Denise Kainz has had an extra challenge since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. The West Point Grey Community Centre Fitness Centre worker, gentle pilates instructor, yoga teacher and personal trainer has been rehabilitating from a complex ski injury since February 22, 2020, right before physical distancing and self-isolation measures were enacted. Currently on a waiting list for surgery, Denise remains positive. She goes for walks in her neighbourhood of Kitsilano and rides her bike to stay active. Here are 10 of her other approaches to health and happiness during these difficult times.

1. I breathe deeply and try to be easy on myself. We tend to be our own worst critic – at least I am! I practice the Wim Hof (aka Iceman) method of breathing following his free app. It is worthwhile to read about him, as he is a super interesting guy! His interview with Russell Brand is fun to listen to, as well as many others.

2. I call my mother almost every day. It is good for everyone. We try to keep really connected to family.

3. I diligently do my somewhat boring physio exercises, and create my own variations to make them more interesting.

4. I experiment with new recipes. It’s a lot of fun, and I have found cooking and baking to be very grounding. My newest challenge is baking with filo pastry. I have made spinach pie (spanakopita), cheese pie (tiropita) and apple strudel to date.

5. As of November 2019, I have delved into the new complementary career of health and life coaching. I have just completed online studies with the Health and Life Coach Institute. So studying and coaching has also helped keep me healthy. I am offering free 60 minute sessions! If anyone is interested, please email me at:

6. I have learned that it is healthy to ask for help. I can say that I have truly struggled with that one, and it was an important lesson to learn.

7. Being thankful and grateful for everything that I have helps keep me healthy.

8. Listening to my heroes (Caroline Myss, Brene Brown, Wim Hof) and mentors (Carey Peters, Stacey Morgenstern and others) is another way that I’m staying healthy.

9. Planting some flowers and herbs on my patio is also grounding!

10. We are so fortunate to live in Vancouver. I have made a point of crutching around the block, and have been interacting with the community in a socially distanced way over the last few months almost daily.