Ernest Hemingway Used a Standing Desk

Let’s face it: desk jobs are hard on your body. Sitting all day has extensive negative ramifications on your back, spine, shoulders, and neck. But that’s not it. Here’s how sitting all day can affect your body and compromise your health, and why a standing desk might be the best solution:

You Gain Weight

Sitting all day at your job is a surefire way to gain weight. You burn significantly less calories sitting than you do standing (according to Shape Magazine, 30 less calories an hour!), and your tummy is typically hit the hardest. This type of weight gain increases your risk of heart disease and high cholesterol.

You Lose Muscle Mass

When you don’t use it, you lose it. Being sedentary means that you’re not using your muscles, and lost muscle mass is hard to get back! Combat muscle atrophy by moving your body whenever you can. Performing just one minute of squats and/or lunges at your desk periodically is a great way to work your major muscle groups regularly!

Your Body Gets Tight—and Not in a Good Way

Your hips, back, neck, and shoulders get tight and cranky when you sit for extended periods throughout the day. A great way to help keep them loose is to mindfully stretch for 30 seconds, every 30 minutes or so.

So…what is the alternative to a conventional desk?

A Standing Desk

Seriously—the best decision we’ve ever made. (Ernest Hemingway apparently used one waaayyy before they were all the rage!) A standing desk is an adjustable desk that can be both sitting or standing, so you can stand for a couple of hours, then sit for 30 minutes, then stand again. It’s amazing.

The Smithsonian listed the following 5 benefits to using a standing desk over a conventional one:

  • Reduced risk of obesity
  • Reduced risk of type 2 diabetes
  • Lower long-term mortality risk
  • Reduced risk of cardiovascular disease
  • Reduced risk of cancer

Standing desks are becoming more and more popular, as science uncovers the health hazards of sitting all day at work. Consider investing in one, and remember: if Hemingway did it, it’s cooler than it sounds.



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Calling all Yogis: Open House Event at Parallel Yoga

You don’t even need to like yoga to want to be at this event. But if you do?

You’ll be in heaven.

On Saturday October 3rd, Parallel Yoga will be hosting its fourth annual open house, which will feature free classes, a massive retail sale, local vendors, and…wait for it…Happy Water’s Smile Squad!

They WILL force you to get real with a hula hoop.

The Studio

Parallel Yoga

Owners Kara and Steve Coleman first opened Parallel Yoga just four years ago. Located at Parallel Marketplace on North Parallel Road in Abbotsford, BC, the studio quickly built an impressive client list and became busier than busy. So busy, in fact, that as of last month, they’ve expanded their original space to include a second studio.

So why participate on October 3rd? See below.

The Yoga

Free classes will be held all day. That’s the important part.

Time                                                      Class                      Teacher

9:00 AM – 10:15 AM                               Strong                     Kara

9:30 AM – 10:30 AM                               Stretch                    Julia

10:30 AM – 11:30 AM                             Hatha                      Jayne

11:00 AM – 12:00 PM                             Hatha                      Shazad

12:00 PM – 1:00 PM                               Flow                        Kara

2:00 PM – 3:00 PM                                 Yin                           Shea

4:00 PM – 5:00 PM                                 Restorative              Beth

The Vendors

Happy Water

From 1-5pm there will be a pop-up Local Artisan Market in Studio Two, and the following vendors will be present:

Happy Water

Come meet the Smile Squad, grab a sample, dance and sing, and learn about what makes this water so darn happy.

Author Jennifer Browne

Jennifer Browne is the author of four health and wellness books, including Happy Healthy Gut, Vegetarian Comfort Foods, The Good Living Guide to Medicinal Tea, and Baby Nosh. She will be signing and selling copies of Vegetarian Comfort Foods.

Pacific Coast Soaps

Pacific Coast Soaps features handmade, all-natural soaps made locally in Mission, BC.

Whimsy by Martia

Whimsy by Martia offers high quality bath products, handcrafted in Abbotsford. Come check out the essential oils, epsom salts, bath soaps, and more.

Live True Designs

Live True Designs features jewelry with a bohemian, surf style, including yoga-inspired jewelry and Mala necklaces. Handcrafted in Chilliwack, BC.

