5 Tips for Your Best Year Yet

Get ready for an amazing 2017 with these simple yet powerful tips from local wellness experts

1. Live in alignment with your values: Dr. Genieve Burley-Howes

“Live in alignment with your values. It took me well into three decades of life to realize that health is multi-faceted—it’s not just about exercise, what we eat, and avoiding sickness—it’s also about living authentically in alignment with your values, including relationships and work.

“The first step is establishing your values. I do this every year. Go on the Internet, find a site that has a huge list of values and print it off. Circle your top 10 and then whittle the list down to your top three. Once you have your top three values, examine your relationships. If you are having difficulty with a relationship in your life, it is likely because it is in conflict with one of your values.

“For instance, one of my top three values is honesty. When I have friends who aren’t honest with me, or a friend that I have difficulty being completely honest with, I examine the relationship and if it’s one I want to maintain. There have been three relationships I have had to let go of in my 30s. It doesn’t mean they aren’t amazing people; it’s just that our values were in conflict.

“The second place to examine is your work, be it school, career or if you are taking care of a family. Is your main job in alignment with your values? And if not, can you change that? It doesn’t mean you need a career change, but it may mean you need to change areas of work to reflect what’s important to you. Picking a career that is in harmony with your values usually means you will love your job, or at least not dread going there every day. When we live in conflict with our values, there is disharmony and this will adversely affect our health.

“Living in alignment with our values removes resentment, anger, anxiety and sadness, all of which can lead to chronic disease and mood disorders. In contrast, when we are living in alignment with our values—in relationships, work and all other areas of our life—we truly shine! It allows our creativity to flow and our relationships to become deeper. Here is to a happy and healthy 2017 living authentically with our values!”

Dr. Genieve Burley-Howes owns Health in Alignment Chiropractic and Yoga, working as a full-time chiropractor in Yaletown, teaching vinyasa, ashtanga and yin yoga for One Yoga for the People and Yyoga, hosting workshops and community events throughout Vancouver, and leading yoga retreats in B.C. and around the world. Passionate about healthcare and wellness, Burley-Howes brings her expertise in anatomy to her yoga teaching, fusing scientific knowledge with ancient practices resulting in powerful evidence-based, holistic classes and treatments.


2. Find things you enjoy: Johanna Ward

“Whether it’s making a positive change in the foods you eat, increasing your physical activity, or building in a meditative practice, find things you enjoy! It may take a bit of effort and exploration but it’s well worth it in the long run.

“Speaking of runs, think of it this way—if you hate running and early mornings, don’t set your goal to start running every day at 5 a.m. Instead, find a lunchtime or evening activity that matches your fitness personality.

“Don’t make friends with salad? Add the spinach to your smoothie. Can’t sit still? Take a meditative walk in the park or try a mandala colouring book. It sounds simple because it is! You are more likely to stick with your new mindset, stay on track, and grow from there if you create a lifestyle and not a life trial. Find your “it factor,” the thing that motivates you. Every moment matters so make the most of each one. You’re worth it.”

Johanna Ward, named by CanFitPro as Top 3 2016 Fitness Instructor Specialist of the Year, has been in the feel-good fitness industry for almost 20 years. Best-known for her super fun DanceFit and Barre Star classesJohanna is also a total posture nerd and certified as a fitness trainer and yoga instructor. She is a regular fitness contributor to CTV Morning Live Vancouver and a previous YWCA Women of Distinction nominee in Health & Fitness. Her philosophy is simple and effective; find your IT factor, the thing you love, and do IT!


3. Manage stress and fatigue through exercise: Jessica Slonski

“With our lives getting busier and busier, it’s even more important to manage stress and fatigue. While we know one of the best ways to do this is through exercise, it can be difficult to get motivated and stick to a routine.

“I always recommend choosing activities you love and teaming up with friends. The more fun and social your exercise routine is, the more likely you are to stick to it! Plus, being social is another effective way to help reduce stress and will add an element of fun into your week.

