Make time for fitness each day, it will improve your health and wellness as well as counter the effects of many diseases.

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Engaging Your Core For Fitness

Engaging your Core

As the name suggests, our core is integral to every movement we make. It's a complex series of muscles that extend well beyond your abs and include everything except for your arms and legs.

In this article, and in the video below, Mountain Trek's fitness director Cathy Grierson talks about how to engage your core for whatever it is you're doing, whether you're walking, working out at the gym or even just sitting at your office desk. This information goes hand-in-hand with our other article called "Cathy's Core Workout," which describes how to strengthen your core muscles. (You can see all of Cathy's videos and more by downloading our Health Guide in Your Pocket app.)

Before we begin, however, let's look at what exactly the core muscles are. Most of us believe they're the six-pack abs you'll find on male underwear models but that's the the case at all. Your core extends far beyond your abdomen and include two types of muscles: stabilizers and movers. To give you a sense of just how important they are: our stablizer and mover core muscles are integral to almost every movement of the human body! Many of the muscles that make up our core are hidden beneath the exterior musculature of our bodies and include the multifidus, transverse abdominals, diaphragm and the pelvic floor among others.

In this video Cathy explains how to engage your core, our stabilizer muscles no matter what activity you're involved in by using a sequence called "The Wave." 

Whether you're an athlete or someone who's interested in getting back in shape and engaging those core muscles again, we recommend you book Mountain Trek and enjoy Cathy's fitness direction in person as well as all the amenities our all-inclusive resort offers: complimentary massages, delicious boutique spa cuisine, natural hot springs, infrared sauna, outdoor hot tub and cold plunge pool, plus a luxurious lodge in a natural setting far away from urban stressors.

You're also guaranteed to reach your fitness goals with our program that's tailored to each individual. You can keep to your own pace but we'll make sure you get results. We hope to see you soon!

CN Traveler Awards Mountain Trek

Conde Nast Travler Magazine

More than 300,000 travelers took part in Condé Nast Traveler's 29th annual Readers' Choice Awards survey submitting millions of ratings and over 75,000 comments to create a list of winning favourites – and Mountain Trek Fitness Retreat and Health Spa was one of them. In fact, Mountain Trek made it onto the list of the 15 Best Wellness Retreats in the World! "Whether you're into hiking or yoga, or just need a nap-inducing Swedish massage, book now to rejuvenate both mind and body" is what the article says and that's exactly what you can find at Mountain Trek.

Condé Nast Traveler, one of the most popular travel magazine and websites in North America, listed Mountain Trek Fitness Retreat and Health Spa along with 15 of the most exclusive wellness getaways in the world including Six Senses in Portugal, BodyHoliday in St. Lucia and Ananda in India. Mountain Trek was the only Canadian resort listed.

This is what the CN Traveler had to say about Mountain Trek: "You may be on vacation, but there’s no reason you can’t throw some self-improvement in the mix, too. At Mountain Trek Fitness Retreat Resort & Health Spa, way up in the clean, clear air of British Columbia, you won’t lament the week-long cheat day that could’ve been. Instead, embrace the granola life with day-long hikes led by one of the eager local guides, and sunrise yoga classes taught by certified professionals. Everything here is targeted toward achieving optimal health, but that doesn’t mean you’ll be shoving kale down your throat, or scraping bark off the nearest tree to kill the hunger pangs. Quite the contrary: The on-site nutritionist and head chef develop locally sourced, nutrient-rich meals, with lemon ricotta pancakes just one of the many fan favorites."

"The 15 Best Wellness Retreats in the World" article was recently published on CNTraveler.com and you can read the story in its entirety here: http://www.cntraveler.com/gallery/the-best-wellness-retreats-in-the-world.

