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How to Lose that Last 10 Pounds

Losing that last 5 to 10 pounds can be the hardest of all.

When we first start our weight loss journey, and stick to the plan, weight sheds off at lightning speed and you start to feel ever more amazing. For many people who have lost weight they can't believe that they're buying smaller clothes every month and their old "fat clothes" just doesn't fit them any more. They achieved 90% of their goals so quickly that when they get to the last 5 to 10 lbs which are the most stubborn they become mystified at to what they are doing wrong.

Basically everything is going perfectly and then suddenly the weight loss stops and stabilizes. We can only reduce our caloric intake and exercise so much before it becomes unhealthy. So now what do we do? Being so close to the goal and not easily obtaining it can become frustrating. But not to worry, you can do it. It may take longer but with determination and persistence it DOES happen!

Tips to Shed the Last five or ten pounds

1. Is there room to be more regimented?

When we lose weight the plan may have started out by simply adding exercise and quality nutrition into the daily program. Usually this change is enough to lose weight. When it becomes harder to lose weight then a more carefully devised meal plan could be the answer. If you are eating 5 to 6 mini meals approx. 3-5 hours a part at about 2-300 calories each will keep the metabolism revved up. The meals should contain lean protein, vegetables and whole grain / complex carbohydrates. A lot of people lose weight but stick to the same diet they were eating right from the start but as more pounds are lost, less calories are needed to fuel a smaller person. If calories can be cut safely, this is an option to try.

2. Increase Weightlifting / Endurance Training

Sometimes you just need to change your exercise routine every so often to give your body an extra push. Training for a marathon or strength training could be the extra push your body needs to shed the last few pounds.

3. Avoid Toxins and Bad Bacteria

Your body stores toxins in fat as a health precaution, so your system doesn't get overloaded with toxins. If you smoke, cut back on the smoking or quit entirely. If you drink alcohol, cut back on your alcohol consumption. If you are eating blackened toast (which is carcinogen, FYI!) stop eating anything that is obviously burnt. If you are eating a lot of red meat (which is rife with bad bacteria) try cutting back and eating more yogurt instead because yogurt has good bacteria in it which will help you lose weight.

4. A Leptin Boost

Leptin is a metabolism burning hormone which decreases as calories are reduced. After following tip number one all week, you can get a leptin boost from having one day of high calorie foods. It takes about a week for leptin levels to decrease but only one day to get levels back up. This doesn't mean to go all out, but calorie dense foods will "reset" your metabolism and get it back into high gear. When choosing what high calorie meal you want to eat aim for something healthier that is low in toxins and bacteria. eg. Pasta might do the trick. The following day you should feel really energetic and your goal then is to push yourself even harder when exercising.

5. Are you getting enough Sodium?

While you are exercising you might often hit an energy wall wherein you stop feeling energetic and you need a boost. Its possibly you are only dehydrated, but if you've been sweating a lot you may also be low on sodium. Drink more Powerade or Gatorade while exercising and you can reduce this problem, give yourself the extra needed sodium and you will be able to exercise for longer.

6. Break up your Exercise Routine

If you have been doing cardio and weights at the same time (for an hour combined) break up the workout and add a little more time to each. 40 minutes of cardio in the morning, and 40 minutes of weights at night (or reverse) will burn more calories and you will be better rested in between workouts to add more intensity to each. Plus, the cardio will increase your metabolic rate for up to 24 hours, while the new muscle will burn more calories throughout the day. Both forms of exercise will be working for you around the clock!

7. Adrenaline High Weight Loss

Get your heart pumping more by doing more activities that will get your adrenaline pumping. Adrenaline burns fat like crazy and a little bit of fear (even though you're perfectly safe) helps a lot. Take up activities like indoor rock climbing, while running pretend you are being chased by zombies (even though its not real, your brain can still trick yourself into pumping more adrenaline), have more spontaneous sex with your romantic partner and seek out other thrill seeking activities that will get your adrenaline pumping but without putting yourself at any real risk.

Boxing the Gentleman's Sport

If you're worried about which martial art will win in a fight then you are missing the whole point of Boxing.

Boxing is a Gentleman's Sport and is governed by the Queensbury Rules (eg. No hitting below the belt) and the London Prize Ring Rules.

