I've always been proactive about health, healing, and listening to my body. It's why I became a coach in the first place. Last weekend, I was reminded of this commitment when I crashed on my bike into the sidewalk, fell and broke two ribs. Luckily my helmet, and the fact that I fell away from traffic, [...]
What if we reframed 'exercise' as we know it? Reframed it so that anyone, regardless of confidence, fitness level, or social status, can do? Exercise as PLAY. No, this isn't me trying to disguise a word to use a clever marketing ploy. And it's not about having washboard abs or being on the cover of a magazine. It's about taking control of your life so you can live fully.
There really are easy ways to move a little more every day when you think outside of the box. You don't need a gym - let the world be your playground. For the next 28 days, why not improve your health, get outside and rediscover the joy of spring?
My family is part of why PLAY is such a fundamental piece of the work I do. How can PLAY help your mental health? When people stop PLAYING, there is a direct correlation with increased anxiety and depression. What if you could explore more of what brings you joy? Well you can!
Did you know that seven holidays officially have chocolate tied to them? And what goes better with easter chocolate than an easter egg hunt! Just because you are playing doesn't mean you have to restrict any food groups. Sometimes, doing things for the heck of it matters more than looking for the health benefits.
As they say, "age is just a number." Instead of focusing on your age, start to focus on how you can increase your quality of life. What's FUN got to do with it?
There is no doubt that life-altering events change our perspective and our sense of awareness that life is short. For me, it's when the paramedics pulled my youngest child out of the shattered window after our head-on collision in 2007 that I realized the fragility of life the most. It's why I'm on a mission to reignite people's passion for play so that they can fight disease and improve their quality of life as they age. Often it's not until we see a young child or even an animal in the act of fun and play do we realize that piece of us is missing. Here is how you can cultivate more play into your everyday life!
Since we have all entered the one-year mark since the WHO declared a pandemic, have you made changes in your habits that will stick? To become healthier as individuals and as a society, we need to become people who try different things, listen to our bodies, and find positive lifestyle changes that we can stick with for the long haul. Learn what the #1 secret is to change your habits!
We are all given 24 hours a day but how many days we get is never certain. How are you spending your time when it comes to your health? Is it working for you or against you? Here's how you can find more time.
To become healthier as individuals and as a society, we need to be the type of people who try different things, listen to our bodies, and find positive lifestyle changes that we can stick with for the long haul. But, you don't have to change everything in your life for the sake of a trend. How can you find sustainable habits that last?
What's hard? Change. With 1.5 billion people in the world not doing enough exercise to keep healthy, it's one of the most challenging habits people struggle to fit into their lives. But, despite knowing what you should do, maybe you choose not to do it because it seems too confusing or too hard even to start. Find out why!
In this day in age, most individuals can sit for many hours at a time, day after day, between working on a computer to eating a meal, watching tv, playing video games, etc. Approximately 70% of the waking day may be in a sitting position.* This affects not only your posture but, more importantly, your health. There IS a way to fix it, and it starts with some simple strategies you can start with today!
Are you ready to identify as a healthier, better version of yourself? As a health coach, studying and understanding behavior change is what I love to do. I help clients change their habits and have fun (because let's face it, life is too short not to have fun!). People who break up with the all or nothing cycle have figured out a system or habits that work for them every day. Not just once in a while.
October 20th, 2019, was a very emotional day in our lives. Our daughter ran her first 1/2 marathon at 24 years old. While this is a significant accomplishment for anyone, it was particularly poignant for her. Five years to that day, she had gone to the emergency room for a mental health crisis. After suffering for [...]
With the pandemic, we've all be through nothing short of a collective wake-up call. When life gets crazy and responsibilities at home and work pile on one top of the other, it's easy to let our health and fitness slip. Now, more than ever, people appreciate just how much our physical and mental health is the most precious resources we own.
