Senior Specialist


The Message of Pain

Posted on November 30, 2021 at 7:35 AM Comments comments (0)

Both emotional and physical pain are messages that we need to stop and pay attention to.


When we feel pain, our first impulse is often to eradicate it with medication. This is an understandable response, but sometimes in our hurry to get rid of pain, we forget that it is the body's way of letting us know that it needs our attention. A headache can inform us that we're hungry or stressed just as a sore throat might be telling us that we need to rest our voice. If we override these messages instead of respond to them, we risk worsening our condition. In addition, we create a feeling of disconnectedness between our minds and our bodies.


Physical pain is not the only kind of pain that lets us know our attention is needed. Emotional pain provides us with valuable information about the state of our psyche, letting us know that we have been affected by something and that we would do well to focus our awareness inward. Just as we tend to a cut on our arm by cleaning and bandaging it, we treat a broken heart by surrounding ourselves with love and support. In both cases, if we listen to our pain we will know what to do to heal ourselves. It's natural to want to resist pain, but once we understand that it is here to give us valuable information, we can relax a bit more, and take a moment to listen before we reach for medication. Sometimes this is enough to noticeably reduce the pain, because its message has been heard. Perhaps we seek to medicate pain because we fear that if we don't, it will never go away. It can be empowering to realize that, at least some of the time, it is just a matter of listening and responding.


The next time you feel pain, either physical or emotional, you might want to try listening to your own intuition about how to relieve your pain. Maybe taking a few deep breaths will put an end to that headache. Perhaps writing in your journal about hurt feelings will ease your heart. Ultimately, the message of pain is all about healing.


From DailyOM" target="_blank">

Is Massage detoxifying? That is the question

Posted on October 31, 2021 at 1:40 PM Comments comments (0)

Sharing this from a great trainer Drewe,

I bet you’ve been told before that “massage is detoxifying”. But is it actually?


Well, actually - it’s more likely that it’s the opposite: slightly (and temporarily) toxic! Yep, you read that correctly. Let me explain.


Typically when we think of a “toxin” we usually think of substances that we don’t want in our bodies. And whilst that can be the case in some instances, we have to remember that toxicity is not just a function of the substance itself but also of concentration.


By that I mean, anything (yes, even things like water and oxygen) in a concentration that is too high, is technically a toxin for us. That distinction is important in this conversation, because in massage, mostly what we’re talking about are substances normally found in our bodies, that might have accumulated to a point of being too much.


So just the stuff we normally produce, but in concentrations that are too high.


The other thing that is important to know in this conversation is that toxicity can be either localized or systemic.


Now, before we venture any further down this rabbit hole, I think we should note that our biology is wonderfully well equipped to prevent toxic situations, especially on a systemic level. We have multiple organs of filtration that help to remove things when they start to be found in amounts higher than the ideal balance point for us.


This means that any temporary toxicity (like alcohol, for example) is removed in the course of a few hours, and therefore our systems mostly handle that process of detoxification without things ever getting to a point where they are truly, harmfully toxic.


You could say then that (in most cases, for most people), systemic toxicity is a very rare event that likely signals some other grave problem.


But what about localized toxicity?


This is more the realms of massage and manual therapies.


Trigger points (a whole world of conversation unto themselves), are essentially microscopically tiny points of metabolic waste accumulation. They contribute to a lot of discomfort we encounter in our lives and likely complicate all or almost all pain syndromes. Essentially small packets of localized toxicity.


Massage *can* help with these localized patches of toxicity. [key word: can].


And when you do find a therapist that finds and helps a trigger point, what you’re actually doing indirectly is spreading that local accumulation of metabolic wastes into the blood - which means that temporarily you’re freeing toxins into your system!


Now, if it were only this, you might be able to suggest that in the end, we reducing the toxicity of the body - by taking a localized accumulation and spreading it into the system with the end-goal of those things being removed from the body. So whilst temporarily toxic, ultimately detoxifying…


But unfortunately it’s not the only thing to consider here.


With massage we also induce a small degree of muscle fiber [and other cell] damage during a treatment. It’s entirely normal and is much the same as the effect of exercise (so don’t worry, it’s not abnormal, nor actually bad for you).


When muscle fibers (or any cells, really) are damaged, what happens is their internal components leak out into your tissues, and eventually your blood - where those particular components aren’t really supposed to be.


And if it’s not supposed to be there, we can say that its presence is a relatively toxic one - and thus once again we’re temporarily increasing the toxicity of our blood/system.


((It sounds way more dramatic than it is though - because again, our biology is incredibly good at managing this)).


Sometimes we even feel the physical effects of these temporary increases in toxicity - things like feeling sick after a massage, or regional tenderness - or even general malaise. All these are likely symptoms of a temporary increases in systemic toxicity.


It’s worth noting too along that same train of thought, that massages that are harder/deeper, are actually increasing your toxicity even more - because these types of massages cause greater cell damage. Perhaps something to consider if you always feel soreness a day or two after your treatment. It’s really not necessary to feel that way, because much of the benefit of massage can still be extracted with lighter pressure and a more gradual approach.


Whilst the trigger point release might be considered to be a net reduction in toxicity if we look at the end-goal, this damage to the cells is net-new and essentially a creation of the massage. (Not to say that cells don’t die normally, they do - but that process looks very different).


So why do we always hear about massage being detoxifying? Likely by the experience of it feeling GOOD - and the results of it feeling good for most people. From that base, a logical thought process leads us to believe that something bad is leaving our system.


But even though we now know that it’s not really detoxifying (that it’s actually temporarily the opposite), it doesn’t mean that massage feels any less-good, or that it’s any less-valuable.


OH - and I almost forgot - the type of post-massage muscle soreness I mention above and the tenderness that is sometimes felt after massage - it’s more common when you haven’t received a massage for a while. Much the same as the soreness post-exercise, when you haven’t done that exercise in a while. So as you/when you venture back out into the world for your next massage, just know that you’ve likely had a long time between massages, and also you likely have more trigger points.


So go slow - and remember that the level of post-massage muscle soreness you feel is absolutely no indicator of the benefits of the treatment. So there’s also no need to get your regular deep tissue treatment right out of the gates.


Be good to yourself,


Drew & the Navina team.  Thanks for sharing Anne" target="_blank">



National Face Your Fears Day

Posted on October 12, 2021 at 8:40 AM Comments comments (0)


Though some credit the creation of National Face Your Fears Day to public speaker Steve Hughes, who reportedly founded the day in October 2007, the history surrounding the day is uncertain.


The Oxford English Dictionary defines fear as “an unpleasant emotion caused by the threat of danger, pain or harm”. Fear is one emotion that is universal, experienced by all classes of people, be they old or young, poor or rich, educated or illiterate.


According to scientists, fear is purely physical. When a person is confronted by a stimulus or the subject of fear, a physical reaction occurs in the brain. The part of the brain called the amygdala immediately goes to work and alerts the nervous system of a possible threat. In response, stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline are released, preparing the body for fight or flight. This response prepares the body to either stay and confront the situation or run to safety. The blood pressure goes up, the heart rate increases, and the palms get sweaty. All these are signs that the body is experiencing and processing the emotion of fear.


This proves that the fear response is involuntary, meaning that it happens without conscious thought. But just because it’s an automatic response, doesn’t mean we should allow our emotions to control us. Fear can be useful in protecting us from danger, but when we allow fear to become debilitating, we limit ourselves and deprive ourselves of experiencing all that the world has to offer.

