Leg press machines for knees and lower body workout

Leg press machines are said to be suitable for all ages and has multiple advantages for people, who are using it in the right way on a regular basis. Leg press machines are one of the most popular latest inventions, which got its hype for its advantages and was criticized by fitness experts for its disadvantages over the knee. Some of the experts claim to be the other way around, where it cures a lot of ailments in the knees and provides a balance in all the muscles. The argument is still active between two types of fitness experts. If you are serious fitness freak, we would recommend you to go for high end spinning bikes which can boost your stamina like anything.


Many amateurs feel that the leg press machine has given good results after a span of a long time to knee muscles, as they are able to bend the legs and walk for a long time. Some of the fitness experts do not buy the fact that the latest innovations do the same job as the traditional equipments, as they believe that the latest innovations are nothing but a shortcut and would give out a negative result over a period of time.

There are few factors, which makes us think twice before choosing to work on a leg press machine.

No Versatility in the workout

Most of the leg press machines are designed to work in few postures, which are suitable for all kinds of individuals. A traditional gym equipment gives out the comfort to stretch as per the requirement to control the outcome. The Leg press machine works out in a disciplined way to focus on all the muscles in our body, however, a traditional equipment can be customized to one particular set of muscles in our body. People with any minor defects in the body would not be able to choose a Leg press machine, as we cannot avoid the part being not worked out.

Adjust according to general workout regime

Leg press machines are like ready-made cloths available in the showroom, where you will have to choose the manufacturer’s dimensions and stitching. A traditional way of getting your clothes stitched will give you an option to choose your style of designs. Leg press machines with full armed, which can be adjusted to our requirement. A specific type of requirement, which focuses on one set of muscles cannot be done on a leg press machine. There are plenty of people, who would not have a stronger knee and would not be aware of the same. The leg press machine could turn out to be dangerous, as knees play a major role in every stroke we take.

Adjust with your actual requirement

You will find a lot of cases, where people will have to adjust to the requirement while using leg press machines. Some of the best leg press machines come with plenty of options, which can be utilized to plan up as per the requirement. Technically, leg press machines can be considered good for people who got healthy knees, however, It is wiser to use leg press machines to warm up and to exercise mildly, as we would prefer to take maximum things out of our workout.


Mental Health Week


It’s that time of year again! It’s Mental Health Week here in Canada (I think it’s Mental Health Week elsewhere too, but I’m just pointing out Canada).

I’m sure some of you are thinking “What does that actually mean?” … Well, there are a BUNCH of events going on around the country you can participate in – or show your support for.

In Ottawa, they have ALL KINDS of stuff going on! Including a walk, a BBQ, some workshops etc. For a schedule of events, check out this link!

In various locations across the country today, it’s the Kid’s Help Phone “WALK SO KIDS CAN TALK” event. So, if you haven’t already signed up / donated for this year… but it on your calendar for NEXT year 🙂

The Canadian Mental Health Association has a whole list of events taking place in all of the Canadian Provinces! Click here for details.

You can participate in the Partners for Mental Health NOT MYSELF TODAY @ WORK campaign by pledging your support, stepping up as a company to invest in mental health, or by hosting a mental health awareness event at your office. I heard through the grapevine that at the CBC, employees will be circulating a list of 5 things to improve your mental health.

I think the main point of Mental Health Week is to TALK! Start the conversation about mental health! For you long time readers of Saratonin, remember – be a superhero! THIS IS YOUR WEEK TO START!


Post Stigma

So because of my quietness on the blog, I COMPLETELY forgot to tell you about this AWESOME mental health initiative created by the folks at Lang House in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Remember how awesome the Post Secret website is? Well Post Stigma is the same concept except relating solely to issues of mental health.

“Post Stigma is meant to create an open dialogue between those with mental illness, and those who may unknowingly stigmatize against mental illness. It creates a safe place to speak our minds, fight stigma and make people aware of it’s prevalence.” says Leeanne Smith, Creative Director of Post Stigma.

I am in love with this initiative! You must check it out!