Whether you're interested in improving your own fitness, losing weight, or just want to relax in the fresh mountain air, we recommend you book Mountain Trek and enjoy the amenities that only our all-inclusive resort can offer:

  • complimentary massages
  • delicious boutique spa cuisine
  • natural hot springs
  • infrared sauna, outdoor hot tub and cold plunge pool
  • luxurious lodge in a natural setting far away from urban stressors

You're also guaranteed to reach your fitness goals with our program that's tailored to each individual. You can keep to your own pace but we'll make sure you get results. We hope to see you soon!

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Staff Picks – Best Workout Music

Mountain Trek's Staff Workout Songs

It's no secret that music has a massive effect on our mood. If you're feeling low, an upbeat song can lift you right up. Or if you're feeling stressed, a relaxing tune can help soothe the soul. By coordinating the music you’re listening to with the mood you’d like to be in, you can train your brain to engage in positive vibes.

To that end, we asked the staff at Mountain Trek what kind of music they like to listen to when exercising. We all know it can be challenging to get up off the couch sometimes and what can help the process is cranking some tunes to get you motivated.

Here are our staff's picks for best workout music:

Jennifer Keirstead – Nutritionist and Guide Jennifer Keirstead, Nutritionist at Mountain Trek

"These are the songs I like to play when I wanted to get pumped up! LOL. That said, I know everyone's taste in music is different but I think a lot of people will agree these songs definitely inspire you to move around."

  1. "Sinnerman" – Felix da Housecat Mix feat. Nina Simone
  2. "A Song for Our Grandfathers" – Future Islands
  3. "Every Other Freckle" – Alt-J
  4. "Is This It" – Asaf Avidan **Kulkid Remix
  5. "I Don't Feel Like Dancing" – Scissor Sisters

Cathy Grierson – Head Guide & Fitness Director Guides, Chefs & Staff

"I like listening to music when I work out in the gym but it's a good idea to remind everyone to take the headphones off when hiking in nature so as to enjoy the sounds around you. Here are the songs I love best to workout to when indoors:"

  1. "In2ition and misirlou" – 2 Cellos 
  2. "Jai ho" – Mumbai Dolls
  3. "Running down a dream" – Tom Petty
  4. "Runaway" – Ed Sheehan

Kirkland Shave – Program Director & Lead Guide Guides, Chefs & Staff

"These are the songs that pump me up!"

  1. "Pump It Up" – Elvis Costello & The Attractions
  2. "Chuis Bo" – PZK (feat. Dogg Soso)
  3. "Jump In the Line" – Harry Belafonte
  4. "Pipeline" – The Piperiders
  5. "Eternal (Jusqu'au matin)" – Le Weekend
  6. "Gumboots" – Paul Simon (with The Boyoyo Boys)
  7. "Mr. Saxobeat" – Alexandra Stan
  8. "Whip It" – Devo
  9. "Mambo Con Dancehall" – Brooklyn Funk Essentials
  10. "Sweet and Dandy" – Toots & The Maytals

Krista Van Ee – Hiking Guide Guides, Chefs & Staff

"These are the songs I like to listen to when running or working out":

  1. "I've Got Your Fire" – Jenn Grant
  2. "Happy" – Pharrell Williams
  3. "Disperate Youth" – Santigold
  4. "Beings" – Madeon
  5. "Kamikaze" – MO
  6. "Famous" – Charli xcx

Simon Shave – Sleep Specialist & Hiking Guide Guides, Chefs & Staff

"There are so many songs out there that get me moving but these are definitely my top five favourites right now."

  1. "Move On Up" – Curtis Mayfield
  2. "Behind the Mask" – Micheal Jackson 
  3. "Lose Yourself to Dance" – Daft Punk
  4. "Runnin' (Bit Funk Remix)" – The Pharcyde 
  5. "Todd Terje" – Inspector Norse

And in case you want to have a listen for yourself. We put all these great songs into one easy playlist to help fuel your next workout.

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10 Tricks to Stick To Your New Year’s Resolutions

Tips for Goal Setting

Half way through January is when most people start falling off the wagon and foregoing all the resolutions they made on New Year's Eve. But with these 10 easy-to-follow guidelines, you can have a better chance of sticking with your resolutions and watching them become healthy habits you'll enjoy for a lifetime.

