Don’t Let Jet Lag Keep You Grounded

Posted by Maria on August 16, 2016 under Aromatherapy, Creating Wellness ebook, Energy Healing, Fitness, Gemstones & Crystals, Homespunspa Wellness Tour, Ingredients, Life Coaching, Massages, Nutrition, Photo gallery, Seasonal, Self-Care, Sleep, Spa and Sleep Dictionary, Stress Management and Relaxation, Travel, Uncategorized, Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games, Wellness, Yoga | Be the First to Comment

by Maria Koropecky, Wellness Coach

I’ve got travel on my mind!

First, with the Summer Olympics being a big draw, the International Olympic Committee has predicted that 480,000+ tourists and sports fans will travel from all corners of the earth to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil for the Olympic and Paralympic Games in August, 2016. That’s a lot of zig-zagging across the planet!

Also, many of my friends are currently travelling for their summer vacations, getting one last trip in before school starts, to all kinds of wonderful places all over the world, and I love hearing about their adventures.

As for me, I’m in the process of planning a Transformation is Possible Cruise to Alaska in August, 2017, which will be all about coaching and wellness, which I’ll tell you more about in the coming months, because you’re invited to join me!

Anyway, with all of this talk of travel, I thought it would be nice to write a blog post on how to minimize Jet Lag so everyone can enjoy their trips more fully.

don't let jet lag keep you grounded.

I don’t want Jet Lag to keep anyone grounded.

The formal name for Jet lag is “desynchronosis” which is a fancy way of saying, “out of sync” which makes sense. It’s also called “flight fatigue.”

Jet Lag is not fun. Thank goodness it’s only temporary! This sleep disorder happens when our body’s natural circadian rhythms aren’t matching up with the local time and the delay can feel quite debilitating.

Symptoms of Jet Lag include:

  1. fatigue
  2. digestive disorders such as constipation, diarrhea, and nausea,
  3. dehydration,
  4. anxiety,
  5. disorientation, confusion, and inability to concentrate,
  6. dizziness & grogginess,
  7. headache,
  8. irritability,
  9. sweating,
  10. general malaise,
  11. mild depression, and
  12. insomnia, disrupted sleep, and irregular sleep patterns.

Depending on whether you’re heading West or East and the time of day you’re travelling, it takes about one day for each time zone you’ve crossed to realign your body clock to your new (or regular) time zone.

Although some Jet Lag is unavoidable while traveling great distances by airplane, it’s still possible to keep disruption to a minimum and get the circadian rhythms humming again sooner rather than later.

9 Tips to Minimize Jet Lag

1. Stay hydrated:

Cabin air can be very dehydrating and being dehydrated is already uncomfortable. Symptoms from dehydration overlap with symptoms of Jet Lag and you don’t want to amplify your Jet Lag by starting off as weak and dehydrated. So, even if you don’t feel thirsty, drink at least one glass of water for every hour you’re in the air. Also, avoid drinking too much caffeine or alcohol during your flight.

2. Use ginger:

Ginger is good for nausea and headaches so if you can, bring some ginger essential oil with you (perhaps in a pump spray bottle), or drink ginger ale or ginger tea, or eat some Sushi with pickled ginger before your flight at the airport.

3. Consider melatonin:

To ease your transition to the new time zone and to reset your body clock, consider taking melatonin, either as a nonprescription drug or from a food source like cherries. Please see my blog post, “Top of your day with a cherry”

4. Try Reflexology:

Speaking of melatonin, you can also use Reflexology to stimulate the production of this sleep-regulating hormone by applying pressure to the Pineal gland points on your hands, feet, or ears. To work this reflexology point on the feet, use your index finger and press in and down on the outside edge (or medial side) of your big toe, just above the midway bump at the base of the nail.

5. Get some pre-flight life coaching:

If you’re feeling anxious about flying and are a nervous traveller, book a session with a life coach like me before your trip. A coach can be very calming and reassuring. On top of that, voicing your concerns and imagining a smooth flight without any complications, including Jet Lag, ahead of time, will also work wonders.

6. Wear gemstone jewellery:

Travellers have been carrying healing crystals for their protective and healing properties on their journeys for thousands of years. Wearing gemstone and crystal jewellery is an excellent and easy way to ensure a safe and pleasant voyage. Crystal jewellery also looks nice and makes a great conversation starter. I recommend Turquoise to safeguard your possessions and to facilitate communication, Yellow Jasper to calm nausea or motion sickness, and silvery-black Hematite to help get rid of Jet Lag. Of course, there’s also the perfectly-named Jet stone which offers protection, helps clear negativity, and brings good luck.

7. Get up and stretch:

Every few hours, take about 15 minutes to stretch your muscles from head to toe. Roll your neck, shoulders, wrists, and ankles and twist at your waist from side to side. All the better if you practice yoga. You can stretch while seated of course, but it’s even better when you get up mid flight and walk up and down the aisle a few times to get your circulation going and stretch while standing up.

