Category

Healthy Living

Black Lives Matter

By | Healthy Living

Recently, we made a promise to stand up and speak out against racism—not just for the near future, but for the long term.

We at canfitpro believe Black lives matter and that each of us has a role to play in opposing racism, injustice and oppression. We are committed to listening and creating space for Black people and people of colour and in turn, we are firm in our efforts at being self-critical of our business, policies and processes as we continue to strive to be better.

Because we are committed to real change against racial injustice and discrimination we have pledged to the following as a starting point:

  • creating a Diversity & Inclusion Strategy within canfitpro
  • Creation of a Diversity & Inclusion Committee where specific goals will be set and measured. Across the organization, teams will be accountable to uphold these standards.
  • Review all processes including recruitment and hiring practices to ensure we are breaking down barriers that stand in the way of diversity. We are committed to evaluating these practices to make canfitpro a welcoming place to work for everyone.
  • Include practices and create resources that attract diversity to canfitpro and canfitpro’s community
  • Amplifying Black voices. That means increased diversification and representation of Black Creators & People of Colour in our events, videos, webinars, websites, magazines and on our social feeds
  • Create authentic and actionable steps for a more inclusive, long-term content strategy by ensuring diversity and inclusive standards are included in our corporate Culture and Values
  • Continue to make the time and space to learn how to be actively anti-racist.
  • Keep the Conversation Going!

When the hashtags stop trending, canfitpro’s commitment to standing against racism, injustice and oppression won’t end.

We know we haven’t done a good enough job of connecting with our Black community, and we’re going to change that.

If you want to be involved or share your ideas with us, let us know by emailing people@canfitpro.com. We want to hear from you!

Fun in the Sun

By | Healthy Living

By Dr. Tania Bhanji, MDCM, CCFP, Dip P Derm

With the sunny weather finally upon us, many of us will be getting outdoors for some much-needed fresh air. With increasing awareness of the harmful effects of the sun’s UV rays causing photo-aging, sunburns, and skin cancers, sun protection is a staple in any outdoor activity. On cloudy days, 80% of the UV rays from the sun can still penetrate through the clouds to reach your skin. Even darker skin tones are not immune to the sun’s damaging effects. In fact, darker skinned individuals are more likely to develop aggressive forms of skin cancer as they are diagnosed at later stages.  Regardless of skin type or season, sun protection should be an essential part of your daily routine.

Sunscreens are one form of photoprotection to keep your skin safe from the harmful effects of the sun. Sunscreens come in two flavours: inorganic (physical) and organic (chemical).  Inorganic filters (or mineral sunscreens) contain compounds that are chemically inert and physically reflect and prevent UV rays from penetrating the skin, such as zinc oxide and titanium dioxide. Organic filters (or chemical sunscreens) on the other hand, contain biologically active chemicals such as oxybenzone, avobenzone, 4-methylbenzylidene camphor (4-MBC), octisalate, octocrylene, homosalate, and octinoxate that absorb light and create a chemical reaction whereby the light is converted to heat.

Recent studies have shown that approximately one to two percent of topical chemical sunscreens get absorbed into our bloodstream, but have been proven to be both medically and biologically inconsequential. What is more concerning is the effect that these chemicals have on our environment. The chemicals from sunscreens have been identified in treated and untreated water sources worldwide; have been implicated in bleaching coral reefs leading to their death; and affect our marine wildlife in a process called bioaccumulation, whereby the amount of chemical is higher in organisms than the water around them, causing additive detrimental effects to animals as we move up the food chain.

Mineral sunscreens on the other hand, do not get absorbed or affect the environment in the same way as chemical sunscreens. Given their inert nature, mineral based sunscreens are ideal for babies and people with sensitive skin, and offer immediate protection, unlike chemical sunscreens which require 20-30 minutes for absorption. Due to their non-absorbable nature, mineral sunscreens can be harder to apply and leave a thick film on the skin, but newer formulations have a smoother finish, such as Elta-MD’s UV Clear and LaRoche Posay’s Anthelios 50 Mineral.

What about SPF? Sun damage is mostly caused by two forms of ultraviolet radiation: UVA and UVB. UVA causes photoaging and indirect DNA damage through the production of reactive oxygen species by penetrating deeply into your skin. UVB has shallower penetration into the skin and causes redness and direct DNA damage. It is important to protect yourself from both UVA and UVB rays. Sun protective factor (SPF) only reflects the sunscreen’s ability to block UVB rays, so look for labels with “Broad Spectrum” which indicates protection against both UVA and UVB rays.

Surprisingly, higher SPF does not always mean superior protection. Some studies have demonstrated higher risk of sunburns and skin cancers with higher SPF use, due to increased intentional sun exposure. So what sunscreen is right for you?  It is recommended to use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or more, and reapplying every 2-3 hours to ensure adequate sun safety.

Remember that sunscreen is only one form of photoprotection, and it is important to always seek shade when outdoors, especially during peak UV levels (10 a.m. to 2 p.m.).  Photoprotective clothing is an excellent, safe, and inert form of UV protection and should be used regularly in the form of swimwear, wide-brimmed hats, sunglasses, etc.   Remember a few easy steps to being sun safe: slip on clothing, slop on sunscreen, slap on a hat, and seek shade! (SunSmart Program, Australia).

About Dr. Tania Bhanji

Dr. Bhanji is a certified Family Physician with a focused practice in Dermatology. She provides Medical Dermatology Consultations through the Skin Disorders Clinic, as well as Aesthetic Dermatology Consults and Services at PureSkin Dermatology, which she owns and operates in South West London Ontario, next to the flagship Talbot Village Goodlife.

Journaling the Next Generation: Beyond the Basic Food and Diet Journal

By | Healthy Living

By Kathleen Trotter, PTS

The traditional food and exercise journal is — for good reason — a staple of the health field. Too many of us overestimate our healthy choices and drastically underestimate our unhealthy ones — the foods we mindlessly eat, the workouts we skip, the degree to which we rely on coffee, etc.

Asking clients to record their food and exercise builds their “awareness muscle”; the act of recording illuminates the almonds they mindlessly scoop off a co-worker’s desk or the discrepancy between workouts completed and workouts planned. The process produces data that is useful for both of you. Once the client is aware of their current habits they can consciously create better habits. Once the health practitioner knows what a client actually does — vs what they think they do — the practitioner is better able to individualize advice. (Side note: Don’t think that just because we are in the field that we are above journaling. I personally try to journal my habits every few months to make sure my actual lived experiences match how I believe I live my life.)

My suggested journaling tweak is to move beyond the traditional food and exercise log. Sure, the classic “record everything” health journal is a great starting point, but it doesn’t address how we spend our time (and how we spend our time is upstream of our food and exercise choices), it doesn’t help clients connect their exercise habits to their mood, and it doesn’t help clients connect their food choices to their emotions and satiation levels.

