Staying active has always been very important to me. Not only is exercise good for your body, but I truly believe it is key to your mental health and wellness. Anytime I’m in a bad mood, a workout (no matter how short) or going for a walk, always cheers me up. Working out also helps you to de-stress – something that so many of us need as our lives get more and more demanding.
Growing up, I was fortunate to be given the opportunity to explore many different types of physical activity. I tried my hand at softball, gymnastics, swimming, ice skating and other un-organized sports like waterskiing and snow skiing. I even had an unfortunate summer playing soccer, where I learned very quickly that soccer was a sport I did not excel at.
What really captured my interest was dance, and it is something that I have stuck with all my life. I take a few dance classes a month at a great studio in Toronto and teach younger kids a variety of dance styles at a studio in the east end of Toronto.
My sister, a kinesiology graduate, always reminds me that doing the same kind of exercise day in and day out will make your body plateau – she always suggests switching up your exercise routine family frequently to keep your muscles confused and working hard. So on top of dance, this year I decided I would sign up for a 5k run. Which run? The Holly Jolly Fun Run!
I have never been a big runner, but I was convinced to sign up by a friend who did the same run last year and had a blast. The run takes place the morning of the Toronto Santa Claus Parade and you get to run the parade route while people are lining the streets.
While 5k doesn’t seem like a long distance to some, to me, it’s terrifying – especially because there will be an audience watching me huff and puff along the streets of Toronto.
Below are some of my tips for future runners who may be interested in doing a 5k one day:
- Check out exercise websites like Tone It Up or Popsugar – they have really great resources to help you train without getting hurt
- Always stretch before and after you run – this really goes for any type of exercise, but I have fun that the morning after a run, my hamstrings are incredibly sore and tight. A hot bath and good stretch usually fixes the problem.
- Invest in a good pair of running shoes – they are the only things separating your feet from hitting the pavement over and over again. While workout clothes have definitely become a fashion category of their own, a good pair of running shoes should be supportive and not necessarily trendy.
- Drink lots of water! This one should go without saying
- Finally – enjoy the scenery. Below is a sunrise picture I took in October after an early morning run.