3 Tips for Working Out at Home

Sometimes, trying to workout out at home is hard, especially when you’re surrounded by comfortable couches, your cozy bed, and a TV tempting you with all your favourite shows. But with many people not feeling safe yet to head to the gym, your home can be a great alternative to get fit. We’ve compiled some tips to help you get motivated and transform your home into your personal fitness space.

1.) Designate A Space
Don’t let the size of your available space fool you! You’d be surprised at how good of a workout you can achieve, even with the smallest of spaces. Your bedroom, your living room, or even a hallway can be enough for a good old sweat session. If you are wanting to use another room to exercise in, move furniture around to make space. The key is making sure that you have a designated spot for all of your fitness equipment. This can be under the couch, or even in a corner of the room. You can even get yourself some storage crates, a decorative trunk, or furniture that doubles as storage your for weights, resistance bands, foam rollers, yoga mat or other fitness accessories you may have. This is a great way to ensure your fitness gear is easily accessible for you, any time you want to work out. If your place is just too small for storing any fitness equipment, it’s time to get creative. Soup cans make great substitutes for dumbells, a laundry detergent jug can be used as a kettle bell, and you can use a sturdy chair, coffee table or even the edge of your couch to do dips.

TIP: If you can, plan your workout space near a window, so that you can open it for fresh air if you get too hot or the room starts to feel stuffy. You can also consider using an air purifier.

2.) Plan Ahead
After you’ve created a designated space for you to workout in, plan your workout schedule ahead of time. This can be marking it on your calendar, setting reminders in your phone, or even getting a white board for your kitchen and plotting it out on there. Whether you’re starting off with 2 days a week or want to work out 5 days a week, having a calendar to plan ahead will help you stay consistent, have goals to work towards, and make fitness a priority. It can also help you keep track of what kinds of workouts your are doing and when to switch it up. Plus, nothing is more satisfying than crossing off your completed workout in your calendar!

TIP: If possible, work out first thing in the morning, so that it is over and done with, before your other daily responsibilities get in the way. If finding a solid time slot is tricky, you can always break it up into smaller chunks. Two 15-minute workouts or even three 10-minute workouts can be just as effective as one 30-minute exercise routine!

3.) Get into the Zone
Get pumped and in the mood by creating a playlist of all your favourite songs to listen to as you workout. Portable bluetooth speakers are a great piece of equipment to use, as they can be taken anywhere. Changing into workout clothes is also a way to help you get into the fitness mindset. As well, remove all potential distractions. Turn off your TV, put your phone on silent, and let people living with you know you are about to begin your exercise routine – or better yet, ask them to work out with you! You can even FaceTime or Zoom with friends and family for a virtual workout session. Sometimes, having a friend or family member to do it together with can be the push you need to get started.

TIP: If none of these things help you to get into the zone, turn on your TV and use the commercials to squeeze in a workout. Try doing as many dumbbell reps, squats, burpees, etc. as you can until the commercial break ends. Then try to beat your record at the next one.

We hope you’ve found these tips on working out at home helpful. Not going to the gym doesn’t mean you have to stop your fitness routine. With some motivation, planning, and a little creativity, you can ensure you never miss a workout!

4 Tips to Help Take Your Workout Outside This Fall

Although the days are shorter, the cooler temperature of crisp Fall weather makes it much more comfortable to get your sweat on in the outdoors. Staying active is an important part of any lifestyle. While you can choose to exercise inside, here are some items and tips that can help you make the most out of your outdoor workout.

1. Be Seen

With the limited daylight, by the time you finish work and want to get out for an evening walk or run, it may already be getting dark out. Make sure you are seen by wearing bright or reflective clothing. If all your clothes are dark, you can even get yourself some reflective wrist straps to wear for visibility. You can also consider getting yourself a small flashlight or even a headlamp. Most headlamps have a comfortable, stretchy band that you can adjust to fit over your head, and different light settings to adjust the brightness of the light. A great option is the Dorcy Pro Series Headlamp, which can last up to 6 hours.

If you’re a pet owner and stay active by walking your dog, or like bringing them along for company, the Nitey Leash can help both you and your pet stay safe. It lights up completely from end to end, and has a steady and blinking mode to ensure you always stand out by traffic after dark.

2. Stay Hydrated

Ensuring you are well hydrated is key, especially when you are being active. Aside from drinking water, other ways you can stay hydrated is by eating hydrating foods. Cooler weather usually marks the start of soup-season. Soups are great as they also provide warmth to your body while increasing you liquid intake. Eating lots of fruits and vegetables is also another way of adding more water to your diet.

