Get Ready for Father's Day
Get Ready for Father's Day

Get Ready for Father's Day

This weekend we’re celebrating the most important men in our lives – our...

Get Ready for Father's Day

Lifestyle

Get Ready for Father's Day

This weekend we’re celebrating the most important men in our lives – our dads, grandfathers, husbands, sons, partners, uncles, friends… If you’re planning a backyard barbecue, we’ve got some spectacular recipes for appetizers, salads, drinks (both alcoholic and non-alcoholic), and more…everything you need to make your party a smashing success!

Rose, Rose, Thorn, Bud.
Rose, Rose, Thorn, Bud.

Rose, Rose, Thorn, Bud.

The Gratitude Game. Neil Pasricha is an expert on happiness, and “Rose, Rose,...

Rose, Rose, Thorn, Bud.

Lifestyle

Rose, Rose, Thorn, Bud.

The Gratitude Game. Neil Pasricha is an expert on happiness, and “Rose, Rose, Thorn, Bud” is one of his hacks. Whether you’ve heard of it before or not - now might be the perfect time to brush off this simple game and give it a whirl.

Summer Trip?
Summer Trip?

Summer Trip?

Likely not this year. But that doesn’t mean you can skip your week off. In fact,...

Summer Trip?

Lifestyle

Summer Trip?

Likely not this year. But that doesn’t mean you can skip your week off. In fact, if at all possible, you mustn’t. Summer holidays, like weekends serve a few specific, vital purposes. The wants and needs differ from person to person, but we all benefit from an occasional, healthy dose of a few - or a lot - of the following: Rest, recovery, escape, play, sleep, fiction, family-time, me-time, down time, outdoor time, slower pace, faster pace, different pace, more exercise, sex, less exercise, more beer, no beer, no news…

Transition
Transition

Transition

We’re in the midst of transitioning from Spring to Summer. The earth is filled...

Transition

Lifestyle

Transition

We’re in the midst of transitioning from Spring to Summer. The earth is filled with growth and promise: there are glorious flowers peeking through the soil and nutrient dense fruits and vegetables simmering just below the surface.

The Lion and The Unicorn
The Lion and The Unicorn

The Lion and The Unicorn

More than four-hundred years ago, a single sovereign came to rule two kingdoms. Each...

The Lion and The Unicorn

Lifestyle

The Lion and The Unicorn

More than four-hundred years ago, a single sovereign came to rule two kingdoms. Each possessed its own coat of arms: one depicting two lions, the other two unicorns. Unification of the lands resulted in the creation of one single coats of arms, with one beast on either side.

Virtual Pride
Virtual Pride

Virtual Pride

When something exists virtually, we mean it is essentially the same. The same in...

Virtual Pride

Lifestyle

Virtual Pride

When something exists virtually, we mean it is essentially the same. The same in essence. When something exists in essence, it is simpler, while the fundamental, important parts remains in tact. Pride will be celebrated virtually this year. As with many things – Personal Training certainly – nothing can replace the energy, power, and impact of person-to-person contact. But still, we can keep the integrity of some of the essential things that Pride Month tries to accomplish.

Your Life Matters
Your Life Matters

Your Life Matters

My Exercise Fundamentals have borne these titles: Movement Matters. Mindfulness...

Your Life Matters

Lifestyle

Your Life Matters

My Exercise Fundamentals have borne these titles: Movement Matters. Mindfulness Matters. Intensity Matters. “To matter” means to be of importance, significance, of great consequence. My titles are deliberate. My own attempt to make you the reader, you the exerciser sit up and take notice. 

Acceptance
Acceptance

Acceptance

People don’t typically ask to be celebrated for their differences. They ask to be...

Acceptance

Lifestyle

Acceptance

People don’t typically ask to be celebrated for their differences. They ask to be accepted. Presumably accepting others begins with accepting ourselves. We need to know our whole self. To accept our whole self. As the foundation for embracing and being our whole self. Love is a basic human right. And so, therefore, is love of yourself. 

