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  • 6 TIPS TO BEAT JET LAG

    how to beat jet lag

    Jet lag is basically our body’s own way of letting us know that it’s out of sync with local time. And it can be a real pain in the you know what when you’re trying to embark on a lovely holiday. After all, planning a vacation is stressful enough without worrying about how to beat jet lag too. Between coordinating everyone’s calendars, packing, planning excursions and booking hotels, we don’t want to throw jet lag in the mix on top of it all! We want to make sure that jet lag doesn’t get in the way of you enjoying your next holiday!

    Why does jet lag happen?

    Jet lag happens when the body’s natural circadian rhythm doesn’t match up with the external environment. This happens as a result of travel across time zones. Essentially, jet lag happens when changes in our environmental cues (such as light, temperature and meal times) conflict with our body’s existing patterns. In a way, it’s our body’s response to something unnatural. Sure, it’s common these days to hop on a plane and travel long distances, but that doesn’t mean it’s normal to our physiology. When you think about it, we’ve only had the opportunity to travel across time zones via airplanes for a few decades. This means that humans haven’t evolved to be able to adjust quickly to these rapid changes in time. Even a quick trip across one time zone can cause jet lag and affect our body!

    Jet lag can show up in many different ways. It can mess with our sleep, hormones, appetite, energy levels, immunity, stress, digestion, sex drive and more. Changes in our sleep cycle can also throw off our circadian rhythm, aka our internal body clocks!

    Here are some tips for how to beat jet lag when you next travel:

    1. Practice sun training

    Research has shown that light exposure before, during, and after you fly can affect your ability to sleep. As a result, this impacts the severity of our jet lag. To optimally synchronize our body clocks when we arrive at our destination we should stare at the sun when it’s rising, have it directly above our head at 12pm each day, and watch the sunset. Watching the sunset while on vacation? Is there anything more relaxing anyway? Doing this is actually strategic, as it sends the correct signals to our brain, thus alerting our body that it’s either time to be awake or asleep.

    2. Adjust your sleep hygiene

    Sleep hygiene refers to the things you implement to promote a healthy sleep. In preparation for our new time zone, we want to make sure that we’re not exposed to light during night time in our new destination and are awake in the morning of our new destination. Since light exposure at specific times can help regulate our circadian rhythm, we can slowly start to train our body’s a few days before our travel plans. This may look like staying up a little later or go to bed a little earlier. We can also do this on the plane ride over. To help us sleep, we recommend doing things like getting a sleep mask and ear plugs, avoiding blue light (aka staring at a screen) a few hours before you plan on going to bed, and practicing relaxation techniques.

    3. Stay extra hydrated

    Ever notice how on a plane you tend to get dehydrated? Dehydration can worsen the symptoms of jet lag. Dehydration is very common while traveling by air, so make sure to stay adequately hydrated when you travel. Moreover, try to avoid caffeine and alcohol before, during and after your flight. Contrary to popular belief, alcohol actually disturbs our sleep. And since you might be adjusting to a new sleep schedule, caffeine will also keep you awake, in addition to dehydrating you! Our favourite way to take our hydration “to go” is by using a Berkey water bottle to filter out any impurities from the water fountains at the airport. PLUS, it saves us from buying the over-priced plastic bottles!

    4. Upgrade your melatonin supplement

    Many people, especially frequent travelers, take melatonin to support their sleep in order to beat jet lag. If you’re not familiar with it, melatonin is the hormone in our body that is released at night to help us sleep (that is, if our circadian rhythm is in check). For an external temporary sleep support, we recommend Insomnitol Chewables to support a deeper, restorative sleep. These tablets also contain vitamin B6, inositol and l-theanine to further help calm brain activity to help you fall asleep and STAY asleep.

    5. Switch up your eating habits

    When traveling to a different time zone, changing the time we eat and the amount of food we eat is important. Try planning your meals to coincide with your new time zone as much as possible. In the first few days of traveling, we recommend sticking with smaller meals – It’s important to avoid having large meals because our digestive enzymes, which help break down and digest food, are also on a circadian clock so our digestive system might not be primed to digest a huge portion when our body thinks it’s the middle of the night.