The Marquess of Queensbury Rules

1. To be a fair stand-up boxing match in a 24-foot ring, or as near that size as practicable.

2. No wrestling or hugging or clinching allowed.

3. The rounds to be of three minutes duration, and one minute's time between rounds.

4. If either man falls through weakness or otherwise, he must get up unassisted, 10 seconds to be allowed him to do so, the other man meanwhile to return to his corner, and when the fallen man is on his legs the round is to be resumed and continued until the three minutes have expired. If one man fails to come to the scratch in the 10 seconds allowed, it shall be in the power of the referee to give his award in favour of the other man.

5. A man hanging on the ropes in a helpless state, with his toes off the ground, shall be considered down.

6. No seconds or any other person to be allowed in the ring during the rounds.

7. Should the contest be stopped by any unavoidable interference, the referee to name the time and place as soon as possible for finishing the contest; so that the match must be won and lost, unless the backers of both men agree to draw the stakes.

8. The gloves to be fair-sized boxing gloves of the best quality and new.

9. Should a glove burst, or come off, it must be replaced to the referee's satisfaction.

10. A man on one knee is considered down and if struck is entitled to the stakes.

11. That no shoes or boots with spikes or sprigs be allowed.

12. The contest in all other respects to be governed by revised London Prize Ring Rules of 1853.

The London Prize Ring Rules of 1853

1. That the ring shall be made on turf, and shall be four-and-twenty feet square, formed of eight stakes and ropes, the latter extending in double lines, the uppermost line being four feet from the ground, and the lower two feet from the ground. That in the centre of the ring a mark be formed, to be termed a scratch; and that at two opposite corners, as may be selected, spaces be enclosed by other marks sufficiently large for the reception of the seconds and bottle-holders, to be entitled “the corners.”

2. That each man shall be attended to the ring by a second and a bottle-holder, the former provided with a sponge and the latter with a bottle of water. That the combatants, on shaking hands, shall retire until the seconds of each have tossed for choice of position, which adjusted, the winner shall choose his corner according to the state of the wind or sun, and conduct his man thereto, the loser taking the opposite corner.

3. That each man shall be provided with a handkerchief of a colour suitable to his own fancy, and that the seconds proceed to entwine these handkerchiefs at the upper end of one of the center stakes. That these handkerchiefs shall be called “the colours;” and that the winner of the battle at its conclusion shall be entitled to their possession, as the trophy of victory.

4. That two umpires shall be chosen by the seconds or backers to watch the progress of the battle, and take exception to any breach of the rules hereafter stated. That a referee shall be chosen by the umpires, unless otherwise agreed on, to whom all disputes shall be referred; and that the decision of this referee, whatever it may be, shall be final and strictly binding on all parties, whether as to the matter in dispute or the issue of the battle. That the umpires shall be provided with a watch, for the purpose of calling time; and that they mutually agree upon which this duty shall devolve, the call of that umpire only to be attended to, and no other person whatever to interfere in calling time. That the referee shall withhold all opinion till appealed to by the umpires, and that the umpires strictly abide by his decision without dispute.

5. That on the men being stripped, it shall be the duty of the seconds to examine their drawers, and if any objection arise as to insertion of improper substances therein, they shall appeal to their umpires, who, with the concurrence of the referee, shall direct what alterations shall be made.

6. That in future no spikes be used in fighting boots except those authorized by the Pugilistic Benevolent Association, which shall not exceed three-eights of an inch from the sole of the boot, and shall not be less than one-eight of an inch broad at the point; and, it shall be in the power of the referee to alter, or file in any way he pleases, spikes which shall not accord with the above dimensions, even to filing them away altogether.

7. That both men being ready, each man shall be conducted to that side of the scratch next his corner previously chosen; and the seconds on the one side and the men on the other, having shaken hands, the former shall immediately return to their corners, and there remain within the prescribed marks till the round be finished, on no pretence whatever approaching their principals during the round, under penalty of 5s. for each offence, at the option of the referee. The penalty, which will be strictly enforced, to go to the funds of the Association. The principal to be responsible for every fine inflicted on his second.

8. That at the conclusion of the round, when one or both of the men shall be down, the seconds and bottle-holders shall step forward and carry or conduct their principal to his corner, there affording him the necessary assistance, and no person whatever be permitted to interfere with this duty.

9. That at the expiration of thirty seconds (unless otherwise agreed upon) the umpire appointed shall cry “Time,” upon which each man shall rise from the knee of his bottle-holder and walk to his own side of the scratch unaided, the seconds and the bottle-holders remaining at their corner; and that either man failing so to be at the scratch within eight seconds, shall be deemed to have lost the battle.

