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Showing posts with label Exercise Questions. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Exercise Questions. Show all posts

Girl Pushups and More

The "Girl Pushup"
What is so bad about a "Girl Pushup" ?

It is exercise after all. And lets face it, some people cannot do normal pushups because they haven't reached that stage of athletic fitness - including some men.

It is not a "feminine thing" to be doing so-called "Girl Pushups". It is an "I am out of shape and cannot do a normal pushup yet style of pushup."

You will notice I underlined the word yet. That is the operative word. Do "Girl Pushups" often enough and you will eventually be able to do regular pushups.

Do regular pushups often enough and you will likely also try Incline Pushups or Decline Pushups. Or even One Hand Pushups.

Do various different styles of pushups often enough and you will eventually be able to do Handstand Pushups. Like the woman below is doing.


Clearly this means that Girl Pushups is just part of a gradual process of becoming better at pushups.


My point here is that you should never let embarrassment prevent you from doing exercises. Sometimes things are just names, and there is nothing wrong with doing a Girl Pushup - especially since people (men and women) do them all the time when they are rolling out of bed to get up in the morning.

When you do eventually get good enough to do regular pushups you will want to focus on the quality of your form. Keep your back straight and lower yourself so your chest is nearly touching the floor.

While it is more difficult to do proper form with a pushup, you get more benefits from doing the exercise properly.




Exercising and Dehydration Vs Over-Hydration

Is it possible to drink too much water while exercising?

The short answer is Yes.

It is rather difficult, but still possible. All that is really needed is for a person to think they are dehydrated, drink too much water, and keep drinking because they think the symptoms they are experiencing are from dehydration - when in fact the symptoms of over-hydration are remarkably similar to dehydration.

The long answer requires us to explain the effects of dehydration and over hydration, especially the symptoms.
Dehydration is caused by the excessive loss of water from the body, which causes a rise in blood sodium levels. Since dehydration is most often caused by excessive sweating, vomiting, or diarrhea, water loss is usually accompanied by a deficiency of electrolytes.
Mild to moderate dehydration symptoms
  • Dry, sticky mouth
  • Sleepiness or tiredness — children are likely to be less active than usual
  • Thirst
  • Decreased urine output
  • No wet diapers for three hours for infants
  • Few or no tears when crying
  • Dry skin
  • Headache
  • Constipation
  • Dizziness or lightheaded
Severe dehydration symptoms
  • Extreme thirst
  • Extreme fussiness or sleepiness in infants and children; irritability and confusion in adults
  • Very dry mouth, skin and mucous membranes
  • Little or no urination — any urine that is produced will be darker than normal
  • Sunken eyes
  • Shriveled and dry skin that lacks elasticity and doesn't "bounce back" when pinched into a fold
  • In infants, sunken fontanels — the soft spots on the top of a baby's head
  • Low blood pressure
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Rapid breathing
  • No tears when crying
  • Fever
  • In the most serious cases, delirium or unconsciousness
Over-Hydration is an excess of water in the body. People can develop over-hydration if they have a disorder that decreases the body's ability to excrete water or increases the body's tendency to retain water. Drinking too much water rarely causes over-hydration because normal kidneys easily excrete excess water.

Mild to moderate over-hydration symptoms
  • nausea and vomiting
  • headache
  • changes in mental state (confusion or disorientation)
 Severe over-hydration symptoms
  • dangerously low levels of sodium in the blood (hyponatremia)
  • muscle weakness, spasms or cramps
  • seizures
  • unconsciousness
  • coma

Preventing Over-Hydration

Endurance athletes such as long distance runners can reduce the risk of over-hydration by weighing themselves before and after a race to determine how much water they have lost and need to replenish.

Individuals exercising should avoid drinking more than one liter per hour of fluid. Drinking more fluids before and during a race or an intensive athletic exertion can also help you avoid the need to drink too much water afterwards. Sports beverages that contain the electrolytes sodium and potassium are also recommended, as both are lost in sweat.

If you have an underlying medical condition, such as diabetes, congestive heart failure, or kidney problems, talk to your doctor about the best treatments for those conditions. If you experience excessive thirst or an overly strong urge to drink water, contact your doctor before you develop symptoms - it could indicate a problem that requires treatment and careful monitoring.

Drink healthy!

Three Unusual Questions about Archery

I have heard some of these questions before, and one of them (the last one) I have only encountered today. I thought the last question was rather odd, so I thought I would talk about the three questions in hopes of Busting some Myths.

Question #1: Do I need a license to do archery?

No.

You do not need a license to practice archery.

 You need a hunting license (H1 or H2) to go bowhunting, but you do not need any sort of license to practice archery for recreation or competitions. And even if you do have a hunting license, you can only hunt during specific hunting seasons, only for game allowed during that season, and only if you have any required tags for that specific animal. eg. deer tags for deer hunting season. You have to abide by all of the laws and regulations with respect to bowhunting, and not following those laws can result in the forfeiture of your hunting license, a large fine and even prison time.

For example: In 2014 a Peterborough man, Dave Sager, was fined $1,000 and had his hunting license suspended for a year for accidentally shooting his son with a crossbow bolt. He was trying to unload his crossbow incorrectly. He was allowed to get his hunting license back after a year and after retaking the hunter education training course.

There is also bowfishing, for which you need a fishing license, can only bowfish during carp bowfishing season, and must follow all laws and regulations regarding where and when you are allowed to fish.

Question #2: Do I need a hunting license to purchase a bow or crossbow?

No.

