Have you ever been to a fitness class? Have you ever been to a fitness class, on weed? If you haven’t, now you can! The idea of incorporating marijuana into your fitness regimen as part of your overall health and wellness routine is rapidly growing. In states where marijuana is legal, we’re starting to see the rise of the CannaFitness industry, and with it, is the start of cannabis fitness classes. These are classes where you’re allowed to medicate on site, prior, and post training. For those of us who have experience, and already consume cannabis as part of our training, this isn’t anything new, but it provides us with a place to meet like minded people, have engaging conversations about some of our biggest passions, and elevate our minds and bodies through physical challenge.
As exciting as that is, what’s more exciting, is what the rise of CannaFitness classes means for the every day person who is already conscious about their fitness and overall well being, and may be curious about how cannabis can aid in their goals. These classes provide a safe, relaxed environment to learn about what this plant can do for you, how to begin and continue using it as part of your fitness routine, and discover in what ways it works best for you and your goals. Not only do you get to meet other people who have more experience, you also get the direction of your very own CannaCoach.
We had the pleasure of meeting our first Canna Coach on our 4/20 week. Her name is Lia Oriel, and she runs Huff n Puff Fitness in the Denver and Boulder areas of Colorado. We had never been to a fitness class before, and have to say it was really fun. Lia had an incredible attitude that really motivated us and made the entire experience a wonderful time. She had the dab bar open prior to starting the class and treated us to our first hits off the highly coveted VapeXhale. After experiencing the smoothness of this vaporizer, and knowing how easy it is to switch from concentrates to flower, we have got to get one of these!
Once we were medicated, Lia got the class started with some warm up stretching and movement before proceeding to kick our asses with some HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training). There were five stations set up, each with their own movements designed to target full body training. We did a total of 3 rounds. Each round consisted of completing as many reps at each station, at timed intervals, before moving onto the next. The first round started at 30 second intervals, followed by a 1 minute break. Round 2’s intervals doubled to 60 seconds, and the third round had us at each station for 90 seconds. It was the energy of the other people in the room, and Lia’s words of encouragement, that got us through the last reps of our final stations.
Now feeling exhilarated and alive, we all took a moment to hydrate, and catch our breath, before having the opportunity to sit down with Lia to get to know her better and learn more about Huff n Puff Fitness.
Your attitude and your energy really set the tone for class and we had an amazing time! This really seems to come so natural to you. How long have you been a Canna Coach?
Last fall, 2016, I decided to find my own niche in the cannabis industry, something I was passionate about, enjoyed doing, and didn't see much of in the cannabis community. Cannabis and professional athletics was starting to join the conversation more, but I wanted to approach CannaFitness from a more micro level, with a personal and individual approach. I enjoy helping people achieve their goals, live happy, healthy lives, and I know cannabis helps me do that. Why shouldn't it work for other people? I found oftentimes the biggest thing holding people back from exploring medical marijuana was lack of education. They don't know what questions to ask or where to start.
I serve as a sort of soft launch into the world of cannabis for individuals who otherwise wouldn't step foot in a dispensary, or seek answers to their questions. I also find there are a lot of folks in the cannabis community who haven't realized their pot use can help them workout, or meditate, or eat healthier. For these people, I introduce them to strains and products they maybe wouldn't typically try. Education is key to opening people's mind about the incredible healing power of cannabis.
We couldn’t agree more about education being the key to change, and we love your approach. In speaking with you, and even think we people read this, you can really feel your passion for this. What do you like most about what you do?
When people tell me they sleep better, they feel more balanced overall, when they no longer reach for pills for the ailments, but instead, a canna-product, that makes my heart sing. That reminds me, everything I do is worth it for even one person. In addition, as selfish as it sounds, I’m very grateful I am able to better my own health, and develop good habits while helping others. It’s important to take care of yourself, before you can help others, and it allows me to practice what I preach.
Honestly, we don’t think being able to better your own health and develop good habits in order to lead by example and help others is selfish at all.
How did you get started with Huff n Puff Fitness? What were you inspired by?
It should be noted I discovered my love for ganja before I discovered my passion for fitness. Stoner first, athlete second. I was introduced to a women’s only outdoor crossfit class, several years ago, and for the first time, I found an acceptable form of exercise I enjoyed! The energy at the workouts was incredibly positive and uplifting, and while getting a six pack and muscles was nice, it was the friendships and support that really got me there 3x a week. When I moved to Boulder, I wanted to recreate that, but with a 420 spin, so I did just that.
Honestly my Mom is my biggest inspiration because she didn't start taking her health seriously until her 50’s, and now at 66 years old, she has completed a triathalon, several half marathons, multiple 5 and 10ks in the past 3 years alone, in addition to being an avid rock climber. She is amazingly badass and motivates me to challenge and push myself physically. Which is why this year, she and I have created the High 5 Race Challenge, where we will complete a 5K, 10K, 420 Games 4.2 miles run, a Half, and Full Marathon, by the end of the summer! She is training like crazy, using her canna-products, and she is going to slay at the races! I cannot wait to watch her succeed. My approach is to train a little, and then just take a bunch of edibles right before the race, but to each their own!