10. That on no consideration whatever shall any person be permitted to enter the ring during the battle, nor till it shall have been concluded; and that in the event of such unfair practice, or the ropes and stakes being disturbed or removed, it shall be in the power of the referee to award the victory to that man who in his honest opinion shall have the best of the contest.

11. That the seconds and bottle-holders shall not interfere, advise, or direct the adversary of their principal, and shall refrain from all offensive and irritating expressions, in all respects conducting themselves with order and decorum, and confine themselves to the diligent and careful discharge of their duties to their principals.

12. That in picking up their men, should the seconds or bottle-holders wilfully injure the antagonist of their principal, the latter shall be deemed to have forfeited the battle on the decision of the referee.

13. That it shall be “a fair stand-up fight,” and if either man shall wilfully throw himself down without receiving a blow, whether blows shall have previously been exchanged or not, he shall be deemed to have lost the battle; but that this rule shall not apply to a man who in a close slips down from the grasp of his opponent to avoid punishment, or from obvious accident or weakness.

14. That butting with the head shall be deemed foul, and the party resorting to this practice shall be deemed to have lost the battle.

15. That a blow struck when a man is thrown or down, shall be deemed foul. That a man with one knee and one hand on the ground, or with both knees on the ground, shall be deemed down; and a blow given in either of those positions shall be considered foul, providing always, that when in such position, the man so down shall not himself strike or attempt to strike.

16. That a blow struck below the waistband shall be deemed foul, and that, in a close, seizing an antagonist below the waist, by the thigh, or otherwise, shall be deemed foul.

17. That all attempts to inflict injury by gouging, or tearing the flesh with the fingers or nails, and biting, shall be deemed foul.

18. That kicking, or deliberately falling on an antagonist, with the knees or otherwise when down, shall be deemed a foul.

19. That all bets shall be paid as the battle-money, after a fight, is awarded.

20. That no person, on any pretence whatever, shall be permitted to approach nearer the ring than ten feet, with the exception of the umpires and referee, and the persons appointed to take charge of the water or other refreshment for the combatants, who shall take their seats close to the corners selected by the seconds.

21. That due notice shall be given by the stakeholder of the day and place where the battle-money is to be given up, and that he be exonerated from all responsibility upon obeying the direction of the referee; and that all parties be strictly bound by these rules; and that in future all articles of agreement for a contest be entered into with a strict and willing adherence to the letter and spirit of these rules.

22. That in the event of magisterial or other interference, or in case of darkness coming on, the referee shall have the power to name the time and place for the next meeting, if possible, on the same day, or as soon after as may be.

23. That should the fight not be decided on the day, all bets, instead of being drawn, shall be put together and divided, unless the fight shall be resumed the same week, between Sunday and Sunday, in which case the bets shall stand and be decided by the event. That where the day named in the articles for a fight to come off is altered to another day in the same week, the bets shall stand. The battle-money shall remain in the hands of the stakeholder until fairly won or lost by a fight, unless a draw be mutually agreed upon.

24. That any pugilist voluntarily quitting the ring previous to the deliberate judgment of the referee being obtained, shall be deemed to have lost the fight.

25. That on an objection being made by the seconds or umpire, the men shall retire to their corners, and there remain until the decision of the appointed authorities shall be obtained; that if pronounced “foul,” the battle shall be at an end, but if “fair,” “time” shall be called by the party appointed, and the man absent from the scratch in eight seconds after shall be deemed to have lost the fight. The decision in all cases to be given promptly and irrevocably, for which purpose the umpires and the referee should be invariably close together.

26. That if in a rally at the ropes a man steps outside the ring, to avoid his antagonist or escape punishment, he shall forfeit the battle.

27. That the use of hard substances, such as stones, or sticks, or of resin, in the hand during the battle shall be deemed foul, and that on the requisition of the seconds, of either man, the accused shall open his hands for the examination of the referee.

28. That where a man shall have his antagonist across the ropes in such a position as to be helpless, and to endanger his life by strangulation or apoplexy, it shall be in the power of the referee to direct the seconds to take their man away, and thus conclude the round, and that the man or his seconds refusing to obey the direction of the referee, shall be deemed the loser.

29. That all stage fights be as nearly as possible in conformity with the foregoing rules.

Rules Summation

So ignoring Queensbury Rule 12 which basically invokes all the LPR Rules there is basically a total of 40 rules that govern the sport of boxing in an effort to make it a sport for the fair minded sportsman (or sportswoman).

