Gain important tips from the guides and staff at Mountain Trek. Improve your health, wellness and increase weight loss with these helpful tips and ideas.

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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!

Bedtime Yoga

Bedtime Yoga

One of the reasons we have difficulty sleeping at night is because we are over stimulated. Our brains are wired to process all incoming information from our five senses to predict the appropriate state for our body’s systems. "Should I be ready? Or should I rest?" These two autonomic nervous system states are called the sympathetic (fight or flight) and the parasympathetic (rest and digest).

Staring at screens and/or hearing loud noises automatically puts us into a state of readiness. This is why it's so important to shut off our digital devices at least 30 minutes before bed and to follow the other "insomnia busters" we've detailed in previous posts. Another way to calm your mind and prepare your body for sleep is to use such tools as relaxation breathing or restorative yoga to promote our parasympathetic system, the state we need to obtain in order to sleep deeply.

For this instructive video, we enlisted the help of Mountain Trek's yoga teacher and fitness instructor Katya Hayes, who's been teaching yoga for 15 years. When not at Mountain Trek, Katya practices at her own studio and she studies yoga, Buddhism, Iyengar, Ashtanga and Vinyasa.

 

Here are the four poses Katya recommends to do in order to prepare your body and mind for a perfect night's sleep.

Legs up the wall

Legs up the wall pose

Begin by sitting on the floor or the bed with one hip against the wall. Swing both of your legs up the wall as you lay down on your back; your body should form a 90-degree angle with the wall. For increased benefits, slide a firm pillow or yoga bolster beneath your hips. Relax and belly breathe for several minutes.

Supported forward twist

Supported Forward Twist

Sit on the floor and have a firm pillow or bolster nearby. Bend both knees and swing your feet to the left side of your body. Place the bolster to the outside of your right hip extending away from you. Lengthen your spine and twist to the right. Lay your torso along the bolster, resting on one cheek. Breath into the sides of your body for 10 deep breaths. Repeat rotating the opposite way.

Supported child's pose

Supported Child's Pose

Get onto all fours. Sit back on your heels, separating your knees so that they're about shoulder width apart. Place a firm pillow or bolster between your legs extending away from you. Fold forward from the hips, lengthening the belly along the bolster. Rest deeply as you breath into the back of your bbody for one minute.

Reclined butterfly pose

Supported-Forward-Twist

Sit on the ground or the bed with several firm pillows or a bolster propped up behind you. Bring the soles of your feet together, allowing the knees to fall outwards. Support the knees if you like with pillows. Lay back on the pillows so that you are at a 45-degree angle. Place a folded towel beneath your neck for support. Place an eye bag over your eyes if you'd like and belly breath for several minutes.

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How to Reduce Stress With Meditation

Managing Stress over the Holidays

Mountain Trek's program director Kirkland Shave says more often he's meeting guests at the lodge who are struggling with stress. Whether it's their work, family life or personal troubles, he says that many people come to the lodge to escape their daily stresses, immerse themselves in nature, get a good night's sleep and, ultimately relax. However, when their stay at the lodge nears its end, their stress levels begin amping up again as they consider returning to their regular day-to-day.

As part of the educational component of the program, Kirkland spends time sharing various tips for how to reduce stress. For example, in this video below, he discusses the causes of stressors and what you can do to alleviate them and relax, and, ultimately enjoy a more fulfilling life free of chronic worry.

Kirkland also recommends meditation as a great form of relaxation. It used to be that meditation was viewed as something only “old hippies” did. But now its benefits are being touted by the likes of Oprah, Hugh Jackman, and Arianna Huffington. 

There is so much new research available since brain imaging equipment came into existence 20 years ago that its benefits are proving it can reduce stress, lower blood pressure, and slow Alzheimer’s. Also, in a recent study by John Hopkins University, it was proven that mindfulness meditation can be just as effective as antidepressants for treating anxiety symptoms. It also boosts our feel-good hormones (serotonin, dopamine), lowers our stress hormone (cortisol), lowers our blood pressure, alleviates pain and inflammation and it invokes our parasympathetic nervous system to help balance our digestive and elimination systems.