On National Fear Your Fears Day, it’s time to stand up to those fears and say yes to courage!


The word "phobia" is first used in the modern sense.

Amygdala Discovery

The amygdala is discovered by physiologist Karl Friedrich Burdach.

Social Phobia

Psychiatrists use terms such as social phobia to refer to extremely shy patients.

Anxiety and Depression Association of America

The Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) is established.


Face it

Facing your fear sometimes means you do that thing that scares you even when you feel afraid. In psychology, this technique is referred to as exposure therapy.


Talk about it

If you find it difficult to overcome your fear, try talking about it with a trusted person. Talking about it will help you to understand the triggers behind it.


Live it

This day deserves to be celebrated every day of the year, not just on one day. Make a resolution to stop letting your fears control you.



People are afraid of certain things because of their childhood environments.


Past experiences

People feel fear as a result of past traumas and negative experiences.



Fear of the unknown is also a common trigger of fear.



According to experts, people are more susceptible to certain fears as a result of their genes.



When people have reacted to fear in the past, in a way that caused others around them to react negatively, fear of other people’s reactions could lead to future anxiety about the cause of the fear itself.


Reminder to do it afraid

This day is a reminder to be brave, even if it means doing it afraid!


Never walk alone

On this day, we’re reminded that everyone feels fear at some point, and we’re not alone in the fight against fear.


Increases your courage

When you successfully face your fears, sometimes you realize that you’re more powerful than you thought, and fear begins to lose its grip on you." target="_blank">

Imposter Syndrome

Posted on August 2, 2021 at 11:55 AM Comments comments (0)

                                                                                                                                                                                                               July 23, 2021



Imposter Syndrome is the fear of being labeled a fraud, feeling unworthy or not experienced enough to do something. This is common within the fitness industry, especially with the explosion of social media where it seems we are inundated with images of perfect bodies and seemingly more capable individuals daily. It is easy to feel like someone else knows more than you do or can do a better job than you can.


It can manifest itself inside your head as “negative chatter.” As a fitness professional, have you ever had that nagging voice inside your head telling you any of the following:


“They know more than I do about ………………..”


“I can’t do “XYZ” because they will find out I don’t know what I am talking about.”


“They are in better shape than me or can do something better than I can.”


“They must think I’m ………………”


Did you know that this nagging voice in your head is one of the biggest influencers of your self-esteem and confidence? Some researchers estimate that we have about 50,000 – 70,000 thoughts a day – and that about 80 per cent of those thoughts are negative.


Imposter Syndrome is one way we allow negative thoughts to influence us. However, we have the power to turn that around.


Some things you can do to turn that negative inner voice into something empowering that can help instead of derail you are:


1. Be aware of the negative – listen to those thoughts and be aware of the negative ones. Understand that thoughts are not FACTS.


2. Stop the negative narrative – as soon as you notice the negative self-talk happening, shut it down! Tell that “Negative Nellie” to stop the negative self-talk and that you are not going to listen to it today.


3. Turn your thoughts around – when you hear the negative chatter in your head, turn your thoughts around – interrupt the negative with positives. When “Negative Nellie” says “you don’t know enough” shut it down and repeat something like “I am knowledgeable on this topic” or “I know what I am talking about.”


4. Personal mantras – instead of allowing “Negative Nellie” to show up, be pro-active by producing a personal mantra you can repeat in your head – it could be something like “I am confident and knowledgeable”, “I am capable of remarkable things” or “I am strong and able.”


More people than we realize deal with this syndrome. Did you know that many famous people have dealt with Imposter Syndrome at some point or may still be dealing with it?


“I have written 11 books, but each time I think, uh oh, they’re going to find out now. I’ve run a game on everybody, and they’re going to find me out.” Maya Angelou (American Poet/Author)


“No matter what we’ve done, there comes a point where you think; how did I get here? When are they going to discover that I am, in fact, a fraud and take everything away from me?” Tom Hanks (Actor)


“Who doesn’t suffer from imposter syndrome? Even when I sold my business for $66 Million, I felt like an absolute fraud!” Barbara Corcoran (Real Estate Mogul and Shark Tank judge)


“The greatest obstacle for me has been the voice in my head that I call my obnoxious roommate. I wish someone would invent a tape recorder that we could attach to our brains to record everything we tell ourselves. We would realize how important it is to stop this negative self-talk. It means pushing back against our obnoxious roommate with a dose of wisdom.” Arianna Huffington (Author and Co-founder of Huffington Post)


“You might ask yourself; how did I get here when I’ve been told over and over that I’m not good enough? It’s not true – it’s just what you’ve practiced telling yourself. Practice a different set of messages.” Michelle Obama (Former First Lady of the USA)


So, if you have ever found yourself listening to your own “Negative Nellie”, instead decide to listen to “Positive Pollie” and understand that you can direct the narrative in your head." target="_blank">canfitpro Imposter Syndrome

The narcissistic judgements.

Posted on July 4, 2021 at 12:45 AM Comments comments (0)

It's far from easy.

It's seen as rebellious or even dangerous.


The people that don't "give a ___" about what other people think are often put in the 'reckless' category of life, that they have no empathy,


no consideration, no thoughtfulness, irresponsible, are rude, obnoxious, unkind, or oblivious to the needs of others.


They essentially fall under the group category of narcissistic and selfish.




LIVING A LIFE OF NOT GIVING A ______, and if they attempt it,


they will have massive guilt and shame, because they have pre-existing judgements


that being selfish is BAD.

 So you have two opposing judgements and beliefs...


1) being selfish is good. (subtle art of not giving a F#$!)


2) being selfish is bad. (reckless, narcissistic, irresponsible, rude)





Let's expand.


When you live in your truth, you live in your highest values, and values, are in fact, what make you "unique" in the world.


No two people have the exact same values, like a fingerprint...


So each individual, in order to be authentic, must act within their own unique set of values. This seems relatively easy


We don't want to be judged, AND we have pre-existing judgements on ourselves as to what behaviour is acceptable or not.


Think back to the opposing beliefs..

(Well of course Steve, it's important to take care of yourself and do what you want)


(Well of course Steve, it's important to take care of others and consider their feelings)

Can you see how you are SCREWED?????????????

So to avoid the pain of being judged, we ATTEMPT, and I will say attempt to manipulate our behaviour to seek the approval of others,


and avoid the feeling of being judged, criticized or to avoid the tension of conflict.


Yet, most don't realize, that you will be judged based on what the other person's values are.

Because that's human behaviour..we judge others and others judge us,


through the filter of our unique set of values.


So I judge you through my eyes and my unique values, and someone else judges youthrough their values.


We are judging your behaviour from different criteria.

Therefore, you are screwed...because it comes down to old saying of "you're damned if you do, and you're damned if you don't"

Take drinking a pepsi soda.

 If you come across an organic health nut, you will be judged for expressing unhealthy behaviour.

If you come across the owner of pepsi, you will be celebrated for using their product.


"damned if you do, damned if you don't"

This is where The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F$%! comes into play.

Taking this principle that you essentially can't win the approval of all, nor will you have the disapproval of all, that places you in the middle to do what is most important to you in a given moment.


You act in your own authenticity, your own values, your own principles and standards, KNOWING that you will be approved by some, disapproved by others, and you can't control what others you essentially realize you can't GIVE A F$%!.


 This idea could be radical, because it stems back to the narcissistic judgements people have developed, which again, is their issues with their inability to love that part of themselves and accept narcissism is part of their persona.


