Posted by & filed under Cardio Kickboxing, Health, Kickboxing, natural, wellness, Women's Health.

Nothing beats morning workouts. Getting your exercise in bright and early provides great benefits that are both physically and mentally rewarding. When you prioritize something as important as your health through exercise, you end up feeling amazing the rest of the day. Early workouts don’t leave room for excuses like a long workday, or plans with friends and family.

You may not be a morning person and the thought of over exerting yourself so early is unimaginable. You feel sluggish when you wake up already, why put a workout on your already tired self? You may have heard that exercising boosts your energy, so when you workout first thing in the morning you are actually doing a kindness to your body by stocking up on energy for the day.

If you’re ready to give the early morning workouts a try, here are some tips to help you out:

  1. Eat Right
    Don’t eat past 7:30 pm the evening before, and be sure to have a light snack before you head out in the morning. Keeping healthy snacks on hand pre-workout is a great way to stay energized.
  2. Plan
    Lay out your gym clothes, or better yet, wear them to bed. It sounds crazy, but it works. If you wake up ready to go, you are less likely to bail, because who doesn’t feel motivated in some luon.
  3. Sleep
    Go to sleep early so you can wake up early. Lounging until all hours in front of the TV has zero benefits, especially if you’re trying to get that early start. You will only end up feeling sluggish if you deprive yourself of sleep.
  4. Set an Early Alarm
    Wake up at least half an hour prior to your workout to get some down time before your sweat. This time could be spent meditating, reflecting on the awesome day you are going to have, or simply being in a state of piece before you begin your morning.
  5. Hydrate
    Drink a tall glass of water, or two, as soon as you wake up. A good sweat will deplete your fluid supply and nothing kills a workout more than dehydration.

Image:

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/

Posted by & filed under Kickboxing.

Can you imagine a world where there is a cure for leukemia?

Six consecutive hours of Fitbox to “Kick out Leukemia” came to a close yesterday afternoon with cheers, high fives, and sweaty hugs, bringing awareness and much needed donations to cancer research. The event, in support of local organization Imagine a Cure for Leukemia, brought together 47 participants to raise money, and beat their B.O.B, working towards the dream of a cancer-free world.

Yesterday Energy Fitbox proudly hosted the 6th annual Kick out Leukemia event, with motivated participants raising over $36,000. Registration for the popular event was sold out within minutes, with 17 brave participants taking on the full six hour event.

Energy Fitbox director Pablo Grossi led participants of varying fitness levels through six hours of sweaty drills, with family and friends cheering them on from the sidelines. In true Fitbox style, the energy in the room was amazing!

Imagine a Cure for Leukemia

Each year an estimated 21,000 Canadians are diagnosed with a blood cancer, making leukemia the number three cancer killer in the country.

Over the last 11 years, the not-for-profit organization, Imagine a Cure for Leukemia, has raised more than $1.3 million, with 90 % of every dollar going to research an illness that unfortunately touches so many lives.

After losing her mother to leukemia, founder, Nara Abrams has a dream that her efforts will give hope and inspiration to others who may be affected by this disease. Many of yesterday’s participants have personally been affected by cancer so for a lot of them, this was an emotional event that hit close to home.

Huge congratulations to Nara and her team for another successful event. We are so honoured to be part of her journey to a cure for leukemia.

To make a donation to Imagine a Cure for Leukemia click here

Photo credit: Nara Abrams

Posted by & filed under Health, Kickboxing, natural, Nutrition, wellness, Women's Health.

What is a Bento Box?

An adorable little lunch box, originating from Japan, with perfect little compartments to make lunch packing easy, mess-free, litter-free, and well balanced.

I snuck that “well balanced” part in because that’s what we are talking about today. Anyone can stuff a trendy bento with processed snacks, but it really is an art to pack it in a nutritious way. In a society where portion control is one of the leading causes of obesity, this is a bandwagon you’ll want to board.

You are probably seeing these sweet boxes everywhere, especially with Back to School in full force. They tend to be a bit pricey, usually ranging from $30 to $40 but they really are worth the money for a mess free, environmentally friendly way to bring your lunch around.

 

Choosing a Bento Box

Boxes come in many sizes so choose one with a few different compartments, not just one or two.

