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Holiday Health and Fitness Challenge: a wholesome head start for 2014

[portfolio_slideshow id=6078] A hearty congratulations are in order to us all. We made it through the toughest, most temptation-filled, overindulgent part of the holidays!

Sure, there’s still one more epic night of jubilation, but New Year’s Eve is less about stuffing ourselves with delicious food, and more about celebrating (with possibly one-too-many drinks) what was hopefully a healthy, happy and bountiful 2013, while wishing the best to each other for the year ahead.

As we start thinking about our resolutions for 2014–whether it’s quitting smoking, eating healthier, exercising more, or a host of other healthy lifestyle improvements–now is a good time to also start taking the initial steps towards achieving those resolutions. Why wait until January 2nd to reboot a healthy lifestyle?

Whether you’re still scuttling between the final few office parties and family gatherings, or you’re on a sun-filled vacation, Mountain Trek has come up with a manageable way to reset your perspective and kick start a fresh, healthier you.

Join us for our Holiday Health and Fitness Challenge– seven days of effective tasks to improve your overall health. Complete the challenge and we think you’ll find that sticking to your New Year’s resolutions will be that much easier.

We’d love to hear about your experience during the Holiday Health and Fitness Challenge. Keep us posted on your progress, the hurdles that you face and how you feel at the end. Good luck!

December 29, 2013: 
Day One: CORE

Challenge: We start our challenge by focusing on our core. Functional movements are highly dependent on the core, and lack of core development can result in a predisposition to injury. The major muscles of the core reside in the area of the belly and the mid and lower back, and peripherally include the hips, the shoulders and the neck.

Task: There are many core-strengthening exercises you can do, from knee fold tucks, to ball routines, to plank exercises. Find a few that you feel comfortable with and try them out at some point today.

December 30, 2013: 
Day Two: DETOX

Challenge: Our lifestyles put our bodies to the test. Rising stress levels, lack of exercise, constipation, poor diet and poor lifestyle choices – not to mention the ever-increasing levels of toxins in our environment – push our bodies to their limits. While it’s impossible to avoid toxins completely, it’s important to support your body so it can get rid of them.

Task: Today we challenge you to an infrared sauna. An infrared sauna uses infrared heaters to emit infrared light experienced as radiant heat, which is absorbed by the surface of the skin. Taking a 20-minute infrared sauna is a great way to sweat out toxins, with a side benefit of weight loss.

December 31, 2013:
Day Three: NUTRITION

Challenge: Today we want you to eat breakfast. And not only that, we want you to eat breakfast within a half hour of waking up. So many of us skip breakfast altogether. Not today. Eating breakfast kick starts our metabolism, supports our circadian rhythms and keeps our livers from initiating the “famine” response.

Task: Make yourself a fruit and veggie smoothie (or prepare it the night before and keep it in the fridge), enjoy a bowl of muesli, scrambled eggs, or broccoli and smoked cheese frittata in the morning. Whatever your choice try and include equal volumes of complex carbohydrates, protein, vegetables or fruit, as well as a teaspoon of omega oil.

January 1st, 2014:
Day Four: SLEEP

Challenge: This one shouldn’t be too much of a challenge, especially if you’ve been up celebrating the night before.
As an adult, our being needs between 7.5 and 9 hours of sleep in a 24 hour period, in order to maintain a healthy, growth-centered metabolism.

Task: The challenge on this night is to go to bed early (get cozy in bed between 9 and 10pm) and sleep relatively undisturbed for 7 to 9 hours.
If, like so many of us, you spend too many hours on your computer, download justgetflux.com. During the day, computer screens look good—they’re designed to look like the sun. But, at 9PM, 10PM, or 3AM, you probably shouldn’t be looking at the sun. The f.lux software fixes this: it makes the color of your computer’s display adapt to the time of day, warm at night and like sunlight during the day.

Have a good night…

January 2nd, 2014
Day Five: STRESS

Challenge: For some of us, today’s challenge may be the toughest… a gadgetry detox. Try one full day without a technological gadget or social media platform that usually has you so absorbed in it that you feel a sense of panic when that thing is temporarily taken a way from you.

Always being available to answer an email or take a call from someone at work has made our workdays 10 to 14 hours long (in some cases longer).

Task: Just for today, turn it all off! Your heart rate just went up didn’t it? You’ll be okay.