(This is a topic for a whole other blog)

So if you behave authentically, and don't GIVE A F$%!, WHICH ACTUALLY GO HAND IN HAND...what happens?


First you will be judged:

1) To some, you will absolutely be reckless, oblivious to the needs of others, narcissistic, irresponsible, and careless...


2) To some, you will be a model for authenticity, independence, knowing who you are and what you want, poised, confident...


"Damned if you do, damned if you don't"

So the question comes down to, how do you want to live your life?


I propose, MOST PEOPLE actually want NUMBER 2, and it takes you letting go of what others think of you.


How do I know most people want this?


Because the book, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F#$! is the #1 selling personal development book.


And people buy what they want.


Dr. Steve, Thunder Bay,  Thanks for sharing this," target="_blank">

Imagine by Steve Fonso

Posted on June 4, 2021 at 8:45 AM Comments comments (0)



the frustration, the physical tension,


the pain and anxiety in your body


resulting from YEARS of not moving,


not breathing, and not stretching


in ways that would have helped you


to release the tension in the moment.






doing this over and over,


constantly holding your body


in a way that doesn’t allow you


to shake off the tension


or release the pain.






how this has caused you to be locked up


and imprisoned in your body


because you felt stuck


and weren’t listening to your inner needs.




How often have you “known better”,




Yet, you were still hooked by the emotion


and did what you KNEW was NOT best?








You may have done this over,




and over,




and over again.




I want you to take a second,


and truly feel the frustration


of not being able to move your body and life


the way YOU want to move it.




What does that feel like?








AND even though it feels horrible,




being stuck is NOT a failure;




It’s meant to build up your energy and frustration so you can take action...




Except, this time,


instead of tirelessly “trying” NOT to be stuck,


and going on the never-ending merry-go-round


of frustration and disappointment,


the ACTION it calls from you






To listen and WAIT PATIENTLY to receive your inner signal…




What exactly is “my inner signal” and how do I tap into that?




Your inner signal is like the sunlight,


and when you’re stuck, you can’t see or feel it.




Just like the sun hiding behind the dark clouds,


your inner signal to break through


is hiding behind your cloud of physical tension,


emotional frustration and your current way of thinking.




Now, this signal is very unique to you,


will empower you,


and ONLY you.




To tap into your inner signal,


behind your dark clouds,


you will need


to first BREAK OPEN the clouds.




And to break them open requires you to


FEEL your body,


UNWIND your tensions, and


ASK new questions.




To do these, this is going to take










It’s going to take a version of you


that wants to set a new standard for


yourself and your life..




And as you decide to break through the fog


of frustration and anxieties,


as you slowly clear away those dark clouds,


you will begin to reveal the stuck pattern,


its truth, wisdom, and meaning


and why it’s happening.




Once this happens,


THEN you’ll be ready for your next empowering step.




I’m ready and excited to teach you how to


break open the clouds, bask in your sunlight






Come join me.  "Dr. Steven Fonso"" target="_blank">

Sharing cause it matters.  



3 active tech-tools to help you achieve your goals this year

Posted on February 3, 2021 at 3:15 PM Comments comments (0)

The Active Champions Series is a new monthly showcase of compelling stories from influential Canadians who make physical activity and sport a key part of their everyday lives. We hope these Active Champions will inspire Canadians everywhere to move a little bit more every single day." target="_blank">“Getting outside, being physical, & enjoying some fresh air helps build a relationship with the natural environment & love for the outdoors.”

Smash your goals & resolutions with physical activity

Accomplishing goals, especially around the New Year, can be tricky. But, instead of getting discouraged, why not set yourself up for success with the right know-how and tools to achieve even the toughest of goals? Whether it be nailing a big job promotion, learning a new skill or even just getting a few more active minutes in each week, always be prepared!


The same can be said for New Year’s resolutions. With so many Canadians giving up on their resolutions within the first six weeks of the year, it’s important to set reasonable goals and to set yourself up to achieve them.


When it comes to physical activity and getting active, be sure to set realistic resolutions and goals that are tailored to you. For example, if you are new to physical activity and are just getting started, don’t expect to run a marathon in a few weeks (if you do, amazing, but don’t stress it). Give yourself time to work toward that goal, get prepared and start moving as much as you comfortably can. By progressing slowly and having a plan in place to address barriers, you’ll be checking off that goal in no time.


Tap into some free tech to help you stay motivated to move

Look, we get it, home workout gear and gadgets can be seriously expensive, and where are you going to put all of it? But what if we had you covered with three awesome (and free) tech-related tools to keep you motivated to not only reach your goals and resolutions, but to smash them? Look no further:


True North app challenge – No one embraces the cold weather quite like Canadians, so let’s celebrate everything that makes a great Canadian winter with the True North Challenge!


Get started by downloading our free app, forming a team of two to eight people, sharing your team code with the rest of your crew and start moving for chances at amazing prizes! Mark your calendar: the challenge starts Monday January 18th, 2020.


Kick-starter workout downloadable PDF – One of the hardest parts about achieving goals and nailing resolutions is the very beginning. Getting started can be tough, but don’t stress it, we have your back with this handy and downloadable kick-starter workout PDF. Print it out, tack it up somewhere visible and try to complete it once or twice a week. Then increase the frequency as you get comfortable. Challenge yourself in all the right ways!

ParticipACTION workout videos – Two iconic Canadian organizations, ParticipACTION and the YMCA of Greater Toronto, have teamed up to help Canadians stay active and healthy, no matter where they are in their fitness journey.


We have all your workout video needs covered with a new series of videos featured in our app. Our partnership kicks off with a trio of new in-app videos focusing on the different levels of exercise intensity.


The True North Challenge is coming to the" target="_blank">PARTICIPACTION 

Exercise Perscription for Mental Health

Posted on January 23, 2021 at 11:10 AM Comments comments (0)

Loved this article 


As a fitness professional, you undoubtedly know how prevalent mental health issues are, and you may even work with people who have them. However, there’s very little specific information on how to make it better (other than “exercise is good for you”) and any improvements that come are simply a side effect of exercise. But what if there was a direct way to exercise specifically for improvement of mental health issues? That’s exactly what we’ll cover in this article.


If your clients have noticed that they:


Have lost pleasure in activities that they really used to enjoy

Aren’t taking care of themselves as much

Are neglecting certain relationships

Performing worse at their work than they used to

Then this article is for you.


We’ll discuss the exercise prescription for mental health issues. I use that word, “prescription” very precisely. After all, when a doctor prescribes a medication, there’s a lot of precision behind it. S/he tells you:


The name of the medication

The dose

Whether you should take it with food, or away from food

Whether you should take it in the morning, or the evening

But, when the doctor recommends exercise, well, the recommendation is vague. You don’t know exactly how to do it. You need the exercise prescription for different conditions:


The type: cardio, strength training, or stretching

The frequency: how many days per week. It’s not always a “more is better” type of scenario. With some things there’s a “sweet spot”.

The duration: how long you exercise for, or how many sets and reps

The intensity: at what percent of your maximal effort do you exercise?


Although the occasional study finds that cardio is more effective, most studies find no difference in effectiveness between cardio and strength training.


In one study, researchers divided participants into two groups:


Group 1 did cardio, three times per week, for one hour, at an intensity of 80% of their maximal heart rate.


Group 2 did strength training, three times per week for one hour. They did 10 exercises, in a circuit format, making sure their heart rate did not rise above 50-60% of their estimated maximum.