    6. Practice grounding

    Another great idea for how to beat jet lag is grounding. Grounding, also known as “earthing”, refers to making direct contact between your bare feet and the ground. According to many wellness experts, the benefits include helping you soak up the earth’s negative charge. This in turn is known to reduce inflammation, refresh our mind and body, promote better quality sleep and even help with jet lag. So needless to say, if you’re going somewhere warm, going for a barefoot walk on the beach is a good idea! If you’re not traveling any time soon, don’t worry! There are other grounding techniques like eating root veggies or listening to relaxing, calm nature sounds such as waves crashing or birds chirping that have similar benefits!

    If you implement any of these tips, let us know how it goes!

    About The Movement Boutique in Toronto – Pilates, Chiropractic, Functional Medicine

    TMB The Movement Boutique Located on Yonge Street in Toronto, The Movement Boutique serves the areas of Summerhill, Rosedale and Yorkdale with Pilates classes and much more. Our philosophy is centred on a holistic, multimodal approach to health, grounded in the latest therapeutic techniques and clinical research. Our approach: Optimal health cannot be attained through a single therapeutic lens; injuries are often the result of a constellation of lifestyle issues, including dysfunctional movement patterns, trauma, nutritional deficiencies or destructive habits of mind.

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  • 5 REASONS YOU NEED TO DETOX

    Have you thought about joining a “detox” but weren’t sure if it was a hoax or the real deal? We totally get it. The term “detox” sometimes gets mixed reviews, because it’s often associated with things like juice cleanses, calorie restrictive diets and quick fixes that promise to help you magically look like a celebrity goddess. The truth is detoxification is one of our body’s most important processes when it comes to maintaining optimal health. In fact there are a lot reasons you need to detox the RIGHT way with scientifically based functional medicine protocols.

    First things first: What is detoxification?

    Our body is like a factory. True story. It has to take in materials like food, water, sunshine and oxygen to keep our system running. However, there are also extraneous substances that may serve their purpose, but then need to transform into something else so that the body can eliminate them. This is known as detoxification. Detoxification is our body’s natural (and essential!) process of removing toxins and unwanted materials.

    What unwanted materials? Heavy metals, pollutants and UV radiation to name a few. There are also endogenous materials that the body produces internally, like hormones and neurotransmitters. All of these materials eventually need to be eliminated from the body by the body’s built in detoxification system. And it’s happening all the time!

    That’s right! Natural detoxification actually occurs 24/7, 365 days a year. There are lots of reasons you need to detox to help this natural process, which we’ll get to in a moment.

    So how does detoxification work?

    The primary detoxification organs are the gut, liver and kidneys. Our bowels and urinary tract are also important, because they help excrete toxins through our bile and urine. Skin helps eliminate toxins through our sweat. In addition, our lungs are important for mainly expelling CO2. In a nutshell, these are the organs involved in our detoxification pathways.

    When it comes to detoxification our liver is our body’s primary filtration system. It’s the star of the show. The liver works day after day to cleanse our blood, excrete waste and metabolize nutrients. It also helps us store vitamins, support immune function, produce proteins and remove dietary and environmental threats to avoid toxic accumulation.

    With the help of our kidneys, the liver is our detoxification workhorse. Whether it’s one too many cocktails, a non-organic diet or a round of medication, the liver helps filter and detoxify any materials that aren’t supposed to circulate in our body. There are a few steps to this process. The first step involves using enzymes and oxygen to prepare toxins for removal. The second step is when our body actually eliminates them through bile, stool or urine.

    The kidneys are equally essential to these processes, as these little bean shaped organs help regulate proper mineral balance, support hormone excretion, flush out urinary bacteria, support a healthy pH and more.

    Why is it so important to detox? Are there reasons you need to detox?

    While a healthy body uses those organs to naturally detoxify, we live in an increasingly toxic world. As a result, our detoxifying organs aren’t always able to keep up at optimal levels. Let’s put it this way; picture a water filter that is constantly used. Day after day for years and years, this filtration system is running, but it’s never cleaned or maintained. This would lead to blockages and an overabundance of toxic substances. That’s what’s happening to our detox pathways!

    5 REASONS YOU NEED TO DETOX

    We clean our homes on a regular basis – wiping the counter, sweeping the floors, cleaning the bathrooms and doing the dishes – and we need to be doing the same for our bodies. There’s no quick fix when it comes to our health, but there are things we can do to set ourselves on the right path to upgraded wellness.

