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Fitness Tips for the not-so-fit

18 Jul

Today we have a special post from Martha Gallagher (@MarthaGallagher) – enjoy

It wasn’t too long ago that I was a newbie to fitness.

I was always that one kid that wasn’t thrilled over gym class. Sure, I did alright because i was game for participation marks, but I definitely didn’t excel. I can clearly remember loathing fourth period when it was time for the running unit. Twenty five minutes of running? Me? Unless someone is trained to deal with cardiac arrest this probably isn’t going to end well.

So when Sarah mentioned joining bootcamp I scoffed. Me, the bookish kid who regularly gets winded walking up South Street? Never gonna happen. But, in an effort to branch out of my comfort zone, I agreed to give it a shot. My original plan was to go for a month. If I could just get those pesky thirty days behind me I’d be alright to call it quits and go back to my relatively sedentary lifestyle. But here’s the kicker – almost three months later and I’m a hardcore regular. Sure, I’m not the best at most of the stuff we do, but the point is i’m consistent. And I’m going to go ahead and chalk that up as a victory.

So as a means to encourage you, the maybe not – so – fit reader, here are some tips to kick off your new fitness routine*

1. Insist that everyone you know touch your musclesJoel Kelly can attest that this is the best way to inflate self-worth.

2. Bring a friend – When you’re complaining with someone else it’s funny bantering. When you’re complaining alone you’re just a whiney bitch.

3. Be willing to try something different – Never in a million years did I think I’d be looking forward to doing a pushup. Just so you really get things put into perspective – during our first class my pushup consisted of a complete table top where i essentially humped the ground. Spoiler alert: I’m verging on being able to do a real man pushup. It’s taken almost two months, but it’s totally going to happen soon.

 Now it’s time for a shameless plug: if you’re feeling like you need some fitness in your life and you’re interested in spending an early morning getting entertained by some clowns who provide armchair commentary on anything and everything you should more than likely join us. We get together monday – wednesday + friday from 6:30 – 7:30 and on saturdays from 9 – 10 with our phenomenal trainer Ryan and an assorted cast of characters at Point Pleasant Park. I can almost guarantee you won’t be disappointed.

*I think this is the time where i say that it’s important to consult a medical professional when embarking on any fitness regime. fyi: apparently contemplating getting a phD online doesn’t make me THAT kind of doctor.

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Atlantic Fashion Week

24 Jun

The ladies of This Needs to Stop dropped in on Atlantic Fashion Week which took place June 13th –

19th in Halifax. Our first stop was the Emerging Designers Showcase. We were pleasantly surprised to see the incredible amount of talent that our city’s young designers brought to the table.

Amy Negus from “All My Fashions” had a fantastic collection of summer dresses. The unique fabrics and flattering cuts made usswoon over every piece.

Vanessa Furlong of Three Sheet fame had an awesome collection of punk rock chic pieces that would have made even the girliest of girls wanting to try something on. We must say, along with having a kick ass collection – The Nes Pas models rocked the runway.

The newest designer on the block was Stephanie Rycbzyn who is STILL IN HIGH SCHOOL. Clearly Stephanie was paying attention in family studies because that girl knows how to use a sewing machine. While we don’t think we will have the guts to wear some of her daring pieces, we give her major props for seriously holding her own among some other amazing local designers.

Our next event was the Designer Showcase Gala. We are still kicking ourselves for not knowing who some of these designers were already. Each collection was ridiculously gorgeous, most of which featuring dresses – embracing the summer that Halifax may never have.

Jere Brooks kicked things off with an awesome awesome collection. The one outfit that can’t escape our minds was the gorgeous white top and pants paired with a black belt and shoes. Classic, and crisp. Just gorgeous.

The Cranky collection was again full of dresses and we honestly would wear every single one. The finale of this collection was a super fun tutu dress. You can never have enough tutu.

SuTa jewellery was a definite highlight of the night. We figured it would be tricky to showcase a jewellery collection on a runway, and clearly we were wrong.  This collection of necklaces are for the ladies who aren’t afraid to wear some bling. Each piece was big, bold and full of colour. The perfect way to add some flavour to your little black dress.

A big thanks to Marqedia PR for having us come and take in some amazing local fashion!!

If you Wannabe nostalgic…

6 Jun

So over the weekend I got an amazing singing birthday card featuring the cast of High School Musical. Now I realize that High School Musical is really not my vintage but as a sucker for all things Family Channel I must admit I’ve seen them all.

This card sparked an interesting conversation: Things we collected as children. As a kid we all had something that we became a tad obsessed with and held near and dear to our hearts. For some it was hockey cards, others it was My Little Pony, and for the young celeb-obssesed children like myself it was Spice Girls memorabilia.

