Healthy Swellness: My Goals for 2022

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I fared pretty poorly at working on my goals for 2021. Last year, I was exhausted and had little free time. It’s difficult to make certain things like reading a priority when working seven days a week and typically 16-18 hour days. So my goals for this year are all about moving onward and upward! A better and healthier balance to how I spend my time.

I will read a minimum of 12 books this year. And I have a new strategy to motivate me: I set up a challenge with two of my best friends on the Goodreads app. First person to complete 12 books wins a prize, and the person who reads the most books wins a second prize. This taps into my competitive nature so it’ll keep me reading (I’ve already finished one book!).

I will get my running back on track. I usually run at least three times a week. In 2020, I ran the most ever in one year (thanks to completing the Great Virtual Race Across Tennessee), and in 2021? The least I’ve run, I think, since I started running. I ran regularly at the beginning of the year because I had the Peloton Tread to test out. Having the Tread meant I was able to squeeze in a run at about midnight (the only time I could make for working out before falling into bed). But once I returned the Tread after my three-month trial, I barely ran at all. some months, I ran twice. All month. I completed only 307.7 kilometres all year long in 2021. As a result, while I have been working out, I haven’t been running and my pace is about as slow as it was when I first did the Learn to Run clinic. To get my runs done regularly, I will run-commute more (which has the bonus of saving on transit costs and avoiding the TTC, which has become an unsafe place with encounters with maskless, unhinged people every single ride). To also motivate me, I’ll register for an in-person race if I can find one that’s happening (i just find virtual races much tougher to be motivated for).

I will cook at least twice a week. Cooking regularly has never been an issue for me, until last year and I ended up eating much more instant foods and frozen stuff. So this year I will cook at least two meals a week. I’m doing more research for recipes online, and I just scored an Instant Pot at a thrift store so I’m excited to have this new gadget to play with this year. And when I need to I’ll make it easier to prepare my meals, whether that’s using a meal delivery plan like Chef’s Plate or Evive smoothies (pictured above).

I will blog at least twice a month. After only posting a handful of times last year, this year I’m committing to creating more content both for Instagram and the blog. Since I’m not traveling much or eating out much (what with the ongoing restrictions in Toronto, I’ll likely be covering more cooking and fitness and sharing favourite products.

Every day is a new day. I think one of the chefs on Top Chef said this in an episode I watched recently, and that’s how I’m approaching every day n 2022, as an opportunity to crush your goals and make your life better. I’d love to hear about any goals you’ve set for yourself this year!

Oh, and if you’ve got favourite Instant Pot recipes, please do share! And if you’re interested in a certain type of content from me, slide into my DMs!

Leave a Comment January 16, 2022

Healthy Swellness: 2021 Year in Review

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Here we are at the end of 2021. You know how they say time flies when you’re having fun? Well, it flies when you’re not having fun, too. And real talk: I don’t have it in me to do a thorough recap. There’s a lot about this year I’d rather not reminisce about. But I think it is helpful to look back, to see what I learned and how to move forward.

It’s been an exhausting 12 months. Most of this year, I worked 18-hour days and worked through many weekends.Because of my schedule, my running has completely derailed. After running more than I ever have last year, this year after the spring,  I barely ran at all. I also didn’t get to work towards any of my goals for the year: I read all of five books. What free time I had, I either used to sleep or just be a couch potato watching Netflix because I had zero energy to do much else (18-hour days and making sure my dog gets as much exercise that she needs leaves little else for anything).

But even with this grueling, relentless day to day throughout much of the year, as I scroll through my calendar and my camera roll, I see that there were bright moments this past year. I partnered with brands I’m fond of (Giant Tiger again, plus Osmows and Cookie Pal). I also started writing for the Toronto Star, and continued writing for other outlets like Destination Toronto and CAA. I started one job in the late winter I thought was a dream job (it was not) and started in the fall with another with a great team, so happy that I’m closing out the year on a good note professionally. Also through work, I’ve had lots of great opportunities: test drives with General Motors, day trips to small towns (including spending the day with some adorable goats), a visit to the beautiful Terre Bleu with its lavender and sunflower fields, a trial of the Peloton Tread (I was amongst the first in Canada to try it!) and the Bike+, so yes, there are still plenty of good things that happened workwise this year.

