In this issue

Sweat Away Holiday Stress: The holidays can be a stressful time filled with physical inactivity and high calorie indulgences. Is there a non-prescription wonder drug to ease your stress? Megan Bruneau, Fitness Instructor at Westside Gym and Graduate Student in Psychology, lets us in on the secret.
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Train-the-Trainer Fundraiser / Customer Appreciation Event: This Friday, join us for a fun fundraising event. The tables are turned and clients have the opportunity to put their trainers through their paces! All proceeds to the Salvation Army Adopt-A-Family program.
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Holiday Special: 10 personal training sessions for $600 + gst. Available for purchase December 5 to 23 exclusively. Gift certificates available.

In every issue

Fitness Tip: Exercise More to Live Longer
by Head Trainer Spencer Holowachuk
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Nutrition Tip: Fight the Flu with Coconut Oil
by Nutritionist Brittany Eidsness
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Club News: Light the Night Success, Personal Firsts, Personal Best, Goodbye and Good Luck, Successful Season, Welcome New Team Members
by Co-owner Marla Brillinger
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Trainer’s Corner: I work out a fair bit, but I can't seem to lose my abdominal fat. What should I be changing?
by Co-owner and Personal Trainer Marla Brillinger
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Sweat Away Holiday Stress

The holidays: a peaceful time of year when families sing carols door-to-door, decorate the tree with “Deck the Halls” playing merrily in the background, and take a break from the festivities only to sip low-calorie hot chocolate while storytelling by the fire. This might be your family – if you weren’t busy censoring senile Aunt Betty’s overt political incorrectness or shopping for your Mother-in-law’s “refined” taste. Forget hot chocolate – you’re headed straight for the Bailey’s and rum balls!

As much as we love the holidays, they can be a stressful time, filled with physical inactivity and high calorie indulgences. When stressed, we experience increased levels of Cortisol, a stress-hormone that decreases metabolism, immune-response, bone-density and muscle tissue, and increases blood-pressure and abdominal fat. In short, increased Cortisol very negatively affects the body.

But Cortisol does have a nemesis – Endorphins – and there is something you can do to stimulate their production. Endorphins, our body’s internal morphine, battle Cortisol, alleviate pain and stimulate the production of dopamine, a “feel-good” chemical in our brains. How do you increase your Endorphins? Since Endorphins are naturally produced in response to exercise, the answer is easy – get moving!

An undisturbed hour at a personal training session will not only mitigate stress physiologically, it will also provide a period of relative mental calm from your busy home base. Not that holiday activity has to be a solo activity – make it a family endeavour by bundling up and going skating, cross-country skiing or snowshoeing. If you’re averse to the cold, head to the pool, squash courts, or to the Westside Gym for a workout.

Exercising over the holidays will fight the effects of holiday stress and make you feel more positive, relaxed, and energized. So, when the holidays hit and you find yourself frantically headed for those Bailey’s and rumballs, remember there’s a non-prescription wonder-drug out there for your physical and mental health – exercise!


Train-the-Trainer Fundraiser and Customer Appreciation Event

Join us this Saturday, December 5th, from 12 to 2 pm for our Train-the-Trainer event. This is your opportunity for revenge! For each $20 donation, you earn the right to train your trainer for 15 minutes. Fifteen minutes of push-ups? Fifteen minutes of crunches? The tables are turned and YOU are the trainer so you get to decide! 15 minutes not long enough for the workout you have planned? You are free to “purchase” multiple slots to get the time you need. Reserve your time slot(s) with your favourite (or least favourite!) trainer by signing up at the front desk. All money raised will go the family Body & Soul has adopted for the holidays through the Salvation Army “Adopt-A-Family” program.

December 5th is also customer appreciation day. We’ll have hot cider and cookies for all of our clients from noon until 2 pm, plus giveaways and prizes. Our holiday special (10 personal training sessions for $600 + gst) is also available starting December 5th.


