These are a few of my favourite things

It’s my last article with the Interrobang after many years, so I’d like to sign off with a few of my favourite things about Fitness, wellness, health, etc. These are the things that make me happy, keep me motivated, inspire me, and make me accountable. Some of them are big and some of them are so simple but an integral piece of the Healthy Pie I’m about to serve you!

First, I love to exercise first thing in the morning. It feels wrong if I don’t. Even if I had a late night before, I still get up and at the very least go for a walk or do something before I do anything else in the day. Sometimes it’s an intense workout and sometimes it’s an easy yoga flow to get me moving. It sets my mood and feeling for the rest of the day and then I don’t feel bad if I couldn’t do a later workout because life got in the way. It’s an easy checkmark of my to-do list each day.

I love breakfast of all kinds. I mix it up often. I find this also set the tone for the day and I plan my breakfast according to the type of workout I do before it and what I will be doing the rest of the day. Typical breakfast meals include: porridge/smoothie bowl, two eggs w/whole grain toast, all natural peanut butter and fruit, veggie omelette with sliced avocado and tomato, homemade healthy protein pancakes or waffles with Greek yogurt and frozen berries, smoothie, and sometimes I eat leftover dinner for breakfast!

Listen live on

I like to plan my meals for the week on the weekends. I look at the calendar and see what is happening for the week. There are many meals I’m not at home for so I have to plan for enough leftovers or make a bagged meal and snacks the night before that I can take to work with me. It seems weird that this is on my favourites list but it is what keeps me on track nutritionally and budget- wise.

I like to do at least two workouts or two or more exercise sessions a day. Some may say this is excessive but I’m not getting into weights or a HIIT routine three times a day! “Workout one” might be a moderate jog on my elliptical for 30 minutes. “Workout Two” might be teaching a class or an intense weight routine and “Workout Three” might be practising for my class, going to yoga, swimming, biking, etc.

I balance it out and make sure to give myself sufficient rest. Our bodies were made to move! That’s why we have joints and muscles!! I don’t like to sit still for long so I try to move and be active as much as possible.

I like comfort and function over the latest fashion and looks. There are lots of trends out there when it come to fitness apparel but not all of it was meant for every type of exercise. I have some shorts that are best worn only at home and some pants that are great for yoga but terrible for a step class. I like to dress in layers because I go from one extreme temperature to the other very quickly.

I also like to change shoes according to the workout and get in barefoot activities a few times a week (at home or yoga).

I love dancing, swimming, biking and kayaking. These are my active pastimes that I can do alone for long but I enjoy with others. I also play soccer all year round and I like completing run races (I just hate training for them! LOL). I’m recently getting into snowboarding so that I can embrace my least favourite season of winter.

I love the energy of working out to music with a group, which is why I love teaching fitness classes so much. The more people the merrier. I also love just blasting my music and getting in a workout in my home gym or wherever I’m travelling and not worrying about what others around me are doing.

I like to track my progress with body assessments or testing my strength, power and endurance. I’m not one to track fitness, steps or nutrition on a daily basis. I don’t have time! I’m consistent enough that I know when it’s time to increase my weights or change an exercise because it is not challenging me any more.

I love to eat and I love to cook (or should I say: I love to do science experiments in my kitchen!? Ha!). I like to try new flavours and combinations and I love a challenge of making a healthy version of an unhealthy favourite meal or snack. Bring it on! I focus more on portions than calories and I makes sure all my meals and snacks include vegetables or fruit.

I love to unwind by playing piano, playing guitar, reading a book or painting. I also like a glass of gin and tonic with lime and good conversation with friends and family. Balance and recovery (physical and mental) is key to wellness.

I love to get into clean sheets, in a pitch dark room with the white noise of a fan to drift into a slumber that I hope lasts six to eight hours. Sleep is when you repair your body, work out your best solutions and recharge for the next day. Sleep is as important as working out and eating healthy to meeting your goals physically.

I hope that my favourite things have inspired you in some way. At the very least, take a moment to write our some of your favourite things that make you feel good or get you motivated. You can use this as a gratitude journal or a focus to get on the right track.

Karen Nixon-Carroll is the Program Manager at the Student Wellness Centre.