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Google Fit, Pros and Cons

DISCLAIMER - This post is not sponsored by Google. I am writing this of my own free will. As such I can also say negative things about Google Fit...


Okay so last week I downloaded and installed Google Fit app on to my phone. This was done very easily and the app is free.

Using GPS tracking, the app tracks how much I move and how quickly I move. It also uses the phones sensors to track movement, even if your GPS doesn't move very much.

Con - My wife complains about the idea that Google is therefore tracking my whereabouts all the time. So I had to listen to that.

My retort: If your phone is turned on and you have ANY apps that track your GPS on there, then chances are quite likely that Google, Apple and other corporations are ALREADY tracking your location. It is already there. You already agreed to it just by having your phone turned on and various apps installed.

So yes, the app tracks your speed of movement and then records it in two ways.

1. "Move Minutes" - This is basically a measurement of how much time in the day you spend actively walking about. Regular walking to the bathroom, going to the kitchen etc doesn't really count. eg. On Sunday I did 104 "Move Minutes". Doesn't seem like much, does it?

2. "Heart Points" - This is a representation of how quickly you were moving for part of that time. You accumulate heart points faster if you are walking briskly, jogging, cycling, etc. If you go too fast however, you get nothing because the app then thinks you are in a bus, car, etc - so you cannot cheat doing this.

Pro - Having the app is a good way to keep track of how much activity you are doing in terms of walking, jogging, etc. People who are into jogging, running, cycling, etc for exercise should consider using an app like Google Fit to track their fitness levels.

Pro - The app sets goals for how many daily Move Minutes and Heart Points. Thus it encourages you to reach those every day and surpass them. Or at least reach weekly or monthly goals.

So for example my current Heart Points goal is 10 per day, but that could translate into 70 per week. Since I got 22 on Sunday alone, 5 on Monday, 0 on Tuesday, and 10 so far today (Wednesday) I am already up to 37 points. To reach 70 I only need to get 33 more points during the rest of today, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. So I should be able to reach that 70 goal and surpass it easily.

You can also do the same thing with respect to the Move Minutes. My daily goal is 60 minutes, which is 420 per week. I have already reached 211, mostly due to getting 109 Move Minutes on Sunday, 57 on Monday, 13 on Tuesday, and 32 so far today (Wednesday). So I am just over halfway to my weekly goal.

I know I am taking a walk later this evening, I will be working outside Thursday, I will be going to an event Friday that involves walking, and I will be working outside again on Saturday. So I am pretty confident I will meet and beat both of my Move Minutes and Heart Points goals.

Once you meet those goals you can leave your goals as is, or you can increase them.

Pro - Being able to adjust your goals is very easy to do.

Con - You can only adjust them by 5 points or multiples of 5. You cannot pick unusual numbers like 111 or 12. They have to be rounded to the nearest 5.

So what about other kinds of exercises?

Well there is a problem.

Con - Google Fit doesn't really track exercises like weightlifting, helping a friend carry a sofa up 10 flights of stairs, doing yoga, jumping jacks, etc - because all of these actions are effectively in the same location in terms of GPS so it cannot track the intensity of those activities.




In the app it does say that it can track short strolls, dancing and yoga - but I am going to call bogus on the claim that it tracks yoga, as the person doing yoga isn't really moving their GPS much. Now the sensors in the phone can detect motions like squatting and standing up, but this kind of movement doesn't always register perfectly - and it assumes that the person is keeping their phone in their yoga pants without it falling out constantly. So yes, unless the individual has some fancy yoga pants with a pocket that never drops cellphones, that claim is utterly bogus.

For example, today I carried my 16-month-old son (who currently weighs approx. 25.5 lbs) and his baby-stroller (weight unknown) up and down two sets of stairs 6 times, while also carrying boxes of breakables (weight unknown). This was an exhausting experience.


Now while Google Fit did recognize that I was moving, effectively going for a walk during that time period, it didn't know that I was carrying any boxes or baby-strollers, carrying things up and down stairs, or pushing a baby-stroller.

Next lets talk about the Journal...

So yes, Google Fit has a Journal function which allows you to add extra notes. It automatically records your "Morning walk", "Lunch walk", "Afternoon walk", etc.

But if you want to add other activities as notes, you can do so. During which you can even add notes about your blood pressure, any changes to your weight, specific activities you did, and track your workout.

So for example I want to add "carrying boxes, baby, etc up and down stairs". Clearly that is not part of the standard list of activities, which includes things like Aerobics, Boxing, Dancing, Martial Arts, Other, Rowing, Skiing, Yoga and other activities.

So since carrying boxes/baby clearly counts as "Other" I am going to click that one. I then select the time, from 10:30 to roughly 11 AM. I give it an Activity Title of "Carrying Stuff on Stairs"...

It then asks me to mark in Notes, Calories, Steps, Kilometers - which I frankly don't know the answer to those questions. So I leave them blank.

I then save the entry.

Now I check to see what has changed.

Well for starters my Move Minutes for today is now 73 (up from 32) and my Heart Points is now 62 (up from 10).

So how did it calculate that my "Other" activity was worth an extra 41 Move Minutes and an extra 52 Heart Points? I have no freaking clue.

So...

Pro - It is possible to record extra activities on the app.

Con - You have to do it manually using the Journal, and I have no idea how accurate that is.

Also...

Con - People could cheat and just add extra activities then didn't actually do. I can see people doing this, but it is really dishonest to yourself to do it.

A person could even add mundane activities that they do daily anyway, like handwashing the dishes or giving the dog a bath. Is there some exercise involved in those activities? Yes. But it is very light exercise, and should you really be counting them? Google Fit clearly gives the user the benefit of the doubt when calculating the amount of Move Minutes and Heart Points.

52 extra heart points for adding that one activity? Yes, it was exhausting and I probably deserve it, but how did it calculate 52 as the specific number?

And because of that one activity, I have already beat my Heart Points goal for the week - it is now 89 and I only needed 70.

My Move Minutes total is now 252, so I am now well on my way to getting my 420 weekly goal.

If I added other activities I did Sunday and Monday, I could probably reach the goal today just by adding more things to the journal.

The Profile...

The Profile page allows you to edit your daily Move Minute / Heart Point goals, as well as record your sex, birthday, weight and height.

If your weight changes over time, you can go to the Home page, scroll down to Weight and click to see the chart of how your weight has fluctuated the past week, past month, past 3 months and past year.

Back to the profile page, it doesn't really do much beyond setting your goals and recording your weight changes.

Pro - Yes, you can track your weight over time.

Con - It doesn't have a clue whether you are gaining/losing fat or gaining/losing muscle weight.

Fun Fact - In terms of volume, muscle weighs more than fat. Fat takes up lots of space, whereas muscle takes up little space. So a lb of fat will take up more volume than 1 lb of muscle.

