Sauna to go
Spas with water circuits are popping up across the country, harnessing the healing powers of hot and cold therapy including improved circulation, decreased inflammation and swelling and muscle relaxation. One of the most novel examples is Mobile Sweat (artspin.ca), created by curators Layne Hinton and Rui Pimenta, which combines the benefits of a good sweat with the inspiration found when encountering visual art. The travelling experience is a trailer turned sauna where guests can view sauna- and bathing-inspired photography and video from several different artists. “All too often, both the art and the wellness sectors can come across as intimidating or even pretentious. Our hope with Mobile Sweat is to provide an open and inviting experience that anyone can experience in a meaningful and enjoyable way,” says Pimenta. Hinton adds: “We’re interested in exploring the communal side of thermal bathing, not as a self-indulgent act of wellness but as a radical act of community care and a more collaborative approach to public health.” This winter, Mobile Sweat will be open during events in Waterloo, Ont., and at Harbourfront Centre in Toronto.
More than half of all Canadian households are home to a pet and during the first two years of the pandemic, 900,000 Canadians added one to their home for the first time. This has put added pressure on the country’s veterinary services. Earlier this year, veterinarian Dr. Cassandra Vlahaki co-founded Juno Veterinary in Toronto’s Summerhill neighbourhood as a new way of providing care to animals more efficiently. Juno is membership-based clinic. For an annual fee of $149, pet owners receive an annual check up for their animal as well as guaranteed same- or next-day emergency care and access to virtual care around the clock seven days a week. “Many pet parents are tired of struggling to find care and often having to phone a lot of clinics to find availability,” Vlahaki says. “Our virtual vet care team determines if they need to bring their pet into our clinic right away, if the exam can wait, or if their pet needs medical attention at all. This virtual triaging can also add up to cost savings for our members who may have otherwise had to pay for an in-clinic appointment when it might not be necessary.”
Juno Veterinary, 1073 Yonge St, Toronto, junovet.com
Hosted by cognitive scientist Maya Shankar, the podcast A Slight Change of Plans (pushkin.fm) focuses on deep and open conversation about the effect of change on the human condition, whether it be loneliness, regret or grief. Often, the conversation is with an expert, but sometimes it’s simply a person with remarkably resiliency. Episodes always leave me with new ideas of how to approach the world and a sense that, whatever change I’m feeling or dealing with, I’m not alone.
Mix things up
Compared to other compact blenders, the Beast is pricey, but it has a lot going for it. It’s simple – just one button to pulse (tap it) or blend (fully press it in); it’s compact, taking up very little space on the counter; and it’s multifunctional. Blend up ginger and lemon to infuse water, slice carrots for soup, or pile in the veg and fruit for a smoothie. The blade and glass bottles are engineered to deliver a smooth blend, which means no chunks of spinach in that morning shake.
Beast blender and hydration system, $265 through beasthealth.ca.
Fashion to fitness
Fitness brands such as Soulcycle and Equinox have long extended their reach in to the realm of fashion and now the opposite is happening as fashion brands launch their own gyms. Last year, Hermès opened a pop-up gym in New York that incorporated fashion items in to workouts, like stretching with Hermès belts and change rooms stocked with the company’s beauty line. Paige Mycoskie, the founder of California-based slouchy sweat brand Aviator Nation, launched RIDE earlier this year. The yoga and spin studio hosts classes, but also acts as a retail space for Aviator Nation garments. And fashion-forward activewear brand Alo Yoga opened two Alo Wellness Clubs this year, in Los Angeles and New York. These spaces are a natural evolution of the athleisure concept. If you’re dressed for a workout, you may as well break a sweat.