I genuinely see play as a habit that anyone can do regardless of confidence, fitness level, or social status to help manage their health. How? Much like free play, the instructions for exercise are not "rules" set in stone. They are guidelines - a suggestive framework for being your healthiest - that you can adapt to make your own.
If you're ready to make some changes to the way you exercise, eat or manage stress, here's a pro tip: find someone who can help you keep accountable and push you outside of your comfort zone. I did with Project PR and WHOOP. Not only was the challenge fun, but it proved to me the power of data for better health.
If you haven't been able to make your health a priority, I could certainly tell you why I think you need to make a change. But is that going to motivate you actually to make a change? Probably not. The truth is that mastering change has to start with the right mindset, and focusing on less will get you more sustainable results in the long run. Why not pick just ONE new habit for 2021?
The 2021 "Fitness Forecast" is all about making physical and mental health accessible by incorporating plenty of outdoor time and focusing on overall health. Why not give yourself or your loved one the best gift this Christmas - the gift of health.
As we head into a new year, it's time to rethink health so that our goals have less to do with the trends and more to do with mastering the basics. The thing that has never been a trend is WHY you need to keep moving, eating and managing stress. Here are the top 4 habits for lifelong health!
If exercise is a keystone habit for a healthier life, I want to show you easy it is to implement play as a lifelong adventure! Everything you need to move more is right outside, or even inside, your front door: stairs, rocks, benches, trees, fences, sidewalks, parking lots, green spaces - they are all functional movement spaces. Yes, you can find joy again! Helping you recapture that "feel good" sentiment is what I'm here to do. Have fun, feel good, and improve your health!
This year, 2020, brought on many unexpected changes to our lives because of a pandemic. Planning was hard. And maybe your health and wellness objectives got put on the back burner so that you could cope with the day-to-day challenges of life. While many would like to see 2020 in the rearview mirror, why not take time now to plan for the year ahead?
I know so many people feeling COVID fatigue these days. More lockdowns around the world are leaving many tired and frustrated. But let's do something positive to find joy each day. I've got a simple solution. It's easier than you think!
You might not know this, but as ex-pats, in the late 90's we learned that it rains A LOT in Holland. The Dutch don't mind at all - they don't live to work; they work to live and "Speel" (play). They especially love to bike. We quickly learned that even though you can't control the weather, you can control how much you play.
When people can't find the time in their busy lives to increase their movement, I suggest they go ahead and give themselves "time-out." It is possible to keep fit without gyms, and it's time people started to shift their mindset around exercise because COVID isn't going anywhere for a while (yay to the vaccine announcement though this week!)
Why keep strong as you get older? Strength is a crucial component of staying healthy, mobile and flexible as we age. Unless you are regularly playing and strengthening your muscles, you can lose as much as 3 to 5% of your muscle mass each decade after 30. The adage "use it or lose it" is real - but it doesn't mean it can't be fun!
Not only does getting the right amount of sleep to improve your ability to recover from physical and emotional stressors, but it also helps keep your brain and body functioning optimally. For me, nothing out there compares with on-demand health monitoring products like WHOOP because behaviour change is at the forefront of what the data feedback gives. Don't allow a lack of sleep to undermine your health and future quality of life.
Physical inactivity is one of the leading global risk factors for morbidity and premature mortality. And now there is COVID. How can play keep you healthy in a pandemic? People who feel overwhelmed by everything happening in the world can still benefit from even modest activity. Regardless of your age and stage in life, try doing more things that bring you joy — just like when you were a kid.
Is there one place in your health journey that you could start to be more consistent around play (exercise), nutrition or sleep? It's incredible what you can do to improve your health when you combine realistic expectations with consistency. It doesn't need to be complicated. It needs to be consistent.
Every year at Thanksgiving, I take a moment to reflect on how grateful I am that my husband, daughter, son, and I are all still here. I didn't realize how vital practicing gratitude was until a few tragic events happened in my life that made me see every day as a gift. Here are, in no particular order, 13 Things I wish for you ALWAYS to Remember at Thanksgiving and beyond.