When exercising, beginners to a new activity will often gain weight (as muscle) first before losing any noticeable fat. This is confusing because they might think they are getting fatter, when in reality they are just becoming more muscular.

App Syncing

It is possible to sync Google Fit with other apps.

So for example, a recent app that was added is Pokemon Go - which encourages people to go for walks, find virtual Pokemon, go to parks / other real life locations to battle Pokemon in virtual Poke-Gyms. Essentially the game rewards players for walking, jogging, cycling, etc. Allowing the game to sync means that players can hatch eggs and accomplish walking goals without having their Pokemon Go game even turned on.

Now there are many other apps that also sync with Google Fit, including...
  • Nike+ Running
  • Adidas Train and Run
  • Strava
  • Runkeeper
  • Runtastic
  • Noom Coach
  • MyFitnessPal
  • Lifesum
  • Lose It
  • Polar
  • Basis
  • Sleep as Android
  • Withings
  • Android Wear
  • Xiaomi activity trackers
And many more. Over 80 different apps. I myself like playing Pokemon Go because it rewards you for exercising and going for walks. True, it is just virtual rewards. But that is still better than rewarding yourself with calorie rich food.

Google Fit can also sync with wearable tech, like smart watches and similar devices. In theory if there was such a device for weightlifters which measured arm / leg movement and heart rate, perhaps it could estimate how much weightlifting is actually being done. So for people into that sort of thing, perhaps there is a market for such devices.


CONCLUSIONS

Despite its downfalls, using Google Fit is still beneficial. True, you might have to spend a few minutes manually adding activities you did like weightlifting, yoga, etc, but it allows you to track how much you are walking and moving, and that alone can help you to set basic fitness goals for yourself so you can achieve specific goals.

Thus it works best for walkers, hikers, joggers and runners... but thanks to the Journal function you can still add other activities (as to the accuracy of how it calculates those activities...) so it is still usable for a variety of other activities.

eg. I won't be marking down "Teaching Archery" as an activity because that is mostly me walking back and forth with the student.

But I could add Archery whenever I do personal practice. Not sure how it will calculate that, but if all else fails I can just up my Move Minutes / Heart Points to higher goals so that it is all relative to whatever goals I set.

Thus the accuracy/inaccuracy of the minutes/points doesn't really matter. What matters more is setting the goals and then trying to achieve them.

Conscious vs Unconscious Archery

First lets start with some definitions so that people reading this understand what we are talking about today.

Conscious Archery - Doing actions (eg. archery form, aiming) in a deliberate manner to achieve a specific archery goal.

Unconscious Archery - Doing actions without completely realizing you are doing them, which causes a variety of archery results. The archer is still somewhat aware they are doing the action because they have practiced the action so that it becomes a habit, but they don't realize how much the habit will effect the arrow's flight. Note that this includes both good and bad habits.*

* Not to be confused with the Subconscious Mind, which is a person is completely unaware of. The Subconscious mind is thinking of all sorts of things that your active mind isn't even concerned with.

Next lets go through some examples, and I have chosen examples which beginner archers frequently have problems with.

Example 1: Unconscious Canting

The archer's shots are going further to the right than they would hope, so they consciously aim further to the left. However at the same time they might end up unconsciously canting the bow further to the right.

Thus even though they aimed further left, the rightward canting of the bow causes the arrow to go further to the right, possibly even further right than their previous shot depending on how much they were canting the bow.

The archer then stands there dumbfounded, struggling to make sense of how they managed to aim further left, but their arrow went further right.*

* This is one of those times it helps to have an archery instructor to tell you what you are really doing wrong so you aren't guessing as to what you did wrong.

Example 2: Unconsciously Aiming Too High

The archer's shots are going too low, but they are unaware that they have been using too little back power which causes their arrows to effectively "run out of steam" by the time they reach the target. Thus the arrows are frequently too low and the archer thinks they can fix the problem by aiming higher.

Thus the archer consciously aims higher, but unconsciously this causes them to give more back power to their next shot. The shot then goes too high because it had adequate power, but they are simply aiming too high now.

This is why I frequently tell my beginner archery students that when adjusting their aim they should only adjust by half or one third of the amount they think they should adjust. Thus if they miss the target by 6 inches, they should only adjust their aim by 2 or 3 inches. Otherwise what frequently will happen is that they unconsciously do something which effects the shot to go further in that one direction than they were intending. It isn't limited to a problem with back power either, it could be caused by canting, hand torque, shoulder jerks, plucking and a variety of other form mistakes.

Example 3: Unconscious Plucking of the Bowstring

Releasing the bowstring should feel natural and unconscious, and it comes with practice, practice, practice until the archer is releasing the bowstring properly as the result of habit and not because they are thinking about their release too much.

It has been my experience as an archery instructor that if a student is thinking about their release too much (consciously thinking about it) that they will often mess up their shot because they were thinking about it too much when they should have been concentrating on their form, their aim and other factors.

The archer's goal is to reach a level of skill where they can release without thinking about the release too much. This is easier, in my opinion, with traditional archers as opposed to Olympic-style archers, as the Olympic archers are also contending with the additional problem of waiting for a click from their clicker device that tells them they have reached full draw. The added stress of waiting for a click makes the Olympic-style archer think about their release more consciously, and this in turn can result in a botched release. Sure, they benefit from having a more precise amount of power from their full draw, but they face the extra mental challenge of their mind becoming distracted and possibly consciously botching their release.

In the past when I encounter an archery student who has difficulties with their release, I find it is beneficial to have the student practice something that is more fun - so that their mental focus switches to the fun activity and they stop thinking about their release so much.

Example 4: Unconscious Rolling of the Release

Having uneven finger placement on the bowstring can cause the archer to roll their release. (It can also cause plucking, but that is another story.) Often the archer is not aware their fingers are unevenly placed (unaware both unconsciously and subconsciously), and thus when they release the bowstring unevenly there is a tendency to rotate or "roll" their drawing hand by accident, an action the archer is likely completely unaware of.

To fix this problem the archer needs to consciously get into the habit of placing their fingers properly on the bowstring, keeping the pressure even and the placement even, and to practice their releases as such. Then the further challenge is to eventually switch to releasing this way due to unconscious habit.

Thus the process here is to go from unconsciously making a mistake, to consciously fixing the mistake, to eventually unconsciously just following the good habit. Going from unconscious to conscious and back to unconscious again.

"An archer is looking for subconscious competence."
- Steve Ruis, American Archery Instructor.

Example 5: Unconscious Paralysis by Conscious Analysis

"Paralysis by Analysis" is an old phrase. It is unclear how old the term is, but possibly dates back to at least the 1950s. It is caused by people, in this case archers, overthinking a problem and then becoming paralyzed by anxiety. It doesn't have to be an archery problem. It could be an architect trying to decide how to finish the design of their new building, but they become bogged down by anxiety while overthinking the problem. The concept is applicable to many activities.