Like the above question, this is a frequently asked question. The answer is no. You only need a hunting license if you are intending to go hunting. Anyone can legally buy a bow or a crossbow and they don't need a hunting license or any other kind of license to do so. There is however a requirement that you don't have any kind of weapons ban (due to past criminal activity).

eg. I know of an individual in the GTA who was involved in an aggravated assault (he beat up someone who was abusing a kid) and as a result he spent some time in prison and ended up with a lifetime weapons ban. This resulted in him having to sell any weapons he owned, including his Excalibur crossbow. He is the only person I know of personally who is banned from owning any kind of archery equipment.

Also we should note that certain weapons are just plain prohibited in Canada. Hand Crossbows for example are illegal in Canada.

As long as you are not an ex-con and you are not trying to purchase a prohibited weapon, then you will be just fine.

Question #3: Do I need a certificate proving that I know how to do archery to join an archery club?

No.

Or at least none of the archery clubs that I know of, and I am the president of both the Toronto Archery Club and Archery Niagara. To my knowledge none of the other clubs require any sort of certificate either.

I found this last one rather odd. Someone had apparently told the individual that they needed a certificate in order to join various archery clubs in Toronto. Sadly they were given false information. As president of the Toronto Archery Club I have made a mental note to someday have a chat with the person giving out false information and let them know that, no, the Toronto Archery Club does not require any sort of certificate whatsoever.

I have never seen the need to offer any kind of certificate to archery students, with one exception: I do offer an Archery Instructor Certificate Program, designed for people who want to teach recreational archery (usually at summer camps, resorts, etc).

If you have additional archery related questions or if you wish to sign up for archery lessons in Toronto simply email cardiotrek@gmail.com to learn more.

Happy Shooting!

DIY Circuit Training Routine

Q

"Hey there,

I am wondering how much your services are for cardio circuit training for an hours work.

...rate of pay for an hour?


hope to hear from you soon.


Regards,

Adrian "

A

Hello Adrian!
I don't do circuit training. I shall explain why.

While it is a good way for personal trainers to make money, charging clients rates as low as $10 per hour and then getting bulk clients willing to shell out $10 each, the goal of the trainer is really to fit as many people into a single circuit training session as possible. eg. 10 to 15 clients, so that the trainer makes a quick $100 to $150. Some trainers might charge $20 and aim for 5 to 8 clients, but the end goal of the trainer is still to make money while doing very little actual work.

For the clients, yes, they do get a decent workout and they do get access to the personal trainer to ask questions, ask for advice/etc, but they could accomplish the same thing doing a DIY Circuit Training Routine and simply establishing an email relationship with a trainer, possibly paying the trainer for their time to answer emails if they have an excessive amount of questions or advice they are looking for. Ultimately circuit training with a personal trainer is a bit of a scam because the amount of time you have to talk to the personal trainer is actually quite small, especially if the group is crowded or time is constrained.

To Make your own DIY Circuit Training Routine

#1. Look around your home for whatever exercise equipment you already have available. It can be a mix of store bought goodies or even things you made yourself / substituted.

#2. Make a monthly budget for your exercise routines (eg. $10 to $20) to be spent on exercise equipment. Things like dumbbells, skipping rope, yoga mat, hand grips and other small items can be easily added to your routine over time. This allows your training circuit to evolve as the months go by and you collect an impressive collection of goodies to exercise with.

Note - If you don't have a lot of equipment you can even focus on frugal body-weight exercises that use almost no equipment. See the graphic on the right for examples.

#3. Clear a space in your living room or possibly your garage or basement where you exercise freely without bumping into things. If you have a backyard and you don't mind the weather, you now have an excuse to exercise outdoors and get some fresh air.

#4. Organize all of your exercise goodies according to high intensity exercises to low intensity exercises, and then alternate them in a circle starting with a low intensity exercise, then high intensity, then low, then high again, etc, only the circuit is complete. If you like a particular exercise more than others and want to focus on that exercise more you can even make it a Figure 8 design so the middle exercise is done twice during every full circuit.

#5. Schedule daily or weekly circuit training sessions for yourself. Make it part of your routine, possibly with a small reward for you to enjoy after each session (eg. playing Candy Crush for 30 minutes after you finish the routine, watching your favourite TV show, etc. The reward should never be sugary food, although healthy food is certainly acceptable.)
#6. During the scheduled time spend 1 minute on each exercise with up to a 30 second break between each exercise. If you are not tired after a particular exercise feel free to proceed to the next exercise with minimal rest.

Note - If you want to spend extra time on particular exercise you might also consider doing it for 90 seconds or 2 minutes instead of 1 minute.
#7. While exercising try to pay attention to the quality of your form. During a circuit training session with a personal trainer they SHOULD be watching your form and showing you how to correctly perform the exercise so you are maximizing results and minimizing the chances of sports injuries, however many personal trainers I have witnessed doing circuit training don't actually bother to try and warn their clients about the potential for sports injuries. Some of them even use the phrase "no pain no gain" when clients talk about the possibility of sports injuries, which is tantamount to asking for a lawsuit - which happened a few years ago to a New York personal trainer who ignored the complaints of pain from her male client and the man ended up with a permanent disability due to torn ligaments. My motto on the topic essentially is "if it really hurts, you are doing it wrong and you should stop". Stop and seek advice.
#8. If you have serious concerns about the quality of your form / sports injuries then schedule a session with a personal trainer who is an advocate of preventing sports injuries (me or someone equally adamant on the topic of prevention) for an one on one session and bring a list of questions to the session with you. If possible schedule the session at your home so you can show the trainer your routine, what exercises you are doing, and then they can see what you might be doing incorrectly and unsafely. If you email a personal trainer and they don't take your complaints seriously, find a different trainer for a second opinion. All else fails, stop doing exercise which is harming you and focus on exercises that don't hurt you. Some people, especially as they get older, get bad knees and other health problems which hinders their ability to exercise, in which case they should seek the advice of a personal trainer before attempting such exercises as a preventative measure. It is possible circuit training might not be their thing and they might want to consider swimming instead, which is more therapeutic for people with bad knees / joint problems.