Suggest to your clients that they try a time journal, a mood journal, and/or an “X and O” journal

How to Explain Journaling to Clients

I frame journaling to clients as “biceps curls” for their brain — the act of being mindful and recording data builds their “awareness muscle,” and awareness brings choice.

You can’t create new healthier habits until you are aware of your current habits. You can’t decide to stop mindlessly eating a full dinner while cooking or swiping 500 calories of almonds off a co-worker’s desk until you know you are a “nibbler” or a “swiper.” You can’t intentionally choose to spend your time in more productive ways until you know how you currently spend your time.

As the famous business adage goes, “what gets measured gets managed” — you can’t possibly manage your health if you don’t know what you are putting in your mouth or your exercise habits. Once you are aware of your client’s current choices and habits, use the “data” from the journal to create realistic goals and a tailored action plan.

The Three Journals

Time journal

How many times have your clients stated a wish to exercise between sessions, but then been “too busy”? How many times have clients decided to eat well and then “something came up”? If you want your clients to get on top of their health, they have to get in control of their time. Too many of us fritter time away, let emergencies dictate how the day gets used, or have no idea how we actually use our minutes, hours, and days. Time is our most valuable resource — we can’t make more time.

Get clients to journal how they spend their time and then analyze the data. Colour code or use graphs to sort activities — meetings, creative work, time with clients, sleep, time with family, etc. Categories will obviously depend on if clients have a family, their job, etc. Then analyze time allocation. For example, see where they are wasting 20 minutes on social media — with 20 minutes they can do five Tabata intervals and that is a great workout.

Mood journal

Ask clients to track their mood and energy out of 10 pre and post workouts. Why? Often the hardest part of being active is finding the ignition energy to start. Through tracking mood pre and post exercise, one can see that they always feel better post workout. Then, suggest to clients that they use the data to convince themselves to exercise when unmotivated. Possible self-talk could include, “Self, the data shows you always feel better when you move. Even if ‘better’ is only by 0.2, better is still better. Worst case, you work out and feel only marginally better, but you are fitter. Best case, you feel better and you will be fitter. Either way, it beats staying energetically low and being unfit.”

The X and O food journal

This twist on the traditional food journal will help clients build their intuitive eating muscle and connect their food choices to their emotional state.

Tell clients to create an “O” for each meal and snack. If they basically ate well — consumed nutritiously dense food, stopped when full, ate when hungry, stayed hydrated, etc., they place an “X” over the circle and move on. It is only when they go off the rails at a meal or snack that they have to detail their food choices in the circle, as well as the reasons behind the less-than-ideal choice(s). Were they lonely? Sad? Tired? Bored?

After the fact, help clients set up systems that will allow their future self to deal with the emotion in a healthier way. For example, suggest they phone a friend when lonely.

Main take-away

Health doesn’t “just happen.” We all need a way to disconnect from our daily “sprint” and objectively observe and become aware of our thoughts and actions. None of us can become a fitter, healthier, more productive version of ourselves without first becoming aware of current choices, thoughts, and inner dialogue.

About Kathleen Trotter

Kathleen Trotter holds a masters in Exercise Science, is the author of two books including the new book Your Fittest Future Self, and is a Personal trainer, Nutritionist, Pilates Specialist and Life Coach. Visit her at KathleenTrotter.com

Twitter: @FITbyKathleenT

Instagram: @fitbykathleent

Facebook:  FIT by Kathleen Trotter

 

Boosting Awareness of Sarcopenia

By | Healthy Living

By Carol Harrison, RD

Most of us have heard of osteoporosis, but ask people what sarcopenia is and many folks have no idea. Sarcopenia is the progressive loss of muscle mass and strength as we age, and while we can’t stop it, we can slow it down. Here’s what you can share with your fitness participants about why that matters and what they can do about it.

Sarcopenia starts as early as our forties.

There is always individual variability, but from about 40 to 70 years of age we can lose a staggering one quarter of our muscle, and muscle weakness is a well-established risk factor for falls. Avoiding falls and maintaining good muscle function is important for everyday living and can mean more quality years as we age. And don’t we all have an unending bucket list of things to do, many of which require some physical stamina? That’s what this is all about!

Good to know: By 2030—in less than two decades—seniors will number over 9.5 million and make up 23 percent of Canadians. The possibility of increased falls and the stress on our health care system as a result makes sarcopenia a priority health concern.

Resistance exercise is king to offset decline in muscle mass.

According to CSEP, muscle-strengthening activities are those that increase skeletal muscle strength, power, endurance and mass, such as:

  • Lifting weights
  • Working with resistance bands
  • Exercises that use body weight for resistance (e.g., push-ups or sit-ups)
  • Heavy gardening (e.g., digging or shoveling)

Good to know: Only 16% of adults are active enough to reap the health benefits  associated with engaging in regular physical activity. With lower rates of physical activity, the best resistance exercise program is likely the one folks will stick with over the long run.

Protein quality and quantity matters too.

Not all protein foods are created equal. In general, animal sources of protein provide a higher quality and quantity of protein, all for a modest number of calories compared to plant sources (soy is an exception).

For example, animal protein such as beef, dairy, and fish are considered a high quality or complete protein because they provide all nine indispensable (essential) amino acids in proportions that closely match our needs. Nuts, beans, and other plant proteins tend to have a limited amount of one or more of the indispensable amino acids, which is why we must combine a grain at the same meal (rice and beans for example).

The calorie cost of protein is worth considering as well. A 100 gram serving of cooked lean beef provides 35 grams of protein and 245 calories. To get the same amount protein, you’d need to eat 10 tablespoons of peanut butter, 845 calories. Meats are concentrated quality protein sources.

Good to know: Meat, fish, legumes, dairy, nuts and seeds all come with a unique package of beneficial nutrients, so ideally you want to include as much variety throughout the week as possible. Try combining protein in the same meal:

  • Eggs with refried beans
  • Bean and beef burritos
  • Tofu and shrimp stir fry
  • Hemp seeds and yogurt

Aim to eat protein-rich foods at every meal.

It’s becoming widely accepted that the protein recommendation of 0.8 grams of protein/kg body weight per day needs updating, with good evidence showing:

  • Across the lifespan, especially as we age, protein needs are higher than recommended;
  • For optimal muscle synthesis, protein requirements should be set per meal, not per day.

While more precise protein needs can be determined by age, weight, and training schedule a good general guide is to aim for 25 to 30g per meal. Here are some meal ideas to achieve those amounts of protein:

  • Breakfast: ½ cup Greek yogurt (10 g) + ½ cup blueberries (1 g) + ¼ cup walnuts (7 g)  + 1 egg (6 g)
  • Lunch (a leftover beef stir-fry): 75 g grilled beef strips (26 g) + 1 cup stir fry veggies (3 g) + ½ cup cooked brown rice (3 g)
  • Dinner: ½ cup lentil soup (6 g) + 75 g baked salmon (20g) + 1 cup oven-roasted mixed veggies (3g)

For personalized advice, it’s a good idea to recommend clients see a registered dietitian for help.