The phrase is also the title of a blog post by American archery instructor Steve Ruis, who is also the editor of "Archery Focus Magazine".

In his article Steve also says the above quote about how "An archer is looking for subconscious competence." Which I felt was a great quote and worth repeating. (It also gives me an excuse to add this post to the Exercise Quotes list.)

But if that is what the archer is looking for, then ergo there is also the reverse:

'The archer is not looking for conscious incompetence.'

Yep, definitely do not want that. That would mean the archer is taking actions deliberately, but all their actions are fruitless and not helping their accuracy.

Imagine for example a beginner archer who has very little concept of form and after every shot they change something. Every shot is different. No consistency of form whatsoever. Different power, different form, aiming differently, and over time they become more and more anxious and frustrated with their lack of improvement. Sure, they might hit the target a few times (due to luck), but they cannot repeat it because their form/power/aiming is so inconsistent, and thus their accuracy is completely inconsistent.

Thus to paraphrase Steve Ruis, what the archer is looking for is unconscious consistency, as consistent accuracy is effectively the definition of competence when it comes to archery.

Now Steve also used the word subconscious in there, which suggests the archer also strives for a loftier goal. It is not enough to be unconsciously following habits learned from practice, no, the archer truly strives to be able to shoot subconsciously and to be mentally unaware of their form. Like they are not even thinking about it.

To be able to shoot like that, well, that is probably something that only one archer in history has ever truly achieved. Awa Kenzo, the famed Japanese archery instructor.

Awa Kenzo also talked about conscious vs unconscious archery, although he certainly did not use those words. (For more on Awa Kenzo, I recommend reading the book "Zen Bow, Zen Arrow", which includes a lot of poetry Awa Kenzo wrote about the practice of archery. He uses the poetry as a way to teach his students various archery principles.)

Instead of teaching students how to perform a task by giving them hints, Awa would often let them deliberately fail so that they can learn from the experience. He understood that if a student was making unconscious mistakes, they needed to go through the learning process of learning how to consciously avoid the bad habit, learn a good habit to replace it, and eventually return to a state of shooting using unconscious good habits.

"And if I tried to give you a clue at the cost of your own experience, I should be the worst of teachers and should deserve to be sacked!"
- Awa Kenzo, Japanese Archery Instructor.

Example 6: Conscious Failure

Sometimes archers develop mental issues like Target Anxiety, Gold Shy and other problems. It can mess the archers up mentally because they don't know how to fix the problem. The problem is purely mental.

Here is a quote of my own:

"Sometimes the best thing an archery instructor can do is say nothing and let the student fail."
- Charles Moffat, Canadian Archery Instructor.
So with Target Anxiety what will happen sometimes is that their form will be okay, at least at the beginning, but while they are aiming they begin to feel anxious, and they will start to shake / cramp up more (sometimes only slightly) and then they release too soon when they weren't ready yet.

The arrow flies out there and misses.

The archer feels like a failure, but they are consciously aware of the anxiety and how it is effecting them.

The next shot they do the same thing. They pull back, their form is good, but then the anxiety hits them and it worse than last time. They shoot, miss and then feel frustrated.

Now Target Anxiety isn't just for people who shoot too soon (Premature Releasing???) as sometimes archers have the opposite problem. They pull back, aim, and then hold their shot for too long as the anxiety paralyzes them and they start shaking more as their muscles cramp up.

That is a good time to just let down, take a breather, and start over. It wasn't going to be a good shot anyway. I don't believe in luck helping in that situation.

Thus you see there are two basic types of Target Anxiety:

  1. Not-Quite-Ripe Target Anxiety - Wherein the archer shoots too soon due to anxiety.
  2. Overly Ripe Target Anxiety - One might even say Rotten, wherein the archer waits too long due to anxiety.
There are doubtlessly other ways people can get Target Anxiety, but these are two types I have encountered with students.

In both cases I find there is a solution that helps the student learn to relax and relieve their anxiety. Do something fun. Shooting at moving targets, shooting while kneeling or walking in motion, do some Field Archery, some long distance archery - something that is both challenging and fun, but also serves to get their mind off of the mental problem they are having. By distracting their brain with a fun activity, their anxiety dwindles and they are able to think properly again.

From the position of an instructor, you have to see the student fail in an action in order to help them to fix that problem.

If the student knows their form is really good and they are achieving results but not being mentally stimulated, then it is time to change things so that they are mentally stimulated. Shooting at the same thing constantly, every lesson, would certainly get boring, and this is why with my lessons every lesson is different. The student is learning something new every time.

Gold Shy is more rare but also problematic. Essentially an archer with Gold Shy deliberately misses the center of the target - the yellow center on standard targets, hence why this mental problem is called Gold Shy. This isn't so much an anxiety problem in my opinion, as it is a problem of the archer deciding "that will do" or "that is close enough". They have lost their perfectionist spirit. Now that doesn't mean that all archers with Gold Shy have the exact same loss of perfectionism, but they do all suffer from the problem of essentially missing on purpose.

The Gold Shy archer knows they can do better, knows they can achieve a higher level of perfection, but simply doesn't care enough to put that extra effort into their accuracy.

Myself, I do this sometimes when shooting more casually. It is a bad habit I admit, but I feel it is something I have started doing due to age. As I have gotten older I simply don't care any more whether I hit the target or not. I know I can shoot better when I want to, but sometimes I just want to relax and shoot, and not worry about the details of having complete accuracy. So does that mean I am consciously choosing to shoot unconsciously in a relaxed manner? That doesn't mean my form suddenly becomes sloppy, as I still will be shooting out of habit honed from 29.5 years of shooting. It simply means that when I pull back and aim, I am relying on my good habits to produce a good shot and I am less worried about it being a perfect shot.

Having "perfect habits" would doubtlessly produce better quality shots, but being 39 years old, having a wife and a son, I find my priorities aren't on attaining that perfect shot any more. My life is already very good. I am very happy. I don't need more broken Robin Hooded arrows to prove to myself that I can perform perfect shots. I have already done it many times (and replacing broken arrows gets expensive) and I am content with my life.

When I think of goals for myself, I think of things I have yet to do. Things I want to do, but have yet to find the time, money, materials or resources to do them.

Thus when it comes to my archery students, constantly challenging them is a way to prevent them from getting mental problems like Target Anxiety or Gold Shy in the first place. If they are always striving for something new and different that provides a mental and physical challenge, they will achieve greatness.

Myself, I have already done everything I can think of with respect to archery, with one major exception: Horseback Archery. And with that comes my goal of having a horse farm and teaching horseback archery. Hence why that is a goal I have to be patient about. Someday.

But to anyone reading this who is suffering from Target Anxiety or Gold Shy, I have one piece of advice: Try to attain perfection while having fun doing it. This will help you to stay focused and motivated.


LIMITED TIME SPECIAL OFFER

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So for example if you sign up for 3 weekday lessons (normally $170) it will be $153 instead.

