Tips for Making Exercise Stick!

We all know the benefits of regular exercise. It’s one of the key components of building a healthy body and a healthy mind. So why do we often struggle with making our exercise habits stick?

Check out these tips and see what resonates with you. Make sure you read all the way through to see the special video we are sharing with you today!

1.  Schedule it! You are far more likely to follow through on your commitment to exercise when you have carved out specific days and times. Staying consistent is the only way to win.

2. Be accountable. Having an accountability partner is an asset in any area of your life. Plan your workouts or hikes with a friend! Also, make sure to get cutting stacks at roids if you want to take your fitness goals seriously.

3. Start small. If you are starting from scratch with an exercise routine, aim for 2 days per week and work your way up. Set yourself up for success by creating realistic goals.

4. Enjoy the journey. If you thrive in nature, don’t plan all your workouts in the gym. Incorporate hiking or biking into your routine.

5. Get clear.  Take a moment to reflect, write down, or journal about WHY exercising is important to you.  Clarity is the map to success.

6. Prevent injury.  Your spinal foams are a fantastic tool.  We suggest lying on your foams for 5 minutes before your activity.  This will help prepare your spine for the stresses and strains of exercising.  After the activity, we also recommend cooling off on your foams, for an additional 5 minutes.

To help you jumpstart your summer exercise program, we are sharing a special video with you! Straight from the GetFit component of our LivFit program, here is the first series of PowerFit exercises, we also recommend to check these supplements are good for men over 40s, exercise is for everybody and some of us need some extra help. Are you up for the 21-day challenge?

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How I decreased stress and improved productivity!

I used to get up and start my day with a load of laundry, a bunch of emails and a long to-do list. I wanted my mornings to feel productive! But I eventually realized that being pulled in so many different directions left me distracted and agitated. I was prone to being impatient with my kids and feeling anxious about the day ahead.

Something had to change. So here’s what I did…you cannot go wrong with a garden swins so I got some to keep my kids entertain while I do my work.

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What Susan Has Taught Us…

If you have been a patient at Backfit, you have likely experienced Susan’s warm and vibrant energy. She loves connecting with patients during their decompression treatments and being a part of their healing journey…

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Susan came to Backfit 3 years ago from Northwest Indiana, where she owned a business specializing in communication and resiliency skills.  Susan has a passion for engaging, encouraging and empowering people to communicate more effectively.

Susan has been teaching in one form or another since she was 15 years old. From swimming lessons, to personal development workshops, to communication seminars, Susan loves making meaningful connections with people! Through her early teaching experiences, Susan was able to see that every person would filter information in a different way.

“I could explain a concept and some people would give me that ‘I got it’ look, while other people would have that ‘what are you talking about?’ question mark over their head.”    After years of working with people and experimenting with many different tools – in 2003, Susan discovered the KLLP Communication Analysis Tool.   Through the KLLP, Susan became an independent certified trainer with specialty training in teambuilding and coaching.

The KLLP is not a personality profile, but a communication analysis tool that allows people to understand communication styles in an easy and effective way. Susan thrives in seeing people discover their uniqueness and tap in to their potential.  When working with teams, Susan loves to watch people ‘come together in a way that works’. She has worked with many different types of groups, from small business and leadership teams, to couples and individuals.

Susan’s passion and enthusiasm have made a tremendous impact on the Backfit team!  She has helped us to better understand our individual communication styles so that we can work more effectively as a team.

You can see Susan in action at our upcoming Lifefit Event!

Up close and personal!

Susan and her husband Tom have 2 children. Ben is in his third year at UVIC and Abbi is finishing Grade 11 at Claremont High School.

What do you love most about Backfit?: The positive atmosphere, working with such an inspiring team, and getting to engage and encourage patients on their journey into health.“

Susan’s faves:  A good cup of Chai tea, personal growth and development,  ‘aha’ moments, sunshine,  good wine with friends, nature, a favourite book, her family and dogs, the color green, creating atmosphere, the OCEAN!

One of Susan’s goals this year:  To quit talking about kayaking and get out on the water and do it!







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Are you LifeFit?

Get Healthy. Stay Healthy. Live the greatest season of your life. 


Backfit Clinic is thrilled to announce the launch of LifeFit!

Are you ready to take your health to the next level? Join us for a FREE 1-day seminar packed with strategies to get healthy and stay healthy through nutrition, exercise, and mental fitness.

On Saturday, June 13 from 9:00-12:00, Backfit will pack the Victoria Conference Centre in the name of
helping people to make better, more informed, healthy choices.