Good to know: On average, Canadians do not eat too much protein. Currently, Canadians eat about 17% of calories from protein. That puts us at the lower end of the recommended range of 10 to 35% of our calories from protein.

Bottom line: Slowing down the natural loss of muscle that happens as we age starts with taking action as early as our forties. A combination of resistance exercise and a sound diet that includes protein-rich foods can contribute to quality years as we age.

About Carol Harrison

Carol Harrison is a registered dietitian who loves her daily workouts! She has a food nutrition communications company in Toronto. Follow Carol on Twitter and Instagram.

 

5 Health Benefits of Our Green Spaces

By | Healthy Living

Courtesy of the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI).

“Your Yard Contributes to Your Health and Well-Being.”

As you get outside this summer, have you ever considered how our green spaces contribute to our health? Studies show that green space and landscaping contribute to health, happiness, and intellect.

It’s natural to long for spring and summer when it’s cold outside. But did you know there’s a good reason why you may pine for green? Living landscapes are an important part of the outdoor lifestyle that Canadians enjoy, but the benefits go beyond the barbeque and backyard baseball. Green spaces are necessary for your health.

“The advantages of grass and landscaping surpass the usual physical benefits that result from outdoor activity,” said Kris Kiser, president and CEO, Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI). “Numerous studies have found that people who spend more time outside or are exposed to living landscapes are happier, healthier, and smarter. As you get ready to get outside this summer with your lawn mower and other outdoor power equipment, it’s great to know being outside is good for you.”

Researchers have studied the impact of nature on human well-being for years, but recent studies have found a more direct correlation between human health, particularly related to stress, and the importance of people’s access to nature and managed landscapes.

Getting dirty is actually good for you.

Soil is the new Prozac, according to Dr. Christopher Lowry, a neuroscientist at the University of Bristol in England. Mycobacterium vaccae in soil mirrors the effect on neurons that Prozac provides. The bacterium stimulates serotonin production, which explains why people who spend time gardening, doing yard work, and have direct contact with soil feel more relaxed and happier.

Children who are raised on farms in a “dirtier” environment than an urban setting not only have a stronger immune system, but are also better able to manage social stress, according to the National Academy of Sciences.

Living near living landscapes can improve your mental health.

Researchers in England found that people moving to greener areas experienced an immediate improvement in mental health that was sustained for at least three years after they moved. The study also showed that people relocating to a more developed area suffered a drop in mental health.

Greening of vacant urban areas in Philadelphia reduced feelings of depression by 41.5% and reduced poor mental health by 62.8% for those living near the vacant lots, according to a study by a research team.

Green spaces can make you healthier too.

People who live within a half mile of green space (such as parks, public gardens, and greenways) were found to have a lower incidence of fifteen diseases by Dutch researchers — including depression, anxiety, heart disease, diabetes, asthma, and migraines.

A 2015 study found that people living on streets with more trees had a boost in heart and metabolic health. Studies show that tasks conducted under the calming influence of nature are performed better and with greater accuracy, yielding a higher quality result. Spending time in gardens, for instance, can improve memory performance and attention span by 20%.

Living landscapes make you smarter.

Children gain attention and working memory benefits when they are exposed to greenery, says a study led by Payam Dadvand of the Centre for Research in Environmental Epidemiology in Barcelona. In addition, exposure to natural settings may be widely effective in reducing attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder symptoms in children.

This applies to adults as well. Research has also shown that being around plants helps you concentrate better at home and at work. Charlie Hall, Ellison Chair in International Floriculture believes that spending time in gardens can improve attention span and memory performance by as much as 20%.

A National Institute of Health study found that adults demonstrate significant cognitive gains after going on a nature walk. In addition, a Stanford University study found that walking in nature, rather than a concrete-oriented, urban environment, resulted in decreased anxiety, rumination, and negative affect, and produced cognitive benefits, such as increased working memory performance.

Living landscapes help you heal faster.

Multiple studies have discovered that plants in hospital recovery rooms or views of aesthetically-pleasing gardens help patients heal up to one day faster than those who are in more sterile or austere environments.

Physicians are now prescribing time outdoors for some patients, according to recent reports. Park Rx America is a non-profit with a mission to encourage physicians to prescribe doses of nature.

All of these benefits reinforce the importance of maintaining our yards, parks and other community green spaces. Trees, shrubs, grass, and flowering plants are integral to human health. Not only do they provide a place for kids and pets to play, they directly contribute to our mental and physical well-being.

More information can be found by visiting www.turfmutt.com

Exercise for Anxiety: What Works Best?

By | Healthy Living

By Igor Klibanov

As a fitness professional, you undoubtedly know how prevalent anxiety is. You may know people who are living with anxiety. They may be your colleagues, your clients … heck, you might even have it yourself. Sadly, there’s only little information on fitness-based remedies that deal with anxiety reduction (except “exercise is good for you”). You’d think anxiety relief was simply a side effect of exercise, but can anxiety be treated with specific fitness programs?

Do you have clients with anxiety? Read on to learn about what exercises you can recommend to your clients to reduce their anxiety.

I’ll try to be comprehensive, but because there’s a lot to cover, some related questions are outside the article scope, such as nutrition, supplements, and a related condition, depression. For these, see my book, The Mental Health Prescription. Readers of the canfitpro blog can get the free PDF.

What is Anxiety?

Plain old worry differs from clinically diagnosed anxiety (more accurately, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, or GAD.) According to the psychiatric diagnostic manual, DSM-5, the following criteria apply:

  1. Excessive worry lasting at least 6 months. “Excessive worry” happens when the worry is disproportionate to the actual risk. Sometimes, this worry is generalized, diffused, and non-specific. You can’t pinpoint the cause as “if this problem went away, so would my worry.”
  2. Difficulty in controlling the worry
  3. When at least 3 of the following symptoms occur:
  • Edginess or restlessness
  • Unusual fatigue
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Irritability
  • Increased muscle soreness or pain
  • Difficulty sleeping (whether in falling asleep, waking up throughout the night, or not feeling rested when you wake up)
  • Difficulty with daily functioning at work
  • Unrelated to other medical conditions, medications, drugs, alcohol consumption, or to any other mental disorder.

Because GAD is a cognitive disorder, blood tests won’t reveal GAD the way it would confirm high blood sugar, for example. GAD is diagnosed and assessed with clinical questionnaires. One of the most common of these questionnaires is the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI).

In what follows, I will be using the terms “anxiety” and “GAD” interchangeably.

How to Exercise for Anxiety Reduction

The research into what the optimal exercises really are is not as robust as I’d like. There are still many unanswered questions. In this section, I’ll summarize what’s known so far.

Breathing, Yoga, Cardio or Strength Training?

How awesome would it be if one study compared these four types of workouts head-to-head to settle what really is the best for anxiety? Because, unfortunately, that one comparative study is not available yet, let’s take a look at the existing research we have.

