My Afternoon at the Power Institute

Happy Spring everyone! Can’t believe it’s the first official day (especially considering the weather outside!)! But, seriously I can’t believe it because I’ve had my dates all screwed up this week. For some reason I thought Thursday was the 21st of March instead of the 20th so I was all ready to post this month’s Recipe Redux recipe today!

Not really a big deal…all it means is that Lend a {Healthy} Hand will go on another hiatus this week like we did for last month’s Recipe Redux post and the post I was planning for this weekend, you’ll get today! Win!

I am actually really excited to be posting about an experience I had earlier this week today instead of Saturday because I was really excited to share it with you all!

On Tuesday, as I mentioned, I took a day trip up to Canada to visit a place called the Power Institute where I was graciously invited to try out one of their body training classes as well as a body treatment!

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So what is the Power Institute?

It’s a fitness and health facility based on a European concept of Power Plate training and provides and unique, personalized experience for all its clients. There are no other training studios like it in Toronto or in any of the surrounding areas. In addition to Power Plate training (which I’ll give you more details on since I was able to try it for myself!), they offer one on one kettlebell training as well as boxing! All training is done with an expert trainer and the studio caters to all fitness levels, ages, and fitness goals.

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Not only does the Power Institute focus on fitness however, they work to improve the health and vitality of the whole person….this includes amazing body treatments! They have the most cutting edge and innovative massage, body, and facial treatments! Some of their treatments include:

  • Lipomassage (Body Treatment)
  • Endermolift (Facial Treatment)
  • Cavitation/ Tri-polar Radio Frequency (Body Treatment)
  • RF-Endermolift Facial (PI Signature facial)

I was able to try their newest facial treatment, Endermolift, on my visit and it was truly one of the unique experiences I’ve ever had!

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So let me tell you a little about my experience…

After a two hour drive up from Buffalo, I was so happy to be greeted by the friendly faces of Darryl and Lissa at the doors of the Power Institute. The first thing I noticed upon walking in was how sleek, modern, and inviting the studio was. It looked like a fitness center from a movie or that stars and celebrities would be using! Everything was amazingly clean, organized, and fresh looking!

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Even the bathrooms had a warm, comforting feel to them (you know I had to use them after a two hour drive….small bladder problems!). 

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I was told I would be going through a half hour long introductory Power Plate workout with Darryl (one of the owners and trainers!) and then a half hour body treatment session with Lissa! Sounded good to me! 

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As I had never used a Power Plate machine before and had no idea what they were all about, Darryl gave me a run down of what to expect and what is so great about them as a piece of exercise equipment! Here’s the details:

  • Power Plate technology engages 95% of your muscle fibers, compared to traditional gym equipment which uses only approximately 20%
  • Training with the Power Plate machine creates instability in the human body, each vibration forces reflexive muscle actions multiple times per second
  • Provides a safe and effective method to accelerate physical therapy rehabilitation with the added benefit of increased strength, balance and endurance Helps with improved blood circulation, improved range of motion, decreased cellulite and notably increased muscle strength and flexibility
  • Other benefits include:
    • Increased strength and power
    • Improved muscle tone
    • Weight loss
    • Increased bone density
    • Increased blood circulation and cardiovascular function
    • Improved Flexibility and Range of Motion
    • Alleviate Pain
    • Diminished cellulite
    • Improved general well-being, fitness and daily life functioning

The way Darryl explained it to me was that using the Power Plate is like using a Bosu Ball. It creates the same instability that your muscles feel with that piece of equipment except to a more extreme, intense, challenging level. The Power Plate FORCES your muscles to rapidly stabilize without you even knowing it by vigorously vibrating beneath you as you perform a whole host of different exercises. Everything that can be done on the ground or in a typical gym environment can be done using a Power Plate machine. The Power Plate machine just ups intensity and makes your muscles work in ways they’ve never been challenged before.

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But don’t worry, there are different levels on the machine and that’s what makes it so adaptable to any fitness level! Darryl told me that he trains people from my age all the way up to 85! In fact, older people can really benefit from using the Power Plate machine because it can add some resistance without hurting their joints and help them maintain muscle strength that is so key as we age.

Darryl put me through a series of body weight exercises like pushups, squats, bridges, planks (killer!), lunges, and even a few cardio moves! Yes cardio is possible on these machines and it definitely is an extra challenge! It’s incredible what using this machine can do for body weight exercises. No added weight needed to really feel the burn!

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Typical sessions begin at 30 minutes and then people work their way up from there to an hour or even 90 minutes! I was feeling it after 30 so I know an hour long workout would definitely be a challenge!

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The session concluded with a bit of stretching using the Power Plate and a nice foam roll massage from Darryl. The Power Plate adds a whole other dimension to foam rolling! IT FELT AMAZING. And I could really feel the lactic acid and soreness releasing from my muscles!

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Next up was my body treatment! I was excited to hear I’d be receiving their latest addition….the new Endermolift facial treatment! Lissa told me that it’s a treatment that can be used on EVERYONE. No matter what age or level of skin health you have. People with more skin damage and aging signs can benefit from it for healing and rejuvenation. But even younger people like myself can get a lot out of it for prevention of early signs of aging and ware! Prevention, like in all areas of health, is SO important for skin health! So it’s really important to start early with treatments like this to keep your skin radiant, glowing, and in tip-top shape for protecting your face!

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The machine that was used on me had pulsing flaps on it that moved all over my skin and felt a little bit like someone tapping their fingers repeatedly on my face. It was a bit uncomfortable at first…but the longer it went on, the more I liked the sensation actually! Felt like a deep tissue massage for my face!