This is a great one from Indigo:

Filling your Bento:

Leftovers are great to fill a bento. If you have a few of them you can easily cook for the week and store them in your fridge for a quick grab and go lunch.

Let’s say you have three compartments like the one above.

  • Fill the largest compartment with your veggies. A fresh salad topped with quinoa is always a good idea, and it’s jam packed with nutrients.
  • One small compartment can contain your carbs, like whole grain pasta, brown rice, or if you’re really on a health binge, black beans make a super nourishing side.
  • The other little box can hold protein like your meats, a hard-boiled egg, some goat cheese, etc.
  • Grab a banana and you’re good to go.

Options for Bento are endless. You can get creative and fill them with things like wraps, sandwiches, pitas, big salads, and so much more.

Still not inspired to go Bento? Pick up this amazing cookbook for tons of bento recipes, and pairings.

Effortless Bento by Shufu-Mo-Tomo

 

Images

  1. http://www.potterybarnkids.com/
  2. & 3. www.chapters.indigo.ca

Posted by & filed under Cardio Kickboxing, Health, Kickboxing, natural, Nutrition, wellness, Women's Health.

Have you ever finished a sweaty workout and gone straight to work? Or popped into a class on your lunch break? You’re not alone. Daily workouts usually get crammed into busy schedules so getting them done quickly and efficiently is key.

Beauty products that keep us fresh between showers are easy to come by, and the list of things we “should” keep in our bag is endless. There is literally a product you could keep for your face, hair, hands, underarms, feet, etc. etc. Lotions, sprays, body wash, shampoos, conditioners, and on and on until your bag weighs more than the weights you are lifting.

2016-03-10-1457633472-7768299-coconutoil

I’m here to tell you that you only need three. Three simple, all natural products that will get you from your workout, back to your day, and eventually into your shower. Not only are these products minimal, so very easy to stock, they are natural, and therefore won’t interfere any measures you may be taking to a life of purity and wellness.

Coconut oil

  • Makeup remover
  • Anti fungal hand lotion
  • Moisturizer

Note: The more green your life gets, the more you will be turning to coconut oil. I suggest purchasing it in bulk and filling a small container for your bag.

Witch Hazel

  • Disinfectant
  • Deodorizer
  • Face toner- Reduce swelling (for us red faced peeps)
  • Soothes rashes and razor burn

Tip: keep a spray bottle of witch hazel mixed with a few drops of your favourite rejuvenating essential oil like lavender or eucalyptus on hand and spray your body after a workout.

Cornstarch

  • Dry shampoo alternative
  • Body powder
  • Odor control (sprinkle some in your stinky sneakers)

While nothing beats a shower and proper washroom routine, using simple, all natural products, helps your skin rejuvenate, especially after the unbeatable detox that comes from a sweaty workout.

 

Image:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/

Posted by & filed under Cardio Kickboxing, Health, Kickboxing.

Sun’s out!

With this amazing weather we’ve been having, it’s important to remember to lather up before hitting the pool… or anywhere, for that matter. Wearing sunscreen isn’t just for kids and should really be worn everyday, all year round.beaches-sunshine-ocean-summer-book-glasses-vacation-hat-sea-beach-desktop-backgrounds

As we are just coming out of the colder months, some might think it’s ok to skip the sun block to speed up their tan so the shorts can come out. Your skin is extremely sensitive after being covered up for so long and protection is crucial. You may even be one of the lucky ones who don’t burn easily, but that doesn’t mean you are safe. UV rays from the sun, even when it’s cloudy, can be extremely harmful.

A few reasons to get you motivated to wear it:

  • Decreases your risk of skin cancer
  • It keeps you looking young by saving your skin from sun damage (if that isn’t incentive enough!!)
  • Prevents brown spots and skin discolouration
  • Sets an example for your kids.

When choosing sunscreen, here are a few things to keep in mind:

SPF (Sun Protection Factor): refers to the amount of time you can stay under the sun without getting burned. A sun block with SPF 15 would protect you for 15 times longer than if you went without. Be sure to select a sun block with a minimum of SPF 15 and reapply every two hours.

Broad Spectrum: There are two types of UV that can harm your skin; UVA and UVB. A sunscreen that is broad spectrum protects against both.

