Katelyn Sander

Stunning Photography to Take Your Breath Away

Living Well...together, while apart

We recently discovered the winners of the acclaimed 2020 Siena International Photo Awards. Click here to view these absolutely stunning, breathtaking photos.

Moments that take your breath away are typically the stuff of a rich, fulfilling life. Sometimes though being breathless can be an indication that your cardiorespiratory system could be stronger.

During exercise, two vital organs interact with the muscles: your lungs and your heart. Your lungs bring oxygen into the body and expire carbon dioxide. The heart pumps oxygenated blood to the muscles where the oxygen facilitates energy production. The CO2 produced by various metabolic sequences is then pumped back to the heart and then lungs where this waste product is expelled. 

The harder you work, the more oxygen required and carbon dioxide produced. Your breathing increases in rate and volume, your heart pumps harder and faster, and your circulation speeds up to facilitate faster movement of both so your muscles can keep working.

Increasing your cardiorespiratory capacity will ensure you can work harder, longer, and recover faster. It will also mean that tasks that used to be really tough – like climbing a flight of stairs or playing road hockey with an adorable 8-year old – will become more comfortable and enjoyable.

Traditionally, we’ve always touted the benefits of cardiovascular – aka endurance – exercise as the best way to improve cardiorespiratory function. And while it remains true that endurance exercise is awesome – it is also true that anaerobic training and resistance training are also extremely effective at making this system stronger and more efficient. This is great news for those of us who are tight on time these days!

Here are a few of the specific mechanisms:

  • Increasing the strength of your muscles makes them more efficient. They will require less oxygen and produce less carbon dioxide.
  • Both resistance and interval training increase capillarization around the skeletal muscles facilitating better, faster blood flow both in and out. 
  • Interval training specifically increases the strength of the cardiac muscle and also increases capillaries around the heart. These two adaptations work together to increase maximal cardiac output and blood flow to the rest of the body. 
  • Because interval training includes rest periods, you are able to train at higher intensities, challenge the heart more, and create an oxidative stress. This higher stress may trigger larger positive adaptations in the muscular and vascular systems compared to low and moderate intensities. 
  • Higher respiration rates and loads will increase the strength the muscles that support better lung function and capacity.

Take home message? There are many ways to effectively train your heart and lungs. If you’re short on time – or simply want to have some fun – don’t shy away from quick bouts of high intensity exercise or quick sets of your favourite strength exercises. Everything will help ensure that the moments when life takes your breath away are more often than not those spectacular times when your heart and spirit soar due to surprise and delight.


A. B. Leuchtmann et al., (2020). Resistance training preserves high-intensity interval training induced improvements in skeletal muscle capillarization of healthy old men: A randomized controlled trial. Scientific Reports.

M.H. Lauglin & B. Roseguini, (2008). Mechanisms for exercise training-induced increases in skeletal muscle blood flow capacity: Differences with interval sprint training versus aerobic endurance training.  Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology. Dec 59(Suppl 7): 71-88.

Wisloff et al., (2007). Superior cardiovascular effect of aerobic interval training versus moderate continuous training in heart failure patients. Circulation. 115(24).

Today's Inspiration

“Remember that life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away!” – attributed to Vicki Corona (1989), and also George Carlin (2004), Hilary Cooper (2007), & Maya Angelou (2009).

Today's Live Workouts

Happy Monday! Ready to get moving to start your week off right? We’ve got TWO classes on the schedule for today!


Join Robert S today for a Total Body Conditioning workout! Challenge your cardio and strengthen your muscles from head to toe with this incredibly effective no-nonsense bodyweight training.

No equipment needed today.

Join Robert at 12:00pm (30 minutes) from your own living room.

Click here to join the workout.

Meeting ID: 864 5295 2847
Password: 991724


Join Robert Y today for our new Yoga Fusion workout! A combination of hatha, ashtanga, and kudalini yoga techniques. This class will engage your muscles, open your joints, calm your mind, and lift your spirits. (All levels)

No equipment needed today.

Join Robert at 5:15pm (45 minutes) from your own living room.

Click here to join the workout.

Meeting ID: 899 4248 0739
Password: 624126


Click here to view our weekly schedule.