Many women feel stressed that their body is all over the place as they progress through mid-life, especially menopause. That stress can play a big part in the health of your heart too. The good news is that you do have more control than you think, and it can all start with play!
With so many people working from home and uncertainty at an all-time high, people forget to put their health first. By implementing the right healthy habits now, the better you will be able to handle the changes in your body in the future and have an even better quality of life as you age. Movement truly is medicine. Let's play!
We are all born the same - you, me, and Olympic athletes. Each of us enters into this world with an innate ability to want to move our bodies and to play. Exercise (or play) trains you to be a person of action. Find the way to play that makes you want to take action and have fun!
Ever since I started working in the fitness industry 20 years ago, technological progress has exploded. There have been several excellent products to help people track their health - everything from counting steps to sleep and heart rate, there is a product to suit everyone. WHOOP is a game-changer.
How can you manage stress instead of stress managing you? With back-to-school and COVID on the top of everyone's mind this September, learn some simple tips on how play can help you to beat stress.
Everyone on this planet has different DNA. Meal plans are not just for our weight and size. Proper nutrition must consider our amount of muscle tissue, activity level, stress levels, quality of sleep, health status and even our body type, our genetics and our past health history. Exercise and nutrition don't need to be complicated. It needs to be consistent.
A feeling of failure and the need to start again happens to everyone; it's human nature, especially when a new habit in exercise, nutrition or managing stress doesn't go well. But if you can stick to a 5-minute action, it helps build self-trust and pride and keeps you balanced with your health goals.
While the fundamentals of nutrition, exercise and stress management are simple, they are spun so far away from a sensible, impartial state. How you like to eat, like how you play or manage stress is very personal. However, true health is listening to your body
Even though many stressors are good for us (like exercise - play, learning, and change), they only make us stronger if we give ourselves the chance to recover. Slowing down is CRUCIAL for both our mental and physical health. It's the one positive thing I've been reminded the most about in 2020.
It is a privilege to move our bodies. I have had a front-row seat in my personal life with mental illness, and I can honestly say every effort towards moving a little more equals progress for your mental health. Your brain and body will thank you, even after COVID is gone.
On a super hot July 17th, twenty-five years ago, I became a mother for the first time. In many ways, it was the beginning of a magical journey. When my daughter Meredith came into the world, I wasn't as prepared as I thought I'd be. Sure, I had babysat, loved to be active, been a camp [...]
Your most important investment is REALLY your health and vitality. Yet, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), 1.4 Billion (60 to 85% of the population worldwide) does not engage in the minimum amount of movement to keep healthy, which makes physical inactivity (aka being sedentary) the fourth leading risk factor for global mortality. That's NOT cool. I'm here to change that!
Canada celebrated its 153rd birthday this week. If a person could live to that age, I wonder what pearls of wisdom they would share? I wonder what dreams got fulfilled and what goals got lost? What would their quality of life be like? I found myself questioning this when I was younger as I watched my [...]
A while ago, I asked this question on my Facebook Page: What do you think is the simplest, but perhaps not the most obvious, nutritional change everyone can make? It's one of the most commented-on posts I've ever had! Here were some of the most popular guesses in no particular order: drink more water eat [...]
My Dad loved to play and have fun. But, sadly, the one thing he didn't do was "practice" for the sports he loved in the offseason. Had he been using functional movement patterns to help keep him healthy and agile for these sports, I don't think he would have tossed in the towel so early.
Rather than inspiring people to keep active for their physical and mental health, getting and keeping in shape has been turning people off with serious consequences. With more data coming to the surface as global public health agencies navigate through the Covid-19 crisis, it is clear that particular lifestyle habits (smoking, obesity and physical inactivity) increase the risk of being hospitalized. There is a silver lining though!
Every day it seems as though the things we can't control take over the things that we can. Do you have daily ESP habits that you commit to, to feel your best, regardless of what's happening in the world?