It is basically like a Gentleman's Code of Honour. You fight by these rules or you get disqualified.

The book really gets into the topic of how traditional fisticuffs is supposed to work, the tradition and history of boxing, and also different boxing punches, footwork, dodging, blocks, and so forth. It is a good book for someone who appreciates the history of boxing and also wants to learn more about the sport.

Which is Better?

Now back to my original topic.

There are people out there who will fuss and say that certain martial arts are better than others. They're missing the whole point of boxing. Boxing is not street fighting. It is not mixed martial arts. It is a very specific set of rules governing a gentleman's sport.

You could just as easily say "Guns are better than bows and arrows!" but then you would be missing the whole purpose of archery. It is not about which is better. It is about a sport which is governed by specific rules and comes with a lot of history and tradition.

And if you can't understand the value of history and tradition well then I can't help you. You need to discover the value of that on your own.

Boxing Instruction

Need someone to teach you boxing? If you live in Toronto you could hire me as your personal trainer. I've been teaching boxing lessons in Toronto since 2011.

How do you calculate poundage on a Bow?


"Hello! I see you teach archery and I have a question. What do the numbers on a bow mean?

For example: 61 inch, 20#. I am guessing the 61 inch is the length of the bow because this is for a longbow. What does 20# mean? Is that the draw weight?

Also, if that is the draw weight, is 20 pounds a lot?


- Gregory R.


You are close, the 61" is the length of the bowstring - which would be roughly the length of the bow when strung.

The 20# should be followed by @XX where XX is the draw length. The 20# is the draw weight at that specific draw length, if you draw more than the listed length (the normal amount is usually 28") the weight will go up by so many extra lbs per inch (the exact amount depends on the poundage of the bow) and vice versa less draw length will also lower the poundage.

Make certain you are using the correct length bowstring as well because that can so affect the draw weight. Hope this helps.

In answer to your 2nd question, no, 20 lbs is actually not a lot. Of the 4 bows I currently own I have an 18 lb, a 24 lb, a 30 lb and a 34 lb. The 34 lb recurve is the bow I reserve for myself. The other bows I teach with. A 12-year-old can usually handle a 20-lb bow (although because their arms are shorter they are really only using about 12 - 15 lbs of force to pull it back to their full draw), although it really comes down to personal preference in terms of what you feel comfortable with pulling and your arms not shaking.

[Update: Since writing this I have purchased quite a few more bows. I am up to 8 and a half as of October 2013. Where does the extra half come from? Extra limbs for takedown bows. For a full list of my available equipment see the equipment section on the Archery Lessons page.]

If you are using a 20-lb bow and feel it is too easy for you then you may wish to upgrade to a higher poundage bow by either selling your current bow and buying a better one, or keeping it for friends and get a 2nd bow with a higher poundage (or getting higher poundage limbs if your bow is a three piece takedown).

As you progress as an archer you will discover that you will start to want higher poundages so you can improve your strength and accuracy, but don't go immediately leaping up to the really high poundages because you want to be able to shoot the bow 200 times in a day without causing yourself serious back pain - which will happen if you try to shoot a bow that you don't have the necessary strength and endurance to use properly.

The higher the poundage the more range and accuracy you will get, although I should point out that at shorter ranges you will discover you have to aim really low if you have a bow with a really high poundage and this sometimes messes with your head when trying to figure out where to aim.

My advice is to use a bow which challenges you a small bit physically, but isn't going to cause you pain or is going to be difficult for you to hold steady and aim properly.

5 Foods that make you Slimmer

1. Canola Oil.

Also known as a heart-healthy cooking oil, canola oil now touts another boon: when Brazilian researchers fed rats a diet containing either canola or soybean oil for two months, the soybean-oil eaters gained nearly 20% more fat in and around the organs of the belly (also known as visceral fat) than those that chowed on the canola-oil-enriched diet. While researchers can't say exactly how much canola oil people would need to include in their diet to achieve this effect, they believe that canola oil's high omega-3 content lowers insulin levels, ultimately discouraging fat storage in the abdomen.

2. Beans.

Swapping animal proteins in your diet for vegetarian proteins is already a no-brainer to those vegans out there. Veggie proteins like beans may do more than help your heart according to a 2011 Diabetic Medicine study found that a six-month-long calorie-controlled vegetarian diet was more effective at blasting belly fat and stimulating weight loss in diabetic volunteers than a calorically equivalent non-vegetarian diet. The vegetarian diet burned more deep (visceral) abdominal fat, as well as that extra layer just under the skin (subcutaneous fat), explains lead researcher Hana Kahleov√°, M.D., of the Institute for Clinical and Experimental Medicine.

