How to Overcome Stress with Sweat

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When stress gets to be unbearable, my go-to relief is working out. There is nothing that beats stress quite like sweat does.

Though I’m not currently training for any big races at the moment (I have yet to sign up for that first ever half-marathon that is on my bucket list for 2016! If you have any great half-marathon recommendations, please send them my way!), I’ve still been keeping a pretty intense training regimen each week. It has helped me tremendously with anxiety, insomnia and also stress in general.

There are many reasons why overcoming stress with sweat can be beneficial and with just a few minutes of exercise, you can reap major benefits. I spoke to my favorite trainer, Nike Master Trainer, Eva Redpath (who is currently featured in Vogue Mexico – hello!!) about the subject and she explained to me that it’s all about switching your mindset when comes to exercise.

People are still in the frame of mind – ‘oh my god, I’m so busy, I’m so stressed, I don’t have time to exercise’, I think it’s very important to start reframing that. As soon as you can reframe that, you can reprogram your mind to think about it differently. I want people to understand that the power of sweating it out can absolutely help you conquer all the things in your life, whether it be your job or all the things that you have to do, relationship things, you can conquer that by sweating it out, by relieving your stress. One doesn’t cause the other, exercising doesn’t cause you stress, exercising relieves your stress. If you reframe that then it will 100% become a priority in your life,” says Eva.

I have definitely learned lately that taking care of yourself first is the only way to overcome huge obstacles and to conquer that stress.

If you make yourself your last priority you will not feel empowered to get yourself through challenging situations. If you make yourself your first priority, you will feel energized and empowered to get through everything. We become resentful when we don’t have time for ourselves but it’s not about having time, it’s about creating time,” Eva adds.

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We all lead busy lives and taking a 2-3 hour chunk of your day to exercise is just not realistic for most of us. But as Eva explains, it’s about maximizing the little time you may have.

As little as 10 mins by your bedside in the morning, can add up and does help. A 45 minute HIIT class before you go to work or on your lunch hour or straight away before you go home so that you get your exercise before you go home, all of these will 100% be enough.”

What I’ve learned is that even just a bit of movement will make you feel a whole lot better.

90 to 120 minutes after your workout, there is a release of endorphins and it is mood changing, whether it’s starting your day on that note or mid-day when you need that pick-me-up or at the end of the day because you still have to go home and do a bunch of things. If you think about doing that and recharging your batteries, it will empower you to make that a real choice that you can commit to,” she explains.

When I feel low energy, as soon as I start moving, it creates more energy. Energy creates energy. You will become more awake, more alert and on the ball. The more you’re moving in your lifestyle, even if you have a sedentary lifestyle, the more it will be beneficial. The body is made to move,” concludes Eva.

So you want to get moving but you only have 10-20 minutes for a workout? Check out Eva’s top 3 quick workout recommendations:

1) “Zoom in 10” – 10 minute workout by Kirsty Godso

2) “Fresh HIT” 14 minute workout by Betina Gozo

3) “Ready, Set, Zoom” 13 minute workout by Marie Purvis

All these workouts are available to download for FREE on the NTC app, that you can get here.

 

Indoor Workout Inspiration

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Photo credit: Nathalia Allen

Those who know me know that on any day, I’d rather be outdoors than stuck somewhere inside. I love being active outdoors, it’s what inspires me the most and also what makes me the happiest. I always prefer working out outside but when the weather starts getting really cold (and it sure does in Toronto!) and snow hits the ground, working out outdoors becomes a little trickier. I’m not a big fan of gyms; running on the treadmill bores me, machines are not my friend and I’ve never really found a workout class that I liked enough to stick with it for more than a couple of months. That said, this past year, I didn’t want to let the cold stop me from being active or working out, so I’ve found different ways to stay motivated to work out indoors. Whether it’d be by using the NTC app or taking some NTC group classes (the 1st class I’ve ever kept up for more than a couple of months!), it was the first time I actually transitioned my workouts from outdoors to indoors successfully.

If you’re also in need of inspiration for taking your workouts indoors, here are a few motivating tips from my favorite Nike Master Trainer, Eva Redpath:

How do you make the transition from outdoor workouts to indoor workouts interesting?

While outdoor workouts can become more difficult as the weather gets colder, it’s important to use the dropping temperatures and harsh conditions as motivation.  There’s no need to move inside completely. Push your limits and go out your comfort zone— literally.