As for any sort of travel, 2021 was the year of road trips. As someone who has traveled regularly for many years, being here in Toronto since March 2020 hasn’t been much of a hard adjustment (I’m too tired to really have it sink in that I haven’t left Canada in forever), I’ve just shifted focus to fewer trips, all local travel. I’m so happy that I finally made it up to the Bruce Peninsula; Tobermory and Lion’s Head is the most beautiful I’ve ever seen Ontario. And  I got to enjoy a bit of cottage life, which has also never been a part of my lifestyle (I have not had any friends who own cottages, for one, and they’re so incredibly expensive), but this year I rented two, went to my bestie’s new cottage twice, and was lucky enough to visit another cottage in the fall (plus I had a great camping trip at my favourite campsite). Getting away from the city has been a soothing balm to the harshness of life in the city this year.

But not being able to travel is small potatoes in the big scheme of things. What I learned from this year is that I’m stronger than I think, and in the process, I also achieved one goal: to gain a greater sense of gratitude. Every day I give hugs to my little animal kingdom, and when it comes to my friends? Through all of 2021, my closest friends and family have kept me sane and I’ve tried to let them know how much they mean to me. And despite how tough this year was, everyone is healthy and safe (and we got double vaxxed with boosters soon!), and that’s what matters most.

Here’s to closing off the year safely and happily and making 2022 absolutely stellar!

KK xo

Leave a Comment December 31, 2021

Fitness Swellness: My review of the Peloton Tread

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I planned to post this a few months ago, but then the Peloton Tread was recalled. Now that it’s back on the market, well, here you go! My experience trying out the Peloton Tread for 3+ months.

If you’ve following my running journey, you know that I really dislike treadmill running. I need the stimulation of different scenery, having to pay attention to where I’m going, the terrain, everything. To go step after step on a treadmill has always been terribly boring to me. I’ve mostly done treadmill workouts begrudgingly while on a press trip when a treadmill run is the easiest or safest option in my destination.

So when Peloton offered a trial of the new Peloton Tread back in early February when it launched in Canada, I considered turning down the opportunity for two reasons; would I even use it, given how boring I find treadmill running? And also, I just don’t have room for a treadmill in my downtown condo. 

But my curiosity got the better of me. And the most shocking thing happened.

I enjoyed running on the Peloton Tread.

I know, I couldn’t believe it either. 

A 20-minute class (most of the ones I did over the three months were 20-minutes long) flies by. The instructors are a super fit, attractive bunch (hello, Adrian!) and their banter keeps it entertaining and motivating (take a class with Chase, and it feels like he’s your personal hype man). I took a few longer classes, but never made it to taking a 60-minute class because my trial was unexpectedly cut short when the Tread was recalled (more on that later. Note that I tested out the Peloton Tread, which was launched in Canada and the U.K., not the higher-end Tread+).

My favourite classes were the ones with speed intervals; I definitely need the distraction of changing up my pace and having breaks to keep me focused. The one tempo run I completed dragged on—just maintaining the same pace, I felt that familiar treadmill boredom settle in.

The treadmill itself is beautiful. Streamlined, with a huge, crisp screen. It takes up a massive amount of space, and given that it needs a significant amount of clearance on all four sides of it I had them place it right in the middle of my living room and it was truly in the way the whole time I had it. How much space does it need? According to Peloton, “173cm L x 84cm W x 157cm H. Additionally, you will need at least 2 m of clearance directly behind the Tread and 60 cm of clearance on either side.” That’s a lot of space when you have a small Toronto condo.

And still, I enjoyed having it to work out on even though it took up so much room.

So much so, I ended up using the Peloton Tread every single day. Why? For one, I figured I’d try to make the most out of it while I had it, and also, I found it really pleasing that the app’s calendar showed a workout every day. Sure, I could’ve also tried other classes on the app to have the calendar colour-blocked with a workout, but running is the only workout that is a habit for me so it just comes more naturally to me; doing a different type of workout takes more out of me, I need to motivate myself more to wrap my head around getting up and actually doing it.