8. Go outside when you can:

Once you arrive, spend time outside in nature and then you’ll receive natural cues from the environment that will help your body reset itself to your new surroundings. Also, if you happen to catch some rays, you’ll also get some Vitamin D which will help boost your immunity. Please read my blog post, “It’s Vitamin D Day”.

9. Get a massage:

As a massage practitioner, I recommend getting a massage to minimize the amount of time it takes to recover from Jet Lag. Nowadays, you can get a chair massage at the airport or you can book a more extravagant massage at a spa at your destination. Either way, a massage will help you release tension and sleep better at night.

I hope these 9 tips will help you reduce and even avoid Jet Lag on your next trip. And if you have any tips to share, feel free to add your comments about minimizing Jet Lag below. Thanks!

Here’s a Calendar of Wellness & Health Awareness Days in 2016

Posted by Maria on February 1, 2016 under 31 Blog Posts in 31 Days, Aromatherapy, Ayurveda & Elemental Nature, Bath and Body, Books, Magazines, Music, Creating Wellness ebook, Dating, Dear Homespunspa, Energy Healing, Esthetics School, Face, Facials, Fashion, Feet, Fitness, Gift Ideas, Green Living, Hair, Hands and Nails, Home spa, Homespunspa, Homespunspa Wellness Tour, How to throw a home spa pajama party the Homespunspa way book, Humour, Ingredients, Life Coaching, Manicures, Massages, Meditation, Mobile Spa, Newspapers and Newsworthy, Nutrition, Pedicures, Pets, Photo gallery, Pop-Psychology, Recipes, Seasonal, Self-Care, Skin Care, Sleep, Spa Party, Spa Review, Spa and Sleep Dictionary, Spirituality, Stress Management and Relaxation, Supernatural Spa on VoiceAmerica, TV Shows & Movies, Travel, Uncategorized, Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games, Weight Management, Wellness, Yoga | Read the First Comment

by Maria Koropecky, Wellness Coach

Here’s a calendar of Wellness and Health Awareness Days, Weeks, and Months for Canadians in 2016. Hopefully, these health promotion days will inspire you to practice self-care throughout the seasons. (For a deeper look at why self-care is so important, please read my blog post “Is Self-Care Selfish?”

On occasion, I’ve also included links to blog posts I’ve written about practicing on-going self-care that tie into these events and to my Homespunspa Mobile Spa and wellness coaching services. I’ve just realized how much writing I’ve been doing over the last few years! :)

As I’m compiling this list, I’m counting my blessings and I’m really grateful for my good health. With these special days and holidays as door openers, there are literally hundreds of ways we can all reach out to the people around us and celebrate life together.

Please visit Health Canada for active links to the websites of the health-related organizations. Also, if any of these organizations resonate strongly with you, consider volunteering, donating money, or participating in their events. As you can see, there are lots of needs to fill in this world, so help where you can (especially if you’re looking for your life’s purpose) to make the world a better place for all of us.

P.S. #1: As you read this list, you might find yourself saying, “There’s a day for that?” more than once. To answer your question, yes, yes, there is. Thank you to all of the creative and caring people out there who have worked so hard to make these dates official on local, national, and international calendars.

P.S. #2: I’d really love it if you’d share these blog posts via social media with your friends, family, co-workers, and clients. Thank you in advance.

P.S. #3: If you know of a special health- and wellness-related day, week, or month that I haven’t mentioned, please leave a comment and let us know about it and I’ll update the list.

P.S. #4: If you have a wellness blog like mine, here’s a editorial calendar with tons of ideas of what you can write about over the course of the year. You’re welcome!

Wellness Oasis12 Months of Wellness and Health Awareness Days

In January, we have…

  • Alzheimer Awareness Month
  • Birthflowers of the Month include: Carnation, Snowdrop
  • Birthstones of the Month include: Emerald, Garnet, Rose Quartz
  • Cervical Cancer Awareness Month
  • Hot Tea Month (Tea Association of Canada) — Please see my blog post, “Less Caffeine is a Sleeper’s Dream.”
  • Human Trafficking Awareness Month
  • National Bath Safety Month (U.S.)
  • National Blood Donor Month
  • National Hobby Month (U.S.)
  • National Oatmeal Month (U.S.) — Please read my blog post, “Orange, Coconut & Cinnamon Cookie Recipe”
  • National Soup Month (U.S.)
  • National Train Your Dog Month (U.S.)
  • Walk Your Pet Month — Please read my blog post, “Highlights from my dog-sitting retreat to White Rock.”
  • New Year’s Day on January 1st — Please read my blog post, “Happy New Rear!”
  • Polar Bear Swim on January 1st
  • World Hypnotism Day on January 4th — Please read my blog post, “What is a Holistic Practioner?”
  • Clean Off Your Desk Day on January 11th
  • Human Trafficking Awareness Day on January 11th
  • National Rubber Ducky Day (U.S.) on January 13th
  • National Dress Up Your Pet Day (U.S.) on January 14th
  • SHE Day (600 Women talk business and leadership in Winnipeg, MB) on January 15th
  • Colour Days!!! Rainbow Day (let these colours inspire you throughout the day) (public Facebook Group) on January 17th
  • Ditch Your New Year’s Resolutions Day on January 17th — Please read my blog post, “Remember Your New Year’s Resolutions?”
  • National Non-Smoking Week from January 17th to January 23rd — Please see my blog post, “Is 2016 Your Year to Quit Smoking?”
  • National Popcorn Day (U.S.) on January 19th
  • Weedless Wednesday on January 20th
  • National Hugging Day on January 21st
  • National Answer Your Cat’s Question Day (U.S.) on January 22nd
  • Change a Pet’s Life Day on January 24th
  • Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day on January 25th
  • Family Literacy Day on January 27th — Please buy my Creating Wellness ebook on Amazon and read my blog post, “Sharing a Tip from my Creating Wellness Ebook on how to Sleep Better.”
  • International Lego Day on January 28th
  • Women’s Right to Vote in Canada 100th Anniversary on January 28th.