Furthermore this offer is only valid for November and December 2018. Hence why it is a Limited Time Special Offer.

Browse my rates on my Archery Lessons in Toronto page and my Archery Lesson Plan so you have an idea for how many lessons you want.

You can also get Gift Vouchers for friends, family and colleagues. Just email cardiotrek@gmail.com to learn more. Have a great day!

A Challenging Moving Target

Tips on Improving Your Exercise Regime While on the Ketogenic Diet

By Sam Hoffman, October 2018.

Before starting a ketogenic diet, your body will use the carbs in your body as a fuel when working out. Now that you’ve made the choice to change your body’s main fuel source, how will it affect your exercise regime? The short answer is — it won’t!

A good set of dumbbells will help you exercise on days you don't want to go outside. [Image Copyright Pixabay]


Your body will take some time to get used to the sudden change you’ve implemented on it, but in the end, your physical performance will be the same it was before your diet, or even better!

Keto diets have an appetite-suppressing effect on your metabolism, so you won’t be feeling hungry as much as you did before. Keep in mind that this is a double-edged sword because not having cravings is great, but it can also mislead you into thinking that your body does not need any more fats than you’ve already eaten.

Essentially, your metabolism will need lots of fats to use as a fuel source, but when you’re exercising this amount can even double up! So, our number one tip for improving your exercise regime is to make sure you are eating enough fats in order to sustain the optimal balance of your metabolism! A good way to do that is through keto-friendly supplements.

Once you follow this first step, you will be ready for whatever exercise regime you are trying to pursue. There are actually four types of exercises: flexibility, stability, aerobic and anaerobic, with the last one being the most intense. This makes it a bit tricky to combine with ketogenic diets, but not impossible!

Jogging is an excellent aerobic exercise as it really gets the heart pumping hard. [Image Copyright Pixabay]


Every type of physical activity has a type of ketogenic diet to help back it up! You just need to understand your body’s needs and how to give it what it requires at the moment. The thing about the aforementioned training types is that high-intensity workouts tend to use carbs as the main fuel source, whereas their low-intensity counterparts use fats for the same purpose. This may come as a relief for those who are not looking to go crazy in their exercise regimes but can be a disappointment for those who are.

Not to worry, if your main concern is how your high-intensity training will align with your keto diet, all you need to do is to increase your carb intake a bit. Eating about 20-30 grams of fast-burning carbs (fruits may be the best choice for this) about half an hour before your workout will help do the trick. Don’t forget to load up on fruits after your workout as well! You can also start using the targeted ketogenic diet (TKD) regime as well, and improve your end results. It will help you stack up your glycogen stores with the right amount you need for your training, and help your muscles recover after it!

However, if you choose to go for low-intensity workouts, you will be able to carry on your diet as you started it in the first place. Eat as many fats and protein as you can, and start running, cycling, swimming or doing yoga, and you’ll surely get the results you want!

The best tip anyone can give you concerning your exercise regime when on a ketogenic diet is to get to know your body and to adjust your diet to its needs. There are three types of ketogenic diets, and they are guaranteed to suit the needs of different athletes and dieters.

The standard ketogenic diet (SKD) allows you to eat 20-50 grams of net carbs a day. A targeted ketogenic diet (TKD) allows you to eat this same amount before and after your workout, which makes it the best choice for high-intensity athletes. On the other hand, the cyclical ketogenic diet (CKD) requires you to eat low-carb meals for several days, and then higher-carb meals for a couple of days.

Once your body adjusts to any of the three diet types, you will be able to burn fat 2-3 times faster than before you started your diet. Also, staying in ketosis for a longer time guarantees you’ll have optimal energy levels throughout your diet, which means you can gradually increase your workout time to your desired period.

Ketogenic diets definitely have more benefits than other diets you can hear about, as they only require sufficient education on the principles they work on. And now, you’ve got the knowledge on how to improve your exercise regime while staying in ketosis!

Think of being on a ketogenic diet as going back to your roots. Historically speaking, our predecessors were bowhunters and spearhunters who did not have an open access to carbs as we do today, so their meals consisted mostly of fats and protein. And since they spent their days hunting, it means they were physically active most of their days. So, from now on you can think of yourself as a hunter for ketones!



5 National Parks that are Great for Cardio Workouts

Joshua Tree National Park
By Ella, October 2018.

America's vast network of national parks is one of the country's most well-loved treasures. From towering mountaintops to crystal waters to sweeping desert land, the parks are varied in their terrain and choices of recreational opportunities. These parks are an ideal place to get outside for your workout and connect with Mother Nature at the same time. Here are five national parks that are ideal for getting in a solid cardio workout:


JOSHUA TREE NATIONAL PARK: The desert wonderland is ideal for those seeking dry and warm conditions during their workout. Mountain climbers and those looking for a surge of adrenaline will revel in all of the rock faces just asking to be climbed and scaled. Because rock climbing is a serious calorie blaster, Joshua Tree National Park is a great place to work up a sweat in the desert while feeling good about your cardio efforts. Located in Southern California and straddling both the Mojave Desert and the Colorado Desert, this park is named for its network of twisted Joshua trees of the region. Sweeping views of the Coachella Valley give this park a distinctive desert vibe.


Voyageurs National Park
VOYAGEURS NATIONAL PARK: This unique park is located near International Falls, Minnesota, close to the Canadian border. The area is most known for its large network of waterways, creating an oasis for those who love being out on the water. Exercise enthusiasts will delight in the many opportunities to kayak, canoe, and SUP their way through a workout. The remote location makes Voyageurs National Park the perfect place to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday living. Unlike some national parks that can get extremely crowded during the high tourist season, Voyageurs is a haven for peace of solitude.


ROCK CREEK NATIONAL PARK: This urban oasis is conveniently located in Washington, D.C., making it a quick escape to those city dwellers who want to get away from the lights and noise of the nation's capital and connect with nature. 32 miles of wooded trails beckon runners, walkers, hikers, and bikers. The Thompson Boat Center provides the opportunity to rent kayaks and canoes if a water workout is what your body is craving. Those looking for a competitive team sport can take to the many tennis courts or the 18-hole golf course.

Rock Creek National Park



Golden Gate National Park
GOLDEN GATE NATIONAL PARK: This jewel is one of the most visited national parks in the country. And for good reason. The San Francisco park gives visitors plenty of opportunities to get in a good workout while providing amazing views of the city landscape at the same time. The experience of biking along the Golden Gate Bridge and taking in all of its majesties never gets old. The urban location delivers a variety of group exercise class options located in the park.


ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK: There is no shortage of outdoor recreational opportunities in Colorado, but this gem in Estes Park is top of the list. In the winter, the snowy mountains of the region deliver a host of skiing, snowshoeing, and snowboarding options. However, the workout fun does not stop when the temperatures warm up. The summer, spring, and fall provide a bevy of opportunities to work up a sweat while running, hiking, or biking through the many trails. When are you done with your workout, the quaint town of Estes Park is a fun place to grab a bite to eat or do some shopping in the historic downtown area.

Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado


Whatever your workout fancy, America's national parks provide something for every personal need and preference. The only thing left to do is lace up your shoes and get moving!







Ella, Content Manager for trekbible , is a writer and content specialist with a predilection for learning and exploring new places and cultures around the world. With family scattered throughout the U.S. and South Korea, she loves to see cross-cultural influences around the world. Her favorite thing to do on her travels is to taste the local cuisine of each destination.

7 Ways a Physical Therapist can Ease Your Pain

7 Ways a Woodbine Physical Therapy Provider Can Ease Your Pain

If you’ve been dealing with a sports injury for some time, you may want to take a trip to a physical therapist. Additionally, if you have a short-term injury that you’d like to speed up your recovery for, seeing a PT about your treatment options is a smart idea. The reason is that physical therapy has an excellent track record in a variety of wellness domains. One of them is pain reduction for short and long-term injuries. Below, we explain exactly how a Woodbine physical therapy provider can ease your pain and hopefully convince you to give one a try.

Targeted Exercise

When you have a significant sports injury, exercising without in-depth knowledge of your conditions is a risky decision. What will likely happen is you injuring yourself even more, and making your eventual recovery more difficult. The best way to avoid this trap is by talking to a physical therapist first. They will construct a workout plan for you that takes your injury into account and makes it better, not worse. 

Manual Therapy

One option your therapist will explore with you is manual therapy, which refers to treatments that are done using just the hands. What this will entail is feeling, massage, and stretching the injured area and those that surround it. There are many purposes for this type of therapy, but the most common are making an initial diagnosis, warm up, cool down, and soft tissue treatment. 

Other Treatments

Beyond manual therapy, there are a variety of methods that your PT might use to treat your sports injury:

Ice - The primary purpose of ice is to constrict blood vessels and reduce inflammation. Though an inflammatory response can help an injury, it can also become excessive and painful. Your PT may use ice to manage that inflammation.

Heat - In other situations, heat is the answer. The reason is that it can reduce pain and increase mobility. Additionally, when you are more mobile, you are more receptive to manual therapy.

Ultrasound - Your PT might use ultrasound waves to loosen your tissue before using other forms of therapy. 

Laser - Lasers have a variety of functions, but the most prevalent are stimulating healing, reducing inflammation, and lessening pain. 

Electrical - Sending electrical impulses through your body can stimulate muscle contraction and speed up the healing process. 

Education

One of the best things your therapist can do for you is to educate you on the nature of your sports injury. Not only will this let you understand it better, but it will also inform you on how to live with it. With this knowledge, you can go about your life without making your injury worse. 

Avoid Surgery

Though many people with injuries opt for surgery, its track record is not as good as you might think. In fact, a significant portion of operations do not yield the results that they intend, or even make symptoms worse. Physical therapy helps you avoid this cost and pain by using non-surgical methods. 

Speed Up Recovery

While you might recover without any attention from a PT, their expertise will surely speed up your recovery. This will allow you to feel less pain and get back to living your life without restriction. 

Keeping You Involved

A great thing about physical therapy, as opposed to traditional medicine or surgery, is that you are involved. Your therapist will explain your injury to you and inform you on how to treat it. Because of this, you take an active role in your recovery, which makes you feel less pain and more satisfaction. 

If your sports injury is severe enough, you will probably see a family doctor about it. Depending on the nature of that injury, your next step might be seeing a PT. This is the right choice, as physical therapy has been shown to be incredibly useful in pain reduction. If you’re interested in seeing what physical therapy can do for you, find yourself a local Woodbine physical therapy clinic and schedule a consultation.

6 Foods to Improve your Diet

Losing weight is often a combination of exercise activities plus eating and drinking in a healthy manner. Even if you do intense exercises, you must watch what you eat, or you will not meet your weight loss objective. It is beneficial if you are very specific about what foods you are putting into your body, or else you may be consuming foods that are no good for you and are ultimately ruining your weight loss goals. Some foods are also slow in providing you with the desired weight loss results.

A highly controversial category of foods for weight loss includes superfoods, and they are controversial because the "superfoods industry" is often trying to push exotic plants that cost a lot more. However you don't need to be buying exotic foods to find superfoods, there are superfoods which are right under your nose and don't cost a bundle.

This includes apples, eggs, berries and other common foods found in your local run-of-the-mill grocery store. They come highly recommended for individuals who are looking to burn belly fat. Also, they provide various other health benefits to boost the functionality of your body. The following are some recommended foods for weight loss.

Apples

As a fruit, apples are good for general body health. Apples suppress hunger thanks to their soluble fiber. They also contain pectin as well as regulate your glucose levels. This will help to make you feel full longer and in turn reduce your food intake. In addition, due to the fact that you have to chew them longer (enjoy the crunchiness), you will feel fuller as your body registers that you have eaten more. This is not to say that other fruits are not good for you but apples stand out as a super food. You can include them in your salads or juices.

Berries

Berries of all types including blackberries, raspberries, as well as strawberries are recommended for their ability to boost metabolism as well as regulate blood sugar.

Eggs

Eggs are rich in protein while at the same time have low-calorie count. They are also filling making them ideal for weight loss. They also suppress appetite, so you do not always have to try to meet your cravings.

However, it is best recommended that you do not consume eggs in large quantities. In this, the portion quantities matter a great deal. A few times in a week is excellent.


Nuts

Nuts are not only healthy to eat but also crunchy. They can be added to different foods to add their nutritional value and find better results. They have a high content of protein, and they are rich in healthy fats making it fit for everyone. Even better, they are low in simple carbohydrates thus making it ideal for use even for individual who are looking to lose weight. When consumed, they stimulate your body, provide energy, and in turn, they burn excess fat. Consider cashew nuts, walnuts, Brazil nuts, and almonds.

Salmon

While fish is recommended as a source of protein, salmon is realty recommended. Salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids which in turn increases the hormone leptin in the human body. Leptin in turn suppresses hunger. Eat this with a food that is low in carbohydrate to complete your meal. Avoid overcooking this dish for better nutrient value. You can substitute this with tuna and herring for similar benefits.

Spinach

Spinach is an excellent source of vitamins as minerals. This green leafy vegetable offers energy boosting properties. The iron content is also ideal for use with individuals who want to work out and athletes. You can eat it raw in salads as well as when cooked. However, it is best recommended that you take it when it is natural. This is in the same family line as cauliflower as well as broccoli so you can switch between these. Kales are also an excellent substitute.

Five Things to Consider when Buying Extra Archery Equipment

Today one of my archery students contacted me wanting my opinion about the Astra Shot Trainer (see video below from Lancaster Archery) and he surmised that he could just sew an equivalent.