Creating a workout plan that incorporates both indoor and outdoor workouts as the weather transitions is a great way to keep your workouts feeling fresh while challenging yourself in new weather conditions. A great way you can do this is to take your warmup outside. Try going for a quick jog or do a shorter NTC workout to get your body warm before heading inside to finish strong. One of my favourite workouts to take outdoors  is Kirsty Godso’s Zoom in 10 Workout. It’s only 10 minutes so it’s perfect to get your heart going. Follow it up with Dafne SchippersCore Control Workout inside.

Another option is to create weekly challenges and commit to working outdoors 1 – 2 days of the week. Try using outdoor objects as part of your workout. For example, find a bench and do lateral toe taps with hold Tabata style (40 seconds on, 20 seconds off for two minutes.) Another drill you can do on a bench is incline push up to tricep push up for a minute followed up by drop squats with alternating touches for 30 seconds – do a couple sets of these then head on inside to stretch out.

What are some tools that people can use to motivate themselves to work out indoors?

One of my main go-tos is the Nike+ Training Club app. It’s a great tool for indoor workouts, but you can take it outside too! It includes a variety of gym and studio workouts to help you stay lean, toned and strong. It’s almost like having your own personal trainer in your pocket. Within workouts, the in-app ‘coach’ cheers you on and helps you finish strong. It also connects you to the global N+TC community where you can find inspiration while motivating and cheering on others through the Sport Feed.

Can you share with us a quote that inspires you to stay active these days?

If you do what you always did, you will get what you always got.”

Fall Workout

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Photo credit: Nathalia Allen

Fall officially starts tomorrow. As it starts getting colder outside, it becomes increasingly hard to find motivation to stay active and work out. Luckily, one of the best trainers in Canada – Nike Master Trainer, Eva Redpath, shares with us her favorite fall workout and tips on how to stay active.

What are your fall fitness recommendations?

I’m constantly setting new goals to stay motivated throughout the year and find that it’s the best way to kick off a new season. With the time changing and the sun setting earlier in the Fall, it can feel as if it is later in the day than it is and can make people more tired than usual. Getting into a routine of working out early will guarantee you aren’t missing workouts and you’re starting your day off with a sweat session. Try taking a morning NTC class or use the N+TC app to keep yourself motivated by creating your own 4-week program and finish your workouts anywhere at any time.

What is your favorite N+TC workout to make the transition from summer to fall?

When making the transition from Summer to Fall, I love to turn the heat up with high intensity training. Nike Master Trainer, Utah Lee created a killer “Cardio Hustle” workout on the N+TC app. Utah’s 30 minute  high intensity moves incorporate speed-based drills for an all-over body burn. With quick body rotations, power moves and stability work, you create lean muscle, improve reaction speed and build cardio. It’s one of my favourite N+TC workouts and I always finish feeling the burn!

What keeps you motivated to work out as the temperature drops?

When the weather changes, I love to update my wardrobe and this applies to my fitness pieces as well. One of the best ways for me to stay motivated is ensuring I have all the pieces needed for the results I want. Adding new pieces that are designed to keep you warm even in the coldest weather takes the excuses out of season. One of my favourite winter pieces this year is the Nike Therma-Sphere Max Women’s Training Vest. It’s designed for cold weather training to keep you warm without overheating. The Nike Sphere raised nodes provide warmth and comfort and the lightweight, breathable fabric allows you to have full range of motion for full body workouts. It has a durable, water-repellent finish to help with staying dry. Go out and brave the winter in style with its asymmetrical zipper and overall sleek design.

 

Reach and Recharge

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The month of August is drawing to a close. For many, this also means the end of summer vacation, going back to work, going back to school and also the start of fall.

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I always take this time of year to recharge my batteries, set intentions for the fall and get ready for the upcoming months. The fall is always a time of renewal but also a lot of stress for me. The end of summer, always makes me anxious, as it’s my favorite season. For me, summer is synonym with the sunshine, relaxation, the ocean and surf, so the thought of that coming to an end always makes me feel a little uneasy. I’m always apprehensive about the fall, because it also means the days are getting shorter, the weather will get colder and winter is unfortunately looming.