Babies and Kids: Save that baby skin and opt for a sunscreen geared towards kids as they contain less and gentler ingredients to prevent irritation.

Note: Avoid the sun during peak hours, generally between 12-3 in the afternoon.

Sunscreen has never been more convenient than it is now so find the one that works for you.04815d775d18aded_safe-sunscreen.xxxlarge_1-2

Types of sunscreen:

Lotion: This is the more traditional form of sunscreen and can be found pretty much everywhere. Lather up from head to toe with lotion for best protection.

Spray: The spray sun block might be the most convenient as it’s easy to apply, especially with kids who hate standing still for too long.

Stick: This one is great for protecting certain areas like your nose and ears, which are some of the areas most commonly affected by skin cancer.

Mineral: Many health food stores carry a variety of mineral sunscreen brands if you are particular about what gets absorbed through your pores. Unlike conventional sunscreen, mineral lotion sits on your skin rather than getting absorbed. This is great for people with sensitive skin.

Water resistant: If you’re swimming or sweating excessively, arm yourself with a water resistant brand for extra protection. Remember to reapply every couple of hours.

Built-in: Look for a facial moisturizer that contains SPF so you are always protected.

Images:

  1. http://hdnature.xyz/
  2. http://www.bikeforums.net/

Posted by & filed under Cardio Kickboxing, Health, Kickboxing, Women's Health.

Sweat and bacteria thrive in a used workout bra. For us ladies, our bra is the most important piece of fitness clothing because it keeps our chest in place as we bounce to the beat of Rihanna. Sometimes it’s easy to neglect our bras because no one sees them or you “didn’t sweat much today”, and with a quick sniff it’s sent back into your gym bag… where it sits, possibly for days, growing mildew. Yuck, right??sportsbras_w_grid_image_highimpact_track_version2_0812_thumb

Here are a few ways to prolong the life of your sports bras:

  1. Take it off immediately after your workout so it doesn’t stretch out. If you’re not going home right away, a quick rinse will help get rid of some of the bacteria and sweat, buying your some time, but don’t forget about it!!
  2. If you indeed didn’t sweat much you could get another wear before washing, but make sure to hang it to dry after use to allow it to breathe in between uses.
  3. Hand wash your bras. This goes for not only your sports bras but your regular bras as well. You’ll get much more life out of them if you make the extra effort. A gentle wash cycle in a garment bag is okay too if you’re in a rush, but hand laundering is always best for delicates.
  4. Hang to dry. The dryer is your bra’s worst enemy.
  5. Remove cups. If your sports bras have removable cups, take them out and wash them separately. This extra step may be a drag but will extend the life and shape of your bra.

Know when to replace your bra with these simple tips:

  • If the bra suddenly seems too big
  • If your breasts move around as you are exercising
  • If you are pregnant
  • If it’s stretched out along the rib cage and shoulder
  • If the care tag has faded and unreadable
  • If you notice a persistent odor

 

Image:

http://www.powercakes.net/

Posted by & filed under Cardio Kickboxing, Health, Kickboxing.

Get your legs and butt in shape for summer!

body-weight-lunge[1]
If you’re looking to tone specific areas it’s a good idea to find exercises that target those parts of your body. Leg and bottom workouts are a hot favourite leading to summer as we get bikini ready. Haven’t started working on those summer legs? It’s never too late! Lunges are great for toning so here’s how to get the most out of this simple sequence.

  • Stand straight and make sure you have a few feet of clearance behind you.
  • Take a controlled step back with your right leg landing on the ball of your foot.
  • Bend your left leg to about a 90 degree angle with your thigh almost parallel to the floor, and right leg almost touching the ground.
  • Keep core engaged and return to starting position
  • Repeat with alternate leg.
  • Do three sets of 12 to 15 reps.

Target muscles:

  • Glutes
  • Quadriceps
  • Hamstrings

 

Image source:

‪aydreams.blog.hu

Posted by & filed under Cardio Kickboxing, Health, Kickboxing, Nutrition.

Hasn’t the weather been fantastic?? I don’t know about you but when it’s this gorgeous out I feel so motivated to step up my health and wellness a notch.

