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Walking
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If you’ve ever been part of a book club you know how motivating a deadline can be (you might actually finish that Giller Prize winning novel!) The social aspect of a club is also a draw; you can regularly catch up with friends and have a real conversation about topics outside of work or household chores. Neighbourhood walking clubs work the same way—you can be motivated to stay fit by having partners who encourage and even challenge you to keep healthy and active. Other than keeping your exercise schedule in check, walking clubs can also foster friendships, strengthen your community ties and provide a sense of safety if you are walking early mornings or late at night. So, how do you get one started? Think about a group of people that would work well together—your neighbours might be most obvious, but colleagues at work may want to get walking at lunch or maybe a group of friends would make the effort to meet a few times a week. With a pedometer and today’s technology (you can track each other’s steps on the computer) even members that travel can still keep their commitment. Start by holding an introductory meeting where you(…)

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Running in Style
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When it comes to sticking to a workout routine, environment can mean everything. Since we spend so much of our waking hours at work, I spoke with a few people who benefited, physically or otherwise, from having a workout buddy at the office. Sarah and Kevin Confidence. They met at work and eventually fell in love. Although that’s not how it always turns out, Sarah and Kevin shared a mutual love of running marathons, which eventually made them realize that there was more between them than just a friendship. Above all, however, Sarah said that she and Kevin felt confident in each other’s company when they were training for a race. While encouraging each other to “Beat your best time!” or “Go one more mile!”, they practiced feeling confident in each other’s presence, which built a solid foundation for a satisfying relationship. Raquel and Lisa Support. The two had been coworkers and friends for five years when out of the blue, Raquel told Lisa that she wanted to train for a fitness show. So when she shared her decision with Lisa, it was she who encouraged Raquel to go all the way. At lunch they would train at their company’s(…)

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Man holding dumbbell
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It’s amazing the way I’ve come to worry about my parents. I find myself having conversations with them like, “Dad, are you taking any vitamins?” or “Mom, have you thought about trying yoga?”. My dad turned 60 this year and I just can’t help but think about him aging—since that’s inevitable, I guess the thing is to help him age healthfully. And since a healthy heart is the foundation of the good overall health, I decided to put together a checklist of six healthy habits that can be used at any age. I hope it helps ease those “are you taking your vitamins” conversations you have with your own parents this year: Exercise: This is probably the toughest for my dad. His schedule really limits him from joining a gym or sports team. But recently he’s started to take walks after dinner; he walks at a moderate pace, but still gets his heart rate up enough to feel a difference in his body temperature. He says the walks have helped him sleep better at night, exhausting him a bit before bed. Which brings me to the next heart habit… Relaxation and reducing stress: It’s more about quality here than quantity, since everyone’s(…)

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Choco-Peanut Fruit Dip
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I consider myself very lucky. I’m 27 years old and my close friends and I go way back. Some 6, 10 and even 15 years. We laugh. We support each other. We grow together, side by side. We surprise each other and we always go back to each other, like an old couple with a lot of mileage. You can’t beat friendships like these. We’ve had our ups and downs, highs and lows, shared tears and smiles, but even after all these years, we continue to experience new things: when we get together, for coffee, dinner or whatever else, there are now kids in the picture. The holidays are right around the corner, and nowadays, they’re better than ever. Not only do I get to do all the usual fun stuff, but now I can rock baby Rémi to sleep, sing with Victor and play dolls with Jeanne. This year, for Christmas Eve, I’m planning on making a nice fruit dip, for the kids. I think a chocolate-peanut dip will go over quite well with them. Serves: 1 ½ cups (375 ml) of dip Preparation time: 10 minutes INGREDIENTS ¾ cup (175 ml) plain sweetened Activia yogurt ¼ cup (60(…)

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Erica_Ehm
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Erica Ehm is well-known to moms of a certain age as the crush of their little brothers and as the face of MuchMusic in the 80s. Thirty years later she has morphed her talents for asking good questions, connecting communities and having a pulse on what people are talking about as the founder of the Yummy Mummy Club. YMC is the place where moms go and talk about motherhood, but also the other parts of their life—their relationships, their favourite music and places to shop; their friendships, desires and frustrations. YMC is a website but it also is a business and Erica has become a well-known and sought-after business woman. Why did you start Yummy Mummy? Erica: When I had my kids, I felt overwhelmed and I wanted a place that women could go to and feel connected. Being Yummy Mummy isn’t about how you look, it is about how you feel—you are still connected to all those pieces. I didn’t know what I was doing at first, but I am learning and growing as the business grows. And I learned along the way that I love business. But how do you balance it all? Erica: The only way to(…)

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