Tag: charity

Fitness Swellness: The 2016 Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon Charity Challenge

What’s the #STWM Charity Challenge? Why am I taking part and who am I fundraising for? And how can you get involved? It’s all in my vlog above!

Aaand, if you believe in the cause I’m running for, or just want to support me in running a half-marathon for this cause, well, you lovely folks are welcome to sponsor me by donating and you’ll get to enjoy that warm and fuzzy feeling of having helped out a great charity!

1 Comment October 1, 2016

Fitness Swellness: Join in and Kick It Up for Kidney Cancer on June 7th! (+ a GIVEAWAY!)


Here with Brent Bishop ready for Kick It Up for Kidney Cancer


(GIVEAWAY IS  NOW CLOSED. Congrats to @immfab, whose entry via Instragram won her the Kick It Up prize!)

Who’s up for a super fun boot camp event all in the name of a great cause??

This year, I’ve partnered with the Kick It Up for Kidney Cancer boot camp and will be pulling together a small team for the event. The event’s aimed at raising awareness and funds for kidney cancer patients and their families. This year it takes place on June 7th at Varsity Stadium at the University of Toronto. And I’m hoping you’ll join in, too! Exciting, right? Even more fun, I’ve been provided with a fun prize to give away! More on that later in this post so keep on reading!

Did you know there are no screening tests, no early detection and no cure for kidney cancer? I have to admit, that I wasn’t aware. It only stresses the point that prevention and awareness is so important. There are more than 24,000 Canadians today living with a kidney cancer diagnosis, and more than 1,700 die from the disease each year.

Money raised from Kick It Up for Kidney Cancer will go towards education and support — and yes, that means I’ll be asking for your support! You can donate, or why not register and join in the boot camp yourself (you can join my team if you’d like!)?! I’ve never taken part but I hear it’s a ton of fun — yes, somehow a four-hour boot camp can be called fun! I met up with Brent Bishop, owner of Think Fitness, who’s taken part in the boot camp every year, and he’ll be co-MC-ing it again this year along with International Artist and Canada’s Queen of R&B/soul, Jully Black (who is hilarious! Love her!). Anyhow, I got the lowdown from Brent on the event (and we had some fun at his studio — I was basically showing him here what would happen if he made the boot camp too tough for me, haha).

Here with Brent Bishop of Think Fitness


What can people expect from the boot camp? It’s an extremely motivating and fun fitness experience. I think what’s great about the bootcamp is it’s not just a running event, just a biking event, you’re getting three different trainers who have three different backgrounds so three different modalities. Michael Decorte [of Jock Yoga] is yoga-based, Dara Bergeron [of Belly Bootcamp] does a lot of hip strengthening and I do a lot of performance-based training. So there’s a well-rounded approach to fitness. And people got a lot out of it in terms of great exercise and they realized they don’t need to have two hours to work out, that you can fit in a workout in 20 minutes; they found something they gravitated towards.

How can people prep for the boot camp? It’s not a challenge in a sense, preparation is just all-around fitness. People can work on power walking and running to get their cardiovascular system up—because you are going for awhile—and then your basic strength moves. Your basic squat, lunge, push-up, run, walk, whatever you can do based on your joints, and you should be fine.

What can we expect from you and Jully Black co-hosting the boot camp? Jully! She’s very high energy. She co-hosted last year and she introduced the program and talked about what it means to her, and she got involved in a lot of the exercises. It’s fun. Anyone who’s seen her perform…man, she’s intense and she’s moving all the time. She’s a great inspiration, people will love that.

Research shows that people who play sports or exercise five or more times a week have a 23 per cent lower risk of developing kidney cancer than those who are not active.   What advice do you have for people who find it hard to fit in five workouts a week? Being realistic. Everyone can make time. It goes back to you not needing an hour. If you only have 20 minutes, start with 20 minutes and make a commitment to do that, and maybe don’t start with five days a week, start with two days a week. And once you start and start to feel better, then maybe the next week, you add a day.

