How Health Essentials Moves at Work

How We’ve Created a Dynamic Workplace

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At Health Essentials, we believe that there are many aspects that comprise the premise of living well as a human.  We believe in the importance of “Cultivating Extraordinary Lives” in a very holistic way. An important part of what it means for us to cultivate an extraordinary life is to consciously move in a way that allows our bodies to express our human animaly-ness*. 😉 Afterall, we’re not couch potatoes and we’re not quite monkeys… what we are, however are HUMANS.  So we need to act as such.  Here are 5 of the things WE DO that help us increase natural movement in our work environment!

* Animalyness – a (made up) word that describes one’s state of being as an animal. 😉 

  1. Walk to (and from) work!!

     

    Walking is a really great way to start off and end a work day.  It’s a built in system to add a potential hour or two of moving to your day!

    Tips to add more walking into your work days:
    – Start with a small accomplishable goal of one day a week or every second day.
    – If you live way too far for your general walking tolerance… park your car somewhere along your route to cut the walk down a little!
    – Wear comfortable attire and pack your business clothes so you don’t have to worry about sweating up a storm in the clothes you’ll be wearing all day.
    – Walk outside on work phone calls! After all, it’s not like our phones are connected by a cord anymore!
    – Walk on your break! If you have an extra 15-20 minutes after you’re done eating, or before you eat, get outside and move a bit before returning to work!

     

  2. Stand up at work!

    stand-up
    If you’ve peeked behind the desk at Health Essentials, you may have noticed that we don’t have any chairs on which to sit throughout our work day.  We instead have 2 “stand-up” style computer set ups! At first this took some getting used to for some of us, but now… we just don’t sit. And since we don’t have the option, we don’t miss it! We don’t even want to sit!!

    Tips to convert your work space into a non-sitting one:
    – Get a stand up desk or a VariDesk (like we did!)
    – Build a stand up desk out of boxes or the perfect height furniture (works slightly better for at home-offices 😉 ).
    – Kneel on a cushion or mat. It’s not quite standing, but it’s also not sitting in a 90 degree hip & 90 degree knee flexion position all day.
    Note: you can also begin by easing your way into the transition with a “stand up desk” or “kneeling mat” you can easily adjust or remove to sit part of the day.

  3. Dress to move properly!

    clothes-for-moving
    A lot of the changes that we have made to create a functional work space that we can move optimally in go hand-in-hand or are subsequent of one another.  Now that we don’t sit at work, we move a lot more and we stand all of the time. Now that we move a lot more and stand all of the time, we feel the necessity to wear functional clothing and shoes that allow for ease of movement, more often!
    P.S. Not to mislead you… we didn’t send all of our more restricting wardrobe items out the door… of course there are the odd days where looking amazing > moving functionally… but, we’re far more conscious now because we have to be! 

    Tips to choose apparel & footwear that lets you move:
    – Pick clothes that let you move in a natural way, and allow your body to breathe! One of our very favourite apparel lines is Icebreaker Merino Wool.  Natural wool fibres are extremely breathable, and their styles allow for functional movements!
    – Wear shoes that have a wide toe box and a zero heel drop to optimize your whole body alignment! These styles also help prevent your feet from getting sore if you’re standing or walking all day!

    – At Health Essentials, we carry 3 amazing styles of barefoot shoes. They are Vibram Fivefingers, Vivo Barefoot & Luna Sandals.  If you work in a strict dress-code workplace, Vivo Barefoot makes dressier styles that look amazing!  

  4. Spend breaks on yoga mats.

    yoga-mat-breaks
    Since we don’t sit during the day, it’s nice to get off of our feet for a little bit during our lunch breaks. But, since we’re all pretty aware of the fact that sitting in chairs is not so fabulous for our bodies… we like to opt for yoga mat breaks. This doesn’t necessarily mean we hang out in downward dog or work on our headstands the entire time, but it does mean that we’re moving a lot more throughout our break… try sitting on a hard surface in the exact same way for a whole 30 minutes!  Sitting on harder surfaces, your body is reminded to adjust positions more frequently!  Remember what the best posture is… the one that is constantly moving, yes fidgeting is good for you!

    (Tip for ladies: sometimes a great idea to pack a pair of shorts or pants you can put on under a dress or skirt 😉 )

  5. Equip your office with a chin-up bar!  

    hanging-bar

    Recently, we brought a chin up bar to work – you know, those doorway fitting ones.  Hanging isn’t just for kids!! We should all have the strength, mobility & endurance to hang from a bar.  Unfortunately, we tend to lose that skill soon after elementary school in most cases.  It’s time to bring it back!! Hanging is a great way to build up arm strength and stretch out the whole body.