In February, we have…

  • Birthflowers of the Month include: Primrose, Violet
  • Birthstones of the Month include: Amethyst, Bloodstone, Moonstone, Onyx — Please read my blog post, “Cheers to the Chi Machine.”
  • Heart Health Month
  • National Cherry Month (U.S.) — Please read my blog post, “Top off your day with a cherry.”
  • Psychology Month — Please read my blog post, “How to feel a sense of wholeness within.”
  • Eating Disorders Awareness Week from February 1st to February 7th
  • Groundhog Day on February 2nd
  • Winter Walk Day on February 3rd — Please read my blog post, “Walking in a Winter Wonderland.”
  • World Cancer Day on February 4th
  • International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation on February 6th
  • White Cane Week (for the blind and vision-impaired community) from February 7th to February 13th
  • Chinese New Year Day of the Red Monkey Year on February 8th
  • Family Day in BC on February 8th
  • Sexual and Reproductive Health Awareness Day on February 12th
  • Valentine’s Day on February 14th — Please read my blog post, “Tips for Lips.”
  • International Flirting Week from February 14th to February 20th
  • Family Day in AB, SK, ON on February 15th
  • Westminster Kennel Club Annual Dog Show on February 15th and February 16th — Please read my blog post, “Highlights from my dog-sitting retreat to White Rock.”
  • Colour Days!!! Pink Day (let this colour inspire you throughout the day) (public Facebook Group) on February 17th
  • Random Acts of Kindness Day on February 17th
  • Love your Pet Day on February 20th
  • Walking the Dog Day on February 22nd
  • Tennis Day on February 23rd
  • Pink Shirt Day (anti-bullying movement) on February 24th
  • Oscar Sunday on February 28th — Please see my blog post, “SPARTY! So Glamourous!”
  • Floral Design Day on February 28th
  • National Science Day on February 28th
  • Leap Day on February 29th

