The goal of Orangetheory’s hour-long classes is to reach your “orange zone,” which is when you are using 84-91% of your max. heart rate, and stay there for a total of 12 minutes. If you succeed in doing this, you reap the rewards of what they call the “after burn,” where your body burns 20% more calories for the next 24 to 36 hours. Everyone in the class wears a heart rate monitor. Your live stats are displayed on a screen so you can track how hard you are working. And, yes, your name and heart rate are displayed on the screen, but I can promise no one is looking at yours—everyone is too busy tracking their own. Your heart rate has nothing to do with your skill level, just how hard you are pushing yourself. It’s completely individual which removes all the competitive stigma surrounding the workout. “I taught a class the other day that had a 65-year-old woman with a pacemaker next to a Miami Dolphin [football player],” says founder Ellen Latham. “To get to [the orange zone] it might only take her to bring her [treadmill] incline up to a 3, whereas because he’s mega fit, he may have to start running pretty darn hard to get there.”
Orangetheory Fitness, 97 Eglinton Ave E, Toronto
Hoame is the newest meditation studio to open up in Toronto—and it’s by far the largest. It houses two meditation rooms—a “light” room with a wall of live greenery and hanging vines from the ceiling, and a “dark” room with star-like fluorescent lights in the ceiling—an infrared sauna and a Himalayan rock salt cave made up of over five tonnes of salt (they say that spending an hour in the cave, which is said to help with inflammation and respiratory issues, has similar benefits to spending a week by the ocean). Co-founders Stephanie Kersta and Carolyn Plater-Zyberk are both psychotherapists and mental health clinicians who felt they needed to do more than provide reactionary care. “It was when people had already fallen apart, then we are mobilizing our resources to help people,” said Plater-Zyberk. “Then we thought, how do we promote preventative work? How do we promote wellness in this city and how do we do it in a way that people actually want to come in here?” The result: a very welcoming Hoame.
430 Adelaide St. W, hoame.ca
A Quiet Place
If Toronto suddenly seems more Zen, it’s thanks to the recent uptick of meditation and wellness spaces like Mindset Brain Gym (62 Cumberland St.), Good Space (360 Dufferin St.) and Soul 7 (17 Yorkville Ave.). Out of town? Try alternate-nostril breathing, says Emily Thring, founder and director of The Quiet Company. Hillary Clinton is a fan of the mindfulness technique and used it after the last American election. Plug your left nostril and inhale through your right nostril, then, holding that breath, plug your right nostril and exhale through your left nostril. Repeat for a few minutes or until you achieve the chill perspective of Will Smith on Instagram—whichever comes first.
511 King St. W, quietcompany.ca