    Here are 5 reasons why you need to detox, or at least why you should consider a detox:

    DETOX BENEFITS #1: Our toxic burden is heavier than ever

    The challenge we face today is that the volume of toxic burden is greater than it has ever been. According to the Environmental Working Group, studies show that that the average newborn baby has 287 chemicals in their umbilical cord blood. These are little humans who have picked up a toxic burden without even physically living in the world yet! If this is the case, just imagine how many chemicals we’ve been exposed to in our lifetime that are BIOACCUMULATING. Now imagine the impact that might have on our long-term health. Yuck, right?

    DETOX BENEFITS #2: It can set the stage for healthier habits

    A worthwhile detox is one that involves implementable habits and actionable tools that you can incorporate easily into your daily life. Sure, you can drink green juice for 3 days, but what happens after that? You likely fall back into old habits. In TMB’S 21-DAY CLEAN GUT DETOX PROGRAM, we include a variety of easy nutritional guidelines, healthy recipes, an extensive grocery list, fascial release exercises, daily workouts and more to help you implement a long-term approach to living a life full of vitality!

    DETOX BENEFITS #3: It can help you feel better

    Picture a dishwasher in a restaurant. Dirty dishes are loaded in and come out clean on the other side. But when the restaurant gets too busy and there are too many dishes to be cleaned, the dish-washing process will slow down. The same thing happens to our detox pathways when we’re exposed to too many toxins. The result? We can feel moody, sluggish, achy, fatigued, bloated and more. Many of us don’t connect what we eat to how we feel. Detoxing can make a world of a difference when it comes to healing our symptoms and feeling better.

    DETOX BENEFITS #4: It can curb cravings

    Sugar is addictive. Period. If you experience a daily sweet tooth, you’re not alone. Many say that sugar is the new nicotine. In fact, studies suggest that sugar is even more addictive than cocaine! Although there’s usually a period where you might experience some withdrawal symptoms, a detox can help you unhook yourself from sugar cravings and other hyper-palatable foods. You’ll start to realize just how GOOD you feel replacing inflammatory foods with nutrient-dense options. A GREAT detox will TEACH you important things like what’s contributing to your food cravings and how to recognize true hunger from emotional hunger so you’re better equipped the next time that craving strikes!

    DETOX BENEFITS #5: It can help balance your hormones

    Our liver helps break down and remove excess hormones, which helps to keep our hormones balanced naturally. If you’ve ever heard the term “estrogen dominance” you know what we’re talking about. When our liver is overburdened, it can contribute to the re-circulating of hormones (that should have left the body) creating imbalances that cause a wide range of symptoms. These symptoms can include hair loss, mood swings and painful periods. Detoxing can give our liver and our hormones the reset that they need!

     

    TMB CAN HELP YOU DETOX EFFECTIVELY AND HAVE FUN!

    Ready to take your health to the next level? Join us for TMB’S NEXT 21-DAY CLEAN GUT DETOX PROGRAM! But don’t just read about about — Dr. Shalini Bhat is here to tell you all about our transformative program, what to expect, how it’s different from other detox programs and, most importantly, how it can benefit you!

     

    About The Movement Boutique in Toronto – Pilates, Chiropractic, Functional Medicine

    TMB The Movement Boutique Located on Yonge Street in Toronto, The Movement Boutique serves the areas of Summerhill, Rosedale and Yorkdale with Pilates classes and much more. Our philosophy is centred on a holistic, multimodal approach to health, grounded in the latest therapeutic techniques and clinical research. Our approach: Optimal health cannot be attained through a single therapeutic lens; injuries are often the result of a constellation of lifestyle issues, including dysfunctional movement patterns, trauma, nutritional deficiencies or destructive habits of mind.

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  • ACUPUNCTURE SPOTLIGHT AND FAQS ANSWERED

    Have you ever been “acu-stoned”? …We’re being serious. If you’ve ever experienced an acupuncture treatment, you know what we’re talking about – that euphoric, calm, clear minded, blissful or “acu stoned” feeling! If you haven’t, you’ll want to after reading this…

    What is acupuncture and how does it work?