In March, we have…

In April, we have…

In May, we have…

  • Birthflowers of the Month include: Hawthorne, Lily of the Valley
  • Birthstones of the Month include: Agate, Beryl, Chrysoprase, Emerald, Saffier
  • Celiac Awareness Month — Please read my blog post, “How to get rid of rash under breasts.”
  • Cystic Fibrosis Month
  • Food Allergy Awareness Month — Please see my blog post, “Can’t Have your Dairy and Yogurt Too?”
  • Foot Health Awareness Month — Please read my blog post, “It’s Footbath Friday.”
  • Hepatitis Awareness Month
  • Huntington’s Disease Awareness Month
  • MedicAlert Month
  • Multiple Sclerosis Month
  • National Hemochromatosis Awareness Month (Iron Overload)
  • National Pet Month (U.S.)
  • National Physiotherapy Month
  • National Skin Cancer Awareness Month (U.S.) — Please read my blog post, “Mountains or Molehills?”
  • Speech and Hearing Awareness Month
  • Vision Health Month
  • Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanups from March 1st to July 31st — Please read my blog post, “Clean Up Crew Heads to Gonzales Bay Beach.”
  • Executive Coaching Day on May 1st
  • Lyme Disease Awareness Day on May 1st
  • National Hospice Palliative Care Week from May 1st to May 7th
  • National Pet Week (U.S.) from May 1st to May 7th
  • Olympic Torch Relay for the Rio 2016 Games begins in Brasilia on May 3rd — Please see my blog post, “Olympics Day 1 and Homespunspa Was There!”
  • Walk So Kids Can Talk (event for Kids Help Phone) on May 3rd
  • World Asthma Day on May 3rd
  • World Press Freedom Day on May 3rd — Please read my blog post, “Homespunspa is Featured in Spa Life Magazine.”
  • May the Fourth Be With You Day (National Star Wars Day) on May 4th
  • Melanoma Monday on May 4th — Please read my blog post, “Mountains or Molehills?”
  • National Orange Juice Day on May 4th — Please read my blog post, “Put your feet up — home spa masque recipe for your good ol’ feet.”
  • Cinco de Mayo on May 5th
  • National Day of Prayer (U.S.) on May 5th
  • Save Lives: Clean Your Hands (WHO’s global annual call to action for health workers) on May 5th — Please read my blog post, “Washing Dishes — Good Clean Fun.”
  • World Pulmonary Hypertension Day on May 5th — Please read my blog post, “Do you have Insomnia?”
  • International No Diet Day on May 6th
  • National Tourist Appreciation Day (U.S.) on May 6th
  • Space Day on May 6th
  • HerbDay on May 7th — Please read my blog post, “Sage: A Scent for the Season.”
  • Join Hands Day (dedicated to bringing a union between the older & younger generations) on May 7th — Please read my blog post, “We Love Referrals! :)
  • National Babysitters’ Day (U.S.) on May 7th
  • World Labyrinth Day on May 7th — Please read my blog post, “Find Peace of Mind As You Walk a Labyrinth.”
  • Mental Health Week from May 2nd to May 8th — Please read my blog post, “There’s no crying in baseball.”
  • Mother’s Day on May 8th — Please read my blog post, “Give the Gift of Homespunspa Mobile Spa this Mother’s Day.”
  • White Lotus Day (encouraging meditation) on May 8th
  • World Red Cross Day on May 8th
  • Naturopathic Medicine Week from May 9th to May 15th — Please read my blog post, “I’m going on a Wellness Tour.”
  • National Nursing Week from May 9th to May 16th
  • Sun Awareness Week (U.K.) from May 9th to May 16th — Please read my blog post, “Ask Maria about Aveda.”
  • International Awareness Day for Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, Fibromyalgia and Multiple Chemical Sensitivity on May 12th
  • International Nursing Day on May 12th
  • International Hummus Day on May 13th
  • Friday the 13th on May 13th, 2016 — Please see my blog post, “Are you a Superstitious Sleeper?”
  • International Migratory Bird Day on May 14th
  • International Coaching Week (ICW) (International Coaching Federation) from May 16th to May 22nd — Please read my blog post, “How to use the Acceptance Factor to Shift Subconscious Beliefs.”
  • Colour Days!!! Turquoise/Teal Day (let this colour inspire you throughout the day) (public Facebook Group) on May 17th
  • International Day Against Homophobia on May 17th
  • World Hypertension Day on May 17th
  • International Museum Day on May 18th
  • World Autoimmune Arthritis Day on May 20th
  • National Learn to Swim Day on May 21st
  • World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development on May 21st
  • Paramedic Services Week from May 22nd to May 28th
  • Victoria Day on May 23rd — Please read my blog post, “Victoria is the Fashion Capital of Canada.”
  • Sunscreen Day on May 27th
  • Amnesty International Day on May 28th
  • International Jazz Day on May 28th
  • National Multiple Births Awareness Day on May 28th
  • World No-Tobacco Day on May 31st
  • Bike to Work Week BC from May 30th to June 5th

In June, we have…

In July, we have…

  • Birthflowers of the Month include: Delphinium, Larkspur, Water Lily
  • Birthstones of the Month include: Carnelian, Ruby
  • National Blueberry Month (U.S.)
  • Personal Health Month — Please see my blog post, “Stay Cool as a Cucumber this Summer.”
  • Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanups from March 1st to July 31st — Please read my blog post, “Clean Up Crew Heads to Gonzales Bay Beach.”
  • Canada Day on July 1st — Please read my blog post, “My Pick for the #1 Spa Ingredient Native to Canada (2014)”
  • Independence Day (U.S.) on July 4th
  • International Kissing Day on July 6th
  • World Chocolate Day on July 7th
  • World Population Day on July 11th
  • National Nude Day on July 14th
  • Colour Days!!! Blue Day (let this colour inspire you throughout the day) (public Facebook Group) on July 17th
  • Cousins Day on July 24th
  • International Self-Care Day (ISF) on July 24th — Please read my blog post, “Is Self-Care Selfish?”
  • Parents Day on July 24th
  • Aunt and Uncle Day on July 26th
  • World Hepatitis Day on July 28th
  • Color Me Rad 5K Run (Vancouver) on July 30th
  • International Day of Friendship on July 30th — Please see my blog post, “Checklist for a Successful Spa Party.”

In August, we have…

In September, we have…

In October, we have…

In November, we have…

In December, we have…

My Report on Colbert

Posted by Maria on February 18, 2010 under Books, Magazines, Music, Humour, Newspapers and Newsworthy, Photo gallery, Stress Management and Relaxation, TV Shows & Movies, Uncategorized, Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games | 3 Comments to Read

by Maria Koropecky, Homespunspa owner
Steven Colbert in Vancouver

I know it's blurry but there's Steven Colbert. Photo by Maria Koropecky

*SPOILER ALERT — UPCOMING EPISODE OF THE COLBERT REPORT*

Laughter is the best medicine and on my lifelong quest to beat stress, I took advantage of an open invitation to participate in a live taping of the comedy tv show, the Colbert Report, during the Vancouver 2010 Winter (more like Spring) Olympic Games.

Add a song to a laugh and you’ve got a recipe for a golden day.