  1. BREATHING EXERCISES: In one four-week study, 41 GAD patients who were already on medications for at least 2 months, were asked to undergo a supervised weekly 2-hour breathing training, in addition to daily 20-minute breathing practices, on their own.

The result? 73% reported reduced anxiety and 41% actually went into remission.

  1. YOGA: In one study, 69 GAD sufferers completed 10 days of intense yoga, followed by 6 months of a daily 30-minute yoga practice.The result was a very large initial drop in anxiety, followed by a plateau (but no increase). This study would solidify that yoga as an exercise routine is promising for treating anxiety.
  2. CARDIO and STRENGTH: One 16-week study grouped 42 participants not diagnosed with GAD as follows:
  • relatively low anxiety + cardio
  • relatively low anxiety + strength training
  • high anxiety + cardio
  • high anxiety+ strength training

The result was that no group showed any reductions in their anxiety for the first 8 weeks. The reductions came in weeks 8 to 16.

However, another study has slightly conflicting results. In this study, 30 women with GAD who were on medications for anxiety, were divided into 3 groups:

1: strength training twice per week, lower body exercises only

2: cardio twice per week (cycling)

3: control group: no exercise.

The results show that after 6 weeks, 30% of the no-exercise group experienced remission of their anxiety. Cool. I can see the headlines now: “Sit on your butt. Do nothing. Anxiety gone!”

But there’s more.

In # 2 (cardio), 40% experienced remission.

In # 3 (strength training), 60% of experienced remission.

The clear winner in this study in particular, was strength training.

One study found reduced anxiety immediately after strength training, but levels rose back to baseline within 20 minutes. However, another study found that long-term strength training resulted in more stable reductions. (Unfortunately, the subjects weren’t diagnosed with GAD).

Apparently, there’s more than one way to “skin the anxiety cat.” Different kinds of exercise can help with anxiety.

Confused by these conflicting results? How do you figure out what’s best for individual clients? What’s the right exercise intensity?

Exercise Intensity for Anxiety Reduction

Low-to-moderate. This meta-analysis found that a single bout of high-intensity strength training (over about 70% of 1RM) either causes no change or even increases anxiety. Whereas mostly moderate intensity (50-60% of 1RM) decreases anxiety. In one study, participants reported reductions in anxiety at 10% intensity.

How Long Do You Need to Exercise?

This meta-analysis found that programs longer than 16 weeks reduce anxiety the most. 10 to 15-week programs show moderate effects. Programs shorter than 10 weeks have smaller effects. So the take-away is your business tip for the day: if you offer “anxiety buster” programs, sell packages that have a duration of at least 16 weeks.

Frequency

This meta-analysis found that “more is not always better.” 3-4 days per week reduces anxiety the most-less or more than 3-4 days would produce more negative results.

Exercise vs. Other Therapies

Diagnosed anxiety is a mental disorder that requires either medications, psychotherapy, or both. This meta-analysis that looked at 6 different studies found exercise programs with effects of  “… similar magnitude of the anti-anxiolytic effects from common pharmacotherapy….” But there’s no “either/or” scenario here. Anti-anxiolytics work. Exercise programs work. Just be aware of the anxiety-reducing effects of both.

Why Does Exercise Work?

There’s uncertainty about what specific program works best, but there’s little doubt it works. The geeks among us (like me) want to know why it works.

One theory is the distraction hypothesis: focusing on one thing distracts from the cause of the anxiety. If you’re breathing hard from exercising, you focus on the workout, and temporarily forget what’s causing the anxiety.

Another theory is the serotonin hypothesis. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter (brain chemical) that makes you feel content and relaxed. Exercise helps boost serotonin.

Angela Clow and Sarah Edmunds, authors of Physical Activity and Mental Health, propose that exercise affects brain waves. There are 4 different kinds of brain waves: (1) Beta waves are produced when awake and alert. (2) Alpha waves are produced when deeply relaxed, as when you’re lying in bed, not quite asleep, but not quite awake. (3) Delta waves are produced in early forms of sleep and (4) Theta waves are produced during deep sleep. GAD suppresses Alpha waves. Exercise boosts it.

Clow and Edmunds also suggest that “exercise raises the threshold at which anxiety is felt.” Physical arousal ranges from virtually none (as in Alpha, Delta, Theta) to a lot. GAD lowers the threshold above which there’s a sense of “anxiety”. Exercise helps raise that threshold.

As we’ve seen, exercise for anxiety reduction works in several ways. See my article on physical activity and mental health for more.

Unanswered Questions

The research on exercise as a cure to anxiety is still in its infancy. There are still many unanswered questions, such as:

  • What’s the minimum “dose” of exercise that reduces anxiety?
  • What’s the optimum “dose” of exercise that reduces anxiety?
  • Is there a best “form” of exercise? Is cycling superior to swimming, vs. running, vs. aerobics classes, vs. lifting weights?
  • Are there differences between men and women?
  • Are there differences between young and the elderly?
  • Exercise isn’t a panacea. Can we predict who won’t benefit?
  • What about cardio plus strength training? Is anxiety reduced even more? In theory, maybe, but in practice, maybe not. Synergistic? Antagonistic?

What Works for Your Clients?

We dove into the research studies on how exercise and anxiety are related. Unfortunately, we saw some conflicting results. Do you feel more confused than informed? Let’s help you figure out what works for your own clients

Remember the importance of measurements. You can’t manage what you don’t measure.

Action Steps:

  1. Find an “anxiety questionnaire” online.
  2. Make your client fill it out.
  3. Start them on a program: it can be strength training, cardio, yoga, anything.
  4. After one workout, have them answer the questionnaire again. If the score improved, you’ve found a workable program. If their anxiety hasn’t dropped, try a different program – a different type of exercise, modified intensity, etc.

For my practice, and to see immediate results of a single workout, I have clients fill out a very quick questionnaire before the workout, and immediately after.

Try this questionnaire:

Rate feelings on a 0-5 scale (0: not felt at all; 5: felt very intensely):

Anger:                          0  1  2  3  4  5

Confusion:                   0  1  2  3  4  5

Sadness:                      0  1  2  3  4  5

Vigor:                           0  1  2  3  4  5

Fatigue:                       0  1  2  3  4  5

If post-workout ratings fall, we have an effective program. If ratings worsen, try a different program. Ask the client what caused the score differences. Adjust accordingly. If there’s no clear difference, the first variable to tweak is intensity. Try a lower percentage of 1RM. Try longer breaks between sets or alternate a strength exercise with a stretch/mobility drill.

Here we are – knowing what the research says, so far. Exercise prescriptions depend on the client’s problem. This approach works great for anxiety, but maybe not for depression. To learn more about exercise for depression, download the PDF version of my The Mental Health Prescription – free for canfitpro readers. (It also goes into the nutrition side of anxiety and depression).