3. Low-Fat Milk or Skim Milk.

Milk (and other low-fat dairy products) already helps you build strong bones, but if you want to whittle your waistline and gain calorie-burning lean muscle you may need to up the ante. In a 2011 Journal of Nutrition study, female dieters who ate 30 percent of calories from protein, including six to seven daily servings of dairy, chiseled off more belly and total fat (and gained more lean muscle) than women who trimmed the same number of calories but ate less protein and dairy. Researchers think the whey protein in dairy, which boasts the amino acid leucine, is particularly important in stimulating the formation of new muscle proteins.

4. Whole Grains.

When researchers from Pennsylvania State University placed volunteers on a three-month weight-loss program and instructed one group to eat only whole grains for their grain servings and the other group to choose only refined grains (and avoid whole grains entirely), the whole-grain eaters melted significantly more abdominal fat. While the fiber in whole grains may deserve some of the credit, researchers note that whole grains are rich in magnesium, a mineral instrumental in regulating fat metabolism.

5. Red Peppers.

In a recent Journal of Nutrition study, Dutch researchers asked 374 men about the foods they ate most frequently. They found that those whose diets contained the most beta carotene and lycopene (phytochemicals that make carrots orange and give red peppers and tomatoes their brilliant hue) had the smallest waists and the least abdominal fat. Because beta carotene and lycopene are potent antioxidants, researchers think they may mop up the harmful compounds that promote fat storage. Peppers are also packed with vitamin C, a nutrient needed for fat burning.

5 Tips to Push Yourself Harder

Doing something is better than nothing, even if measurable results stopped happening a long time ago. Many people want continual progression they can measure, they just don't now how to take it to the next level where things become more abstract and they can't measure things like "muscle control". These five tips will help you to push yourself harder, to test your limits and give yourself the extra edge.

Five Tips to Push Yourself Harder 
+ Get Better Results

1. Form is Everything

Even if you think that you're practicing correct technique, it doesn't hurt to brush up and confirm your form. Maybe even hire a personal trainer to make certain you are using the correct postures. If you can't afford that review posture and form online or buy/borrow a book from the library. Not only will this improve results but along the way, you will find new exercises to spice up the workout.

2. Add more Weight / Reps

Don't fear the weights! If you have been doing bicep curls with 5 pound dumbbells for five years, an increase to 8 or 10 pounds will get you added results within a few sessions. With such low weights you will not pack on muscle but your arms will be much more toned and defined!

3. Mind your Diet

Studies show that high carbs, high fat diets are causing that belly fat that simply will not go away. Plan a few meals per week which have lean protein and vegetables as the main course. No matter what meal plan you create, there's never any need to give up foods that you enjoy forever but if you do cut back on high fat, extra carbs and alcohol you will be able to achieve an overall difference.

4. Try Different Activities

Every once in a while do something completely different. Take a water aerobic class, do archery, boxing, martial arts or join a walking / nature hiking group. Variations in types of activities will work the body in a different way and promote new results.

Try to vary your workouts by changing the amount of time you work out, using different exercises and alternating intensity levels.

5. Get Some Rest

Fatigue produces stress hormones which don't allow fat cells to release their fatty deposits. A lack of rest and sleep causes the body stress, even if the mind feels unaffected. Aim for 7-8 hours of sleep a night to stay well rested and to allow the body to burn fat, digest and function at its optimal ability.

Or better yet, get 6 hours of sleep and 1 hour nap in the early afternoon. Sietas are good for you so if you're life is hectic try and sneak in some siesta time every weekend.

Archery as an Alternative to Weightlifting

By Charles Moffat - Archery Instructor in Toronto

One of the comments I hear regularly from archery students is how much harder archery is physically than they were expecting.

They were apparently expecting a sport which required very little muscles and was more about aim (like darts, gun marksmanship or even golf) than your ability to pull the bow and hold it steady.

Sadly this is a very common misconception amongst non-archers who make the assumption that archery is easy and anyone can do it. But they forget that in order to aim you first have to be able to pull the bow and most importantly hold it steady.

Let me put it this way... I can lift 300 lbs. But I have to struggle to string a bow that has a 40 lb draw. The bow may say it has a 40 lb draw, but that number is confusing for non-archers because they think 40 lbs isn't a lot.