I hope this helps!

Sincerely,
Charles Moffat
CardioTrek.ca

What is the Best Quiver?

Q

"Hello!

I saw on one of your older posts that you don't like quivers. Can you explain more about why you don't like them?

Lets say I really want a quiver anyway. Which ones would you recommend?

- Anna"

A

Hello Anna!

I am not completely against quivers. I still use them for transportation purposes, but I will list why I don't like them.

#1. Having to reach awkwardly behind your back to reach arrows that move around in the quiver. If it is a pain to reach, then it really isn't very good at being a quiver. Hence why some archers prefer back quivers that are easier to access or use hip quivers.

#2. Arrows rattle easily and spook deer / turkeys / small game. So a loose quiver means your arrows rattle a lot. A bow quiver however or a quiver with fixed spots for individual arrows solves the problem of rattling. Another old archers' trick is to roll up some fur and stick it lengthwise into the quiver and then add your arrows to it, this prevents them from rattling against each other.

#3. Arrows fall out of loose back quivers whenever you bend over to pick something up.

#4. Arrows fall out of loose hip quivers whenever you are jogging, walking too fast, or bend over.

#5. Ground quivers are handy to have, but are sometimes bulky depending on the design. On a 3D range you might as well leave that behind or get an "arrow caddy" instead. Or do what I do, carry the arrows in your bow hand and learn how to shoot that way.

Below are some interesting designs for quivers...

Below: A Bow Quiver that attaches to the side of the bow.


Below: A Traditional Floppy Back Quiver - Not my favourite.

Below: A Back Quiver that allows more ease of access.

Below: A Side Quiver with more easy access.

Below: A side quiver with fixed arrow slots so they don't rattle or fall out.
The one below also allows ease of access.

Archery Equipment in the Niagara Region

Q

"Hello!
 
I live in the Niagara area and I am going to start attending an archery range as the weather gets warmer. What stores do you recommend that are closer to my home? Also should I shop on Amazon to get things?

Do I need an archery glove? Is it really necessary?

- Y"

A

Hello Y!

Well let's see... there is:

Doc's Archery Sales and Services on the American side of the border, north of Buffalo. Mostly sells crossbows and compounds.

Erie Tracker, SW of Niagara, mostly a gun shop / fishing store but also sells archery equipment - mostly compounds.

The Archer's Nook in London Ontario, which is comparable to the Bow Shop below. Depending on who you talk to some people prefer Archer's Nook.


The Bow Shop in Waterloo Ontario, which is considered by many to be the best bow shop in all of Ontario. Their selection is good. I was a little disappointed the first time I went there because I was expecting it to be bigger.

And yes, an archery glove is pretty much a necessity. Some archers prefer thumb rings or tabs, but the basic concept is to protect the fingers. Not doing so causes permanent nerve damage to the fingers to people who shoot regularly and yet refuse to wear some kind of protection.

If you decide to buy online the store I would recommend is Three Rivers Archery, at 3riversarchery.com. Very similar to Amazon, but specializes in archery products.

Where to find Archery Camps in Toronto / GTA

Q

Hi

I am looking for an archery day camp for my son who is 11yrs old.  I found your website and it talks about day camps in Toronto by all the link and camp listed are overnight camps up north.

Is it possible to guide me where I can find a day camps in Toronto preferably around Bloor west village, Etobicoke (more west end and south).

If there is  a number I can called to discuss it will be great

Thanks in advance

Dominique

A

Hello Dominique!
Sadly I am unaware of any day camps or summer camps in the Bloor West Village area, or the region south-west of there, that does archery.
There are various day camps and summer camps in other parts of the city that do offer archery however, although they are probably less convenient to get to. ArcheryToronto.ca maintains a list of camps at http://www.archerytoronto.ca/Toronto-Archery-Camps.html

If you do manage to find a camp that is not on that list I recommend contacting ArcheryToronto.ca and letting them know about any other locations in Toronto or the GTA that do archery.
Another option would be for you to look into Boy Scouts of Canada. [Or Girl Guides of Canada for any parents reading this who want their daughter(s) to learn archery and other skills.] Some scout groups also do archery, so that is a possibility as well since your son is the right age for it. I first learned archery in Boy Scouts myself when I was 10, and speaking from personal experience I would say Boy Scouts is an excellent way to learn a variety of other woodcraft skills. The website http://greatertoronto.scouts.ca/ would be a great place to start.

Lastly I know of an instructor in Burlington who teaches kids / teenagers, private lessons only. If you are willing to go in that direction that is also an option.

Have a great summer!

Sincerely,
Charles Moffat
CardioTrek.ca

Note: If any parents are reading this and your kids are over 16 years of age and they are serious about learning archery, private lessons would be their best bet. In that case bring them to me.


The photo above is from Boy Scouts of Canada.

Why is it so hard for skinny people to shed the last few pounds?

Q

"Hello! I have lost a lot of weight over the past 3 years - over 50 lbs - and my friends now describe me as skinny. However I still don't have abs. I have checked out other websites and articles on this topic, but nobody seems to have a proper answer for why is it so hard for skinny people to shed the last few pounds so I can see my abs? These days when I lose weight I only seem to lose muscle weight instead of fat, so I am definitely doing something wrong.