    Acupuncture is actually an ancient holistic healing practice that has been around for thousands of years and has more recently been adopted by western medicine. It’s a safe, effective and painless treatment that involves the insertion of tiny, ultra-thin needles into various acupuncture points in the body that promote healing, repair and balance. These points have highly concentrated nerves, cells, lymphatics and capillaries, all of which have the power to trigger beneficial biochemical and physiological responses in our body.

    Acupuncture works at the cellular level, increasing circulation, activating essential nutrients, and creating both mental and physical benefits. Some of its most significant advantages, among many others, are healing/preventing injury, reducing inflammation, improving digestion and detox, rebalancing hormones, eliminating brain fog and decreasing stress. It’s a soothing and relaxing treatment that is even known to promote deeper sleep!

    During needle insertion, there is a complex “domino effect” that occurs inside our body. The needle stimulates the sensory receptor, which triggers the nerve ending, which then signals the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal system. These powerful and complex interactions are responsible for regulating a number of bodily processes, such as the release of neurotransmitters and endorphins (our body’s natural “Advil”!), the regulation of serotonin (our happiness hormone) and cortisol (our stress hormone).

    A Three-Pronged Approach

    Regardless of our health history, age, gender or wellness goals, anyone can benefit from acupuncture treatments. Why? It a dynamic treatment that generates a wide scope of benefits. Whether the goal is to sleep better, improve digestion, reduce stress, heal an injury, boost immunity, etc. acupuncture can make it happen. It’s not technically magic, but pssst between you and us, it’s one of the reasons our patients think we create magic!

    Acupuncture has so many benefits because it attacks from 3 different angles. Here’s what we mean:

    1. STRESS REDUCTION: It induces a parasympathetic response

    One of the systemic effects of acupuncture is that it reduces stress. Have you heard of the “fight or flight” response? This is governed by our sympathetic nervous system. On the other side of the spectrum, studies show that acupuncture promotes oxytocin to be released in the body, a hormone that regulates our parasympathetic nervous system, which is often referred to as our “rest and digest” or “calm and connect” system. Activation of this part of of nervous system allows our heart rate to slow down, blood pressure to drop and cortisol levels to be reduced, thus promoting digestion, detox, hormone regulation, relaxation and decreasing our stress/anxiety levels.

    2. PAIN RELIEVER: It calms and relaxes overworked muscles/nerves

    Acupuncture has been suggested in numerous studies to reduce low-grade inflammation, which is a driving factor of things like aches, pain, discomfort & other symptoms that cause our muscles and nerves to “flare” up. When acupuncture needles are inserted, they stimulate certain points on the peripheral nervous system, sending signals up the spine to our brain. From here, our brain sends signals (and triggers our body’s natural painkillers) that reduces pain & soreness, relieves any tension or tightness in muscles/joints, and increases circulation to the area being treated.

    3. HYDRATION BOOSTER: It hydrates tissues at the cellular level

    Acupuncture helps hydrate our fascia (which is a fluid system) at the cellular level, an essential process when it comes to injury prevention. Fascia is the connective tissue that runs through the body, providing support for and encasing our bones, muscles, nerves, blood vessels and organs! Picture a sponge. When a sponge dries out, it becomes brittle, hard, and not easily bendable. Run that sponge until water, however, and it becomes wet, hydrated and resilient. You can wring it and twist it and it will still bounce back into shape without breaking. Our fascia works the same way, which is why it’s essential to our movement and mobility to keep it hydrated. If our body is dehydrated and gets “dried out” (like a sponge), we become much more susceptible to aches, pains and injuries.

    Local to Toronto? Contact us today to book a treatment!

    Not local? Our functional medicine program might be the right fit for you! Dr. Bhat and Dr. Pinard are both taking on new patients and offering FREE 15 minute consultations!

    About The Movement Boutique in Toronto – Pilates, Chiropractic, Functional Medicine

    TMB The Movement Boutique Located on Yonge Street in Toronto, The Movement Boutique serves the areas of Summerhill, Rosedale and Yorkdale with Pilates classes and much more. Our philosophy is centred on a holistic, multimodal approach to health, grounded in the latest therapeutic techniques and clinical research. Our approach: Optimal health cannot be attained through a single therapeutic lens; injuries are often the result of a constellation of lifestyle issues, including dysfunctional movement patterns, trauma, nutritional deficiencies or destructive habits of mind.