Wow, your mother does sound like a badass! It’s great to see a young woman being inspired by a strong female role model. The two of you have quite the race itinerary set up for the year!
Besides your High 5 Race Challenge, what else do you hope to accomplish in your future?
In addition to continuing to lead 420 friendly fitness classes, and blogging about canna-wellness issues, I would really like to start focusing on a senior education program to introduce our parents and grandparents to the idea of using cannabis medicinally. My mom and her husband are extremely active seniors who have no plans of slowing down, and they have served as some of my best guinea pigs as I started You Canna Be Well. While neither of them are going to pick up a joint, each of them has found canna-products that work for them and help them keep moving.
Whether topicals for arthritis, or medicated cookies for back pain, they are able to avoid heavy prescription narcotics for a healthier and safer option. I want all seniors to have the education and opportunity to learn about cannabis and wellness as they are one of the most susceptible populations to opioid and prescription addiction. Senior Huff n Puff classes, medical marijuana in nursing and hospice homes, Weed Bingo, all of these are things I would love to see happen to keep our elders happy, healthy, and high!
We love the idea of introducing more education to our parents and grandparents. Baby boomers are some of the most conservative on cannabis, and could really benefit from its use.
In your efforts to help educate others, you’ve told us you’re getting ACE certified as a personal trainer, compliments of one of your sponsors, StashBox. How do you feel about getting Ace certified as a trainer, and what does it mean for you and your business?
Years ago, I never would have thought I would be studying to be a personal trainer. You couldn't get me in the gym if you paid me with dessert! I appreciate the irony that I now lead workouts for stoners. Getting ACE certified will give me the knowledge and confidence to lead more challenging and effective fitness classes that will better cater to each individual's needs, and I sincerely appreciate Stashbox for helping me accomplish this.
It’s so great Stashbox is giving you the support you need, to not only help others, but to set a positive precedent for cannabis users everywhere.
What advice would you give someone wanting to follow in your footsteps to become a Canna Coach?
Make business cards and go to events. Networking is crucial to developing a brand, or a name for yourself. The more you pop up, and the more people hear about you, the more opportunities you will have to grow and expand. Say yes to every chance you get, because you never know who you will meet at that event or that sesh. Also, have a clear and consistent message you want to get across. You may feel you sound repetitive, but that is the best way for people to remember what you are about.
Find and connect with like minded individuals. Don’t view them as competition, but instead collaborators, and other people to grow and succeed with. There are a lot of amazing people in the industry, who are truly in it for the right reasons, and by working together, you can bring that message to a larger audience. Also, try new things! Maybe you are more of a yogi, try a 420 fitness class! Maybe you want to learn more about how to cook a proper nutritious meal, sign up for a 420 cooking class! Exchange phone numbers and organize meet-ups. Start small. Invite friends, and see how big it can grow! And do NOT compare yourself to others. You are not meant to live their life, so stay true to your message, appreciate your own successes and continue to support others as well!
Well, Lia, we had an amazing time! We look forward to the next class we attend, and to hanging out more in the future. Thank you so much for helping whip us into shape for our next 420 Games in Seattle, and for taking the time to speak with us.
Before we let you go, how can people reach you sign up for Huff n Puff Fitness classes, and what can we do to help support?
I can be reached on Instagram and Facebook. I am still working on organically growing my social media pages, so any likes and follows on Instagram @highcoachlia and @youcannabewell would be awesome for support! And on Facebook, Huff n Puff Fitness @huffnpufffit and You Canna Be Well.
I want to take a moment to thank all of my sponsors for their help and support. I couldn’t be doing this without you! Big thanks to VaporSlide, VapeXhale, and First Class Flights for being a part of the Dab Bar. Thank you to Mary’s Medicinals and Stillwater for my topical and edible sponsors respectively, and Stashbox for toking accessories and sponsorship of my ACE certification. Thanks goes to Cultivated Synergy, of course, for hosting this event, and Dabsolutions for getting some excellent promo content for me! I am very lucky to work with such dope people!
We feel the same way, and we’re so glad we got to meet you, and all the other dope people at Huff n Puff Fitness! Thanks again for everything!
It’s Tuesday and we’re training it up at MJFITNUT, getting ready for our upcoming 420 Games in Seattle, WA on May 28th! A lot of exciting things have been happening behind the scenes here, and we’re getting ready to share them with you soon! One bit of exciting news for us is being brought on board as the weekly CannaFitness Columnist for Leaf of The Week and On Denver! Read the first article here! In addition to the weekly articles you can read on our site, you can also get an exclusive look into the CannaFitness industry every Saturday!
Now it’s back to the gym, followed by a Colorado sunshine soaked run! Until next time, be well friends.