In addition to that, I think it’s really important to start with something you’re interested in. So everyone has something they enjoy doing and the things they don’t enjoy doing. I suggest people take five minutes and write down activities you enjoy doing or always wanted to do and go from there. Maybe it’s power walking in the neighbourhood. As long as it’s something you have interest in, you’ll do it. And then that opens up other things, once you start with something you’re comfortable with, you start aligning yourself with other things; next thing, you’re signing up to try a Spin class, for example. Also, schedule in your workout like it’s an appointment, and you can build up to five days a week.

Kick It Up for Kidney Cancer boot camp sounds fun, right? This year, the goal is to raise $100,000 or more! Alright, so, who’s in? Will I see you there??? Want to join my team? You can donate or join my team right HERE!

Kick It Up prize


To help you get ramped up and prepared for Kick It Up for Kidney Cancer, I’ve got a sweet prize (valued at more than $200) to give away. The prize includes:

  • a Herschel backpack
  • a resistance band to help train for Kick It Up
  • a Kick it Up for Kidney Cancer branded sweat towel
  • free registration to Kick It Up for Kidney Cancer
  • a voucher for two weeks of complimentary classes of Brent’s studio, Think Fitness

So get set for the boot camp by entering to win! You can enter in four different ways:

  1. Email me at healthandswellness@gmail.com with your name and address (please put “Kick It Up” in the subject line).
  2. Twitter. Follow me on  Twitter (@healthswellness) and tweet:

I want to Kick It Up for Kidney Cancer and win this prize from @healthswellness!  http://bit.ly/1GVRBoE

  1. Instagram: Follow me on Instagram (@healthandswellness) and like the photo of me and Brent Bishop on Instagram.
  2. Facebook: Like the Health and Swellness page on Facebook (www.facebook.com/healthandswellness) and comment on the photo of me and Brent Bishop about what type of exercise or move you hope we do at Kick It Up for Kidney Cancer! Is it burpees? Push-ups? Jumping jacks?

The giveaway is open to Canadian residents (however, to take advantage of the registration to the Kick It Up for Kidney Cancer boot camp that is part of the prize, you’ll have to be in Toronto, of course!) and the winner will be chosen at random and notified by the method they entered. You can enter up until 11:59 p.m. EST, Friday, April 24, 2015. Good luck!

Leave a Comment April 17, 2015

Healthy Swellness: World Lupus Day

new Butterfly

Today, May 10, 2014, is World Lupus Day and to help fund research into lupus and potential treatments, I’ve made a donation of $50 towards the Lupus Canada “Butterfly Campaign” – and to show your support, perhaps it’s a cause you’ll consider supporting, too.

If you’re not very familiar with what lupus is, it’s an autoimmune disease that causes the immune system to turn against the body and attack healthy tissues or organs. But it affects people in different ways, and the symptoms can be confused with other illnesses. And because of this, it can be difficult to diagnose, and it also means that many people don’t seek medical help right away and it can be difficult for them to talk about what they’re going through. Symptoms vary from person to person but common ones include extreme fatigue, fever, swollen glands and joints and decreased mobility, and it can also lead to other issues including kidney failure, heart and lung inflammation and blood disorders.

It’s very possible someone you know suffers from it. Lupus affects over one in 1,000 women in Canada and it’s nine times more common in women, often hitting them between the ages of 15 and 45.

To help further research into lupus, Lupus Canada (a national voluntary organization dedicated to improving the lives of Canadians with lupus) has launched the “Butterfly Campaign.” The goal of this campaign is to raise $50,000 to virtually release 2,500 butterflies. For every $25 donation, you release a single butterfly. For a $50 donation, you release three butterflies. The butterfly is symbolic when it comes to lupus not only because it is a symbol of hope, life and beauty (a message Lupus Canada wants to share with those with lupus), but also because a unique butterfly-like skin rash across the nose and cheeks is one of the common symptoms for those affected.

Today, World Lupus Day, is an opportunity to build awareness and break the silence that surrounds this disease. The cause of lupus is unknown, and while it can have a debilitating effect on people’s lives, it can be treated and controlled—and your support in building awareness and through donating (if you can) can help Lupus Canada work towards a better future for those with this disease.

(sponsored post)

1 Comment May 10, 2014

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