How to Get Motivated by Your Better Half

How to Get Motivated by Your Better Half

Have you ever trash-talked while playing Monopoly? Revved your engine at a red light? If so, you may have something in common with Orlando Bowen. As a linebacker with the Toronto Argonauts and Hamilton Tiger-Cats, Orlando was renowned for his competitive fire. Thirteen years after retiring from the CFL, little has changed…except for the type of competition he faces.

These days, as a working husband and father of three, the two main things that light a fire under Orlando’s butt — his wife Skye and his busy schedule — will sound familiar to many guys. Not that either is a bad thing. On the contrary…

Let others motivate you

We’re always being told we have to push ourselves to achieve our goals, and that motivation must come from within. When Orlando is running out of gas, Skye is the one who gets him going. “If I’m looking fatigued, she’ll look over and say, ‘Let’s go, you got this,’” Orlando explains. “We both try to use that spirit of teamwork and understanding to encourage and push one another.”

Orlando points out that even a small gesture of encouragement or support can go a long way. For example: If your significant other needs a spare hour to go for a jog, why not take the kids for a hike or bike ride? You’ll have some active fun with them, and by supporting each other you’ll reap the benefits of a true partnership.

Friendly competition goes a long way

“We are both very competitive,” Orlando says. “We have to set the ground rules before we exercise together. We’ll agree to bike a certain distance, so we don’t end up biking all day!”

It’s true: A little friendly competition can spice up any relationship. Race your spouse or partner up to the local viewpoint, hit a few tennis balls, or go bowling. Plus, as Orlando points out, “When you have a fun or challenging shared experience it deepens the relationship.”

Exercise = energy

We tend to think of exercise as a way to burn energy, but for many guys, Orlando included, it actually boosts his energy levels. “Working out is one of the things that gives us energy. We feel energized afterwards.”

This feeds a positive energy loop that helps Orlando deal with the pressures of daily life: Exercise, get energy to be productive, use that energy to exercise, get energy to be productive…and so on. So give it a try — it could work for you, too!

Photo credit: Gillian Foster

In partnership with the Canadian Football League Alumni Association

The Spicy Secret to Healthy, Delicious Food

The Spicy Secret to Healthy, Delicious Food

Some like it hot — spicy food, that is — but Davis Sanchez’s wife, Veronica, does not.

That’s why the 3-time Grey Cup champion gets some grief when his beloved hot sauce accidentally spills onto Veronica’s side of a shared platter. “I get in trouble for careless Tabasco use,” he laughs, adding, “It’s also a good way to get more than my share of the meal!”

Veronica prepares most of the food in their Vancouver household and loves finding healthy dishes for the couple to try, but Davis often sneaks his hot sauce of choice into these new meals.

Davis’s secret mealtime weapon

“I put hot sauce on everything I eat, so if something is a little light on flavour I just dump a bunch of hot sauce on it and I’m good to go,” he explains.

That’s great advice: If you’d like to eat a little bit healthier but have a hard time giving up certain flavours, why not take a page out of Davis’s playbook and turn to the Tabasco, Frank’s RedHot, Sriracha or another store-bought option out there.

Plus, there’s more to these sauces than deliciousness. They tend to be low in fat and carbohydrates, and are healthier than many other packaged sauces and dips.

Eat better, feel better

Like many guys, flavour and nutrition are both important to Davis, who retired from pro football in 2012 and has since become a and TSN game analyst, as well as the Montreal Alouettes’ radio commentator. “When I’m not eating greasy, fatty foods, my energy levels are up and I’m not tired,” he says. “I’m a real believer in enjoying life. It’s important to be conscious of your eating habits, but you also have to enjoy yourself. Thanks to Veronica, and my hot sauce, I can do both.”

Speaking about enjoying life, you really should try out the amazing 7 Easy & Healthy Game Day Recipes guide – so tasty you certainly won’t be missing out on any flavour.

Surprise yourself
Davis is often amazed by how tasty and nutritious food can be. “Kale is one of the big things Veronica uses a lot. At first I wasn’t going for it, but now it’s become a prominent part of just about everything we eat. It’s amazing what you can do with it!”

It’s true: You can put grilled kale on burgers, bake it into chips, layer it in lasagna…here are some other delicious ways to eat it.

Photo credit: Vanessa Paxton

In partnership with the Canadian Football League Alumni Association

Find a gym worth the commitment…

Find a gym worth the commitment…

Joining a gym is a commitment. Okay, so it may not exactly be puttin’ a ring on it, but we thought you could use a little nudge in the right direction. Here are some Q’s to ask yourself before taking the plunge.


Pro Tip: Pretty much all gyms offer a free orientation nowadays, if you’re not sure if yours does make sure to bring it up to the sales rep.  



You’re going to want to make sure that your gym is on route to either your work or home. Don’t add another excuse to your gym avoidance list.


Workouts you enjoy

Make sure your new potential gym has equipment that you enjoy. Big into cycling? Make sure they have a good number of stationary bikes. Love working out with kettlebells? Check out their kettlebell inventory.


Fatigued Equipment

Workout equipment starting to look like it’s getting it’s own workout? Talk to your sales rep about how frequently they update their equipment.


Enough equipment

Stop by on a busy day to see how long you may have to wait for certain machines.


Hours / locations

There is nothing worse than finding your perfect gym only to realise that they have not-so perfect hours. Most gyms do a week-long trial so do a couple of test runs and make sure that you have the time to go no matter what comes up (because something will always come up).


Inspect the change room

You can ask your wives or girlfriends about this one (they are likely trained in the art of the bathroom checkout). Think about this: if the change rooms aren’t fresh and clean imagine what the equipment is like.


Gym personalities

Gyms are a little like people – they each attract a gathering of people with similar personalities. You can find everything from yuppie gyms to hard-core gyms to corporate-style gyms. Make sure that yours speaks to you.




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