There are so many little steps you can take to get healthy and each one makes a difference, especially if you follow through and really make them into habits. Even if you’re a fairly healthy person, everyone could use a bit of help every so often. It helps you stay on track. On the other hand, if you’ve been slacking all winter and finally feeling the pressure of bikini season looming, snatch up these 10 tips and get started.40675-1_n

  1. Start every morning with a lemon squeezed into a warm glass of water.
  2. Exercise at least three times a week (bike ride, hike, FITBOX 😉 )
  3. Blend up delicious fruit smoothies for a great breakfast or snack. Change it up a bit and try a smoothie bowl 
  4. Sleep at least 8 hours a day.
  5. Disconnect from social media. You’ll be amazed at how rejuvenated you feel after even just a day unplugged.
  6. Enjoy the sun and soak up that vitamin D.
  7. Eat light. Summer is great for fresh produce so fill up on fruits and veggies.
  8. Get a workout buddy and stay motivated all season, and hopefully even into the next.
  9. Watch your sugar intake! If you only take one thing away from this post: forget that Frappuccinos even exist!

 

Images:

http://www.bodyandsoul.com.au/

Posted by & filed under Cardio Kickboxing, Health, Kickboxing, Women's Health.

I am menopauseBenefits of regular physical activity! Find out what health benefits exercise has to offer during menopause and some different types of physical activity to try.

Prevents weight gain
In order to lose weight you have to burn calories, which happens when you are physically active. Working up a good sweat does that and builds muscle so you continue to burn calories after your workout.

Lowers risk of osteoporosis
Weight training can help prevent bone loss and may even help build new bone. It also helps with balance and coordination, which can help prevent falls.

Relieves depression and anxiety
When exercising your body releases a “feel good” chemical called endorphins—chemicals in the brain that act as painkillers and improve sleep, which reduces stress. Exercise can help improve the way the brain copes with stress.

Reduces risk of diseases such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes
The heart is a muscle and needs exercise too. Exercise helps strengthen your heart. Putting less strain on your heart also helps arteries and other blood vessels with flexibility, ensuring good blood flow. Exercise can reduce glucose in your blood.  When you exercise your muscles get the glucose they need and in turn, your glucose levels go down.

Some activities to try can include:

  • Taking an Energy Fitbox class
  • Gardening
  • Walking
  • Dancing
  • Swimming
  • Cleaning the house.

Always consult your health care provider before beginning any physical activity. Pace yourself and know your limits.

Posted by & filed under Cardio Kickboxing, Health, Kickboxing, Nutrition.

A sure sign that summer is around the corner happens when the price of strawberries plummet in the grocery store because they are in season, and friends, that lovely time of year has finally arrived.Strawberries

Besides being juicy, delicious, refreshing, and simply gorgeous, strawberries are bursting with health benefits as they are packed with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals, making them a favourite powerfood. The spring and summer months is the best time to indulge by eating them in smoothies, cooked, as jam, pies, in cakes, or my favourite, right off the plant. They do land pretty high on the dirty dozen list* so be sure to buy organic. It’s worth the extra cost as they can be loaded with pesticides.

I’ve never met anyone who didn’t like strawberries but if you need some convincing, here is a list of health benefits to get you snacking smartly.

  1. Low in calories and high in fiber
  2. Good for weight loss
  3. Ease inflammation
  4. Boost short term memory
  5. Burns stored fat
  6. Anti-aging properties
  7. Promotes good heart health
  8. Promotes good bone health
  9. Promotes glowing skin
  10. Helps alleviate seasonal allergies

Now plan to whip up this delicious salad tonight—it’ll get you excited for the warm season ahead.strawberry-goat-cheese-+-spinach-salad-

STRAWBERRY, GOAT CHEESE & SPINACH SALAD

Whisk together olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper.

Toss sliced strawberries, baby spinach, goat cheese and toasted slivered almonds with vinaigrette.

From Williams Sonoma http://www.williams-sonoma.com/pages/in-season-strawberries.html

*The dirty dozen is a list of foods that are heavily laden with pesticides so best to buy organic.

 

Images:

  1. http://www.livinghealthyway.com/
  2. http://blog.williams-sonoma.com/ingredient-spotlight-strawberries-2/