     

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  • How Do You Know If It’s REALLY Sciatica?

    You bend over to pick something up, your back goes out and you feel that shooting pain down your leg. Your mother, neighbour, and massage therapist all tell you “It’s sciatica”. But is it? Or is it something else?

    Did you know that the SI joint can refer pain down the leg very similarly to sciatica? At The Movement Boutique, many of our patients come in already “diagnosed” with sciatica by a friend or family member (or Dr. Google!) and are surprised to learn that they are actually experiencing SI joint dysfunction. With so many causes of back pain, and sciatica leading the way on the internet, it can be difficult to decode on your own. Especially when the search term includes back pain that ‘goes down the leg’. Because of things like the start of ski season, snow shoveling, high heels at Christmas parties and carting around those holiday shopping bags, these types of injuries are especially common during the winter months

    So, what’s the difference and what do they have in common?

    Our SI joints are located under your thumbs when you put your hands on your hips. They serve both a stabilizing and shock absorbing function. The SI joint’s main purpose is to connect our sacrum (which is the bone at the base of our spine) to our iliac crest (aka our pelvic bone) and support our upper body weight. Since it serves a weight bearing function, the joint is generally quite stable with minimal, but necessary range of motion. SI joint dysfunction can be caused by a variety of things such as pregnancy, weight gain, or repeated movements that put stress on the joint and muscles. Sciatica, on the other hand, is often more serious and caused by irritation of the sciatic nerve (a long nerve that runs from lower lumbar spine all the way down the back of the leg. It’s common for people with bulging or herniated discs (more common under age 45) or an encroachment due to degeneration (more common over 45) to experience sciatica.

    Many times, sciatica symptoms and SI joint dysfunction can mimic each other, so one can easily be mistaken for the other. Both types of injuries can be experienced as an intense sensation (sometimes described as an “electrical shock”) starting in the lower back and travelling down the back of the leg. That’s why in many cases, when you go to your GP and describe the pain, they will assume it’s the sciatic nerve, but the truth is, not all pain that travels down the back of the leg is necessarily sciatica.

    To get it properly assessed and diagnosed, we recommend seeing a qualified practitioner and if you’re local, this is something we see on the regular at TMB. In the meantime, we wanted to give you some tips to help you differentiate the two. Please note that everyone is different and these factors can sometimes overlap when it comes to sciatica and SI joint dysfunction, but it should serve as a helpful starting point to paint a clearer picture for you!

    1. Imaging

    While neither will technically show up on an x-ray, the signs of sciatica will show up on an MRI.

    vs.

    If the MRI imaging is negative, then it might be a clue that you have SI joint dysfunction.

    **Keep in mind that imaging does not always correlate with functional problems. One of Dr. Bhat’s favourite analogies to illustrate this is to picture a photograph of a car parked in an auto body shop. Can you tell if the car has just been dropped off or ready for pick-up just by looking at the photo? NO! Similarly, you can’t tell just by looking at an image if there’s a functional injury. It needs to be properly assessed by a professional.**

    2. Referred Pain vs. Radiating Pain

    Radiating pain is pain with which a nerve is the actual source, forming a direct line from the sciatic nerve (in this case, the source) to other areas of the body. This is more so the type of pain you’d experience with sciatica.

    vs.

    Referred pain can be felt in other parts of the body other than the actual source. The source can be the SI joint, but you feel it in the low back and/or down the outside of the leg to the knee.

    3. Trigger Points

    Sciatica – Trigger point release (pressing down on the area) worsens the pain. If you press down on the part that hurts and you continue to feel an “electric shock” type of feeling, then it’s more likely sciatica from nerve irritation.

    vs.

    SI joint – Trigger point release will help the pain subside. The soleus muscle can play a big part in SI joint problems. In fact, a trigger point in the soleus muscle and the posterior fascia sleeve goes all the way up the back of the legs and into the SI joint. Other trigger points here include the glutes, hips and right below the lower ribs. If you press down on any of these trigger points and you notice pain relief or more mobility, then it’s more likely you have SI joint dysfunction.