Genesis Martial Arts

Genesis Martial Arts offers high-level martial art instruction, and top-of-the-line fitness. Open in Abbotsford since April 1, 2013.

Naked Pallet

Beautiful words on nature’s canvas. Come see what piece might look amazing in your home!

Brewer’s Daughter

This young entrepreneur has been using the left over hops from her dad’s brewery (Ravens Brewery in Abbotsford, owned by Paul Sweeting) to make all-natural dog biscuits. Come check them out!

Vancouver Young Actors School

Vancouver Young Actors School will be offering acting classes for film and television at Parallel Yoga starting in the winter, and wish to introduce themselves! Come check out classes and get your Q&A on.

The Sale

ten tree

(This is what you really want to know about, right?) Saturday’s sale will include merchandise of all kinds—the studio is clearing out for more. If you need a new pair of yoga pants or a great sports bra, you need to be here and take advantage of this blowout sale.

It’s going to be BIG.

Brands include Ten Tree, Halfmoon, Onzie, Be Present, Manduka, and Mala Collective.

The Gist

Come hang out, attend a class, get all zen, and buy stuff. Seriously. There’s no beating around the yogi bush.


*If you’re interested in having fun, energetic, and informative blogs written for YOU by Fresh + Fit Vancouver writers, click HERE.

Wanderlust Whistler for Vancouver Yogis

While yoga on the Burrard Street Bridge may have gotten the ax, there are plenty of other Vancouver events to participate in this summer that feature downward dog. While I started off writing about 5 of them, I found myself narrowing it down to just one–because that’s how cool the following event sounds.

(PS- I really want to go.)

Wanderlust Whistler

From July 30-August 3rd, yogis, hippies, outdoors-men, and general life-lovers alike will participate in a celebration of wellness. Whether you are there for the yummy organic food, yoga and meditation classes, music, or top chefs and winemakers, this family-friendly festival is not to be missed.

Live music will be a massive part of this festival, and confirmed artists for 2015 include Michael Franti, Thievery Corporation, Lake Street Dive, Lee Fields and The Expressions, The Barr Brothers, Rising Appalachia, and MC Yogi.

The Venue


Taking place in scenic Whistler Village, this festival promises to boast amazing atmosphere. There will be music, speakers, incredible food prepared by some amazing chefs, performers, and of course, a whole lot of tree pose.

Maybe a little mermaid.

Have kids? The Wanderkind children’s festival will also be available for the entire weekend for kids aged 4-10. Activities include yoga (obviously!), arts, crafts, hoola-hooping, and music making.

The Yoga

Wanderlust Whistler brings together the world’s most renowned yoga teachers, and draws participants from all over North America. Confirmed instructors for 2015 include Seane Corn, Shiva Rea, Elena Brower, Rod Stryker, Rodney Yee, Colleen Saidman, and Sri Dharma Mittra.

Between their various teaching styles and the broad spectrum of yoga disciplines, Wanderlust is hypothesized to feature some of the world’s best yoga. If you’re a yogi, you need to be here.

Actually, it doesn’t really matter if you’re a yogi.

Aside from yoga, there will be guided hikes, meditation, zip-lining, rock climbing, cross-country bike riding, rafting, and paddle boarding–something for everyone!

The Food

Wanderlust Food

The Farm to Table Dinner is supposedly an unforgettable dining experience. Local farmers and chefs collaborate to create an inspired assortment of sustainable, eco-friendly, fresh, and local foods that come together in one incredible meal.

There will also be a Farmer’s Market in the Upper Village for participants to check out.

The Drinks

Local winemakers will be present at the festival to showcase their newest varieties. Termed ‘Wanderlust Uncorked,’ the festival organizes small gatherings featuring local wine, craft beer, and fabulous company.

Want tickets?! Thought so–you can get them HERE, but keep in mind that the price goes up July 1st.


*If you’re interested in having fun, energetic, and informative blogs written for YOU by Fresh + Fit Vancouver writers, click HERE.


Women of Vancouver: are YOU a warrior?

“There is a warrior in the heart of every woman. She is strong. Determined. Powerful.”