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The treatment is meant to rehydrate your skin from the inside out, increase elastin, smooth wrinkles, and make your skin tone twice as radiant by increasing ‘pollution fighting’ enzymes in the face.

Afterwards my face certainly felt….stimulated! Like it had a thousand tiny pins and needles in it and like I had just washed it with one of those invigorating face scrubs! Very cool!

Overall, it was an incredibly informative and interesting experience! I loved learning about two new to me programs in the world of health and fitness. Plus, being able to do it all in such a posh and serene environment made it that much better!

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Big thank you to Lissa and Darryl for being so welcoming and friendly! They truly have an amazing company and I love how much they value creating a healthy individual from the inside out!

If you’re ever in the Toronto area, I highly suggest checking out the Power Institute! They are located in the heart of downtown and in a great area to explore the rest of the city! For more information on their services be sure to check out their website!

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Of course I couldn’t go all the way to Toronto without making a little Whole Foods detour! Guilty!

My mom, who drove up with me to keep me company, and I stopped WF to do a little shopping before grabbing dinner and heading home!

IMG_4816[lots of fun goodies from the salad bar....plus a big bowl of turkey chili that escaped my camera...car eating is challenging!!!]

Picked up a few fun items too!

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It ended up taking us TWICE the amount of time to get home than it took getting there….but I guess that’s the price you pay for big city livin’….TRAFFIC. I always say I love big cities and would love to live in one someday, but traffic is one thing I think I’d have trouble getting used to. I just get so impatient! Ha!

All in all it was a great little day trip! Wish I could have spent more time in Toronto, but it just leaves me an excuse to go back even sooner!

See you tomorrow for this month’s Recipe Redux round up!!! It’s a delicious one!

Have you ever heard of the Power Plate machine?

What’s your favorite exercise for increasing your stability and balance?

Have you ever had any cool body treatments done?

Kaila

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Todays’s Healthy Help: Prepped some food for dinner since she won’t have time to cook later!

Never too early to start Lending a {Healthy} Hand for this next round-up! Tell me what you’ve done to help someone else lately!

New Shoes, New Approach

Time for a little fitness update around here!

[whenever I get new shoes, I think about this song!]

Last week I decided it was time for some new running shoes. I can always tell when my shoes lose their traction and tread because my legs start to feel heavy, my calves start to get sore, and my Achilles tendon swells…happens every time. So I knew it was time to replace the Saucony Wave Kinvara 4′s I’d been wearing since mid summer (I was introduced to them through a FitFluential campaign! Reviewer turned buyer!). I really liked these sneakers and decided to get another pair of them! I find I run best with a light pair of shoes…not minimalist by any means…but just lighter and with less bulk than a lot of other shoes. My feet don’t need a whole lot of support or special specifications and I’ve found this model really works for me! Especially since being redesigned this past year, they’ve really contributed to some great runs for me!

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Speaking of running, ever since getting my new shoes, I’ve taken a new approach to running as well. I was getting sick of doing the same monotonous routes on my every other day runs and was feeling really bored with running the same distances over and over again. Sure I love ten milers…but I was in a need of change. Instead of focusing on mileage I decided to just go out and run….no time constraints, no distance goals. Just running in random places until I felt done and satisfied. IT FELT AMAZING.

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Now, I don’t know if the new shoes did this or if it really was the attitude I went into the run with, but I liked it. Since then, I’ve had 3 incredible runs in my new shoes. Not only have my legs felt great, but mentally they’ve felt like they’re over in a blink of an eye! It’s been so fun not having a plan on where I’m running and just kind of making up the route as I go. Getting to explore some different scenery as well!

I definitely plan on sticking with this ‘no plan’ plan. It’s reinvigorating my love of running and really keeping me in tune with my body!

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In terms of strength training, my 4th round of Best Body Bootcamp is coming to a close this week and the next FULL round doesn’t start till the new year. Tina has a shorter Holiday program, but I think I’m gonna skip out on that and just do my own thing for strength. I’ll probably rely on some old BBBC workouts and a mix of my own workout creations/online finds.

For my strength routines, I try to not work the same muscles everyday in order to give them a chance to rest and recover. I usually focus on core work in between the days when I work bigger muscle groups like legs or shoulders. Since BBBC has only 3 strength workouts a week with the option of doing your own thing in between, I’ve had to come up with some of my own workouts to take to the gym with me or do at home after a run! Here’s one I’ve been loving lately:

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Although I’m not looking forward to heading into Winter because that means less outdoor time and more boring machines at the gym, I am going to try to go out of my comfort zone a bit and try some gym classes! I usually am not a huge group exercise fan, but by mid winter, I know I’m gonna need some variety! Let’s hope I can stick to that goal!

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Thanks to all who entered my giveaway yesterday! It’s going on till Saturday night so keep the entries coming for your chance to win!

Let me know if you try the workout I posted! 

What are you currently doing for fitness?

Does your routine change when the weather changes? I will run outside as often as I can but when the snow piles up and the temperatures fall below 20, I can’t really take it anymore!

Happy Halloween by the way! Have fun tonight if you’re celebrating! 

Kaila

Subscribe on the side. Follow me on TwitterAsk me on Formspring. Follow me on PinterestLike me on Facebook.Follow me on Instagram

Todays’s Healthy Help: Reminded someone about the test we have coming up tomorrow!

Never too late to start Lending a {Healthy} Hand for this weeks round-up! Tell me what you’ve done to help someone else lately!