6 (Or 1776) Ways To Step Up Your ACTIVEist Routine

The results are in!
1, 776 stairs, 5,200 climbers, 144 flights, and nearly 1,000,ooo dollars raised to support endangered species!!
To my fellow climbers who joined me in Toronto for the 25th annual CN tower climb this year and those who supported us climbers with your pledges (right down to that $.0.25, you know who you are 😉 ), allow me to just step up here and say a huge thank you! That is an amazing amount raised in support of our wildlife.
WWF
When it comes to giving back to our endangered species, these are a few of my favourite things we can do all year round;
1. Give A Panda
  • Or any species! Who wouldn’t want to adopt an exotic animal as a gift and they are exceptionally easy to care for. They need long strolls through their natural habitats and to be fed by hunting the grounds you’re helping to protect simply by donating.  This is one of my favourite gifts to give and receive.

2. Donate money

  • I remember scouring the playground as a child collecting data on everyone’s favourite foods to create a cookbook that would raise profits for WWF. Another business venture was to fundraise with garage sales. Now though the cookbook has yet to come out, and would have a slightly different, more holistic spin on it, there are easy ways to fundraise and/or donate and the WWF website has plenty of ideas to spark your creativity.

How can we support wildlife through our diet?

Check out the earth day post;https://lifeofeden.com/2015/04/23/earth-day-birthdays-5-small-steps-to-small-ecological-footprints/

Anything that is supporting our earth is consequently supporting the preservation of our wildlife and the bonus? This all comes full circle to help us as well.

parisian view
“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step (or 1776).”
– Lao Tzu
 With everything you need within walking distance, biking rentals, to busy sidewalks, Toronto was bursting with active inspiration and these are …
6 Ways To Step Up Your ACTIVEist Routine as inspired by the big city

 

 

Step 1

DO eat a power breakfast

  • There is, without a doubt, no way that I could have turned down the free Tim Hortons coffee offered to me on the streets of Toronto at 7am if it wasn’t for my plant-based green start. With the WWF CN tower climb beginning at 6am, I was graciously welcomed into my friend’s loft for the night, for a good sleep which inevitably turned into late night market runs, ukulele playing and gabbing over nutrition things well into the early morning. It is with great thanks to that grocery run as I found all of my energy in spotted bananas and fresh produce sprawled out on the countertops for the ultimate ACTIVEist plan(e)t powered breakfast!
  • When engaging in a light morning workout such as yoga, I prefer to be on an empty stomach. But for a prolonged time in the city, or far climb up a tower, food is a definite necessity for energy and I suggest steel cut oats for complex carbohydrates or green smoothies  for an easily digestible zap of nutrients.
planet powered
The energizing green smoothie : spotted banana | almond milk | spinach | green apple | MCT oil for an added boost (you can alternatively use some coconut oil with contains MCTs but in a less concentrated dose)
Step 2
DO get moving early 
  • Whether it be 1 am or 6am, there are no shortages of people in the streets. As I navigated my way through Toronto with the tower as my compass, I was accompanied by everyone from business men in fine tailored suits to joggers in sweat pants and sneakers actively welcoming in the morning.
  • While we sleep our bodies are stagnant. Morning movement stimulates the hormones that help to regulate our sleep cycles so that we feel more refreshed upon waking. It also moves the lymphatic system for detoxification,  gets blood flow and oxygen to our brains to help us feel more energised and alert (no caffeine fix needed!), and it supercharges our metabolism for the day ahead!
Step 3
Do NOT stay up all night
  • A tired mind and body is a recipe for exercise fatigue and lack of motivation. Our late night grocery run was accompanied by a city full of lively, and slightly intoxicated people. Not something you see here in a small neighbourhood and I was assured that this was normal all week round. Seems the big city wore off on me with a late Friday night and so Saturday morning’s smoothie sported the added boost of MCT oil for an additional kick and was followed by B vitamins.
  • B vitamins are necessary in the body’s conversion of sugars and proteins into energy and are essential to the repair of muscles post workout. B vitamins are found in whole food sources such as dark leafy greens, nuts and seeds and whole grains. This is another reason I recommend steel-cut oats or green smoothies as an ideal pre-workout meal. I also supplement a B-complex to get the synergistic effect of the full spectrum of B vitamins.

 

Step 4
DO use your legs as public transportation
  •  Take it from me, Toronto is not a fun city to drive through. From taxi cabs that drive like they do in NYC to confusing streets littered with construction and pedestrians, I had avoided such an excursion for years and always managed to make my way up by bus (also because this is much better for the environment). This time, however, I couldn’t escape the drive and with a GPS in tow for my directionally challenged self, the only time I was lost was in the parking lot trying to relocate my car.
  • Whether walking or biking (I hope more of these bike rentals make their way through cities!) get active in your every day routine. Instead of driving to the grocery store, walk or bike. It may not be a block from your studio flat but it is fantastic exercise. Instead of taking the elevators take the stairs. Unless you work at the CN tower, I guarantee you there won’t be 1,774 of them but these are small steps to big steps for your ACTIVEist routine!

 

bike!

 Step 5
DO NOT run in a big city
  • The sure-fire way to toxify your lungs is to take in big, heaping breaths of pollution as you do when exercising. Around here I run and bike the trails and water front and avoid big streets like the plaque if I can help it. Now of course, if you’re in the big city, I am not suggesting you don’t bike to get around but if aiming for a workout, get fresh air into your routine as much as possible.
  • If you are around big city streets, load up on vitamin C! This vitamin detoxifies over fifty undesirable substances including exhaust fumes, neutralises free radicals and is important in the repair of tissues post-workout. Dark leafy greens and citrus fruits are a great source of vitamin C, another win for green smoothies, but the dosing needed to combat big city pollution will have you taking additional supplements. I talk more about vitamin C here: https://lifeofeden.com/2015/04/18/from-sea-to-c-a-plant-powered-toronto-roadtrip-orange-overload/
Step 6
DO talk to people
  • We, as humans, are social creatures and it’s ironic that with so many people around, big cities can seem incredibly isolating. But this is the perfect opportunity to make someone’s day. It was the first time I’ve done this climb alone and I was thrilled as this was all the more opportunity to meet new people!
  • Exercise alone will  boost your feel good endorphins but studies have shown that being with others can elevated these levels further! For an ACTIVEist, endorphins help by modulating appetite, cause us to feel less pain (especially useful when you start feeling the burn just 10 flights up!) and are responsible for the euphoric feelings experienced. Whether it be offering up a coffee (or green juice) to someone on the street, striking up a conversation in a long CN tower line or simply popping a smile as you walk by, take every opportunity to connect. Anything to get those endorphins in big, heaping proportions!

 

 

This year my climb time clocked in at 22:54. But after meeting a new friend Sergio in line who claimed he hadn’t trained (I think he was bluffing) and who darted off on me in the first minute, I think it’s safe to say that I will be training up for next year! If you ran, leave me your time in the comments below, I would love to know and perhaps I will “run” into some of you next year 🙂

 

Stepping out to catch the fireworks tonight,

Suzanne Eden

 

 

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