About Igor Klibanov

Igor Klibanov is the author of five books on fitness and nutrition, as well as the CEO of one of Toronto’s premier personal training companies, Fitness Solutions Plus. He was selected as one of the top five personal trainers in Toronto by the Metro News newspaper, and has performed approximately 400 speaking engagements, many of which have been to some of Canada’s largest corporations (including RBC, IBM, Intact Insurance, and others).

Additionally, he has multiple programs for personal trainers to enhance their skills and is a regular speaker at various personal training conferences, including canfitpro.

Remembering Sharon Mann

By | Healthy Living

The Fitness Industry has lost an icon and true Role Model.

It is with great sadness that canfitpro announces one of its most dedicated members – Sharon Mann Compagna – passed away peacefully on June 6th after a 4-year battle with cancer.  She was surrounded with the love of her family at her home in Vancouver.

Everyone who knew Sharon, took her classes or participated in any of her training would say the say the same thing – “The world has lost one of the strongest fighters and brightest stars” of our generation.  Her abundant energy, power smile and exuberant and positive personality lifted everyone up.  She inspired everyone on her path.

Sharon was an internationally renowned fitness expert and presenter, who graced the stages at canfitpro since canfitpro started (as BODYLIFE) back in 1993.  She was awarded the “canfitpro Canadian Fitness Presenter of the Year” in 2001 and just this past year received the inaugural “Women Who Influence INSPIRATION” award. This award recognizes a woman in the fitness industry who inspires and Influences those around her, as positive and powerful role model herself. Sharon inspired everyone on her path and influenced hundreds of thousands of people to participate in fitness and become Instructors and trainers. Sharon’s purpose was to connect people to help them become stronger together.

Sharon was my idol when I was first introduced to fitness classes and the gym in my early twenties.  I became a member at her gym in Coquitlam and attended as many of her class as I could.  She is one of the reasons I became a fitness instructor myself and paved the way for what would become my biggest passion and eventually my career” –Andrea Bent, GoodLife Fitness in London, ON

Sharon’s career and journey within the fitness industry was a journey admired by many.  She hosted and co-produced two TV shows “In Shape with Sharon Mann” and “Sharon Mann’s BodyTech” in the 1990’s and, her DVD “The Works With Sharon Mann”, became the number one selling Workout DVD on US home shopping channels.  Sharon was also a 4 time National Sport Aerobic Champion, and over the years contributed to the fitness industry as a innovator and producer of successful cutting edge material for the fitness industry, including producing BURNTRAX music with her husband Tim.

Sharon was not only one of the most respected and admired fitness presenters of our time, she was a caring and loving mom who cherished her three sons and husband. She was a bright light in the world and lit up every room she walked into.  Sharon made real and genuine contributions to helping people improve their lives through fitness.

Over the past 4 years, Sharon battled cancer and this empowered her to find her voice and live her why— “to become the best mother, wife, daughter and friend that I can be. To give back, to share what I’ve learned and to give breast cancer patients hope. To share my knowledge on prevention and to inspire people to take control of their health , ask questions, be curious and to never give up”. –Sharon Mann, 2018 Defyeneurs Magazine.

Her legacy will live on and to help ensure that the fitness industry does not forgot our beautiful sister, canfitpro will dedicate the Women Who Influence INSPIRATION award in memory of Sharon Mann.

This award will be presented annually beginning August 2021 at the 7th annual Women Who Influence event.

Breathwork For Mood Management

By | Healthy Living

By Paul Galloro, B.Msc

Yoga Therapist and Soul Coach

As humans, we have both voluntary and involuntary control over our breath. Don’t think about it, and your breathing will be at the affects of whatever is going on in your mind at the time (stressful thoughts cause short, shallow breaths, peaceful thoughts cause long, deep breaths). When you’re conscious of it, and therefore in control, you are harnessing what the ancient yogis call prana, your life force.

Conscious breathing leads to awareness of the present moment, which allows you to make conscious choices and create a life that accentuates your joy and truth. Something as simple as a 10 second breathing technique is all it takes for you to shift your mind from chaos to clarity.

The following breath practices from my webinar during canfitpro’s Mental Wellness Week allow you to harness your prana and use it to support your daily life.

SMILE BREATHING

Smile breathing is one of my favourite techniques and I use it to refresh my energy when I’m switching gears. For example, when I’m between clients or moving from an activity that requires my brain to one that requires my body.

  1. Inhale, then slowly exhale through your nose and lower your chin to chest and close your eyes
  2. Smile!
  3. Inhale and lift your head
  4. Exhale and open your eyes

People who try this technique say they feel a shift in their energy, a little lighter and more present. Give it a try!

Fast-forward to 3 minutes into the video to give this breathing technique a try!

DIAPHRAGMATIC BREATHING WITH WHISPER BREATH

This is a straightforward breath practice with multiple benefits. It may help to calm you down in moments of stress and anxiety, or energize you when feeling tired. When in doubt, diaphragmatic breathe it out! (Yeah, I know … I’m working on the catchphrase).

  1. Inhale through your nose and fill the bottom of your lungs to expand your abdomen, then slowly exhale. Place your hand on your abdomen if you need to bring awareness to this expansion at first. Repeat this a few times until you get the hang of it.
  2. Inhale through your nose to fill your abdomen and continue breathing into the midsection of the lungs to expand your ribcage, and slowly exhale. Repeat this until you sense an ease in your breathing.
  3. Inhale slowly through your nose to fill your abdomen, expand your ribs, and then into the top of your lungs, and exhale slowly. Do your best to keep the shoulders down and relaxed. Place a hand on your upper chest for focus.
  4. Breathe into all three parts, abdomen, ribs, and chest, for a count of 4 or 5, and exhale slowly for a count of 4 or 5. Adjust the count to your level of comfort, keeping it even for a balancing effect.

Many people say they feel grounded and more present after practicing this technique. You can play with the energy by changing the count of your breath. A longer inhale/shorter exhale will energize, and a shorter inhale/longer exhale will promote relaxation.

To add the whisper breath, practice part 4 as outlined above, but with a slight constriction in the back of your throat. It will sound like a light snore, or waves of the ocean.

Fast-forward to 20 minutes in at the video above in for a demonstration of this breathing technique.

STAIR STEP BREATHING

This energizing practice is great for new-to-breathwork clients because it gives the mind something to do.

I use the image of climbing a set of stairs and sliding down a slide for the first part, and taking an elevator to the top floor and taking the stairs down for the second.

You can experience this technique 28 minutes into Paul's webinar.

  1. Inhale little sips of breath to fill your lungs (around 6 to 10) [steps up the ladder]
  2. Hold for 4 counts [sitting at the top of the slide]
  3. Exhale slowly for 6 counts [sliding down the slide]
  4. Repeat steps 1-3 two more times
  5. Next, inhale for a smooth count of 6 [elevator to the top floor]
  6. Hold for 4 counts [exiting the elevator]
  7. Exhale little puffs through the nostrils (around 8 to 10) [steps down the staircase]
  8. Repeat steps 5-7 two more times
  9. Inhale in little sips until the lungs are filled (like step 1), hold for 4 counts, exhale little puffs (like step 7). Repeat this twice.
  10. End with inhaling little sips (like step 1), hold for four, exhale for 6 counts or longer (like step 3). Repeat this twice.