    4. Aggravating & Relieving Positions

    Sciatica – Bending over, twisting, carrying heavy loads etc. would aggravate the injury. Lying on your tummy on your elbows with your chest lifted (this is known as the “McKenzie stretch”) or lying on your back with your knees bent on a chair would relieve the pain.

    vs.

    SI joint – Driving or sitting with your pelvis slouched (or body slightly rotated) with your legs above the rest of your body (think lying on a hammock) for prolonged periods of time would aggravate the injury. Pregnancy can also cause it.

    5. Pain Location

    Sciatica – Very sharp “electric shock” like pain that can easily be traced deep in the glutes, down the back of the leg, most frequently into the foot.

    vs.

    SI joint – Diffuse pain that is typically felt in the lower back, hip, leg, and/or groin and the patient might have a tough time narrowing down exactly where they feel the pain.

    At TMB, if a patient points the pain using their hand, it’s likely diffuse pain (SI joint), whereas if they use their finger to trace the exact path of their pain, it’s more likely nerve irritation (sciatica).

    6. Character of Pain

    Sciatica – An “electric shock feeling” that you can trace with your finger and your sensory might also be off (numb, tingly “pins & needles” feeling on the bottom or side of foot).

    vs.

    SI joint – More of a diffuse, sharp or achy pain that can, depending on severity, travel down the leg (usually no further than the knee) and feels heavy and/or sore.

    7. Treatment

    Barring a traumatic fracture-causing case of either, requiring surgery, conservative care is recommended for both. This would include acupuncture, spinal mobilization, fascial release, low-inflammatory diet, rest from aggravating activities and icing. At TMB, we also suggest natural anti-inflammatory supplements like Curcumin and Inflammatone

    About The Movement Boutique in Toronto – Pilates, Chiropractic, Functional Medicine

    TMB The Movement Boutique Located on Yonge Street in Toronto, The Movement Boutique serves the areas of Summerhill, Rosedale and Yorkdale with Pilates classes and much more. Our philosophy is centred on a holistic, multimodal approach to health, grounded in the latest therapeutic techniques and clinical research. Our approach: Optimal health cannot be attained through a single therapeutic lens; injuries are often the result of a constellation of lifestyle issues, including dysfunctional movement patterns, trauma, nutritional deficiencies or destructive habits of mind.

     

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  • 6 Tips To Keep Your Holiday Dinners Healthy

     

    Here’s some food for thought…

    If you dream of your holiday dinner, you’re not alone. Eating definitely takes center stage during the holidays. Between the stuffing and the homemade pumpkin pies, it can be easy to overeat and make unhealthy choices. You know what we’re talking about – That all too familiar “food coma” or “food baby” joke that goes around the table!

    The good news is, there are small but effective things we can do to upgrade our dinner plate over the holidays:

    1. Upgrade your gravy

    For many people, gluten creates inflammation in our body and is difficult to digest. It can be hidden in many Thanksgiving goodies, even gravy! Gravy packets are full of kryptonite ingredients like MSG, GMO wheat gluten, GMO cornstarch and are so high in table salt. To upgrade your gravy add arrowroot starch, organic corn starch or gluten free-flour to thicken your gravy in lieu of wheat flour or gravy packets. Add coloured salt like pink or grey salt instead of table salt. These mineral-rich salts are excellent for our bones and teeth!

    2. Eat your potatoes cooled

    You don’t have to ditch the carbs altogether! Eating hot potatoes can spike your blood sugar, but allowing them to cool gives the starches time to gel into a resistant starch. Resistant starches cannot be broken down by us, which means they become food (a prebiotic) for the good bacteria in our gut. Limit/ditch the refined carbs like the stuffing and pie, as over indulging in these will feed the bad bacteria and spike your blood sugar.

    3. Limit alcohol intake

    It’s all in good fun to have a cocktail every down and then, especially on a special occasion like a holiday. What’s not fun, however, is the nasty headache and hit to our metabolism that often follows. If you are going to indulge, avoid drinking while you eat as this can disrupt your body’s digestive processes.

    4. Eat with intention

    To avoid overeating, we can incorporate some mindful and intuitive practices during dinner. Focus on the pace in which you eat and paying attention to the actual eating experience, rather than just the food itself. Try to think about the relationships and connections with the loved ones you are spending the holiday with, put away your phone, sit down while you eat and take in your food with all of your senses so that you eat with purpose & intention.

