How much would you pay to combat your stress?

By Melissa Leong (Financial Post)

Knowing that stress comes with nasty health consequences such as heart disease and stroke, it makes sense for us to spend money to fight it.

But as our stress levels soar, many of us are reluctant to “treat” ourselves. Even when our company health insurance helps cover the costs, the vast majority don’t fully utilize those benefits.

Great-West Life Assurance Company reports that even the most basic of stress reduction techniques, massage therapy, is only claimed by 27% of its plan members. In 2001, only 10% took advantage of the benefit.

The use of other paramedical benefits such as physiotherapy and psychology services are used by a still smaller percentage of those eligible. Only 4% of members made claims for psychological services in 2011, compared to 2% in 2001.

Thirty-five percent of respondents to a 2011 Sanofi Aventis Canada Healthcare survey said that workplace stress had been so overwhelming that they’d been physically ill in the last 12 months.

“Stress is a reality for most of us and to think that you don’t need to do things to manage it would be a little irresponsible,” Jasmine Baker, president of For The Love of Food, an event planning business based in Toronto. She works out more than four times a week and once a month sees a massage therapist ($100) and visits a spa ($250). “These are things that allow me to physically keep doing what I love. For me, it’s the cost of doing business.”

Nearly one-quarter of all Canadians (23.5%) aged 15 and older reported most days were “extremely or quite a bit stressful,” according to a 2010 Statistics Canada report. Stress rates were highest for 35- to 54-year-olds.

Yet, a number of Canadians don’t even use their allotted vacation time to unwind. Twenty-seven percent of Canadians in 2013 were carrying over unused vacation from the previous year, an survey said.

So take time off. Save money throughout the year to fund a relaxing getaway. “Getting away from it all helps to put things in perspective,” says Kelsey Matheson, a Toronto resident and one of the owners of the Anamaya Resort in Costa Rica, which ranges from $795 to $1,895 for a week-long retreat.

Or visit a wellness centre specifically for stress.  “If I hadn’t it done the investment, what would have been the other option?” says Olympic gold medalist Chandra Crawford who attended the clinic last year to curb stress. “It would’ve been to carry on struggling, carry on diminishing my health and had even more serious consequences in health and lost career time down the road.”

At the least, use your work benefits, including any spending accounts that your company might have for health-related expenses, that’s what they are there for. More than 23 million Canadians have supplementary health coverage for things such as massage and psychological services, the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association says. (The association says stress and mental-health related problems represent 40% to 50% of short-term disability claims in some of Canada’s largest corporations.)

According to a 2006 study for the Fraser Institute, people spent an average of $365 on massage therapy, up from $211 in 1997 — and almost 60% of the cost was covered by insurance.

Some people find spending money stressful and indeed, financial issues are one of the top stressors in people’s lives. In this case, opt for free relief: go for regular walks at lunch, take up meditating and interact more with your social circle.

Another option would be to rejig your budget to cut back on some expenses to make room for more stress-relieving expenses, especially if the stress is having an adverse affect on your health.

Jennifer Podemski says that any extra money she has is going to her well-being.

The 41-year-old Toronto resident was producing a television show and a movie while racing to finish by 4 p.m. to pick up her two and three-year-old from daycare when her stress caught up to her and manifested into a health condition.

One morning in November, she woke up and her legs felt as if they were filled with cement and being pricked by needles. To help de-stress, in December, she purchased a $2,000 infrared sauna for her home.

“These are the kinds of investments that I’m making for my health and my sanity so I’m a better mom, a better entrepreneur, a better person, a better wife.”






Our Stand On Better Butts


POP CULTURE HAS influenced agrowing trend (literally and figuratively)in the direction of gluteus focusedtraining. Celebrities such as Jennifer Lopez, have motivated an obsessionamong many to inundate trainerswith requests for programs on howto build the perfect set of glutes.With all of this esthetic drive toachieve the perfect posterior,what are the correct exercises?

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Click Here for the Entire Article/List of Exercises




Holiday Survival Tips

Surviving that yummy holiday temptation....

