Category Archives: Health

5 Lessons Learned from 500 Kilometers on bicycles (with 3 children 6 and under)

At the end of May 2016, my husband and I decided (somewhat spontaneously) to go on a 560-kilometer cycling trip with our three children (ages 6, 4, and 2).

My husband and I are adventurous people, but there’s no denying that adding children to the mix puts a bit of a damper on how adventurous people become. Recently, my husband and I started thinking, however, that this damper is imposed by society, rather than by any real circumstances.

After all, people all over the world live without the luxuries and routines to which we have become accustomed, and their children seem to fare just fine (as do the parents).

So, despite negativity from some, we packed up our things and set off on the road. It was a wonderful adventure, and we learned a great deal.

Here are five life lessons learned from 557 Kilometers on bicycles (with three children six and under).

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Cycle Touring with kids in beautiful Prince Edward County

Cycling beautiful Prince Edward County

One of the most rewarding things about setting out on a cycling adventure with my family was seeing the beauty of the natural Ontario world, which escapes us when we drive down the 401. We live next door to gorgeous Prince Edward County, but rarely take the time to visit it or to truly take in the beauty of Lake Ontario.

Me, my husband, and three children (ages 6, 4, and 2), left Kingston, Ontario, on May 28th, and started riding our bicycles. On May 28th, we cycled from Kingston to Bath, On, and enjoyed the little town of Bath on May 29th, before continuing to Picton, where we spent the night.

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Small town markets and pirate playgrounds – Bath, ON

 

As most of you know by now, me, my husband, and our three children (ages 6 and under) set off on a cycling adventure on May 28th, 2016. We decided to see how far we would get, with a possible lofty goal of getting to London eventually. The reason doing a trip like this never stressed me out of overwhelmed me is that I looked at it as a 30 kilometer outing. Then the next day, I looked at it as another 30 kilometer outing, and so forth.

It’s now been 17 days since we set off, and we’ve cycled about 375 kilometers. We have seen some wonderful sights, learned some great lessons, and met some amazing people. I’ll be writing a post later on about all the lessons learned, but for today, I thought it was about time I wrote a little bit about the places we have visited thus far.

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FREE Beginner Bodyweight Workout #4

FREE Beginner Exercise Programs

 

How many times did you get to the gym this week? None? I totally get it. Life gets busy, and sometimes exercise goes down to the bottom of the priority list. But there are some workouts that make it hard for you to find an excuse, since they can be done anywhere.

For the past few weeks, I’ve been giving you just that – exercises that can be done anywhere, any time, with no equipment. Here’s the 4th workout in the series. If this is your first time here, don’t forget to check out Workout #1, Workout #2, and Workout #3, since they are meant to be progressive. Start at #1 and move on from there.

If you try any of these out, I’d love to hear how it went for you. Leave a comment or send me a message at mcdougallmariana@gmail.com. Interested in learning a specific exercise? Get in touch. I might just write a post about it (or link to someone who has).

Here’s workout #4!

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FREE Beginner Bodyweight Workout #3

FREE Beginner Exercise Programs

How are you doing on your quest to become more active? As I always say, mindful eating is superior to any restrictive diet, and you should concentrate on the amazing things your body can do, rather than on what it looks like.

If the thought of going to a gym turns your stomach, or if you feel like you just don’t have the time or money to add yet another thing to your day, these beginner bodyweight workouts may help you to become a bit more active. They can be easily done in about 20 minutes, and you’ll become stronger as you work through them.

This workout has one exercise using a stability ball; however,if you do not have access to a stability ball, simply replace this exercise with the non-stability ball version (found in workout #1) and you’ll be just fine.

Please keep in mind that these workouts are meant to be progressive, so if you haven’t yet tried Workout #1 and Workout #2, try those first, and progress to the one on this page.

Here’s Workout #3!

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Race to the Finish: fall in love with a sport

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I’m working on a lifestyle overhaul to achieve the best health of my life. I’m starting with exercise because it’s important, fun, and something I have full control over.

As I said in my last post, life threw a curve-ball at me for the last couple of weeks with the whole family coming down with some sort of nasty virus, and I got a bit backtracked on my timeline (but never on my priorities).

Now that everyone’s on the mend, I can concentrate a bit more intensely on getting ready to take my fitness to the next level. I recently wrote an article about the No 1 way to stay motivated to work out. It explains that for me (and many others), just saying “I want to lose weight” or “I want to look better” doesn’t cut it for actually embracing and maintaining an active lifestyle. For me, falling in love with a sport is what does it.

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The 15 steps I’m taking to reach the best health of my life

Lifestyle overhaul: the 15 steps I'm taking to reach the best health of my life

I’m working on a lifestyle overhaul. I feel that I’ve settled for the life everyone expected me to live – the house in the suburbs with the kids, and “settling down” to raise a family. None of this is necessary to live a truly fulfilling life with children. Buying a house is for suckers, and staying in the same place for several years at a time isn’t necessary for raising intelligent, happy kids.

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