Like most people, you start with the best of intentions and maybe a couple of days into making a change, with a rigid protocol, those changes don't last. But, the good news is that your health decisions need to be motivated by positivity, not fear of failure.
In the middle of a pandemic, we are facing the reality that our most vulnerable ageing population is at the highest risk of getting sick. However, John proved that even when you have obstacles, like age or disease in your way, you can find simple ways to play.
Did you know that if you do something new for 21 days in a row, you can re-wire your brain to work and think more optimistically and give yourself a much-needed boost of mental resiliency? After COVID-19, life should not go backwards. Focus on where you can move forward by holding onto the vision of the health you want. Create lasting positive change.
Yes, we all want COVID-19 to end, and we all want life to go back to "normal." Some estimates are it might take as long as a year to find a stable vaccine that has few side effects. A lot like your health, being impatient for a quick fix by dieting and exercise regimens in the short term, might feel like the right thing to do, except it's not. Respect the process.
Did you know that 70% of lifestyle-related diseases are preventative with better lifestyle choices? Prevention is key. Most people aren't very good at it, though, and it's tempting to ignore a problem that could signal something worse.
I wouldn't be a good coach if I encouraged the people I work with to stick within their limits. When I have clients that are stuck in their health journeys, I really understand their fear of change. What's the worst that can happen? What's the upside? What's the best that can happen? You have to lean into negative feelings to get you to the other side of what you know you deserve.
All movement matters, including the fun stuff like playing with your kids or grandkids, things like cooking, shopping, gardening, standing around, and fidgeting. Make your N.E.A.T activity fun, and you are more likely going to be consistent, which will add quality to your life.
For many people, focussing just on weight loss will always make exercise a struggle. It's not about abs or the scale. The best part about exercise (play) IS about improving your quality of life and the ability to fight disease.
There are seldom times in life, quite like this, where globally, we have all become acutely aware of how much human connection AND our health matter so much. It's like the universe pushed a giant "pause" button.
You don't need to be athletic to play. When you focus on enjoyment, rather than performance, moving your body becomes more playful and fun. Find something you LOVE to do rather than HAVE to do. You will be amazed at how consistently you'll want to show up. No time like the present to move a little more!
Learning to manage stress is possible with time and awareness. How can you "play" your way to boost your body's response to stress less? Here are three ways to improve your body's happy chemicals while you start building your stress resilience.
If you don't know your number, it's time to get your blood pressure checked. You can probably recite from memory the lifestyle factors that are recommended for promoting heart health and controlling blood pressure. Regular physical activity and a plant-rich, low-salt diet to managing stress and body weight help in managing high blood pressure. But the [...]
Yes, things suck right now globally on such an unimaginable scale, and they are getting worse before they get better. I'm not saying it hasn't hurt to change our daily routines, but honestly, this is where short term pain means long term gain. By re-evaluating what matters to you and how you will manage your life when this is all said and done. We all can see that our health is the only thing that truly matters.
While the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) continues to evolve, no one knows how long we will be at home for, or having to stay inside. Rather than sitting on the couch or surfing the internet, how can you start a routine, or play "habit" where you're moving your body now so that it will pay off for the weeks to come? Here's your chance to do something different than you've done before! Play (exercise) is an incredible opportunity to find joy in life and to engage our mind, body and spirit in the relentless pursuit of happiness. And it's FREE. Why not FaceTime, Zoom, or Google Hangout with friends or family and get moving (at a distance) together?
Preventing diseases these days seems complicated. While there are no guarantees in life (each day is a gift), illness and disability are genetically, environmentally, age or lifestyle-related issues that often begin before people know they are affected. When it comes to protecting your health, washing your hands has always been one of the best places to [...]
During a conversation with a client this week, he asked if a bike was better than an elliptical or a treadmill to strengthen his legs. I said quite honestly that there is no right or wrong answer. Then I explained why.
