Mia goes M.I.A. Sparkling Hill Resort and Spa

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This summer I had the amazing opportunity to drive across Canada, exploring five different provinces from Ontario to British Columbia. While each province had so much to offer, to explore, and to experience (which I will highlight in an upcoming blog) today I wanted to take a moment to talk about what was definitely my favourite part of the seven-day journey.

After five days on the road we finally reached B.C. and decided that after sitting in a car for hours on end, we decided to take two days off and relax and recharge at Sparkling Hill Resort and Spa in Vernon B.C.

Rolling up to the spa located on top of a hill I already knew that this was going to be a special stay. Even from the outside the spa was decorated in Swarovski crystals. The views from the perch overlooking the mountains on one side and Lake Okanagan on the other, there is only one way to describe it… Paradise.

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Inside, just as spectacular. Our giant room had its own European style bathtub, crystals surrounding the walls, a king size bed for a comfortable sleep, and incredible views of the rolling hills of the Okanagan Valley. I was in awe.

Yet what makes this spa truly unique is the amenities that it has to offer their guests, and amenities I took full advantage of. Sure there are the usual spa features like massages, but Sparkling Hill has so much more to offer. Like their amazing Sauna and Steam rooms.

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I spent two straight days rotating through all of the unique spa rooms. The Rose Steam Room smelled like fresh flowers and offered a romantic and calming vibe. The Salt Steam was a natural salt cave which helps cleanse and reduce stress. The Crystal Steam covered in Swarovski crystals helped to energize and uplift. The list of the amazing sauna rooms goes on. Each one its own unique theme and unique feel. Each one relaxing, uplifting, calming, and wonderful.

Aside from the sauna rooms, there was also the aqua relaxation area. I spent the early evenings of my stay in the heated infinity pool. It overlooked the lake and gave the perfect backdrop to watch the sun set behind the hills.

My favourite amenity was probably the Kneipp Water Therapy. Healing with water is an ancient body wellness therapy. What you do is walk through cold and warm water bodies. This causes blood vessels to expand and contract helping relax the nervous system and reduce swelling. Just what the doctor ordered after a long car drive.

It is hard to think that the views and spa can be topped, but the food at Sparkling Hill definitely deserves to be mentioned. Firstly, the resort offers a complimentary buffet style breakfast, making sure your bellies are full for the day’s activities. But what really excited me was the lunch and dinner options. We ate most of our meals at PeakFine, the on-site restaurant. PeakFine comes from the meaning peak-form. The restaurant draws their ingredients from local Okanagan farms and wines from local B.C. wineries. You could truly taste the freshness of the food in each bite.

After 48-hours at Sparkling Hill Resort we were rejuvenated and ready to continue our drive to Vancouver. I literally felt like a whole new person walking out of the resort on my last day. My aches and pains disappeared replaced with energy and excitement.

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This spa is a must visit for anyone who needs a quiet, relaxing, and re-energizing weekend away. I know that I will be back when life gets just a little too hectic to handle.

Workout Wednesday: Keller Rose Fitness

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Finding the time in a busy work day to get your butt to the gym can be a challenge, trust me I know. I am one of those people that will use every excuse in the book, “I am tired”, “I have too much work to do”, “I will just eat really healthy and then I don’t have to work out.” Literally every excuse.

Alas, the little countdown in my phone reminded me that my Yacht Week in Greece is less than 150 days away. I know that may seem like a long time, but as the old saying goes “summer bodies are made in the winter” and winter is over, we are now in spring and my summer body is not even close to being made.

That is why I was so excited to discover Keller Rose Fitness. A Pilates passed fitness where you don’t even have to leave the house. The workout comes straight to you in the form of a downloaded file on your computer. No more excuses!

So what is Keller Rose Curve Builder Workout? Well basically Katrina Brodsky and her Pilates teacher Katie Rayle joined dynamic forces to come up with a four different daily workouts that are designed to take Pilates out of the studio and on to a mat wherever you are. The workouts are designed to elongate muscles, improve tone, and enhance natural curves (and if you have seen Katrina’s Instagram page you know this is the truth).

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Besides loving the fact that I could get these workouts done from home, I also loved the fact that they didn’t require a lot. All that was needed was a resistance band and a yoga mat. Another positive of this workout is the fact that it is so low impact. I love to run, but it is nice to mix up my running with a workout that is a little easier on my body so that I can avoid injuries

I am not going to lie, when I first downloaded this workout handbook I was a little skeptical. I was curious to how challenging the workouts would be, and if the handbook would give you enough direction to make sure you were doing the exercises correctly.

As soon as I finished the first workout the only question I had was why had I not discovered this work out sooner! Not only does the file give you a detailed explanation of how to do each exercises correctly (along with a picture for those who are extra coordinated like myself) but it was also super challenging and I definitely felt the burn through every muscle.

I have done a million squats and lunges in my life, but this workout is completely different. The added strain of the resistance band makes each lunge, each reach, each lift that much more of a work-out.