An entire, sealed box of Spice Girls gum.

Because the Spice Girls were an international phenomenon, there was, of course, a wide variety of collectables that came along with them. Chuppa Chup’s really cashed in on a collection of lolipops which Baby Spice was always seen eating, but my personal favourite was their Spice Girls bubble gum.

One day, while shopping at a local British grocer, I came across Spice Girls bubble gum. Now beyond the novelty of just being named after the famed group, each piece of gum came with a Spice Girls sticker. Think Double Bubble but WAY cooler. My love for collecting these stickers started off slowly. My leftover change from buying things like “The Clapper” to turn my remote-less TV on and off went toward buying a couple of pieces a week, and the stickers were placed on binders and scribblers that I felt could use a little pizzaz.

Then one day it occurred to me. How would I ever have the complete collection of these stickers without making a major commitment? I needed to stop sticking stickers on things and get my act together. I inquired to said British grocer on how I could get my hands on an entire box of Spice Girls gum. He named his price and I started to go into overdrive to do chores earning some extra cash to purchase this sacred box of gum.

Hands down my favourite Spice Girls sticker.

Finally, after what felt like months of pinching pennies, the day had come when I could proudly walk into the store to buy my very own ENTIRE box of Spice Girls gum. Being the mildly neurotic child that I was, I opened every single piece of gum, removed the stickers, re-wrapped the gum, and organized my stickers by individual group member and group shots into a clear box meant for hardcore crafters. You know the ones I’m talking about, right? Mostly used for holding your gimp or thread to make sweet friendship bracelets?

So where is this sacred collection now you ask? Likely locked in the attic of my Mom’s house. Which is probably best as most of you don’t know where she lives and won’t flock to her house to catch a glimpse of this collection, now almost 15 years old and valued at over $10.00 US according to Ebay.

Mark Zuckerberg – Eat what you kill or I will unfriend you.

30 May

Over the last few days, media outlets have been buzzing over Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg’s announcement that he would only be eating the animals that he personally kills.

He sent out a message in early-May stating that he had “just killed a pig and a goat”. Shocking facebook conversation-starter? Maybe. But, crazy life decision? Maybe not. Though the multi-billionaire’s actions have elicited some mixed reactions from the public, is it really such a horrible notion to actually have to do the dirty work yourself if you want to enjoy some animal-based protein?

For most of us, we simply do not have the counter or storage space to make the ‘eat-what-you-kill’ concept a viable option. My apartment is too small for a 3-seater sofa, so I can’t imagine where I would fit an entire chopped-up cow. However, it’s safe to say that people would certainly put more consideration in to their meal-choices if they had to see the preparation from ‘moo’ through to meat kebab. Truth be told, if I had to kill the animals myself, there’s a 99% chance I’d be a vegetarian.

In addition to the moral issues that meat-eating raises for some, a meat-heavy diet can take a toll on your cholesterol, and also pack a punch on the environment. A 2006 study showed that livestock production accounted for 18% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Another study also broke things down in to laymen’s terms, stating the production of 2 pounds of beef uses approximately the same amount of energy as driving a car around for three hours. Yikes!

Now all statistics aside, I’m a meat-eater and surely won’t be abandoning the meat procurement services of Sobeys or the Superstore any time soon. I absolutely prefer my chicken breast to be boneless, and when you serve me a fish I want the head cut off. I think these are pretty standard North-American viewpoints, and I think this reinforces that we’re all pretty disconnected from where our food actually comes from.

Despite my own hesitance to ever be responsible for killing what I eat, I can’t deny that there is certainly merit to The Zuck’s new lifestyle choice. So what do you think about the ‘eat-what-you-kill’ idea? Is it a legitimate attempt to bring sustainability issues to the forefront? Or is it just a carefully planned publicity stunt cooked up by the Facebook media machine? Either way, for sparking conversation on something other than group messaging and privacy settings, I’m going to have to say that Mark Zuckerberg – you’re doing it right.

Is @oldmansearch real?

25 May

Recently, @oldmansearch has surfaced on Twitter. At first we were hesitant to jump on this bandwagon because there are so many people trying to ride the coattails of S*&* My Dad Says. But, alas, @oldmansearch has not let us down. In just 57 tweets he has won the hearts of over 90,000 follwers on Twitter.

If you haven’t heard of @oldmansearch you’re missing out. His bio reads, “My dad is 81 years old. I’m teaching him how to use the internet. I told him twitter was how to search things on Google. These tweets are what he’s searching.”

Amoung his first were “empty threes”, followed by “MP3”, and then later came “night blindness”. Then, “I’m night blind.” Each time he tweets I find myself holding back tears from laughing so hard.

