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Snow! Snow and More Snow!

skiing-16270_960_720We know that snow isn’t for everyone…but we are one very excited bunch!  Skiing has become the passion of our family and the last week of snow dumping has helped to ensure that the ski season is here to stay!

Skiing really is something that you can do as a family…lots of opportunities right here in your backyard.

Snow Valley, Horseshoe Valley, Blue Mountains, Mount St. Louis Moonstone!

But..if skiing isn’t your passion, it doesn’t mean that you should stay indoors all Winter.  There are great activities that don’t require hills and helmets!  Last Winter we were able to (in between mild spells) head to #Arrowhead Provincial Park and taking in skating by candle light!  This is a super fun trip…which can also be done in the daylight if you prefer.  This year the weather has been cold enough that ice will soon be ready at the park.  Check out their website for the latest updates…but they are aiming for the last week of December to be ready and open.



Have you tried your own backyard rink?

We have some friends that do this faithfully each year.  With a little bit of muscle…your rink will be ready in no time.  With cold nights…the temps are perfect to get your rink underway.  The debate is on as to whether you need a rink kit (large tarp and boards) or if you can just spend some time stomping and watering.  But the end result will definitely see you and your family outdoors more this winter…getting some natural vitamin D and cardio work outs!

















Don’t forget about snowshoeing!!  Reasonably priced snowshoes can be found at your local Costco, sporting store or Canadian Tire and we of course, have many many trials available in our region:

#Springwater Park #HardwoodHills #HorseshoeValley #ScanlonCreek just to name a few….and the Simcoe County Forests have so many trails…all right in our own backyard.

So…get Active this holiday season!  Enjoy!

The Johnstons

No Snow? No Problem!

Many us are eagerly anticipating the arrival of snow this season.  While we are enjoying unseasonable warm temperatures late in the Fall, it does sometimes pose some challenges in keeping everyone entertained and active outdoors.

Last Winter we also had a few pockets of really mild weather (in between the blasts of snow!) which made us have to think outside of the traditional Winter activity box when keeping active!

Today’s Parent Came up with some fun ideas to help keep kids active and entertained last year.  Here are a few of their ideas:

Skating – sounds like you need snow, right?  Well, in Barrie along there are many many indoor facilities that you can take advantage of.  Check out the City of Barrie’s listings to see hours and locations.








Bingo Hiking – Create your own bingo cards before you head out to the park or the woods with the kids. Get them to draw pictures in each square of things you may find on your walk: an acorn, a pine cone, a common bird and a rare one, adjusting the level of difficulty to the age of your child.

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Picnicking – Picnics are usually associated with the summer, but they don’t have to be. On a really cold day, you can spread out a blanket in the living room, and gather the kids, their friends and teddy bears for a picnic. Or bundle up and go to a nearby park and have your picnic there.









Bowling – a great way to let off steam and include the whole family!



For the complete list of non-snow activity ideas visit Today’s Parent!

Get Educated! Get Inspired! Take some no snow Action!










How long do you sit each day? It might be making you sick.


By now many of us have heard the phrase “sitting is the new smoking”.  It seems that as our lives become more technologically advanced, there is a greater tendency to be less active.  In today’s blog post we highlight a recent article from the American Posture Institute, which outlines the impact of a sedentary lifestyle and also provides some easy tips to bring more movement back into our day. Learn how changes in your posture can have a very positive impact on your overall health.  Johnston Health & Laser Center offers a postural assessment and programs to help you achieve a healthier life. Best postural correction systems  are available! We can remold your posture & your health where it needs to be.

Learn more about the impacts of prolonged sitting and changes that can make a difference:


Slouched Sitting Makes You Sick  (http://americanpostureinstitute.com/slouched-sitting-makes-you-sick-proper-posture-keeps-you-healthy/)

Many modern day workers spend the majority of their time seated.  Researchers have found that prolonged sitting increases the risk of developing chronic disease such as various types of cancer, heart disease and type-2 diabetes.

Sedentary behaviors are also linked to higher levels of depression in adults. Van Uffelen et al. (2010) conducted a research study evaluating the effects of sitting for more than 7 hours per day and symptoms of depression in women. They found that women who do not exercise and women who are seated for more than 7 hours per day are 47% more likely to suffer from symptoms of depression.

Women who sit for 7 hours per day and do not engage in physical activity are 3 times more likely to have depression than women who sit less than 4 hours per day.

Other research shows that people who are sitting in front of their computers for 5 hours or more per day have an increased risk of developing mental illness, depression, and insomnia. Tetsuya (2003) concluded that mental health and sleep-related symptoms were significantly higher in the research group that spent 5 hours or more in front of a computer screen.