Workout #1: Standing Series 

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The first workout is the standing series. A heavy focus on exercises like lunges and squats, but with the added resistance band you are also working your arms, and with the movements you have to keep your abs tight for balance.

Workout #2 The Side Lying Series: These workouts stem from your hips, but with planks, arm raises, and leg swipes, once again your entire body is being put to work. My whole body was shaking after these exercises. You will definitely feel the burn in those abs. Hello incoming six pack!

Workout #3 Booty Series (Personal Fav): With hamstring curls and leg kicks, your butt is really being put to the test, but with the added resistance band your booty is working that much harder. My legs were shaking after just a few reps.

Workout #4 Power Series: 

The last workout is the power series, where you are not only working your body but also your mind by adding various movements to the different exercises to make sure that you are constantly focused on your body. I really loved this one because it forced me to forget about any outside forces and just focus on my workout. It incorporates familiar moves like the downward dog but there is always a twist to it.

I highly recommend this workout for anyone who doesn’t have the time to get out to the gym, who is looking for a low impact workout, who enjoys pilates,  and who is looking to tone the muscles but doesn’t want to use heavy weights.

I am obsessed with Keller Rose Fitness after just a few days and I cannot wait to share my results with you. Yacht Week I am coming for you in my itty bitty yellow polka dot bikini.

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Monday Motivation: Fenom

Screen Shot 2017-03-13 at 6.30.30 PM.pngHappy Monday Motivation y’all. You know what that means, another one of my fav workout classes in Toronto!

Walking up the stairs was a challenge today, my legs still feel like jello. The signs of a damn good workout if you ask me. I have fallen madly, deeply, and truly in love with Fenom training, despite the sore muscles that are sure to follow the next morning.

What is fenom training you may ask? Well it is a strength and conditioning training camp held at King West Club. Basically they offer elevated small group circuit training designed for women.

More like personal training, the small group allows the instructor to really focus on technique and personalized nutrition coaching.IMG_0387

So how does the class work? Well the group consists of about 5-10 girls. A perfect size class because the trainer can ensure that you are doing all the exercises correctly. With smaller classes, the trainer has more opportunity to focus on your form to make sure  you work the right muscles, but also helps avoid injury.

Jen, our totally awesome trainer, first goes through the different exercises. Each circuit has about 3-4 different ones that we do that each target a specific muscle. Usually starting with squats or lunges for lower body, we will then move to arm raises or pull ups, and finish off with  some really difficult ab burning exercises.

You would do 10 reps of each exercise before moving on to the next, and you would repeat those 3 to 4 times before moving on to the next circuit.

It had been a long time since I had worked with a personal trainer, and I realized quickly what I missed so much about it. When you have that instructor pushing you, motivating you, telling you that you can work that much harder, you believe it and you do it.

With Jen is  in my ear telling me to add that one extra weight, to push up to the bar one more time, to keep my plank a little longer, it is almost like I don’t want to let her down so I do it. I push myself that little bit harder than even I thought possible.

And it isn’t just Jen pushing me, but the other girls in the class too. When I first stepped into the class, everyone was a stranger. By the end of the class we were all friends. There was constant encouragement to push a little higher, lift a little heavier, get one more rep. IMG_0374

Each class is different, different exercises, different circuits, different movements, but yet the same goal, to strengthen your body, your mind, your soul.

To sum it all up this class is perfect for anyone who is;

  • Looking for training specific to the female body
  • not ready to splurge on one-on-one classes but doesn’t want to get lost in a big group class
  • looking to strengthen your overall body
  • looking to do more weight training
  • looking for a kick ass full body workout

For more info on the Fenom training classes check out their website; fenomtraining.ca 

you won’t regret it!

xo

Mia

Monday Motivation: F45

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As I am writing this blog, my abs are aching, my legs are sore, and my arms feel like they are being weighed down by bricks, and the truth is I love it. So why am I feeling like this? Well I would bet it has everything to do with completing my first week of f45 Liberty Village.

Ok so you might have heard of f45 but not entirely sure what it is? Yeah that was me about a week ago, so let’s break it down.

Back in 2012 in Australia the F45 CEO wanted to create a group training facility that featured dynamic and effective training. He wanted to create the best workouts that could reach the masses. A structured system that could be implemented across the world.

Now F45 is breaking ground across the world by combining three times of leading edge fitness training styles into one. It incorporates high intensity interval training, circuit training, and functional training. The fusion of these training concepts has created 27 different 45-minute workout experiences, so you never get the same workout twice.

Now that you know a bit of F45’s background, here is a bit of my own background. From the age of 8-21 I played professional tennis. That meant 5 am wake up calls to go and train, three hours on the court, and then more fitness pretty much seven days a week.

From 21 until now, I have taken things a bit lighter. I still love to work out, but my workouts have been more cardio based as of late, so the idea of circuit training that involves weights made me a little nervous.IMG_0846

What I found out is that there are two main kinds of workouts, ones that are weight focused and ones that are more cardio focused.