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This summer, I found the Reach and Recharge yoga workout from Nike Master Trainer Traci Copeland, which has allows me to calm down and stay focused. It’s a 30 minute workout that will suit any level of yogi. I like the mix of poses (Warrior series, chair pose, child’s pose) and the inclusion of some NTC moves that I’m familiar with (Core plank twist, push ups, etc). I hope that through doing these types of workouts and a bit of breathing/meditation, will help calm my nerves leading into the fall.

What do you do to recharge at the end of the summer?

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Photos by @Offner

Nike Studio Wrap 4 (get them here)

Nike Pro Indy Bra (get it here)

Nike Avant Capri (get them here)

Nike Dri-FIT Knit Loose Tank (get it here)

Staying Fit While Traveling

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Next week, I’ll be leaving on a 5 week trip across the southern United States. Because I’ve been training so hard these past couple of months, the one thing I don’t want to do while I’m away is stop working out. I know it’s easy to stop when you’re not at home, when you’re on the road or in a different country so I’ve enlisted the help of my favorite Toronto trainer, Nike Master Trainer Eva Redpath to give me tips on how to stay fit while traveling. In case you aren’t already doing the new 12-week NTC Find Your Fast challenge, this is the perfect time to get familiar with the app and what’s great is that you can easily build a core circuit with a small amount of space in your hotel room.  Hope these tips will be helpful to all of those also traveling this summer!

Eva’s 3 simple training exercises for traveling this summer:

1) Hollow body: is a time challenge, hold it for 60 seconds or 30 seconds. From a seated position, lower to the ground and focus on keeping your lower back connected to the ground, and your core contracted. Extend raised legs and arms out at a 45-degree angle. Keep neck relaxed, core tight and shoulders off the ground.

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2) Side plank with rotation: out of Ready, Set, Zoom, Mary Purvis’ brand new workout on the N+TC app. Start in a seated position, from a seated position, rest your forearm on the ground and get into a side plant. Keep your hips lifted and aligned with your shoulder and knee. Rotate through the chest as you extend your free arm to the ceiling and down towards the ground. Repeat for 60 seconds.

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3) Mountain Climbers:  This can also be a time challenge, 30 or 60 seconds. Start kneeling. Placing hands on the ground, directly under shoulders, form a plank. Back straight, core tight, weight over shoulders. Drive knees into your chest as fast as you can. Keep your hips down, arms strong and upper body still.

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Eva’s general fitness recommendations while traveling:

-“I make a rule for people when they travel, for them to keep in mind that their regular program will shift but in exciting ways. You can explore your city and make exercising a priority. Sometimes, I’ll tell people when they reach their destination, drop their bags and go for a little 5k run. Put on your GPS or your app and go out for a little run to get to know the neighborhood. If you make it a rule that you check-in, drop your bags, you get dressed and you go, if that works with your schedule, then it’s a good way of making some form of physical activity a non-negotiable.

-“In terms of exercising when you’re going to be on the road, any little pocket of time that you can find to get into the N+TC app and do either a 15 minute or you’ve got the Zoom in 5 with Skylar Diggins, which is literally a 5 minute workout. I think that when you travel, it’s really about fitting your exercise into the windows of time that you have available to you.

-“The nutrition part of it will be so key. So trying to make healthy choices while you’re on the road, whether or not that means bringing some protein powder or if you’re eating out at restaurants, you can make food substitutions or watching portion control. Staying properly hydrated. I have two parts of advice for people traveling or on the road: stay as true as you can to the way that you eat even though you’re not prepping your own food, which I always recommend to do. The only way to guarantee you know what you’re eating is to prep it yourself. That’s number one. In terms of getting your exercise in, it’s where it can fit with a couple of basic tools you can bring along with you like your running shoes, your training shoes, you have access to both of the running and N+TC apps, explore your city, walk as much as you can and then when you wake up or when you go to bed, because you know those are two things you’re always going to do, fitting in some sort of physical activity. Every little bit will count and add up!

#DoneBeforeDawn

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In July, I’ll be celebrating my one year anniversary of taking NTC classes. If you’ve been following my blog, you’ve probably read about NTC before. Doing NTC for the past year has really changed the way a) I view group classes and b) the way my body feels and looks. I think NTC has made me a whole lot stronger and healthier overall and has also allowed me to meet such an awesome community of women not only in Toronto but across North America.