Here are a few of my favorites from the site that I’ve come across so far:

 screen-shot-2013-05-01-at-6-55-55-pm image-03

If you would like to send your own post stigma for the Post Stigma initiative, submit your art to:
Laing House
1225 Barrington Street
Halifax, NS B3J 1Y2
And most importantly, help spread the word about this wonderful project!

3d rendering of a lot of stop signs

When will it stop?

I haven’t been blogging much as of late as I don’t really know what to say.

Since the Rehtaeh Parson’s story spread across the world, I haven’t really been able to get over the shock of just how awful some kids are. Not only kids – but people.


Recently, I have seen many friends from back home “liking” a page on Facebook called “Adam’s Story”. Intrigued, I clicked on the page and read what it was about.

I was shocked once again to read a letter a young openly-gay male teenager wrote to the director of an Anti-Bullying group in the province. This teen, Adam, lived only minutes away from where I had just lived.  I’d like to share the letter with you:
“Dear sir or madam,

Here is my story from JMA Armstrong School, the school I have been going to since grade 6. My name is Adam Roberts and I am an openly gay male in the small town of Salisbury New Brunswick. In grade 8 it all started, the belligerent words and actions that included the dirty looks, being called a faggot over and over again. Have you ever been called something that over time tore down your mental health onepiece at a time? I have. I was assaulted one day at recess, a rope being tied around my neck until I choked and then he proceeded to ram my head into a brick wall.

Do you know how it is to come to school, lookinto a person’s eyes and say “I’m ok”? When you really feel like shoving a gun down your throat and blowing your brains out? I said it all the time to my mom, friends, and in my eyes no one could know what I felt like. In grade 9 by late February the bullying for so bad I felt like the one way out was to kill myself and no matter what it was the only way out. As a way to cope, I was also cutting myself on a regular basis. I have the scars to show.

On April 8th 2012 I took 70 pills and waited to die. Fell back on my bed, closed my eyes said goodbye to everybody who said they loved me. I felt the life being drained from me I felt weaker and weaker, ready to die. As a result I spent 7 weeks in the hospital and failed grade 9.

Grade 9 again… New kids… i thought it might be a new start but I was so wrong. Going back to being called faggot again but this time it was worse it wasn’t just 2 to 5 times. I was being called 5 to 10 demeaning words a weekand there was no end in sight. About a week ago people were telling me to go kill myself and as a result I’m debating cutting again. I ask myselfeveryday when will the name calling stop?When will it be safe for me to go back to school? And why can’t people just accept me for me. I am a good person and I don’t deserve to be treated like this. I have made several attempts to have the gay issue addressed at my school but nothing is getting fixed. Several other students at my school have told me they don’t feel safe at school either. My family and I have been through enough. It is time for this to stop. Thank you for taking the time to read this. Adam.”

I graduated high school almost 7 years ago now, and there was bullying and kids were mean… but I don’t ever remember bullying to be like how it seems to be today.

I can’t speak from experience, as I pretty much kept to myself for most of my schooling, but I do remember when one of my best friends (male) came out. He was fairly popular, he played hockey, he partied with the straight guys and girls, etc. Then he decided to come out. I know he had a few issues with people being jerks behind his back, but all things considered – he made out okay.

How can kids be so cruel?!
In the case of Rahtaeh Parsons, the alleged act of gang-rape is terrible to begin with. If it was gang-rape, I would love to know what made those boys think that they wouldn’t have been caught. Secondly, I don’t understand why ANYONE stood up and said something when they received the picture via text or Facebook. When I was a teenager, if I would’ve seen something like that, I would’ve spoken up!

In Adam’s case, first of all, it’s 2013. Being gay is becoming more and more acceptable in our society. We have openly gay pro athletes, openly gay movie stars, openly gay musicians, openly gay politicans. And I don’t think the fact that Adam comes from a small rural community where camouflage is the new black is a good enough excuse to treat any human being the way Adam has been treated.

What are the consequences that teens and kids are facing for bullying these days? Detention? 2-day suspension where they can sit at home and watch TV / play video games?

I don’t really have a solution – but something has to change. When will it stop?