If modern day occupations require prolonged sitting, as a society, how can we preserve our health while performing necessary job related tasks? Vernikos (2005) states that it is not how many hours of sitting that’s bad for you; it is how often you interrupt that sitting position that is good for you. “It’s actually the change in posture that is the most powerful in terms of having a beneficial impact on your health, not the act of standing in and of itself” (Verkikos, 2005).

Although sitting is making you sick, proper posture habits will keep you healthy. Proper posture and frequent posture breaks are associated with better health, more alertness and focused attention, higher levels of productivity, and less fatigue.

5 Habits for Healthy Posture

  • Take Frequent Posture Breaks: Posture breaks offset the force of gravity on your spine and supporting muscles. To perform a “Posture Break,” bring your shoulders and arms back, stick your chest out, and bring your head back with your eyes pointed up to the ceiling. This stretches your anti-gravity muscles and helps you have better seated posture. You can perform a posture break in your chair or standing. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds each hour of your workday.
  • Sit Up Straight: Your spine should have an “S” shaped curvature, not a slouched “C” shape curve. If the spine rounds forward to a “C” shape focus on sitting up straight. If you feel fatigued maintaining proper upright posture, you can place a small cushion behind your lower back that will help to support the lumbar spine upright.
  • Strengthen Your Core: Your “Core” musculature is the muscles that support your lower back and prevent injury when lifting or bending. A strong core is a supported spine; a weak core makes you more susceptible to back pain and injury. To strengthen your core, focus on doing exercises such as planks and side planks to work all regions of your core musculature. Avoid flexion exercises; instead focus on exercises that promote extension.
  • Sit on an Exercise Ball: Sitting on an exercise ball instead of a chair that lacks spinal support is a great way to improve your posture. While seated on the ball you are engaging your core musculature throughout the day and building postural fitness to support your back and maintain proper posture. It is nearly impossible to slouch while sitting on an exercise ball, with weak posture you risk losing your balance.
  • Design Your Workspace: Design your workspace to support proper posture while sitting. Make sure there is enough room to move around on the exercise ball and keep your most commonly used items with an arm’s reach away. Rotating your spine or reaching forward to grab items repetitively throughout the day can add additional stress to your lower back. Also, position your computer screen at eye level. When it is lower than eye level it is easier to have slouched posture with your neck and shoulders forward because you are looking down for a prolonged period of time.

A Year Round Gem – Hiking, Biking and so much more! Keep Moving!!

With unseasonably warm temperatures this November (for the most part) we were able to explore some new areas in our region this past weekend.

Scanlon Creek is a great area just south of Barrie to hike and explore.  While we missed the stunning colours of the Fall by a couple of weeks, there were still great trails and awesome educational points to learn along the way.   This 300 hectare park has numerous trails which are pet friendly and bike friendly!  Looking through their website there are also trails open in the winter for snow shoeing and cross country skiing.  A family friendly place worth the 20 minute drive outside Barrie.


Source – http://www.lsrca.on.ca/Pages/scanlon-creek.aspx

Movember Motivates us to Move!!!

Dr. Will’s movember mustache has motivated us to take continue to “Keep Moving”!  The best thing you can do for your health is to stay active. How you move is up to you. Whether it’s a work out one day, a quick jog at lunchtime the next, an hour at the ping-pong table, or an epic bike ride, no move is too big or small.*

We challenge you to find the time and activity to keep moving.   The weather may be turning but there are still amazing areas our region that you can hike, bike, walk and run in.  The great thing about Scanlon Creek is that offers exercise opportunities all year round!!!

For more information about Scanlon Creek visit THEIR WEBSITE.

Get Educated! Get Inspired! Take Action!  Keep Moving!

The Johnstons

*source – https://ca.movember.com/mens-health/general




A Wonderful Weekend Opportunity…to Get Active

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The first weekend of November is here!!!  Really, time just keeps marching on.  We are happy to have another weekend without snow, well at least some of the Johnstons are.  While we love the snow and the change of seasons we are happy to get outdoors without hauling on our heavy winter coats and boots just yet.

There are still some winter prep chores that we can get done this weekend and looking at the forecast, it looks like we won’t quite be packing up the bikes yet for the season!

Having explored some of the trails around our home this Fall, we are also looking at trying to get back to HardWood Hills again this weekend.  Great trails for all different strengths and skills.  Fun for the whole family!  There are still a few golden leaves out there to take in too…but it will be nice to hit the trails for at least one more weekend!

Just checking online for their season length, it looks like the bike trails are still open until Nov 13….so get out there and enjoy!

Here is a link to their website – http://www.hardwoodskiandbike.ca/home-page-winter/

And if your bikes are already hanging from the rafters, there are still some great things that you can do to enjoy the outdoors this weekend.  Walking trails…a quick game of tag, taking your pets on an extra long hike…..or past it forward….offer to take a neighbours dog out for a walk too!

Enjoy your weekend!

The Johnstons