If you like drinking water, make sure to consume enough before and after your workout. You can also carry a water bottle with you and take small sips during your walks. The Brita Premium Water Filter Bottle is a great one to have, since the replaceable filter helps reduce chlorine and leaves water tasting great. As well, the handy carrying loop and slim design make this bottle easy to carry, and an enclosed easy-strip straw provides access to water without having to remove the lid.

TIP: Fill your water bottle or even a thermos with warm or hot water when walking on chillier nights. You will stay hydrated, and it will also help warm you up! If drinking warm water doesn’t sound palatable to you, try adding some lemon slices, mint leaves, or even a caffeine-free tea to make it a bit tastier. The Nalgene Wide Mouth Water Bottle is great for this, as it can withstands sub-freezing and boiling temperatures.

3. Challenge Yourself

Running is great, but even walking outside is an excellent way to stay active. If you regularly walk as part of your fitness routine, and don’t like running, you can still challenge yourself by mixing it up a bit. One way is to pick up the pace and walk faster, to ensure you get your heart rate up. If you are not used to walking fast, you can always do intervals, walking fast for 3 minutes, then walking at a slower pace for 2 minutes. Choose whatever interval times that work for you! Another great way to make your walking more of a workout is to add hills to your route. Walking on an incline burns more calories and uses your leg muscles differently. Plus it makes your walk a bit more interesting, so you won’t get bored as easily. No hills? No problem! Even finding a set of stairs to walk up on your route can also help make your walk a little tougher. Lastly, try using hand weights. This will not only be more of a challenge, but it can also help you to burn more calories and tone up your arms!

4. Staying Motivated

Sometimes, staying motivated to workout is hard, especially when it is colder and darker outside and all you want to do is curl up on the couch. Calling a few friends to join you on your walk or run can help you stay on track, as it makes your workout session more of a social session. As well, planning your walk or run with friends in advance holds you accountable to not cancel, especially if you had planned to go alone.

A fitness tracker can also help you stay consistent on your fitness journey, as you can see the progress you make. Seeing progress not only gives you a feeling of accomplishment, but can also help you set new fitness goals for yourself. These goals can include walking an extra km, or walking your 5km route a little bit faster than the last time! The Fitbit Inspire 2 is an excellent choice, as it tracks all-day steps, distance and calories burned, and even guided breathing sessions for those longer walks!

Just because the weather becomes cooler and the days become darker, doesn’t mean you can’t continue to stay active outside! We hope you found these items and tips helpful for your outdoor workouts and walks. Enjoy the Fall, stay healthy and stay safe!

Focus on Fitness

Whether you’ve just started to think about beginning a fitness program or you are already committed to fitness but are no longer able to go to the gym, you may be looking for ways to tone up at home. This can be especially important if you’ve been working from home during the pandemic and don’t have access to ergonomic office furniture. Fortunately, you don’t need to invest in large, expensive fitness equipment. A few simple guidelines and some inexpensive, portable items can help you meet your goals.

Your Fitness Program

A well-rounded fitness program should incorporate aerobic activity, strength training, core exercises, balance training, and stretching and flexibility.
• Aerobic activity causes you to breathe faster and deeper, which increases both the amount of oxygen in your blood and the blood flow to your muscles.
• Strength training improves muscular fitness and bone strength, and it may help you manage your weight.
• Core exercises strengthen the muscles in your back, abdomen, and pelvis—your core muscles—so they are better able to protect your back and coordinate your upper and lower body movements.
• Balance training can benefit everyone, because it helps stabilize core muscles, but it is particularly important for older adults to help prevent falls, which can lead to fractures.
• Stretching and flexibility improve range of motion, making it easier to perform everyday tasks.

Fitness Aids

A few simple aids can make your fitness program more comfortable and more effective.
Yoga mats can help stabilize your position and cushion your body, not just when doing yoga and Pilates, but also when you are doing other floor exercises as well. When choosing a yoga mat, consider its thickness—too thin and it won’t provide enough protection; too thick and it may not make you feel stable. Texture is also important; the mat must provide a stable grip, or you may slide and risk possible injury.
Resistance bands are stretchable elastic bands that are used both in fitness routines and in physical therapy programs. A resistance band is used to contract muscles, which builds strength. When looking for resistance bands, choose ones that are long enough to accommodate the movements in your routine. A band that is too long can usually be shortened, but one that is too short may not be able to be adapted.
Walking weights can help you get more benefit from your walk. Carrying weights can increase heart rate and burn more calories, but heavier isn’t always better. It is important to carry weights that aren’t so heavy that they change your gait.