Despite how funny this account may be, the obvious thing to think here is that this must be a hoax. What old man would fall for this? What on earth does he think happens when he hits “tweet” and sees no search results? Wouldn’t he give up and chalk the internet up to some useless device used only by spies and hooligans?

The one string of tweets gives me hope that this account is legit are the ones where Norman N. seems to be looking for an old flame by the name of “Shirley Tarnow”. At first he was trying to find her on Facebook and then after discovering her married name he searched her obituary on “Google”.

This poor old man has finally gained access to the internet, is trying to find old love, Lipitor, and the hours to Cracker Barrel, and instead has no answers but has become an internet phenom.

Because all of us who follow @oldmansearch are already on Twitter, we are already that far ahead of the curve so we are quick to judge the validity of this account. Might we remind you that there are still over 84 million people in the US alone who are not using the internet? And even if you have the internet it doesn’t mean you know what you’re doing with it. There are a lot of people out there who have no idea how to do a Google search let alone know what Twitter is. My mom is pretty tech savvy and even she thought following someone on Twitter without them knowing was illegal.

So what do you think? Is @oldmansearch just some clever kid sitting in his basement getting an insanely huge kick out of this? Or is Norman N. really out there?

Core Essentials & Yelp!

11 May

On Tuesday night I had the pleasure of going to Core Essentials in Dartmouth to take part in a fitness event put on by Yelp! Given the horrific weather we’ve been having I’ve been having a bit of trouble getting motivated to hit the gym and eat healthy. I want to go home get into my sweats and hibernate and stuff my face with Skittles. But despite this weather bomb I was excited to get to Core Essentials and try something new.

The second I walked through the door I knew this wouldn’t be your typical workout experience. Core Essentials is on Queen Street in Dartmouth in what looks like a classic old home. The atmosphere is inviting and dispels any misconceptions that all gym are full of cutoff shirt wearing juice monkeys.

We started off using the RealRyder bikes. RealRyder bikes are not your average stationary bike. These bikes actually move from side to side to simulate a road bike. Accept that before you take your first RealRyder class that you’re going to feel like a fool but it’s well worth it. Not only are RealRyders an awesome way to enjoy an indoor spin class – but the view is top notch. Who wouldn’t love a spin class overlooking the water?

Next up came kettlebells. I have been wanting to take a kettlebell class for a long time but had never taken the plunge. Until you’ve actually used a kettlebell it’s hard to explain just how incredible the workout is. Just a few minutes into the workout you’re feeling the burn and realizing just why people get ripped from doing this.

Lastly came the TRX. This is my new favourite thing ever. I might even love TRX as much as I love the idea of the sun shining which is A LOT. TRX was developed by Navy Seals and is a simple rope system that is meant to be able to be done anywhere. The idea of TRX is that you always have part of your body suspended. Image doing pushups STANDING UP. Push ups are my least favourite thing to do in a work out and I could have done 50 more using TRX. We did arms, legs, abs and stretched on these bad boys. Awesome sauce.

An hour and half and a ton of endorphins later I left Core Essentials inspired to step my game up. The atmosphere combined with amazing instructors make you feel like you’re taking part in a workout that will actually help you reach your goals.

A huge thank you to the lovely Ben at Yelp! and Laurissa and her fantastic team at Core Essentials for putting this together! I can’t wait to get back!

Fitness in Halifax – a better way

18 Apr

It has likely become clear to most of our readers that we at This Needs to Stop enjoy food (and of course booze), cat shows and all the finer things life has to offer. But with this lifestyle comes the need to balance our lives with the daily recommended allotment of physical activity. And if you are like us you may have tried a number of exercise programs and routines over the years, and you have likely found yourself at the gym wondering “Is this the gym or the Dome?” as we did in an earlier post. But luckily that is all going to change  – we are pleased to announce that this summer This Needs to Stop is taking their health to heart and will be attending outdoor bootcamps with Ryan Cairns. (Ryan is a certified personal trainer and fitness professional.) Ryan puts a fun and interesting spin on fitness, offering something for all fitness levels and he is never short on encouragement.

Starting May 4th, Ryan will be offering drop in bootcamps at Point Pleasant Park (check out his site for all the details), the bootcamps are just in time for beach season, which is fast approaching. Or wedding season, if you or a friend happening to be walking down the asile this summer. And guys this isn’t just for the ladies, our very own Internets Joel Kelly will be  taking part too and is looking forward to early mornings at the park.

So if you are looking for a fun, affordable and complete fitness program this Spring, come join us. We promise you won’t be disappointed and at the very least you will be treated to the witty banter of Joel in the morning (and as his former co-worker, I can speak to how great that really is), s0 check out Ryan’s site SparkFitnessNow for all the details.

Check back for details on how we do at bootcamp – we are excited to see how we progress.