- Anonymous"

A

Hey there!

Many people have the same problem you do. They get down close to their desired weight and then they have difficulty attaining the desired number and the feeling / look of physical perfection they were hoping for.

Often people lose weight due to a combination of healthy diet, exercise and lifestyle changes, but when they try to get something specific - like great looking abs, they find that everything they try doesn't seem to get rid of that last bit of fat layer on top of their abs. The stubborn fat that just won't leave.

Part of the problem is that your body composition has changed dramatically... and to explain this I am going to need to use an example:

Bob started off weighing 250 lbs and was overweight. He lost 50 lbs and now he weighs 200 lbs, but he still has some stubborn belly fat that he just cannot get rid of. He tries dieting, he tries jogging and other cardio activities, but the stubborn belly fat just won't leave. Indeed, he does lose weight during these attempts, but what he discovers is that he seems to be getting weaker, not thinner. His body is cannibalizing muscle tissue instead of using up his fat reserves.

This is because his body composition has reached a point where he has very little fat left to choose from but he has plenty of muscle his body can cannibalize for energy. Thus when Bob loses weight due to doing lots of cardio, he loses a lot of muscle weight and his body fat doesn't seem to change.

Bob also has it stuck in his head that he wants to weigh 180 lbs because he is 6'0" tall and he has consulted a BMI chart that states that being 200 lbs and 6'0" tall means that he is overweight because he has a BMI of 27.

So how should Bob fix this problem?

#1. Bob needs to stop worrying about his BMI and stop trying to weigh a specific amount. There is no "cruise control" for your weight. Everyone is different. Some people are not meant to weigh the amount they think they should weigh. Instead they need to change their focus to being healthier and worry less about the numbers.

#2. Bob needs to try a new way of exercising, one that won't decrease his muscle tissue. In Bob's case he should try weightlifting instead of cardio - and building muscle instead of trying to shed fat. He can do this one of three ways:

  1. Switch his cardio regimen to a purely weightlifting regimen.
  2. Split his exercise regimen to half cardio and half weightlifting.
  3. Gradually change from a cardio regimen to a weightlifting regimen, possibly 10% more weightlifting per week and gradually reduce the amount of cardio by 10% per week.
 By building muscle instead of trying to reduce fat, especially in combination with abdominal exercises if his goal is to have more pronounced abdominal muscles, Bob would end up building up muscle tissue and restricting his body to using ONLY fat stores for energy instead of using a combination of fat and muscle for energy. I recommend starting off with a gradual approach (eg. option 3 above) and focusing on core muscles (chest, abs, back muscles) first to build a strong foundation.

#3. It is possible Bob might also have a high cholesterol problem that is clogging arteries and preventing energy from being transferred in a healthy manner from fat tissue to his muscles during exercise. A low cholesterol diet might be beneficial to see if it helps make Bob more energetic, give him more endurance and change his blood sugar levels.

You can get those "six pack abs" you are looking for, but it will take extra time and effort to shed those stubborn last few lbs of fat - and it might mean you have to build up lbs of muscle during the process, just so you are not accidentally cannibalizing muscle tissue.

That means that in Bob's case he might actually put on weight and become a more muscular 220 lbs instead of his desired weight of 180 lbs and skinny. Maybe Bob is meant to look more like a muscular caveman than he was hoping for.

And this goes the same for the ladies out there. Many women have it stuck in their heads that women with muscles is unattractive. Absolute nonsense. Amazons are beautiful. Thus for women, sometimes the answer to shedding those last few lbs isn't more cardio. Maybe it is time to accept that you are an Amazon at heart and that your ideal body isn't a skinny mini, but a strong and beautiful Amazon.



What kind of bow should I purchase?

Q

"Hello! I am 5'8" tall and 180 lbs (a little chubby as I like to say). What kind of bow should I purchase since I am a beginner and new to archery? I am thinking recurve, but can you recommend a brand and how many pounds?

Also what other equipment should I get?"

- J.T. Turner.

A

I would recommend you get a 25 lb Samick Sage. You can get one at Tent City in North York, Basically Bows on Queen Street East or Bass Pro in Vaughan - prices vary by location, the most economical option is Tent City. There are other brands you could try, by the Samick Sage has very good reviews and is readily available. It was even recently shown on the cover of Ontario Out of Doors magazine.

Make sure you do the eye dominance test first so you know whether you should be getting a right handed or left handed bow.

I have an older post on this same topic you should read:

What is a good bow for an archery beginner?
Regarding other equipment you will need I recommend the following:

12 arrows with removable screw-in arrowheads. Do NOT get the glued-in arrowheads, they break too easily and once broken the whole arrow is basically garbage. If a screw-in arrowhead breaks, you unscrew it and then just screw in a new one. Note - 12 is a good number to start with.

Bowstringer so you can easily string your bow and not twist/damage the limbs of your bow using the leg method (which is meant for longbows, not for recurves).

Spare Bow String. In case your bow string ever breaks in the future, it is nice to have a spare.

Spring Loaded Arrow Rest
Arrow Rest. The Samick Sage is nice because it can be fitted with a traditional fur arrow rest, a cheap glue-on arrow rest or a more modern mechanical arrow rest. For beginners I recommend either the fur arrow rests or a spring loaded mechanical arrow rest like the one on the right. I am not a fan of the cheap plastic arrow rests because they break too easily.

For more advanced archers I recommend the Cavalier Super Flyte Arrow Rest (shown below). I find it is more accurate than many other styles of arrow rests, but it is a bit annoying to use because if you squeeze the arrow between your fingers then it slides off the arrow rest very easily. It is super accurate, but very annoying for beginners who tend to squeeze/bump the arrow too much.