Mental Health & Advertising

Yesterday I was reading one of my favorite time-passer websites, Buzzfeed, when I came across this article about an Hyundai ad coming from Germany. The ad that was use in the article was removed by the user on YouTube, however I was able to find another one for you to see. Unfortunately they even deleted this video.

I was shocked! I couldn’t believe the angle the advertising company decided to take promote the clean emissions coming from this vehicle. The Buzzfeed article says that this ad was approved by the client.
Completely inappropriate!

Why didn’t they take the environmental angle to promote the clean emissions?!

In Europe, the envelope tends to be pushed a little bit in regards to everything – but that is NO EXCUSE for such a tasteless ad.

What are your thoughts?


Rehtaeh Parsons 1995-2013

I try to keep this a relatively positive and upbeat place, but over these past few days, I have had a heavy heart.

The province I call home has suffered a devastating loss this past Sunday. This loss would affect me just as it has everyone, however my heart breaks a little more since the father of the beautiful girl we lost and I attended College together a few years ago.

On Sunday night, the province of Nova Scotia lost one of it’s brightest stars. 17 year old Rehtaeh Parsons succumbed to her injuries which were self-inflicted last Thursday at her mother’s home.


You see, Rehtaeh was a fighter.

She was allegedly raped by four boys at the age of 15 in 2011. As if the rape itself weren’t bad enough, the boys took photos and shared them on Facebook, emailed them to friends, etc. In an instant, Rehtaeh’s life changed forever. From that moment on, Rehtaeh was in constant battle. Her friends were turning their backs on her, she was labelled as a slut, she was receiving messages from boys asking her to have sex because “she did it with their friends”, she was bullied and isolated.

The police allegedly waited 10 months before interviewing the boys and closed the case saying there wasn’t sufficient evidence to press charges.

Her alleged rapists walked away scot-free, and Rehtaeh was forced to continue looking for support.
Her parents did what they could – her mother quit her job to be home with Rehtaeh, supported her with counselling, moved her to a different community and school…but it wasn’t enough.

Since her passing, her face and story has been splashed all over the news. A little too late.
I don’t really know what words to write about this terrible event, all I can say is I am completely heartbroken and my thoughts are with Glenn (Rehtaeh’s father) and his family.

While I don’t have the words, I wanted to share the words that Glenn posted on his blog about his daughter.

“My daughter was three years old when we went to watch Babe: Pig in the City. There’s a part in the movie when Babe knocks over a goldfish bowl and the fish falls onto the floor and starts flopping around. When this happened Rae suddenly stood up on her chair in the movie theatre and started screaming for someone to help the fish. She cried for it as I tried to reassure her Babe would help (thank God he did) and that the fish would be alright.

That was the nature of my daughter Rehtaeh. She was like that her whole life. I couldn’t go for a walk in Halifax with her without her asking me for change to give to someone in need. She was always looking out for people or animals that needed help. She called Animal Control Services on our neighbors because they left their dog outside too long. Her room and her life was always full of little creatures.

Sometimes her heart was too big, sometimes it scared me.

They say parents need to teach their children. Instead, it was Rehtaeh who was my teacher. My precious gift. She was the absolute best part of my life.

Rehtaeh and one of her many, many pets

Rehtaeh and one of her many, many pets
There’s a wooden box in my house that holds all the memories I have of my beautiful little girl. The outfit she wore home from the hospital, a hand print in clay, art, school cards and drawings, mementoes of her life. Even a newspaper dated December 9th, 1995, the day she came into this world.

I tried to keep it all for her, to have someday when she grew up and had her own family. That day will never come.

Rehtaeh died April 7th at 11:15 PM. She was 17 years old.

She died struggling to live, much as she spent the last 18 months. She hung on right to the very end, when the nurses were telling us if she couldn’t be declared brain dead soon they couldn’t use her as an organ donor. We couldn’t wait any longer. She couldn’t live any longer. And right at the last moment there was a change in her blood pressure as the last part of her brain gave away. She knew she had to leave. It was time to let go and find peace.

It was so like her to hang on right up until the very last second. To give us all a chance to hold her hand, wipe her tears away, and kiss her beautiful face for the last time.

I tried my best to save my daughter’s life. I believe that in my heart.