If it’s absolutely not possible to turn it all off, try one gadget at a time. Turn off your cell phone, or try no emailing, or no television, or no Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. And substitute the dopamine fix that you usually get from the gadgets, with a healthy dopamine boost. Shut your cell off, go for a hike. Substitute a no-social-media-day with a day of visiting friends and family. Turn it all off and fill your day with yoga, meditation, and healthy cooking.

 January 3rd, 2014
Day Six: WILLPOWER

Challenge: Admittedly, if you successfully went through a gadget detox the day before, then your willpower is on the right track. But now it’s time to strengthen it even more, because today is the day you engage one of your resolutions for 2014.

Task: Pick a healthy habit and embrace it. Today is the day you start yoga classes, or begin healthy cooking classes, or reconnect with an estranged loved one, start writing that novel you’ve always wanted or find some way to love yourself a little more every day. Whatever it is, seize the day with open arms, open mind and open heart.

January 4th, 2014
Day Seven: NATURE

Challenge: Has it been a while since you’ve explored and enjoyed the great outdoors?  On this, the final day of our Heath and Fitness Challenge, we urge you to get outside and play. We don’t need science to tell us that doing some form of healthy activity outdoors is good for the soul.

Task: Take your dog for a long walk along the beach, go for a hike with your son, snowshoe with your daughters, cross-country ski with an old friend, swim in the ocean with your spouse, stroll through the neighbourhood with your grandchild, or ride bikes with your mom. Whatever it is, get out there, breath the fresh air and be thankful that you’ve made it another year!

Once again, let us know how you do, we’d love to hear from you and good luck!

Embracing an Attitude of Gratitude

thank you written in tiles on a wooden table with a hand holding a heart tile

A steaming hot mug of peppermint tea. Sharing a good laugh with your best friend on the phone. Going for a hike on a crisp, clear, fall day. Thanksgiving; a time to reflect on all we have to be thankful for! But is putting gratitude on the calendar one day a year enough to embrace this attitude?

In a recent study, two groups of people were asked to journal 5 things each day over a two week period: group one, 5 things for which they were grateful, and group two, 5 things that were a hassle. The benefits for those who jotted down their daily appreciation were clear. These grateful people showed more alertness, optimism, enthusiasm, energy, and determination. They showed lower cortisol (stress hormone) levels, lower blood pressure, and reported less depression, better sleep, and a higher likelihood of achieving personal goals. Not to mention the positive impact on the way they think and feel! In essence: expressing gratitude regularly contributes to overall happiness in a big way.

Seems like recognizing our blessings is a worthwhile activity! But how can we go about feeling and showing our thanks? Here are some simple ideas to get your attitude of gratitude flowing.

How to Make Space for Gratitude

Gratitude Journal

Just like Oprah suggested way back when, get yourself a journal, and as a great addition to your morning or evening ritual, jot down 5 (or more!) things for which you are grateful. This gratitude can be for ANYTHING, big or small! Your loving partner, the particularly delicious apple you ate earlier, existence, the kind smile from the old lady in the line up at the grocery store, anything. If you’re short on time, this needn’t be a hassle – keep a small notebook with you, and in those in between moments when you’re waiting for your dentist appointment or your daughter’s Judo lesson to wrap up, make that time count by writing some notes of thanks.

Gratitude Rock

A gratitude rock is a small keepsake or memento, and the idea is that when you touch it or see it, you take a moment to feel gratitude and say thanks. You can keep it in your pocket, your purse, in the console of your car, the table in your entranceway where you drop your keys when you walk in the door, anywhere that works. And of course, this doesn’t need to be an actual rock! It can be a small figurine, your key chain, anything that works for you to initiate those thankful thoughts.

Consistently acknowledging and appreciating the people who make a difference in our lives

Sometimes we feel gratitude towards someone for doing a special something for us, or just for being who they are. Instead of keeping this feeling within, why not take a moment to express this gratitude, and let them know we appreciate their presence? As William Arthur Ward said, “Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.” This can be in the form of a phone call, a quick email or text, or even taking the time to write a thank you note or card. And by the way, acknowledging the people who make a positive impact in our lives includes appreciating yourself!

It seems as though we could all benefit from counting our blessings and adopting an attitude of gratitude! So, as we celebrate Thanksgiving this year, what are you thankful for?