I agreed, spending $60 USD on what is essentially a sock with some paracord attached seems rather overpriced for a gadget people might easily get bored of.

But thinking about this got me thinking about various questions people should ask themselves when buying new archery equipment (and can be used for buying anything really, not just archery equipment). eg. Do I really need a canoe?





Five Things to Consider when Buying Extra Archery Equipment

#1. Do I really NEED this or do I really WANT this?

eg. Do I really need a quiver, or do I really want a quiver?

#2. Can I just make this myself? And if so, how easy is it to make?

eg. There many different ways to make a quiver, and oddly enough they are quite easy to make.

#3. How often will I use this thing?

eg. I might not use a quiver all the time even if I had one. Or I might use it constantly.

#4. Will I get bored of this or want a better one?

eg. This quiver is boring. I want a nicer / more interesting quiver.

#5. Would my money or time be better spent on something else?

eg. Should I spend money to buy this quiver / waste time making my own quiver? Or would that money/time be better spent on something else that would be more useful?


And like I mentioned above you could use these questions when considering whether to buy other things:
  1. Do I need this canoe? Nope.
  2. Can I build a canoe? Probably not a good one.
  3. How often will I use this canoe? Not often.
  4. Will I get bored of this canoe and want a better one? Yes.
  5. Should I spend my money elsewhere? Yes.



So for example, the Astra Shot Trainer...

1. Definitely not a need in my opinion. Some people might think they need it, but they might be confusing want with need. You don't need this gadget.

2. It is easy to make and wouldn't take much time. Just make it yourself. Paracord + Old Sock = Shot Trainer.

3. Myself personally, I cannot see using this gadget. I have a garage. If I want to do archery, I go shoot at cardboard boxes in the garage any time I want to. Failing that, I am typically at the Toronto Archery Range 3 to 4 days per week.

Other people who don't have a garage or similar space to practice however might find it useful.

4. I would get bored of this gadget very quickly. But other people might find it useful... and get bored eventually.

5. Definitely a waste of money to purchase. Some people might benefit from making their own. And whenever they do get bored of it, cut the paracord off the old sock, toss the old sock away, and you still have paracord you could use for other things.

:)

Maximizing your Cardio Workout using Vitamins


By Josh Wardini

[Click image on the right to see the full Infographic.]

Want to get the best out of every cardio workout? Then you need to fuel your body with the highest quality nutrition possible. You’ve heard it all before – you need to exercise properly and eat properly to be as healthy as possible.
It’s something every mother has told her kids at some stage or another – you have to eat your vegetables. The reasons given are numerous – eat your carrots so that you can see in the dark, veggies make you healthy and strong, etc. You know the drill.
And, as it turns out, our mothers were right. We do need to eat our veggies. What they got wrong, however, was how many servings to eat daily. Until recently, it was thought that five servings of fruits and veggies a day were adequate.
Research has since found out that nine servings a day are essential for optimal health. And it’s as important to have a varied range of veggies as it is to get enough servings. A varied range is essential so that you get the range of vitamins you need.
You might even be slightly deficient in some vitamins now. The easiest way to check if you really are could be by looking at the following vitamins infographic. It contains more information on what the various vitamins do and what the symptoms of their deficiency are. We found it at medalerthelp.org, a site which reviews devices that can help the elderly with proactive emergency care.
But it is not just that fruit and veggies are good for our body. They provide fiber and vital nutrients that are essential for good gut health as well. What does the gut have to do with the mind? That is something that science is only just starting to understand.
We don’t know the exact mechanism yet, but there is a correlation between poor gut health and increased levels of depression. So, if you truly want to get the most out of your cardio, mentally as well as physically, you better start filling your plate with healthy fruit and vegetables.

Top 10 Calorie Burning Sports

Guest Post by Alicia Kate.

Previously in ‘12 Tips to Stay Fit with Modern Lifestyle’, one of our recommendations to get into great shape was to take up a new sport. Athletes are some of the fittest and healthiest people on the planet for a reason. In the context of fitness, playing sports is ideal for burning fat because it burns a lot of calories and you enjoy the activity so you strive harder and end up burning more than you would simply exercising. If you are looking for a new sport here are 10 calorie burning sports you should consider.

Many of the exercises below are ideal for Summer, but can also be done other times of the year.

1. Marathon

Running a marathon burns thousands of calories, with a 130 lbs runner burning 2,224 calories during a typical 26.2 mile course. A 165 lbs runner, on the other hand, will burn 2,822 calories, while 210 lbs runner will burn 3,593 calories. Marathons are the perfect way to get fit due to the training involved to be in good enough shape to be able to run one.

2. Basketball

A lot goes on when you play basketball. You run and sprint back and forth between the two hoops on the court frequently. You move constantly both to score and to block shots. For all that constant effort, you will burn upwards of 400 calories per hour depending on your body size. A fun session with friends is enough to get the heart racing and burn a lot of calories.

And there is no age limit for playing many sports. Some people keep playing well into their old age.


3. Soccer

Soccer is one of the best sports for getting into great shape, with some sources claiming that 900 to 1,400 calories per hour are burnt - although it really varies on how much they are running and the size of the individual player. Soccer players are some of the fittest athletes due to the intensity and pace of the game. A match typically lasts for around 96 minutes. While you most likely won’t be playing for that duration of time, a quick soccer game with friends can still provide a very good workout.

4. Football and Rugby

Concussion concerns in football are real, so we are recommending less physical versions of the sport—touch and flag football, and also rugby which requires a less violent method of tackling opponents. While physical contact may be prohibited in touch and flag football, you will still burn 600–900 calories an hour as you will be doing a lot of running, sprinting, pivoting, catching, and throwing.

5. Tennis

Tennis is akin to a full body workout, with your upper and lower body, along with your back and core, getting an intense burn. You will burn a lot of calories simply by moving around the court, and you will burn quite a few more swinging the racket. An hour of a singles tennis match will burn approximately 400–500 calories.

6. Swimming

Swimming, despite being low impact, is an aerobic exercise that is a full body workout. It is also one of the most accessible sports as you can swim in public pools, rivers, lakes and the ocean. The best part of swimming is that you are getting a great workout without stressing your joints. Swimming is perfect for those carrying recurring injuries and want to get back into shape.



7. Rowing

Rowing is a must try if you want to lose weight and get a great upper body workout to boot. Your shoulders, back, and biceps will be tested and that means you will burn 560 calories per hour. As mentioned, a strong back and shoulders is needed to excel in rowing, so before you try out this sport, you might want to fortify your back by performing the exercises Cardio Trek suggested in ‘6 Exercises for a Stronger Back’.

8. Boxing

To be a boxer is to be in the peak of physical condition. Going 12 rounds in the boxing ring is one of the biggest tests of endurance an athlete can go through. Boxers burn upwards of 600 calories an hour. While it may be a step too far to get into the ring in competition, boxing training is a highly effective way to burn calories and build serious strength.