I’m so glad I went even though I was in pretty rough shape from the night before. I had spent the evening with some Ukrainian musicians and we sang and talked and I drank way too much red wine. Still I persevered the next morning and after a bus ride and a walk in the park in uncomfortable shoes, I was thrilled when I learned the special guest on the show was Michael Buble.

Michael Buble is one of my faves. When I first heard his new song, “I just haven’t met you yet,” I thought he was talking to me. I still haven’t met him yet but I got closer.

The taping was supposed to start at 9:15 am and I got to Creekside Park next to the Telus World of Science, the temporary home of the Sochi House, just before 8:00. It was a beautiful blue-skied sunny morning. There were already what seemed like thousands of people there by then — some had even camped overnight.

In true Canadian fashion, we lined up along the cement bike path to get into the park. We’re so polite and well-behaved. But that step was unnecessary. Who lines up to get into an open space? Eventually and all of a sudden, the line broke and everybody ran up the muddy hill to get as close to the stage as possible. Refusing to stand for hours on muddy grass, I ended up right behind the speakers on cement.

As we were listening to the sound checks, an eagle glided by. That was poetry in motion if you ask me because I think it was Stephen Jr. saying hello to his old friend. The message, unfortunately, went over Mr. Colbert’s head but the audience noticed and cheered.

My first spot was a good spot but my patience and the chill in the air got the better of me and I had to go to MacDonald’s to grab a cup of tea. When I came back a half hour later, I still managed to stay on the bike path but was much farther away from the stage and couldn’t see squat. All of these heads were in my way. I had to take my photos blindly and in spite of that, I still managed to get some good shots.

Steven Colbert interviews Michael Buble in Vancouver.

Stephen Colbert interviews Michael Buble in Vancouver. Photo by Maria Koropecky

The actual taping didn’t start until well after 10:15 am. Even though I couldn’t see anything, I still enjoyed being part of the audience. We opened the show by singing O Canada, an Olympic moment for sure. It took Mr. Colbert three or four tries to deliver the opening jokes of the show and for one of the takes, he “borrowed” an Olympic torch from somebody in the audience and threatened to not give it back. I love behind-the-scenes stuff. Someone from the audience yelled out “We love you, Stephen” and he said, “I love me too.”

I like how Stephen Colbert pronounces his last name the French way (unlike Ellen Degeneres who in my opinion pronounces her name incorrectly) and I think he secretly wants to be Canadian.

Steven Colbert Interviews Michael Buble in Vancouver.

The intensity builds as Stephen Colbert volleys questions at Michael Buble. Photo by Maria Koropecky.

Instead of doing his regular bit, “Better know a District,” he Canadianized it to “Better know a Riding” and interviewed Ujjal Dosanjh, MP for Vancouver South via satellite. Although the interview started off light and breezy, I think Mr. Colbert pushed it a bit too far and the interview will be severely edited for broadcast. But pushing buttons is part of his job, so we’ll see.

Steven Colbert sings O Canada with Michael Buble

Stephen Colbert sings O Canada with Michael Buble. Photo by Maria Koropecky.

Finally Michael Buble (another guy who pronounces his name the French way) came on stage but he wasn’t formally introduced to us and the interview didn’t start for quite a few minutes because Stephen Colbert wasn’t there. Michael Buble just sat there on his chair twiddling his thumbs. I guess he started feeling a bit silly up there in the fake living room, all eyes on him, so like the true showman he is, he sang, “Good ol’ hockey game.” And we sang along. And now I can say I’ve sung with my favourite crooner.

Stephen asked Michael, “Why does the United States need Canada?” and off the cuff he answered, “You need our flag to stick on your suitcase when you travel.” Good one, Michael.

The interview ended with a song. For all of you improvisers out there, this is a great exercise. Stephen challenged Michael Olympic style to sing a duet with him. He said, “Let’s sing O Canada to the Star Spangled Banner tune.” Can it be done? As Stephen said, “This has never been attempted before” and sure enough, with the help of the lyrics on cue cards, they made it work. Fun, fun, fun. I think they should each get gold medals for their impromptu performance.

I have no idea when this episode will air on the Canadian Comedy Network or what happened on the show after that because I had to leave to catch my ferry back home. I’m so happy I went and I have a new appreciation for the city of Vancouver.

Michale Buble and Steven Colbert sing O Canada.

Michael Buble and Stephen Colbert sing O Canada with a twist. Photo by Maria Koropecky.

Add a Home Gym to your Home Spa

Posted by Maria on February 12, 2010 under Books, Magazines, Music, Fitness, Gift Ideas, Home spa, Pets, Photo gallery, Pop-Psychology, Sleep, TV Shows & Movies, Uncategorized, Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games, Weight Management, Wellness, Yoga | 6 Comments to Read

by Maria Koropecky, Homespunspa owner

The Olympics are here! The Olympics are here!

Yesterday, while I was in the midst of running on the treadmill (24 minutes non-stop — a new record for me), I was chatting with my personal trainer and she was telling me her plans for re-decorating her studio. I was surprised to hear that she has been planning to install a tv near the treadmill for quite some time.

