8 Amazing Outdoor Workouts

Outdoor Workouts

8 Amazing Outdoor Workouts

The days are long and the weather is warm – it’s the perfect time of year to take your workout outdoors. If you’re a gym addict, you may be surprised how much more exercise you can get in the great outdoors. After all, you’ll be adding wind resistance, real gradients, varying surfaces, and moving obstacles to your experience. There are countless outdoor workouts waiting to be conquered. Here are 8 amazing outdoor workouts:


1. Hiking

Hitting the trails at a brisk pace assures a first-rate cardio session that strengthens your legs, glutes, core, and hip muscles. Being in a wilderness setting is also a great way to help you de-stress.


2. Stand Up Paddle Boarding (SUP)

Hit the lake, ocean or river! Stand up paddle boarding is not only fun, but it’s also a fantastic cross training tool that works your core while improving cardio, stability and balance.


3. Running

A favourite workout for city dwellers and suburbanites alike! Running is one of the most efficient ways you can get your heart rate up and burn calories, all while exploring local trails, beaches, and neighborhoods.


4. Boot Camp in the Park

A group workout, boot camp is the ultimate cross-training experience that offers core conditioning, strength training, and cardio through a combination of drills, obstacle courses, yoga, stretches and more.


5. Kayaking

Kayaking is an activity that is never boring! Whether you’re paddling along a river, lake, or ocean, it’s an adventurous activity that boosts aerobic fitness while strengthening your back, chest, shoulders, and arms. Kayaking is a low-impact activity and a great option for anyone wanting to support joint health.


6. Cycling

A workout that is easy to fit into your daily routine! Cycling is a simple and fun mode of transportation that tones your legs and glutes while providing a serious cardio session.


7. Beach Volleyball

A terrific way to socialize while getting a full body workout, volleyball also enhanced your reflexes, and improves hand eye coordination.


8. Swimming

When the weather feels too hot to exercise, cool down with a session of offshore laps or treading water at the beach or outdoor pool. Just be sure to slap on some sunscreen first!


When your workout is over, refuel with a PGX* Smoothie. Then let us know what you like best about outdoor workouts in the comments section below.

*Drink additional water (8 fl. oz.) after ingesting PGX®. If you are taking medications, take one hour prior to or two hours after taking PGX®.

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PGX & Cityline Spa Contest: Win a Spa Retreat!

Summer Retreat Contest

PGX & Cityline Spa Contest: Win a Summer Spa Retreat!

Summer is awesome. The days are long, the sun is hot and the lake beckons. There are BBQ’s and picnics, fairs and festivals, vacations and camping trips. There’s an endless list of things to enjoy and do. So much so, that we tend to get a little worn out from it all.

But how, in the midst of all the summer hustle and bustle, do we make the time to stop and relax a little?

PGX and Cityline have just the thing!

Win a Summer Spa Retreat for you and a Friend

Imagine resting peacefully in a soft, fluffy robe, while being lulled into a state of total bliss by soothing sounds. Perhaps you’ve just had a pedicure, or a facial, or a steam, or a full body massage. Whatever it was, it was divine.

You’re totally and utterly relaxed.

This could be your reality. You could be in that robe, feeling that bliss, planning your next amazing spa treatment. All you have to do is enter our PGX & Cityline Summer Spa Retreat. It’s that simple.

Say so long to summer fatigue, and rejuvenate your mind and body with a luxurious health and wellness escape.

Enter today!

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Healthy Sweet Tooth Solutions


Healthy Sweet Tooth Solutions

Did you know that 11 to 13 % of the total calories eaten by Canadians comes from added sugar [1]? It’s added to many unassuming products, such as flavored yogurt, bread, vitamin water, and breakfast cereals – sneaking into your diet more than you may realize. Because a high sugar intake is linked to weight gain and an increased risk of chronic disease, it’s best to limit how much of it you eat. Try these healthy sweet tooth solutions:

Add Your Own Natural Flavour

Instead of buying flavored varieties of yogurt, soy milk, or water that are high in added sugar or artificial sweeteners, choose plain and add your own flavour. Berries, cinnamon, or grated vanilla bean are delicious ingredients for jazzing-up plain yogurt, while cucumber and mint make a refreshing addition to tap water.