Foam rollers are versatile pieces of equipment that can help in many ways. Slowly rolling them over various areas of your body can massage deep tissue, break up scar tissue and adhesions (abnormal sticking together of tissues), and speed recovery after a workout. Placing your hands on a foam roller while doing total body exercises such as push-ups creates an uneven surface and engages more core muscles. Foam rollers can also be used to enhance a variety of balance exercises.

As the old saying goes: “This is the first day of the rest of your life.” Don’t put it off – start now to focus on fitness.

New Year Fitness Facebook Contest

Kick off the New Year by bringing workout and massage gear to the comfort of your home. Together with PurAthletics and Rejuvenate, we’re giving away a pack of fitness, yoga and massage accessories worth $150 to two lucky winners! See below for full Terms & Conditions and how to enter.

New Year Fitness Facebook Contest Terms & Conditions

To enter: Comment with the answer to “what your favorite fitness workout is and why?”

Contest is open to all residents of British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba who, as of the date the prize draw is made: (i) have not won a London Drugs contest since January 9th, 2018; (ii) have reached the age of majority in the province in which they reside as of January 4th, 2019; (iii) are not employees of London Drugs, their respective advertising and promotional agencies, the independent judging organization (if any), or any family member living with any such employee.

No purchase necessary. Limit one (1) entry per person per social network per contest. Entries must be received no later than 11:59 PM Pacific Time January 9th, 2019. London Drugs is not responsible for entries that become lost or misdirected. All entries become the property of London Drugs Limited and will not be returned.

One (1) winner will be randomly chosen on the day the contest ends (see dates below) in Vancouver, British Columbia, from all eligible entries received per contest. To win, selected entrants must correctly answer a skill-testing mathematical question and must sign London Drugs’ declaration and release confirming compliance with the contest rules and acceptance of the prize(s) as awarded, releasing London Drugs from liability in association with the contest and prize and consenting to the use of their name, photograph, voice and statements for promotional and publicity purposes.

There will be two prizes of

  • ONE (1) fitness, yoga and massage accessories prize pack (valued at $150)

See details and contest date below. Prizes must be accepted as awarded, are non-transferable and no substitutions are permitted. Prizes will be awarded at the closest London Drugs location to contest winners.

Contest date – Friday, January 4th, 2019 – Wednesday, January 9th, 2019 at 11:59 PM Pacific Time

Draw date – Thursday January 10th, 2019

Only one prize may be won by any one person and household. In the event that any selected entrant incorrectly answers the skill-testing question or is otherwise unwilling or unable to comply in full with these rules, a new entry will be drawn.

Selected winners will be contacted by email or on the social network they were drawn from. No correspondence will be entered into except with selected entrants. If the winners do not respond then they will be notified for the second time, 3 (three) days after the first notification. If the winners still do not respond within 3 days of the second notification, a new winner will be chosen in the same manner until a winner is successfully contacted.

The chances of winning a prize will depend on the number of eligible entries received. Decisions of the judges in respect of all aspects of this contest including, but not limited to, eligibility of entries and correctness of answers given to the skill-testing question, are final.

London Drugs and their respective advertising and promotional agencies, the independent judging organization, and their respective agents are not liable to an entrant in any manner relating to the contest or the awarding and use of the prize(s).

This contest is subject to all federal, provincial, and municipal laws and regulations. By entering the entrant consents to the collection of all personal information included on their entry and agrees to the use and disclosure of such information by and between London Drugs, an independent judging organization, and their agents. The winner(s) also agrees to the collection, use, and disclosure of their name, entry, photographs, voice, and statements for London Drugs’ publicity purposes without further compensation. All personal information collected from entrants will be used only for the purposes of administering the contest and for marketing and promotional purposes as contemplated by these rules; under no circumstances will any personal information be sold or rented to third parties. All personal information collected by London Drugs will be kept in accordance with the privacy policy of London Drugs, which can be viewed at www.londondrugs.com, and in accordance with all applicable privacy laws.

The right is reserved by London Drugs to terminate this contest, in whole or in part, and/or modify, amend or suspend the contest, and/or these rules in any way, should any cause beyond the reasonable control of London Drugs or its agents affect the proper administration thereof.