Brass Nock Bead(s). Most people only use one nock bead, but sometimes people use two. When using one it goes above the arrow when nocked to prevent "stringwalking" up and down the bow string. Some people prefer to use two nock beads so the arrow cannot slide either up or down. Make sure the nock bead is installed properly, so when in doubt get an archery instructor or the sales rep in the store to do it for you.

Brass Nock Beads

Archery Finger Glove. I recommend Neet. I have reviewed many different archery finger gloves, tabs and mechanical releases (for compound shooters) but when it comes to finger gloves the company I find works best is Neet.

Neet Archery Finger Glove
Overall expect to be spending $300 to $400 on everything. Getting a quiver is optional. I personally find quivers annoying.

Form Techniques for Avoiding String Burn

Q

"I see a lot of folks get bow arm sometimes. A lot of huge bruises in some cases. It even happens to me sometimes. I also see a LOT of plucking. What are some ways to prevent bow arm from happening?"

- M.T.

A

I don't call it "bow arm", I prefer to call it "string burn" - similar to rope burn. String burn occurs when people accidentally hit their arm with the bow string while doing archery and it can leave a bruise, welt or even rip the skin off your arm if you are using a higher poundage bow (like a powerful compound bow).

Form Techniques for Avoiding String Burn

#1. Relax your arm and shoulder. (This is also better for increased accuracy.)

#2. Elbow should be facing sideways and not locked.

#3. Lean slightly into the shot for better shoulder alignment if you have difficulty relaxing your bow shoulder.

#4. Use a lightweight bow. Avoid any bow that causes you to over tense your bow arm.

#5. Plucking the string could still cause the string to oscillate and hit your arm, so for best results practice doing a "dead release". A dead release doesn't move, a live release does. Keep your thumb/hand on your face as you practice dead releases and keep track of any shot where your hand plucked to the side, backwards, forwards, up or down. If it keeps happening you may need to consult an archery instructor familiar with dead releases.

Brace Height
#6. If the bow string is hitting your wrist or hitting near your wrist, that is because your brace height is too low. Unstring the bow using a bowstringer, twist the string 10 or more times to make it tighter and then restring the bow. Check the brace height using the 'rule of thumb' to see if the string is touching your thumb. If it is not touching you should be fine, but if the string is still touching your thumb then you need to unstring your bow tighten another 10+ rotations and then restring your bow. Keep doing this until the string is no longer touching your thumb when you check using the 'rule of thumb' method.

Rule of Thumb

If you want to learn more on this topic or similar topics sign up archery lessons in Toronto from CardioTrek.ca. Have a great day and stop hitting yourself. Stop hitting yourself. Stop hitting yourself.

;)

Q+A: Can I leave my longbow strung up?

Q

"Can I leave my longbow strung up all the time? I have heard that it damages the wood over time, but I have also heard of some manufacturers claiming that it is okay to leave their bows strung up all the time. What should I be doing?"

- James R.


A

Hello James!

No, I definitely do not recommend that you leave your longbow strung all the time. If left strung the pressure the bow is under while strung will cause the wood to slowly become weaker, making your bow less powerful - and less accurate - over time. Keeping a bow strung for long periods could also damage the wood permanently so that when it is finally used it could just snap.

This is also true for recurve bows - both traditional recurve bows and Olympic style - and it also true for shortbows / horsebows as well.

There are of course exceptions. eg. Compound bows have to be left strung up all the time. Many crossbows are also left strung up all the time too.

There is a company called "Primal Gear" that makes a metal folding longbow which can be left strung up all the time as well - it is made out of high tensile steel-alloy however. However since it is a folding bow, it kind of defeats the purpose if you left it strung up all the time. Unstring it and fold that puppy up.

When in doubt I strongly recommend keeping your bow unstrung whenever you are not using it. It lengthens the lifespan of the bow and keeps it strong.

When storing your bow(s) I recommend storing them either flat (on a table, shelf or rack) or using a vertical rack with pegs like the one shown below.




I even found you a video on YouTube that demonstrates just how much stress a strung bow is actually under when left strung. It is a surprising amount of power stored in a strung bow and that power will slowly weaken your bow if left strung for long periods of time.



Archery Question - Stacking, Wall and Let Off

Q

"Hello!

I see you teach archery and even though I don't live in Toronto I was hoping you might be able to answer a terminology question for me. Thanks in advance for helping me with this!

Anyway, my question relates to stack. Back in the Autumn I was in the backyard with a friend who has been doing archery a lot longer than me and he told me that my compound bow stacks a lot. I didn't want to look stupid at the time so I just sorta nodded and said "Yeah, it does." because stacking a lot sounded like a compliment to me.

However when I tried researching what stack means I came across a lot of references to longbows and shortbows, and nothing about compound bows. So my questions for you are: What is stack? What does it mean when he says my compound bow stacks a lot?

Thanks again for your help!
Michael A."

A

Hey Michael!

Your confusion regarding stack is very understandable, especially since your friend was using the wrong term.

The correct term for them to be using is Wall, sometimes referred to as a High Wall if it is particularly difficult to pull as it gets closed to the Wall. Compounds bows sometimes have a "Forgiving Wall" or a "smooth draw", which means it isn't as difficult to pull as you get closed to the Wall, but often means the bow in question loses a few fps in arrow speed on release. Your compound bow is apparently one of the High Wall / merciless designs, which are made for speed and not draw comfort.

Because compound bows have pulleys they cannot get stack.* (I will explain what stack is in a moment). Instead compound bows get harder and harder to pull back on until they reach what is known as the Wall, and once "over the Wall" you experience the Let Off when the compound bow suddenly becomes a lot easier to pull.