What’s Woman2Warrior?

Fresh + Fit is pleased to announce the 3rd annual Woman2Warrior event–a 5 km run that encourages women from our gorgeous province to bring their A-game, and rock a great workout. On Sunday, May 24th, participants will hit trails, grass, and track along Burnaby’s Central Park and Swangard Stadium. With twelve obstacles “designed to test strength, agility, balance and endurance,” the entire experience is nothing short of an I-am-woman-hear-me-roar-adventure!

Presented by Subway and hosted by The British Columbia Lions Society for Children with Disabilities, this obstacle adventure race is exclusive to women, and helps raise funds for the purpose of sending over 800 children and adolescents with disabilities to an accessible Easter Seals camp in British Columbia.

 “Our goal with Woman2Warrior is to raise funds while immersing our amazing competitors in a fun, supportive environment. It’s about the experience, not the competition. It’s about pushing boundaries, trying something new, and getting out of your comfort zone – much like our Easter Seals campers.” –Amy Kleckner, events manager for the BC Lions Society

What’s the Giveaway?

Win a free Warrior Prep Pack valued at over $300, which includes the following:

  • $50 gift card to Subway
  • $50 gift card to Nesters
  • One box of Clif Bars
  • One 6-pack of Formula 4 Water
  • One Luna Bars t-shirt
  • One copy of IMPACT Magazine
  • Free team registration for Woman2Warrior



How Does This Work?

  • To enter the giveaway contest, please visit this BLOG POST, and leave a comment or sign up for their newsletter HERE.
  • Women can participate as individuals or in teams, and each registrant is required to raise a minimum of $300.
  • Registration costs $35 per participant, and includes a technical shirt, finisher’s gift, access to indoor group training sessions and prizes for the top overall fundraisers and best costumes.

Last year’s Woman2Warrior event raised $158,700 by participants, in support of Easter Seals. Let’s do it again! If you’re interested in participating, register today at or call 604-873-1865 for more information.


Get Fit in 30 Days, Vancity! 10 short + awesome workout videos

Hey, Vancouver! In a few days, it’ll be April. That means that our beloved seawall will be filled with rollerblading locals, and the bike lanes with be jammed-packed. Even though the weather is picking up, we have plenty of rain left to get through, so why not learn how to get fit in only 30 days in your living room?! 

One of my all-time favourite life hacks, is working out at home with professional instruction FOR FREE. If you haven’t heard of PopSugar Fitness, get ready to have your mind blown. My favourite videos are under 15 minutes long (preferably under 10, and some are only 5-6!), and most require zero equipment. A couple of the videos I posted below use yoga mats or free weights, but those can easily be substituted.

Now, if you’re thinking that you live with a hoarding roommate in a 2-bedroom condo that barely reaches 700 square feet, that’s no excuse! These workouts can be done in very small spaces, and they ROCK.

Wanna get ripped at home by completing one 5-15 minute workout video per day for a month? Thought so. Here’s how:


1.  10-Minute Fat-Blasting Circuit




2. 15-Minute Full-Body Workout




3. 10 Minute Abs and Core Workout 




4. The Incredible Butt-Lifting Workout




5. At-Home Cardio Sweat Workout




6. 10-Minute Max Metabolism Workout




7. Bikini Belly Boot Camp




8. The Ultimate Inner Thigh Workout 




9. 5-Minute Sexy, Sculpted Arm Workout 



10. 5-Minute Leg Workout 




Vancouver: how sustainable is your yoga gear?

The idea for this post was born out of my excitement to wear my new yoga pants, purchased at Parallel Yoga last week. Admittedly, I don’t think I’ve ever purchased gear from anywhere but Lululemon, but there’s something about the exclusiveness of boutique shopping that makes me happy.


Besides these pants being pretty freakin’ cute, I was drawn to the promise of 10 trees planted for every item of clothing purchased. TenTree. How awesome is that? In taking into consideration that we as a community consider ourselves planet leaders on the whole ‘green initiative’ front, why wouldn’t Vancouverites want to source environmentally sustainable clothing for our workouts?

Besides that fact that yoga itself is a practice which is based on love and the desire to become more aware of our impact on everything around us, including our impact on ourselves, of course our yoga wear should reflect that!