My mother has always been one to be on the move daily and feels good about it. Whether it was housework, playing golf, going to aquafit or skiing, she was never one to go to the gym. Sometimes when I feel less like showing up, I have to look at my mother for motivation
Having a vision is a crucial component of how you imagine functioning in the future. So many people don't look far enough ahead, and sadly, as we age, unless we work at protecting our health by playing (exercise), eating well and managing stress, our quality of life isn't always guaranteed to be there.
How do you measure a life? If you live to be 80 years old, your heart would have beaten approximately 3,363,840,000 times! What if I told you that there is one way to help keep your heart healthy and functioning well through your lifetime?
Adding healthy habits to your life is easy. Finding creative ways to shape your environment is like adding a silent partner to support your playtime. For example, putting on Cooper's collar first thing in the morning is a signal that a walk is about to happen. Likewise, you can put your running shoes by your bed at night as a trigger for your brain to get active first thing in the morning.
When you think of your reality, ability, and current lifestyle, what small actions could you take right now to move you closer to your health or wellness goals? How can Kobe Bryant's mantra help you live today to inspire tomorrow.
It's my birthday and I want to give you a gift - the gift of motivation to play (or exercise). I want to give you this today, on my birthday, as a little motivation to connect with someone for your physical and mental health. The world can be your playground and you can fight lifestyle-related diseases at the same time to live a longer, healthier life.
Slowly, with consistent effort, your old ways CAN lead to permanent change for your lifetime - not just your New Years Resolution:)
Look at the whole day as an opportunity to play more, sit less and turn up the music to get fit. The positive effects of heart-pumping movements cause your body to release endorphins naturally - endorphins are your happy and pain-killing hormones - and also improve your circulation because more oxygen is going into your blood. Increasing oxygen decreases stress.
Small daily actions towards better health not only builds confidence but can allow you to continue to play well into the next year and beyond.
Optimal health like a football game. The object of the game of health is to get the "ball" into the endzone with as little interference as possible.
"Quick fix" diets and restrictive programs do not work in the long run — they are setting you up for failure. Here's what to do instead.
As a health coach and personal trainer, I work with a variety of clients and I see first hand the value in investing in healthy habits. Wouldn’t you rather come at your health as a preventative method rather than reversing an existing problem? “If you don’t make time for your wellness now, you’ll be forced to make time for [...]
If you Google "different types of coaching," there are 182,000,000 results. There is a coach for almost anything you need help with – from personal through to career. It's useful having an objective guide to help you make the most of what you envision for your future. "Failing to plan is planning to fail." For example, [...]
Running is my favourite form of play and joining a running group in a foreign country turned out to be one of the best choices I've made. Not only did the group become an excellent tribe for me, but it is where my introduction to personal training and coaching began.
It can be challenging to keep motivated to exercise when it's dark and cold outside. Have no fear - this simple strategy can help!
Three (3) easy ways exercise help fight social isolation while keeping you fit and happy
How you can reframe dieting and exercise to health and play inspired by Oprah’s October 2019 magazine
Wave goodbye to that extra hour of precious sunlight in the evening. It makes for gloomy commutes home, and miserable moods.
How can you fuel your body in todays hectic world and still enjoy the process? Take a lesson from the French!
Solving the global inactivity crisis is not an easy task unless we consider starting with something easy like making time for recess
Drinking enough water daily can be a challenge for many but in this video, Health Coach Janet Omstead shows a simple way to make it easier!
Janet Omstead’s podcast interview that reveals her three near-death experiences that has profoundly influenced her perspective on life and play.
I have learned a ton and helped many clients transform their health habits by using the psychology of behaviour change. As a certified health coach, I’m aware of one particular word people use that hurts their ability to live their life to the fullest without guilt. The thought and power of this one word makes people [...]
In an imperfect world, we’ve somehow been taught a “perfect” measurement of health. What is it? The number on the scale. But measuring your weight is just ONE piece of the wellness puzzle. It’s not the full story of your personal measurement “value.” What’s missing? All of the other aspects that impact health, such as physical [...]