Group 3 was the control group. They did not exercise.


Both groups one and two had similar improvements in mental health (as judged by their depression score). After the study, around 80% of the people in groups one and two no longer met the diagnostic criteria for depression. But only 17% of the people in group three no longer met the diagnostic criteria for depression.


In another study, participants with mental health issues, whose average age was 71, participated in high-intensity strength training and, after 10 weeks, those who were in the exercise group had a 54% improvement in their mental health.



How many days per week is better – one, three, five? Or is it like medications, where if you don’t take it for one day, the effect completely goes away, in which case, you need to take it every day, seven days per week?


That’s what this study tried to answer. In here, researchers divided participants into five groups:


Group 1: control group (stretching)

Group 2: burned 7 kcal/kg/week, across 3 days

Group 3: burned 7 kcal/kg/week, across 5 days

Group 4: burned 17.5 kcal/kg/week, across 3 days

Group 5: burned 17.5 kcal/kg/week, across 5 days

In this case, there was no difference between the two groups that burned 7 kcal/kg/week, and the group that didn’t exercise at all. None of those three groups saw much of an improvement in mental health. However, both groups that exercised at 17.5 kcal/kg/week saw reductions in symptoms of mental illness that were similar to each other. After 12 weeks of following this program, the reduction in mental illness symptoms was about 47%.


From this preliminary evidence, it seems like there’s not much of a difference between three times per week, and five times per week, as long as you cross a certain energy expenditure threshold. Is there a greater effect for even greater calorie expenditures? Maybe. But, as far as I know, that research has not yet been done yet.



So, now that we know the type (cardio and strength training are about even), the frequency (not much of a difference between three and five times per week), what’s the intensity required to reduce mental health issues? Should you take it easy? Or should you really push?


That’s what this study tried to find out.


Researchers divided participants into three groups:


Group 1 was a control group (they didn’t exercise)


Group 2 did strength training at 80% of their maximum weight, three times per week for eight weeks.


Group 3 did the exact same exercises, repetitions, and frequency as group 2, but they did it with only 20% of their maximum weight.


The results:


21% of the people in group 1 had a reduction in their mental health issues after eight weeks. Without exercise. Without medication. Without psychotherapy. It just happened.

61% of the people in group 2 had a reduction in their mental health issues after eight weeks.

28% of the people in group 3 had a reduction in their mental health issues after eight weeks

What’s our conclusion? High intensity (over 75% of your maximum) is superior to low intensity when it comes to mental health improvement. This study looked at strength training, but other studies saw the same effect for cardio.



Is this a case of “more is better”, or is this a case of “just right”? Unfortunately, this variable hasn’t been as well studied as frequency, intensity, and type. However, one preliminary study concluded that duration and intensity are much less important than frequency.


In terms of weeks/months, although small, transient reductions are seen with just a single exercise session. To see large, consistent, long-term reductions, you should exercise for at least 9 weeks, according to this study.



And now, the million-dollar question: how do medications compare to exercise when it comes to mental health improvement?


One meta-analysis (a study of several studies), from the journal Frontiers in Pharmacology looked at this question in very significant detail and found that exercise is equally effective to medications in the treatment of mental health issues. And, when the two are combined, the medications work even better.



It’s nice to know what works, but “why” does exercise help relieve mental health issues? What are the mechanisms involved?


Reason #1: Endorphins


When you exercise at a high intensity, it’s physically uncomfortable. You’re out of breath and your muscles are burning. Your body doesn’t like that, so it releases “pain-blocking” chemicals called “endorphins.” It makes sense why the high intensity is required for mental health improvement. It has to be uncomfortable enough to trigger the release of endorphins. Low intensity is too comfortable for endorphin release. It blocks physical pain, but along with that, it helps emotional pain, as is seen in mental illness.


Reason #2: Self Efficacy Hypothesis


Often, a person who suffers from mental health issues has the feeling like their life is out of control. Things are happening to them and they are helpless against circumstances. Exercise gives you a sense of control. You know that if you go for an intense 20-minute workout, you’ll feel better. And who controls when you work out? You do! Who controls how long you work out? You do! Who controls how hard you work out? You do!


Reason #3: Distraction


Sometimes exercise just works because you’re focused on how hard you’re breathing and how much your muscles are burning. You are able to forget whatever is stressing you out.


Reason #4: Sleep Improvement


It’s very well-known that people who exercise usually sleep better. People who sleep better have better moods.


Reason #5: Serotonin


Serotonin is the “happy chemical” and when it’s released you feel content and relaxed. Exercise helps increase serotonin in the brain.



Igor Klibanov is the author of five books on fitness and nutrition, including The Mental Health Prescription, as well as the CEO of one of Toronto’s premier personal training companies, Fitness Solutions Plus. He was selected as one of the top five personal trainers in Toronto by the Metro News newspaper, and has performed approximately 400 speaking engagements, many of which have been to some of Canada’s largest corporations (including RBC, IBM, Intact Insurance, and others).


Additionally, he has multiple programs for personal trainers to enhance their skills and is a regular speaker at various personal training conferences.

Is It Better to Sleep In or Work Out?

Posted on July 29, 2020 at 11:05 AM Comments comments (12)

Staying healthy is so easy, right? Log eight hours of sleep, work out for an hour a day at least five days a week, and steer clear of processed foods. Also drink enough water, meal prep, and meditate. Trying to fit it all in, on top of all the other variables in your life (kids! work! relationships!), can seem impossible. So when you're debating the choice of lying in bed for another two hours or schlepping to the gym, sometimes shuteye wins. We get it: working out on no sleep can be a real drag.


But is that such a bad thing? After all, some mornings you just don't feel well, or maybe you overdid it yesterday. Is it ever worth it to sleep in and skip the gym? Turns out, science still doesn't have the hard and fast answer (yet).


"Both sleep and exercise are main behaviors that contribute to physical and mental health," says Kelly Glazer Baron, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist and an associate professor at the University of Utah. Her research has found that clocking at least seven hours of sleep can actually help you work out longer and harder the next day. And the exercise/sleep equation goes both ways—people with insomnia who started a regular aerobic exercise program improved the quality of their sleep and felt less tired during the day, another study from Northwestern University found. So working out on no sleep can actually help with the whole “no sleep” thing! (Even more proof: Why Sleep Is the #1 Most Important Thing For a Better Body)


Considering multiple studies point to the direct relationship between sleep and exercise, there's no denying that you should strive for adequate amounts of both, adds Shannon Fable, director of exercise programming at national gym chain Anytime Fitness. "If that's impossible, try to only sacrifice your sleep two to three days during the week in order to hit the early morning cycling class. Get some extra sleep the other days and on the weekends."


That said, there are still a few hard and fast rules you can follow to determine what to do on those tough days when your bed feels oh-so-comfy.


Sleep or Sweat?

If you got seven to eight hours of sleep the night before... You're good to hit the gym, says Fable. Seven to nine hours of sleep is what most adults need, according to the National Sleep Foundation.


If you've been sleeping less than six hours most nights that week... It's time to rethink your schedule, recommends Baron. See where you can cut corners to be more efficient: Head to bed 15 minutes earlier or shave 10 minutes off your morning routine to get a bit more sleep. If you're not a morning person, consider a lunch break or an after-work gym time. (Try this insanely effective 15-minute workout when you're crunched for time.)