So for example if you have a 50 lb bow with 80% Let Off, the Wall will feel like you are pulling 50 lbs, but once you get past the Wall the left off kicks in and the bow feels like it is only 10 lbs pull.

I also applaud you for trying to research what Stack really means. You are correct, stack relates to longbows and shortbows.

Stack is the angle of the bowstring to the limb tip, which due to physics makes the bow's pull weight feel heavier than it really is. When the bow is relaxed, the string angle on a longbow is very narrow, but as you pull back the string angle widens dramatically. The wider it becomes the more a longbow will stack, making it feel harder than it really is.

Thus Stack and Wall does feel similar when you are pulling back on a bow, hence your friend's confusion of the two terms. I am guessing your friend is into longbows or shortbows, and thus learned of the term but didn't know what Stack actually means.

Shortbows stack more than longbows, due to sharper angle of the tips.

In the case of recurve bows or bows with reflexed or recurved tips, they still stack, but thanks to the recurved shape of the tip the angle of the string to the tip is reduced. Thus recurved bows still stack, but the amount of stack is reduced significantly depending on the bow.

This is why you will often see recurved bows with very dramatically curved limb tips that have been designed in order to maximize the amount of reduction in stack. (See the image further below.)

If you want to learn more about Stack and how it works (on a physics level) I recommend reading The Traditional Bowyer's Bible (Volume One) and read Chapter 3 on "Bow Design and Performance" by Tim Baker.

A Highly Recurved Limb Tip

Can Feng Shui improve my workout?

Feng Shui is the Chinese philosophy system of harmonizing oneself with their environment.  In it, one seeks to arrange their space to ensure that energy is able to flow uninterrupted throughout.  Remember Yin and Yang, well they also play a part in feng shui in that they help to describe the flow of energy within a space.

How does this help you with your exercise routine? It just so happens that creating a feng shui space can allow you to energize your workout, improve your desire to work out and make you feel better in the long run.

What exactly are we feng shui'ing? We want to focus on the space so we want to select, arrange and prepare a space that is conducive to the flow of energy.  We can accomplish this by doing some very specific things to our personal gym rooms at home.
What colour should I use?
We should start with colours that you should not choose.  Dark colours such as brown and black are not the colours you should be painting the wall of you personal gym.  They tend to bring down the mood of a room and can cause people to feel tired and ready to got to sleep (definitely not traits of a room we want to do energizing exercise in).  
You should pick a colour that will make you want to move and shed those pesky pounds.  Colours you may want to pick are ones that reflect nature and the outdoors such as shades of green or sky blue.  These colours will put you in a peaceful mood that will allow you to focus on your exercise.  Or you may want to pick a pale yellow that will reflect the natural light coming from your windows.  And lastly, you can pick a hot colour like red that will increase you energy and make you feel like working extra hard to burn your calories.
Selection of a room
If you are so lucky as to be able to pick the room you will be exercising in you should pick a room that gets lots of natural light and maybe a bit a breeze.  This will provide you with a space that has the proper flow to it.  Also, try to find a space that is away from too much noise, but be sure to balance it out with some sort of energizing element (perhaps some red paint) as too much tranquility will not give you a well balanced space.

Arranging your gym equipment
To make sure that you place your gym equipment in a manner conducive to feng shui the first step is to make sure that your space is kept clean and tidy.  The best way to ensure that the space is able to encourage the flow of energy is to keep it clean.  
Next, if you can put some of it away in a closet you can ensure the space is kept as open as possible and that it will not disrupt the energy flow.  Place the equipment in the eastern section of your house.  This is the area most associated with new beginnings, family, friends and health.

Feng shui is a great tool in ensuring that your exercise is done in a positive and productive space.  Using the ancient Chinese philosophy will help you to lose those pounds you want in no time.

Indoor Archery Ranges in Toronto

Q

"Is there any indoor archery ranges in Toronto?"

A

This is a frequently asked question. The answer is "Yes, there are, but it is complicated and difficult to get into them."

The reason why it is complicated/difficult is because of the following reasons.

#1. The Hart House Archery Range (University of Toronto) is full. No new members allowed except for 1 day during Frosh Week in September each year and 1 day at the start of January each year. So unless you are an U of T student or alumni, don't bother.

#2. The Ryerson Archery Club is also full. The club is brand new as of Jan. 2015, and they're already full. Ryerson students come first of course, but even so the club is officially full. So unless you are a Ryerson student and willing to wait until September maybe then they will allow in new members.

#3. Casa Loma used to have an archery range and taught longbow lessons once upon a time, but they have since shut it down due to liability concerns. So you are not going to find any help there.

#4. The Toronto School of Archery has 3 locations in Etobicoke (only on Mondays and Thursdays), East York (only on Tuesdays and Wednesdays) and Beaches (which is full and not accepting new members). The "ranges" are in the basement of a church, a community centre, etc, and only operate between 6 PM and 9 PM. Which severely limits your options if you are busy on weekday evenings.

#5. The JCCC (Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre) does have a gym they use as an archery range - but it is only for people who sign up to study Kyudo (Japanese archery using yumi bows). Kyudo is highly ceremonial and is basically the archery equivalent of Japanese tea ceremony. So unless you are a patient type of person who loves all things zen then you are probably not going to enjoy Kyudo.