Olympic recurve archers typically use 40 lb to 50 lb bows when they're in their prime. Some more extreme archers shoot 60 or even 75 lb bows, but those are exceptionally rare.

The trick about archery it is essentially weightlifting, but you are often using some of your weakest muscles to pull the bow. In my experience the average woman can only manage a 20 to 25 lb bow with ease. The average man a 25 to 30 lb bow. Anything higher and they start to struggle or had better be above average with their back, shoulder and arm muscles.

The next trick is holding the bow steady. A lot of people have underdeveloped forearm muscles and struggle to hold the bow steady with their bow arm, and their arrow arm may be strong enough to pull back the arrow, but lacks the endurance to hold it steady long enough so they can aim.

Lastly, there is the matter of repetition. If you shoot 200 arrows with a bow you can barely pull in a 4 hour period you will have a sore back guaranteed. Possibly sore arms too. It really is like weightlifting.

If you're into mythology just look at the legends about famous archers.

Hercules left his bow to the Scythian brothers and only 1 of three brothers could string his bow, thus making him the one who should be king. A different bow belonging to Hercules went to the Trojan War and was the same bow which shot Paris (and he later died from hydra poison).

Other strongmen who used the bow in history, folklore and mythology include: Abhimanyu, Apollo, Arash, Arjuna, Feng Meng, Hayk, Houyi, Jumong, Karna, Marduk, Osoosi, Palnetoke, Rama, Robin Hood, Shiva, William Tell, Zhou Tong.

If you watch all the recent movies featuring archery (The Hunger Games, The Avengers, Brave and even the recent Rambo film) and TV shows (Smallville, Game of Thrones) you might be led to believe that archery is easy.

It can be, but you need to develop the muscles by training. Its true that archery has a steep learning curve. (My students are typically hitting the target after 2 hours of lessons, wherein in comparison their first 10 or so shots were probably complete misses.)

Given lots of time, and lots of helpful tips from an archery instructor, they can learn to hit the target consistently even when distracted, tired, stressed, in poor weather conditions... but they aren't going to reach that pinnacle unless they also build up some muscle strength.


#1. Pushups - This is #1 for a reason. Pushups use your triceps and your back muscles which are the two most important muscle groups when doing archery. Pushups also develops your core muscles in your back which helps your balance. I recommend doing 100 to 200 pushups daily.

#2. Chinups - If you have a chinup bar you will want to use it daily. I recommend 100 to 200 chinups per day. It will build up your bicep and shoulder muscles, also good for archery but less important that the triceps and back.

#3. Cardio - This is to build up your endurance. Doesn't matter whether you run, swim or cycle. You need to be building up your endurance so you can shoot 200 arrows per day.

#4. Weightlifting - If you access to weights use them. Lie on your back and lift the weights above you. Stand up and do arm curls. Stand upright and lift to the side using your shoulder muscles. Do all three 50 to 100 times each.

Need more advice on how to train for archery? Hire a personal trainer to create a series of cross-training exercises specially for you!

Archery Advice for Parents of Little Kids



I was wondering if you would be interested in teaching a child as young as 5? He is very interested in learning the sport. Also, any advice you have with respect to buying archery equipment, where to practice, etc would be very helpful."

- Larry S.


Hello Larry!

Its a tricky matter.

I don't have any bows suitable for his size because he wouldn't be strong enough to pull even my smallest / lightest poundage bow. So no, I wouldn't have the equipment to teach someone so young.

My first piece of advice would be to get a children's practice bow from either Canadian Tire (you may need to shop around since not all Canadian Tire stores sell archery equipment) or a slightly more powerful children's bow from an archery equipment store. Approx. price will be between $30 to $100, depending on the brand and type. Remember to buy extra arrows as they break or get lost easily.

My second piece of advice is that you will need to supervise him at all times when they have a bow. Because boys will be boys and you don't want to be paying for your neighbour's new windows. When not in use you will want to store in a secure location.

My third piece of advice is that you find a good place to practice. The shortest range targets at the Toronto Public Archery Range is 20 yards. Having seen small children shoot there before their arrows typically can't even reach the 20 yard targets because they simply don't have the necessary strength, and this leads to disappointment which can feel very discouraging. Other archers also get nervous when kids are around because they tend to forget safety rules. What you really need is something closer to 10 yards and a private range. So if you have a backyard with tall fences or even a large basement this might work for you, otherwise you may want to visit relatives that live on a farm regularly / take camping trips etc to find large open spaces which he could safely practice.