If you were up all night... Definitely skip the a.m. sweat sesh, Fable says. (And maybe stock up on these possible insomnia cures.) Not only do you need the sleep, but your coordination will be affected, making exercise potentially more dangerous. Your ratings of perceived exertion will also make exercise feel harder than it is, she warns. Even if you're working out at the same intensity as you usually do, sleep deprivation can mess with your mental performance, according to research in the journal Sports Medicine. Moderation is key when working out on no sleep or when tired. Exercising too hard can make you more tired and increase your risk of injury, because fatigue can hamper concentration and form. "When you're feeling sleepy, back off a little from your workout status quo; reduce the intensity and duration of your exercise," says Shawn Youngstedt, Ph.D., a professor in the College of Health Solutions at the University of South Carolina in Columbia.


If you've only worked out once that week (and it's Friday)... If you're aiming for three to four workouts per week, it's time to move, says Baron. Just 40 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise three times per week can lower your risk for heart attack and stroke, says the American Heart Association. So don't hit snooze!


If you've been consistently killing it at the gym that week... Skip your workout, advises Fable. Everyone deserves a day off and your body needs sleep to repair after heavy workouts. Rest days allow for protein synthesis, which is crucial for building muscle, according to a study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research.


If you're sore... Sleep in and take a day off. Overtraining can cause a decrease in sleep quality and duration, Baron says.


If You're Feeling Beat...Eat for All-Day Energy

After a rough night, whether you’re working out on no sleep or heading straight to work, skip the energy-drink IV in favor of revitalizing nutrients. "It's amazing how eating the right foods can help you make it through the day," says Lauren Antonucci, R.D., the director of Nutrition Energy, a private nutrition-counseling service in New York City. (See more about how to eat for better sleep.)


Antonucci’s meal plan will keep you revved—and full—until dinner.


When you wake up: Dehydration compounds fatigue, so down two glasses of water first thing. Aim to sip half your body weight in fluid ounces by bedtime (for a 145-pound woman, that's 72 1/2 ounces, or about nine cups).

Breakfast: Go for eggs, scrambled or hard-boiled. "They're one of the most absorbable types of protein, with just the right amount of fats and a dose of energy-boosting B vitamins," Antonucci says. For staying power, add healthy carbs, like a slice of whole-grain toast and some fruit. A hit of caffeine will kick-start your day; if java makes you jittery, grab a mug of green tea. It has some caffeine, plus a compound called epigallocatechin, which, studies show, produces a relaxed and attentive state.

Midmorning: Improve your focus with a handful of mixed nuts, such as almonds, walnuts, and peanuts. The protein provides a jolt of energy, while the combo of filling fiber and omega-3 fatty acids tides you over until lunch.

Lunch: Build your meal out of lean protein, slow-burning complex carbs, and healthy fats—try a skinless chicken breast with a broccoli, black bean, and quinoa salad—to power through the next few hours.

Late afternoon: Chips or chocolate chip cookies may sound awfully good right about now, but after causing a quick spike in your energy level, they will send it crashing. For a steady, long-lasting pick-me-up, choose nutrient-rich high-fiber snacks like hummus with a whole-grain pita or baby carrots.


By Sara Angle" target="_blank">


Mastering Health Recovery and Rejuvenation.

Posted on July 27, 2020 at 4:20 PM Comments comments (0)

Well hello there, High Achiever.


How are you really doing?


If you’re anything like me, it can feel like you have one foot on the gas and one foot on the brake.


Times are challenging, and it can be really difficult to juggle two of the necessary aspects of life; work and health.


Juggling work? Pfft easy. You got that.


In fact, you probably rock that area of your life. It comes fairly effortlessly and you feel empowered and confident - challenging, yes, but you still feel empowered.


Juggling work AND health?


Now.. there’s where you hit a snag.


Studies show that, for the high achiever, health often comes at an expense.


It’s slippery. It can quickly slide out of awareness as you aim your focus on your career and managing the people around you.


And because you tend to be unsuccessful in that area of your life, as a high achiever, you feel powerless so you keep letting it slide and instead focus on what you do best.


You pride yourself on having it together, yet, you have the toughest time admitting when you need some help. Real help.


But you’re not alone. Many high achieving “jugglers” tend to let that ball drop.


And dropping that ball is so painful, not to mention, it’s such a waste of your true potential. Seriously… it’s an absolute waste.


But there’s no doubt in my mind that you could start having fewer low days and many more high days. Right now.


It might sound too good to be true but, I promise you, it’s not!


It’s time to add that ball back into your juggling act. It’s time to take back your power and reclaim your health.


Enough is enough.


Enough lowering your standards. You deserve more than what you’ve been giving yourself.


I’ve worked with thousands of people that make that misstep. Sacrificing health for the sake of your career because the demands never stop.




Thankfully, we’ve been ultra successful in helping people turn their health around.


Join me and my team for an 8 week online group mastermind to rediscover and catapult your inner health, power, and confidence.




We’ll guide you through an expertly curated framework that will teach you how to master yourself physically, emotionally and spiritually through:


✔ self-healing and self-regulating the brain and nervous system from stress, trauma, or daily worry

✔ creating clarity and inspiration of the mind by refining vision, values, true meaning and purpose for yourself

✔ building energy and vitality expressed in the body through sound nutritional practices, food cycling, hydration and wise empowered choices

✔ lowering inflammation to decrease pain, lower excess heat, and minimize aging

✔ releasing pent up frustrations, mental stress, anger and guilt that run our emotional brain

✔ lowering cortisol and stress hormones to bring more hormonal balance

✔ losing some excess body fat percentage that is waiting to release (sweet side bonus!)

✔ deeply surrendering in your healing to move toward a more congruent and authentic self expression


Again, this program is designed to help you 10x your health, energy and confidence.


If you want help reclaiming your health, to feel empowered in all aspects of your life and become a pro-juggler,

then sign up for" target="_blank">Mastering Health Recovery and Rejuvenation.








With this course comes our exciting news!


We're thrilled and proud to reveal our newest project and next big step in Exceptional Living - Veressent Life Online - our brand-new online learning platform that allows you to join us from the comfort of your own home and set a new course for your health and future.


We can’t wait to share this experience with you!


Inspired to be your guide,


Dr. Steve and the Veressent Life Team



5 Possible Reasons for Why You're Crying

Posted on July 27, 2020 at 1:15 PM Comments comments (0)

That touching episode of Queer Eye, the first dance at a wedding, or that heartbreaking animal welfare commercial—you know the one. These are all perfectly logical reasons to cry. But if you've ever just been sitting in traffic waiting for a light to turn green and suddenly started weeping, well that can be jarring. You've likely wondered "why am I crying for no reason?” (or what surely feels like no reason).


Frequent crying spells can be short bursts of spontaneous, out-of-nowhere (sometimes anxiety-provoked) tears that tend to strike when you're just going about your life. Yet they likely leave you fairly confused, asking yourself “why do I feel like crying?” or “why am I ~really~ crying, actually right now?”


First of all, you probably aren't pregnant, and no, there's nothing wrong with you.


"Crying spells can have a physical cause, but they also indicate that you're built up a lot of subconscious emotions you aren't processing," explains Yvonne Thomas, Ph.D., a Los Angeles–based psychologist specializing in relationships and self-esteem.