1. Be Specific

Don’t be vague. If you resolve to lose weight, write down your fitness goals. How many pounds do you want to lose? How many steps will you take in a day? How much more flexible do you want to be? Exactly what do you wish to achieve out of your yoga practice?

2. Be Positive

Not just optimistic. It's easier to eliminate a bad habit when you replace it with a better one. So, if your resolution involves "no more chocolate bars at work," make "pack a healthy snack to take to work every day" part of the resolution.

3. Write Down Your Goals

There's an air of permanence when you write something done. Plus you can review them whenever you want to help stay on track.

4. Hold Yourself Accountable

Tell your friends about your resolution, join or form a like-minded group, score yourself on a chart– whatever works for you to make yourself feel accountable for success and failure.

5. Don’t Be Afraid To Ask For Help

This can be tough for many of us, but when we do ask for help, help comes. Our tasks become easier. What a relief!

6. Allow Yourself a Trial Run and be Flexible

Not every resolution is perfect right out of the gate. Give yourself a two-week or one month trial run to work out the kinks. This allows you to stumble a bit and tweak your goals to something better suited for success.

7. Visualize The End Result

Focus on the carrot, not the stick. If you're having trouble staying motivated, focus on what you'll get from your end goal—whether that's feeling better at a lower weight, being able to impress your friends with your new drumming skills, or just being able to take a deep breath now that you've quit smoking. Staying positive seems like common sense, but it can be hard when you're in the middle of a big plateau.

8. Choose Goals That Are In Line With What YOU Want

Your resolutions should be deeply valuable to you, first and foremost. When we set resolutions that are driven by our desire to please others, we are doomed to fail.

Bad resolution: “My wife thinks I’m lazy, so I resolve to wake up earlier and exercise before work.” Good resolution: “I’ll wake up earlier and exercise before work because it makes me feel great throughout the day.”

9. Learn Something New

Step out of your comfort zone. If your goal is to exercise three or four times a week, take a risk and enroll in a fitness class you’ve never taken before. Or if you want to improve your marriage or partnership, consult with a relationship therapist or life coach.

10. Use the Mountain Trek App

Resolutions take time to solidify into habits, which is why Mountain Trek created the free Health Guide In Your Pocket app, which can be downloaded here. It'll help you create and monitor your health goals while offering healthy recipes, how-to videos and more. To learn more info about Mountain Trek's free app, click here.

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Back pain? Read This Before Getting A Back Brace

Suffering from back pain?

Recently our fitness director Cathy Grierson was asked by a guest who suffers lower backpain whether he should get a back brace for his workouts. Cathy has been asked this question before and she's certain seen her share of people in the gym wearing them. However, a back brace may be doing them more harm than good. Here is her response to whether you should wear a back brace or not.

Nearly 80% of North Americans will suffer back pain at some point in their lives. For many, the injury is triggered by a strenuous activity, like gardening or weight lifting. Others simply bend down to pick up a pencil and their back gives out.

Although the pain may have started after gardening or a long workout at the gym, the strain that caused it has likely been building for years as most people have weak core stability muscles, leading to poor posture when going about their daily activities, putting unnecessary strain on their backs. You can increase the pressure on your back by 50% simply by leaning over the sink incorrectly to brush your teeth. Keeping the right amount of curvature in the back by having strong core muscles takes pressure off the nerves and will reduce back pain.

At Mountain Trek, the guides and fitness staff are constantly encouraging Trekkers to have good form and to “engage their core”; to protect their backs, maintain balance and increase power. Check out the guide section of this APP to view the video “engaged core” that explains how to engage and strengthen your core.

As to a brace, if you wear one the muscles which should be providing stability, weaken and you will have less core strength, so I don’t recommend them. Having said that if you have a back injury that your Doctor, Physical therapist or health care professional has recommend you wear while you heal then it’s best to follow their instructions which usually includes using sparingly and for only short periods so your muscles don’t weaken and you become dependent upon it.