I suggested now is the perfect time to set up her tv because in the past, I’ve found watching the Olympics while exercising myself to be a lot of fun. It just gives you an extra boost of energy and somehow you end up increasing your speed and your enthusiasm. She agreed wholeheartedly and said “It’s a great motivator” and “thanks for the reminder!”

Home Gym

Here I am after one of my workouts with my trainer.

If you’d like to add a home gym to your home spa, here are my suggestions. Start small and build as you can. And don’t just admire it, use it!

  • Dedicate Space: Where will you workout? Do you have access to a spare room or is your living room multi-purpose like mine is? If you’re going to be setting up shop in your living room (I don’t recommend your bedroom because the equipment and the activity will interfere with your sleeping environment), then you’ll want to choose equipment that you can store and access easily. I have a treadmill that folds and stands upright against a wall and that works for me. I keep it next to the tv so when it’s time for a walk/run, I just move the coffee table and extend the platform and I’m off to the races.
  • Big Equipment: I’ve already mentioned a treadmill because that’s what I use. I highly recommend getting one. They can be quite expensive and keep in mind that the cheaper ones will be noisy (which will annoy the rest of your household) and will not have a lot of extra bells and whistles, like built in heart-rate monitors or a cushy running base, but even a cheap one is good to have. If you prefer some other equipment or have a lot of extra room, you can look into buying an elliptical trainer, a stairmaster, a stationary bike, a rowing machine or a strength-training machine. You might even consider installing a pole which will work your abs like nothing else once you get past the hanging upsidedown part. Your home gym will be really high end if you also have access tennis courts and swimming pools and saunas. I have a friend you had a squash/basketball court in his house which was really cool, I always thought.
  • Handy Equipment: There’s a ton of great equipment that you can use in your home gym. Start with a yoga mat for your stretches. Hand-held weights are useful to have — start with low weights (two each of 1-, 2-, 3- & 5-pounders) and work your way up to 7’s, 8’s, 10’s, 12’s, 15’s, and 20-pluses. There are also adjustable weights you can strap on to your legs. For more resistance, get some tubes or bands that come in green, red, pink and purple depending on their strength. Suzanne Summers’ Thigh Master is still a winner. There are also inflatable pilates balls that are very versatile but only buy the ones that say “anti-burst.” You can also buy a mini trampoline or a low-tech jump rope that will really save space. I also have a plastic step from the 90’s which I’m planning to use again one of these days. Remember to use the built-in stairs in your house, too. My trainer has a Bosu (that half-ball in the picture) and last week on the Biggest Loser, I saw an Olympic athlete balance on one foot while doing the hoola-hoop on one. It looked fun and hard to do at the same time. I wonder if you can buy those speed skating gliding strips that they also used on the Biggest Loser for home use? My trainer told me that those are way harder than they look and are great for building endurance.
  • Extra Features: To make your home gym more enjoyable, design it with care. If it’s a dark and dingy room in your basement, you won’t use it. To brighten things up, install a large, full-length mirror so you can see your form while you’re working out. Also, having a tv within sight that plays your favourite workout videos will add variety to your exercise routine. A stereo is also good to have. I have a few playlists on my iPod that I listen to while running. Also hanging posters with inspiring quotes and photos of fit people also help with motivation. And have a place for your bottle of water. Remember also to plug in some fans to circulate air. Even though I always seem to forget this, have a clean towel handy. You might also like to buy tools like heart-rate monitors and pedometres to track your progress.
  • A note on safety: Make sure your home gym will give you an effective workout and will also be a safe environment for you. I advise getting pets and small children out of the room while you’re exercising. Also, make sure the room is clean and uncluttered and there aren’t any tripping hazards or electrical overload concerns with your equipment. Read the safety manuals and use the equipment as intended. Clean your equipment regularly with disinfectant wipes, especially if many people are using the facilities.

I hope you use your home gym for many years to come. Invite your friends and workout buddies over from time to time so they can enjoy your gym too. Leave a comment and tell us about your home gym. And have fun working out while watching the Olympics — that’s what I’ll be doing for sure.

Eat Salmon to Sleep Better

Posted by Maria on February 2, 2010 under Fitness, Ingredients, Nutrition, Photo gallery, Pop-Psychology, Sleep, Stress Management and Relaxation, TV Shows & Movies, Uncategorized, Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games, Weight Management | 6 Comments to Read

Dear Olympic Athletes:

If you’re angling to win a medal in the 2010 Olympic Winter Games — which are starting with or without snow in Vancouver/Whistler British Columbia in just 10 short days (gasp) — listen up for some homespun advice: Eat salmon the night before your competition to get a better night’s sleep.

The meal you choose the night before your event(s) could make the difference between hearing your national anthem or someone else’s. After all of your months and years of intense training, getting a good night’s sleep and fueling your body with optimum food, will give you a winning advantage. I suggest eating wild salmon while you’re here in BC.

Why Salmon?

