Tag Archives: summer

Healthy Summer Date Ideas

21 Jun

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The weather seems to be getting nicer (knock on wood!) and today is the first day of summer. So we thought this was the perfect time to write a post about healthy and active summer date ideas!

Now of course you don’t want to go out with your hunny and do something that’s going to leave you sweaty and stinky…so here are some active/healthy date ideas that won’t leave you sweaty!

Picnic

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What a great way to enjoy a nice healthy meal together while enjoying the beautiful weather. Pack a healthy lunch with sandwiches, fruits, salads, veggies and dip then bring it to a park and sit down and enjoy it together.

Biking

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Biking is actually a great date activity. And if you are going for a leisurely ride, you can ride side by side (wow I just felt like Dr. Seuss writing that line!) and talk as you ride. You can even bike to your picnic destination! You can also bike to a cute little coffee shop (where you will order your coffee without cream and sugar right?!) and sit outside and enjoy the sun. There are so many places you can get to on a bike –especially for those of you living in Ottawa. You wouldn’t believe how many bike paths we have. And if you are not aiming to be Lance Armstrong (without the doping of course) and go for a leisurely ride with your partner, you won’t be too sweaty.

Hiking

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Put on your hiking gear and a backpack with water and healthy snacks and head for the hills with your hunny. Hiking is a great way to keep your body moving and working hard.  It will also help build endurance and strength and it’s even more enjoyable when you do it with someone else!

Rock Climbing

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Rock climbing is a great physical activity that builds strength. We think it’s a good Summer date idea because it really helps work on communication skills and building trust. When you are on the rock/wall you will be relying on your partner to not only hold you up and keep you steady, you will also rely on them to communicate with you in terms of where and how you can work your way up.  Open communication and trust are two key components of a healthy, functional relationship so why not work on them in a fun way?!

Boat Ride

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Find a place where you can rent a boat – whether it be a paddle boat, row boat canoe or kayak. You will be sure to get a upper body workout (minus the paddle boat) while spending time together in a beautiful setting. You will have to work together to make yourselves go anywhere so it also becomes a great team work activity- and we definitely look at being in a relationship like being on a team.

Play Chef

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Take turns playing Chef for one another. Plan out a healthy meal and prepare it for your partner. What a great way to show them how much you like/love them. Remember the saying ladies, the way to a mans heart is through his stomach! And if you want that to be a nice looking stomach that you could wash clothing on, I suggest preparing a healthy meal 😉 .

Go to the Beach

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There is nothing better than a beach date in the Summer. You can get a good upper body workout by jumping in the water and swimming, you can go for a walk along the sand or toss a Frisbee or football. What a great way to spend some time together outside in a fun setting. Just don’t forget sunscreen, and a water bottle!

Water Park

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They aren’t just for kids – grown ups can go too!! They always have super fun rides and you normally have to walk up a hill or stairs to get there – so you’ll be getting exercise without even realizing it! If you want to keep it a healthy date, pack your own lunch and steer clear of the hot dogs and pizza.

Yoga

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This may sound like a weird one, but doing yoga together can be a great summer date – especially if you take it outside! You can either do your own session at a park, look for a studio or teacher that offers outdoor sessions* or go to parliament hill Wednesdays at lunch and do it there! There are also some places that offer partner yoga*! Yoga is a great way to build strength and patience, clear your mind, and if you are doing partner yoga –team work!

We hope you like our Summer date ideas! Message us if you have any other great healthy and/or active Summer date ideas – we’d love to hear them!

S & L

  • If you are interested in doing yoga sessions outdoors check out *insert ciaras link*
  • If you are interested in trying a partner yoga class Cherry Blossom studios offeres classes on Friday nights at 7:00

Making over Summer Calorie Bombs

19 Jun

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Summer is here…and with that comes a lot of events, gathering and traditions revolving around food! More often than not that food is not very healthy – but with a few small changes it could be healthier!

This post is going to hopefully help you defer some common summer calorie bombs by replacing them with healthier versions!

Hamburger

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A summer classic for sure, but if you are not careful hamburgers can be huge calorie bombs. They can be loaded with bad fat, pre-made patties are often high in sodium, condiments like ketchup are made with sugar and a white bun is just no good for you!  To give your hamburger a healthy makeover, opt for lean means like ground chicken or turkey for your patty. Make your own patties using healthy ingredients (include diced up veggies!) and minimal salt. Instead of a bun use a leafy green, Portobello mushrooms or eat it naked! If you really want a bun, go for a whole grain one, and you can even just have one bun on the bottom. For your sides go for grilled veggies, corn with no butter, salad with a light homemade dressing or sweet potato fries!