    5. Make your own cranberry sauce

    Cranberries are actually one of the healthiest foods. They are known to prevent UTIs, certain cancers, decrease blood pressure and boost immunity. Canned, store-bought cranberry sauce, however, is packed with unnecessary sugars and chemicals. Making cranberry sauce is actually super easy and it’s a great hostess gift! Buy fresh cranberries, bring them to a boil with grated orange or lemon zest, then simmer for 10 minutes. Add monk fruit sweetener to taste, throw it in a cute mason jar with a bow and voila!

    6. Save your turkey bones and make your own bone broth!

    Bone broth is more than just a trendy health food – It is a superfood for your fascia! Research shows that bone broth is a gut-healing remedy that comes with a wide variety of benefits including protection of the the gut lining, feeding good bacteria, bolstering immunity, reducing joint pain/inflammation and can even be calming to the mind. Throw the bones (and any giblets) into a slow-cooker or instant pot with water and your favourite veggies, herbs and spices.

    Above everything, don’t overthink it! Stick to your nutrition plan as best as you can and make sure to enjoy the special time you have with your loved ones. Afterall, that’s what’s most important over the holidays!

    About The Movement Boutique in Toronto – Pilates, Chiropractic, Functional Medicine

    TMB The Movement Boutique Located on Yonge Street in Toronto, The Movement Boutique serves the areas of Summerhill, Rosedale and Yorkdale with Pilates classes and much more. Our philosophy is centred on a holistic, multimodal approach to health, grounded in the latest therapeutic techniques and clinical research. Our approach: Optimal health cannot be attained through a single therapeutic lens; injuries are often the result of a constellation of lifestyle issues, including dysfunctional movement patterns, trauma, nutritional deficiencies or destructive habits of mind.

     

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  • TORONTO PILATES STUDIO: 7 WAYS TO SEE BETTER RESULTS WITH YOUR WORKOUT

    toronto pilates studioWe’ve all heard the saying “too much of a good thing.” Well, sometimes cardio can be one of those things. Cardio is amazing for our heart health and for other parts of our body as well. It supports weight loss, increases lung capacity, improves memory and focus, and even enhances mood. However, it is best consumed frequently in small doses, mixed with resistance training and active rest, such as stretching. Take it from this Toronto Pilates studio and Toronto functional medicine practice, we know what we’re talking about.

    What is cardio exactly?

    A cardio workout is anything that increases our heart-rate. Whether it’s a spin class, running on a treadmill, hiking outdoors, a Toronto Pilates studio reformer class (hint hint) or interval training, cardio strengthens our heart. After all, our heart is a muscle and it needs to be worked just like any other muscle in our body to stay healthy. When our hearts and cardiovascular systems get stronger, more oxygen is delivered to our cells. This supports muscle recovery, boosts our metabolism and allows our body to function more efficiently. According to the Centre For Disease Control, only 1 in 3 American adults get enough physical activity. But just because you’re an avid cardio junkie doesn’t mean you’re exercising optimally!

    A question from a Toronto Pilates Instructor: Are You OD-ing on Cardio?

    The idea that we need to “go hard” with cardio and limit calories is outdated and old school! Excessive cardio and limiting calorie intake can tax the adrenals and cause a shift in cortisol levels, which signals your body to enter “fat conservation mode.” We’re not saying your workouts shouldn’t include cardio. No, no. Here at our Toronto Pilates studio every workout includes what we call cardio bursts. And workouts definitely should include cardio! But there are factors we need to be mindful of to ensure we’re getting the most of our cardio efforts.

    7 WAYS TO EASILY OPTIMIZE YOUR WORKOUTS

    HOW TO IMPROVE YOUR CARDIO TIP #1: Practice active recovery

    In order to repair micro-tears, restore glycogen fuel stores and ensure our muscles are recovering properly, it’s essential that our body rests. If we don’t, our muscles can weaken from being tight and overused. This makes us more susceptible to injuries. It also makes us more depleted of energy when it’s time for our next workout. But a rest day doesn’t have to mean being a couch potato. A rest day can still include moving our body. Opt for lower intensity physical activities, such as walking, gentle Pilates, yoga, stretching or foam rolling. This is what we call active recovery!