The TenTree brand is actually based in Regina, but I dug up some pretty awesome yoga manufacturers with studios and warehouses right here in Vancouver. Check ‘em out:


Public Myth

Public Myth Yoga

This local company’s mantra is “Life with passion. Embrace life…in motion, in fashion.”

They’ve been a Vancouver staple since 2007, and are dedicated to conscientious environmental responsibility. They use sustainable materials and natural fabrics, such as bamboo, and place emphasis on great working conditions for their employees.

Contact info:

190 West 3rd Avenue
Vancouver, BC.


MahaDevi Design

Maha Devi Design

This fab yoga wear line was created and developed by two very talented women, Freyja Skye and Julie Emmerson, in 2007. MahiDevi means “great goddess” in Sanskrit.

The yoga line is offered in dozens of retail locations across Canada, but the magic happens right here in Vancouver. They use bamboo, soy, hemp, and organic cottons in their products, which scores this unique brand major eco points.

Contact info:

Unit 7 38918 Progress Way
Squamish, BC





Inspired by the growing yoga community on the west coast of Canada, TONIC began manufacturing yoga wear over a decade ago, in 2004, and now offers its product in over 37 countries!

The designs are created solely for women, by women, and the brand has always been Vancouver-based. TONIC has pledged their commitment to avoiding the use of toxic processing chemicals, which is why they can genuinely offer clean, healthy products for their consumers.

Contact info:

3740 William Street

Burnaby, BC

Eastwood Cycle Sanctuary

Walking into the Eastwood Cycle Sanctuary is like stepping into another time and place…but not in a whimsical, “let’s stand here and take in the view” kind of way, because this cycle center will kick your ass—it just offers a faraway theme to distract you so you won’t know what hit you. (Which, by the way, I’m totally okay with. I love a great distraction.)

I’ve been to many fitness studios that offer cycling classes before, but like I said, this one is visually set apart from the pack. Its lovely middle-eastern décor is incredibly unique and sensory-stimulating, so you initially feel as though you might be on vacation.

But then you work out. Hard.

The first time I attended this particular center for was for a Free People event last January, which I documented on The hour-long class made me feel as though I should definitely be in much better shape than I am, which I love, because boring spin classes are the worst. I was spoiled, because the event also boasted a live DJ, who was amazing. Culver City Salads provided free lunch to class participants, and it was great to view a portion of the boutique clothing store’s new line of fitness wear. As you can imagine, my first experience here was not the typical one.


So what is typical for Eastwood Cycle Sanctuary?

You tell me. Please comment below and let our visitors know how much you enjoy this unique experience that is Eastwood Cycle. Located in downtown Vancouver on West Hastings and Cambie, it’s a few steps away from anything else you may be in the area for, so new excuses! Give this place a try, and let us know about your experience.

Visit for more details.

Get Bent at Parallel Yoga

I’m going to come right out and say that this yoga studio makes me want to be best friends with all of the instructors. Open 7 days a week, and offering a multitude of different classes for a variety of age, level of experience, and comfort, this studio is a truly spectacular find.

Located in the Fraser Valley, approximately an hour outside of Vancouver in Abbotsford, Parallel Yoga is the brainchild of Kara Coleman, who is present at the studio as an instructor several days a week. So what’s the difference between this studio and the rest?


All of the instructors here make you feel like you’re so incredibly welcome and wanted. There is a very accepting and spiritual side to practicing here, and those you frequent the studio do with incredible intent to spread the love.

Many tears have been shed here; many accomplishments celebrated. Parallel Yoga is a place of peace and harmony, not just somewhere to grab a mat and assume child’s pose. The studio frequently offers karma classes, where proceeds go directly to organizations and causes that are in need. There is absolutely no expectation placed on anyone here except to be kind, and try their best to give positive energy to those who may need it, and willingly receive it when necessary.


Aside from all the mush (I love you, Parallel!), this studio also boasts some fabulous yoga wear lines, and even hosts Lululemon pop-ups every now and again.

Please visit for more details, and feel free to leave any questions or comments below for your fellow visitors. Namaste!