#6. Archery District is not a real archery range but I am listing it anyway. It is a facility for people into Archery Tag™, and costs $24 + HST per person for 1 hour of usage. You use the bows and equipment provided and no outside equipment is allowed. During that hour you play with up to 20 people games of Archery Tag™, wherein you shoot each other with boffer arrows. I have been to Archery District twice myself so far and it is a lot of fun, but for people who enjoy accuracy, shooting long distances, just want to practice then you need to find a different place to practice. So unless you want to practice shooting at moving targets you need to find a different place to practice.

#7. Archery Camps / Day Camps is another option if you are looking for a place for your kids to practice. There are a number of day camps and archery camps in or near Toronto which offer archery (either indoor or outdoors). ArcheryToronto.ca maintains a list of archery camps and day camps. However unless you are a kid in the right age group this isn't going to help you.

"So where can I practice indoors then?"

After reading all of the above you are probably feeling a bit disheartened and wondering if you will ever be able to find an indoor archery range in Toronto that is open 7 days per week, is indoors, and will let in anyone as a member.

But do not despair I am working on just that.

For the past year almost I have been building a Waiting List for an Indoor Archery Range - which I am tentatively calling Toronto's Indoor Archery Gymnasium (TIAG). To get on the waiting list please email cardiotrek@gmail.com and give your name, email address, phone number and whether you want a monthly or annual membership.

This indoor archery range will be located in the Leaside / Davisville area of Toronto and work on a gym membership basis. Monthly membership will be $100 and annual membership will be $800. Once the Toronto's Indoor Archery Gymnasium is up and running smoothly the rates will come down, but at present the only way to make such an indoor archery range financially viable is to charge the rates mentioned above in order to get a space large enough for multiple shooting lanes.

So far 30 people have signed up for the Waiting List, but we need 50 people to sign up in order to open an indoor range. 50 people x $800 = $40,000. That is how much we need to lease, renovate, and maintain a space, and as the membership grows each year we will lower the annual rates in order to encourage more members to sign up for the annual membership.

Range hours will likely be:
Sunday 9:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Monday 9:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Tuesday 9:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Wednesday 9:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Thursday 9:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Friday 9:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Saturday 9:00 AM - 7:00 PM

The range will also be hiring staff to supervise the range + archery instructors - people who have experience teaching longbows, recurves (traditional and Olympic), compound bows and shortbows / horsebows.

The range will be designed to be friendly to hunters, competitive shooters and recreational archers. Everyone will be welcome. The photos shown on this page are photos showing how other archery ranges are designed. The Toronto Indoor Archery Gymnasium will be designed using a mixture of styles. We will also be making an effort to make sure the space is wheel chair accessible (several of the other ranges mentioned above are not wheel chair accessible).

"What if I am looking for a crossbow range in Toronto?

Lastly the Toronto's Indoor Archery Gymnasium will include space for people who are into crossbows - making it the only crossbow range in Toronto. So if you are looking for a crossbow range in Toronto, please email cardiotrek@gmail.com to add your name to the Waiting List.

Archery Vs Wind Speed and Time of Year

Q

"Hello!

What is the best time of year to do archery in Toronto? I am asking with respect to weather conditions.

- John W."

A

Hello John!

Ignoring rain, I think the biggest factor would be wind conditions - especially for shooting longer distances because the wind effects the arrow 4 times as much at 80 yards compared to 20 yards.

Judging by the average month to month wind speeds in Toronto (as well as a measurement of the average number of days with strong wind (52 kph or more) then the best month to do archery in Toronto is August.


I created the chart above using data from currentresults.com. The statistics below are likewise from the same website. If you want to check the wind, temperature, precipitation and humidity for other times of the year I recommend visiting the website. Other people reading this can also check their local weather conditions to see which is the best times of the year for them to practice if they want ideal conditions.

Temperature wise August's temperatures average between a high of 26 C and a low of 17 C.

Average precipitation during August is 81 mm, so there should be plenty of dry days.

Average humidity during August is 81% in the morning and 61% in the afternoon, which means the best time of day to go to the Toronto Archery Range is the afternoon or early evening.

Personally I like shooting during September and October. Sure it is slightly windier in September and October, but the temperature is more comfortable and there is less humidity in the afternoons.

Another factor, outside of wind conditions, is how busy it is at the archery range at different times during the week. The best time to go is a weekday morning or early afternoon. On weekends the range tends to get crowded.

Lastly I want to note that what you are asking for is basically when is the best time to get the ideal weather conditions in order to get more accuracy, however when doing archery outdoors the primary purpose really should be to learn how to adjust for wind / weather conditions. Thus you learn how to shoot regardless of whether it is raining, windy, snowing, foggy, cold, hot, humid or any other kind of conditions.

I personally love shooting at a moving target on a windy day. The smaller the moving target the better.


A Handful of Nose Exercise Questions and Answers

It has been awhile since I have answered any nose exercise questions so here are a few I received recently. See my past posts on:

Nose Exercises Vs Rhinoplasty

Fixing a Crooked Nose using Nose Exercises

Do you actually need Nose Exercises?

Will Nose Exercises make your nose thinner?

His name has been omitted for privacy reasons.

Q

"Hello,

I was wondering if there was anything I can do for a crooked nose that doesn't involve surgery is it true that nose exercises can fix many of these concerns?"

A
Yes, as long as the damage doesn't include damage to the bone or cartilage. See the instructions on the website.

Q

"I have noticed that many of these exercises are making my nose wider is that supposed to be happen? Also will it make it too wide?"

A

"Yes, with the exception of the Nose Narrowing exercise, the other exercises build muscle and that will make a person's nose slightly thicker."

Q

"Are there any other negative side effects associated with doing such exercises? Why haven't doctors recommended them?"