Note - While Cardio Trek does provide boxing lessons for people in Toronto, it should be noted that we favour a more relaxed and jovial approach to teaching boxing wherein we focus on exercise and having fun. People who want to do boxing as a serious sport are recommended to go to a dedicated boxing gym and find a boxing coach who teaches competitive boxing.

9. Martial Arts

Learning a martial art like Tae Kwon Do or Karate can have the same intensity as boxing, but with a different focus. As kicks, elbows, knees, grappling, and even wrestling are all allowed in some martial arts (eg. Judo combines wrestling with throws), martial arts training is a true full-body workout. You will be burning between 400 to 600 calories an hour.

10. Lacrosse

The intensity and pace of Lacrosse, along with carrying and swinging a lacrosse stick, make it a highly effective sport for becoming physically fit. Upper strength along with good cardio levels are required to play this sport, which is why if you are looking to burn calories it is a good place to start.

Lacrosse is one of the potentially more violent sports on this list, and compares to say "ice hockey" and has a reputation of being pretty brutal.

Conclusions

There are many other sports worth trying and plenty of other reasons why you should play sports aside from that fact that doing so burns calories. Playing sports improves all aspects of health such as enhancing heart function, lowering cholesterol levels, improving blood circulation, and decreasing hypertension and stress levels. It also brings forth positive energy, promotes discipline, and builds self-esteem.

So, what are you waiting for? The time to play sports is now!

8 Fun Autumn Sports

Want to try a new sport this Autumn?

Autumn is a great time of year to try a new sport. It doesn't have to be a "competitive sport" per se. It is possible to do a sport just for the fun of it. And Autumn is a great time of year to be trying these new sports. There are a number of benefits to trying a new sport in the Autumn.

#1. The weather. Not too hot, not too cold. And unlike Spring, not too rainy.

#2. Less crowds in public parks and national parks.

#3. The scenery. Is there any more beautiful time of year to go outside and enjoy the wonder of nature?

So lets get started.

Fun Sport #1 - Mountain Biking in Autumn

You don't need a mountain to do it. You also don't need a fancy mountain bike either. A hybrid bicycle will get the job done. And the scenery you see will take your breath away, even in the bicycle trails of Toronto.

Below is 3 real photos taken on Toronto bicycle trails.




Fun Sport #2 - Archery

Am I biased because I happen to teach archery lessons? Yes. Is Autumn my favourite time of year to do the sport? Also yes. Seriously. The weather is wonderful. The scenery is amazing and if you get lucky you will even see some deer and other wildlife at the Toronto Archery Range.

Update, October 11th - Student and myself saw two whitetail stags today who wandered into the archery field and to the south of the target butts. It is currently the pre-rut. In a few weeks these stags will be fighting over the doe we've seeing lately.

The photo below is a screen capture from a video I made of the two stags.
 

But yes, Autumn is truly a special time of year to be doing archery. There is a reason why bowhunters most often hunt during the Autumn.


Fun Sport #3 - Basically Any Outdoor Team Sport

Soccer, field hockey, road hockey, lacrosse, baseball, etc. Pick one.

For the purposes of choosing a photograph, I am going to go with road hockey because it is pretty popular in Toronto and thus easy for people to find others who are also interested in road hockey.



Fun Sport #4 - Nature Hikes or Fell Running

Someone should turn nature hikes into a competitive sport. Oh wait, someone already has. It is called Fell Running and it even has its own marathon, known as the Barkley Marathon, and is a 100 mile hike that must be completed in less than 60 hours. The competitors have 2 and a half days to do a 100 mile hike over difficult terrain. Not for the faint hearted either. People have been known to die during the Barkley. It is a cold wet affair done in late March / early April, but the athletes who compete in it train all year long. So Autumn is a good time to train.

But if you would rather have fun doing this activity, maybe stick to bringing your camera along and enjoying the scenery. There is no need to make it a competitive sport.



Fun Sport #5 - Canoeing and Kayaking

Remember to take your camera!



Fun Sport #6 - Sandyachting

Yes, that is a real thing. See the photo below. A bit expensive to get into, but certainly a fun way to spend your Autumn. Or Spring. Or Summer. Stick skis on it instead of wheels, and you could do it in the winter too.



Fun Sport #7 - Horseriding

I wrote a post awhile back about horseback archery where to get horse riding lessons in/near Toronto. If you skip the archery stuff, just read the section about where to get horse riding lessons in/near Toronto and that will help you on your journey to finally taking up horsemanship as a skill.

Scratch that off your bucket list during the Autumn and you will get some great Autumn trail rides in the process.


Or better yet, learn how to ride a horse AND do archery, and then you will be able to do both at the same time!

Fun Sport #8 - Spelunking

The Niagara Escarpment in Ontario has various caves, caverns, crevices and chasms that a person can explore. True, you can explore caves any time of the year, but the crevices that dot the landscape along the Niagara Escarpment are best explored during the Autumn because you typically have to hike quite a bit just to get to the crevices. Summer? Too many mosquitoes and too hot. Winter? Too cold and slippery. Potentially dangerous too. But Autumn is a great time of year to explore as the weather is perfect for it.

Take a friend with you who likes to do photography and you will have a fun time.


 If caves and crevices are not your thing, the Niagara Escarpment is also home to many waterfalls. Like Inglis Falls or Hilton Falls. The photo below is of Hilton Falls, near Milton Ontario.




What is my favourite bow to shoot?

So I was talking back and forth with one of my previous students about archery equipment, answering any and all questions he had, and I mentioned I had recently purchased a vintage bow off eBay, bringing my total number of bows to 32.

To which they responded and added a postscript:


" P.S. 32 bows!! At least you must have a sweet collection. Which one is your favorite bow? "

I had to seriously think about that question because I had never chosen a favourite out of them.

So I responded with the following:

Honestly, very difficult to choose a favourite. It really depends on my mood what I feel like shooting on a particular day. I definitely prefer the older recurves I have collected from the 1970s. I also have other older bows from the 40s, 50s and 60s... the oldest of which is from 1942. Obviously I don't shoot the really old ones that often because I consider them to be "shootable museum pieces", and thus I prefer to only shoot those on rare occasions when the weather is favourable - don't want to shoot them when it is too hot, too cold, or too wet.

Of the bows from the 70s my favourite is probably the Black Hawk Avenger from 1972. It is a rather pretty "magnum style" recurve. It is called a magnum style because it is shorter and designed for hunters to easily move around with, less worry about it getting caught on branches etc. The problem with that design however is that it makes the bow less forgiving. A longer bow is more forgiving, you can make a mistake and still hit the target. With an unforgiving bow, you make a mistake and miss completely. Thus while it is a small beautiful bow, it is very challenging to shoot accurately and perhaps that is why I enjoy it more - because I like the challenge it presents.