Popsicles

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On a hot summers day you may turn to a popsicle or freezy to beat the heat…the problem is they are both pretty much just made from sugar. Instead, make your own popsicles by blending a smoothie, pouring it into a popsicle or ice cube tray and freezing it. Looking for something cold , quenching and sweet? Opt for a homemade fruit salad!

Movie Popcorn

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Summer is the season when all the best movies come to theatres. We love popcorn, and movie popcorn is especially delicious, but it is loaded with calories! If you are going to a movie theatre let’s be realistic, there aren’t any healthy alternatives. So you pretty much have two healthier options: you either you pack a few healthy snacks and sneak them into the theatre…or you order a small popcorn with no butter! I know the large gets free refills and that’s extremely tempting, but by choosing a small it helps ensure you won’t be eating mindlessly, you will probably eat more slowly and the small size and absence of butter will drastically decrease the amount of calories.

Chips and Dip

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You’re at a BBQ and are looking for a quick pre-BBQ snack for guests. You probably automatically think chips and dip. Obviously, chips are processed and most are fried, so they aren’t a healthy choice. Typical dips you buy in a grocery store are made with cheese, sour cream or mayo…aka bad fat! Instead, buy or prepare an assorted veggie platter.

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And for the dip, chose a hummus (there are so many great kinds!), or if you want a creamy dip make your own using 0% greek yogurt as the base and add fresh herbs and lemon juice to it.

Fruity Cocktails and Ice Cold Beer

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With summer comes summer cocktails and ice cold beer. Most of these types of cocktails are pretty much made up of alcohol and sugar which means they are extremely high in calories. So, if you are planning to enjoy a cocktail, make your own and be smart about the ingredients. Use less alcohol, with and choose ingredients with less  or no artificial sugar.  Instead of having 3 or 4, take your time and enjoy 1. After you have finished the one, switch to something else like spring or sparkling water.

Drinking a 2-4 of beer will not only get you hammered it will ruin your waistline. This summer instead of pounding back the beers why not try a different approach…have one or two! As beer is high in calories, go for a lower calorie of light beer. And who cares if your friends chirp you! You will have the last laugh when they are walking around with huge beer bellies and you are rocking 6-pack abs! 😉

S’mores

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If you are at a cottage or going camping, you will probably stop to pick up three things, graham crackers, milk chocolate and marshmallows. S’mores are a classic treat to enjoy while sitting around a camp fire. If you are looking for a healthier version here’s what we suggest…Marshmallows are sweet, which makes sense because they are pretty much just made of sugar. Out of all the components of a s’more, this is the one you want to throw out the window. Instead, go for a slice of pineapple (stay with us!). Slice up the pineapple and roast a slice over the coals of your camp fire. Then put a square of dark chocolate on one graham cracker and place the grilled pineapple on top of the chocolate. Voila – a healthier version of a s’more! And if you don’t like pineapple try another fruit like a banana- they go great with chocolate!

Summer is an awesome time of year when so many memories coming from being with family and friends are built. Of course you are going to indulge here and there over the summer – and that’s okay. Our goal with this post was to show you that there are healthier versions of summer classics that are just as tasty! If you are going to enjoy a summer classic and you know it’s a calorie bomb – watch your portions and maybe add a little something extra to your workout the next day ;).

S & L

Tips to Keep Healthy While on Vacation

3 Jun

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Today’s post is #3 out of 3 for our staying healthy while on vacation series. We have talked about why it’s important to exercise while you are away, and we have given you a hotel room workout. So today we have decided to give you some of our tips on how to stay healthy while you are away on vacation!

1.       Walk

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Walk whenever possible. If you are going on a tour, take a walking tour. If you are going out on your own, try and walk instead of hoping on public transit. You would be surprised how much you can see by walking and you will be keeping active while doing your sightseeing!

2.       Watch the Drinking

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People like to drink while they are on holidays, maybe it’s a couple drinks with dinner, or maybe it is an all-out booze fest at an all-inclusive resort. Either way, if you want to stay as healthy as you can while you are away – keep the boozing to a minimum!

 3.       Pack Healthy Snacks

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When you are out and about on your holiday, pack yourself healthy snacks. Bring sandwich bags with you and fill them with veggies, fruit, nuts or seeds. We are pretty sure you can get each of those things in any grocery store around the world J. If you have your own healthy snacks with you, you will be less likely to stop somewhere and buy junk. It will also mean that you won’t be starving by the time lunch or dinner roll around, and therefore you’ll be less likely to over eat during those meals. Not to mention you will save money and time!