If you find yourself in a crying spell for no apparent reason fairly often, this list can help you decode the potential health reason behind it. Just know that this is not an exhaustive list by any means, and seeking help from a loved one, confidant, therapist, or doctor is encouraged to deal with your individual triggers, emotions, or possible underlying issues. (More: 19 Weird Things That Can Make You Cry)


5 Possible Reasons for Why You're Crying

1. Hormones

The days leading up to your period can cause a rollercoaster of emotions. As levels of estrogen and progesterone swing up and down, brain chemicals responsible for mood are affected, and that can trigger irritability, moodiness, and yep, crying spells. If you're already stressed out or anxious, PMS can magnify those feelings and make your crying episodes even worse, says Thomas. You can wait it out—PMS symptoms clear up as your cycle moves on—or if the crying spells are cutting into your quality of life, ask your doctor to screen you for premenstrual dysphoric disorder, a more severe form of PMS that impacts about 5 percent of pre-menopausal women, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women’s Health.


Getting enough sleep, taking it easy on the alcohol and caffeine, and integrating more self-care might help make PMS more bearable so you won’t have quite so many, “why do I feel like crying?!” moments. Also worth noting: No matter what time of the month it is, having female hormones means you're more likely to deal with crying spells, period. Testosterone (a hormone normally found in higher levels in males) tends to tame tears, while prolactin (generally in larger supply in women) may trigger them.


2. Depression

Crying spells caused by sadness—kind of a no-brainer, right? However, when sad feelings linger for weeks or months, that may signal a deeper kind of dispair seen with clinical depression. Depression often comes with many other symptoms such as severe fatigue, lack of enjoyment from things you used to like, and sometimes physical aches and pains too.


"Many women display depression as frustration, anger, or irritability," says Thomas. "Each of these emotions can result in tearfulness, so if you experience them, see your doctor for a depression screening, even if you don't necessarily feel down."


3. Extreme stress

Okay, we all get stressed (and 2020 has been no walk in the park), but if you aren't facing these work and life pressures head-on, and instead, sweeping tension under the rug, it's no surprise you're suddenly streaming tears, says Thomas. "Set aside some time and really ask yourself what might be stressing you out so much, and form a plan to tackle it head-on," says Thomas. Though being stressed itself isn't a formal medical condition, it certainly can be an answer to why you may be crying. Excessive stress can make physical symptoms worse or even trigger them in the first place; everything from digestive distress to heart disease.


Give yourself some grace if this is why you're crying—doing so while stressed can actually be a *good* thing. A study published in the journal Emotions found that getting teary while stressed can be a mode of self-soothing, helping you calm down and regulate your heart rate. (Related: The One Thing You Can Do to Be Kinder to Yourself Right Now)


4. Anxiety

Find yourself in panic mode a lot of the time, with a racing heart, butterflies in your stomach, and extreme self-consciousness that limits your participation in everyday life? This might be the reason for your crying spells. "Anxiety disorders are not uncommon among women, and all the emotion they cause can result in frequent explosions of tears, even when you're not feeling panicky," says Thomas. Medication and/or cognitive therapy may help, so it pays to ask your doctor for help if you think your crying spells might be linked to an underlying anxiety disorder. (Related: What Happened When I Tried CBD for My Anxiety)


5. Fatigue

Newborns cry when they’re sleepy, so it stands to reason that fully-grown humans might do the same sometimes. Crying spells, irritability, and sadness were all linked to sleep deprivation (in the 4- to 5 hour-a-night range) in research published in the journal Sleep.


Plus, anxiety and stress can increase feelings of exhaustion (when your brain or emotions are in overdrive, no wonder), but you can also just be tuckered out by a night or two of sub-par sleep.


Each person’s sleep needs vary, but start by bumping up your bedtime by 15 minutes each night until you can allocate enough time for seven or eight hours most nights, the amount recommended by the National Sleep Foundation for adequate R & R. And if you’re struggling to get to sleep, try adding these foods for better sleep to your pantry.


If you or someone you know needs help, please call 1-800-273-8255 for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline or text 741741, or chat online at


By Esther Crain

Find article" target="_blank">

This can be very stressful these days, always think this will pass, enjoy each minute of the day, don't sweat the small stuff, take some long deep breaths and move forward to positive thinking.  Enjoy a nap when you can.


Success Secrets

Posted on May 11, 2020 at 12:45 AM Comments comments (0)

I loved this article I had put away as I am decluttering.  Very appropriate for the times!!


Consider yourself as an orange.  Only what is really inside can come out.  If you fill your mind with thoughts of serenity, positivity, strength, courage and compassion, when someone squeezeds you, this is the only juice that can flow.                - Robin Sharma

  1. Goal Setting:  Where are you going and how are you going to get there!!
  2. Nutrition and What is Really Takes to Lose One Pound of Fat: Servings and portions and all that technical stuff we need to know so we are not confused by that darn 5 pounds of fluid that ebbs and flows like a blinking tide!  The more you know the more you are in control!!
  3. Time Management:  How are we going to fit this into our already busy, busy day!!  And like It - no love it!!
  4. Motivation: Remind me!!  Why is it we are doing this again??
  5. Stress Management:  It is 5:30pm!!  What do you mean head office needs the market analysis by 8:00am tomorrow morning??
  6. Success Programs are for Life: You bet they are!!

 One hour Outdoors and in the Studio: We will do a combination of: Cardio: (you will need runners - No, No!  We aren't going to jog/run - at least not right away!!) [unless you are doing already.]  

Strength Training:  using Exercise/Stability Balls (you have to buy - if you don't already own one that gets batted and moved around the house - because yes, there is homework!!) and Resistance Bands (which I will provide and will also be used for your homework)

Flexibility: Okay - relax - enjoy!!  Homework: Absolutely!!  Making healthy nutritional choices and adding exercise into your life on a daily basis in nothing more than creating a habit!" target="_blank">THE TOP 200 Secrets of Success             T" target="_blank">he Top 200 Secrets of Success and the Pillars of S elf-Mastery" target="_blank">FREE - App


Posted on January 18, 2020 at 8:15 PM Comments comments (0)


February 1 2020

MacGregor Recreation Centre  

- 9:00 A.M. – 4:00 P.M.

- 9:00 - 10:00 light Breakfast 

Opening Keynote: Lana Bullough

- 10:00 – 11:00 a.m. Choose ONE of two sessions by placing an X beside your preference:

- 11:00 – 12:00 p.m. Choose ONE of two sessions by placing an X beside your preference:

- NOON – 1:00 – LUNCH- Bay Village Coffee Catering

- 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. Choose ONE of two sessions by placing an X beside your preference:

- 2:00 – 4:00 p.m Closing Session: All participants join together for closing sessions (no choice needed)

Registration Deadline Friday, January 24, 2020 at 4:00 p.m.


$50.00 for a full day includes Breakfast, Lunch and Snacks





Taking Care of Self for the New Year

Posted on December 31, 2019 at 10:30 AM Comments comments (0)

Wishing all a Very Prosperous New Year with Peace and Honesty. 

All the Best Anne 

Sharing circulatory system

Posted on December 1, 2019 at 7:10 AM Comments comments (0)

There are about 60,000 miles of blood vessels in the human body, and along with the heart and other muscles,

they make up the circulatory system.

Taking care of your feet in so important to wellness and health.

Grounding, or ‘earthing,’ is a practice of walking barefoot on the ground, without any shoes or socks that serve as a barrier. It is founded on the power of the intense negative charge carried by the Earth, high in electrons, which provides high amounts of antioxidants and free-radical destroying electrons.

