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Push-up for the Philippines

December 2, 2013 in Events, Exercise

We wanted to give a shout out to everyone who got up very early on a Saturday morning to break a sweat and support our fitness fundraiser for the Typhoon Haiyan relief in the Philippines. The incredible amount of destruction the typhoon has caused most certainly deserves, not only ours, but the world’s attention. As the media focuses on other headline-grabbing news of the day (Rob Ford, Black Friday, whatever Miley Cyrus is up to, etc) and as we head into the hustle & bustle of the holiday season, let us not forget the victims of Haiyan. There is still a lot of recovery and healing needing to take place as the people affected by the typhoon try to put their lives, homes, families and hopes back together. If you encounter an opportunity to help, please consider doing what you can to support. If you don’t encounter one, create your own! We’ve been blessed to know many good people who have put forth their own efforts to help, whether its money, clothing, food, or just helping to spread the word of need. Bless your heart. Special thanks to Chris Tsao and Fitness 2000 for their unwavering support.

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Birthday Parties

February 4, 2012 in Exercise

Kids, food, gifts, toys, games, cake & exercise! Who doesn’t love birthday parties? Birthdays can be a lot of fun, and yes, exercise too. Our 3 year old daughter, Malaya, has been fortunate enough to have been invited to several birthday parties over the past year and most recently attended one that was hosted at a community centre gymnasium. Games were led by an activity leader staffed by the centre and the kids had a lot of fun.

I thought it was also a great way to promote physical activity for the kids. The structured environment gave the kids an opportunity to practice listening to and following instructions given by the activity leader while playing cooperatively with the other kids. The gym provided plenty of room to run around and expend the kind of energy that only little kids seem to have.

Malaya and all the other kids certainly got their share of exercise that day.

A Happy Birthday shout out to Kaiya who turned 5 years old this year and to her parents for putting on a great party for the kids (and adults too).

Malaya and Kaiya smiling

Malaya and Kaiya celebrating Kaiya's 5th Birthday!

Here are some photos from some other fun and exercise infused birthday parties we’ve attended this past year.

Gymnastics Birthday Party

Kaitlyn's 3rd Birthday at the Gymnastics Gym

 

Colourful parachute at a birthday party

The colourful parachute is fun for any occasion.

 

Birthday Party Bouncy Castle

Brea's 3rd Birthday at the Community Centre Multi-Purpose Room

Birthday Party at Dance Studio for Bollywood Lesson

Dawn's 30th Birthday at iDance Studios

Have you been to or hosted a party that required you and your guests to be active? Post your experiences or ideas in the comments. Malaya’s birthday is only 6 months away!

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To Gym Membership, or not To Gym Membership? That is the question.

August 31, 2011 in Uncategorized

How many of you parents (or non-parents for that matter) have a gym membership? For those of you who do, how frequently do you hit the gym? Prior to having kids, Jerrick and I were regular gym goers, averaging 4 to 5 times per week. We also managed to fit in some outdoor activity (eg. running, hiking, biking, ultimate frisbee) on some of our non-gym days. Working out was easy as 1-2-3 and we loved it. That seemed to change quickly, after Malaya, our eldest, was born 3 years ago.

Our hiatus from the gym after Malaya’s birth was not a result of injury or any other physical barriers.  Rather, it was due to the mental barriers that we faced as we made countless excuses not to workout there. We weren’t as motivated to spend any of our spare time at the gym. The whole process of driving to the gym, parking, dealing with crowds at the gym, and then driving home wasn’t appealing to either of us.  Although laziness played a critical role in our non-attendance at the gym, our changing priorities and interest to workout there were also significant factors.

So how did we stay active without going to the gym? We threw on our runners and started running. Although we typically had little energy left at the end of the day to exert at the gym, we often had some energy to run and enjoy some fresh  air in our neighbourhood. Jerrick and I would take turns watching Malaya, while the other went for a quick 20 to 30 minute run. We did this about 1 to 2 times a week, in addition to playing ultimate frisbee once weekly during the summer months. We also occasionally did 10 to 20 minute blasts of high intensity calisthenics (eg. lunges, push-ups, etc) and plyometrics outdoors or in our living room.  Although we weren’t as active as we used to be, we always felt great whenever we were active outdoors. I even continued to do some light running during my 2nd pregnancy and I felt great.

There were days when Jerrick or I would spontaneously make it out  to the gym for a quick workout, but that occurred infrequently. Nonetheless, it gave us enough of an excuse to continue to hang on to our monthly memberships. What were we thinking?

Jerrick finally gave up his gym membership over a year ago and I finally relinquished mine about half a year ago, not long after Mahal was born. In hindsight, both Jerrick and I should have given up our memberships long before we actually did. Why did we (especially I) hang on to our gym memberships for so long? Well, I kept on telling myself:

  • “I ate too much. Better go to the gym tomorrow.”
  • “The monthly membership doesn’t cost that much anyway, I might as well keep it, because I don’t want to pay the registration/activation fee again when I start working out again.”
  • “I won’t be able to go running outdoors once the rainy/snowy winter months come around, so I better keep my gym membership”.

I’m sure there were other reasons, but once I accepted that hundreds of dollars were being wasted yearly towards a gym membership that was rarely used and was not going to be used regularly anytime soon, I was able to let go.  Furthermore, a close friend of ours lent us some of his gym equipment that he had in storage, which provided us with further incentive to discontinue our gym memberships. Jerrick and I set up a mini home gym in our garage and are in the midst of scheduling ourselves in for quick workouts 2 to 3 times weekly. We’ll get you up to speed on how that is going in future posts 🙂

Kudos to the parents who continue to work out regularly at the gym, and for those of you who no longer do and/or are looking for ways to get more active, perhaps try one or more of the following:

  • Set-up a home gym
  • Invest in a good pair of runners and hit the streets/trails in your area. Kintec offers complimentary consultations with Fitting Experts to ensure you have the right shoe for your feet and activity.
  • Join a running club through the Running Room, Forerunners, or Peninsula Runners to prepare for a local race.
  • Join a recreational sports team/league through Urban Rec or if you’re into ultimate frisbee, check out the Vancouver Ultimate League.
  • Take drop-in dance classes.  iDance has 3 locations and offer drop-in one hour classes of various dance genres. Childminding is available too.
  • Turn on the TV and pop in a workout DVD such as P90X or Insanity.
  • Buy a punch pass to a local community centre and go for a workout in the fitness facility or swimming pool at your convenience, or take a group fitness class, such as Yoga, Zumba, kickboxing or spinning.
  • Hike a local trail.
  • Play tag with your kids.

Jerrick and I are planning to run the Granville Island Turkey Trot on October 10, 2011. Hopefully, that will give us some incentive to keep running up until then. We’ll keep you posted. Till next time, “Keep fit and have fun“!