Naturally Sweet Whole Foods

The natural sugar content of fresh fruit, sweet potatoes, or corn can help satisfy your sweet tooth while adding fibre, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to your diet. For strong cravings, the concentrated sugar in dried dates and apricots can be highly satisfying – just don’t eat more than you would if they were fresh!

Sip a PGX® Satisfast™ Whey Protein Drink*

The combination of fibre and whey protein in PGX Satisfast will help curb your hunger and reduce sugar cravings. With flavors like Rich Chocolate and Very Vanilla you won’t feel deprived of sugary treats.

What healthy foods satisfy your sweet tooth? Let us know in the comments section below.
*Note: Drink additional water (8 fl. oz.) after ingesting PGX. If you are taking medications, take one hour prior to or two hours after taking PGX.


[1] Brisbois, T., Sandra Marsden, Harvey Anderson, and John Sievenpiper. “Estimated Intakes and Sources of Total and Added Sugars in the Canadian Diet.” Nutrients 6.5 (2014): 1899-1912. Web. 13 May 2015.

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5 Quick Protein Filled Snacks


5 Quick Protein Filled Snacks

No matter your age, weight, or activity level, your body needs protein. It not only fuels your hunger and helps repair muscle tissue, but is needed to make hormones, strengthen bones and cartilage, and build a healthy immune system.

The Canada Food Guide recommends a dietary allowance (RDA) of about 46 g of protein for women and 56 g for men per day [1]. Here are five quick bites with over 10 g each:

1. 1 Cup Edamame

Cooked soybeans, also called edamame, pack 22 g of protein per cup [2]. As a quick bite, the combination of protein, fibre, and healthy fats in edamame will help you feel full and satisfied.

2. ½ Cup Steel Cut Oats with ¼ Cup Cottage Cheese

More than just a warm breakfast – steel cut oats are an energizing source of protein, fibre, and iron. Top ½ cup of cooked oats with ¼ cup of low fat cottage cheese to create a comforting combo with 14 g of protein [2]. The key to making this a quick bite is preparing the oats in advance so you can just warm them up.

3. 28 g Salmon Jerky

With 15 g of protein per 28 g serving, salmon jerky provides a delicious way to kick your protein intake up a notch. [2] Salmon has the added bonus of being high in the omega-3 essential fatty acids DHA and EPA.

4. ¾ Cup Greek Yogurt

When it comes to dairy, Greek yogurt is an elite source of protein. It supplies approximately 15 g per ¾ cup serving [2], along with live probiotic bacteria to support a healthy balance of gut microflora.

5. PGX® Satisfast™ Organic Vegan Protein Bar

With 15 g of organic plant protein per bar, this vegan friendly snack is sure to keep you feeling full and satisfied. Whether you choose Very Berry Dark Chocolate, Dark Chocolate Coconut, or Dark Chocolate Peanut, every bite is guaranteed to be gluten free and made with non-GMO ingredients.


[1] Health Canada. “Dietary Reference Intakes.” Food and Nutrition. Web. 27 April 2015.

[2] USDA. “Nutritional Nutrient Database for Standard Reference Release 27.” Agricultural Research Service. Web. 27 April 2015.

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Exercising With Infants


Exercising With Infants

The tabloid obsession over celebrities and their post-pregnancy bodies is certainly unhealthy and arguably damaging, but most people do gain and retain weight after having a baby. Always consult with your physician before beginning any fitness program, particularly involving maternal health.

In one recent study, 75% of women had a higher bodyweight a year after giving birth, compared with their pre-pregnancy weight, with almost half (47.4%) retaining more than 10lbs, and almost a quarter (24.2%) retaining more than 20lbs[1].

A timely return to a healthy body-weight after pregnancy is recommended, but how can you exercise when you’re beholden to baby’s needs? Fortunately, many ingenious people looking after newborns have found great ways to exercise with infants.

Baby Biceps

First up, baby bicep curls. Simply prop your baby (securely) in the crook of your arm, and do a regular old bicep curl. Don’t forget to pull a silly face at baby, or blow them a kiss as they get near to your face! Three sets of ten reps a day and you’ll soon have some great guns. What’s more, as baby grows, you’ll have to work harder. It’s the perfect steadily increasing weightlifting program.