My last piece of advice is to prepare for a little disappointment. It isn't really going to be as accurate as he hopes it will be. Accuracy with a bow mostly comes down to strength and your ability to hold the bow steady without your arm shaking, which simultaneously challenging your muscles so you get the most torque out of each shot in an effort to increase accuracy... and to learn how to manage all this requires a lot of practice and patience - and little kids aren't exactly known for their strength or patience. That doesn't mean he won't have fun doing it, I can pretty much guarantee he will have fun, but he will likely be disappointed by his inability to shoot a bull's eye during his first session unless he is extremely lucky. You will want to be very encouraging and supportive of the things he manages to accomplish and remember the following adage "Practice makes perfect, and patience makes for lots of practice."

When they get older, closer to 10 or 11, you might consider getting them an 18 lb recurve bow + 10 arrows plus all the necessary equipment. Total cost will be about $350. (Archery isn't cheap!) But if they are serious about the sport then that will be the start of a life-long love of the sport.

Best of luck!

Where to Shop for Children's Archery Equipment in Toronto?

Central Surplus on Yonge Street, north of Wellesley.

579 Yonge Street, Toronto, ON M4Y 1Z2, Canada
+1 416-964-8226

Not the greatest supply of archery equipment, but I know they carry children's bows. Warning, the old Greek guy who runs the place is very talkative.

Tent City in North York, near the corner of Steeles and Dufferin.

1600 Steeles W  Concord, ON L4K 4M2, Canada
+1 905-660-6885

Much more variety of archery equipment, but I am not sure if they carry children's bows. I recommend phoning to make sure and ask prices before going there.

CPR + Epilepsy

Today I saved the life of a drowning boy with epilepsy.

I was swimming near a dock on Lake Ontario and there was a family of 3 swimming near me. A father, his teenage daughter and his 7-year-old son. The daughter and father were swimming along the dock while the son was on a plastic raft normally used in pools. The father was keeping a careful eye on his son, but he and his daughter kept going further out along the dock and the boy was paddling around happily on his raft closer to the shore.

At the time it happened I was seated on the dock, my legs dangling in the water.

I heard a scream and looked up to see the boy had fallen off the raft and was flailing about wildly in the water, his face down in the water. Things happened pretty quickly after this.

I pushed myself off the dock and waded out to the boy, grabbing hold of him and raising his head up above the water. The water there wasn't actually that deep, it was only up to my chest, but still pretty deep for a 7-year-old. He kept thrashing about in my arms however and at the time I couldn't figure out why.

I struggled with him and carried him over to the dock, keeping his head above the water. By the time I reached the dock and laid him down on it there was an older woman there and she was saying he was having an epileptic seizure.

Now the problem was that I had never dealt with epilepsy before and had ZERO training in what to do, and simultaneously I was pretty sure the kid had swallowed a lot of water during the time that he was face down in the water and thrashing about. He did not appear to be breathing.

So what I had to do was perform CPR while simultaneously holding the kid down because he was thrashing about a lot. Not an easy task at all.

His seizure stopped part way through and then he just lay there still and for a moment I thought he was dead since he still was not breathing.

The old woman urged me to keep doing CPR however and within moments - very long heart breaking moments - he spat out some water and was breathing again. He was conscious again a minute later (response to CPR treatment is much slower in real life, the stuff on TV is sped up for dramatic effect).

Note: According to my research after the fact there is some debate about what to do first in the event of a seizure + drowning. Normally with a seizure victim you're not supposed to restrain them or perform CPR, you're just supposed to remove dangerous obstacles so they don't injure themselves. However with drowning + seizure they say you aren't supposed to perform CPR unless they aren't breathing - which he was not - but they don't say exactly HOW to perform CPR on a thrashing non-breathing drowning victim. I guess we're just supposed to do our best under the circumstances. Thankfully his seizure stopped part way through, otherwise I am not certain the CPR would have been successful.

At some point during all this the father and daughter had run down the dock and arrived at the boy's side. I was too busy to notice. Once he was breathing properly and conscious however he was the recipient of hugs and they kept thanking me repeatedly.

Afterwards they kept asking if I wanted anything, money, if they could take me out to a restaurant, give me a ride home... and I said they should take their son to an emergency room right away. The father apparently thought the worst was over and everything was safe now. This discussion turned out to be moot however as the older woman had called an ambulance on her cell phone... and then a fire truck showed up first (first response tactics) and then followed by an ambulance and a police squad car...