If you have questions about our virtual live workouts, please reach out to Lauren.

Today's Trainer Moves

This simple interval workout will absolutely help you train a stronger heart and lungs. Other bonuses? It’s quick and can be done anywhere. Hit it in your living room or take it on the road when you head out for a walk or run! Remember all exercises can be done with or without impact! The point is to get that heart and breathing rate up! 

  • Warm up: 2-3 minutes
  • Walk or Jog:1-2 minutes
  • Jumping Jacks: 30 seconds
  • Walk or Jog:1-2 minutes
  • Mountain Climbers: 30 seconds
  • Walk or Jog: 1-2 minutes
  • Reverse Alternate Lunges or Jumping Split Squats: 30 seconds
  • Walk or Jog: 1-2 minutes
  • Plank Jacks: 30 seconds (if you’re outside – try to find a park bench or railing to do these off of! Great for push-ups too!)
  • Walk or Jog: 1-2 minutes
  • Side to Side Squats or Squat Jumps: 30 seconds
  • Walk or Jog: 1-2 minutes
  • High Knees: 30 seconds. These can be using a base running or walking form to offer high and low impact options!
  • Cool down 3-4 minutes: Walk or Jog!

For questions about today’s Trainer Moves, you can connect directly with Meg here.

Today's Bite

Ramen with Charred Scallions, Green Beans and Chili Oil

Those packets of ramen noodles stashed in your pantry are perfect for this quick yet intensely satisfying weeknight noodle dish. In this vegan recipe, treat scallions as you would a bunch of greens. Take cues from the Chinese cooking technique used for stir-fries, and add the scallions to very hot oil to let them “bao” (to crack, explode, or burst), drawing out their natural aroma. The chile oil makes just enough for this dish, so if you want extra for future meals, make double. Recipe from NY Times Cooking.

Interested in other recipes like this? Check out our latest Spice of Life blog.


For the Chili Oil:

  • 2 tbsp red-pepper flakes
  • 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup neutral oil, such as grapeseed, vegetable, or canola
  • 1 (1-inch) piece ginger, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp toasted white sesame seeds
  • 1 tsp sesame oil

For the noodles:

  • Kosher salt 
  • 4 (3-ounce) packages ramen noodles, seasoning packs discarded
  • 2 bunches scallions (10 to 12 scallions), white and green parts separated and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 2 - 3 tbsp neutral oil, such as grapeseed, vegetable, or canola
  • 10 oz green beans, trimmed and halved diagonally
  • 1 (2-inch) piece ginger, peeled and julienned
  • White pepper
  • 1 tbsp toasted white sesame seeds


  • Prepare the chile oil: Add the red-pepper flakes and salt to a heatproof bowl. Place the oil, ginger, and garlic in a small saucepan, and heat over medium until it bubbles, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and very carefully pour the hot oil over the red-pepper flakes. Add the sesame seeds and sesame oil, and stir well. Set aside while you make the rest of the dish. (Chile oil can be stored in an airtight jar at room temperature for up to a month and indefinitely in the refrigerator.)
  • Prepare the noodles: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the ramen and cook according to package instructions, about 3 minutes, until the noodles are just tender. Drain, rinse with cold water, and drain well again.
  • Slice the white parts of your scallions lengthwise, in half or quarters, depending on thickness, to make cooking faster.
  • Heat a wok or large (12-inch), deep skillet on high. When smoking hot, add 1 tablespoon of oil, toss in the green beans and season with salt. Cook, tossing the beans, for 2 to 3 minutes, until charred. Remove the beans from the wok, and set aside.
  • Heat the same wok or skillet over high, and when smoking, add 1 to 2 tablespoons of oil, along with the scallions (white and green parts) and the ginger. Allow the scallions and ginger to sizzle for 20 to 30 seconds, to release their aromas, then stir-fry for 2 to 3 minutes, until the scallions have a nice scorch.
  • Add the green beans and noodles back to the pan, along with 2 or 3 tablespoons of the chile oil (reserve some for serving), and season with salt and pepper. Toss well to combine, just until the noodles are heated through. To serve, divide the noodles into bowls, top with toasted sesame seeds and more chile oil.


Do you have a “Something of the Day” you’d like us to share?! Email Meg.

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