“At Backfit, we define health by how you function – not just how you feel. We believe that people can have more energy, experience less pain, and live more fulfilled lives. And we want to help them do that,” explains Dr. Ryan Doyle.

“Our holistic approach to health focuses on the impact of everyday choices on long term health.”

The morning’s topics include:

– How to Embrace the Fullness of Life – LifeFit
– Nutrition for Better Health – NutriFit
– Exercise for Better Health – GetFit
– The Mind/Body Health Connection – MindFit
– And More!

Tickets are free, but must be booked in advance as seating is limited. To reserve your ticket, please call (250) 477-8143 or email

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Elevate Your Energy

Our Backfit team recently returned from a chiropractic conference in Seattle.  2 full days, 22 speakers, and hundreds of like-minded people, all passionate about serving our patients and communities at a higher level.  The team emerged from that experience fired up and inspired!

Think back to the last time you had an elevating experience.  Were you attending a seminar or spending a weekend surrounded with good friends who fill your soul?  Think about how energized and alive you felt.  Would you like to feel that way more often?  What if I told you that this kind of energy is vital to your health and wellbeing?

There is an emerging science called epigenetics that demonstrates the effect that our environment has on the expression of our genes, and ultimately the state of our health.  Epigenetics shows that genes can be up-regulated or down-regulated (turned “on” or “off”) based on our environment.  (Stay with me here!)

Dr. Bruce Lipton, author of “The Biology of Belief”, describes our DNA as a blueprint, and explains that there are over 30,000 different variations that can emerge from that blueprint depending on the demands of our environment.  And more powerful than the environment itself, is our perception of it.  It’s the thoughts, emotions and energy that we manifest in our bodies that create our reality. 

I know for some people this may seem an abstract concept to grasp, but the implications of it are incredibly important to your health!

The popular professional networking site, LinkedIn, recently posted a series in which LinkedIn Influencers pick one big idea that will shape 2014. Deepak Chopra, MD, who is at the forefront of the health and wellness revolution, selected epigenetics.  In his article, “You Will Transform Your Own Biology”, Dr. Chopra writes “The mind and emotions directly affect gene activity, and since the mind is the source of a person’s lifestyle and behavior, it directs one’s biological transformations.” 

Consider this example from Dr. James Chestnut’s book “The Innate State of Mind and Emotional Hygiene”:

“At Harvard University, women in mind-body support groups for infertility conceive 44% of the time (as opposed to the expected 8-10% rate) and 80% of men with hypertension in mind-body groups are able to decrease their medication, while 16% are able to stop their antihypertensive medication entirely.”

So how does this actually impact you and your health?  Well – it boils down to this.  Our health is really a genetic expression of our lifestyle choices.  It’s our lifestyle choices that create our environment.  Our commitment to good nutrition, exercise and rest are the things that commonly come to mind when we think about a healthy lifestyle.  What I want to express here is this:  Your emotional energy plays a vital role in your health. If you’re really serious about optimizing your health, then just like eating well and exercising, elevating your emotional energy must become a daily practice. 

We have to be very intentional about our energy and the energy of those we surround ourselves with.

At Backfit, we have this quote posted in our staff area as a valuable reminder:

Energy quote

But how do we create this kind of elevated energy in our daily lives?  Just like all of you, I have days when I’m feeling stuck, stressed or overwhelmed.  So here is the “go to” practice in our family!

4 keys to elevating your emotional health:

  1. Practice gratitude. Whether you keep a gratitude journal (Yes, even our kids have one!) or ground yourself in yoga or meditation, this is a powerful way to trigger almost immediate changes in your physiology.  True story.
  2. Connect with nature. Walk through the forest or sit and watch the waves.  Being in nature reduces anger, fear and stress and increases positive emotions.
  3. Get physical. Jump on your bike or go for a run.  We all know the positive impact that those amazing endorphins have.
  4. Make a contribution. Coach a team, host a fundraiser, or practice random acts of kindness.  Helping others elevates your happiness.  It’s as simple as that.


These are ideal ways to create an energy shift when you need it.  But here’s my challenge to you: Practice at least two of these on a daily basis.  Remember, what you do on a daily basis has far more impact on your life than what you do once in a while.

In the words of Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor: “We have the power to choose, moment by moment, who we are and how we want to show up.”

What choice will you make today?