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Spafinder Names Mountain Trek Best In Canada

Mountain Trek wins SpaFinder Wellness Travel Awards

We're excited to announce Mountain Trek has been named "Best in Canada" in Spafinder's 2016 Global Wellness Travel Awards.

Recently Spafinder announced the results of its 3rd annual WTA awards, which recognize hotels, resorts, destination spas and retreats offering the best wellness vacations and experiences on six continents and in 41 countries. This year, 388 finalists competed for top honors, and consumers cast over 130,000 ballots for their favourite properties, more than twice as many as last year. Mountain Trek Fitness Retreat and Health Spa was recognized as the best health retreat in Canada and was also named #1 in the following categories for Canada:

  • Best for fitness
  • Best for nutrition & healthy cuisine
  • Best for outdoor adventure and activities
  • Best weight-loss program
  • Best for going solo

“This has been a record-setting year for Mountain Trek in terms of the number of awards we've received, which means the benefits of our program and our lodge's incredible setting is truly being recognized," says Program Director Kirkland Shave. “And to be named Best in Canada by Spafinder is such an honour. We pride ourselves that we're a Canadian retreat located in one of the most beautiful areas of the country."

One of the reasons Mountain Trek received the award is because it's a boutique luxury fitness retreat and health spa program that guarantees results for its guests. The dynamic boot-camp-style retreat helps people of all fitness levels literally change their lives while immersed in the breathtaking beauty of British Columbia.

To read the news about the Spafinder awards in its entirety, click here. And to book a stay at Mountain Trek (and enjoy the amenities that only our all-inclusive resort can offer) call Michelle today or visit our "Book Now" page.

Better Homes & Gardens Features Mountain Trek

Better Homes & Gardens Features Mountain Trek

One of the most popular magazines in North America has just featured Mountain Trek in its most recent issue. The August 2016 edition of Better Homes & Gardens has a story called "Gear Up" in which Mountain Trek's head guide Cathy Grierson is asked to provide her choices for what will help keep you comfortable and safe on the hiking trail. 

In the article, which appears in the "Better Family Travel" section of the magazine, Cathy (who used to be a park ranger before becoming a fitness guide at Mountain Trek) offers six tips for both those interested in getting into hiking and established trekkers.

#1. Dress in Layers

"The termparature can change drastically depedning on elevation and time of day, so check the weather and be ready with three layers," Cathy offers in the piece. She then goes on to describe the three different layers every hiker needs. 

#2. Travel Light

Aside from explaining the difference between a daypack and a full-on backpack, Cathy explains how to put one on: "Put the pack on so the weight is distributed evenly, loosen all straps, the tighten the waist belt and shoulder straps." 

#3. Wear the Right Shoes and Socks

"For day hikes, lightweight and flexible 'light hiker' shoes are best," Cathy says. She then goes on to describe what type of shoes to look for. To learn about how to properly fit a pair of hiking shoes, read here.

#4. Carry Enough Water

In the story Cathy explains the best way to carry H20: "A water bladder holds more than a bottle (up to 3 litres) and it nestles in your pack so you can hydrate hands-free."

#5. Buy Poles if Hiking Regularly

"The give you better balance and footing, reduce stress on your joints, and can help you feel like you're not working so hard," Cathy says. The article then goes on to describe some more benefits of poles including the fact you burn more calories when using them.

#6. Carry a First Aid Kit

Cathy finishes her recommendations with some items to include in your first aid kit on every hike such as moleskin, cloth tape, Band-aids and antibiotic ointment.

To read the Better Homes & Gardens article in its entirety, download the PDF of it here: August 2016_Better Homes & Gardens

Whether you're new to hiking, or have been doing it for years, we recommend you book Mountain Trek and enjoy world-class trails, supportive guides and all the amenities our all-inclusive resort offers:

  • complimentary massages
  • delicious boutique spa cuisine
  • natural hot springs
  • infrared sauna, outdoor hot tub and cold plunge pool
  • luxurious lodge in a natural setting far away from urban stressors

You're also guaranteed to reach your fitness goals with our program that's tailored to each individual. You can keep to your own pace but we'll make sure you get results. We hope to see you soon!