This week, Nike Toronto launched a special #DoneBeforeDawn series of NTC classes across Toronto. This special 6-week series offers Torontonians some early morning classes that will have you sweating while the rest of the city sleeps. You’ll be able to train with Nike Master Trainers in some of the city’s most beautiful locations. Classes are offered in the Annex, CityPlace, The Village, King West, Downtown, St. Lawrence and Queen West!

Want to find out more? Check out the Nike Toronto page here.

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Photos by @Offner

Nike Free 5.0 TR Fit 5 Breathe Print Women’s Running Shoes (get them here)

Nike Dri-FIT 360 Arm Sleeve (get them here)

Nike Advantage Printed Women’s Tank (similar one here)

5 Questions With: Eva Redpath

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When I think of some of my current role models, I think of this lady – Eva Redpath. I met Eva, fitness expert and Canada’s first Nike Master Trainer this past summer at a Nike event in Toronto and was immediately blown away by her presence and energy. I got to work out with her that evening and not only was it one of the hardest workouts I’ve ever done in my life but it was also one of my favorite workouts. There is no doubt that Eva’s passion for fitness and positive attitude has rubbed off on me. Since then, I’ve had the privilege of having her as a coach every Thursday morning with the Nike Women NTC crew at Academy of Lions and have become an NTC addict. NTC is now a very important part of my life and has been key in my transformation towards a healthier and better me. I couldn’t be more honored to have this inspiring woman on the blog today. Here are my 5 Questions With Eva Redpath:

1) What inspired you to become a fitness expert and trainer?

I have a strong background in dance and through the years began to really notice that a lot of the women I was dancing with have poor body image, so it’s been a personal passion and mission to create and build a strong support system and network for women. Empowering women through fitness and building community is truly what Nike Training Club is all about, which is why I jumped at the opportunity to work with Nike. It’s a brand and program that I personally connect with and can leverage to reach and inspire more women.    

2) The fitness world has changed a whole lot in the past decade, what do you think of its evolution? Is it easier or harder to live a healthy lifestyle today?

I think there are so many accessible resources and options out there for women who want to lead a healthy lifestyle, including apps she can use at home, group fitness classes and communities of women who all motivate each other. So what it comes down to is putting pen to paper. Just write down one realistic – and be honest with yourself – goal that you can achieve today. It’s easy to get overwhelmed with larger goals that require life changes, so try taking it day by day honouring one simple intention per day and celebrate your little successes. 

3) Being a personal trainer and fitness instructor goes above and beyond simply working out. How do you want to impact the women you’re working with? What do you think separates you from other trainers?

For me it’s all about empowering women through sport. This is just one of the reasons that I think building community is such an important element to training. I think it’s so important for women to empower other women, whether that means finding a group of girlfriends who share similar fitness goals and scheduling workouts together or coming together through live NTC and other group fitness classes.

4) You were the first Nike Master Trainer in Canada, what does this title mean to you? How important are programs like N+TC, the one that Nike developed?

For me, being Nike Canada’s first Master Trainer was a really natural fit. My role with Nike has presented me with an amazing opportunity to reach more women and N+TC has been a powerful tool in showing women what fitness can do for their lives. As women, our time is scarce and fitting in a workout can be a challenge for even the most dedicated athletes, which is why I’m a huge advocate for the N+TC app. The app is literally designed to be a personal trainer in your pocket, allowing you to fit in a workout anytime, anywhere, no matter if you have 5 or 45 minutes to spare.

5) You are a woman of many talents. You are a dance instructor, an actress and an entrepreneur, amongst many other things. How does each of these aspects of your career help you achieve your life goals?

Through my career as a trainer, I’ve learned that you have to be willing to try new things in order to exceed your perceived potential and discover that you’re stronger than you think you are. The same is true in life and for me, the mental and physical challenges I face in training, give me the strength and perseverance to overcome the obstacles – big and small – I encounter in my day-to-day life.

What’s next for Eva Redpath?

As Nike Canada’s first Master Trainer, I couldn’t be more excited for the Nike Women’s 15K Toronto. I think it marks a new experience for athletes in two ways. It’s a proving ground for women to put themselves to the test and rediscover the joy of running faster, and running further.

As someone who’s just returning to running, I’m really looking forward to training for the race with a strong a community of women who are supportive, encouraging and celebrate your achievements. Yet if you’re a seasoned runner, it’s your opportunity to crush a new personal best.