A

They're exercises associated with facial expressions. People wrinkle their nose / etc all the time when they smile, frown, etc, so no, there is no risks associated with nose exercises.

Nose exercises just change the shape of a person's nose slowly over time, either to correct a crooked nose due to damaged muscle tissue or to change the shape of the nose by reshaping the muscle tissue under the skin. Your nose shape is dictated by muscle tissue, cartilage and the nose bone part of the skull where the skull meets the nose. By reshaping the muscle within the nose using exercises it can lengthen, shorten, narrow, or widen the nose - as well as fix problems wherein nose muscle tissue was damaged.

Nose exercises cannot change the shape of the nose bone however. A broken nose (nasal fractures are a common sports injury) can be realigned in most cases to prevent deformity as the broken nose bone will heal over time if it is in the correct position to restitch itself back together, which means nose exercises can be used during treatment and post treatment to keep the nose aligned. Depending on the severity of the broken nose, surgery is sometimes necessary in order to prevent deformity.

Plastic surgeons would never recommend nose exercises because their goal is to get people to buy rhinoplasty. In the case of a severe nasal fracture the patient doesn't have much choice however.
It would be like asking a doctor who does liposuction whether he approves of people just exercising to lose weight. The doctor's goal is to make money so they would likely respond with laughter and saying something like "Well yes, I suppose you could, but how has that been going for you? If exercise was working for you then why are you here? It is very difficult to lose weight exercising so if you can afford it why not just pay for the liposuction instead?"

The vast majority of people who have contacted me about nose exercises actually have very nice noses with a minor problem that doesn't require surgery and is easily fixed by doing nose exercises for several months. I have only encountered one person (who had a very large nose bone protruding from his skull which made his nose unusually large) who could not be helped because the size and shape of his nose was due to elongated shape of the nose bone.

A few people who have contacted me don't even need the exercises. Their worries appear to be more mental and the shape of their nose, in my opinion, is already ideal. They are worrying over nothing.
In your case the muscle tissue has become imbalanced on opposite sides of your nose. Basically the muscles on one side of your nose is bigger than the other side. The nose straightening exercise will build up muscle tissue on both sides, equalizing the muscles on both sides over time and straightening out your nose, and making your nose slightly thicker in the process. When you cease doing the exercises in the future your nose will lose the extra thickness after a month or so and go back to its normal size, but it will have straightened out long before then.

Am I too fat to do archery? + Cycling for Overweight People

Q

"Hello!

I live near the Toronto Archery Range and I am thinking about getting into archery. I am close enough to bicycle there so I figured if I bicycled to the archery range it would be a good way to lose weight.

However I do have two questions I need help with:

1. I weigh 380 lbs (it fluctuates, but that is my current weight). I worry that my weight will impede my ability to do archery. Full disclosure, I have what some people might call 'a generous chest area' and while I know that is normal for a man my size, I do worry it will make it difficult for me to do archery. Do you have any advice concerning this? Am I too fat to do archery?

2. I find riding a bicycle painful on my posterior (if you know what I mean). How can I alleviate this so the seat isn't so painful?

Sincerely,
Name Withheld for Privacy Reasons"

A1

Part One!

No, you're not too fat. I maintain that anyone can learn to do archery - and learn to do it well with continued practice. While it is true physical fitness certainly helps, that is not the deciding factor in the matter.

Many women (and a few men) have very generous chest areas, but this doesn't mean they cannot do archery. Many beginners (not just people who are amply proportioned) encounter problems with string contact on the chest when they are at full draw because they have a tendency to lean away from the bow as they pull back on it.

Leaning back away from the bow changes the angle of the torso so the chest area ends up making contact with the bow string. Standing up straight - or deliberately leaning into the shot - changes the angle dramatically and the chances of string contact are dramatically reduced.

For some women with ample bra sizes they find that string contact is dramatically reduced when wearing a sports bra.

However for men having a sports bra isn't normally an option... But if you Google that topic, you will discover there are male chest girdles designed to compact the chest area and flatten it out - so that does exist.

I found several chest compression vests on Amazon.com that might work for some people, but according to the descriptions they are often designed for men who weigh specific amounts. I am certain there are products out there however that are designed for men in your weight category.

Archery chest guards are designed to flatten one side of your chest, but mostly in an effort to keep excess fabric from clothing rubbing against the bow string. They aren't designed like a sports bra is in an effort to flatten everything and keep it firmly in place.


As you can see above the bow string isn't rubbing against her chest area, but it probably wouldn't be rubbing against her anyway because her posture is nice and upright (no leaning away from the bow). She is wearing a chest protector, but that is mostly because she is conscious of the fact any loose clothing might interfere with the bow string.

So before you rush out to purchase a chest compression vest or a chest guard I recommend you first learn how to shoot and stand up straight while shooting. There is no need to run out and buy a vintage men's girdle that looks like it is something out of the 1800s.

Have a friend take photos of you while shooting so you know for certain you aren't leaning back away from the bow and changing the angle of your torso.

Then if you determine that you are still having difficulties, then you can look into purchasing a compression vest to help flatten out part of your chest.

A2

Part Two!

You are not alone with the uncomfortable bicycle seat problem. Many elderly people also find modern bicycle seats to be too uncomfortable (and some religious orthodox people feel that are too scandalous).

There is a solution however: Broader seats, ergonomic seats, and even gel filled seats with shocks under them. Prices vary, but here are some examples of different bicycle seats below.




 Another thing you should do is make sure the angle of the bicycle seat (after it is installed) is level. Sometimes people find their seats are uncomfortable because the seat itself is on a forward or backward angle, and this in turn hurts both their posterior (as you put it) and your lower back muscles.
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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