  • Wild salmon is a golden source of omega-3 fatty acids which help reduce pain and inflammation, improve memory and focus and contribute to cardiovascular health — all vital priorities for high-caliber athletes;
  • DHA, a healthy fat in salmon, may fast-track levels of melatonin, a key sleep-regulating hormone;
  • Salmon contains magnesium which helps us sleep. Low magnesium, on the other hand, is associated with things like muscle-cramping, anxiety and fatigue;
  • Wild salmon is also fresh and local in these parts — or as they say, well-within our 100-Mile diet; and
  • Salmon’s tenacious spirit has “Olympics” written all over it.
A piece of salmon on the grill.

A fresh salmon fillet on the grill.

Getting a good night’s sleep is crucial to your success. Shoot for at least seven hours of solid sleep every night. Remember to give yourself enough days to get over your jet lag and to adjust to Vancouver time. Also, keep your body temperature on the cool side while you’re sleeping and keep your room dark — thank goodness these are the winter games!

If you don’t sleep well, the resulting fatigue can affect your judgment and increase your risk for accidents. Does anyone out there remember the vintage “agony of defeat” ad for ABC’s, the Wide World of Sports? I think I’ve made my point.

Sushi anyone?

Sincerely,

Maria Koropecky
Homespunspa, Recipes for Sleep and Beauty
http://www.homespunspa.com

Olympics Day 1 and Homespunspa Was There!

Posted by Maria on October 30, 2009 under Fitness, Newspapers and Newsworthy, Photo gallery, Uncategorized, Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games | 3 Comments to Read

by Maria Koropecky, citizen journalist

The Olympic torch blew through my town today.

I found out by fluke that the Olympic Torch Relay for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games was actually coming through my little town of Saanichton, BC. And on Day 1 of all days. I had no idea when I was blogging about Centennial Park two days ago that I would be blogging about my neighborhood again so soon.

The Vancouver 2010 Olympic Torch Relay began on October 30th, 2009 in Victoria, British Columbia. The Olympic Flame was originally lit in Olympia, Greece on October 22nd, 2009. The Olympic flame will crisscross Canada over the next 106 days, visiting 1000 communities.

I love the Olympics because the athletes show us the amazing strength and beauty of the human body and spirit. And the Games bring people together.

I like to think of myself as an athletic supporter ;>

Day 1 Olympic Torch Relay for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games – A Photo Essay

Olympic Torch Relay Interactive Map Screen Shot

Olympic Torch Relay Interactive Map Screen Shot

Photo by Maria Koropecky

The neighbours are starting to gather at City Hall. Photo by Maria Koropecky

From City Hall. Photo by Maria Koropecky

From Mt. Newton and Wallace. Photo by Maria Koropecky

A Canadian flag. Photo by Maria Koropecky

A Canadian flag. Photo by Maria Koropecky

Relay 3 and Vancouver 2010. Photo by Maria Koropecky

Relay 3 and Vancouver 2010. Photo by Maria Koropecky

Brian the next runner steps off the bus. Photo by Maria Koropecky

Brian the next runner steps off the bus. Photo by Maria Koropecky

Photo by Maria Koropecky

Interview. Photo by Maria Koropecky

Photo by Maria Koropecky

He bought his torch for $300. Nice souvenir. Photo by Maria Koropecky

Photo by Maria Koropecky

Brian is one of 12,000 relay runners. Photo by Maria Koropecky

Brian in his uniform and me wearing my Whistler turtleneck and Whistler toque

Brian in his uniform and me wearing my Whistler turtleneck and Whistler toque

Photo by Maria Koropecky

Security. Photo by Maria Koropecky

"We haven't had this much excitement around here in 15 years," said the lady in the Hawaiian shirt. Photo by Maria Koropecky

"We haven't had this much excitement around here in 15 years," said the lady in the Hawaiian shirt. Photo by Maria Koropecky

Photo by Maria Koropecky

Parade float #1. Photo by Maria Koropecky

Photo by Maria Koropecky

Parade float #2. Photo by Maria Koropecky

Photo by Maria Koropecky

More security. Photo by Maria Koropecky

Photo by Maria Koropecky

Photo by Maria Koropecky

Here comes the transfer. Photo by Maria Koropecky

This is where the relay part comes in. Photo by Maria Koropecky

Photo by Maria Koropecky

Setting up the transfer of the flame. Photo by Maria Koropecky

We have lift off. Photo by Maria Koropecky

We have lift off. Photo by Maria Koropecky

And Brian is off and running. Photo by Maria Koropecky

And Brian is off and running. Photo by Maria Koropecky

Photo by Maria Koropecky

Onward! Photo by Maria Koropecky

It happend so fast. Photo by Maria Koropecky

One brief shining moment. Photo by Maria Koropecky

There he goes. Photo by Maria Koropecky

There he goes. Photo by Maria Koropecky

Photo by Maria Koropecky

After all of that waiting, it happend so fast. Photo by Maria Koropecky

Mud Messy? … Who Knew?