If you're considering trying meditation for the first time, my recommendation would be to start simple. Here are the steps to take:

  • Find a quiet space and remove all devices such as your smart phone
  • Sit comfortably with a straight spine
  • Breathe slowly and fully while concentrating on a candle flame, or the sound of ocean waves, or the sensations of your breath as it passes through your nostrils
  • Notice how your concentration gets interrupted by your thoughts. Don’t worry though as this is the normal function of our mind to generate thoughts.
  • Gently (and without judgement of the content) come back to concentrating on your focus of attention.
  • Practice increases the power of concentration so start with just 5 minutes a day and then build from there.

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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!

Why You Should Sleep Naked

simon-sleep-tips

What do bedclothes, pets, and your ex all have in common? They should all be kept away from your mattress!

The two main reasons for why you should sleep naked are to reduce elevated body heat and to minimize the toss and turn. We want to sleep slightly cooler, keeping our environment around 18C/65F. Our body’s temperature naturally fluctuates during our sleep cycles, and allowing this process will promote a quality sleep.

Bedclothes can hold the heat, disrupting this temperature variation and making sleep onset more difficult. Further, sleeping with bedclothes or pets can interrupt our sleep. Every time we toss and turn our sleep quality goes down.

For most of us, sleep involves at least some regular movement. Although we may be oblivious, when we readjust or roll over the chance of getting caught up in bedclothes is much higher than if we are naked. This lowers comfort, and in turn, the quality of our rest.

Beyond improving sleep, disrobing before bed can help with these health benefits as well: 

  • Look Younger: Ensuring our bedroom temperature hovers around 18°C (65°F) while we sleep allows our anti-aging hormones — melatonin and the growth hormone — to function properly. These hormones work better at lower temperatures and allow our cells to regenerate, which results in better-looking hair and skin.
  • Lose Weight: A good night’s sleep is an excellent way to fight stress, which is one of the reasons we gain belly fat. If we don’t get a good night’s sleep, we can wake up with high cortisol levels that can trigger our appetite for comfort foods and lead to overeating.
  • Protect Your Private Parts: Bacteria thrive in moist, warm environments. By ensuring more ventilation down there while sleeping naked, the probability of infection is reduced. And for men, sleeping naked increases fertility by keeping that area at cooler temperatures.
  • Enjoy Better Sex: You are naked after all. Sleeping in the nude with your partner increases skin-on-skin contact and helps stimulate the release of the “love” hormone oxytocin.

For more healthy sleeping tips, please watch the video below:

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Mountain Trek Winter Gear Guide

The Mountain Trek Way Winter Gear Guide

Mountain Trek’s Winter Health Retreat is a unique experience offered just once a year when guests get to don snowshoes, mitts and toques (Canadian speak for winter hat) and hike through a pristine, white environment.

One thing that guests always ask us about, though, is what kind of winter gear they need for snowshoeing in British Columbia. The first thing we recommend is to dress in layers. In other words, have a base later next to the skin, a secondary layer for warmth if you tend to get cold easier and an outer layer that’s water resistant.

Here we discuss the key pieces of clothing and other winter gear you need for walking or snowshoeing (or any other type of winter activity from tobogganing to snowball fighting)

BASE LAYERS

Socks

Best: Thick merino wool socks are best for outdoor winter activities because merino doesn’t itch like other types of sheep wool, it breathes well, it stays warm even when wet and it tends not to smell.

Good: Polypropylene textiles or “polypro” are a man-made synthetic thermoplastic polymers. They may not sound comfortable but they’re constructed to be hydrophobic, which means they transport or “wick” moisture away from the skin. They are also very warm but a disadvantage is they tend to retain body odour.

Worst: Anything with cotton in it. Derived from a plant that’s sole purpose is to retain moisture, cotton is the worst fabric to wear in the winter because it keeps moisture close to the skin and leaves you clammy and cold.

Brands to consider: Darn Tough (which has a lifetime guarantee!), Bridgedale, Smartwool, Icebreaker

Long Underwear

As with socks, the best long underwear is made with merino wool. Polypro or silk is second best and the worst is cotton. Brands to consider include Smartwool, Icebreaker and Patagonia.

T-shirt and Long Sleeve

Again, the best fabric to have next to your skin is merino wool, followed by polypro and silk. As for the worst, there’s a reason behind the mountain culture adage, “Cotton Kills.” Brands to consider include Smartwool, Icebreaker and Patagonia.

