How to create a healthier home

Image by Denise Husted from Pixabay

I know this might be pretty obvious, but everyone wants to feel healthy and at their best right? I know during this pandemic feeling our best doesn’t come as easy. It has been mentally and emotionally draining on all of us but you are probably still trying to do what you can to wake up feeling good. Some steps you might be taking is easting right, exercising regularly, and making sure you  get enough sleep. Each of these is vital, but there may be one influence on your health you overlook, and that is your home. Your home plays a significant role in your wellbeing and impacts everything from your mood to your physical health. Creating a healthy home is an investment in your wellbeing and can enhance every area of your life. If you want to create a healthier home, here are some things you can do: 

Improve Air Quality

You may not have thought about your home’s air quality, but if indoor air quality is poor, it can cause various problems. Low indoor air quality can cause allergy symptoms and exacerbate conditions such as asthma. A reduction in indoor air quality can occur if your home has inadequate ventilation or if your air conditioning is not functioning correctly. If you spot an issue with your air conditioning unit, it is wise to call an emergency ac repair service to get the problem solved and ensure your air conditioning is working efficiently once again.

Keeping up with maintaining your HVAC system is the best way to keep it working efficiently for longer. 

Another important way to keep your home healthier is to install a carbon monoxide alarm. Carbon monoxide can pollute your home without you even knowing as it is an odourless gas. The effects of carbon monoxide poisoning are potentially severe, so it is vital to reduce your exposure.

 

Reduce Excess Moisture

Having excess moisture in your home can lead to mold and mildew forming. Mold and mildew not only look pretty gross, but they also are not great for your health. Depending on your sensitivity to mold spores, they can cause you to have allergy-like symptoms including a runny nose, itchy eyes, and headaches. 

Mold can appear in many forms in the home and could look like patches of black dots on your wall or other surfaces, or even have a ‘furry’ appearance. If you notice mold in your home, you may want to get it removed to prevent it from spreading and get your home looking great again.

To prevent mold from forming in your home, it is essential to keep your moisture levels low. The most crucial step in reducing moisture in your home is to prevent condensation. Condensation often occurs in the bathroom and kitchen. Activities such as taking your daily shower and cooking can create large amounts of condensation, leading to mold developing. Improving ventilation in your home while you are showering or cooking is the best way to keep moisture at bay. The simplest solution is to open the window before you shower or start cooking, as this will prevent condensation. If you hang wet laundry around your home, this can also increase moisture levels. If possible, it is best to let your laundry dry outdoors rather than inside, where it can create condensation.

Here is to a healthier and happier home my friends,

xo

Mia

Reducing the Risk of Strain at the Gym

Having been a professional athlete for most of my life I have suffered several injuries. Broken ankles, torn shoulder, chronic wrist pain. The list goes on. But whether you are a professional athlete or just an active person, there is always a risk of injury. Most of this doesn’t come from obvious risks like falling over or mishandling weights, but from muscle strain (something that I am very very familiar with). If you’re experienced muscle strain before, you know it can greatly hold back your fitness potential and keep you out of the gym for weeks. Here are some ways to prevent it.

Photo by Karl Solano from Pexels

Recover and recuperate

First of all, if you’re currently healing from a strain, you should make sure that you recover fully from it before you get back into working out. You can help your road to recovery with the help of things like massage therapy and a physiotherapist. You should pay attention to your delayed onset muscle soreness, as well. It doesn’t necessarily mean that anything is wrong, but not giving yourself the time you need to relax and recover between workouts can put way too much pressure on your muscles.

Prepare effectively

If you jump right into working out intensely, then you are very likely to end up pulling something. Have a full workout routine that starts with a series of full-body stretches. You should stretch your body more thoroughly before working out than after. Some light warmups to help your muscles get limber and flexible are going to be crucial, as well.

Wear the right gear

Well-fitting gear that allows for a good range of motion is crucial in preventing all ranges of musculoskeletal injuries. If your clothes are too tight, then you’re working against your clothes as well as against your own body’s lack of agility. I learned this the hard way when I was training for my first half marathon.  A good pair of fashionable leggings does more than making your thighs look great. They can aid in both strain prevention and even in recovering from existing strains.

Feed your muscles

Most people who work out are very used to the idea that nutrition is key to staying healthy.  In most cases, you might think that this means upping your protein intake. Protein does help your muscles rebuild after the natural wear of exercise, but you should also try incorporating potassium-rich foods into your diet, as well. Potassium, which can be found in things like avocados and bananas, can help prevent the muscle fatigue that leads to more easily straining them.

Slow it down

Sometimes my body just tells me it needs a little time out. That doesn’t mean a day completely off, but maybe just a less intense workout. If you have been pushing yourself super hard lately, then you should think about taking it a little slower. This doesn’t mean that you should skip a workout (unless you’re in need of the extra recovery), but that you should try lighter workouts you can do at home, instead. Having lighter workout days and more intense workout days is a part of most training programs, and only working out at the highest intensities is going to put you at a greater risk of a tear or strain.