    HOW TO IMPROVE YOUR CARDIO TIP #2: Look for other mood-boosting activities

    In addition to physical benefits, there are many mental benefits to exercise. Exercise reduces stress, increases memory and concentration, and boosts our mood. When we exercise, our brain’s pleasure circuit activates (aka endorphins, dopamine, and other “happy” neurotransmitters!) If you’re anxious at the thought of taking a rest day for this reason, there are other mood-boosting activities you can try. Studies show that even just going for a walk gets our blood flowing, our muscles engaged and also triggers the release of dopamine. Other things like meditation and deep breathing exercises are scientifically proven to effectively reduce stress, clear our mind, build positivity and balance cortisol levels.

    HOW TO IMPROVE YOUR CARDIO TIP #3: Get into a “gain” mindset

    Let’s be honest, cardio culture is often built around tapping into our body insecurities to get us to lose more, get “skinnier” and sweat ourselves away. What if instead of focusing on losing, we focused on gaining? If cardio is something you truly enjoy doing, try switching your mindset away from that negative “less-than” self-talk to empowering reasons like building endurance, releasing endorphins and fostering mobility.

    HOW TO IMPROVE YOUR CARDIO TIP #4: Get enough sleep

    The quality of your sleep is important to supporting digestion, managing stress and balancing our hormones. It’s also essential when it comes to fitness and muscle recovery. When we sleep, growth hormone is released, our brain recharges and it’s the time when our muscles recover, repair and rebuild. Achieving a high quality of sleep helps increase our energy levels and prevent fatigue. So you’ll feel more motivated and revitalized for your next sweat session!

    HOW TO IMPROVE YOUR CARDIO TIP #5: Schedule your workouts appropriately

    Did you know that regular exercise can also promote a deeper, more restorative sleep? The problem is, we have to be careful of the timing of our exercise. If we exercise too close to bedtime (especially if it’s a high-intensity workout like cardio), it will get our adrenaline pumping, which can actually keep us awake and interfere with our sleep. While here at TMB, a well known Toronto Pilates studio, we always promote moving your body on a daily basis, we also encourage exercising earlier in the day. An early day workout will prevent adrenaline and cortisol from affecting you at night, so save the lighter exercises, like yoga and stretching, for the evening.

    HOW TO IMPROVE YOUR CARDIO TIP #6: Choose the right exercise for your cycle phase

    Ladies, listen up! Did you know that you can have more successful workouts if you plan them according to your cycle? The type of exercise you should be doing when you’re ovulating is different to what you should be doing in the days before your period. Studies show that days 7-14 of our cycle are when we have the most energy, so this is when we should engage in more intense workouts. Days 1-7 (menstruation), we’re better off practicing low intensity movements and sneaking in some active rest days.

    HOW TO IMPROVE YOUR CARDIO TIP #7:  Acupuncture Treatments

    Many athletes and active individuals rely on acupuncture to support the function of their body. Not only does it minimize muscle and joint pain, but it also reduces inflammation. Acupuncture also improves circulation, enhances energy, builds endurance and shifts us from our sympathetic state into a parasympathetic state. The former is the part of the nervous system responsible for our “fight or flight” functions. The latter is our body’s “rest, digest and heal” mode. Acupuncture can also allow you to have a deeper, higher quality of sleep. As we mentioned, better sleep can help you out in the long-run when it comes to your fitness regime.

    Did we mention we have killer Toronto Pilates classes and private Pilates sessions at TMB that combine the best cardio, three dimensional toning and strengthening movements? Check out what they’re all about!

    About The Movement Boutique in Toronto – Pilates, Chiropractic, Functional Medicine

    TMB The Movement Boutique Located on Yonge Street in Toronto, The Movement Boutique serves the areas of Summerhill, Rosedale and Yorkdale with Pilates classes and much more. Our philosophy is centred on a holistic, multimodal approach to health, grounded in the latest therapeutic techniques and clinical research. Our approach: Optimal health cannot be attained through a single therapeutic lens; injuries are often the result of a constellation of lifestyle issues, including dysfunctional movement patterns, trauma, nutritional deficiencies or destructive habits of mind.

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