Also, another reason I ran daily on it? I remembered that if I completed 100 Tread workouts, I’d get into the Century Club (the little club you get into when you complete 100 of the same workout on Peloton).

Three main reasons I liked the Peloton Tread:

  1. I could run late at night on the Tread. My schedule has been unbearable for months. And even though last year I often ran at night through the spring and summer so I could complete the Great Virtual Race Across Tennessee early, I know it’s not the safest thing to do. During the time I was trialing the Tread, I would get home at 11 p.m. and that’s the only time I could carve out time to work out, so it was great to use with my schedule at the time.
  2. The Tread’s design. It’s sleeker than any treadmill I’ve ever seen. The dials to change the pace and incline are easy to use. The large, bright screen is beautiful. I like how you could either emphasize the volume of the instructor or the music. It runs pretty quietly; I never had any neighbours complaining. I didn’t get too involved with the community aspect of it; while I did high-five other runners during classes, I never did get to try the Session function as I don’t know any other Tread users.
  3. The Peloton classes. I already mentioned Adrian and Chase. But let’s talk about the powerhouse female instructors. My favourites included Selena Samuela and Olivia Amato—I found they kept me focused without veering too heavily into motivational talk that’s eyeball-roll worthy territory. And classes with Becs Gentry? As a marathon runner, I couldn’t help but be inspired by working out out with this elite runner. I see there are a lot of new Tread instructors, too, which is great, I liked being able to switch up whose class I would take, and now there’s more to choose from. Aside from the instructors, I also enjoyed taking part in live classes and seeing my rank within everyone taking part; I expected the average Peloton user to be an elite runner, but I was pretty satisfied with my ranking and it was like getting a little pat on the back.

As you may have heard, the Peloton Tread was recalled a couple of months ago. There’d been some incidents of the screen falling off. While I at first intended to continue using it, when I got a pretty stern email to stop using it immediately, I realized I didn’t want to have to potentially deal with a broken screen and any damage or injury it could cause to me, my condo floor or my pets, so I quit using it promptly and the Tread was picked up a couple of weeks after that.

The Tread has since been relaunched (as of August 30, 2021) and has been updated with regards to safety:

  • There’s now Peloton Tread Lock. So you have to enter your passcode to unlock it in order to use it.
  • The instructors talk you through the safety features before each workout.
  • There’s a safety key you should clip on as you run (but this was always an existing feature).

I haven’t tried the Tread since its relaunch, but I will say I miss having the Tread for workouts; ever since I stopped using it, I barely ran all summer and I’m only now starting again with a few runs outdoors. While the timing of my Peloton Tread trial was great because I ran indoors for the last part of the dreary winter, I wish I’d gotten to try it out when actual races were taking place so that I’d be in the middle of marathon-training season. I know I found myself pushing harder during speed work on the Tread compared to my speedwork outdoors  so it’d be a great tool to have while in training for a race.

My best friend misses me having it, too. She uses the Peloton app for workouts and liked having me to talk about Peloton with (yes, there’s totally a cultish side to it! I even tuned in to watch Cody on Dancing With the Stars and even never even taken a Cody Rigsby class ever!)

I’ve gotten a few DMs asking about my thoughts on the Tread. So here you go. Could you get a similar experience using the Peloton app for its workouts, but running on a different brand of treadmill? Yes, probably. I should mention that the Tread has a traditional running belt, compare to a shock-absorbing slat belt; I personally don’t have a lot of experience running on a slat belt but the slat-style is said to be more cushioning and result in less impact on your joints. If you’re a serious runner, you might want to opt for the slat-belt style (which is on the Tread+, which has not yet been re-released yet).

If you appreciate great design and the 23.8-inch screen of the Tread (it truly is a fantastic display)… well, if you’re in the market for a treadmill, then you might find it worth the investment to go for the Tread; if you’re wondering about the cost, it’s $3,295 (plus the all-access membership fee of $49/month). If you’ve already got a ‘mill, then maybe just subscribe to the app to try out the workouts first.

If you have any specific questions about my experience with the Tread, slide into my DMs or comment here!

 How are you keeping fit nowadays?

 

3 Comments October 4, 2021

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