When in doubt, you should listen to your body. If your muscles feel too taut or in any way “weird” or have sharp, shooting pains, it’s time to take a rest.

Here is to staying healthy, active, and pain free

xo friends,

Mia

My favourite at home workouts

Ok I will be the first to admit I haven’t done the best job at keeping fit during this pandemic, but it finally hit me just how bad I have been. I tried to put on my “fat” jeans and they are on the rather tight side. And despite BC entering phase 3, and more gyms and workout studios are opening up, you may not be at that comfort level just yet. So I decided to test out a few online workouts and wanted to share some of my favourite that are helping me get back into not just my fat jeans but my skinny jeans too.

 

Breathe at home

I was going to Breathe Studio daily before the COVID 19 shutdowns, and I was very impressed at how quickly they were able to transition online. They started offering the same classes they did in studio through instagram live, facebook videos, and even zoom classes so the teachers could watch and interact with you. I have always loved the high energy of these aerobic, HITT, and yoga classes, and was surprised to find that same energy online. I love sweaty along to the feel good classes at home.

 

Lilly Sabri 

A girlfriend of mine told me about Lilly Sabri, and I was hooked after the first class. I love that she posts daily workout videos including 7 and 14 day challenges that target all of your muscles and help both slim you done and tone your body. Along with her full workouts, she also offers lots of 5 and 10 minute videos that target specific muscles and areas.

Daniela Dib Fitness 

 

I always made sure to book Daniela’s classes when I was going to soulcycle. She is uplifting, encouraging, motivating, but also HARD. There were times I thought I was going to collapse right off of the bike. Because of this I was super excited when she decided to migrate and start her own online business. On her public page she offers a few IGTV fitnesses challenge videos, but the real workouts are on her members only page. Just a small paypall donation gives you access to some incredible pilates and fat burning classes, and trust me, her energy is so contagious you won’t even feel like you are working out (well you will because you will be sweating buckets).

I know this is a difficult time right now, but I have found that keeping up with exercise has kept me as sane as can be through it all. I hope that you will also find some enjoyment through these amazing workouts, or please feel free to share some of the online classes you have really been enjoying!!

Stay healthy my friends,

xo

Mia

The Self Care Domino Effect: Look Good, Feel Good

I know these last few months have been hard for all of us. Dealing with isolation, social distancing, and working from home. There are days where I don’t even get out of my PJs! But here is the thing I have found lately, the lack of effort I have put into my physical appearance and well being has had a much more negative effect than just my hair looking a little on the greasy side.

When you’ve made an effort with your appearance, you’ve more than likely felt the association between looking good and feeling good. You feel confident and ready to take on what the day has to throw at you. Be it an interview to land a promotion or a date with a crush you’ve been swooning over for months; your appearance plays a large part in influencing the way you feel about yourself. When we have something important in our lives, we usually put in the effort to look our best, because it helps us feel our best. 

Another example of how the way we look affects our emotions is that a bad haircut can reduce many to tears (first world problems I know, but oh so true). In fact, I can’t deny I shed a few tears when I dyed my hair a little to dark.  Frustration strikes when a splodge of mascara lands on your foundation. Or your nails you’ve committed to growing for some time begin to chip!

The main point being, whether you like it or not, appearance to a degree matters, from fashion choices to skincare regimes, it influences the way you think and feel about yourself. So let’s delve into more about why that is, and why spending time to beautify and love yourself just a bit more, will boost your health and wellbeing.

Self Love

Primarily, paying attention to the way you look is about self-love. Self-care can include a myriad of positive activities, from morning and night beauty rituals, dedicating time to sleep more, getting in that hour of exercise, and being mindful about what you eat. Above all, Self-love is essential for our wellbeing. When you’re old enough to fend for yourself, the one person in the world that should love, and take care of you the most, is you! The positive effects of self-care manifest throughout your life, affecting the way you feel, look, and act. 

Taking Back Control

Plus, taking care of yourself also gives you back control of your feelings, particularly when you’ve had a bad day. Familiarity, such as applying your favourite night time serum with an aroma of lavender, makes you feel calm, relaxed, and comfortable. Or getting active every day after work is something you can look forward to, to round off a hard day of work, and shake off any stress and negativity. Which also releases those feel-good endorphins and helps you keep your body in shape. Knowing what is going to make you happy, and applying it is you being in control of your well-being. 

Making Progress To Be A Better You

But self-love isn’t just about taking control of a chaotic day; it’s also about making progress. In each area of our lives, we seek to make progress in one way or another. Whether building wealth and working towards financial independence. Going back to college to improve our education and get a better job. To calm addictive behaviours that impair our lives, such as constantly checking social media (guilty) or maybe it is one too many glasses of wine with friends. Our appearance is no different. And so whether you’re committing the next 6 to 12 months to invisalign treatment to enhance your smile, or cutting out some sugar to have a more well balanced diet. Feeling as though you’re taking steps to improve your body, boosts self-esteem, and makes us feel like we’re making progress to be the best versions of ourselves.

