Welcome to the second Wellness link up of 2019! We had a great kick-off in January. My first Wellness post of the year, A Fresh Start with Winter Flowers, was posted here. Feel free to join in on the fun with your recent or past wellness-related posts every second Wednesday of the month.
HEALTH GOAL UPDATES
I believe I'm doing well with my health goals which include daily meditation, walking 6x/ week, strength workouts 3x/ week, yoga 2x/ week, and swimming 1x/ week. While my meditation is fifteen minutes long, my walks and swimming sessions are forty-five minutes each. My strength workouts and yoga sessions are one hour each.
I use a simple sheet to keep track of all my goals for 2019, and write a monthly wrap up on my blog. My January wrap up, including my Health activities, is posted here.
ICEFEST for A HEALTHY HEART
For this month's Wellness post, since the optional prompt is Healthy Heart and February is Heart month, I planned a 'fit and fun' outing to Icefest 2019. This is an outdoor event that showcases ice sculptures and live ice carving demonstrations. Its location is in Bloor-Yorkville area, in the heart of Toronto. This year's theme is Hollywood North, inspired by the success of the film industry in Toronto, and Yorkville known as the home of the stars.
The Icefest event sponsors also support the Canadian Heart and Stroke Foundation. Volunteers from the Heart and Stroke Foundation were on site to accept donations and answer questions. Their banner says "Life. We don't want you to miss it." I'd encourage readers to have a look at the Get Healthy section on their web site for heart-healthy tips on how to eat well, get moving, maintain healthy weight, stop smoking (if you smoke), and manage your stress.
HOW I PREPARED
- Choose a point of interest: Icefest 2019.
- Bring what I need: Warm clothing, winter boots, a hearty winter spirit, my purse, and camera.
- Arrive at the start time before the crowd arrives.
WHAT I DID
- Walk briskly for 20 minutes outdoors to arrive at the event location.
- Walk around to view the ice sculptures and take photos for about 1 hour.
- Choose a nice spot in a coffee shop to warm up and reflect after.
WHAT FILLED UP MY SENSES
|Lights, Camera, Action!|
|Film reels, paparazzi, and an iconic Oscar|
|An iconic Oscar, cinema facade, and a giant popcorn|
|Marilyn Monroe ice sculpture|
|Maple Leaf Hollywood North|
|Car Crashing the Berlin Wall|
|Maple Leaf and Oscar|
There were several more ice sculptures to promote the local businesses. Yorkville Park was also nicely decorated with lights and red balls. The park must sparkle at night with the lights and the crystal-clear ice sculptures.
|Light decorations at Yorkville Park|
|Red ball decorations at Yorkville Park|
2. Auditory: The ice carving competitors were working hard using various saws and carving tools. The spectators commented on the ice sculptures and the work in progress. Icefest Lounge had live DJs who played a special selection of music. It was a fun and festive atmosphere.
|Ice carving in progress|
|Ice carving in progress|
3. Olfactory: The aroma from food trucks, hot chocolate stands, and surrounding coffee shops and restaurants were welcoming on a chilly day. Sassafraz Patio, one of the local restaurants, featured Icefest cocktails and hot beverages.
4. Tactile: Spectators could touch the ice sculptures. Many people posed to take pictures at the Icefest photo booth and next to the ice sculptures. Some even climbed to sit on the giant ice Director's chair.
|Icefest 'Photo Booth'|
WHAT I GAINED
- Raised heart rate from the brisk walk outdoors.
- An enjoyable walk in Bloor-Yorkville area in the heart of Toronto.
- Positive sensory experiences.
- A coffee break to relax and warm up.
OVERALL RATING - I gave this outing 5 out of 5 points, one point for each of the following:
- Affordability: Admission to the event is free.
- Elements that support wellness: The site is walkable, with a small park nearby.
- Fun: The ice sculptures were impressive and artistic.
- New experience: It was my first visit to Icefest 2019.
- Uniqueness: The Icefest is annual and its theme is unique every year.
I was pleased with how well this winter outing turned out. I left the Icefest feeling energized and joyful. The brisk walk and the incredible ice displays were good for my heart and mind.
Be kind to your heart and have a happy Valentine's day!
|Heart-shaped #BeKind ice sculpture|
How are you keeping your heart healthy? I'd love to hear your comments.
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