Different Differences
Different Differences

Different Differences

There is a lot of literature out there on the power of being different. The importance...

Different Differences

Lifestyle

Different Differences

There is a lot of literature out there on the power of being different. The importance of honouring your uniqueness. Of being strong and courageous and holding true to your different-ness because this will open doors, build new bridges, change the world.

Pride.
Pride.

Pride.

This month is Pride Month. And I would like to “lean in”. I am afraid to do...

Pride.

Lifestyle

Pride.

This month is Pride Month. And I would like to “lean in”. I am afraid to do so. Fear is a strong emotion. A strong word. I don’t use it lightly. I am more afraid of silence.

Lip-Smackingly Delicious Summer Recipes
Lip-Smackingly Delicious Summer Recipes

Lip-Smackingly Delicious Summer...

What a beautiful start to the weekend! Our team has been spending some extra time in...

Lip-Smackingly Delicious Summer Recipes

Lifestyle

Lip-Smackingly Delicious Summer Recipes

What a beautiful start to the weekend! Our team has been spending some extra time in the garden and whipping up our favourite summer treats to help beat the heat. Spoil yourself, your family, and your friends with these delicious recipes all summer long.

Creative. Determined. Inspired.
Creative. Determined. Inspired.

Creative. Determined. Inspired.

That’s you. No virus is going to hold you back from taking charge of what you can...

Creative. Determined. Inspired.

Lifestyle

Creative. Determined. Inspired.

That’s you. No virus is going to hold you back from taking charge of what you can control: your strength, your health, your fitness, yourself. Today, June 6th, 2020, is National Health and Fitness Day. And today, we want to celebrate you.

Adversity Exposes Weaknesses
Adversity Exposes Weaknesses

Adversity Exposes Weaknesses

Sometimes weaknesses are a direct reflection of our strengths. We are tenacious yet...

Adversity Exposes Weaknesses

Lifestyle

Adversity Exposes Weaknesses

Sometimes weaknesses are a direct reflection of our strengths. We are tenacious yet stubborn. We are patient and careful, but prone to overthinking, overanalyzing to the point of paralysis. We are sensitive, dogged, or committed in ways that are admirable, but can be frustrating, overwhelming.

Adversity Inspires Risk Taking
Adversity Inspires Risk Taking

Adversity Inspires Risk Taking

Some people like taking risks. They love the thrill, the excitement, the freedom. For...

Adversity Inspires Risk Taking

Lifestyle

Adversity Inspires Risk Taking

Some people like taking risks. They love the thrill, the excitement, the freedom. For others, it makes us far too uncomfortable, insecure, nervous. Still, others, don’t necessarily enjoy risk taking per se, but do it anyways: They understand – usually from experience – that incredible innovation, transformational change, unprecedented achievement typically requires assuming a certain degree of risk. They know that risk can lead to failure. They know that failure – in the right hands – cultivates humility, curiosity, and can be a phenomenal learning experience. 

Adversity & Opportunity
Adversity & Opportunity

Adversity & Opportunity

Sometimes an adversity will burn trees, homes, and bridges for miles around. For a...

Adversity & Opportunity

Lifestyle

Adversity & Opportunity

Sometimes an adversity will burn trees, homes, and bridges for miles around. For a moment there seems to be so little you can do. As indeed there is. And that can be the magic of it. We know that too many options, too much choice can be debilitating. It can leave you questioning your judgement to the point that no matter what you decide, you remain a little anxious that you could have chosen better. 

Adversity & Survival
Adversity & Survival

Adversity & Survival

Our bodies are physically programmed to handle adversity. It’s one of the reasons...

Adversity & Survival

Lifestyle

Adversity & Survival

Our bodies are physically programmed to handle adversity. It’s one of the reasons we’ve survived for as long as we have. When bombarded with an onslaught of incredible physical demands, the human body ultimately responds by increasing energy efficiency, building lean tissue, and increasing neuro-muscular mechanism so we are stronger and more powerful, and improves our capacity to resist fatigue and handle stress.