4.       Bring a Water Bottl

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This is a super important one! We have talked time and time again about how important drinking water is for your health. There is no exception when you are on holidays. In fact, if you are walking around all day somewhere hot – you should be drinking even more water! Bring a tin water bottle with you and carry it with you everywhere you go. Fill it up before you go out for the day and if you stop at a restaurant for a meal, ask to see if they will re-fill it for you.

 5.       Balance your Meals



Let’s say you are in Florence, and you know that one night you are going out for a pasta dinner – that day, have a salad for lunch. Try and balance out your meals so they are not all super heavy, or fatty. Now when we say balance out your meals we DO NOT mean to not eat all day or only snack during the day. This is NOT GOOD. Not only is it super unhealthy, it will also mean that by the time you do sit down for your meal you will over eat because your body will be starving.

6.       Pick Active Activities

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When building your vacation itinerary, try and incorporate some activities that have you moving around. For example, snorkeling, hiking or as we mentioned in tip #1 walking tours. We are not suggesting you only do activities that require aerobic activity but if you want to stay healthy we highly recommend doing some! On days when you are not doing something active, do a quick (yet efficient!) workout.

7.       Be Prepared

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Being prepared starts with your packing. Make the commitment to yourself and your travel partner(s) to stick to an exercise routine while you are away. Plan out a few different workouts you can rotate through and pack workout gear, music and any small exercise equipment you can/need (for example resistance bands). If you arrive at your destination with a plan of action, you will be more likely to follow through. If you have workout clothes packed and running shoes ready to go – it will help to remind you that you need to exercise. Make a workout playlist ahead of time of songs that you know will get you pumped up!

8.       Be Wise When You Indulg

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We are not so naïve as to think that people won’t (or shouldn’t) indulge while on vacation. We do understand what a vacation is, and we understand that indulging is part of the experience. When we were in Rome together a few years ago, we fell in love with gelato. But that doesn’t mean we had huge portions of it for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It’s fine to indulge while you are on vacation, but if you want to stay as healthy as possible – be wise when you indulge. If you know you are going to have dessert one night, pass up the cocktail and split the dessert with someone. If you are going to have a pasta dinner, pass on the free bread and chose a tomato sauce over an alfredo. If you are going to have a delicious gelato, go for a walk after. These simple yet smart decisions will help you out!

Sadly this brings our 3 part vacation series to an end. We really enjoyed coming up with these posts, so we hope that you enjoyed reading them J. Hopefully you found some helpful information that you can put to use on your next vacation.

Let us know what YOU do to stay healthy while on vacation by commenting, emailing or tweeting us!

Safe travels!

S & L

Working out while on vacation

29 May

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When we think of summer we think of vacations – so, we thought it would be a great idea to do a series of posts all about staying healthy while on vacation. For anyone gearing up to go away – pay close attention!

Today’s post will be the first of three and it will go through reasons why you should workout while you are on vacation!

We know what a lot of you are thinking; “If I am on a vacation why would I want to workout??” Well, there are actually a lot of good reasons for sticking to a workout routine while you are away. So let us try and convince you.

1.       Sight Seeing

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Believe it or not working out while on vacation can be a great way to see the sights. I went backpacking a couple years ago and the easiest way for me to exercise was to run. So run I did. I ran in as many of the cities we visited as possible; Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Lyon, Nice, Paris, Rome and Florence. Not only was it a great way to stay active, it was an amazing way to see each city! You can even bring your camera along and snap some pictures along the way.

2.       All you need is a Pair of Sneakers

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As I mentioned above, running is a great way to stay active while you are on vacation because you only need one thing – running shoes. Well shoes, plus your body of course – oh and  workout clothes…but with those 3 things you will be good to go! There are so many exercises you can do using your own body that there really is no good excuse not to do anything while you are away J.  (Stay tuned for post #2 of 3 for more on this…)

3.       Compensation

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Face it, when you travel a lot of your good eating habits fall by the waist side. In fact, I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that people’s scales probably go up a few numbers when they return from their vacation. Because you know in advance that you won’t be able to keep all your good eating habits (you better keep some!!), making sure you incorporate exercise into your vacation routine is even more important. It will help ensure that you are least break even and that your health and your waist don’t suffer!

4.       Energy

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Exercising gives you energy, so if you exercise while you are away you will have more energy to go out and enjoy your vacation! You don’t want to overexert yourself because that will not give you more energy, but you can still exercise.