Posted by Maria on June 6, 2009 under Bath and Body, How to throw a home spa pajama party the Homespunspa way book, Ingredients, Photo gallery, Spa Review, Stress Management and Relaxation, Uncategorized, Vancouver 2010 Olympic Games, Weight Management, Yoga | 8 Comments to Read

I took Homespunspa (read yours truly) on a road trip to Whistler, British Columbia last weekend.

Whistler will be the home of the 2010 Winter Olympic Games and is a wonderful outdoor playground and a perfect location for a summer spa weekend retreat.

I could not have picked a better weekend weather-wise. We were experiencing the best stretch of weather I have seen in these parts in years — clear blue skies and sunshine all the way!

View of mainland BC near Horseshoe Bay from the ferry. Not a cloud in the sky, got the sun in my eye.

View of mainland BC near Horseshoe Bay from the ferry. Not a cloud in the sky, got the sun in my eye.

I planned a trip to Whistler because I wanted to reward myself for my weight loss. I also wanted to do something special for myself on the edge of my 40th birthday. I called it my “39 and holding road trip.”

I made an appointment at Solaris Spa the week before and that was the highlight of my trip. First I took a yoga class with Colleen at 10:30 am. The poses were more challenging than I was used to and we did some new-to-me stuff — like tilting, turning and twisting on one leg — which kind of reminded me of those tipping duckies that drink water. The space was really lovely with a spectacular view of the snow-covered mountains. Colleen new her yoga inside and out, so to speak, and was a good instructor. It just goes to show no two yoga instructors are alike and you’ll never take the same yoga class twice, even with the same instructor. Colleen also added a chant to her practice, which I enjoyed, but wasn’t exactly sure what to do with.

After the yoga class, I had my first ever mud wrap treatment. At first I had signed up for the thalassa seaweed wrap because I wanted a detoxifying treatment, but Shelly, my spa specialist, suggested I go with the mud instead, which does the same thing, without the unpleasant smell.

This trip was all about stepping out of my comfort zone and this propelled me out of my nest. I soon wondered, what have I gotten myself into? I didn’t know what to expect and I soon found out how messy and involved a mud treatment was. I was so glad I didn’t have to do the laundry there.

First I had to strip down to my skivies. Cringe. I quickly hopped on to the bed that was covered with a heated blanket, a plastic sheet and regular towels and sheets. I thought Shelly did a great job in making me feel at ease. First she exfoliated my skin with some sort of abrasive glove or brush. It just acted to stimulate the skin, preparing it for the mud. I definitely felt the bristling effect, but at the same time, it was quick and painless.

Then she took the dark, coffee ground-brown mud and painted it on my limbs. It was cool to the skin. After that step, she wrapped me up like a burrito in the plastic sheet and heated blanket. It was very relaxing. I just closed my eyes and was glad my nose didn’t start to itch. Meanwhile, Shelly massaged my face and feet.

Shelly warned me about the contrast I’d feel in the air temperature as she unwrapped my cocoon and yes it was noticeable. The hardest part of the whole process was getting out of the warm bed and into the shower to wash off. I had to make my way covered in clay, wearing a bathrobe and flip flops, across the spa lobby and into the Swiss shower room. (That is my only criticism of the whole experience). People just don’t need to see that before lunch.

Anyway, I tried not to take too long in the shower, but the mud doesn’t exactly rinse off that easily, even though it’s water-soluble. Thank goodness for their pipes that it virtually contains no clay.

Moor Mud (also known as therapeutic peat moss) is an organic substance, produced from the natural decomposition of a galaxy of plants, herbs, flowers and grasses, under special conditions, over thousands of years.

Found in moor mud bogs of Europe, moor mud has been used as a spa treatment ingredient since day one. It contains minerals, trace elements, vitamins, amino acids, plant hormones and fatty acids in a molecular form that is easy for human skin to absorb.

Moor mud has an extraordinary ability to heal, nourish and detoxify the body as it promotes circulation, stimulates the immune system, relaxes muscles, relieves pain, breaks down fat cells, reduces cellulite and improves range of motion — perfect for someone like me who is exercising and doing yoga regularly to get fit.

Getting a back massage was the last part of my mud spa treatment. Unfortunately, I took too long in the shower which didn’t leave much time. I chose the mimosa fragrance, as part of my celebration theme, for this stretch. Shelly told me to drink lots of water because some people get dehydration headaches after detox treatments.

All in all I felt so relaxed. What a beautiful morning. Sipping my water, I walked so slowly through the village and forest path. It took me 40 minutes to walk back to my hotel room — a trip that would normally take 10 to 15.

There’s something to be said about getting away on your own to enjoy your own company and not having to deal with other people’s agendas. As much as I wanted to meet people there, I’m so glad I had the luxury of “Me time.” It was worth the trip.

Here's my Moor Mud Treatment in writing. Drop-in yoga class was $20.

Here's my Moor Mud Treatment in writing. Drop-in yoga class was $20.

Follow Homespunspa on Twitter Homespunspa

Promote Your Page Too

Pages

 

October 2017
S M T W T F S
« Sep    
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
293031