We all look forward to time off with our families, sitting around in the kitchen gabbing, laughing and trying out some family recipes. However, the week after many of us feel sluggish, maybe even a bit guilty for a bit of holiday overindulgence. So the question is how do you get through the big dinner without compromising your health and fitness goals?

1. Get out earlier that day and go for a workout, power walk with the family or just play outside with the kids. If you can follow this level of activity for at least one hour you are destined to burn between 200-700 extra calories.

2. Drink lots of water that day, so you will feel fuller and also keep your thirst in check so you are less likely to go for sweets or other food cravings that we often think we need when we are actually just dehydrated and need some clean H2O.

3. Have the lean protein such as the white turkey breast (skin off), chicken breast or fish.  If you are vegetarian or vegan consume high protein vegetables (beans, lentils, peas, kale, etc). Say no to gravy, extra sauces or salty additions.

4. Say yes to veggies and salad. We often tell clients and patients, if you are invited out for dinner and are unsure of what will be on the table, then bring the host a very nice garden salad, not only are you being helpful you know it is one item you can eat!

5. Say no to alcohol, 1 drink is approximately 100 calories (1.5 oz of hard alcohol or wine or beer) if you have three that is 300 calories, if you have 10 that is equivalent to 1 pound of extra weight you have just put on. Remember 1 pound of body fat is 3500 calories, so the little extras really add up.

Last but not least, remember to have fun and be proud of your commitment to living a healthy lifestyle and remember to give thanks to those people and things around you that you feel proud to be around or have accomplished this year!


Jaymi's Testimonial

In October 2015 I started a new job and quickly realized that a staple of our office culture was to ensure that we had on hand, at all times, every snack food imaginable! You name it, we had it. This lead to almost daily overindulgence and after a few short months I had gained several pounds. My clothes no longer fit and I felt miserable knowing that I had blatantly ignored the scale and was now paying the price. *Queue multiple morning wardrobe changes* Ugh..

When I received the email from Endurance advertising the New Year, New You challenge, I decided immediately that I would enrol regardless of the cost. The greatest barrier for me in regards to weight loss and keeping weight off is accountability. When I lack accountability, to myself or anyone else, I gain weight. What I loved about this challenge, even more than the carefully structured meal plans and training regimes, was that I had to take a picture of myself every week and email it to Wendy. For me, knowing that I had to take that picture and send it to a third party was immensely motivating. Slowly, I started to see results which added to that motivation. Before long, I started feeling accountable to myself and was proud of what I was accomplishing. The nutrition plans ensured I rarely felt hungry but rather, satisfied. The training programs were comprehensive and although I had to make some minor adjustments (with guidance and permission from Wendy), I found them fun and even started to look forward to my post-work workout. LOVE this!

From participating in this challenge I learned a few invaluable things. First, when it comes to my weight, I live by accountability. I will continue to take a weekly picture and my measurements to keep an eye on my progress and to ensure I don’t ignore my health again. Food prep played a huge role in my success. A couple of hours on Sunday set the tone for nutritious eating throughout the week. Eating the occasional snack still happened but I accounted for it and didn’t beat myself up over the slip. Paying attention to my caloric intake and macros have also become habit and this is another form of accountability.

Finally, I want to thank Wendy and Kevin for providing this service as it really does work if you are dedicated and trust the process. Going to the gym regularly and proper nutrition have once again become a fundamental part of my lifestyle. Although the challenge is over, the residual effect is that I intend to improve; to keep going, become more knowledgeable about nutrition and weight training and to become the strongest and healthiest version of myself yet. 

CLICK HERE for more info about the "Beat The Post-Stampede Bulge Challenge"

CLICK HERE for more info about the "Summer Training Challenge"







Endurance on 8th's "Beat The Post Stampede Bulge Challenge!"

Work with celebrity coaches Dr. Wendy and Dr. Kevin Ashby!


1 customized nutrition plan

2 customized training plans

Weekly check-ins

Access to private Facebook page lead by Dr. Wendy and Dr. Kevin

Winner of the challenge is based on:

Before/after pictures and measurements

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July 18 - August 12, 2016

Winner will be announced on August 15, 2016!

Entry Fee: $150