5.       Hotel Gyms

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Most hotels have gyms in them –surprised?! We hope not! When you are booking your hotel, chose one with a gym in it – you will be able to throw your gym clothes on, go down a couple flights, workout, then go right back up to your room to shower and get ready for your day! Easy peezy lemon squeezy.

6.       Easier to Get Back to Normal

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If you have ever taken a break from a workout routine, you know how hard it can be to get back into it. Taking a break while on vacation is no exception. We aren’t saying that you should keep your exact same workout routine while you are away, but if you maintain some sort of fitness (and healthy eating J) routine while you are away, it will be that much easier to get back into your normal routine once you are home.

Hopefully after reading this post we have squashed all of your excuses not to workout out! Stay tuned for our next vacation post where we will give you a hotel room workout!

S & L

Outdoor Workouts

27 May

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This past week it has been so gloomy here in Ottawa! But I am hoping that Mr. Sun will be coming back soon so that we can all enjoy his rays of light and warmth. One of the things I love about summer is being outside doing something active and being surrounded by other people doing the same thing! Warm weather brings so many great outdoor activities that are fun and get your body moving!

Here are some awesome ways to be active and enjoy the great outdoors this summer. We will even let you know on average how many calories you can burn doing each activity, and what muscles you are working!

**all calories burned are estimated and based on a 140 pound person performing the activity at a moderate intensity for 1 hour **

Running

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This one is obvious – but it is a great workout! I find people either love running or they hate it. The nice thing is you can take it at your own pace.

(Estimated) Calories Burned in an hour: ~731

Muscles being worked: legs

Cycling

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Cycling can be an awesome workout that torches tons of calories depending on your legs speed and power as well as the surface you are riding on, and the distance you are going! If you are looking to get a workout out of biking then a 15 minute leisurely bike ride from your place to your friends house on  a flat road probably won’t cut it – but if you cycle with power and speed for an hour on a trail that has hills you will definitely get a worthwhile workout!

(Estimated) Calories Burned in an hour: ~554

Muscles being worked: quads, calves and glutes

Swimming

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On a hot summers day there is nothing better than cooling off in the water…so why not swim some laps while you are in there?? Swimming is actually a great workout! I have been hitting the pool lately because I am training for a sprint triathlon. Anyone who knows me knows that I am not was not much of a swimmer so figured I should probably learn how to swim properly before the race J. Besides the fact that I am a natural sinker, and I hate getting my hair wet…I have been enjoying it more than I thought I would! And man, do I get a great workout from it!

(Estimated) Calories Burned in an hour: ~386

Muscles being worked: Arms, chest, back and shoulders

Hiking

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Hiking is a great way to be one with nature and get a workout in at the same time. Climbing up hills and navigating your body through trails will sure to have you breaking a sweat and burning calories.

(Estimated) Calories Burned in an hour: ~381

Muscles being worked: legs

Roller Blading

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If you like skating in the winter maybe you will like roller blading in the summer! What a great way to work on your power, speed and agility!

(Estimated) Calories Burned in an hour: ~420

Muscles being worked: core, glutes and legs

Kayaking

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I have never been kayaking, but it is on my list of things to do! It looks like so much fun and propelling yourself forward against resistance looks like a killer upper body workout!

(Estimated) Calories Burned in an hour: ~319

Muscles being worked: shoulders, arms and back

Outdoor Sports

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Getting outside and playing a sport is a great way to hang out with friends and get exercise at the same time. Whether it be as a recreational activity or on a competitive team. Just keep your body moving!

(Estimated) Calories Burned in an hour/ muscles being worked:

Soccer:   ~445 / lower body

Street hockey: /shoulders and arms

Tennis: ~386 / shoulders, chest & back

Beach Volleyball: ~218 /lats

Full Court Basketball: ~697 /shoulders

Skipping

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Remember the good old days skipping in the school playground? Well we have great news – skipping is not just for kids! It’s actually a really great workout! There are surprising amounts of ways to skip, regular skipping, brining your legs together than apart or even skipping while in a squat. It’s actually one of the ways we warm up before certain workouts.

(Estimated) Calories Burned in an hour: ~600

Muscles being worked: shoulders, core, glutes legs

Boot Camp

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Boot camps have become a very popular workout method – especially in the summer when they can be done outside! You will get a good circuit workout from boot camp classes, and get to meet new people! If you are interested in joining a boot camp and live in the East end of Ottawa contact us at:

(Estimated) Calories Burned in an hour: ~533

Muscles being worked: full body

 

Now all we need is some nice weather so we can all get outside and be active! Until then – hit the gym!

L