The role of this network of roadways is to carry blood to every corner of your body. However, when your circulation is poor, it slows or blocks the blood flow, and the cells in the body can’t get all the oxygen and nutrients they need.

In the case of reduced blood flow, one develops poor circulation symptoms. This usually happens in the extremities, and the most common causes of it include diabetes, obesity, heart conditions, and arterial issues.

People suffering from poor blood circulation experience symptoms like muscle cramps, tingling, numbness, throbbing or stinging pain in the limbs.

If left untreated, this issue could lead to reduced blood flow and plaque in the arteries, which might cause more serious conditions, like a heart attack or a stroke.

Therefore, it is of high importance to improve blood flow in the body, and here are the most effective natural ways to do so:

1. Regular exercise boosts circulation, and you can pick a physical activity such as swimming, running, walking, or riding a bike

2. Massage boosts blood circulation by stimulating blood flow in the treated area

3. Drink plenty of water

4. Avoid smoking, as it is one of the main causes of poor circulation

5.Stretching will improve body circulation as prolonged periods of sitting slow it down

6. A healthy and well-balanced diet, rich in vegetables, fruits, healthy fats, and lean proteins, and low in salt, trans fats, and sugar, will increase blood flow in the body

7. To instantly boost circulation, use a pillow or another object to elevate the legs while sitting

8. Hot and cold treatment boosts circulation; apply heat using a hot pack for about 30 seconds, and then repeat with a cold one

9. Hydrotherapy will help you better oxygen flow as hot water relaxes the tense muscles, boosting blood circulation and allowing oxygen to flow more smoothly

10, Ginkgo Biloba is a versatile herb that boosts circulation and is available as a liquid extract, a tablet, capsules, or a dried leaf.

Additionally, you will benefit a low from a salt-made scrub, as it will smooth the skin, energize your legs, and ease excess fluid. To boost circulation, buff in circular motions working your way up the leg, from ankle to knee.

Note that high heels and pointed-toe shoes interrupt the blood flow from the heart to the feet, so you should choose flats or trainers whenever possible.

You can also try tights for compression hosiery, which are specifically designed to help blood circulate easily through the legs." target="_blank">" target="_blank">fbclid=IwAR2BYxIMtXwaUnAE3UBwQz4v9cAHCEYe8OheyEBTNLx6mfzdJyqDqF9C8OM

Take care of your feel every day.

Sharing with love Anne



Wellness Centre should have the following

Posted on September 6, 2019 at 2:55 PM Comments comments (0)" target="_blank">10 Examples of the Best Workplace Wellness Programs

1. On-site fitness centres

This might be considered the granddaddy of all corporate wellness program examples. Not everyone can provide their team members with a 72,000 square foot fitness centre, but Chesapeake Energy considers it a completely justified expense for recruiting and retaining healthy team members. The fitness centre offers team members an Olympic-sized swimming pool, a rock climbing wall, and access to personal trainers.

What makes this wellness program great?

The fitness centre is just one part of the company’s ‘Living Well’ program, which offers cash incentives for team members who participate and meet their goals in various areas of the program. Chesapeake Energy clearly cares about their team members’ well-being and has provided them with as much support as possible to help them reach their goals.

2. Smoking cessation programs

It’s no secret that, on average, team members who smoke cigarettes cost their employers more money due to health issues compared to non-smokers. Some workplaces have found it in their best interest, both ethically and economically, to offer smoking cessation programs to their team members.

Union Pacific offers a smoking cessation program that consists of lifestyle coaching, as well as pharmacological assistance, to their team members. Their program has helped reduced the number of their team members who smoke from 40% in the 1990s down to 17% in 2007.

What makes this wellness program great?

Union Pacific understands that pharmaceuticals alone may not work for all team members. The addition of coaching for team members trying to quit smoking may make the difference between success and failure.

3. Transit options

Encouraging alternative methods of transportation, such as bike sharing or public transit incentives, are beneficial to the workplace and the future of the environment. Facebook’s campus in Palo Alto offers a bike-sharing program for team members to cycle to places around campus rather than driving. At Rise, we encourage our team members to take public transportation by reimbursing employees for their transit passes.

What makes this wellness program great?

This type of program will appeal to current and potential employees who value environmental responsibility.

4. Paramedical services

Google offers paramedical services, like massage therapy, to their team members while they’re at work. In fact, Google employs a massage program manager, as just one of 35 massage therapists employed in their United States offices. Massage therapists go through an interview process at the company as well, where they demonstrate their skills (which sounds great for the interviewer).

What makes this wellness program great?

There’s a reason why Google is consistently rated one of the best workplaces in the world. Going above and beyond what team members expect from their employer is a great way to encourage a reciprocal effort. A relaxed and calm team member is a joy to have in the workplace, which is likely the main reason that Google offers the service.

5. Yoga classes

Mobify offers their team members yoga classes twice per week, which, weather permitting, is moved to their rooftop boasting stunning views of Vancouver’s ocean and mountains. The most important requirement for practising yoga is the space to do it, and many companies are using their conference or break rooms to provide yoga classes for team members throughout the workday.

What makes this wellness program great?

Yoga and meditation is an extremely effective stress reliever. Team members at startups or PR agencies often have to deal with tight deadlines and overtime. Yoga is an effective way to incorporate self-care into work, so that team members don’t have to feel guilty about neglecting work.

6. Lunch and healthy snacks

With only 30 minutes for lunch, many team members may feel that they have to eat fast food when buying their lunch. Bandwidth offers a 90-minute Fitness Lunch to their team members—enough time to play a sport, hit the gym, or to head home for a healthy homemade lunch. Again, Google sets the bar high with their cafeterias, offering catered lunches and snacks to team members throughout the day. Services have popped up recently that will deliver healthy snacks to your office, like Natural Source and Mindful Snacks.

What makes this wellness program great?

A lunch and snack program will appeal to all of your team members—since everyone has to eat! Promoting healthy eating in the workplace benefits everyone in the office. Healthy and communal eating programs encourage interaction between people from different teams, and the cafeteria provides one such place where a large and diverse workforce can mingle and connect.

7. Employee assistance programs

Wellness not only means taking care of the body but the mind as well. Accenture provides confidential support for issues like stress, substance abuse, depression, and anxiety. Accenture knows a lot of work-related stress can be addressed outside of the workplace through guided support programs, so they provide access to programs, such as financial assistance, for all of their employees. Employees are also rewarded for setting wellness goals and accomplishing them.

What makes this wellness program great?

Employees who need extra assistance outside the workplace get the help they need to perform their best. Companies like Accenture realize that support for their employees shouldn’t end once they leave the building. By providing extra support initiatives, organizations can communicate a certain level of empathy and support for their people, thus boosting satisfaction and confidence between the employer and the employee.

8. Naps

How does an after-lunch snooze sound? Professional or not, there’s no argument that a good nap always leaves one feeling completely refreshed. That’s why innovative companies like Zappos, Facebook, and Asana provide specialized nap rooms for employees looking to catch some afternoon rest. Due to the flexible work schedules, employees can catch a quick nap and return to their projects with renewed energy.

What makes this wellness program great?

While simply having a dedicated nap room isn’t technically a “program”, naps have clinically proven benefits when it comes to productivity. We’ve all felt that afternoon lull after lunch. But we’re not telling you to let Steve from the accounting department hibernate under his desk. We’re telling you to let employees recharge in ways that suit them best. Maybe it’s allowing employees extra time to go outside for a walk or having a quiet area for staff members to read. The idea is to not be so rigid in the ways employees spend their off time. Everyone gets energized in different ways and finding out what those are can improve mental wellness and productivity.

