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Self-compassion is not only about caring for our thoughts and emotions. It also means treating our bodies with kindness.

—  Tim Desmond
In the newsletter this week, we’ve got cozy self-care, a low-impact HIIT workout, and a few questions about “energy fields”. Read on...

Reading ten pages a day of a personal development book is a habit that can cultivate mindfulness and a positive attitude. Lately, we’ve picked up a few that resonated with us.

Make Yourself Cozy: A Guide for Practicing Self-Care by Katie Vaz offers whimsical illustrations with suggestions on how to enjoy your alone time. How about enjoying a hot mulled cider with a stick of cinnamon, while snuggled under a blanket in a cozy nook of your home? Vaz is a talented artist whose gentle suggestions helped us nurture our inner calm.

If you’d prefer something more active and hands-on, The Self-Compassion Skills Workbook by Tim Desmond provides a 14-day plan that, the author promises, will “transform your relationship with yourself”. The process in the book includes a technique called the “self-compassion body scan” to get in touch with your emotions, talking directly to the part of you that’s suffering, and intentionally sending compassion to yourself.

According to Desmond, the two sides to self-compassion training are cultivating joy and compassion, and embracing suffering. Doing self-care work can help us become more kind and mindful in how we talk to ourselves, which is a lifelong journey.

Inviting you to reflect on how you can show yourself compassion as you take on your week, Katherine & Linda
Dear Fit Girls: Can we ask you a special favor? 

We now have hundreds of Fit Girls Society members receiving this email newsletter and we’re so thrilled to have you with us. Our goal is 1,000 subscribers by the end of 2021! 

Would you please forward this newsletter to a friend and tell them how much you enjoy it? It would mean the world to us. Thank you!
Heather Robertson
With her YouTube videos earning millions of views, Vancouver-based Heather Robertson is a star in the online fitness community. But growing up, Robertson was too shy and introverted to participate in team sports—in fact, her first exposure to fitness was doing a “Buns of Steel” VHS workout tape.

In 2007, she entered her first fitness competition, and won two first-place titles. That led to gracing the covers of fitness magazines. Robertson is now a certified personal trainer who uses social media to help people work out from home.
Discussing her preferred cardio style in an interview with Oxygen, Heather said: “I like to do short powerful sessions of High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). The faster I can get cardio out of the way, the better!”

Try this: In this 30-minute Low Impact Full Body HIIT Workout using two dumbbells, you’ll do each exercise for 45 seconds with no repetitions (it’s a big fan favourite, with 2.6 million views!) Want to push yourself harder? In this 48-minute Total Body Strength Workout, Heather leads you through a warm-up, followed by dumbbell supersets.
Total Body STRENGTH Workout // Dumbbell Supersets
Reality check: is Reiki for real?
Reiki is a “healing practice” that was invented in the early 1920s in Japan. During a session, practitioners silently place their hands on or over a person’s body to evoke a “universal life force”. According to Reiki adherents, our bodies have “energy fields”, and when they are disrupted we can have health problems. 

However, no scientific instrument has ever sensed or read these purported “energy fields”. There’s no reliable evidence that Reiki hand placements are an effective treatment for any ailment, nor has any explanation of the mechanism by which it might operate ever been provided.

Despite this lack of scientific basis, Reiki has been offered to patients at some top American hospitals, such as the Mayo Clinic and the Cleveland Clinic. Surprising, given that Reiki doesn’t purport to treat any specific ailment.

Writing for, attorney and pseudoscience expert Jann Bellamy says: “Here is what we actually know about reiki: There is no evidence that this ‘energy; exists or that its putative deficit or suboptimal movement is detrimental to health…Reiki is ineffective, although it may evoke some sort of placebo response.”

While Reiki treatments may anecdotally reduce anxiety, you can probably achieve the same effect for free by simply resting in a darkened room with some relaxing sounds, like this beautiful Indonesian gamelan music.
 Quick workday exercise break: how to do a wall sit, a no-equipment move that activates your glutes, quads, and core (Greatist)

 Bring the boutique studio vibes to your home gym with Ernest Wilkins' Spotify playlist, "Cool But Overpriced Workout Studio"

 We love this to-do list triage tip from productivity blogger Ali Abdaal, based on one magic question: “What’s the one thing I can do today that’ll take the largest load off my shoulders?” (Ali Abdaal)

 Superiority Burger is a vegan burger joint in New York that always has a lineup out front. Here’s how to replicate their famous veggie patty—we made this recipe & loved it (Washington Post)

 Stressed? Set a 5-minute timer and try this simple breathing practice to “lead you into stillness” (Elemental)
Thanks for reading, Fit Girls! We’ll return to your inbox next week with more inspiration and knowledge. Got a tip for us or opinion to share? Email us—we love your feedback. Enjoyed this issue? Please forward to a friend—your referrals help us grow!
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