The first class that I took was Renegade. More of a weight focused class where you focus more on heavy lifting and proper form that helps burn away fat. I was definitely sore after this class

Next up was Firestorm. The hardest of all the classes in my opinion. 54 stations and no time for breaks (except during your giving hydration period). With so many different stations, you are guaranteed a full body workout with cardio and speed training combined in there as well. After this class I couldn’t make it up or down stairs. Not for the faint at heart.

Then we were back to weight focused workout with Angry Birds. As they say Angry Birds plot revenge, and this workout was insuring I was ready for revenge. Again plenty of weights that targeted my whole body.

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Thursday was Wingman. Sure I may have been doing this solo, but that is the great thing about f45, you are never doing this workout alone. There are 20 other people in the room who are fighting through these workouts just as hard as you are. You are pushing each other to work harder, better, faster, stronger, or some other Kanye West quote. “believe and squeeze” is the motto in this class, and your glutes are definitely going to get formed here.

And alas my first week of amazing, incredible, feel good torture was Romans (who doesn’t want to have a body of a Roman God right?) with this workout resistance meets functional movement patters and it is definitely a full body burn. Weights, squats, lunges, you name it you do it in this class.

One week was not enough that is for sure. I am actually addicted to these classes for a few reasons;

  • As someone who I am pretty sure has undiagnosed ADD, I really like the idea of changing up the workouts. Not only do you do a bunch of different activities each day, but every day you have a different class, a different challenge
  • The instructors are amazing and will really help make sure you are doing the exercises correctly to get the most of your workout
  • You get to do it as a group, which at least for me pushes me to work harder. When I am in the gym by myself I spend most the time finding the right playlist for the day, at f45, you have a whole team working hard together
  • You know you are changing your body and your life. I am not going to lie to you, these workouts aren’t easy. They hurt but they also build, strengthen, and improve.

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F45 has not just changed my body, but has also changed my mind. I used to be afraid of weight training. Afraid to bulk up as they call it, but these classes have taught me that lifting weights actually burns just as much if not more calories than cardio, and the harder you push your muscles, the longer they burn.

F45 has taught me that working hard is rewarding, it is life changing, it makes you not just physical stronger but mentally, it showed me what a community can do when they come together, and it proved the saying that strong is beautiful.

If you haven’t tried f45 yet, sign up right now (well finish reading this blog and then go sign up). Plus, the first two weeks are free, that is a win win!

 

Myodetox is my kind of detox

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I started playing tennis at a competitive level at the age of 8, it was at that same time I started to wear and tear at my body. The constant back and forth motions on the court really took a toll on my knees and ankles. The constant serving really took a toll on my shoulders. The constant training really took a toll on my back. Now at 28 I find my muscles stiff and sore more regularly.

Another issue for me was that the lifestyle that I lead, I am constantly on the go. In fact, I think I have completely erased the word relax from my vocabulary all together. I am carrying heavy camera equipment for work. I am constantly driving to stories, I am attending events, I am always on the go. I don’t have time to give my body a much needed break.

I would see a massage therapist but no deep tissue was deep enough and no sports massage actually targeted my sore muscles. I thought finally feeling great was a lot cause. That is until I was introduced to Myodetox.

So what is Myodetox? It is a unique manual therapy system that is designed for proactive and reactive care of the body. It is basically a really, really intense massage that targets problem areas not just to relieve pain, but to cure your bodies structure that could be causing the pain in the first place.screen-shot-2017-03-02-at-4-49-20-pm

Step 1: The Body Scan 

On my first visit the team started with a Body Scan. Through this scan, they can find the root of the issue. Mine happened to be my unbalanced hip and really tight glute muscles. The uneven hips were hurting my posture.

Step 2: The Massage

I am not going to lie, it hurt, it hurt like hell. But I could actually feel the muscles loosened in ways I have never felt from regular massage. The manual therapy they use is a hands on treatment that incorporates different techniques and mobilizations.

During the massage they focused on alignment, articulation of how my joints move and how I control them, and then comes the action part. A game plan to maintain the changes that they make.

Step 3: The Plan 

I was given a series of stretches and moves on the foam roll to do at home on my own time to ensure the work we were putting in at the clinic would stick.

What I love about Myodetox is it isn’t just a show up get a massage and leave, only to feel sore the very next day, and need another massage the following week. It is a show up, assess, evaluate, work, and plan appointment to make sure your body is actually getting better.

You are actually teaching your body how it should sit, how it should move, how it should be in order to avoid future pain.

Now I cannot get enough of it. I see my therapist Ethan twice a month, where he fixes any new problems I have from my workouts or my work or just my life, and he reassess the areas that we have already worked on to make sure they are still improving in a positive direction.

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Since starting with Myodetox, I am able to lift heavier weights, run for longer, sleep better at night, I am more balanced, and my posture is better. It has actually been a life saver.

For anyone who leads a busy life, who is constantly in pain, who feels like a regular massage just isn’t enough anymore, I highly recommend Myodetox. Maybe it will just change your life to.