SECONDARY LAYERS

Socks

Most people do not require two layers of thick socks but some like to wear thin “liners” made of polypro that are worn next to the skin and underneath a thicker wool sock. These keep feet even warmer and also reduce friction, which causes blisters.

Pants and Shirt

Wear a thicker version of a base layer that will keep you warm at the start of your activity but you can remove when you heat up.

Insulated Jacket

Best: Goose down jackets are the best because in most cases they’re warmer and lighter than polypro and they pack up to a smaller size when you want to stuff them away after you’ve warmed up. Ensure the jacket you purchase has a durable water repellent coating on it to ward off water. When down gets wet, it tends to clump and loses some of its insulation qualities.

Good: Polypro are the next best version of insulated jacket and they have the added bonus of not losing loft when they get wet.

Worst: As always – cotton.

Brands to consider: Patagonia and Outdoor Research tend to fit larger frames and have the added bonus of coming with lifetime guarantees. Arc’teryx and Prana are more form-fitted.

OUTER LAYERS

Jacket and Pants

Best: A water-repellent shell made of Gore-Tex or Event (or a similar technical fabric) with welded seams are the best winter garments for active people.

Good: There are different qualities of Gore-Tex (and related fabrics) and different kinds of seam sealing. Opt for the best if you want your garment to last a long time.

Worst: A heavy rubber like what you’d find in yellow rain slickers. These do not breathe and will trap all moisture and keep you feeling cold and clammy.

Brands to consider: Patagonia and Outdoor Research tend to fit larger frames and have the added bonus of coming with lifetime guarantees. Arc’teryx, North Face, Black Diamond, Prana and Westcomb are some other alternatives.

Gloves

Best: A glove with a wool/polypro liner and a Gore-Tex (or similar technical fabric) outer shell are the best. They keep your hands warm but repel water.

Good: Leather and fur. They’ll breathe but they’ll eventually get wet.

Worst: Wool as an outer layer. These will get wet and snow will eventually clump to them.

EQUIPMENT

For more about snowshoeing equipment, here’s a video of Kirkland discussing snowshoes, poles, gators and boots.

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How to Transition from Summer to School & Office

With fall just around the corner, no doubt you’re experiencing some anxiety about leaving all those barbecues and dinner parties behind and getting back into work and school mode. It’s only natural to dread the return of schedules and stress as the summer months wane but the good news is there are easy things you can do to ease the transition.

7 Ways to Transition from Summer

Be realistic

Be Realistic

You’ve enjoyed three months of pool parties, late-night barbecues, summer camps and and now it’s time to concentrate on getting your family ready for school and getting yourself ready for longer days at the office. Whatever you do, don’t expect to accomplish it all in a single day. Trying to tackle everything at once can leave you overwhelmed and battling cortisol, the stress hormone. The key is to prioritize what really needs to get done right away.

Get organized

Get organized

At Mountain Trek we’re big fans of lists – we use them for everything from meal preparation to daily hiking plans. Write down what it is you need to do to prepare your child for school and you for the office. Include things like school supplies, groceries, daily outfits and schedules. If you’ve left work on a summer vacation, plan an early start on your first day back to the office. That way, you’ll be able to start sorting through your overstuffed inbox before co-workers come by asking about your vacation. For more ideas about how to perfectly balance work and home life, read our article about “The Secrets for Perfect Work & Life Balance.

Ease back into scheduled days

Get back on schedule

When your kids are used to running around outside until dark each night, shifting to the early morning school bus rush can be a shock. The same goes for you who’ve been staying up late the past few months while the sun shone. To ease the transition, dust off the alarm clock and about a week before the first day of school, start your kid’s bedtime routine about 10 minutes earlier each night and wake them up 10 minutes earlier each morning, every day, until they’re back on track. Don’t forget to readjust your bedtime schedules too!

Manage anxiety

Ease back into a schedule

Maintain a positive attitude about the summer ending – after all, if you’re nervous about school starting and all the things you have to do to prepare, no doubt your child is going to pick up on that energy as well. Remember that Labour Day is a great time to say farewell to summer and hello to all the good things coming up in the new school year. If it all seems like too much, take a break, have a bath or a sauna or go for a walk and breathe deeply. You can also enlist the help of a friend.