 

 

7 Ways to Make Your Home Workout Suck Less

Remember: Always talk to your doctor before beginning any exercise program. Consult with your healthcare professional to design an exercise routine that’s right for you. If you experience any pain or difficulty with exercise, stop and consult your healthcare provider.

Working out at home has obvious advantages. You can listen to whatever music you like, the equipment isn’t covered in other people’s germs, and there are no lineups for the showers. But there are obstacles, too: distractions from the kids, the phone, the dog, the Internet, and/or the dirty kitchen counters can all seem unavoidable when it’s time to work out. We get it—that’s why we’ve got some real tips for real people who want to get fit but would rather not schlep to the gym.

1. Schedule it in

You schedule important phone calls, appointments and events, right? Well, good health is also important, and sometimes the only way you can ensure that you’ll work out is if you block it off in your calendar. If you use a calendar app, set a reminder or two ahead of time to get yourself psyched up. Make an appointment with yourself and commit to feeling good.

If you honestly just can’t fit a workout into your already over-scheduled life, you may have some extra time that you forgot about…in the morning. Experts say that people’s motivation and drive is at a maximum in the morning, and willpower wanes as the day wears on. And that’s not the only reason to become an early fitness bird—if you wait until later in the day, it’s a lot more likely that things will pop up and get in the way of working out. Yes, watching one more episode on Netflix after the kids go to bed is relaxing, but hitting that morning workout the next day instead will have longer-lasting benefits.

Still don’t think you have time to workout at home? Sneak it in while you’re cleaning the house!

2. Perfect your space

You don’t need a ton of space to get a good workout; you only really need an area about the size of a yoga mat. Working out indoors can get warm, so make your space near a window for a cool breeze, or add a fan in the corner. Make sure there’s a music source nearby with a good Bluetooth speaker to keep you pumped up. Don’t forget to sweep or vacuum the floor—nobody wants to do push-ups over dog hair and toast crumbs.

3. Get the gear

Loads of fancy equipment isn’t required to get fit at home. In fact, bodyweight-only workouts like yoga and pilates are a great way to stay fit. All you really need is a yoga mat to give you some comfort and stability on the floor. If you do want a few props to take your workout up a notch, you don’t need a whole gym’s worth of stuff. Some dumbbells, resistance bands, a skipping rope or a couple of kettlebells should do the trick, depending on your fitness goals.

4. Get dressed

It may sound shallow, but having the right outfit can make a big difference with your fitness motivation. Sure, you can work out in your stained sweatpants and an old Fun Run t-shirt from 2006, but they may not be your best choice. Technical apparel that fits right, wicks away sweat and looks good will help you feel great while working out.

Most importantly, make sure you have a pair of supportive shoes that you can wear indoors. Shoes designed for running are a good choice if you’re going to be dabbling in different kinds of workouts. Take the time get professionally fitted for your foot type and size. Your feet and joints will thank you.

5. Find a coach

You’re probably not going to hire an actual trainer for working out at home (but kudos to you if you do!), so an outside source for motivation, goals and workout ideas can really come in handy.

Say hello to your new workout buddy—YouTube. There are literally thousands and thousands of workout videos and channels on YouTube dedicated to helping you get fit. Whether you’re into yoga, pilates, Zumba, bellydancing, high-intensity interval training, hip-hop tabata, cardio or Prancercise, there’s something out there for you. Just be sure to check out the video first before you dive in—it may not be right for you. Recommendations from your fittest friends is a good place to start.

If you’d rather not dive into the wilds of YouTube, there is also a huge selection of great workout apps for your mobile device. Not only will you get tips for exercises and routines, some apps can also track your progress and even remind you when to workout. There are a lot to choose from, free and paid, so here are a few popular suggestions to get you started.

Fitness DVDs are also helpful to have in your fitness arsenal. Having your own DVD library can save you the trouble of searching the internet or fiddling with your device—just pop your favourite into the DVD player or laptop, and you’re good to go. If you’re not ready to commit, you can also check out the selection at your local library.

Pets also make great home fitness coaches.

6. Start slow…but keep going

If you’re a beginner or coming back after a long break, aim for 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise (something that elevates your heart rate and breathing) at least three times a week, and 20 to 30 minutes of strength training (resistance exercises with weights, bodyweight or bands) three times a week. Don’t worry, that’s not six separate workouts per week; you can combine strength and cardio in to one workout session if you like. Be sure your strength workout covers all major muscle groups: upper body, lower body, abdominals and back.