“For a well-rounded routine, try choosing a variety of activities to target strength training, flexibility and cardio equally. My favourite combination is Pilates 2-3 times per week, yoga 1-2 times per week, and at least 50 minutes of cardio two times per week (I mix up my cardio with jump board workouts at Form Body Lab, swimming and spin).

“If your days get super busy, I recommend waking up early and working out before the rest of your day gets in the way.”

Jessica Slonski is the owner and founder of Form Body Lab, a Pilates, yoga, physiotherapy and massage studio in Yaletown. Slonski worked as a professional dancer and teacher in Toronto before moving to Vancouver, attaining her Pilates certification from The Physical Mind Institute, leveraging her understanding of proper body mechanics and specializing in mat work, apparatus, and pre- and post-natal Pilates.


4. Focus on the nutrients, not the numbers: Dai Manuel

“Focus on the nutrients, not the numbers! Stop calorie-counting and bring the joy back into eating. Integrate “superfoods”—foods that are chock full of nutrients—into your diet.

“Don’t make it onerous on yourself. Introduce a daily green power smoothie to your morning routine and get your fill of superfood goodness. Green vegetables, like spinach, kale, romaine, chard, are jammed with antioxidants, minerals, and essential vitamins. And did you know that chia is loaded with more essential fatty acids than any other plant?”

Dai Manuel is a digital thought leader and lifestyle mentor empowering people to lead a ‘FUN’ctionally fit life through education, encouragement, and community. He’s a dad, dating his wife, a founding partner and former COO of Fitness Town Inc, keynote speaker, award-winning blogger, Podcaster, CrossFit athlete and coach, BC Children’s Hospital Ambassador, and published author of the Whole Life Fitness Manifesto and 7-Day Green Smoothie Reboot.

Learn how to make Manuel’s spinach-packed “Rosemary’s Baby” green smoothie, and for more recipes, check out his eBook “Green Smoothie 7 Day Reboot.”


5. Make choices that feed your positive energy: Peter Twist

“Make choices that feed your positive energy and show up to all situations giving that to others. Positive thinking, positive people and positive environments feed your health and good energy. Negative thinking, grumpy people and stressful environments damage your cells, sap energy and destroy health. Focus on being a hundred per cent present in the now and grateful for it. Leave every small moment better than when you arrived to it. Be genuine and impact people positively. Most people will reciprocate equitably, so you create great days for yourself by doing well for others.

“Own the process of your health; get coached and mentored. Train smart with smart coaches and a sustainable workout style that helps you move well, pain free. Don’t get ‘crushed’ by a trainer to ‘blast’ calories.

“Eat real, whole, natural foods. Make grocery shopping a family event, a social outing that makes you all feel great. Collaborate to bring health and strength into your home instead of some chore on your task list you begrudge. Have fun while you shop, joke around, interact, learn.”

An exercise physiologist with a Masters in Coaching Science, Peter Twist coached in the NHL for 11 years and trained over 700 professional athletes, including four major league MVP’s from three sports. Today he is leading Performance Training & Rehabilitation for the China summer and winter Olympic athletes and teams in Beijing. As CEO of Twist Sport Conditioning, another current passion is Twist Performance & Wellness franchises, a forward-thinking service with coaches of functional exercise, doctors of naturopathic medicine and holistic nutritionists. These centers cure, repair, restore, rebuild, and elevate people to their best.

Twist Sport Conditioning’s roots are in education. The company today has master trainers teaching live Twist certifications in 30 countries, along with online digital sport fitness certifications delivered globally. A passionate educator, Peter Twist has published over 500 papers, 14 books, 24 DVDs and 14 certifications on athlete development. He was honoured with the 2001 National Strength and Conditioning Association’s President’s Award, the 2003 CanFitPro Specialty Presenter of the Year, the 2010 IDEA Program Director of the Year, CanFitPro’s 2012 Canadian Presenter of the Year, the 2013 IDEA World Fitness Inspiration Award, and in 2015 was inducted into the USA Fitness Hall of Fame.