Stay connected to nature

Connect with Nature

Going back to class or the office doesn’t mean you and your kids have to say farewell to outdoor fun. Make a habit of getting outside together after the school day ends, for as long as the warm weather lasts. When the air turns cold, host a “camp-in” weekend evening by setting up floor pillows or sleeping bags, turning off all the electronics, and playing board games.

Get back to healthy eating

Get back to healthy eating

No doubt your consumption of potato chips, cookies and soda pop increased over the summer months. The arrival of fall is a perfect time to switch back to healthy eating habits. Start swapping out ice cream with baked fruit sprinkled with cinnamon and be prepared with healthy snacks when things get hectic. (See our list of the Top 5 On-the-Go Snacks.) You can also prepare nutritious meals in advance that can easily be reheated, such as our delicious salmon & halibut chowder. Also, aim to serve meals at around the same times your child will be eating throughout the school year.

Set Up a Homework Area

Set up a homework area

Create a quiet, well-lit space for both you and your child and ensure it’s free from distractions. In other words, don’t put it in the middle of the living room beside the big-screen TV and the X-box.

For more ideas and tips for back to school success be sure to download Mountain Trek’s Habits to Health app.

Download App

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The Importance of Digital Detox and How To Do It

How to Digital Detox

Recently we’ve had many journalists asking about our digital detox program at Mountain Trek. As many of us become addicted to our smart phones, tablets, wristbands and smart watches, laptops and anything else with a screen, it’s that much more important to remember to take time away from all things digital. That’s why it’s so great to visit Mountain Trek because we’re immersed in the most beautiful natural environment in North America – one in which it’s impossible to get cell coverage for large parts of the day because we’re hiking in mountain landscapes.

Why are we hearing so much about digital detox these days?

Why is digital detoxing important?

So why are we hearing more and more about digital detox lately? According to the latest polls conducted by research corporation Ipsos, 40% of adults feel the need to ‘disconnect” and 71% of respondents claim they’re spending less time connecting with people face-to-face due to gadgetry. Aside from the negative social ramifications, this digital dependence also comes with health costs: digital screens can contribute to visual fatigue, headaches, and strain of the body from being stationary for so long. Also the intense white-blue back light of our screens raise our “wake-up” and stress hormone Cortisol, often overriding our sleep inducing hormone Melatonin. Other studies have found that technology contributes to higher stress, strains on relationships and family and attention disorders.

Why are digital devices so addictive?

Why are devices so addictive?

If you can’t help but check your smart phone immediately after waking up and then continually throughout the day every few minutes, you’re not alone. Our bodies actually crave the results of shared information via our screened devices – we’re hard-wired for it! This is why: hundreds of thousands of years ago when the ancestors of homo sapiens walked the earth they developed physical reactions to information. When knowledge was shared (or the promise of knowledge) that could make life easier and ensure survival, their brains were flooded with dopamine, the feel-good hormone.

The same is true today. Research shows that our prehistoric brains still flood us with dopamine when our smart phones “ping” to let us know there’s potential knowledge or survival tools waiting for us to discover. Each tweet, text or email is a little gift-wrapped packet that might make a difference to our survival. At the same time our Limbic brains are reassured that we’re socially connected. It’s the perfect formula resulting in us feeling “good” every time we receive a notification through our digital device.

Why is this addiction so dangerous?

Why is a digital addiction so dangerous?

The problem with this scenario is that our brain is actually being fooled: very few of us receive survival tools via our Twitter or Facebook feeds and, overall, our social media interaction is incredibly shallow. This leads to “solitarism” – a buzzword you’ll be hearing a lot more of in the coming years as people suffer loneliness despite being “connected” via multiple social media streams.

How does Mountain Trek support digital detox?

While there is WiFi in the Mountain Trek lodge, we ensure guests do not use their smart phones and devices in the common areas and we do not have a television, radio, nor any news media on site. This is because our aim is to lower the stress hormone Cortisol in your body so you can reclaim the health benefits of a raised metabolism. In other words, we want our experience to be all about you and your own health and that means there isn’t a lot of external stimuli pulling you away from your goals.