To work on those stroller-guns even further, get out and about with baby every day for at least a half-hour walk, preferably with a few hills included in your route. Pushing an increasingly heavy stroller up and down inclines is tough work, and it’s even harder if you have a double stroller with an older child also adding their weight.

Front-Carrier Squats

Front-carrier squats are a great way to tone your abdominal muscles, and are perfect for anyone who had a C-section. To execute front-carrier squats, strap your baby into a front-carrier and stand with your feet just a little wider than shoulder width. Take a breath and lower your body as if sitting in a chair, while keeping your back straight and belly pulled in. Breathe out and return to your starting position. Do three sets of ten reps.

Baby Hips

Many people find that even if they lose their pregnancy weight they are still a waist-size higher than before pregnancy. This is because the hips typically widen during pregnancy in order to make childbirth easier. Doing side leg-lifts can help to tone up your lower body, and these can also be done with baby in a front-carrier.

To execute side leg-lifts, stand with your feet hip-width apart, hands on your waist or supporting baby, and transfer your weight to your right leg before lifting your left leg out to the side slowly. Hold for half a second and return to your starting position. Do two sets of ten leg lifts on each side.


Every kid dreams of flying, so why not start them out early with this great exercise. Lying on your back with baby resting on your belly, slowly lift them above you until your arms are fully extended, hold the position for a second or two, and then slowly bring them back down to rest. Do three sets of five reps a day, complete with  flying noises while baby soars above you.

Baby Yoga

If a home workout isn’t quite cutting it, take a look at your local community centre, ask your midwife or doula, or get recommendations from friends for baby yoga classes. Some yoga studios offer a dedicated class for new parents who need to bring baby with them, while others have classes that involve both you and your baby. Child pose should be a breeze for your little one.


Possibly not for the faint-hearted, and definitely one to do with experienced instructors, sling-swing is a great way to exercise with infants as it keeps baby close while giving you a pretty intense workout. Look for a class near you, and be careful to ensure exercises are age-appropriate. Delicate newborns and high velocity rotation certainly don’t mix. Done right, this kind of gentle, purposeful movement can help put baby right to sleep.


One of the easiest ways to exercise with an infant is to enroll them in baby-swimming classes! You get to tread water and work your legs and core while the water supports your weight for reduced impact on your joints, and baby gets to learn a valuable life skill!

Kids and Kegel’s

And, finally, one of the most important types of exercise to do after having a baby is pelvic floor muscle exercise. The strength of these muscles can decrease significantly during pregnancy, causing urinary incontinence and affecting quality of life [2]. This can also make it difficult to return to certain types of exercise, such as running or rebounding, where sudden jolts can cause stress incontinence.

Fortunately, pelvic floor exercise (often referred to as Kegel’s) can be done pretty much anywhere at any time! These exercises are also recommended before and during pregnancy and have been found to significantly improve pelvic floor muscle strength during pregnancy and post-partum. Anyone experiencing urinary problems during or after pregnancy should talk to their health care practitioner.

Is it Safe to Exercise While Breastfeeding?

Some people are reluctant to exercise while breastfeeding because of fears that this might adversely affect milk production and the growth of their baby. In a meta-analysis of four randomised, controlled trials, no detrimental effect was seen in infant growth in those who exercised while breastfeeding [3]. Any increase in demands on the body, from increased exercise and from breastfeeding, warrant extra caution about adequate intake of nutrients, especially omega-3 DHA, which is needed for cognitive development and healthy visual development in infants [4].

Not only does pregnancy weight gain and post-partum weight retention adversely affect maternal health, research has shown a significant association between pregnancy weight gain and the body mass index (BMI) of kids at three years old [5]. Exercising with your infant seems like a pretty great way to get back in shape after childbirth, and to make an early start on building positive associations with exercise for your kids!


[1]Endres, L.K., Straub, H., McKinney, C., Plunkett, B., Minkovitz, C.S., Schetter, C.D., Ramey, S., Wang, C., Hobel, C., Raju, T., Shalowitz, M.U.; Community Child Health Network of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. (2015). Postpartum weight retention risk factors and relationship to obesity at 1 year. Obstet Gynecol, Jan;125(1):144-52.

