done little physical activity over the last 15 years, if I can do this, anyone can do this. Get out there and set a small goal for yourself. You’ll be amazed how great you feel when you push through what you thought was your limit and get to the next level!

Just as a quick side note, I want to say thank you to everyone for all your encouragement throughout this process. All of your comments and messages have meant more to me than I can express and they really keep me motivated to keep going.

Canada Army Run Finish Line

Looking Scruffy!