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Balancing Fitness and Relaxation in Toronto

Mom, fitness blogger and self-described perfectionist Sasha Exeter on finding ways to de-stress and ‘just breathe’ while staying fit.

Geox Sponsored Post Sasha Exeter
@sashaexeter

Sasha Exeter has made herself a star online.

The brand storyteller, mom, influencer and former athlete has amassed 36,000-plus Instagram followers and an ever-growing audience of readers on her seven-year-old lifestyle, fashion and fitness blog SoSasha.com. Her glamorous smile, sinewy physique and radiant complexion shine in photos and videos but her followers love how self-effacing and approachable she is. Her passion for healthy living in Toronto has made Exeter the subject of local media profiles, many of which chronicle Exeter’s appreciation for nearby art and cuisine, mommy life and her elevated workout regimen.

A Toronto native, Exeter became a tennis phenom at the age of 5, eventually earning athletic scholarships to Indiana State University and Howard University. Kidney disease cut short her competitive tennis career. Then, after college, she worked in corporate positions throughout Canada. But some years later, she developed fibromyalgia, a musculoskeletal disorder that causes fatigue and mood issues. That prompted her to move back to Toronto to live closer to her family.

She’d spent time in the United States and Europe before returning home, so Toronto felt like a brand-new city to her; the Queen City had evolved, and so had she. The culturally diverse metropolis revealed yet another side to her when she found love with her partner and when the two welcomed their daughter.

Today, Exeter’s fitness regimen includes running along Lake Ontario thrice a week even when the temperature drops far below freezing. Running, yoga and meditation help her recharge from the stresses of life, work and motherhood. Exercise also helps her fight off the effects of her fibromyalgia.

What challenges do you face as a working mom, and how and where do you recharge?

S.E.: I feel like I’m never doing enough. I’m hard on myself. If I’m doing excellent in one area, I know for a fact that I’m dropping balls in another. It’s impossible to be perfect all of the time, but I’m a perfectionist. Becoming a mother has been very humbling and very challenging, but it’s also taught me some very important lessons that I needed to learn.

Our nanny is a certified yoga instructor, and we do yoga when my daughter naps. Or I do 60-90 minutes in the weight room. That allows me to come back to motherhood and my job as a parent to the best of my ability. I also meditate or I go to Hoame. It’s a meditation center here in Toronto. You can take meditation and yoga classes or go to spaces and be completely alone. It’s very restorative.

What places in Toronto have helped you?

S.E: Because I’m a former athlete, I like to train like an athlete. I have this amazing trainer named Kyle Ardill. He owns a space called SWAT. I train at the downtown location, and it’s super private. I go to him for one-on-one training, and it’s really changed my mindset. It also helps me combat fibromyalgia. I’ve been training with him for the last year. I also have a phenomenal gym at home, so SWAT one to two days a week, weight training at home four days a week, and I also run. We purposely moved to where we are now because it’s close to the waterfront, and I run along the Toronto waterfront. I prefer running outside to being stuck on a treadmill. My partner and I both run outside year-round.

Where do you go with friends when you want to recharge?

S.E.: My girls and I love to go to Body Blitz in Toronto. They are known for the water circuit therapy that includes a dead sea salt pool, sauna, steam room, cold plunge, jacuzzies and body treatments. It’s life-changing. We order teas and smoothies and literally spend hours there. When we leave, all we want to do is nap because we are so relaxed. It’s a women-only facility, which is nice. Everyone should try something like this with their friends at least once.

If your daughter could recommend kid-friendly places in Toronto, what would she choose?

S.E.: She certainly has her favorite spots in the city. She is really into farm animals. Like, obsessed. There’s a small farm located in Toronto’s east end called Riverdale Farm, in our old neighborhood, that we go to frequently. We sometimes go on summer weekends so she gets to see and pet her favorite animals without us having to drive very far. I also discovered Ripley’s Aquarium after she was born and it’s the perfect place to spend a few hours on a rainy or cold day to see and learn about aquatic life. Every kid is obsessed with sharks now because of the whole “Baby Shark” song craze so we can stare at them for hours. I would have never gone had I not become a parent, but I absolutely love it now.

Are there places you want to take your daughter but haven’t yet?

S.E.: My daughter has never been to Niagara Falls before. I have so many good memories visiting the falls during my childhood. She’s really into water, specifically waterfalls for some reason so Niagara Falls would blow her mind. I plan to take her to see it this fall actually and I’m really excited to take her on the boat tour that takes you up close personal to the falls.