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Beginner Workout Mistakes to Avoid

As the Fitness Director at Mountain Trek, Cathy Grierson receives a lot of questions about exercise: when to do it and how often; what the best techniques are; and how to avoid injury. Recently she received a question that we thought warranted its own post follow-up as it’s important for most guests of Mountain Trek Fitness Retreat and Health Spa: “What are some common workout mistakes that all beginners should avoid?” Cathy believes this is a big and important subject and so wrote the following in the hopes we can all learn from it:

Only focused on Cardio

Mistake #1: Only Doing Cardio

Many people, particularly women, believe the antiquated idea that cardio will make them slim and strength training will make them bulky. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Building muscle helps to raise your basal metabolic rate (BMR) and create a favorable metabolic environment for fat loss. Plus strength training strengthens our bones, improves our posture and reduces the likelihood of injury.

Don't forget to stretch

Mistake #2: Neglecting the warm-up and cool down stretch

Jumping right into a vigorous workout without warming up puts you at risk of injury. Instead, take at least 5 minutes to warm up the body, using lower intensity movements that mimic the exercise you are about to perform. Avoid static stretching during the warm-up and instead use dynamic or moving stretches. Save the static stretches to restore worked muscles to their original length for about 5 minutes post exercise.

Don't forget to have fun!

Mistake #3: Forgetting About Fun

It’s really hard to stay dedicated to something that you don’t enjoy. Thankfully, there are endless modes of exercise and there’s certain to be something out there that you will enjoy. Keep your expectations realistic. You do not need to be an iron-pumping body builder or a marathon runner in order to reap the benefits of exercise. Think about the things you like and start with that. Is it music? Being outdoors? Spending time with friends? Build those things into your workouts to add some fun!

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Delta Sky Magazine Features Mountain Trek

Delta Sky Magazine

Delta Airline's popular inflight magazine Sky has featured Mountain Trek in its most recent issue. Called "Getting Back on Track," the article describes writer Susan B Barnes's experience attending a one-week fitness program at Mountain Trek's lodge near beautiful Nelson, British Columbia, and how she got the "reset she needs."

The story appears in the September 2016 issue of the monthly Sky magazine that's published by Delta, which flies into Spokane, the closest US airport to Mountain Trek. (A free airport shuttle is provided for guests arriving by air.) In the article Susan mentions why she decided to enrol in the program in the first place: "After months of indulging much to much while traveling, I had made the decision to get my fitness and eating routines back on track and was confident that the Mountain Trek program – the only mountain-based hiking, fitness and weight loss program in North America–would whip me into shape." 

Most of our time during the weeklong stay was spent on the nearby hiking trails, some of which took us into provincial parks and all of which presented challenges over the three- and four-hour-long daily hikes. The scenery was stunning— secluded forests, creeks carving through rock formations hundreds of feet below, glacial-fed lakes—but the hiking was intense and we didn’t linger to admire the sights. After all, we were there to work—hard. " 

Susan goes on to say that "At the end of my week, I felt stronger and healthier than I had in quite a while. My cardio stamina increased. I was happy, well-rested and invigorated. And, as a bonus, I lost eight pounds."

To read Susan's article in its entirety, download the PDF of it here: Delta-Sky-Mountain-Trek-article

Whether you're a resident of BC or a visitor, we recommend you book Mountain Trek and enjoy the amenities that only our all-inclusive resort can offer:

  • complimentary massages
  • delicious boutique spa cuisine
  • natural hot springs
  • infrared sauna, outdoor hot tub and cold plunge pool
  • luxurious lodge in a natural setting far away from urban stressors

You're also guaranteed to reach your fitness goals with our program that's tailored to each individual. You can keep to your own pace but we'll make sure you get results. We hope to see you soon!

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