Once you’ve completed all ten steps, return to a natural breathing pattern and be still for a moment.

Note: Stair Step Breathing should be avoided if you’ve had recent abdominal or chest surgery. For pregnancy, practice only sipping on the inhale.

A regular breath practice not only calms your nervous system, it also trains your mind to be more focused. This is what the ancient yogis call meditation. It takes practice and discipline, but in as little as 10 days you will begin to experience a massive shift in your mind, body, and spirit.

If you’re ready to explore a daily practice of breath work and visualization, check out my 40 Days of Stillness program designed to help you go from chaos to clarity and gain control over your life.

canfitpro members save $63 off this program with code CANFITPRO at checkout.

About Paul Galloro, B.Msc, Yoga Therapist and Soul Coach

Paul’s approach to health and wellness goes beyond the physical, and is grounded in spirit. With 15 years experience in the health and wellness industry and over 20 years studying metaphysics, he blends modern sciences with ancient practices to help his students, patients and clients optimize their physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health. Spending time with Paul feels like being wrapped in a warm hug. His soul calling is to spread joy and serve others on their journey to self-love and embracing their greatness. Visit his website paulgalloro.com

Member FAQs – COVID-19

By | Healthy Living

Updated on May 13, 2020

Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

In Canada, the public health risk associated with COVID-19 is low; however, it is imperative that as health and fitness leaders, we work towards protecting Canadian Fitness Professionals. It’s important as fitness professionals that we lead by example through maintaining our exercise regimes and healthy nutrition practices. We know this helps to support the immune system. Together, let’s encourage people to continue to work out and to pursue personal and professional fitness endeavors, while ensuring they are provided with correct information on how to protect themselves.

Because canfitpro’s number one priority is the safety and security of every canfitpro Member, Delegate, Participant, Associate, and Volunteer, we are working with all our partners to closely monitor the unfolding situation with COVID-19 and are following all available public health guidance to assure healthy and safety. To address questions that you may have or be asked about, we have prepared this “Frequently Asked Questions” with responses to provide all our Members with the most accurate information possible. When, and as circumstances change, additional guidance and direction will be offered via postings on our websites, social media outlets and other public releases.

Due to the developments surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s with a heavy heart that canfitpro has made the necessary and difficult decision to postpone canfitpro 2020 until August 13-15, 2021.  We naturally did not plan for this when we created, printed and distributed 20,000 brochures to all our members and took the usual steps to launch our live event earlier this year.  

At canfitpro, the health, safety, and well-being for our Associates, Members, Presenters, Sponsors, and Exhibitors is our highest priority. Mindful of our duty of care, we want to act on what is in the best interest of our community.

Although these times hold uncertainty, one thing does remain true - there’s a power in people connecting! This is why we’re excited to bring the magic of in-person conferences online for canfitpro 2020 Virtual Series. From your own home, canfitpro 2020 Virtual Series attendees can participate from wherever you are in the world, livestreaming education from fitness experts, leaders, pioneers and innovators from around the globe. You’ll network and chat with one another; and engage with some of the world’s most influential fitness professionals. You’ll even connect in a virtual expo hall!

Stay connected on our social channels and watch your inbox for details on canfitpro 2020 Virtual Series. Registration information will be available in the coming weeks.

Thank you for your support during this unprecedented time. We’re eager to stay connected with you in the virtual world. It is your passion for health and fitness that helps make canfitpro events a success every year and it is that same passion that will drive us into the future. 

We’ll see you at canfitpro 2020 Virtual Series – the event you won’t want to miss!

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected us all personally, and professionally, in a variety of ways.  The fitness industry presents a myriad of ways to work and there is no ‘one size fits all’ solution to your current situation. canfitpro has compiled various programs currently available to help Canadian individual and businesses, during this unprecedented time to help guide you towards a solution that may be best for you.

Please check this video for the information you need.

For new certification courses, you can re-book your course with us later in the year, free of charge. canfitpro will be immediately granting 60 day extensions to certification renewals that are due March through August.  Please note that courses, theory and practical exams can be re-booked later in the year free of charge or taken online with a PRO TRAINER.  (Note: CPR courses can only be taken in -person.)

Immediate extensions have been granted to complete certification courses and CPR courses can be re-booked, free of charge.  Your certification will not be affected if your CPR is delayed.

For course or exam re-bookings, kindly contact us at info@canfitpro.com or 1.800.667.5622.

All courses, exams and CPR courses that were scheduled to take place prior to June 22nd, 2020 are being re-scheduled.  Please check out the full list of available in-person and virtual courses and exams in the canfitpro portal.

Right now, you can take advantage of some of the free education and resources that canfitpro offers:

  • Review the canfitpro magazine – back issues are in your canfitpro member portal
  • Use Trainers+ to get ideas and create workouts for yourself and/or clients in our canfitpro member portal – canfitpro members receive a 40% discount
  • Watch webinars, interviews, and workouts on the canfitpro YouTube channel, where topics range from How to Run a Successful Personal Training Business to The Science of Yin Yoga

Start thinking of new ways to support clients virtually – here are credible and reliable fitness sources to share with your people!

canfitpro Partners and PRO TRAINERS

Looking for best-in-class online workouts? Check out the canfitpro curated list of at-home exercise to help you, and your network, stay healthy:

Reach out to your clients and share value on social media. canfitpro endorses the following expert resources as the most reliable and credible fitness education.  Some of our partners are also offering education, at a discount, during this time.  We know that more are working to provide information soon to help you stay current.  

canfitpro is here for you. Keep watching canfitpro’s social media channels, and your inbox, for additional updates, information, and resources as we navigate the uncertainty caused by COVID-19.

This has been a very challenging time for everyone, especially those of us in the fitness industry who passionately serve Canadians.  Since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak, we have been closely tracking its progression and following the advice of Canada’s health authorities.

As the virus continues to spread in communities across Canada, especially over the past 48 hours, we are seeing the need for further and more aggressive action to try and reduce the transmission of this virus.  

GoodLife Fitness and Fit4Less Clubs across Canada have made the difficult but important and necessary decision to close all their clubs across Canada, effective today, March 16, 2020.

As the leading global provider of fitness and wellness education, canfitpro empowers people to lead passionate and fulfilling lives through safe, fun and effective physical activity.  There is no moment in our history where that purpose is more important than today.  We encourage all clubs, studios and facilities within the country to follow the lead set by GoodLife and Fit4Less. It is an unfortunate but necessary thing to do.  canfitpro will continue to closely monitor the situation as it relates to our regional events and will provide updates relating to those events as they become available.  

For 27 years canfitpro has been a leading authority in the fitness industry and we would anticipate and hope the industry follow responsibly, the lead of GoodLife in closing fitness clubs, studios and facilities. 