What disturbed me is that the father insisted that this was the first time the son had had an epileptic seizure, but the kid had a medical alert bracelet on his arm. I didn't get time to check it so it might have been for something else, but I have a hunch this was not the boy's first seizure. The daughter was too quiet and looked away a lot which makes me think the father had allowed the boy to go swimming even though people with epilepsy aren't even supposed to take baths because they could have a seizure and drown. Swimming for epileptic people is a big no-no.

I must say I am extremely thankful for my St John's Ambulance training I took years ago.

Which is why I would like to take this moment to encourage people to take some courses either in life guard training, St John Ambulance or both. Certainly doesn't hurt to have the training should it ever be needed.

I just wish they told you what to do in the event of a drowning person with epilepsy. I don't recall it being mentioned in the training, but according to my research later today what I did was in the correct order. Drowning takes precedence because you have to ensure the person can breathe first.

10 Swimming Tips

Want to learn to be a better swimmer? Here is 10 tips for becoming a stronger / smarter swimmer.

#1. Swim Daily - Daily swimming builds muscles on the whole body, creating a better swimming form naturally with added time.

#2. Learn Proper Technique - Maintain the best possible technique at all speeds during a workout. If you try to go fast with bad technique, you are wasting energy; it might still be a good physical workout, you are still burning plenty of calories and you are getting your heart rate up, but you are not helping yourself to become a better swimmer. If you can teach yourself to go fast while using good technique, you will make bigger and better strides towards making yourself a better swimmer.

#3. Variety Drills - Do different swim exercises to build up your knowledge of different swim styles and build different muscle groups.

#4. Challenge Yourself - Try to make small improvements to your swim exercise routine every week.

#5. Remember to Have Fun - Sometimes its a good idea to just relax and have a fun swim workout. Don't worry about challenging yourself constantly. Just learn to have fun once in awhile.

#6. Practice and Perfect the Little Things - Even the little things like learning the proper technique for pushing off from a wall or making a really good dive are good things to perfect.

#7. Invest in Quality Swimwear - Baggy beach shorts with a fancy logo won't make you a better swimmer, but quality swimwear at least won't slow you down.

#8. Swim with Friends - Sometimes swimming with friends will cause you to be more competitive and really challenge yourself, but it will also make you enjoy the act of swimming more.

#9. Take Up Snorkeling / Do Breathing Exercises - Learning how to breathe / hold your breath while under water is essential. Especially if you decide to take up snorkeling and give yourself an extra challenge.

#10. Hire a Swim Instructor - An instructor can see what you are doing wrong and give you pointers for how to fix your mistakes.

Motivating yourself for Summer Exercises

Thanks to global warming it's becoming so warm here in Toronto that sometimes it may be difficult finding your motivation to go outside an exercise. You might even be nostalgic for winter and the freezing cold.

However the good news is the summer keeps us feeling more active and energetic (thanks to Vitamin D from the the extra daylight) so let's use that to our advantage to get revved up for summer training!

#1. Get Excited by Planning Bike, Walk or Run Routes

When it is raining outside (a rarity in the summer) it's a great time to plan for a day when the weather will be more stable in a couple of weeks. Check out bicycle trail and hiking maps of Toronto and visit a place that you have never been to before. Even if you have to drive or take the public transit to get there, it will be worth it for a day of activity. Remember to bring your camera, picnic basket/picnic blanket and a cute friend!

#2. Get Motivated for the Summer Though Visualization

A lot of personal trainers advocate the power of visualization and meditation. Imagine your summer fitness goal, whether it's looking great in a Victoria Secret catalogue or imagining yourself running for an hour every Sunday morning. Always keep your eye on the prize, and the goal will seem more achievable!

Avoid negativity and visualize the positive benefits of achieving your exercise goals.

#3. Get Excited about Swimming

Check out local Toronto outdoor pools (many of them are free!) and if you don't know how to swim book yourself some swimming lessons in Toronto.

#4. Get Motivated with Summer Recipes

And I don't mean beer BBQd chicken. Although I admit that is fun to make.

A lot of summer recipes are healthy, refreshing and delicious. In the summer we stop making hot soups, stews and chili and start experimenting with fruit, vegetables, salads, beans and legumes. Plan your new weekly menu and start your summer fitness regimen with a whole new and exciting diet which will take advantage of what is available.
Looking to sign up for archery lessons, boxing lessons, swimming lessons, ice skating lessons or personal training sessions? Start by emailing and lets talk fitness!


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