Happy Thanksgiving from Mountain Trek!


What is Mountain Trek?

Mountain Trek is the health reset you’ve been looking for. Our award-winning health retreat, immersed in the lush nature of British Columbia, will help you detox, unplug, recharge, and roll back years of stress and unhealthy habits. To learn more about the retreat, and how we can help you reset your health, please email us at info@mountaintrek.com or reach out below:

Review Magazine Features Mountain Trek

Review Magazine Article_cover-smWriter Leigh Doyle interviewed regular Mountain Trek alumni Jean Aldridge for an article called “Exercise Escape” that appeared in this summer’s issue of Review magazine. The story was all about how Jean visits Mountain Trek to and discussed why she returns every six months: “It’s like adult day camp with planned activities and meals ready for you,” she’s quoted as saying.

The article goes on to say, “A week-long fitness vacation can kick-start motivated individuals into making serious changes by showing them how regular exercise, proper eating and dedicated de-stress time can do the body good.”

Click the thumbnails below to read the entire article:

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Mountain Trek Showcased on Revealed Presence Photography Web Site

revealedpresenceRecently professional photographer and public speaker Carla Kimball visited Mountain Trek and documented a few of her days at our spa resort in beautiful southern British Columbia.

Carla posted the photos on her web site www.revealedpresence.com  including images such as the one shown here of our yoga studio, hiking packs lined up along the wall awaiting the day’s adventures, and the beautiful Kootenay lake with the Selkirk mountains in the background.

According to Carla (who is also a public speaking presence coach) the intention of her blog “is to share an image of revealed presence each day.”

We thank Carla for revealing the presence in our retreat.

 

 

 

Join us for the Mountain Trek “Super Reboot” Week

Working togetherAugust is the month for recreation, relaxation and retreat. You’ve worked hard all year and now you deserve to take some time for yourself: it’s time to leave behind the stresses and worries of your job, or whatever it is that occupies too much of your time, if even for a little while. Whether you need to do this on your own, or you’re happy to have your spouse, family or friends join you, it’s time to treat yourself to a Mountain Trek experience! And that experience just got stepped up a notch…

As many of you already know, a week or two at Mountain Trek is a life-changing adventure. Nowhere else offers the unique combination of spa, vacation and boot camp that is the Mountain Trek experience. With our luxurious alpine lodge as your comfortable home base, you’ll experience world-class hiking, and nutrition and lifestyle guidance that will boost your metabolism and shift you into a lasting, healthy state of body and mind for the rest of the year, and beyond!

And now, for the first time ever, Mountain Trek is offering an above-and-beyond experience called the “Super Reboot” week. From August 24-31, 2013, we’ll be offering a unique event, workshop and lecture each day in addition to the regular workouts and massages we provide. And, at no extra cost!

Why are we doing this? Because you deserve it! Here are the additional events you can expect to experience between this coming August 24-31:

Healthy Cosmetics

Did you know there might be lead in your lipstick? In fact there are toxins in many of our everyday body care products and in this evening workshop a beautician expert from Mountain Waters Spa will be discussing the hidden chemicals in shampoos, make-up and other skin and body care products. She will share ways to avoid these products and offer alternate brands that do not pose a risk to our health.

Laurie ChefCooking Re-Mastered with Chef Laurie Hartland

Laurie Hartland is Mountain Trek’s kitchen manager and chef who specializes in creating the healthiest meals possible using seasonal, locally-sourced, organic ingredients. In this workshop she’ll teach you how to make the same quick and healthy meals that she’s mastered for our resort and give you recipes to take home with you to wow your family and friends.

Office Posture Demystified

For the evening Postural Alignment Workshop we take an in-depth look at what postural dysfunction can look like, and what simple and effective things we can do to help correct this. Our instructor, Anna Topf, is a kinesiologist and she’ll spend time with each client looking at their specific spinal curvature and then provide take-home strategies that will help improve your posture so you’ll look and feel better.

Art Therapy with Milli

Art Therapy combines visual art and psychotherapy in a process using a created image as a foundation for self-exploration and understanding. Thoughts and feelings are often easier to express through images rather than in words and this class will allow you to explore your emotions and current state-of-mind through a creative medium. Registered Art Therapist Milli Neufeld-Cummings will have you working with paper and paints to release unconscious feelings and improve your overall well-being.