[2] Kahyaoglu Sut, H., & Balkanli Kaplan, P. (2015). Effect of pelvic floor muscle exercise on pelvic floor muscle activity and voiding functions during pregnancy and the postpartum period. Neurourol Urodyn, Feb 3. doi: 10.1002/nau.22728. [Epub ahead of print] [3]  Daley, A.J., Thomas, A., Cooper, H., Fitzpatrick, H., McDonald, C., Moore, H., Rooney, R., Deeks, J.J. (2012). Maternal exercise and growth in breastfed infants: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Pediatrics, Jul;130(1):108-14.

[4]  Bourre, J.M. (2007). Dietary omega-3 fatty acids for women. Biomed Pharmacother, Feb-Apr;61(2-3):105-12.

[5]  Olson, C.M., Strawderman, M.S., Dennison, B.A. (2009). Maternal weight gain during pregnancy and child weight at age 3 years. Matern Child Health J, Nov;13(6):839-46.

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Cooking With Kids


Cooking With Kids: How to Get Kids Into the Kitchen

Teaching kids to make tasty and nutritious food from an early age helps to set them up for a long and healthy life. Getting your kids into the kitchen isn’t easy though, especially when you have to fight against video games, and smartphones to get your kids’ attention.

The trick is to make something that seems desperately boring, look like a lot of fun.

Harness Childhood Curiosity

This is where you can use the power of natural childhood curiosity. Together, take a trip to the grocery store and pick out the weirdest, fun looking vegetables and fruits. Work with your kids to design a meal around the foods they’ve picked, and use the opportunity to teach your kids about the vitamins and minerals in those foods, and how they help them grow. By learning to associate healthy food choices with having enough energy to do their favourite things, and grow up big and strong, kids are more likely to end up as adults with healthy habits.

Get Crafty!

Combine cooking with craft-time by making potato stamps (don’t eat the potatoes after!), using beet juice as a natural paint or dye, or simply by painting a picture of the inside of a tomato or pomegranate. You can also put a range of fruits and vegetables into a covered box with a hole for your hand and ask your kids to take turns working out what each one is, simply by feel and touch.

Challenge Your Kids – Junior Masterchef-Style

Once your kids are a little older, let them loose with your cookbooks and challenge them! Encourage them to come up with new and improved names for the recipes, or to switch out ingredients for things they think are healthier or tastier. For really adventurous kids, create your own version of Masterchef by giving them some basic ingredients and asking them what they’d make. Then put on your apron, and help them make it!

Give Up (some!) Control

To get younger kids more engaged with the process of choosing healthy foods, have them help you make their  lunches for school. Present your kids with a range of healthy options and have them pack their own lunchbox – they might surprise you! This can mean giving them a range of healthy dips, a choice of vegetable crudités, and different protein options for sandwiches such as smoked tofu, houmous, or black bean burger crumbles. By around grade 5 kids are old enough to be taking full responsibility for what they pack into their lunchbox, but make sure you’re on hand to answer any questions about balance and nutrition.

Take the Pressure Off for Picky Eaters

Giving kids a sense of control can also be great for picky eaters. When kids feel like they have choices, they’re more likely to try new and different foods.You might find that by simply presenting a novel food as an option time and again, instead of repeatedly pressuring a child to try something, they may choose to give it a go one day on their own.

Give the Gift of Food

Kids are also more likely to try something they helped prepare, and more likely to value that food if it took a little while to make. This can work really well if you’re cooking as a family or making food-based gifts for a special occasion. Try inviting your child to help make grandma’s favourite food, or something none of you have tried before, and return the favour by helping them to make their favourite food another time. This gives kids the chance to see you having fun with food while being adventurous and generous.

And, finally, remember that if you want your kids to learn how to make healthy food, you have to take things slow and be prepared for some hilarious disasters and bizarre meals along the way!