    It’s important to relearn the proper alignment for hanging before you get started, though! Check out the video below from Biomechanist Katy Bowman, on the right way to hang.


We hope that this information was helpful for you when it comes to adding movement into your work day! There are of course many other ways that might work better for you in your workspace, but these are just a few to get the ball rolling! 🙂  Do you have any tips and tricks that you use in your work place to add more movement into your days?? Let us know, we would LOVE to learn of more ways we can increase our movement everyday!

Best Walks in Victoria


The Best Walks in Victoria, B.C.

We are so blessed to live in such an absolutely amazing part of the world.
There are SO many beautiful areas to explore right here in #yyj! We have
come up with a list of our very favourite places to walk in Victoria, B.C.

  1. Thetis Lake Regional Park Trail

     

    Thetis Lake Regional Park is a fabulous spot to go for a walk, swim, or run! There are two walking trail options, one “Lower Thetis” which is a shorter loop and the other “Upper Thetis” which is just about 5km around.  The path is nice and clear, and the walk is kid-friendly, with only a few short uphill climbs! Thetis is also very dog friendly, and there are even some off-leash beach areas that are time and season dependent.  Thetis makes for a fabulous walk all times of the year, and is especially nice in the summer, with the accessible option of dipping in the lake afterwards! 🙂

  2. The Gorge Waterway 

    The gorge is an extremely accessible walk for us at Health Essentials! It’s a beautiful 2km walk (one way) with the option of extending to approximately 3km with the addition of Kinsman Park across the water.  The walk is completely paved (but with the option of toes in grass most of the way, if you’re into that), and accessible for all ages and fitness levels!

  3. Island View Beach

    Though not necessarily a walking trail, Island View Beach is an amazing ocean-side walk, with a fabulous view and a vast choice of terrain.  We do find this walk is done better barefoot 😉 with toes in sand, or in a great pair of shoes for jumping log-to-log on the driftwood strip that borders the beach! The beach is also pet-friendly, with the exception of the summer-months from June 15th – September 15th.

  4. Dallas Road

    Dallas Road is a beautiful road with a fabulous walking trail that runs alongside the ocean.  The walk goes from Ogden Point, where the Breakwater is, and goes all the way along until your heart desires, right through to Beach Drive. The distance from Ogden Point to Clover Point is about a 3km walk one-way with an option of many different terrains along the way! There is a paved/gravel path that runs alongside the road, and there is a beach, that is at-times quite rocky that runs along the ocean.  The Beach along this walk doubles as a great swimming pit-stop, and the perfect destination for a Beach-Day come-summer… or winter, if you’re like Wim Hof ;).

     

  5. Elk & Beaver Lake Trail

    Elk & Beaver Lake Trail is a fairly well-known trail in Victoria.  It’s a 10km loop around both lakes, and it’s fairly flat the whole way!  Perhaps most commonly used for a perfect length 10km run for race prep or fitness, this trail is great for a long walk and is very dog friendly! The loop is long and borders the lakes for most of the distance, and you’ll notice it cuts through a vast array of differing greenery along the way. The thick tree cover also makes this a great option for a rainy-day walk as well! 🙂

 

 


 

Icebreaker Fall/Winter 2016 End of Line Sale

 

Icebreaker Merino Wool Fall Winer Line 2016 – ON SALE NOW!


Why Icebreaker? – The Company

Icebreaker Merino Wool is made from only THE BEST Merino wool sourced from New Zealand. The company works directly with the farms to assure the highest quality of life for the sheep, the most sustainable farming practices for the land, and of course, the production of the most premium wool possible.

Why Icebreaker? – The Garments

Merino wool is naturally thermoregulating, making it a miracle fibre that keeps you warm in the cold winter months, and cool in the heat of summer! Merino is also naturally antibacterial, odour resistant and extremely hypoallergenic.  To be honest, we’ve yet to think of a scenario where Icebreaker Merino wouldn’t be the ideal fabric choice!

Why Icebreaker? – Why not?!

 

It’s a better time than ever to come in and check out our Icebreaker Merino Selection!

Right now, you can save up to 40% off of our Icebreaker 2016 Line, as we clear out the fall/winter styles to make room for the spring/summer 2017 line!  There is still plenty of time to get some use out of the winter styles here on the wet West Coast! So come down and try some on today. Hurry, cause the offer is only valid while supplies last!


 

The Ideal Transitional Vibram!

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The Vibram Bikila:  What makes it the Ideal Transitional Shoe?