The Science of Face Reading

Experts say that in China, good doctors can identify 70% of a person’s health problems by examining the patient’s face. The Traditional Chinese Medicine art of face reading can be used as a way of determining the personality and characteristics of a person, and can even be used as a diagnostic tool to help prevent illness. Experts say the health conditions indicated by face readings aren’t set in stone, they’re simply warning signs, but you can heed these signs and make adjustments to protect your long-term health. Join our expert Kendra Starr, Dr. of Traditional Chinese Medicine, as she performs face readings and offers tips and tricks about how to do it yourself.

So, whether you’re a returning Mountain Trek client or new to our world-class hiking retreat, tucked away in the southern British Columbia wilderness, we’d love for you to come join us for our one-of-a-kind “Super Reboot” program between August 24-31, 2013. Click here to find out more info.

 

14 Hacks To Ensure the Best Travel/Trek Experience Ever

geisha in a yellow field holding a paper craneWhen Mountain Trek visited Peru last Spring, we found the following list in one of the beautiful lodges we stayed at. It includes 14 tips for ensuring you have the best travel and trekking experience ever. We thought there was some good wisdom in it that should be shared, especially now that we’re offering pre-registration for our 2014 Spring Hiking Vacation in Japan. On that trip we’ll be exploring the Tokaido (the traditional path of the Shogun), the Shikoku Temples, the world-famous vine bridges and we’ll be relaxing in Onsens every night. (An Onsen is a traditional hot spring accommodation.) Click here and tick the box at the bottom of the page if you would like more information regarding our Japan adventure in 2014.

In the meantime, enjoy these poignant pieces of advice and think of them when you pack your bags to explore the beauties of your own country or to travel around the world.

Travel lightly

You are not travelling for people to see you

Travel slowly

Jet planes are for getting places, not seeing places: take time to absorb the beauty and inspiration of a mountain or temple.

Travel expectantly

Every place you visit is like a surprise package to be opened. Untie the strings with an expectation of high adventure.

Travel hopefully

“To travel hopefully is better than to arrive,” wrote Robert Louis Stevenson.

Travel humbly

Visit people and places with reverence and respect for their traditions and ways of life.

Travel courteously

Consideration for your fellow travellers and your hosts will smooth the way through the most difficult days

Peru Adventure Trek

Peru Adventure Trek

Travel gratefully

Show appreciation for the many things that are being done by others for your enjoyment and comfort.

Travel with an open mind

Leave your prejudices at home.

Travel with curiosity

It is not how far you go, but how deeply you go that mines the gold of experience. Remember that Thoreau wrote a big book about the very tiny Walden Pond.

Travel with imagination

As the Spanish proverb goes, “He who would bring home the wealth of the Indies must carry the wealth of the Indies with him.”

Travel fearlessly

Banish worry and timidity; the world and its people belong to you just as you belong to the world.

Travel relaxed

Make up your mind to have a good time and let go.

Travel patiently

It takes time to understand others, especially when there are barriers of language and custom. Keep flexible and adaptable to all situations.

Travel with the spirit of a world citizen

You’ll discover that people are basically much the same the world around. Be an ambassador of good will to all people.

Cherry Blossoms in Japan+ 6 Bonus Tips:

  • Always pause, at least for 15 seconds and take it all in. The destination is only as beautiful as the journey.
  • Make an effort to associate your feelings of peace and tranquility with a landmark on the trip. This will come in handy when you are back home.
  • Think about your loved ones. If you are with them, share and bond. If they are not with you, lend them your senses.
  • Learn with every footstep, every word, every sense.
  • Look up at the sky at night at least once. Try to understand how ancient civilizations guided themselves by this.
  • Let go, at least once during your trip. Do something you would not normally do.

Mountain Trek on BC Living’s Must Do List

bc living logoBC Living has just listed Mountain Trek as one of their “To Do” activities in the province.

The story, written by Anna Dupas, lists ten things residents and visitors to British Columbia should do. Of Mountain Trek, Dupas writes:

“this alpine resort offers invigorating exercise, organic cuisine, detoxing saunas and massages — as well as classes in nutrition, stress management and sleep hygiene.”

Dupas goes on to quote Kirkland Shave who says, “We want people to walk out having fallen back in love with their body.”

To read the entire article, log on to BC Living.ca.


What is Mountain Trek?

