Friday, February 19, 2016

H̶a̶r̶d̶e̶r̶ Better Faster Stronger

How to Change Up Your Health and Fitness Game

Hit the gym daily, eat more greens, focus on the positives, try a sound bath (read: Google sound bath)…

If you’re anything like the majority of Canadians, the above reads similar to your New Year’s resolutions for 2016. And if you’re anything like the 73% of those who will eventually break them, according to a recent Ipsos poll, you’re in luck because we’ve created a list of three things you can resolve to do now. Whether you’re looking to kick-start your spring wellness regime or take the first baby steps towards mid-year self-improvement, read on for easy ways to change up your health and fitness game fast.

Let’s talk about sweatwork. If this is your first time hearing the term, listen up because it could be the next big thing to join the Merriam Webster dictionary since athleisure last year. Sweatworking is the act of combining work with working out, where barriers are knocked down, innovative ideas flow, and camaraderie flourishes. Swap your next lunch brainstorming session or networking coffee meeting with a power walk, or physical activity of your choice, to meet fitness objectives while checking things off your professional or academic to-do list. Cherry Beach, on Toronto’s outer harbour, Marilyn Bell Park, just west of Ontario place along the lakeshore, and the west end’s High Park, are all sweatwork-worthy locations this spring.

Changing up health and fitness practices means rounding up your friends, popping bottles, wearing a curve-hugging outfit and hitting a—group exercise class. (FYI: the bottles are filled with water.) If you don’t believe us take a hint from chief marketing officer at upscale fitness club Equinox, Carlos Becil, who told Vogue, “Working out is the new happy hour”. In addition to being hot in the fitness world, adding this into your routine is a fun way to socialize with friends while strengthening the degree to which you are emotionally attuned to one another, as per the British Journal of Psychology. By engaging in “nonverbal mimicry”, meaning doing what others are doing through facial expressions, body language, and positions, a special bond is created that makes people feel closer to one another. Try an indoor obstacle course training center, such as Toronto’s Pursuit OCR if you’re an adventure-seeker, or a barre class for a ballet, yoga and pilates-inspired workout, to be on-trend and reap social and physical benefits.

Look good, feel good, do good. No—seriously, we have scientists on our side again for this one, who have studied a phenomenon called “enclothed cognition”, referring to the link between what we wear and how we feel. In explanation of the concept, Dr. Adam Galinsky told the New York Times, “Clothes invade the body and the brain, putting the wearer into a different psychological state”, as well as affecting how we think about ourselves. The psychology expert believes this can be applied to activewear and has told The Sydney Morning Herald, “I think it would make sense that when you wear athletic clothing, you become more active and more likely to go to the gym and work out”. Simply slipping into your head-to-toe nylon-spandex blend and lacing up your Nike’s is likely to make you want to workout, and by elevating your current gear, the sky is the limit. This season invest in groundbreaking brands that are disrupting the split between function and fashion through clothing made using luxurious, moisture-wicking fabrics, designed to optimize performance while keeping you looking great from day to night, such as edgy Toronto-based sportswear brand, MICHI.

The health and fitness game has changed, and it’s players and practices are continuously evolving. To keep up to speed, integrate wellness objectives into your daily activities and experience the empowerment of sweating your way through work and play, while looking really, really good, and receiving a healthy side dose of endorphins.

Splurge or Save

Where to get your new summer runners

Spring has sprung, the sun is shining longer, the days are warmer. Some of us may be looking to get fit for summer which means an opportunity to shop for some new trendy running shoes. Whether you are ready to get moving or just want a new stylish runner to add to your collection. Looking for functionality, price or fashion-forward; there’s a place for everyone. Here’s a list of the best and worst places around Toronto to get the runners you need.

The runners shop
Looking for functionality? If your new to running and require a bit of help, you should defiantly make a trip to The Runners Shop located at 180 Bloor ST W. Here, you will find brands such as Asics, Brooks and New Balance that range in price from $89 to $219. These brands are certain to please and the staff are welcoming and genuine in their effort towards helping you find the perfect shoe.

Foot locker
If you’re not sure which type of runner you need but are sure you want a name brand like Nike, Adidas, Under Armour or Puma; Foot Locker is the place to go. They carry a broad product assortment focusing on product depth. Nike has a big selection of color and printed shoes for bold fashion savvy shoppers to choose from. Their assortment includes performance running shoes as well as essential classics. Staff are helpful in assisting customers find the perfect shoe through their understanding of product knowledge.

Sport Check
Looking to get the most out of your dollar? This is the store for you. Catering to more than just shoes, the assortment may not be as wide as foot locker. However, they carry name brand shoes such as Nike, Under Armour, Asics and Adidas; prices ranging from $69 - $259.  They have good sale promos, a variety of colour within each brand. Friendly staff are there to help weather you’re looking for something fashionable, functional or both.

Savvy savers, this is the place to go, you’ll get great prices with even better promotions.You won’t find the most popular brands however the shoes might do the trick until a performance running shoe is necessary. Mixture of colours and styles are offered through Champion; their main running shoe brand. Staff are welcoming and available to help you with limited product knowledge.

The last place on the list is probably the last place you would want to visit. If you are looking for something cheap and simple Walmart might be your best bet, they only have a few bands with even fewer styles.  All are priced low ranging from $10 to $50. There is very little to no customer service, the people working know little about the products and are difficult to get to assistance. If you prefer service as well as a quality runner, this probably is not the place to go.