Vibram Fivefingers has a wide selection of shoes which have specific features, for specific types of activities.  All Vibram Fivefingers, however, are great for casual wearing and walking.  The best part about Vibram Fivefinger shoes is the feeling of NOT wearing shoes.  If you’ve never tried on a pair, imagine wearing a mitten your entire life and trying on a glove.  Fivefingers allow you to articulate & spread your toes! They let your feet act like feet! 

Due to the design of, for lack of better term, “conventional” shoes, our bodies have generally been maladapted from their natural biological state of being.  Our heels are meant to be on ground level, and our toes are meant to be able to spread – it’s actually extremely important for optimal balance and whole body alignment!! Unfortunately, a lot of the “conventional” shoes, even the high end ones, are designed exactly opposite to this. They have lifted heels, and narrow toe boxes.  I know right?? WHAT THE HECK!

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Injury, intuition & education are some of the many reasons people are making the switch to more barefoot style shoes. Vibram Fivefingers are one of the best barefoot options available, and they let your feet do their thang!! Although it is a fantastic idea to switch to barefoot shoes, if you haven’t already… it must be a gradual transition.

 

If you’re like the average person, you’ve probably spent at least 60% of your life in shoes that have a lifted heel and narrow toe box.  This shoe design forces your body to use a particular set of muscles in a particular alignment that walking, running, or jumping “barefoot” does not.  You’ll need to prepare by strengthening your lower leg muscles, increasing the flexibility in your feet & working the lower-leg in a completely different way! A great way… but, it may take time.

Ease Your Way Out of Shoes

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A fantastic way to prepare your body for barefoot shoes, is ditching shoes wherever possible.  Even if just around your home! Kick off those slippers, take off your socks, & let your feet breathe! Don’t try to do anything too strenuous, just try to hang out without shoes whenever it’s available.  Even go out in the yard and walk in the grass – trust us, it feels AMAZING.

Start by Wearing your Vibram Five finger 10% of the Time

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Vibram recommends that you start by wearing your new Fivefingers only 10 percent of the time, and slowly increase that number over the course of a few weeks.  Your feet have likely been in a “cast” most of their life and they’ll need time to strengthen the small muscles and joints that haven’t been in use while in conventional shoes!

There are particular styles of Vibram Fivefingers that are recommended as the best “transitional” styles, which will help you with the switch.

The Vibram Bikila Evo


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  • This is an ideal running shoe for those making the transition from traditional footwear to a more minimalist approach.
  • With a total sole thickness of 8.5mm, this style offers a little more protection than some other Fivefinger styles, while still allowing you to feel connected to the ground, spread your toes, and keep your body in proper alignment!
  • Featuring a soft, perforated upper to maximize breathability, this model is extremely comfortable!
  • Bikila Evos are extremely lightweight & their thin sole construction lets you feel your run, connecting you to the true barefoot running experience.

 


At Health Essentials, we are proud to say that we carry the largest selection of Vibram Fivefingers on the Island!! Come in and check out the styles of Vibram Fivefingers that we carry, and have a chance to try on these game-changing minimalist shoes!  

 

Poop Like a Pro! – Squatty Potty

Are you having issues with..uh..elimination? Interested in colon health? The squatty potty is the newest great invention in the colon health department!
Did you know that sitting on the toilet actually makes a kink in your colon, blocking the flow of waste? The Squatty Potty fixes that!

Why we love it:
– It elevates your feet to help you get in the optimal position to completely eliminate.
– It takes us back go traditional times. Humans are designed to squat, our ancestors didn’t have the modern invention of the toilet!
– It has an ergonomic design that fits under any toilet.
– It works for all body types, ages, and flexibilities.

squattypotty

100% Natural Renewable Bamboo

Made with Formaldehyde-Free Glues and Resins
Adjustable Height
Water and Mold Resistant
Lifetime Guarantee
Weight Capacity: 350 lbs

Check out this great video for more information on the Squatty Potty, and come check them out at the store or on our website.

On Ad: Squatty Potty

Our squatty potty is on sale this month!

Are you having issues with..uh..elimination? Or do you just want a healthier colon? Don’t we all!
Did you know that sitting on the toilet actually makes a kink in your colon, blocking the flow of waste? The Squatty Potty fixes that!

Why we love it:
– It elevates your feet to help you get in the optimal position to completely eliminate.
– It takes us back go traditional times. Humans are designed to squat, our ancestors didn’t have the modern invention of the toilet!
– It is made of 100% natural, renewable bamboo.
– It has an ergonomic design that fits under any toilet.
– It is adjustable and works for all body types, ages, and flexibilities.

On sale this month for $99.99