I asked her repeatedly what I could do, was I doing enough, what did she want from me? She said she just wanted me to be her dad. To make her laugh. To do everything possible to keep a part of her life normal. She said it helped more than I could ever know.

I prayed for the best while I prepared her for the worst. We went to counseling together. Sometimes I was the drive, sometimes the father, sometimes the counselor.

The worst nightmare of my life has just begun. I loved my beautiful baby with all my heart. She meant everything to me. I felt her heart beating in my soul from the moment she was born until the moment she died. We were a team. We were best pals. We often sat on my couch and laughed until we could hardly speak. When we weren’t together she would call me or text me every single day, just to say hi, to say she loved me. The life I had with my daughter was a rare thing. It was wonderful, it consumed me. I was defined by it. It made my life rich and beautiful.

She was amazing.

Yesterday I looked at another wooden box. It will hold her ashes. I hate it.

I had to write something about this. I don’t want her life to defined by a Google search about suicide or death or rape. I want it to be about the giving heart she had. Her smile. Her love of life and the beautiful way in which she lived it.

I found out this afternoon my daughter saved the life of a young woman with her heart. How fitting.

She also gave someone a new liver, a kidney, a new breath, and a new chance to love. She saved the lives of four people with her final gift of life. She was that wonderful.

Someone out there is going to look at the world with my daughter’s eyes. The most beautiful eyes I have ever seen.

To the Justice Minister of Nova Scotia

Rehtaeh Parsons thought the worst outcome for her case would be no charges against the men who raped her but we all know better. The worst thing that could happen would be charges. That they would be found guilty, and that Rehtaeh would sit on a court bench and listen in utter disbelief as they were given parole, or a suspended sentence, or community service. All for completely destroying her life while they laughed.

Why is it they didn’t just think they would get away with it; they knew they would get away with it. They took photos of it. They posted it on their Facebook walls. They emailed it to God knows who. They shared it with the world as if it was a funny animation.

How is it possible for someone to leave a digital trail like that yet the RCMP don’t have evidence of a crime? What were they looking for if photos and bragging weren’t enough?

Why was this treated like a minor incident of bullying rather than a rape? Isn’t the production and distribution of child porn a crime in this country? Numerous people were emailed that photo. The police have that information (or at least they told us they did). When someone claims they were raped is it normal to wait months before talking to the accused?

You have the opportunity here to do something good and lets face it; the court system in Nova Scotia was just going to rape her all over again with indifference to her suffering and the damage this did to her.

My daughter wasn’t bullied to death, she was disappointed to death. Disappointed in people she thought she could trust, her school, and the police.

She was my daughter, but she was your daughter too.

For the love of God do something.

***I’ve been contacted from media outlets from all over the world and as a past member of the media I understand why you all want to speak with me. You have all been very courteous, professional, and respectful. Please know, however, this is the only statement I am able to make. I’m to devastated.***

I feel like I’m dead inside.”

read more



Other other day while browsing the interwebs, I stumbled upon a video on YouTube that I really wanted to share with ya’ll.
I felt like I was like this man, in the way that I often think about the future and then pull myself back into the present. In that, I need to remind myself that it is the little things that make me happy.

It’s important to be reminded to take a moment from our busy lives and be present. To take stock of what little things in life create small moments of happiness. Why not make a list that you can add to each and every time you get a small joy from something!

My HappyList would have some of the following things on it:
-crawling into bed with clean sheets
-the smell of freshly made brown bread
-the smell of coffee brewing
-opening a new notebook for the first time
-watching a puppy dream
-the look of fresh flowers
and so much more.

What’s on your HappyList? Comment yours.


Mental Health & Random Roundup

Today I thought I’d share some of the blog posts and articles I’ve enjoyed reading recently.

Hope you have a great Easter weekend! 🙂


My friend, Gina, wrote a great poem about trichotillomania (hair pulling) and dermatillomania (skin picking).

Partners for Mental Health Community Correspondent Kristen Bower wrote about the “non-believers” of mental illness.

This article from September 2011 on CBC.ca was definitely a shocker and eye-opener

This video of a cute little boy talking about his crush on a girl of a different race. Just the cutest!