Dr. Marissa Bentham & the Backfit Team

P.S.  If you are interested in exploring this topic further, here are some fabulous links:

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Michelle Bids Farewell

Backfit’s General Manager, Michelle Lyons, will be saying goodbye.  Here are some reflections from Michelle as she begins a new chapter…

Almost six years ago I saw the opportunity to live out one of my dreams. I walked through the doors of Backfit and, as many people experience, I just knew there was something profound about this place. I also knew I had to be part of it. My dream was about creating an environment where people had the opportunity to embrace their health and unleash their potential. I felt the world needed a space that brought together the many facets that create healing and wellness. In my mind, I had named this place – “Collaborative Health” and that is exactly what I found at Backfit.

I have had the opportunity to be part of this team for nearly six years and now life has called me in a new direction. I will be returning to my home town of Calgary in May. I am excited to be closer to my family and friends, albeit nervous about the weather! As I prepare to move on to my next chapter, I find myself in a reflective state. I tried to think of how I could sum up my experience at Backfit. A few words pop through my mind in vibrant colours:

Life changing – Rewarding – Impactful

This is interesting to me because I have also heard our community of patients and team members use these words to describe their Backfit experience. I absolutely love the collaboration and passion that weaves through our education, coaching and treatments every day. This has been a-m-a-z-i-n-g – not just for me, but for so many of our community members!

In 2008 when I found myself agreeing to work behind a desk again, I have to be honest – I was afraid! In fact, it was something I swore I’d never do again. I am happy to say there has not been a day that I have regretted sitting in this chair behind the scenes. Being part of Backfit achieving its mission – having a small part in our patient’s stories, their healing and their commitment to health has been very meaningful for me.

It is with somewhat of a heavy heart that I move forward. I often tell people that my time at Backfit has grown me into a better Michelle. The team here has encouraged me to push my limits, step outside of my box, and have a greater purpose in this world. It is with much gratitude that I say farewell and wish you all a long and fulfilling health journey!

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My Struggle with Goals

My hubby and I have been diligent about goal setting for years…

Before having kids, we would head to a retreat-like setting every November for 2 or 3 days with our calendar, laptop, dry-erase board and loads of green juice.  Our excitement was palpable as we hammered out everything we wanted to achieve in the year ahead.

We had a great system down and it worked for us.  We were able to focus and accomplish some bold and meaningful goals.  We began offering goal-setting workshops at our office and coached others through the process of identifying goals – exploring areas such as health, relationships, career, and adventure.  We were making an impact!

A few years ago, something shifted in my relationship to goals.  Maybe it was becoming a mother, and the major “shake up” in priorities that comes along with having children, but the energy I brought to goal setting completely fizzled.  I started to feel like I was setting goals out of obligation, rather than inspiration.  I would look at the plan I had laid out and feel disconnected from it.  I began to question my need for striving and wondered if it made me less able to be present.  For a couple of years, I stopped setting goals all together.

Last year, something profound caught my attention – A concept called Desire Mapping  – which is the work of Danielle LaPorte.  It’s an incredible shift on goal setting and it resonates with where I am in my life right now.  The Desire Map is about identifying how you truly want to feel in your life as the guide for creating your goals.  Rather than striving toward something “out there”, get clear on your core desired feelings to shape your actions.

This past November, when Craig (AKA – Dr. B) and I sat down together, we started by doing some digging about how we really want to feel.

 What do I want to create more of in my life?  How do I want to feel on a daily basis?

desired feelings

Then I dug a little deeper and defined the meaning that these words hold for me.

Joyful: in the moment, engaged, grateful

Vibrant: full of health, life and energy

Creative: utilizing my unique gifts to add value to the world

Connected: making a contribution, having meaningful relationships, being present


Can you see the importance of clearly defining how you want to feel in order to create more meaningful and relevant goals?

One of my goals this year is to run a half marathon.  I have done this a few times before, but this year I am shifting my focus.  Because one of my desired feelings is to be connected – rather than tackle this on my own, I plan on training alongside a dear friend.  Investing time and energy into our relationship while we pursue this goal together will add the element of connection to my experience.

Core desired feelings are like a compass… guiding, shaping and inspiring our actions and rituals.  I have a renewed sense of excitement about the journey toward goals that align with my desired feelings.  It is, after all, in the journey that we discover more about who we are and who we want to be.

Do you regularly set goals, intentions or resolutions?  Can this concept bring new meaning to the way you look at goal setting?


Dr. Marissa Bentham & the Backfit Team


P.S.  At Backfit, we are putting these ideas into action with our “Great Exchange”.  It’s a very simple way to get in alignment and create some positive momentum.  Talk to one of our fantastic team members if you want to join us in making 2014 a year with more energy, clarity, and purpose!




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