Canadians are less likely to participate in light exercise post-pandemic

How Physical Activity Has Changed During COVID- and What You Can Do About It!

By | Corporate Wellness, fat loss, Mindset

Life in Vancouver has reclaimed a sense of normalcy. However, for many of us, that still means working from home, and a general reduction in physical activity. Recent research from the School of Kinesiology at UBC has confirmed that physical activity during COVID has drastically reduced since the introduction of social distancing measures, in one of the first data-driven study’s of it’s kind.

This reduction in physical activity can have huge impacts on our mental and physical health, and as we all adapt to a new world, it has never been more important to keep our bodies moving!

Research: Canadians Physical Activity During COVID

Enough time has now passed that the statistics have started to show the facts about physical activity during COVID. Using data collected from the ParticipACTION app, the UBC study analysed a 10 week period of physical activity, from 4 weeks before the pandemic declaration to 6 weeks after. 

During this time, weekly activity was monitored through wearable fitness trackers to record the varying levels of physical activity during COVID, as well as their changes over time. Data from more than 2200 Canadians was taken into account when comparing the rates of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity against light physical activity. 

The primary findings of the study include:

  1. At the introduction of social distancing, all levels of physical activity were reduced, between 9% to 12.6%.
  2. At the end of the 6 weeks, however, those that already participated in regular, moderate to vigorous physical activity pre-pandemic were the quickest to return to it.
  3. This trend was ONLY reversed for those used to higher levels of activity. After 6 weeks, those who were in the ‘light’ physical activity level had not returned to pre-pandemic levels of activity, and if anything have become more sedentary.

“Light physical activity—which might include walking from transit to the office, for example—remained depressed after six weeks,”

– Katie Di Sebastiano, Lead author, UBC. Source.

physical activity during COVID is declining in CanadaWhy Is This Data Important?

It probably comes as no surprise that without our usual modes of activity, light levels of exercise have been reduced. There has also been a number of health issues stemming from the pandemic, including immune system dysfunction and declining mental health. 

Now, as we head towards winter, and a time of year where we typically see a spike in respiratory illness, it has never been more important to focus on our physical and mental health, and exercise in any form can have resounding and positive effects on our wellbeing. 

“There’s been a demonstration of increased issues with anxiety and depression as a result of this pandemic, and physical activity is a first-line treatment for mild to moderate depression and anxiety in Canada. Physical activity should be one of our key recommendations for everyone in these times of physical distancing.”

-Di Sebastiano. Source.

Why is Physical Activity So Important to Our Wellbeing?

As the research has shown, people who already exercised as a habit returned to it quickly. For everyone else, this presents a BIG clue as to how to reclaim even light levels of physical activity during COVID- to make it a habit

With the risk of additional lockdowns never far away, creating these new healthier habits- even if it just means a walk around the block each day- can:

  • Improve our immune system, helping us to fight off other illnesses too
  • Give us a psychological break from work
  • Stimulate our minds and body’s with a new activity
  • Create new social bonds and friendships
  • Boost motivation and mental acuity 
  • Utilize and optimise our body’s energy systems, to stay in shape, and feel great!

How to Reclaim Physical Activity During COVID

Sure, we can all get outside and get moving, but the vast majority of people don’t take that option, even when it’s available. This can lead to significant negative impacts on our mental health, and without a real separation of space between work and home, can also restrict the amount of time we spend ‘at play.’

Instead, we’re encouraging both employers and employees alike to establish and participate in corporate wellness programs. Ordinarily, these programs can range from yoga and group fitness classes to healthy food options and smoking cessation. However, with the current restrictions with on-site programs, employers now have the opportunity to provide these programs to their staff at/from home.

At Turnfit, we’re enabling corporate wellness/fitness programs with a range of group and individual training, exercise programs and more. If location-based exercise isn’t an option for your team, we can also deliver customised, online personal training programs and support, as well as nutritional advice and consulting. 

With structured training programs, that promote inclusivity and fun, employers can facilitate the formation of better habits, and improved health, in their employees. This, in turn, leads to happier staff, better rates of retention, and a more positive workforce.

We’ll dive into the full range of benefits of corporate wellness in the next article. In the meantime, if you are an employer looking to implement such a program, an employee looking to introduce it into your workplace, or simply need more information- get in touch with us


About Turnfit Personal Trainers

Turnfit Personal Trainers is founded by David Turnbull or “Coach David” – an experienced and successful Personal Trainer who strives to build happier, healthier lives every day.

With a focus on holistic health, we pride ourselves on making a difference and were recently awarded the 2019 Top Choice Award for Personal Trainer in Vancouver. 

It’s our mission to help you to build the skills, and mindset, it takes to feel successful in all areas of your life.

For more information, please visit, join our communities on Facebook and take advantage of all of our FREE content by subscribing to our YouTube channel.

We look forward to hearing from you!

-David Turnbull

there are a lot of ways that exercise can make you smarter!

10 Ways Exercise Can Make You Smarter

By | brain power, fat loss, mental health, Mindset, resistance training

It’s no secret that exercising will improve the physical self. but did you know it also has vast impacts on the brain? In a system that is designed to be in constant, positive feedback, working out can help you to maintain focus, increase your brain cells, and literally make improve your intelligence. Ready to drop a few more squats?! Today we’re diving deeper into brain health, to bring you 10 ways that exercise can make you smarter.

1. Increased Heartrate = Increased Blood Supply

On a basic, physiological level, exercising increases your heart rate. This increase also means that there is an increase in the amount of blood (and therefore oxygen) that is pumped around the body. Not only does this stimulate our physical self, but it also helps to move nutrients and other vitals to the place that consumes them the most- the brain. By increasing the supply of oxygen to the brain, we are providing it with the energy it needs to undertake the complex tasks of our daily lives.

2. Exercise Can Stimulate a Bored, Tired Brain

Getting outdoors to exercise is key to keeping our brains interested, and stimulated. For many of us, going to work usually means being sedentary. Although we have challenging days, once you’ve settled into your job, it’s easy to switch to autopilot. In fact, that’s actually how our brains are designed. We become comfortable in routine, and will actively avoid anything that disrupts that routine.

Exercise, on the other hand, can put you into a variety of environments and situations. It also puts you in touch with other people- and studies have shown that it is that connection with other people that makes it easier to pursue. Whether it’s running around Stanley Park, a group fitness class, or rock climbing, keeping your brain stimulated through a wide variety of exercise and activity is key to keeping your mental acuity.

3. Exercise Increases Your Neural Capacity

Exercise is vital in protecting our brain health. By boosting the amount of oxygen our brain receives, we also enable the release of beneficial proteins (neurotrophins). These proteins protect our brain cells (neurons) and by keeping them healthy we are able to stimulate the production of new neurons, otherwise known as neurogenesis. In this way, exercise can make you smarter by literally increasing our brain capacity, and ability to learn/store new information. 

train smarter, not harder

Resistance training is one of the best ways to boost results, and boost your brainpower!

4. Exercise Improves Our Brains Ability to Process Information

Not only does regular exercise stimulate the production of new brain cells, but it can also improve the functioning of existing ones. This neural ‘plasticity’ is a measure of our brain’s ability to transfer information through the synaptic nerves and can have a direct impact in preventing neural diseases such as Alzheimer’s and dementia.

5. It’s All About Those Feel-Good Hormones

You’ve probably heard about dopamine and endorphins before, without actually knowing what they’re responsible for. But these ‘mood-boosting’ hormones are literally responsible for feelings of happiness, relaxation and stress relief. 

They are produced naturally in the brain and bind to our opioid receptors to regulate pain perception. However, when we exercise or perform any sustained physical activity we are able to stimulate the production of these neurochemicals. Studies have shown that these endorphins are effective in easing symptoms of depression and anxiety, and can help to detoxify the body. Seems like a no-brainer to us! 

6. Physical Activity Can Improve Your Memory

As we age we seem to lose the ability to create new memories. However, this is less due to ageing and more due to a lack of stimulation. Being more active during the day has a direct impact on our ability to ingest new information, process it, and retain it. It also helps to keep the brain active, lowering your risk of illnesses that can affect our brain power and memory such as diabetes. 

A study from the University of British Columbia found that regular aerobic exercise can boost the size of the hippocampus. Other studies have shown that people who regularly exercise can increase the volume of other areas of the brain (namely the prefrontal cortex and medial temporal cortex), which all contribute to our ability to create and store new memories and information. It stands to reason, then, that exercise can make you smarter simply by increasing the brain’s capacity to process information.

exercising can boost your memory, and help you to appreciate new experiences

Treat your body well, and your mind even better

7. Take a Load off and Unwind

Stress is one of the leading causes of inflammation and illness. With our busy and modern lives, it can be difficult to find some time for ourselves with the constant drive for productivity. But just like physical exercise, we can also take advantage of mental exercise to help our bodies unwind and become more adaptable. Using tools like meditation we are able to consciously take time for ourselves, reduce our stress and anxiety, and increase the brain’s capacity for learning.

8. Exercise Can Reprogram the Brain

When we experience anxiety, it is actually an overreaction from the brain, caused by our fight or flight response. Nowadays more than 20% of all diagnoses surrounding mental illness being pointed at anxiety, and research has shown that those suffering from anxiety are 48% more likely to develop brain-degenerative diseases. But with the prevalence of anxiety on the rise, it is becoming increasingly clear that the current solutions do not work effectively. 

Exercise, on the other hand, can literally be used to reprogram the brain, and stop it from ‘over-firing.’ This is largely due to the aforementioned benefits in increasing brain volume and capacity, as both factors contribute to our body’s ability to handle stress. By exercising and improving our mental acuity, our neurons have the ability to ‘mature.’ 

The non-technical explanation is that the maturation of these brain cells means they are more experienced and able to better respond to stressful situations. 

On a cellular level, exercise promotes the growth of neurons that release GABA neurotransmitters, which is often referred to as the ‘anti-anxiety’ molecule. The improved release of this neurotransmitter prevents overactive (or understimulated) brain cells from overfiring and helps your brain to identify the real threats, rather than perceived ones. This, in turn, reduces anxiety and can improve our mental focus and clarity.

9. Even Light Exercise Can Make You Smarter

If you are just beginning your exercise journey, or maybe re-starting one, the idea of hours of exercise each week can quickly become intimidating. But studies have shown that even light exercise (that which doesn’t meet the recommended guidelines) can still have a large impact on our brain health. Regular, light intensity exercise, amounting to 7500 steps daily or more, was shown to increase total brain volume amounting to equivalent to “approximately 1.4 to 2.2 years less brain ageing”

10. Get Ready to Feel the Flow

Obviously, regular exercise can improve our fitness, boost our immune system, and increase our energy levels. But this additional energy is good for more than just the exercise itself! By improving our focus and energy levels, exercise can have a direct impact on our ability to enter the ‘flow state.’ 

If you’ve never heard of the flow state before, flow is considered an optimal state of being. It occurs when we are confident in our abilities, and our mind and body are operating in harmony, allowing you to properly connect with your work. Exercise increases the release of the feel-good chemicals/endorphins, and in doing so can increase our intrinsic motivation, which serves to improve our focus and attention. 

By practicing and augmenting these abilities we are able to boost the brain’s ability to take in new information and create new connections with it, thereby improving our mental abilities.

“The mental state of flow also promotes intuition as we access vivid imagery and information beyond our normal conscious awareness.”

Beata Souders

Exercise, Smarter!

Are you ready to boost your mood, and your intelligence, in a fun and safe way? Not only does exercising itself increase your capacity for learning and retention, but there are smarter ways to exercise!

Research has recently confirmed that you will get the best results using a personal trainer, and our Turnfit personal training locations are re-opening in Vancouver! If in-person training isn’t your thing, we also offer a range of online and in-app personal training solutions so you can get the most from your workouts, in the comfort of your own home.

So exercise, smarter, with Turnfit!

About Turnfit Personal Trainers

Turnfit Personal Trainers is founded by David Turnbull or “Coach David” – an experienced and successful Personal Trainer who strives to build happier, healthier lives every day.

With a focus on holistic health, we pride ourselves on making a difference and were recently awarded the 2019 Top Choice Award for Personal Trainer in Vancouver.

Every trainer at Turnfit is committed and relentless in our pursuit to help you reach your health and wellness goals. It’s our mission to help you to build the skills, and mindset, it takes to feel successful in all areas of your life.

For more information, please visit, join our community on Facebook and take advantage of all of our FREE content by subscribing to our YouTube channel.

We look forward to hearing from you!

-David Turnbull

woman in gym wearing personal trainer shirt

Research Confirmed: Using Personal Trainer is Most Effective

By | HIIT Workout, Meditation, mental health, Mindset, Nutrition, online personal training, Personal Training Vancouver

We live in a world where we are constantly bombarded with fad diets, pills, quick fixes and new trends. Not only are these poorly researched and overhyped, the vast majority never manage to consider that we are all different. Every one of us has unique needs, goals and understandings of our health and fitness. This means that to even have the hope of achieving these goals we’re going to need real, individual help. Now, research has confirmed that using a real, qualified personal trainer is the fastest and most effective way to get there!

The Difference Is Personal

Your attention- and by default your time, energy and money- is the biggest commodity available today. With it, you can be persuaded into just about anything, and the ‘phones’ that we are all addicted to are designed to do exactly that. For the sake of this article, however, we’ll focus on our specialty- health and wellness. 

When it comes to our health, it can be hard to see the benefits of spending your time and money to improve it, as these things are difficult to measure (at least int he short term). Neurochemically, it is much easier for us to go for the activity which releases high amounts of dopamine, such as video gaming or Facebook scrolling than it is to be outside and go for a run. 

If/when you finally get so bored of those activities that you actually make the move to do something, the first port of call for most people is the “free” stuff. YouTube videos, Instagram trainers, whatever the first result on google for “free workout program” happens to be.

The issue with this is two-fold:

woman working out with resistance band1. In 99% of the cases, you’re either receiving advice from someone who is completely unqualified, or it’s a one-size-fits-all solution. For some people, that isn’t a problem. They’re happy to ‘dip a toe’ into the workout world, and see if it’s for them. However, using unqualified advice can cause you to develop poor habits, increase your rate of injury, and slow your rates of recovery. Doctor’s train for years to be able to prescribe you medicine, and so do personal trainers! It just happens our medicine comes as a lifestyle change, not a quick fix.

In addition, the concept of ‘dipping a toe’ is usually the exact same mental behaviour that will see you give up after a few days. Setting up new habits and fitness regimes is not an easy task, and it’s made even by trying to do it alone. Most people don’t even make it two weeks, which we see with every new year’s resolution. It’s the same as the ‘Monday effect,’ where motivations are high at the start of the week and taper off by Wednesday.

2. With this minimalised and individual training mindset, most people are never going to see a result. Optimising your health and fitness is as much a mental game as it is physical, and it is not a short term thing. There are a plethora of amazing free resources available if you know where to look, but staying motivated, and accountable is HARD WORK.

The key to making real, lasting changes in your life, particularly where your health and fitness is involved, is in the ‘little’ wins. Small improvements each week not only lead to drastic physical changes, but they can also help to improve your mindset, motivation, outlook, energy, and attitude towards your health and wellness. 

Unless you’re incredibly disciplined, the only way to continue to see these ‘wins’ is in constantly redesigning your health and fitness regime to suit your personal needs and circumstances- something that the ‘free’ stuff doesn’t account for. 

Science Confirms Personal Trainers Are the Key to Results

Before we get too far, we want to temper this research a bit. First, it’s important to understand that this research is based on real, qualified personal trainers and training.  Second, in understanding the results, we’ll also look at why personal trainers are more effective, compared to training by yourself. Contrary to popular belief- it is NOT just because you have a workout buddy. So without further ado, let’s look at some of the numbers:

1. Mclaran et al (2003) showed that using a personal trainer can actually change your opinion of, and attitude towards, health and wellness. This is big, as it shows that personal training isn’t just about the fitness, it also incorporates and improves mental states of wellbeing and physical activity. Based on a 10-week study, the research took into account the participant’s current levels of fitness and categorized them accordingly.

At the end of the 10-week personal training program, a huge 60% had moved up at least one category stage, and an additional 13% two stages. It is interesting to note that these participants (73%) initially started in the second group (contemplation) before progressing higher.

“For the days that they met together, the client and trainer had targeted discussions on problem-solving techniques such as determining the Benefits of Physical Activity, Barriers/Obstacles, Support System Recruitment, Goal Setting and Relapse Prevention in addition to providing specific suggestions for the other exercise days during the week.”

This study concluded that:

  • One-on-one personal training is an effective method for changing attitudes towards physical activity, and thereby increases the amount of physical activity undertaken.
  • Without tailored workout regimes and accountability, the exercise outcomes/progressions were limited.
  • Those who have considered a health/fitness regime but may not have taken the steps to action it stand to get some of the most positive results.

2. A more recent study looked at personal training over self-directed training, whereby researchers used the lean body mass of participants as a measure to determine whether using a qualified personal trainer was advantageous. With significantly higher improvements in the strength and other variables, the study concluded that:

“for the first time in a fitness club setting, members whose training is directed by well qualified personal trainers administering evidence-based training regimens achieve significantly greater improvements in LBM and other dimensions of fitness than members who direct their own training.”

3. Whilst not everyone is training for strength, personal trainers have proven to be effective in this arena as well. Maloof et al and Mazetti et al (2000) showed in two separate studies that having a personal trainer led to ‘significant improvements in strength gains’ in a group setting when compared to a group without a trainer.

woman on yoga mat

What About Online Personal Training?

Whilst these are just some examples of research, the results show that personal trainers do indeed improve and accelerate your results. So what about online personal training?

Conveniently, studies have also been conducted to show the validity, use and effectiveness of personal training from home.

  1. Sykes et al (2007) compared personal training at home and in the gym. The study found that both were as effective as each other when it comes to weight loss, motivation, cardiovascular endurance and discipline.
  2. Similarly, Castro and King (2002) found that the same coaching/fitness training lost no benefits when administered over the phone. It concluded that “home-based, telephone-supervised programs were as effective as a group- or facility-based programs in terms of increased functional capacity and adherence.”
  3. A third study by Kennedy-Armbruster et al also concluded that personal training can reduce overall sedentary (sitting) time by more than 50%, whilst also improving cardiovascular fitness (VO2). This is particularly important right now as many of us are stuck indoors and trying to adjust to a new way of living! 

How Do I Find a Personal Trainer?

Personal trainers spend years achieving their qualifications and honing their skills. In an ordinary year, your local gym or a trusted referral from a friend is usually all that you need to accelerate your training. Now, however, it has become much more difficult to sift through as our attention moves more fully online. Thanks to smartphones you can now access some of the best personal trainers in the country, on-demand, for a fraction of the price. 

With the Turnfit app, you literally have a personal trainer in your pocket, with real-time support, regular updates, fitness tracking and video coaching, we have designed a range of packages to suit your needs. 

For those who are more serious about their training, or have recently lost their trainers due to COVID19, we also have an elite training package. This is for clients who require more focused and personalized training regiments. With regular video coaching calls and completely customised training and nutrition plans, the elite package also includes health and wellness coaching, covering mindfulness and meditation, goal setting and more. 

We also offer FREE health and wellness assessments, and your first month of training is on us. With all of the research pointing to the benefits of personal training and zero cost to get started, you could be a few small steps away from a healthier, happier you. Of course, as personal trainers, we can customise and individualise any plan or workout regime to make sure you are achieving your goals.  

How Can I Join The Turnfit Family?

If you’re ready to improve your habits and your health, you’re only one step away.

Click here to learn more about our packages, and choose the one which best suits your needs. We will send you an invite to download the Turnfit app and set up a time to complete your FREE video assessment call.

Then, make sure you join our community on Facebook for up to date information, access to the team, and a whole host of other free resources, training programs, boot camps and more!

Don’t forget- you can help your friends and family to stay healthy, and earn up to one-month FREE membership when you refer 4 friends– the best part is they can start with ANY package!

For more information about our programs or packages, or about any of our resources please don’t hesitate to reach out and connect:

Call: 778-887-0660




We’re always available to help you improve your health and fitness goals!

About Turnfit Personal Trainers

Turnfit Personal Trainers is founded by David Turnbull or “Coach David” – an experienced and successful Personal Trainer who strives to build happier, healthier lives every day.

With a focus on holistic health, we pride ourselves on making a difference and were recently awarded the 2019 Top Choice Award for Personal Trainer in Vancouver.

Every trainer at Turnfit is committed and relentless in our pursuit to help you reach your health and wellness goals. It’s our mission to help you to build the skills, and mindset, it takes to feel successful in all areas of your life.

For more information, please visit, join our community on Facebook and take advantage of all of our FREE content by subscribing to our YouTube channel.

We look forward to hearing from you!

-David Turnbull

Turnfit Personal Trainers are offering FREE online boot camps

Getting Cabin Fever? Try Our FREE Online Boot camps!

By | mental health, Mindset, Online boot camps, Personal Training Vancouver

Vancouver is still locked down, and by now most people have exhausted their Netflix screen time. With social isolation now in full effect, it has never been more important to focus on your mental and physical wellbeing. To help everyone get through these tough times, Turnfit personal trainers are offering free online boot camps and mindful practice, as well as a range of free information to keep you updated on everything from mortgages to employment.

Mental Health As a State of Mind

We get it. Staying indoors, somewhat indefinitely, is enough to send most people a little crazy. 2020 is going to be different for all of us, and until we have some clearer direction, we all have to assume that the next few months are going to be much the same. 

BUT. This time at home, this forced time away from the office and our normal routines can also be an opportunity. Not only that, but it is also imperative that we all unite and create new ways to interact and communicate with each other. After all, we are social beings. 

Simple Ways to Captivate Your Mind

For too long, we have relied on distractions like Netflix and Instagram to keep our minds occupied. Whilst those things are still OK to utilize, overdoing it also runs the risk of going a little bit insane. So instead, we’d rather focus on some of the alternatives to keep your mind stimulated:

  • Play
    This can be in any shape or form, but being stuck indoors doesn’t mean you have to cut out all the fun. To maintain your mental health though this should be time away from screens. Boardgames, puzzles, blanket forts, painting, learning instruments, you name it, you now literally have
    all the time in the world to do the things you always ‘wished’ you could do.


  • Read.
    We, as a species, literally have all of the information ever created at our fingertips. Anything you want to learn, or to be, has been written down, and most of the good stuff is in books! If you’ve never been a ‘reader,’ now is the time. Not just to maintain this skill, but to learn something new! Keeping your mind stimulated with healthy skills will go a long way to preserving your sanity.


  • Mindfulness and meditation.
    Sure, it might feel like you’re doing a lot of sitting around and thinking. But doing it with
    intention, following your breath, calming the mind, these are all components of a healthy mental state. Build and use these skills now to help you to destress and focus your energy where you need it most. Join our socials for free online personal training sessions, including mindful practice and meditation.


  • Sleep well.
    This one is imperative to maintaining a healthy state of mind, and sadly with all the screens in our faces, most of us do not get healthy sleep. When we’re out of a normal routine it can become even more difficult to do so. Check out
    this article to learn more.


  • Learn to cook (or cook new things!)
    Lockdowns might mean less access to ingredients, or maybe they’ve just given you the time to try new things. Look up some new recipes, get outside your routine, and
    enjoy spending time with the other people in your house. Adding/maintaining micronutrients to your diet will also help you to build and maintain your immune system.

Learning to cook can be a great way to spend time at home!

Physical Activity Is the Key to Sanity

Amongst all the chatter and clutter, there are a few things we need to keep in mind. Even though most of us spend our days at work, there are still certain elements of physical activity attached to that. Whether it’s walking to/from work, a quick gym session afterward, even walking around the office, we’re not entirely sedentary. 

While these lockdowns don’t mean we have to be inside, generally speaking, we’re probably doing a lot more laying about than we usually would. Physical activity is key in this scenario, not just to boost your immune system, but to keep your mind and body in balance.

At Turnfit, we’re offering FREE online boot camps from a range of coaches to help you stay in shape, and stay sane. You do NOT need any gear, workout equipment or prior knowledge to participate. Add to that we have our full suite of online personal training programs available to you as well, which can be used on-demand, with regular updates and new information/plans added all the time. 

We also have our free community page, which we encourage you to follow to access our free online boot camps and classes, and we’re bringing in a whole team of professionals looking to share their time and experiences with you. If you don’t use social media or are trying to steer clear of it at this time, you can also join via our website (please ignore the pricing).

Click HERE to join our Facebook community and access our FREE online boot camps.

Click HERE to join via our website, or get in touch with us.

About Turnfit Personal Trainers

Turnfit Personal Trainers is founded by David Turnbull or “Coach David” – an experienced and successful Personal Trainer who strives to build happier, healthier lives every day.

With a focus on holistic health, we pride ourselves on making a difference and were recently awarded the 2019 Top Choice Award for Personal Trainer in Vancouver. 

Every trainer at Turnfit is committed and relentless in our pursuit to help you reach your health and wellness goals. It’s our mission to help you to build the skills, and mindset, it takes to feel successful in all areas of your life.

For more information, please visit, join our communities on Facebook and take advantage of all of our FREE content by subscribing to our YouTube channel.

We look forward to hearing from you!

-David Turnbull

A strong immune system can help to overcome Carona virus

The Most Important Thing About COVID-19 That No One Is Talking About!

By | Community Of Experts, Mindset, Nutrition

The world has gone crazy. Wars over toilet paper rage in our shopping centers, countries are closing their borders and every second person has become a walking board of statistics. Amid all the hype and fear, and the on-going ‘it’s just the flu’ argument, we seem to have forgotten one little thing- building a strong immune system is the ONLY thing you need to worry about! 

3D rendering of a pathogenic cell

Without germs and bacteria, the human race would not exist

Contagious Viruses Are Not a New Thing 

The Carona virus/COVID19 is contagious. It is not just the flu, and it has indeed spread further than any thought imaginable. But for 95% of people- it actually makes no difference. Yes, you may get sick, and of course, you should be taking precautions to prevent yourself and others from spreading it. But in the past 20 years, there have been more outbreaks than you can count on two hands. Do you remember bird flu, swine flu, SARS and Ebola?

It seems history is destined to repeat itself, especially as our societies become more globalized, and populated. However, as always, there is a silver lining. Each time there is an outbreak, we create and enact more efficient ways of ‘flattening the curve,’ but more importantly, there is only one truth to come from these events.

A Strong Immune System Is Your Body’s Best Defense!

In our over-medicated world, it’s easy to forget that we already have an incredible defense mechanism. To be fair, a strong immune system is your only real defense against illness, pathogens, and viruses. This system has been evolving and developing since the first organisms existed on Earth, and through all of the trials and tribulations of the past millennia, we are still here. We have survived. Your body already has everything it needs to make it through this, and the next pandemic- as long as you are treating it right! 

When dealing with COVID19, the most affected are the elderly with weaker or compromised immune systems. As we age, so too does our immune system. However, there are a number of real, lasting changes that you can implement now to keep your immunity up for years to come.

4 Ways to Improve Your Immune System- for Good

Before diving into ways to improve your immune system, we want to highlight something here. It’s all well and good to turn to quick fixes, like Vitamin C or garlic when you have a cold, for example. 

But if you make real, lifelong changes to the way you treat your body- you can prevent that cold in the first place! So rather than looking at short term solutions, we want to give you the tools to actually improve this system in your body, and boost your defense against all illness, not just COVID19.

1. Improve Your Diet to Improve Your Immune System

That doesn’t mean go on the latest fad diet. This isn’t a ‘6 weeks to better abs’ solution. Improving your diet is about changing the things we put into our body and making better, more conscious choices. It really is as simple as consuming foods that are better for us, like fruits and vegetables, berries, nuts, and seeds. Of course, it has to be part of a balanced, and healthy diet, but consuming foods naturally high in vitamins, minerals, micronutrients, and antioxidants all help your body to combat stressors and boost your immune system.

2. Practice and Cultivate Better Habits

This may seem a little left-field, but we ask the question- how often do you get sick after being run down for a few days? When our bodies and minds are exhausted, our immune system is more easily compromised. 

Solution: by introducing a mindful practice into our day, we are able to actually reflect on the areas of your life that could be improved. Maybe you haven’t been getting enough sleep, or poor time management leads to you consuming fast food. These are all things that can be worked on to improve your natural defenses and ward off illness, but you have to become aware of them first!

3. Stop Disinfecting Your World

This one is particularly controversial at the moment, and we want to take a moment to say that during the COVID19 pandemic, you should absolutely be trying to maintain cleanliness, and preventing the spread of this virus.

However. We also want to point out that in recent years the war on germs has become the advertising card of sanitation companies and disinfectant products around the world. Without all of the bacteria in the world, we literally wouldn’t have an immune system in the first place! 

We’ve all heard that letting kids play in the dirt is good for their immunity, but it actually goes much further than that. Until recently in the history of humanity, our immune systems were constantly bombarded with germs, bacteria and other pathogens- some of which are friendly, and many of which are not. The unfriendly germs are the exact things our bodies need, to be able to create a defense against!

“Our immune system needs a job. We evolved over millions of years to have our immune systems under constant assault. Now they don’t have anything to do.”
Dr. Meg Lemon, dermatologist specialising in autoimmune disorders

Of course, we aim to protect our children and letting them become sick in a preventable situation seems counterintuitive. But the issues aren’t fully realized until that child grows, and falls sick, because they never had a chance to build their immune resistance in the first place. These traits and behaviors are passed down through generations, and we are unknowingly weakening our own immunity, and the immune systems of those to come after us. 

4. Exercise!

By the time you have a cold, it’s too late to run around the block. But regular exercise goes hand in hand with a better diet and is key to keeping your body healthy and regulating your immune system. 

Of course, it helps you to stay fit and in shape, but regular exercise also:

  • Exposes you to the outdoors
  • Reduces blood pressure
  • Improves cardiovascular health and capabilities
  • Speeds up your bodies recovery mechanisms- be it muscular or cellular
  • Keeps us mobile for longer, and slows the onset of age-related disabilities
  • Sets a better example for your children and those around you 

Exercising is a great way to keep your immune system in checkAll of these recommendations are lifestyle changes. They are not quick fixes. You may already be in a position to combat COVID19, and we are all blessed to live in a country that has an efficient healthcare system. But this will not be the last contagion in our lifetimes, and the only time to make a change is now. 

At TurnFit, we can help you to introduce these small changes to your lifestyle, to make huge changes down the line. With a focus on real, holistic health and wellbeing, all of our coaches are ready to help.

Did you know we also offer online personal training courses? With more and more people working from home during this crisis, there has never been a better time to take advantage of our world-class personal training, on-demand, and in your own home!

With real trainers, on-going support and amazing content all in a smartphone app, this cost-effective solution covers everything, including workouts, meditations, diet, cardio and more. Get in touch for more information, and start to improve your health and immune system, the right way.

Join our free community for free online training as we are all self isolating

About Turnfit

Turnfit Personal Trainers is founded by David Turnbull or “Coach David” – an experienced and successful Personal Trainer who strives to build happier, healthier lives every day.

With a focus on holistic health, we pride ourselves on making a difference and were recently awarded the 2019 Top Choice Award for Personal Trainer in Vancouver. 

Every trainer at Turnfit is committed and relentless in our pursuit to help you reach your health and wellness goals. It’s our mission to help you to build the skills, and mindset, it takes to feel successful in all areas of your life.

For more information, please visit, join our communities on Facebook and take advantage of all of our FREE content by subscribing to our YouTube channel.

We look forward to hearing from you!

-David Turnbull

man has fun in a ball pit

The Play-cebo Effect: Why Its Important to Play as an Adult!

By | mental health, Mindset, Stress

The weight of responsibility only seems to increase as we age. From work to kids and everything in between, we often forget to take some time out for ourselves, and we almost never take the time to play. Re-learning how to play as an adult can have incredible effects on our physical, emotional and social well-being. It can also help you to de-stress, bond with your children, and boost your mood, energy, and cognitive abilities. Are you ready for recess? 

It’s Time to Have More Fun

Somewhere along the line, we get to a point where we don’t have the time to have fun. Nay, we don’t take the time. Between the stresses of work, our daily commute, looking after kids and all the rest, squeezing in a bit of fun for ourselves can just become another chore. 

But ‘play’ as an adult doesn’t have to become tedious. It doesn’t mean you build a sandbox and buy some new trucks. Nor does it mean finding the old dollhouse in your parents’ attic and brushing the hair of a 1980’s Barbie.

As adults, the importance of play isn’t just to break up our routine. It is how we learn to be or continue to be, creative. It develops our personality and lets us enjoy the little things. It releases endorphins and improves neural plasticity. It increases our brain function, helps us to maintain dexterity, and can ultimately just help us to laugh. 

As kids, these activities are integral to our learning and cognitive development, and an incredible way to build social skills. But playing is just as important as adults for the same skills. Research has also shown that play can increase levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which is essential for the growth and maintenance of brain cells. It can also improve memory and stimulate growth in the cerebral cortex.

“At work, play has been found to speed up learning, enhance productivity
and increase job satisfaction; and at home, playing together, like going to a movie or a concert, can enhance bonding and communication.”

-Lynn Barnett, professor of recreation, sports and tourism at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Source.

What Does It Mean to Play as an Adult?

Sometimes, when we think about play or recreation, we go straight to sports and physical activity. Whilst these have a myriad of benefits in an of themselves- they’re not the only way to play. As an adult, play is more about a conscious decision to undertake or participate in activities you enjoy! It can be anything that can help to stimulate your mind and body in positive ways, away from electronics and gadgets, and more importantly- in ways that your job cannot.

playing as an adult is just as important as it was growing up

Play is all about having fun, and not taking life too seriously!

It’s about taking things a little less seriously. Walking through your day with a lighter step and a bigger smile. And doing it just for its own sake!

Thankfully, ‘play’ as an adult can encompass a huge array of different activities- dependant solely on your imagination:

  • Board games and adult coloring books
  • Learning/playing an instrument
  • Becoming the artist you always dreamed of being
  • Engaging in community activities
  • Going for a walk or hike
  • Playing team sports
  • Joining a book club
  • Going to see a show or performance

“What all play has in common is that it offers a sense of engagement and pleasure, takes the player out of a sense of time and place, and the experience of doing it is more important than the outcome.”

Stuart Brown, founder of the National Institute for Play in Carmel Valley, California.

The activity itself doesn’t actually matter. Whatever you consider ‘play’ is up to you. The real motivation has to be in actually making time for it. For yourself. 

Physical Activity as a Form of Play

Although play as an adult can encompass just about anything, physical activity is a measurable and verifiable way to:

  • Keep us in shape
  • Strengthen your heart and lungs
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Improve or maintain dexterity and coordination
  • Release ‘good’ hormones and improve our mood
  • Help us to destress and relax
  • Improve social skills and meet new people
  • Teach us how to cooperate with others, especially in team settings
  • Support, and be supported, by those around you

Of course, these all have an effect on our physical self, but research has also shown that these benefits translate into all other forms of our lives- be it our work ethic and friendships, to home life and relationships with your children. Not to mention you’re setting a great example for them too!

Moreover, the on-going physical and social benefits provided by team sports and group physical activity have been shown to increase our happiness, help us manage stress, reduce our risk of dementia, ward off depression and prolong our lives.

“Highly playful adults feel the same stressors as anyone else,
but they appear to experience and react
to them differently,
allowing stressors to roll off more easily than those who are less playful”

Lynn Barnett.

Woman having fun with a smiley faced balloon
This Is One Playcebo We’re Happy to Take!

At the end of the day, whatever you consider ‘play’ is up to you, and re-learning to play as an adult is all about having an outlet. Somewhere to channel your creative and physical energy. The research has, and will continue to prove that it is incredibly beneficial for our health, and emotional and psychological well-being. 

At TurnFit, we haven’t made it to being Vancouver’s top rated personal trainers just by focusing on the physical. All of our coaches take a real, genuine interest in you, to equip you with the skills you need to improve all facets of your life, improve your emotional and social wellbeing, and ultimately- to have more fun!

Get in touch with us to see how we can assist, or to book your consultation today! 

About Turnfit

Turnfit Personal Trainers is founded by David Turnbull or “Coach David” – an experienced and successful Personal Trainer who strives to build happier, healthier lives every day.

With a focus on holistic health, we pride ourselves on making a difference and were recently awarded the 2019 Top Choice Award for Personal Trainer in Vancouver. 

Every trainer at Turnfit is committed and relentless in our pursuit to help you reach your health and wellness goals. It’s our mission to help you to build the skills, and mindset, it takes to feel successful in all areas of your life.

For more information, please visit, join our communities on Facebook and take advantage of all of our FREE content by subscribing to our YouTube channel.

We look forward to hearing from you!

-David Turnbull

Falling asleep fast doesn't have to be a challenge

Fall Asleep Fast! 5 Ways to Unwind

By | Breathing, mental health, Mindset, Sleep

Our bodies are amazing machines, but even they need a recharge each night. Real, lasting sleep is not only imperative for your mental state, but it also gives your mind and body much needed time to repair and recover. It wasn’t so long ago that the average person would fall asleep in 7 minutes. Nowadays, however, with those addictive little screens in our pockets, the battle to fall asleep is almost as tough as the battle to stay asleep! With that in mind, we’ve put together a list of 5 ways to help you unwind, and fall asleep, fast.

Falling asleep fast doesn't have to be a challenge

1. Put Your Phone Away

There was a time, not so long ago, where the only light we received was from the sun. Now, however, with our screen-filled lives, we are constantly and consistently using devices that give off ‘blue’ light. This spectrum is the same as the spectrum of light the sun, and during the day is great for boosting our alertness, reaction times, and mood. When it comes to falling asleep fast however, this blue light disrupts our natural circadian rhythms, and prevents our brains from ‘switching off.’

So, tip number one, if you’re winding down relaxing before bed, do it with a book, not your phone.

2. Watch What You Eat

This one may seem a little obvious, but it stands to be said- caffeine is cherished because it wakes you up. There is a multitude of research available proving the adverse effects of caffeine on our ability to fall asleep fast, and sometimes we don’t realize that we’re even consuming it. With recommendations and research suggesting that you don’t consume caffeine within 6 hours of trying to fall asleep, that means no coke with dinner and cutting out late in the day coffees. It is also recommended that you cut out sugar-filled snacks and desserts, as the body looks to process and burn this energy immediately- usually keeping you awake for longer.

3. Exercise During the Day

We wouldn’t be health and wellness coaches without recommending that you exercise. Not only does it help your body to control and regulate hormone and stress responses, but it is also a perfect way to make sure you are actually tired when you go to sleep. When you take into consideration the amount of food we consume, it is likely that most people aren’t actually burning off their intake each day. This oversupply of energy (yes, that’s what food is for) can make it difficult to fall asleep fast, so why not take the chance to improve your health, and prepare for a better night’s sleep!

Woman sitting at desk writing in a journal

Journaling can help your mind to unwind at night

4. Take up Journaling

Think about all those times you were exhausted, lay down in bed, and your mind started to race. You spend so much time questioning your day, your jobs for tomorrow, and all the things you didn’t get done, and by the time your alarm sounds in the morning your more exhausted than ever. With 1 in 5 adults experiencing mental health issues, most as a direct cause of stress and anxiety, falling asleep fast seems out of the question. But creating good mental habits, and daily practices like journaling can help you to unload, reflect, and unwind before hopping into bed.

5. Be Consistent

Like all habits we develop, consistency is key. If you want to get the recommended 8 hours sleep, and need to be awake by 6 am, that means you need to be asleep by 10 pm. Not having a shower, not getting close, asleep. Our bodies are amazing in their adaptability, and if you can form a good bed-time routine, you can easily train yours to wind down and be ready for sleep, when you need it to be.

So How Do You Fall Asleep Fast?

There are a lot of tips and tricks available to help you wind down. Some or all of these may work for you, but the real advice is exactly that- you need to find what works for you. If you are not getting enough sleep, you need to decide how serious that is before you’ll commit to trying new things. Once you do, however, creating new, healthier habits and routines are the key to improving your sleep. This, in turn, creates a more positive feedback loop, increasing your self-awareness (and alertness) throughout the day, to help you to continue to dial in on the new, rested, you.

About Turnfit

Turnfit Personal Trainers is founded by David Turnbull or “Coach David” – an experienced and successful Personal Trainer who strives to build happier, healthier lives every day.

With a focus on holistic health, we pride ourselves on making a difference and were recently awarded the 2019 Top Choice Award for Personal Trainer in Vancouver. 

Every trainer at Turnfit is committed and relentless in our pursuit to help you reach your health and wellness goals. It’s our mission to help you to build the skills, and mindset, it takes to feel successful in all areas of your life.

For more information, please visit, join our communities on Facebook and take advantage of all of our FREE content by subscribing to our YouTube channel.

We look forward to hearing from you!

-David Turnbull

Exterior view of the Fairmont hotel vancouver

Personal Training in Vancouver Now Available in Historic Downtown Hotel

By | Downtown Vancouver, Mindset, Personal Training Vancouver

With almost 100 years of colorful history, the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver is an icon of the cities downtown area. With 557 guest rooms, beautifully appointed suites, and more recently a $75 million update, the Hotel offers guests a host of luxury amenities and services. Not only is this beautiful building rich with the memories of Vancouver, but personal training services are also now available, on-demand, thanks to our latest partnership!

Exterior view of the Fairmont hotel vancouver

Now you have more options for personal training in Vancouver- book a session today at the Fairmont Hotel, and take advantage of their luxury amenities!

The History of Hotel Vancouver 

One of Canada’s great railway hotels the original Hotel Vancouver was first established in 1887, and a year later, we saw the opening of the Canadian Pacific Hotel. It was replaced in 1912, and again in 1928, which is the version you can see in downtown Vancouver today. 

The building itself took more than 11 years to complete, as a result of a joint partnership between the Canadian National Railway and the Canadian Pacific Railway. It was officially opened in 1939, by none other than King George VI and Queen Elizabeth while on their royal tour in Canada. 

Fun Fact: the Royals also officially opened Lions Gate Bridge on the same trip, which was built by the Guinness family to gain access to their land- what we now call the North Shore!

At the time of its opening, Vancouver was only home to around 2000 people. It was a working-class area, and the Hotel Vancouver once held huge boilers to provide steam power to surrounding downtown buildings. In the mid 20th century Hotel Vancouver also played host to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporations radio stations.

It has since changed hands and management a number of times, from Pacific Railways to Hilton, and has seen a number of renovations both updating, and then restoring the original features and designs of this chateau inspired hotel. Canadian Pacific Hotels acquired Fairmont in 1999 and changed the name and hotel design to the one you see today- the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver. Whilst Fairmont continues to manage the hotel, however, it’s ownership has more recently changed hands again, sold to Larco Enterprise for a cool $180 million in 2015.

Personal Training in Vancouver Just Got a Luxury Upgrade

If you’ve visited the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver before, you’ll know it’s quite a lush place to lay your head. But you don’t have to be staying there to get our personal training, health, and wellness coaching in this new location! 

Thanks to this new partnership, you can book sessions with Vancouver’s best personal trainers, and take advantage of the hotel’s world-class facilities while you’re there! 

Booking a personal training session with TurnFit at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver also lets you take advantage of the hotel’s extra amenities and services, including:

  • Towel service, showers, and change rooms
  • Use of the gym and sauna
  • Lockers
  • Outdoor patio spaces.  
  • A beautiful indoor pool with deck chairs and space to relax after a hard session

Are you ready to take advantage of our newest personal training location in downtown Vancouver? Book Your Assessment today, or visit our website to learn more about what we do, and how we can help you to reach your health and wellness goals!

Take advantage of personal training in vancouver and the luxury amenities of fairmont hotel

Feature Image Credit.

About TurnFit

Turnfit Personal Trainers is founded by David Turnbull or “Coach David” – an experienced and successful Personal Trainer who strives to build happier, healthier lives every day.

With a focus on holistic health, we pride ourselves on making a difference and were recently awarded the 2019 Top Choice Award for Personal Trainer in Vancouver. 

Every trainer at Turnfit is committed and relentless in our pursuit to help you reach your health and wellness goals. It’s our mission to help you to build the skills, and mindset, it takes to feel successful in all areas of your life.

For more information, please visit, join our communities on Facebook and take advantage of all of our FREE content by subscribing to our YouTube channel.

We look forward to hearing from you!

-David Turnbull

woman walking outdoors with sunlight

Exercise and Mental Health: More Effective Than Medication

By | mental health, Mindset, Stress

The prevalance of mental illness is rapidly increasing in the western world, and our dependance on prescription medication has become an epidemic. However recent research would suggest that we have all the tools needed to implement a real, lasting solution- and we’ve had them all along! Exercise and mental health are a package deal, two facets of holistic health that complement each other. Of course, we already know that exercise is good for our physical self, so instead let’s dive into the effects of regular exercise on our psychology, and how it is helping us to re-wire our bodies and our minds.

woman walking outdoors with sunlight

Mental Health: The Facts and Figures

Before we look at the ways exercise can help our state of mind, it’s important we understand the full scope of mental health, and it’s related issues.

It has been reported that:

  • 1 in 5 adults experiences some form of mental illness every year.
  • 50% of all lifetime mental illness begins by age 14, and 75% by age 24
  • Rates of depression in young adults are increasing rapidly, 8.7 percent in 2005 to 12.7 percent in 2015.
  • Suicide has now become the second leading cause of death in the 10 to 34-year-old age bracket, and the fourth leading cause in people aged between 35 and 54.
  • Anxiety is the leading reported mental illness, accounting for 20% of diagnosis, followed by major depressive episodes at 7%.

It can be easy to sit back and assume that these things will never happen to you. However, the flow-on effects of mental health issues- whether they’re experienced by you, or the result of your influence/example over other people- can affect the physical and mental wellbeing of those around you:

  • People with depressive illnesses are 40% more likely to develop cardiovascular or other metabolic/physiological diseases
  • In 2018, almost 20% of adults with mental illness also experienced a substance use disorder in the U.S. That’s 9.2 million people.
  • Mental illness also increases rates of unemployment and highschool dropouts. 
  • The search for, and over-reliance on, a ‘quick fix’ has led to the opioid crisis, where the overprescription of opioid-based medicines is the leading cause of deaths caused by drug overdose- almost 68%

It’s time to go back to the basics. Placing the emphasis on exercise for mental health, rather than prescription medications. Research has shown the impact, and onset, of mental health issues, is particularly prevalent in young people. Turning back to physical activity as a solution not only positively impacts our lives, it creates the right foundation and examples for our children. It is also key to the ongoing support and development of our communities.

Exercise Physiology Psychology: How Does Exercise Affect our Mental Health?

We all know that physical activity, in any shape and form, can do wonders for our fitness and physique. When it comes to the mental effects of this exercise, however, it can be argued that it is even more beneficial for our state of wellbeing. 

And whilst you don’t need to spend hours per day in the gym or pushing your body past the point of exhaustion, you do indeed need to be active, engaged and present. It is recommended that you participate in some sort of aerobic activity, for at least 30 minutes, 3 times per week. This can be a brisk walk, jog, cycle, swim, anything that elevates the heart rate or requires some mental focus. 

Animated brain lifting a barbell

Exercising creates positive feedback loops with our mind, and the world around us

With this in mind (no pun intended), let’s look at 6 positive effects of exercise on mental health, and why we should all be aiming to squeeze a little more from our day! 

1. Exercise Can Reduce Depression and Anxiety

Endorphines are known as ‘mood-boosting’ neurochemicals. They are produced naturally in the brain and bind to our opioid receptors to regulate pain perception. Exercising, or any sustained physical activity has been shown to ease symptoms of depression and anxiety by stimulating our production of endorphins.

2. Say Goodbye to Alzheimer’s

Consistent exercise has been shown to positively affect the amygdala, which moderates our stress responses. It has also been shown to affect the hippocampus, which plays a role in the formation of memory and neural plasticity. It is this lack of plasticity as we age that is responsible for neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and dementia. 

3. Exercise Regulates Mood and Sleep

Sleeping is our body’s chance to recharge and repair after a hard day’s work. However, with our constant exposure to blue light (thanks to phones, TV’s and computers), we now live in a society where more than 30% of people suffer from insomnia. This increases to 40-60% over the age of 60!
Physical activity can not only help you regulate your sleep patterns (say being more mentally alert in the morning, after exercise), you actually earn the rest at the end of the day.

4. Improve Confidence and Self Esteem

Exercising for mental health isn’t just about ‘curing’ something. It can also have long-lasting effects on our emotional states of being, including boosting our confidence and self-esteem. Not only do the physical benefits of exercise lead to these improved states, the social impact of exercising with other people- say in team sports or group training- can also enhance these feelings.

5. Relieve Tension and Excess Energy 

Our bodies are designed to utilize and expel energy. It has only been in the last 50 years that sedentary, desk-based jobs have become the norm. Unfortunately for most of us, this also means we are overconsuming food without burning off the energy it provides. Not to mention the overstimulation that often comes with a caffeine-rich diet. 
Exercising can help to relieve the muscle tension we develop from hours in seated positions, loosening muscles and putting us into the correct postural positions, whilst burning off all that excess energy at the end of the day! This, in turn, reduces our states of anxiety and mental alertness, giving us the chance to get a better night’s rest and jump out of bed in the morning.

6. Get Back in Touch With Nature

More recently, research has begun to show how being outdoors/in nature can supplement and enhance the effects of exercise on mental health. By being outside for a mere 20 minutes per day, participants reported increased feelings of ‘happiness and vitality,’ and it has been suggested that the mere presence of nature can ward off feelings of exhaustion. If there’s ever been a better reason to get outside and go for a walk, we haven’t heard it!

walking outdoors is great exercise for mental health

Get back in touch with the great outdoors, and watch your energy lift!

With all of these positive neural and emotional effects, it’s safe to say that exercising and mental health go hand in hand. By understanding these impacts, we can improve our own wellbeing, and positively affect the wellbeing of our children, families, and communities. 

If you’re finding it hard to get started or would like some advice about the right types of exercise for you, we’re here to help! With a host of online support and training available, free health assessments, and an emphasis on cultivating improved mental states, TurnFit can help you to achieve your health and wellness goals, safely. 

For more information, you can contact us via or commit to be fit in 2020 and join our 6-week health transformation challenge today!

Practice and develop better thinking skills with meditation

Practice and Cultivate: Better Habits + Better Thinking = Less Stress!

By | Meditation, Mindset, Stress

They say that practice makes perfect, and it has never been more true when it comes to cultivating better thinking! What if I told you that with regular mindful practice, you can reduce your stress levels, increase your happiness, focus, and positivity, improve your health, sex life, strength, and will power, in 10 minutes per day, without working out? That’s right, 10 minutes. Surely that’s enough to at least finish reading this article? 

Practice and develop better thinking skills with meditation

Fight or Flight- It’s an Over Practiced Reaction

There’s plenty of information available about creating new habits and changing behaviors. Most of them will give you a step by step guide that you’ll never stick to, and wonder why nothing in your life has changed. Do you want to know why? 

While it generally takes 8 weeks to form a new habit, we’ve been forming (and practicing) bad habits our entire lives. How easy is it to turn on the TV instead of going for a walk? Or eat the rest of that Christmas pudding, and tell yourself you’ll work it off ‘tomorrow?’ 

Let’s face it. No one likes to be told what to do. And frankly, we all think we’re doing ‘the best we can.’ But without realizing it, this is a limiting belief in and of itself. The more we say it, the more entrenched it becomes. In doing so, we are reinforcing negative behaviors and thought patterns, which only makes them even more impossible to retract. 

Biologically, we are programmed to take the path of least resistance.

Remember the classic lesson about our ‘fight or flight’ response? For most of us, the option is always flight. You could go for a walk around the block, and of course, you know all the amazing benefits it will provide your mind and body. But it might cause you a little physical stress, and the easy option is to sit on the couch and order in, which is the option most people will take. 

For all the power of positivity and information that is available to us, every time we make a choice, be it positive or negative, we are reinforcing those behaviors. So every time you choose the couch, you are one step further away from choosing the walk. This is true of all facets of our lives, work, money, relationships, but let’s start with the things we can easily affect change in- our mental ‘blueprint.’

Meditative practice can improve self awareness and focus

Practicing better thinking can help to redesign our mental habits!

It’s Time to Redesign the Blueprint

In the same way that we have blueprints for buildings or ‘plans’ for our financials, we have also cultivated our own belief systems when it comes to our health and the things that are important to us. Just like building designs, however, they can be changed. Yes, it’s a lot of finicky work, and of course, it isn’t easy to make real, lasting change. After all, you’re trying to change years, and potentially decades of bad habits and thought patterns. 

BUT, If your health means more to you than your excuses, and if getting out of bed with a smile, or having the energy to keep up with your kids is more important than checking how many likes you have on Instagram, you can practice the skills it takes to affect that change. You have to. Nobody else can do it for you.

In the same way that working out helps us to build physical strength, we can flex and work our mental muscles of resilience, positive choice-making, and positive self-talk! By practicing these skills we reinforce beneficial behaviors and continue to make choices that are in our best interests. Eventually, these thoughts and actions become new, positive habits in our lives.

The Mind Follows the Body, the Body Follows the Mind

The word ‘health’ gets thrown around a lot, and for most people, they think it means hours in the gym to try and get that KK booty. But real health, the kind that actually improves our lives, begins with our internal dialogue, or self-talk. Before you can make any changes in your life you need to understand one thing- we talk to ourselves A LOT. More than 70% of the conversations you have in life are with that little voice upstairs. So first things first- you have to get that right.

To improve on your self-talk, practice by talking to others more positively! It’s a simple game, heck even smiling as you walk past someone in the street can be enough to lift your mood, and allow you to more fully engage in your choices. With simple physical gestures like this, you can improve your mental game. Being proud of yourself is incredibly rewarding- and in turn, you’ll continue this positive feedback loop! 

Second, remember that we are all human, and we are all here to learn. But to that effect we ask- when was the last time you did something new, for you? When was the last time you left your bubble, or ‘comfort zone’ as it is often called, and tried something different?

What are you missing out on, by not taking that chance?

Practicing your self awareness isn’t all yoga and meditation. If you want to improve your mental clarity, self-talk, and ultimately self-love, you have to push your own boundaries. You have to chase that feeling of achievement, and the satisfaction that comes from the journey. In doing so you help your mind and your body to practice and form new patterns and behaviors. It’s about making a choice- any choice- for you! 

Push your limits to increase your mental stamina

Practice pushing your boundaries, regardless of whether they’re physical or mental!

Don’t Forget to Breathe

Like all things in life, these changes won’t come quickly or easily. They are skills and lessons to be practiced– yes, that means more than once- and in doing so you will slowly build up a new skill set and tolerance to uncomfortable situations.

We did, however, promise that you could improve a wide range of things in your life in just 10 minutes per day, and it all begins with the breath. 

Sure, you’ve heard of meditation. You know it makes you focus on breathing, and the health benefits are shouted from rooftops the world over, but what many practitioners fail to explain is the how. 

We have been breathing since we escaped the womb. It’s the first thing we know how to do, and we don’t even control it. But meditation takes something that is unconscious and requires us to pay attention to it. To be conscious of it. Sounds pretty similar to what we’re trying to achieve in practicing and creating new habits, right? To become aware of our choices, and consciously make better ones, for ourselves?

Yes, focusing on the breath can help to quiet the mind. But the true power in a meditative practice is the flexing of these mental muscles. To bring your awareness and your focus back to an unconscious action, and then to take action. In as little as 10 minutes per day, meditating can help to build this resilience, reduce our blood pressure, improve positivity and build the skills it takes to make better choices for the rest of your life! 

That doesn’t mean you need to light incense and sit in horribly uncomfortable positions- you are not a monk. But if you can’t take 10 minutes- literally 0.007% of your day– to make time for yourself, to sit and just breath, how can you expect to change anything else? 

Like learning to walk, or ride a bike, learning to meditate takes practice!

Ready to Cultivate Better Thinking, and Practice Better Habits?

At TurnFit we can help you to get started on this journey and affect positive changes in your life- from the comfort of your own lounge room. With a range of easy to understand online courses and a team that will always go above and beyond to make sure you are comfortable, we can help you to kickstart your health and wellness goals, and maintain them for the rest of your life.

To get started, or for more information simply email and we’ll work on building these skills, together. 

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