We fully appreciate the financial difficulty that this poses to the industry however these same difficulties are imposed on the employees and all efforts should be made wherever possible to minimize the detrimental financial effects felt by those that are least able to deal with them.  We know that GoodLife has made the decision to continue to pay Associates for a period of time and while we cannot say what’s viable for your individual club(s), we hope that you take the well-being of your staff into consideration. 

We appreciate that this places a burden on all of our businesses as we deal with the situation with which we are presented. There’s no better time to work together as a community to create a positive and safe environment for you, your family, and your members’ and clients’ families.

Due to recent developments surrounding the COVID-19 outbreak and based on the latest guidance and official announcements made by the Canadian government, it is with a heavy heart that canfitpro has made the necessary and difficult decision to cancel canfitpro East 2020, originally scheduled to take place on May 23 – May 24, 2020. 

At canfitpro, the health, safety, and well-being of Associates, Members, Delegates, Exhibitors, Sponsors, and Partners is our highest priority. Mindful of our duty of care, we want to act on what is in the best interest of our community. Although this is a disappointment, we look forward to hosting and celebrating future canfitpro East conferences and events with you, and we hope to see you at canfitpro Toronto 2020 this August! 

For those delegates who require continuing education credits (CECs) to maintain your certifications, canfitpro offers a variety of online courses that can be accessed through your member portal.   You will be offered a special extension if your certification expires as a result of not attending canfitpro East. Please stay tuned for additional options to obtain continuing education credits. 

We thank you for understanding the extreme difficulty of our position. It is your passion for health and fitness that helps make canfitpro events a success every year. And it is that same passion that will drive us into the future. 

Next Steps:  
Please remember to cancel any personal arrangements you’ve made, such as travel, restaurant, and housing reservations. You do not need to contact anyone at canfitpro to cancel your registrations and full refunds will be provided. Please note that canfitpro East 2020 will not be rescheduled. However, we hope to see you at canfitpro East 2021! 

Due to recent developments surrounding the COVID-19 outbreak and based on the latest guidance and official announcements made by the Canadian government, it is with a heavy heart that canfitpro has made the necessary and difficult decision to cancel canfitpro Winnipeg 2020, originally scheduled to take place on April 4, 2020.

At canfitpro, the health, safety, and well-being of Associates, Members, Delegates, Exhibitors, Sponsors, and Partners is our highest priority. Mindful of our duty of care, we want to act on what is in the best interest of our community. Although this is a disappointment, we look forward to hosting and celebrating future canfitpro Winnipeg conferences and events with you, and we hope to see you at canfitpro Toronto 2020  this August!

 
For those delegates who require continuing education credits (CECs) to maintain your certifications, canfitpro offers a variety of online courses that can be accessed through your  member portal.   You will be offered a special extension if your certification expires as a result of not attending canfitpro Winnipeg. Please stay tuned for additional options to obtain continuing education credits.
 
We thank you for understanding the extreme difficulty of our position. It is your passion for health and fitness that helps make canfitpro events a success every year. And it is that same passion that will drive us into the future.
 
Next Steps: 
Please remember to cancel any personal arrangements you’ve made, such as travel, restaurant, and housing reservations. You do not need to contact anyone at canfitpro to cancel your registrations and full refunds will be provided. Please note that canfitpro Winnipeg 2020 will not be rescheduled. However, we hope to see you at canfitpro Winnipeg 2021!

Due to recent developments in the province of Quebec and based on the latest guidance and official announcements of Quebec’s Premier Francois Legault, it is with heavy heart that canfitpro has made the necessary and difficult decision to cancel canfitpro Montreal 2020, originally scheduled to take place March 27-29, 2020 in Montréal, QC, Canada.

At canfitpro, the health, safety and well-being of Associates, Members, Delegates, Exhibitors, Sponsors and Partners is our highest priority. Mindful of our duty of care, we want to act on what is in the best interest of our community. Although this is a disappointment, we look forward to hosting and celebrating future canfitpro Montreal conferences and events with you.

For those delegates who require continuing education credits (CECs) to main your certifications, canfitpro will follow up with options for online courses and will grant a special extension for members who certification might expire as a result of not attending canfitpro Montreal.

We thank you for understanding the extreme difficulty of our position. It is your passion for health and fitness that helps make canfitpro Montreal a success every year. And it is that same passion that will drive us into the future.

Next Steps

Please remember to cancel any personal arrangements you’ve made, such as travel, restaurant, and housing reservations. You do not need to contact anyone at canfitpro to cancel your registrations and full refunds will be provided. Please note that canfitpro Montreal 2020 will not be rescheduled. However, we hope to see you at canfitpro Montreal 2021!

Ensuring the safety of our associates and members is our top priority. We want to maintain our service as best as possible during this time. The canfitpro Home Office, located at 110-225 Select Ave., Toronto, ON, M1X 0B5 is closed to the public due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) until further notice.
Our phones lines have re-opened as of July 13, 2020. Our Member Experience Team can be reached at (800) 667-5622.
Our new member portal has been set up to help you manage your canfitpro account, including sending inquiries. You can still contact us by submitting a New Request through the “Support Centre” section in the member portal or send an inquiry to info@canfitpro.com. We appreciate your continued patience while we diligently work to support all our members, PRO TRAINERs and customers. Please visit the canfitpro contact page for more information.

canfitpro is following the recommendation of every major public health agency, including the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), to encourage all canfitpro Members, Delegates, Participants, Associates, PRO-TRAINERS, and Volunteers to regularly wash their hands using water and soap which is available at all of our events, workshops, classes, and in-person courses. This is the most effective way to reduce the spread of all communicable illnesses including COVID-19.

We are reminding canfitpro Members, Delegates, Participants, Associates, PRO-TRAINERS, and Volunteers to stay healthy and prevent the spread of infections by doing the following:

  • wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds as per the PHAC’s recommended method of proper hand hygiene
  • avoid touching eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands
  • avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • coughing or sneezing into their sleeve or tissues and not hands
  • staying home if sick to avoid spreading illness to others
  • maintain at least 1 metre (3 feet) distance from anyone who is coughing or sneezing

Public Health Agencies have procedures in place to trace potential contact should an individual be diagnosed with COVID-19. If canfitpro is informed by these Agencies that there has been a confirmed case of COVID-19, canfitpro will immediately and closely follow the direction given by the Agencies. This could include temporarily rescheduling courses or workshops.

canfitpro is following the recommendation of every major public health agency, including the Public Health Agency of Canada, to encourage canfitpro Members, Delegates, Participants, Associates, PRO-TRAINERS and Volunteers to regularly wash their hands using water and soap which is available at all of our venues. This is the most effective way to reduce the spread of all communicable illnesses including COVID-19. We are increasing education and awareness through signage, digital and verbal communications to further promote the PHAC’s hand hygiene guidelines.