Mountain Trek is the health reset you’ve been looking for. Our award-winning health retreat, immersed in the lush nature of British Columbia and featuring daily sunrise yoga and night-time restorative yoga, will help you unplug, recharge, and roll back years of stress, anxiety, and unhealthy habits. To learn more about the retreat, and how we can help you reset your health, please email us at info@mountaintrek.com or reach out below:

Metro Recommends Hiking to Health with Mountain Trek

metro storyToronto-based freelance writer Vawn Himmelsbach visited Mountain Trek Fitness Retreat and Health Resort this June and her story about rebooting her metabolism appeared last week in Metro, a publication that’s distributed in city centres around North America.

Mountain Trek is “a hiking-focused fitness retreat and health spa in the Selkirk and Purcell ranges of B.C.’s Rocky Mountains, set in a luxury alpine lodge overlooking Kootenay Lake. Once you get through the caffeine withdrawal, you might find it’s one of the best vacations you’ve ever taken,” writes the self-described coffee aficionado.

Vawn goes on to describe her experience at Mountain Trek as a “week in a serene, scenic setting, with a high guide-to-participant ratio to provide a personal and supportive environment.”

Click here to read Vawn’s entire story in Metro.

Secrets for Integrating the Mtn Trek Experience into your Daily Life

Stretch to relief stress when travelling on business

The Mountain Trek program changes your health on many levels. Building muscle, detoxing impurities and burning fat are just some of the ways our guests transform during their stay with us. What people may not realize is Mountain Trek’s focus on exercise, nutrition, stress management, and overall wellness will change people’s lives forever. One or two weeks with us will kick start a new perspective on healthy living practices and when you eventually return to your daily routine, you’ll have an arsenal of good habits to choose from.

Of course, immersion in an intensive fitness program replete with teachers, personal trainers, chefs and hiking guides all set in a stunning and remote wilderness is ideal for fully focusing on one’s health. But bringing this hard-earned knowledge into the routines and schedules back home can be a challenge.

Tips for integrating Mountain Trek into your daily life to keep the experience alive

Manage expectations

Think of Mountain Trek as a retreat from “real life,” a Disneyland of sorts for health-conscious adults. We all have commitments and schedules that require our time and energy in our daily life and we can’t expect to focus on our fitness, nutrition, detoxification, metabolism and stress management for eight hours a day like we did at Mountain Trek. Five to eight hours of exercise per week will suffice.

Take a few days off

Integrate 1-2 things from your list of Health Formulas until they become habitual, then pick another 1 or 2 on your list. Balance these new habits of nutrition, exercise, stress reduction, sleep hygiene, or detoxification with a break of 2 days per week.

Set goals

Make them specific, measurable, attainable and anchored in the time that you allot for fitness.

Take small steps

Integrate your goals gradually and realistically. It’s okay to go for small hikes instead of climbing to the top of the mountain right away. These small steps turn into new habits which eventually take hold in our lifestyle.

Surround yourself with like-minded people

It’s easier to feel motivated if you have friends that will support you and join you in your healthy activities.

Keep a journal

It’s an excellent way to notice and document the changes that you’re going through. Try not to edit or censor yourself. If you can let the stream of consciousness flow, often your heart and mind will reveal some fascinating truths about your fitness journey.

Be gentle with yourself

When you experience some setbacks around your goals, as we all do from time to time, be kind to yourself. The more love and compassion you show towards yourself, the easier it will be to regain confidence and get back on track.

Remember there is no “one size fits all”

Make meal and exercise plans that are right for you. You’re unique so don’t compare yourself to your workout partners, Olympic athletes or favorite movie stars.

Reward Yourself

An occasional beer or ice cream or missed week of exercise won’t kill you. But trying to eat perfectly and have the perfect body, on the other hand, just might. Remember, you’re not on a quest for perfection, you’re on a quest for progression towards a healthy mind, body and soul. And that can only be attained one step and one day at a time.

Of course, in order to integrate the Mountain Trek teachings, you’ll have to join us first!


What is Mountain Trek?

Mountain Trek is the health reset you’ve been looking for. Our award-winning health retreat, immersed in the lush nature of British Columbia, will help you detox, unplug, recharge, and roll back years of stress and unhealthy habits. To learn more about the retreat, and how we can help you reset your health, please email us at info@mountaintrek.com or reach out below: