What you'll learn from this collection of passionate experts is incredible, and all of their insight is packed into less than 25 minutes per video. I hope you'll find these talks inspiring, informative and thought-provoking! They're arranged in alphabetical order by speakers first name because I could never pick my absolute favourite, they're all so good!
Amy Cuddy: Your body language shapes who you are
Arianna Huffington: How to succeed? Get more sleep
Andy Puddicombe: All it takes is 10 mindful minutes
Angela Lee Duckworth: The key to success? Grit
Brene Brown: The power of vulnerability
Daniel Amen: Change your brain, change your life
Elizabeth Gilbert: Your elusive creative genius
Eric Goodman: The unexpected physical consequences of technology
Goldie Hawn and Daniel Siegel: The power of mindfulness
Greg Wells: Sleep better, eat better, move better
Jill Bolte Taylor: My stroke of insight
John Ratey: The importance of movement
Ken Robinson: Do schools kill creativity?
Lissa Rankin: Is there scientific proof we can heal ourselves?
Matthieu Ricard: The habits of happiness
Maysoon Zayid: I got 99 problems... palsy is just one
Rick Hanson: Hardwiring happiness
Shawn Achor: The happy secret to better work
Susan Cain: The power of introverts
Temple Grandin: The world needs all kinds of minds
Tony Robbins: Why we do what we do
Did I miss any of your favourite TED Talks? Tweet me @LifeDelish!
Tips on postural strength plus a motivating soundtrack for a 45-minute stationary spin
I’m a relatively new road cyclist and am still not completely comfortable riding around in traffic. When it comes to personal physical safety my motto is overzealous cautiousness.
In that light, I'm a huge fan of bike trainers. I’m building my cycling confidence, form and fitness while remaining totally safe. We currently have a bike trainer on loan from a friend and are trying to decide what type and brand to purchase for ourselves.
We’re really fortunate to have a large patio at our home, part of it covered, so even on a rainy day where I don’t feel like getting wet, I have no excuse not to get out there for a spin.
Cycling is a fantastic cardiovascular exercise and a great, no-impact alternative to running
As with every type of exercise – be it cardio, strength or flexibility training – I think focusing on form, incessantly, especially in the beginning, to create strong and optimal neuromuscular connections is vital.
Put in the time to create the muscle memory for ideal posture, and eventually it will become second-nature (just like playing scales on the piano or perfecting your golf swing).
Strengthen Your Posterior Chain
I discovered a kindred spirit when I discovered Dr Eric Goodman, a California-based chiropractor, speaker (check out his awesome TEDtalk, above), and author of the must-read book Foundation: Redefine Your Core, Conquer Back Pain, and Move With Confidence.
During my years working in a gym, I saw so many people focusing on their fronts, with endless sets of chest presses and crunches. I have nothing against those exercises but I noticed a large imbalance in the number of exercises most people were doing for the front of their bodies versus the back of their bodies, like rows, good mornings, deadlifts, and back extensions.
Because a very large percentage of the work force sits, likely all day at a computer – which creates an imbalance where the muscles in the front of the body (chest, abs, hip flexors) become shorter and tighter, and the muscles in the back of the body (rhomboids, spinal erectors) become longer and weaker – focusing on strengthening the back of the body, or the posterior chain, more than the front of the body is an excellent idea. It's an idea I drill into my clients' heads.
Focusing on strengthening the posterior chain is precisely what Goodman preaches, too. “Foundation training is based on the simple but unique idea that strengthening the posterior chain allows the strong muscles in your back to do their job of supporting the weight of the upper body and propelling movement,” says Goodman.
With personal trainer Peter Park, Goodman “joined forces to develop a series of exercises designed to change destructive movement patterns and build a powerful posterior chain, which begins with a strong lower back.”
Pick up a copy of the book for a detailed explanation of the basic Foundation workout, a moderate and intense workout, bonus exercises, and a foam roller workout (Goodman calls foam rolling the "poor man's massage").
Quick Workout: Postural Strength for Improved Cycling
Check out the video below with Goodman and Park demonstrating a quick workout, aimed at cyclists, for developing postural strength
I love books, that's no secret! Often, when I hear about books I'd like to read, I put them on hold at the library and they usually trickle in at a reasonable pace.
But sometimes they pile up, as they've done now. If only I could steal away to a deserted cabin in the woods – with good lighting – and spend a few days disconnected from the world and surrounded by books.
My wonderful friend Caralyn gave me this book after learning that I wanted to go to Italy for my tenth wedding anniversary this summer.
Sadly, it looks like that might not pan out, but at least I can plan my dream trip so I'll be ready to jump into action when the time comes. For now, just keeping this book by my bed makes Italy feel a little bit closer.
Eagle Walz is one of those people who leaves his mark on your heart. He's a gentle and passionate wilderness crusader and, through the Powell River Parks and Wilderness Society (an organization he founded), has saved countless acres of old growth trees by building the 180-kilometre-long Sunshine Coast Trail.
This is a beautiful and inspiring picture book that "tells the fascinating story of the land the Sunshine Coast Trail passes through, as well as that of the people who have worked to protect the giants of our forests for future generations."
From left to right: Brian Mullins, Catherine Roscoe Barr, Lisa Oz, and Corin Mullins.
I got to meet Lisa Oz, co-author of You: The Owner's Manual along with her husband Dr Mehmet Oz, at a press conference following her keynote address at CHFA West (the annual Canadian Health Food Association conference), where she was promoting her new book, which I got a signed copy of.
I haven't dug into this one yet and can't remember who recommended it but it sounds like a good story and I like the cover. Here's a snippet from the publisher's synopsis:
"Stuck in a dead-end relationship, this fearless narrator leaves her metaphorical baggage behind and finds a comfort zone in the air, feeling safest with one plane ticket in her hand and another in her underwear drawer."
This is another one I haven't started reading yet but it sounded totally up my alley – I love self-help stuff. It's written in the form of a 12-week guide and activity book. Here's a snippet from the publisher's synopsis:
"The Artist's Way is the seminal book on the subject of creativity. An international bestseller, millions of readers have found it to be an invaluable guide to living the artist's life."
This is a book that absolutely everyone should read. Here's what the publisher says: "Foundation training shifts the focus from the front of your body to the back. By strengthening the full posterior chain and correcting poor movement patterns, you will maximize power, flexibility, and endurance and say goodbye to back pain."
The video above is co-author Eric Goodman talking about Foundation Training and the video below is co-author Peter Park (Lance Armstrong's strength and conditioning coach) showing four awesome core exercises.
I test drove this book at the library and loved it so much that I bought it. Kris Carr is one heck of an inspiring woman! Here's what Carr's website says about the book:
"Crazy Sexy Diet comes on the heels of Kris Carr’s best-selling cancer survival guidebooks and her acclaimed TLC documentary. Infused with her signature sass, wit and advice-from-the-trenches style, Crazy Sexy Diet is a beautifully illustrated resource that puts you on the fast track to vibrant health, happiness and a great ass!
"Along with help from her posse of experts, Carr lays out the fundamentals of her Crazy Sexy Diet: a low-glycemic, vegetarian program that emphasizes balancing the pH of the body with lush whole and raw foods, nourishing organic green drinks, and scrumptious smoothies. Plus, she shares the steps of her own twenty-one-day cleanse, and simple but delectable sample recipes."
This is another book that everyone should read. I have this out from the library but have already ordered my own copy because it's so darn good. Seriously, who doesn't want to know how they can exercise better, train smarter and live long? And in only 20 minutes? Awesome!
Here's a snippet from the publisher's synopsis:
"With the latest findings about the mental and physical benefits of exercise, personal stories from scientists and laypeople alike, as well as researched-based prescriptions for readers, Gretchen Reynolds shows what kind of exercise – and how much – is necessary to stay healthy, get fit, and attain a smaller jeans size.
"Inspired by Reynolds's wildly popular 'Phys Ed' column for The New York Times, this book explains how exercise affects the body in distinct ways and provides the tools readers need to achieve their fitness goals, whether that's a faster 5K or staying trim."