9. Wellness challenges

Workplace challenges related to wellness, from health challenges to fitness challenges, are effective in promoting healthy lifestyles within your workforce. At Rise, we’ve designed and ran workplace wellness challenges that encouraged our team members to engage in workouts of their choosing and drink more water at the office. By tracking their progress, their team would be eligible to win a health-related prize at the month’s end.

What makes this wellness program great?

Our monthly fitness challenges and water challenges were successful in promoting regular physical exercise and daily hydration amongst our people. It’s become a core part of our company culture, motivating our teams to reach goals, interact with their colleagues, and improve their wellness habits.

10. Wellness adventures

Like many companies, Zappos offers fitness subsidies, health benefits, and wellness reimbursements. According to their wellness coordinators, physical activity is important but shouldn’t be made mandatory. As a part of their wellness efforts, the Zappos team schedules optional wellness adventures for their employees with the goal of getting away from their desks for a little while. This could look like a one hour golf lesson or even laser tag. The wellness adventures are kept broad to appeal to a wide range of people, and most importantly, are focused on having fun.

What makes this wellness program great?

Hosting wellness adventures is great fun for everyone. Remember, not everyone is able to participate in all physically active events. Scheduling a wide range of monthly events can let those who get their exercise in elsewhere or who aren’t very active at all to join in. It appeals to more people cause it focuses on fun first rather than exercise.

Looking for a better way to improve health & wellness across your organization? The Rise HR platform helps Canadian businesses manage their teams better, track time off, keep an eye on employee engagement, and much more. Book a demo to see Rise in action.

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Being Aware is the First Step

Posted on June 24, 2019 at 4:50 PM Comments comments (2)

Being Aware is the First Step



There is freedom that comes with awareness, because with it comes the opportunity to make a choice.


Life is a journey comprised of many steps on our personal path that takes us down a winding road of constant evolution. And each day, we are provided with a myriad of opportunities that can allow us to transform into our next best selves. One moment we are presented with an opportunity to react differently when yet another someone in our life rubs us the wrong way; on another day we may find ourselves wanting to walk away from a particular circumstance but are not sure if we can. Eventually, we may find ourselves stuck in a rut that we can never seem to get out of. We may even make the same choices over and over again because we don't know how to choose otherwise. Rather than moving us forward, our personal paths may take us in a seemingly never-ending circle where our actions and choices lead us nowhere but to where we've already been. It is during these moments that awareness can be the first step to change.


Awareness is when we are able to realize what we are doing. We observe ourselves, noticing our reactions, actions, and choices as if we were a detached viewer. Awareness is the first step to change because we can't make a change unless we are aware that one needs to be made in the first place. We can then begin understanding why we are doing what we are doing. Afterward, it becomes difficult not to change because we are no longer asleep to the truth behind our behaviors. We also begin to realize that, just as much as we are the root source behind the causes for our behaviors, we are also the originator for any changes that we want to happen.


There is a freedom that comes with awareness. Rather than thinking that we are stuck in a repetitive cycle where there is no escape, we begin to see that we very much play a hand in creating our lives. Whether we are aware of them or not, our behaviors and choices are always ours to make. Our past and our present no longer have to dictate our future when we choose to be aware. We are then free to move beyond our old limits, make new choices, and take new actions. With awareness, our paths can't help but wind us forward in our lives while paving the way for new experiences and new ways of being. It is through awareness that we can continue to consciously evolve.


DailyOM Course Spotlight


Understanding Addiction


The harsh reality is seventy-eight people may die today from opioid overdose, and another 20 million are experiencing a substance use disorder. Drug overdose is the leading cause of accidental death in the United States--and every day, some 6,300 people seek addiction treatment. Yearly, as many as 2 to 3 million people are admitted to treatment facilities for alcohol and drug abuse AND the majority of people in formal treatment centers suffer relapse over and over again. Some of these are our children or a family member we love. It's time to do something different--to know something different--to utilize authentic evidence-based science, medicine, transpersonal psychology, birth psychology, child development, spirituality and consciousness to address the factors that set a person up to become a drug addict or alcoholic. This course is for anyone who is ready to know how parents unconsciously set up a child or significant other for the insanity of addiction, enabling and co-dependency. Using deep sarcasm to exaggerate some major points and behaviors--this important course gives students an opportunity to contemplate what not to do and always ends with a healing teaching for reversing any behavior that sabotages recovery.

Learn more understanding addiction" target="_blank">

From Dailyom 

Judgement verse Opinion

Posted on June 5, 2019 at 9:20 AM Comments comments (0)

Judgment closes us down and is final, whereas opinion leaves us open-hearted and open to change.


Most of us understand that when we judge someone, or someone judges us, it is a negative emotional experience. As a result, we naturally want to avoid being judgmental, but this gets confusing when we feel we have to suppress thoughts that could actually be offering us guidance. For example, we may meet someone new and suppress a negative feeling about them, thinking that we don't want to fall into the trap of being judgmental. Later, though, it may turn out that paying attention to that thought could have helped us take care of ourselves or someone else. 


It is important to learn to distinguish inner guidance, and having an opinion, from judgment, otherwise we run the risk of not listening to our intuition and not allowing ourselves to form opinions. Inner guidance and opinions both help us to interact more intelligently in the world, so we don't want to throw them out in an effort to avoid being judgmental. Our intuition usually makes itself known to us in a flash, and often has a physical component--a flutter in our stomachs, sweaty palms, or a chill. When we use this information to help us navigate a situation, we always benefit. Similarly, having an opinion about a person or an idea allows us to converse about it in a focused way with intention. Listening to our intuition and forming opinions are both positive outcomes of our ability to interpret the information that comes our way. 


When we make a judgment, on the other hand, we attempt to have a final say on whether someone or something is inherently good or bad. Judgments close us down instead of opening us up; opinions have a lighter quality and are amenable to change. Once a judgment has been made, there is no more conversation or consideration, whereas opinions invite further debate. Intuition guides us from moment to moment, but, unlike judgment, never makes a final decree. In other words, it is only healthy to be open to the information we receive and to allow ourselves to process that information. As long as we stay open and fluid, we can trust that we have not fallen prey to the trap of judgment.

Marching into Spring

Posted on March 19, 2019 at 8:10 AM Comments comments (2)

Marching into spring beings a change in our activities.

For some it is more outdoor activities.  Others it's the change in the outdoor activities.

We also look at how we will be eating differently. 

Temperatures are warmer so some of the heavier foods we ate to keep us warm will change.

Our spirits change to a brighter outlook with more daylight and change in our clothing.

Already seeing people out in shorts!  It is a little early especially for us Northerners.

We like the cold so when the temperature moves above 0 it gets a little balmy for us.

The benefits of physical activity extend way beyond how you look." target="_blank">Participacation has ideas that can help 

There are brain benefits, relationship benefits, community benefits and benefits you may have never even expected (like pooping benefits, for instance). The link between physical activity and better physical, mental or emotional health have been proven in study after study. But everyone is different. Understanding what really motivates you (see below), how much and what kind of activity is required to experience positive change (hint – it depends on your age 0-4, 5-17, 18-64 or 65+), and finding an activity you love to do from all the different ways to get physically active is key. Once you get the ball rolling, you won’t believe all the ways activity can benefit you and those around you.

Enjoy the day Anne