Adversity
Adversity

Adversity

Adversity comes in so many different forms and can be physical, mental, emotional, or -...

Adversity

Lifestyle

Adversity

Adversity comes in so many different forms and can be physical, mental, emotional, or - often - an intricate combination of all three. Adversity creates real pain and can be accompanied by fear, anguish, and despondency. It can also incite anger and spur furious, violent action.

The Art of Putting
The Art of Putting

The Art of Putting

The putter is the most used club in a Golfer’s arsenal, so it’s certainly...

The Art of Putting

Lifestyle

The Art of Putting

The putter is the most used club in a Golfer’s arsenal, so it’s certainly important. But I imagine being a good putter is far more important than having a good putter. Being a great putter can be the difference between winning and losing. And while you might think you need to spend hundreds on a new putter… it’s likely more valuable to take a long hard look in the mirror and decide what you can improve in yourself first.

Don't Stop Believing
Don't Stop Believing

Don't Stop Believing

Believing in something… believing in yourself… that’s the stuff of...

Don't Stop Believing

Lifestyle

Don't Stop Believing

Believing in something… believing in yourself… that’s the stuff of survivors, champions… the people who make it happen… when everyone else said it was impossible. Hope – even unfounded – keeps a fragile spirit alive. Hope when it’s founded? That’s a beast to be reckoned with. A belief that is founded is based on facts: historical or scientific evidence that the future hoped for is not only probable, it’s inevitable.

Getting out of trouble
Getting out of trouble

Getting out of trouble

Pitching wedge, gap wedge, sand wedge, and lob wedge. These are the golf clubs with the...

Getting out of trouble

Lifestyle

Getting out of trouble

Pitching wedge, gap wedge, sand wedge, and lob wedge. These are the golf clubs with the highest loft. Designed for chips, pitches, and playing out of sand bunkers. Designed – in other words – to get you out of trouble after you’ve made a less than optimal shot.

Intrinsic Motivation

Posted: May 12, 2020

"Soup of the Day"...just got serious!

You know what I’d like you to do today: something exercise or activity based that just feels good. We are intrinsically motivated to do something because the work or process itself is rewarding, interesting, enjoyable. We’re more likely to repeat an activity, form a habit if it feels good, it’s fun, and it’s what you want to do. That’s what intrinsic motivation is all about: ensuring what you are doing fosters a sense of fulfillment, competence, and autonomy. Science would tell us, people who are intrinsically motivated to exercise are far more likely to make exercise a life long habit. Good to know.

When you’re extrinsically motivated your goals are focused on the outcome. You’re driven to complete your workout because you want to be fitter, stronger, more toned, faster, thinner. And you’re far more focused on the numbers: How many sets, how many minutes, hours, how heavy, how much power, how far, how fast…

These are hardly bad things to focus on. Remember, intensity matters! And you best gauge intensity with measurement! Numerical goals will push you to go a little further, and often that little bit further is exactly what you need to get results. And results matter. They – like intrinsic motivation – will support a lifelong commitment to exercise.

However, too much focus on the outcomes – both physical and training based – can lead to significant decreases in intrinsic motivation. That is, the more you focus on need for the body to look and perform a certain way, and the more you focus on the kilometres you must cover and the pace you must endure, the more you tend to lose sight of the pleasure and fun of the activity. Maybe that doesn’t really matter for you. But for many of us, losing sight of the “other side” is a slippery slope that can lead to burn out and frustration. This is especially true when we get injured, or if, as we get older, our body refuses to perform the way it once did. The “other side” also means we focus on and celebrate the effort and hard work. If you pushed as hard as you could for that one workout, you have every right to feel awesome and accomplished. It shouldn’t matter that you did 5 instead of 6 sets. Or generated an average 282 instead of 290 watts.