Here are our top 6 ways to enjoy digital detox during the days when you’re not enrolled in the Mountain Trek program:

Plan with intent

Having a plan in place sets yourself up for success. Be clear about what you’ll give up, for how long, and when. If you’re agreeing not to check email in the evening, be clear about exactly what hours and what days this takes effect. Going into this with clear intention will also allow you to monitor very clearly your own reactions to digital breaks, and plan for responses of how to deal with any jonesing. Develop your plan, and stick to it. As you tally your victories, you can expand your goals.

Start slow

If you’re checking your email every 10 minutes, a week away without your Blackberry may induce heart palpitations. If you’re going to your son’s soccer game, for example, make a point and a plan to leave your cellphone in the car with the intention of not checking it for those 2 hours. Start slowly, and gradually, and this will be the key to breaking any dependence.

Tell friends and family

You don’t want them to think you’re MIA – to avoid unnecessary worry and to enlist support, let your friends and family in on your digital detox plan. And who knows, maybe they’ll even join you on that walk in your National Park, and you can both go tech free for the afternoon!

Learn from your detox

The goal of a detox isn’t to see how long you can go without doing something, only to breathe a sigh of relief at the end and jump back into old patterns wholeheartedly. Use the tech detox not only to see that you can live without your gadgets and the world won’t stop, but also to learn about yourself, what you like doing when monitors and screens aren’t involved, and with this, you can integrate new hobbies and patterns into your every day.

Plan alternatives

When you decide to stop or reduce online time, you will create a void in your time. Filling the void with enjoyable activities is key to beating any gadget addiction. This is where our helpful hints list “7 Fun Things you can do Instead of checking Your Email” can be helpful.

Create a tech-free zone

Pick a space in your home, preferably in a public area like your living room. This will encourage more ‘live’ conversation, more gadget-free activities, and less ‘auto-pilot’ of entering the room and turning on the computer or TV. Alternatively, have a family agreement to turn off the modem or WiFi at a certain time in the evening.

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Why Sitting Is Bad For You + 5 Ways To Fix It

Most of us commute to work sitting in our vehicle, then sit all day at our office job and then sit on the couch when we get home and watch TV. In fact, most of the Western World spends the majority of their life sitting.

The problem with this lifestyle is that sitting is bad for you. Chronic sedentarism is thought to be the cause for many various ailments and disease, not to mention general stiffness and inflexibility. Spending hours, days, months, all in relatively the same position can take a toll on our bodies. We just aren’t getting the habitual exercise and range of motion we need to keep us healthy, moving and fit. Integrating cardio exercise into our regular schedules is of course imperative to health, both now and as we age. We do however, still need to be realistic in our careers; most jobs are after all desk jobs, and don’t necessarily provide the opportunity to work out or go for a hike as part of our daily tasks and duties.

Interestingly, sedentarism is being addressed as a workplace issue by forward thinking employers, and we are seeing an increasing number of workplaces making clear efforts in addressing employee health, by affording more opportunities to move while working.

The treadmill desk is considered being ‘productive on two fronts’ according to Brown & Brown, an international Insurance consulting firm, and huge supporter of exercising while working. CEO of Priceline Group, Darren Huston, states that where possible, he will go for a ‘walking meeting’, inviting the discussion to take place while on the move in the park nearby his office complex. His reasoning: “walking clears my brain.” The late Apple Inc. founder Steve Jobs was reported to be a huge proponent of the walking meeting, and even Barack Obama is said to end his day by doing a couple laps of the White House with his Chief of Staff, Denis McDonough to review the latest political issues.

The above people are certainly on to something. Research at the University of Bristol and the University of Minnesota have concluded that as we move (especially when outside in nature), parts of our brain are stimulated that we usually find stimulated when during creative pursuits and relaxation. Also, worker productivity was said to increase by ‘substantially’ (as per studies above, measured by quality of work, work output, mental sharpness and improved time management) when workers took a walking break in their work day. This shows that parking in a chair isn’t always our best way to a productive workday. Nevertheless, realistically, so much of our working lives are spent in front of the screen, hunched over the keyboard. But we don’t have to take this sedentarism sitting down!