Fitness Tip: Exercise More for a Healthier and Longer Life

Did you know personal training is preventative medicine? Research has shown that being physically active on a regular basis reduces morbidity and mortality rates. Exercise helps prevent and aids in the management of chronic conditions such as hypertension, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Research has also shown that the health benefits from physical activity are dose dependent, meaning the more often you’re active the better. Ideally a person should be physically active in some way most days of the week; however, considerable health benefits are gained from exercising 3-4 times/week for 30-60 minutes per session. So, exercise frequently now to enjoy a healthier – and longer – life!


Nutrition Tip: Fight the Flu with Coconut Oil

Not commonly known as an immune aid or as a health food in general, coconut oil can be a great enhancement to your diet. Coconut oil contains lauric acid, a medium chain fatty acid which has been shown to prevent bacterial, viral and fungal infections. Not only does coconut oil help fight cold and flu, it has also been shown to reduce the risk of atherosclerosis, cancer and other degenerative diseases. Coconut oil is a great alternative to other oils because it doesn’t become unstable under high heat and it has a long shelf life so you don’t have to worry about it going rancid. This holiday season, try using coconut oil in all your baking and you just might fight off the flu by eating holiday goodies!


Club News

Light the Night Success: On October 17th Body & Soul trainers, staff members and clients participated in the “Light the Night” 5 km fundraising walk in Stanley Park. The Body & Soul team helped raise an amazing $2000 for the leukemia and lymphoma society. Congratulations and a big thank you to everyone who participated!

Goodbye and Good Luck: This month Body & Soul said goodbye to two great Personal Trainers. After 10 years at Body & Soul, Senior Trainer and Rehab Specialist Yves Leduc graduated from the UBC physiotherapy program and embarked on a career in physiotherapy. We also said goodbye to Senior Trainer Brennan Towns, who has moved to Saskatchewan. Bonne Chance Yves! Good luck Brennan!

Personal Firsts: Congratulations to Westside Gym’s Megan Bruneau and David Chiu who completed their first half marathons on a very rainy Sunday morning at the UBC Fall Classic.

Personal Best: Resident chiropractor Dr. Aaron Case set a new personal best at the Victoria Marathon with a time of 2:42:03 and an impressive 14th place overall.

Welcome New Team Members: Body & Soul is pleased to welcome Personal Trainers Doug Wilson and Isabel Verse to the team.

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Profile: Spencer Holowachuk

Spencer Holowachuk
Head Trainer, Body & Soul

Spencer Holowachuk is Body & Soul’s Head Trainer. He is a UBC Human Kinetics graduate and operates as a CSEP Certified Exercise Physiologist. Spencer applies a science-based approach to personal training in order to help clients achieve their health and fitness goals.

Spencer has a wide scope of experience as a health and fitness professional: he works as a kinesiologist, co-owns a volleyball-specific training company, volunteers in a cardiac rehab program and coaches Special Olympics athletes. From the clinical setting to elite athletics to Special Olympians, Spencer has a skill set that allows him to adapt his training style to meet each client’s unique needs.

As a former varsity volleyball player and beach volleyball national team athlete, Spencer has a strong competitive nature and applies it to a variety of sports and activities when he's not at work. He is also a passionate traveler and has just returned from an extended trip to Southeast Asia.


Trainer’s Corner

I work out a fair bit, but I can't seem to lose my abdominal fat. What should I be changing?
- Kristen Brown, Vancouver

Recent studies continue to prove what personal trainers have known for a long time: exercising at higher intensities for shorter periods of time - interval training - most often leads to greater weight loss. Spot reducing is a myth, so keep in mind that the loss in weight will generally be spread over the entire body, not just the abdominal area. However, by simply incorporating 1-2 interval sessions to your weekly regime, along with some good core and strengthening exercises and a good diet low in saturated fats, you should see a decrease in abdominal fat.
- Marla Brillinger, Co-owner and Certified Personal Trainer

Have a question for our trainers? Email your question to
If your question appears in the Fitness File you’ll receive a gift certificate for a 60-minute massage at Body & Soul.


Contact Us

Body & Soul
3785 West 10th Avenue
Vancouver BC
604.224.2639 ext. 1