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Routines: Good Habits for Good Health

good habits heath

Routines: Good Habits for Good Health

Every day we face a seemingly endless stream of decisions; what to wear, what to eat, do I have time for the gym? Over time, these choices can wear us down and lead to what some psychologists have termed ‘decision fatigue’. The result is that we are actually less productive and less happy than we feel we should be, given all our options. The solution? Set up some healthy routines, stop sweating the small stuff, and give your brain a break to focus on the bigger picture.

By establishing a well-thought out schedule that takes care of many of the smaller decisions in life, you can give yourself a reprieve from the continual mental effort of figuring things out as you go. Healthy routines can help you eat well, sleep better, get regular exercise and stay on top of health issues. Basically, if you get into the mindset of seeing more healthy behaviours as akin to brushing your teeth, you’ll expend less mental effort convincing yourself to do them each day, and you’ll feel healthier for it.

Making Healthy Eating a Healthy Habit

Not everything needs to be regimented of course, but if you consistently find that you run out of time to exercise, or run out of fresh vegetables and are living on takeout, it’s probably time to reassess your schedule. If the latter sounds familiar, then set time aside on the weekend to plan your weekly meals, write a shopping list, and figure out which day works best for you to shop.

Knowing your meal schedule can help prevent unnecessary store visits and reduce the temptation to pick up unhealthy snacks. It also saves you from the despair of staring blankly at the open refrigerator when you arrive home tired from work. Having a meal in mind and the ingredients on hand means that you can eat early and have more time to relax with your family.

You might also consider signing up for a Community Service Agriculture (CSA) box to deliver healthy, local, organic fruits and vegetables on a chosen day of the week. Many schemes include recipe ideas involving  the contents of the weekly box, providing the added benefit of a healthy new recipe each week. These boxes are also great for kids to learn about different whole foods, and the local food economy. Another healthy habit to get into is to double up on healthy meals and freeze the extra portion so you always have something wholesome and easy on hand.

A Sustainable Sleep Schedule

Getting on top of healthy eating usually means you can start establishing a regular bedtime routine which, in turn, makes it more likely you’ll get a good night’s sleep and wake feeling refreshed. This means you have the energy upon waking to get out of bed and go for a morning run, rather than hitting snooze and feeling guilty.

Having a pre-established, carefully thought out schedule helps you recognize that veering from that schedule equates to self-sabotage, especially if pressing the snooze button makes you late for work, so you skip the gym and breakfast, and grab a coffee and sugary pastry for the road.

Making Healthy Habits Routine

A healthy routine is only a routine if you follow it day in day out, so don’t miss more than two days in a row, and aim to get to a point where healthy behaviours are the new norm. If you know that you have problems being accountable only to yourself, create a schedule where you are also accountable to someone else. This might mean having a jogging partner, or car-pooling with a friend who goes hiking twice a week after work.

Each new day is the chance to start building a winning streak, so get up, stick to your exercise schedule, and drink your morning smoothie packed with healthy fibre, courtesy of PGX®. It might seem unadventurous to eat the same thing for breakfast every weekday, but it will save you from wasting time deliberating over what to eat, while ensuring that you are well nourished and better able to think clearly about the bigger decisions in life, like where to go to college, whether to move across the country, or how to reorganize your novel so it actually makes sense to your editor.

Scheduling Regular Health Check-Ups

On top of the daily routine, make sure to set up a schedule for regular health check-ups, so you don’t find yourself apologizing to your doctor for not having seen them in five years. Making health appointments routine is also a great model for kids as it can help take the fear out of these visits, and allow you to spot any potential problems early.

Health check-ups shouldn’t just be for you and the family though. It’s also wise to schedule routine maintenance on bikes and other sports equipment so that your exercise regimen can stay on track. Also schedule routine maintenance of household appliances, like carbon monoxide detectors, gas boilers, and similar items that have the potential to cause serious health problems. Again, setting recurring reminders for these things, rather than simply assuming you’ll remember, can really help keep you on top of everything without feeling like you’re always forgetting something.

Healthy Habits for Life

Routines might look boring from the outside, I mean, who really wants to admit that they have seven identical pairs of socks and always eat soup on a Tuesday? The truth is though, that following a routine until it becomes a healthy habit can help ensure that you consistently eat nutritious meals, barely skip exercise, keep in touch with friends and family, and still have time for much-needed relaxation.

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