Beyond integrating regular exercise into your routine before and after work, we certainly can make our sedentary work day a little more comfortable with a little more movement. Click here to learn some simple stretches, movements and tips to integrate into your work day:

FIVE FULL BODY EXERCISES FOR THE OFFICE

Aside from those exercises listed in the above link, you can also try a few of these:

Stretching-in-an-office

Stretch

As we bend over the keyboard, our shoulders hunch forward, thereby creating a lactic acid build up and soreness through the upper back, neck and shoulders. Another side affect from this position that we may not realize is that our upper chest muscles constrict, and often for those who do a lot of computer work, these muscles are permanently taught. Opening up through the chest is a liberating release from the keyboard hunch. Find a doorway, and place hands and forearms along the doorframe, then allow yourself to lean forward. Try to release into the pose completely, holding it for several minutes. Feel free to experiment with the pose by moving your arms higher or lower in the doorway.

Sitting-on-a-ball-in-an-office

Use a Ball

Instead of your regular office chair, switch it up by using an exercise ball to sit on. By using a ball (and therefore no backrest), you are engaging core muscles all day, without even realizing it. Core strength is so important for so many aspects of overall strength and injury prevention. As an experiment, try using a ball instead of an office chair for a couple weeks and see if you don’t find yourself standing a little taller. Be sure to find a ball that allows you to sit at the correct height for your desk. If you are concerned about rolling away, they now make stands with wheels for exercise balls, so it has all of the roll around and stability of an office chair, with all of the benefits of an exercise ball).

Take-a-break

Take a break

As per the research by the Universities of Bristol and of Minnesota, mentioned above, you will be more productive after a walk, even a quick one. And as we can all attest, it just feels really good to not be looking at a computer screen for a few minutes. If you’re having difficulty integrating a little break in your day, set yourself an alarm or enlist an office friend to come for that break with you, and you will hold each other to it. After all, it will lead to better health and increased productivity! And if 20 minutes is too ambitious, go for 10, or 5 – a little break is better than no break at all.

By integrating small but effective movements into your everyday sitting at work, you will be doing yourself a huge favour – you may even notice feeling less stiff and even less tired at the end of the day, and in general. And if you have a favorite desk stretch, please benefit us all by sharing below, or on our Facebook page. Here’s to a less stiff time at the computer, and to a more limber you!

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SUPPORTIVE COMMUNITY

WE’RE THE ONLY HEALTH & FITNESS RETREAT TO OFFER PROFESSIONAL SUPPORT BEFORE, DURING & AFTER A VISIT.

Community

Mountain Trek isn’t just a fitness program – it’s a community of people from all over the world who support one another on their paths to health and wellness. It begins when your plane first touches down and you meet other guests in the airport shuttle. A week later you’ve become best friends with the guides, staff and the 15 other people who have travelled with you on a journey to vitality. Stop trying to do it all on your own – visit one of the best wellness retreats in Canada, and join the Mountain Trek community today.

Join Our Alumni

There are thousands of people all around the world who have done the Mountain Trek program and who are more than happy to help support you on your path to vitality.

Stay in Touch

Our program is designed so you can contact us anytime with questions or concerns and we’ll regularly check in with encouragement and tips via our newsletters, blog posts and social media.  newsletters, blog posts and social media.

Adventure Treks

Every year we offer alumni members the opportunity to go on a hiking adventure in an exotic locale around the world. Places we’ve travelled to in the past decade include Italy, Peru, Bhutan, Japan and Spain.

Enjoy our articles

Every week we publish informative articles on our blog page that cover every topic related to the Mountain Trek program from sleep and stress reduction to exercise, detoxification and healthy eating.

Follow us via Social Media

We post interesting tips and news related to Mountain Trek via our Facebook page as well as on Instagram, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest. We also publish informative videos to YouTube featuring our guides.

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Every month we send out a newsletter to thousands of subscribers around the globe filled with informative articles, updates about Mountain Trek, videos and funny cartoons that will help lower your cortisol.

MT Way Coach

Dr. Joshua Klapow is a licensed clinical psychologist, lifestyle performance coach and an alumni of Mountain Trek. He’s made himself available for anyone wishing to hire his services before, during or after a visit to our retreat.

Get our iPhone App

Mountain Trek’s Health Guide in Your Pocket app features a guide, shopping lists and a goal tracking feature that helps you maintain results long after you leave the program.

Conde Nast Readers Choice Award 2017

Take advantage of the global support network that is the Mountain Trek alumni. Join us for a one- or two-week stay at our lodge in British Columbia — one of the best wellness vacations in Canada — and make friends that will be there for you for the rest of your life.

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