This video of two life-long best friends definitely takes the cake! I laughed out loud several times during the video. Check it out!


Banana Coconut Muffins

So, maybe muffins are my thing? Truth is, they are easy to make and I can put ‘em in B’s lunch. AND they’re a great way to use up fruit that may be going bad.

I had some bananas I needed to get rid of and I had a fresh bag of coconut I have been itching to use. Is that weird? Having a strong desire to eat / cook with coconut. Ugh. I. LOVE. IT.

And so, banana coconut muffins were made! They’re delicious! Probably not the healthiest – I really need to get better at that part – but delicious none the less!

Banana Coconut Muffins – Taken from Epicurious



1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 very ripe bananas, mashed (3/4 cup)
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, melted
2/3 cup sugar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup sweetened flaked coconut


Preheat oven to 375°F. Line muffin cups with liners.Mix flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl. Whisk together bananas, butter, sugar, egg, vanilla, and 1/2 cup coconut in a large bowl until combined well, then fold in flour mixture until flour is just moistened.Divide batter among lined muffin cups and sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup coconut. Bake until muffins are puffed and golden, about 25 minutes. Transfer muffins to a rack and cool slightly.

And then EAT!





As I’ve said many times in the past, I created this blog to share my experience with living with my mental illness. There are things I sometimes choose not to share – privacy like things – but I have something to confess to all of you that I think is only fair for me to share. Especially since I’m trying to give those without mental illness true insight to what happens when you live with one.

Okay, so here goes…
I stopped taking my medication WITHOUT the advice of my doctor for the past week / week and a half.

Now, I know what you’re thinking – “Sara, you often write about how wrong that is…yadda yadda” and you’re absolutely right! It is wrong and I definitely should not do it. See previous post here.

I’m not looking to make excuses for myself, but take a walk in my brain for a minute.

Like most people in the world, I have struggled with self-esteem issues. Ya know, the “I hate my curly hair,” the “I wish I were ten pounds lighter” type stuff. Heck, I’m still struggling with that.
So, that was one thought when I just stopped taking my meds. They’re making me fat. I mean, there isn’t too much explanation to my weight gain in the past year (I’ve put on about 20 lbs). My eating habits haven’t changed, my exercise habits haven’t changed since last March, and so I did some research. Turns out, many antidepressants affect your metabolism and unfortunately the one I’m on often leads to at least 20lbs of weight gain. Awesome. I suppose being on such a high dose of it didn’t help either.


On the let is me last March around this time (after only being on the high dose of anitdepressants for a week or two and the right is me right now. Yes, obviously the fact I’m not wearing makeup in the most recent picture probably makes a difference, but you get my point.

So, that was one of my thoughts. Maybe by not taking it, I’ll lose a little weight.

Second thought – MEH! I don’t need it. I’m a happy girl, living with B and Baxter in our little home.

Oh boy, how wrong I was to stop taking the medication.
While my thought process hasn’t gone back to the super dark thoughts of previous times, my mood definitely hasn’t been all peaches and cream. Despite what I thought, it’s starting to become noticeable too.
I don’t feel like doing anything. I’m exhausted constantly. And B has even asked me why I’m so bummed.

I was hesitant to write this post because I feared that those of you on antidepressants who fear weight gain may think it’s a good idea to stop taking your medication, but I decided to write about it in hopes that my experience would deter you from it.
The gaining-weight side affect doesn’t happen to everyone, and isn’t a little extra weight better than the dark place you were months ago? (At least I think it is)

For those of you who have never had to take antidepressants, it’s probably difficult for you to understand why I (or we..because I know many people do this) stop taking our medications. To be honest, it’s really difficult to explain that. Other than what I’ve already explained. The fear of weight gain, the fear of being stigmatized, not feeling like we need it anymore…etc.
And usually, we’re (that’s the collective “we”) are terribly wrong.

If you’re feeling like I was, talk to your doctor before taking yourself off your medication.
If you know someone who stopped taking their medication, try to be understanding of what they’re going through.

As for me, as soon as I finish writing this post, it’s off to the medicine cabinet to take my dose of Celexa.