Tell-Tale Signs

I know the last few months our appearance hasn’t really been a top priority, but it can say a lot about a person. On top of that looking our best just helps us feel our best. I mean my wedding day I felt my most beautiful, from my hair staying in place to having just the right amount of blush. I know I am guilty of looking back at old photos and wishing I still had the same body from when I was playing professional tennis, or the long locks I had when I was younger, but but maintaining beauty as we age, is a work of art (key word there work). It takes time, dedication, and commitment to make healthy choices for your body and groom regularly. 

For example concerning our largest, external organ;

“The skin is an extremely sensitive organ that, unfortunately, reveals a lot about how we feel both physically and emotionally.” – Isabella Koretz, founder of Ciel Spa in Beverly Hills.

The statement above couldn’t be more accurate. I can notice changes within hours, like if I didn’t get a good night’s sleep I see the bags the next morning, or if I am dehydrated and drained, my skin looks lifeless. 

The way our body looks gives us a strong indication of whether we’re taking care of ourselves. For example, thinning hair could be due to stress. Emerging wrinkles could be due to not using sun protection cream. Red puffy eyes could be due to drinking too much. 

Beauty is more than skin deep. It reflects the effort, time, and love you put into looking after your whole body. If you feed your body nutritious food, drink lots of water, sleep 8 hours a night, exercise, take time to unwind and pamper you will undoubtedly look better, Your skin will glow, fine lines will reduce, and you’ll smile more! Continuous self-care forms a cycle of positivity. From making an effort to look great, your appearance improves, and you’ll feel happier.

 

Breathe: The only studio you need in Squamish

Moving from Vancouver to Squamish was a big change. I went from the hustle and bustle of downtown to the quietness of a mountain town. Squamish’s motto is “Hardwired for Adventure” and it is true, this town offers everything from mountain biking to incredible hiking, however the one thing I struggled to find when I first moved here was workout classes that I enjoyed. In Vancouver I would go to my Soulcycle classes and had endless options through Classpass, here I was struggling to find my workout grove.

Thankfully for social media I came across a post from Breathe Squamish. Breathe Squamish is a boutique infrared heated workout studio that offers group fitness, hot yoga, vinyasa flow, pilates, and barre fusion just to name a few. Now I must say, I have never really been into heated workout classes nor have I been very into yoga ( the harder the cardio the better is my motto) but once I took my first class I knew Breathe and I were true workout soulmates.

What is Breathe?

Before I get into the specifics of the classes I wanted to talk to you a little about what makes Breathe so unique and so rewarding for me; infrared and heat. I have known a long time the benefits of hot yoga, it eases stress and depression, helps your flexibility, and helps you burn even more calories ( just to name a few) however I didn’t know much about infrared until now.

Infrared panel heating radiates waves of energy that penetrate into the body elevating one’s surface temperature. It helps detoxify the body at a cellular level (where most of your toxins reside) while also burning fat,  de-stressing, and promotes healing. Trust me there are many more benefits but that would need a whole blog post on its own.

In my first few weeks training at Breathe I have tried a variety of different classes, some that I am used to like hit training and barre, and some that are a little outside of my comfort zone like yoga sculpt. Each one has offered different advantages, worked different muscles, and given me one heck of a sweat session.

My favourite classes

Infrared Yoga Sculpt: This isn’t your average yoga class, this is a full body yoga workout. You are in a heated infrared room so there are all the benefits that I mentioned above, and while you do go through salutations and flows, you are also using light weights to really sculpt your arms and abs. I absolutely am addicted to this class.

Infrared ABSoulte Booty & Infrared ABSolute and Arms : Saying that I LOVE this class would be an understatement. The class is fun and energetic and they play great pump up music. The workout is focused on strengthening and toning your core and glutes (for the booty class) and the arms for the other class through resistance training. You use weights, bands, and a ball and it really works deep into the muscles.

Infrared Barre Fusion: I have always enjoyed Barre classes (and have even blogged about some in the class) it helps you work the deepest and most neglected muscles in your body, but infrared barre fusion takes it to a whole other level. You combine ballet, yoga, and pilates. You work with the barre elongating your legs and working on movements that are sure to get your booty and abs burning. It is designed to increase cardiovascular strength while also helping you tone, sculpt, and lengthen your muscles.

Infrared Sculpt It: If you are looking for a total body workout this is the class for you. It combines cardio with the use of equipments like weight bar and balls to target everything from your head to your toes.

Infrared Candlelit Aromatherapy Yin: If you need an hour to really stretch, unwind, destress, and relax every single muscle in your body this is the class for you. As I have mentioned I am not much of a yoga person, that is until now. I have started to see the benefits of allowing your body to take a moment for itself. With my work I am constantly on the go, and so to just be able to relax for a full hour, I have realized what a blessing it truly is.

These are just a few of my favourite classes that I have had the chance to try out so far. They all offer something different, but each one of them focuses on toning and working your muscles. I am so happy to have finally found my place here in Squamish.
Do you live in the Squamish area and have any favourite spots I should check out?
Leave a comment below, would love to hear them!
xo
Mia