Photos below, the Black Hawk Avenger. I really should take more photos of this bow. These photos do not do it justice. I also have a Black Hawk Chief Scout (compound bow) which is the prettiest wooden compound bow I have ever seen. They don't make them like that any more.
 
 
 


Weekday Archery Lessons, Autumn Discount 10%

Autumn is one of the best times of year to do archery.
Now here is a special offer for anyone who has lots of spare time on weekdays and is looking to get into archery.

For a limited time* I am offering a 10% discount when people sign up for 3 or more archery lessons on weekdays.

*Offer valid until September 21st (Autumn Solstice) 2018. Offer does not stack with the standard Seniors Discount of 10%. Offer does not apply to weekend archery lessons.

Discount Code: AUTUMNSOLSTICE10.

So why am I offering this discount? Honestly, it is so I can fill up some empty time slots on specific weekdays. Purely a logistical motivation on my part to fill those days.

The regular weekday rates for 3 or more lessons for 1 student are:

3 Lessons - $170; 5 Lessons - $270; 10 Lessons - $520.


So the discounted rates are:

3 Lessons - $153; 5 Lessons - $243; 10 Lessons - $468.

Want to book now? Start by emailing cardiotrek@gmail.com. Have a nice day!

Notes
  • Browse my archery lessons page if you want to book lessons for 2 or 3 people.
  • This discount also makes now a great time to prebook archery lessons for Spring 2019.
  • You can also buy archery lessons as a gift for a friend, family member or colleague. I sell Gift Vouchers so they can redeem the voucher later and schedule accordingly.





Steroids, HGH, SARMS and Peptides = :(

Earlier today I got an email (spam???) from a company trying to sell steroid pills / etc.

It said the following (edited so I am not accidentally advertising their company):

"Hi friend,

Good day! This is Vera from NAME OF COMPANY REMOVED, which has engaged in R&D, production and marketing steroid powders, HGH, peptides and Sarms for more than 10 years, our products are exported well into U.S. , Canada, Brazil, UK, Germany, Poland, Greece, Italy, Australia and many other areas. Our company gains high reputation among our old and new clients through the highest quality, best price, fast and safe delivery as well as the excellent customer service, many of them are famous labs.

What we can serve for our customers:
◊ 100% legit steroid powders with top purity
◊ Competitive price with frequent discount
◊ Mature logistic system to assure the delivery time
◊ Discreet package for worldwide shipping
◊ One to one on&after-sales customer service to support

If you have interests, small trial order for first cooperation to test our quality and shipping efficiency is welcomed. I'll try my best to satisfy you on your request. Looking forward to your kind reply.

Regards,
Vera
COMPANY WEBSITE REMOVED"

Getting this email disgusted me.

It is bad enough when professional athletes are induced into taking steroids because they really want to win and they manage to find someone willing to sell them a steroid or illicit drug that will allow them to cheat.

But it is even worse to be trying to sell this crap to a personal trainer / sports coach, who would then effectively become drug dealers trying to sell the drugs to their clients / athletes. That to me is much worse, as it tarnishes the sacred role of a teacher (which is what I consider myself to be) and turns the teacher into a drug dealer who can effect multiple students / clients. So not just one person is effected in such a scenario, but multiple people.



No reputable person should be dealing in steroids.

Not an athlete. Not a coach. Not an instructor. Not a personal trainer. Not a doctor. Not a nutritionist. Nobody.

Anyone who is encouraging cheating / drugging yourself to bulk up should be ashamed of themselves, and when caught banished from the industry.

Vitamins, minerals, calcium supplements, whey protein powders, creatine - these I don't have a problem with because they are all natural things we get in our diets, they are just being used as supplements to make certain the athlete is getting enough of what they need.

Whey protein is just a protein found in milk, which is separated during the process of making cheese, and is sold in powder form so people can take mix with water / milk for a protein drink. Creatine is just a chemical found in red meat that regulates energy to muscle tissue, and thus is handy for losing weight / building muscle.

As such they are used by people who know they aren't eating enough red meat or not enough protein, so that they can maximize their body's natural ability to regulate energy / build new muscle tissue.

Man-made Steroids however...

All sorts of bad side effects.

Decades of research into the topic has revealed while steroids do give a temporary advantage to athletes, they cause long term permanent side effects which I am not going to bother listing as there are so many of them. The most notable and common side effect is liver damage leading to terminal liver cancer, as steroids are also toxins and the liver will try to filter the toxins out - but doing so puts so much stress on the organ that it effectively kills the person's liver.

HGH is technically a natural hormone, human growth hormone, but humans usually only have large amounts of it when they are children or pregnant. Adults taking HGH pills is effectively unnatural and allows the person to build muscle at a faster than normal rate. It is heavily regulated too, and numerous celebrities and athletes have been arrested trying to smuggle HGH across international borders. So if it has to be smuggled into Canada by criminals, then it is definitely not something I am interested in.

SARMs, are various chemicals categorized as selective androgen receptor modulator are a type of androgenic drugs. They can be used legitimately for people who suffer from low testosterone, but for people who do not they are used to increase testosterone production. Various athletes in the NFL and NBA have been banned due to alleged use of SARMs.

Peptides are short chains of amino acids connected by peptide bonds, hence the name. They block and/or control sugar, and thus they can be used as anti-obesity medication, but are also used in the bodybuilding industry to increase energy levels to muscle tissue. Taking in combination with steroids, they give a person an unnatural edge over the competition. Some peptides can also effect the body's HGH production levels, can be used to increase testosterone levels, etc. As such an athlete who tests positive for certain peptides used to effect HGH, testosterone, and anything else that gives them a competitive edge is considered to have cheated.


Honestly... are people so obsessed with winning that they have to damage their liver and ruin the reputations just for a shiny trophy or gold medal to hang on a mantle?

Clearly some people are.

Ben Johnson, Lance Armstrong, Marion Jones, etc.

Thankfully there are some sports where doping doesn't really help. Figure skating for example is more about finesse than bulk muscle.

Tonya Harding already had the physique of an amazon that gave her a physical edge to perform triple axels - making her the first woman to complete a triple axel in a competition. But her fear of losing resulted in her conspiring with several men to put out a hit on rival Nancy Kerrigan's leg.

So there are always more ways than one to cheat in sports, but when you consider that Tonya Harding was banned from figure skating and later took up a brief career in boxing because of her financial problems.

Clearly cheating doesn't pay.

And selling the drugs to do so clearly means that a sports trainer is in it for the money, not because they actually enjoy teaching and guiding athletes.

Speaking for myself, I enjoy what I teach. It allows me to go outside and exercise regularly, and to get paid to do it. I cannot ask for anything better.

Looking to sign up for archery lessons, boxing lessons, swimming lessons, ice skating lessons or personal training sessions? Start by emailing cardiotrek@gmail.com and lets talk fitness!

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