No matter what type of exercise you do, start slowly and gradually increase your workout time and intensity. Doing too much to start can lead to soreness, fatigue and even injury, and you likely won’t continue.

7. Find your thing

One of the best ways to kill motivation is with boredom. Working out doesn’t have to be a chore! If you’ve chosen a workout routine that you dread everyday, it’s time to switch it up. Pilates got you yawning? Try a spicy Zumba workout. Tired of being trapped inside? Go for a walk/run! HIIT too bouncy? Pop in a yoga video. Luckily, there are almost as many ways to stay fit as there are types of people who want to get fit.

 

Do you have any tips for real people who are trying to stay motivated to work out? Post them in the comments!

Fat and fit

So if you are overweight but you are also fit, do you erase the added risk of heart disease that carrying extra weight is said to add to your life?

No, according to a study from Imperial College London’s School of Public Health and published in the August 14 issue of the European Heart Journal.  

In this study that covered participants from several different European countries for more than 12 years follow-up, researchers compared 10,000 people who didn’t have heart problems with slightly more than 7600 people who had known cardiovascular disease, and the researchers concluded that excess weight is a problem for your heart no matter how fit you think you are.

In other words, no matter how many or how few risk factors these study participants had for heart disease – they had high blood pressure, for example, or abnormal cholesterol levels, or diabetes, and so on – those people who were overweight had a higher chance of suffering a heart attack or dying suddenly from a heart problem than people with similar cardiac risks but who were also thin or at normal weight.

Bottom line: although some studies have claimed to show that if you are fat you are still OK in terms of your heart – so long as you also maintain a good level of cardiovascular fitness – this study found that is likely not true.

Running Guide: 6 Must-Have Accessories for Your Long Run

Training for a big race like the SeaWheeze Half Marathon, the Edmonton Marathon, the Calgary Harvest Half Marathon, or any number of other upcoming runs in your area? Training for a race is all about preparation and planning, and while gear isn’t everything, the right accessories can go a long way toward helping you push through as your legs begin to tire and you’re dreaming of your couch. This Running Guide has a few things that should make those long KMs a little easier. Go get that PB!

Running Guide London Drugs

1. Hydration Beverages

One of the best ways to make yourself feel better during and after a long run is to manage your hydration. Drinking a hydration beverage before you go out is a great start. These dissolvable tablets from Nuun are a convenient solution, and they taste pretty good too. The Strawberry Lemonade flavour is a particular favourite. Have another glass when you come in from your run to help avoid that dreaded dehydration headache.

2. Fuel

If your run is in the 2+ hour range, you’ll want to bring some fuel along with you. Energy bars, gels, and chews are all good options for this. Depending on your preferences, you can also try salty pretzels, gummy candy, or nuts. Whatever you choose, be sure to test it out during your training so that on race day you aren’t surprised by how your system handles something new.

3. Running Hat

Keeping the sun off your face can go a long way towards boosting your energy levels (and preventing sun damage to your skin). A hat is a simple way to get this done. A regular baseball hat works just fine, or you can upgrade to a specialized running hat that allows for more airflow and has sweat-wicking technology.

Running Guide: Marathon Race

4. Sunglasses

Wearing sunglasses while running comes down to personal preference. If you like to have the extra shade for your eyes, go for a pair that are lightweight and a fun colour. A heavier frame may not seem like a big deal in-store, but at kilometre 18 you’ll be grateful you went for a lighter pair. The fun colour is so that you look great (obviously).

5. Phone Protection

If you are running for any long distance, bringing your phone along with you is a good idea. Your maps app can come to the rescue if you take a wrong turn and get lost, or if you should get injured far away from home, you can use it to call a friend or a cab. It’s also a good idea to protect your phone from the elements (and/or your sweaty self) with an inexpensive and reusable plastic baggie (pro tip: the snack size bags fit many phones easily).

6. Headphones

Music, audiobooks, and podcasts all make great companions on long runs. We recommend trying earbud-style headphones (and only running with one earbud in so that you can stay aware of traffic and other dangers). You can even go wireless with bluetooth-enabled headphones.

Bonus! Reward Time!

When you get back from your race, it’s time to celebrate. After you’ve downed your hydration beverage, grab something to indulge on. Whether it’s a really big chocolate bar, your favourite chips, or any other great snack, enjoy! You’ve totally earned this!

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