Listen: I’m all about pushing your limits and suffering a grind or two because it feels good afterwards; because I know it will make me stronger. But I’m also careful to avoid getting too obsessed about the numbers. I love to run. But when I obsess over how far and how fast I can’t go (because I just can’t anymore) the running loses all it’s shine, and just makes me feel crappy. Conversely if I decide I want to cover a specific distance because it’s a beautiful new route I want to explore… and it doesn’t matter how long it takes, or how often I have to walk… that’s a completely different run.

I guess what I’m trying to say is try to ensure you allow for both types of motivation. Take moments to enjoy your activities. Be open to finding new ones that might be really fun. Don’t worry if it isn’t as intense as the other stuff you’re doing. Variety is good for your mind, and exceptionally good for your muscles and joints. Life is long in many ways, and we only have one body. Yes, results are important. Just try to remember enjoying yourself is a result too.

Inspiration of the Day

“Questions are often more effective than statements in moving others.” – Daniel H. Pink, DRiVE: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us

Classes of the Day

We’ve got TWO more classes on the schedule today!

TNT with Lori

Start your morning off right with this workout, full of high intensity intervals designed to leave you as a lean, mean, fat burning machine. The exercises will be different from last week’s class, keeping your body challenged!

Join Lori at 7:00am (45 minutes) from your very own living room.

Click here to join the class.

Meeting ID: 842 3730 2549
Password: 106398

HIIT with Lauren

Your lunchtime just got a whole lot better! Today, you can join Lauren for her HIIT class that incorporates cardio and strength exercises to get your muscles burning and heart pumping in no time!

Recommended equipment for today: pillow & weights or weighted object (backpack with books, laundry detergent, etc.)

Join Lauren at 12:00pm (45 minutes) from your living room.

Click here to join the class.

Meeting ID: 880 8393 0882
Password: 382009

If you have any questions about our virtual classes, please reach out to Lauren.

Trainer Moves of the Day

Sore, tight shoulders?

Check out this great shoulder mobility and strength workout taught by Eric Bols, Personal Trainer at the Toronto Athletic Club. 

 

If you have any questions about these moves, please reach out to Eric directly.

Bite of the Day

Turns out Martha Wright, Executive Chef at Stratus, is also a baker now and then…

The Neiman Marcus $250 cookie

As urban legend has it, a woman and her daughter had lunch at Neiman Marcus one day, and for dessert they had the cookie plate. They loved the chocolate chip cookie so much they asked if they could have the recipe. The server said that could buy the recipe for two-fifty. They felt that was a fair price, and agreed to purchase the recipe. As legend goes, she received her bill a month later and in fact she was charged two hundred and fifty dollars! When she called the customer service department, she was informed that was indeed the price, and the company refused to refund the amount. She in turn replied that if that was the case, she now owned the recipe that she could do with it whatever she pleased.

As this is indeed an urban legend, I was always skeptical as to really how amazing these cookies are, until I baked them a few days ago. They quite simply are the best chocolate chip cookie I have had. Good enough to potentially be featured on the Stratus Dessert menu.

Be warned, they will not last long.

Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/4 cups oatmeal
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 6 ounces chocolate chips
  • 1/2 of a 4-ounce milk chocolate bar
  • 3/4 cups chopped nuts (I used walnuts)
Directions

Heat oven to 375oF.

Cream together butter and both sugars. Stir in egg and vanilla.

Finely grind oatmeal in a blender or food processor. Combine the oatmeal, flour, salt, baking powder and soda in a medium bowl, and slowly add it to the wet ingredients. Beat just until combined. Grate chocolate bar using a microplane grater and add it, along with chocolate chips and nuts to the batter. Mix just to combine.

Drop by heaping tablespoonfuls, 2 inches apart, on a greased cookie sheet. Bake for 12 minutes.

Makes about 24 cookies.

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Do you have a "Something of the Day" you'd like us to share?! Email Meg.

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