During Events and In-Person Courses, we are advising limited physical contact:

  • When checking-in, your belongings will not be handled (e.g. key tags, lanyards, etc.)
  • Verbal direction and encouragement will be provided instead of physical contact during courses and workshops
  • At least 1 metre (3 feet) distance from anyone who is coughing, or sneezing will be maintained
  • Shaking hands will be avoided

canfitpro is closely monitoring information and recommendations from the Public Health Agency of Canada. We are sending out ongoing communication to keep our sanitization procedures as thorough as possible and to provide best practices in hand washing and respiratory hygiene. Should new information be shared by public health experts, we will re-evaluate and update our procedures, if needed.

canfitpro is following the travel guidelines of the Public Health Agency of Canada which can be located here. If any questions about your health while travelling or upon returning from a trip please immediately contact your health care professional (e.g. your doctor or local Public Health Authority) to seek advice. If you become sick while travelling, call ahead to a health professional to explain your symptoms. If you become sick upon your return, call your local Public Health Authority. They will provide advice on what you should do.

As usual, those with flu-like symptoms, who have not travelled internationally to an affected region, should stay at home. 

Those who have travelled to an affected region, or have had close contact with a person ill with COVID-19, should limit their contact with others for a total of 14 days from the date that they left the affected region or were in contact with a person ill with COVID-19. This means self-isolate and staying at home. In addition, they should contact their local public health authority within 24 hours of arriving in Canada. Travellers returning from other affected areas should monitor for symptoms. Those who develop symptoms (fever, cough, difficulty breathing) or any other symptoms within 14 days after returning to Canada, are advised to contact your health-care provider, or local health authority. Inform them about your symptoms and travel history. If you are not already isolated, self-quarantine yourself in your home.

Travellers returning from other affected areas should monitor for symptoms. Those who develop symptoms (fever, cough, difficulty breathing) or any other symptoms within 14 days after returning to Canada, are advised to contact Telehealth Ontario (1-866-797-0000), your health-care provider, or local health authority. Inform them about your symptoms and travel history. If you are not already isolated, self-quarantine yourself in your home.

There are no plans to screen individual delegates. Every delegate is encouraged to be diligent and proactive as to their own physical wellness as well as follow healthy habits to prevent passing the cold/flu to others.

The safety and security of every canfitpro attendee, delegate, exhibitor, and associate and volunteer is priority number one for canfitpro, and all partners. We work to assure that priority is fulfilled and canfitpro will always make decisions that ensure the safety, security and success of everyone involved.

Yes, canfitpro will issue a full refund in the amount paid should any event be cancelled by canfitpro. As long as canfitpro is moving forward with the Conference, those who choose to not attend will not receive a refund. A doctor’s note will be required if you want to get a refund if you are sick and unable to attend a canfitpro Event and/or Conference.

Are You Ready For What Comes Next?

By | Healthy Living

By Mike Lipkin

Yes, I know you’re still in shock. I know your life has been blown up. I know that no-one knows specifically what will happen next, or exactly when it will happen.

But that’s precisely my point. Getting ready for what happens next doesn’t mean you need to know exactly what and when things will occur, but there are some things about the future that we know for sure. And that’s what we need to prepare for. We cannot do more and we dare not do less.

Now is the time to anticipate the immediate future and take action on The Ten Things that We Need To Get Ready For:

FAD: Fear, Anxiety and Doubt

Fear, anxiety and doubt will be the dominant emotions for the foreseeable future.

Our foundations have been rocked to the core. We’re all unsteady on our feet. We need to manage our own FAD while we help others manage theirs. People will be drawn to those that boost their confidence, certainty and clarity.

Contact Avoidance

We will protect our space like our lives depend on it.

No hugging, kissing or shaking hands – except with the people closest to you. So keep your social distance. But learn to hug, kiss and embrace others with your words, your voice and your body language. Express your excitement. Declare your joy. Sound like you mean it. Look at others and smile from your soul.

Virtual Communication

Physical meetings will resume gradually. But even when we get back together, we will stay virtual. So master your virtual presence. Light yourself up. Build your online charisma. Become a Zoom wizard or a Webex warrior or a real Teams player. Make it a real pleasure to be with you or disappear into digital oblivion.

Global Contraction

Flat will be the new up. The world will shrink before it grows again. The recovery will be more like a swoosh than a V. Margins will be compressed. Consumers will be cautious. Non- essential spending will be curbed. Cost containment will be the order of the day. So become an essential service. Offer so much value that you cannot be refused. Differentiate yourself by going above and beyond anything you’ve done before.

Trust in Tribes

With so much uncertainty, we will endeavour to get into our comfort zones. We will seek the safety of the tried and tested. We will turn to the people that have come through for us in the crunch moments. We will rely even more on the guidance of our inner circles. We will shop local wherever we can. Geography matters again. So activate your power base. Connect with the people that you’ve served very well. Show them that you’re at your best when things are at their worst. Communicate frequently and meaningfully.

Breakneck Breakthroughs

Welcome to the epic reboot. The Next Normal has made so many things instantly obsolete. The problems confronting us will require a higher order of daring and inventiveness. Speed responds to need. Urgency is rocket fuel for creativity. Nothing galvanizes the mind like the lack of an alternative. Innovation and ingenuity will be the currency of survival. What can you do to help your team and customers become new and improved? And who do you need to help you?

The Great Give-back

To those that have earned much, much is expected.

Philanthropy is mandatory. Social Purpose will be a game- changer. Clients and customers will choose their partners on the basis of the contributions they’ve made especially during this period. Collective generosity is what will bind the village together. In ways both big and small, we all need to give, give, give. Altruism will pay big dividends.

Healthy Gratitude

Since the outbreak of COVID-19, the one desire shared by everyone is to get their life back. All our research shows that resuming our daily routines is what we crave most. The simple act of going into a store, eating in a restaurant or even just having a real, live meeting seems miraculous. In the short term, no one is going to take anything for granted, especially their health. In fact, just testing negative is cause for celebration. So express your appreciation for the special moments and the people that help create them. If you see it, say it.

Authentic Humanity

Nothing will change our longing for human contact. We’re social animals. We need to be close to others. We need to share, laugh, lament, gossip, stumble and fumble together. In the absence of physical touch, we need to be reminded of what it feels like to be human. Slick and perfect doesn’t work in a pandemic. As Leonard Cohen sings, the crack is how the light gets in. So unconstrain yourself. Let people see the person behind the mask.

Have the courage to be vulnerable.

Personal Precedent

No matter who you are, you’ve never been through this experience before. You’re deciding what to think and do every day like its day one. You’re amazed by what you see and how it impacts your world. You watch the news. You follow the media. You see how people are surprised and humbled by daily events. Like the rest of us, you have to go where you’ve never gone before. But every step makes you bolder and better. Very soon, you’ll discover that someone else is following in your footsteps. We’re all a role model to somebody. That’s how progress is done.

Remember: not all times in life are created equal.

What you do in the next six weeks can transform your life forever.

Stay in touch.

Download this as a PDF.

VisitMike Lipkin's website, or follow him on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.