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

Archery Biathlon Lessons in Toronto

Q


"Hi I came across an old post about archery ski instruction out of Toronto.
Wondering if you’re still coaching or if you can point me in the direction of someone who is in the Toronto area (or somewhere within a drive ).
Thanks



E. M."


A


Hello E!

Yes, I still coach that but only on weekends.

Would you like to book for January?

If you have any questions feel free to ask. Have a good day!

Sincerely,
Charles Moffat
CardioTrek.ca
Follow Up Comments
So yes, I still teach Archery Biathlon - but I rarely get requests for that. Not many people want archery lessons during the winter, and even less are interested in learning the sport of Archery Biathlon.
So E's email made me realize I should do a post that confirms, yes, I do still offer archery biathlon lessons (and winter archery lessons), and there has been a few changes and I do want to remind people of the following.
#1. I only teach Archery Biathlon during the weekends.
#2. Winter Archery Lessons are likewise only available on weekends.
#3. Winter lessons of either are one-on-one only. No pairs or groups of 3.
#4. You will need your own skis and ski gear. I do not provide those for you. I only provide the archery equipment, if you need it. If you have your own archery equipment and prefer to use it, that is fine too.

#5. Remember to dress for the weather, using multiple tight-fitting layers of warm clothing. Avoid bulky sleeves and bulky jackets.

#6. Definitely remember to bring a hot drink with you. Snacks are a good idea too.

#7. Lesson Plan:

  • Lesson 1 will include a Safety Lecture, Eye Dominance Test, Lecture on Aiming, Lecture on Proper Form, Archery Biathlon Practice combined with Field Archery Practice (aka "Field Archery Biathlon").
  • Lessons 2 will start with "Target Archery Biathlon", and include a lecture in the middle about arrowheads.
  • Lesson 3 will focus on "Long Distance Archery Biathlon", and include a lecture in the middle about arrow spine.
  • Lesson 4 will introduce how to use a Sight and Stabilizer and focus on "Target Archery Biathlon". At some point during the lesson we will be waxing the bowstring and waxing the skis.
  • Lesson 5 will focus on "Archery Biathlon Speed Shooting" - because it is fun, and why not do something fun for the final lesson?
How many lessons a person signs up for is up to them, but we should be able to schedule in 5 lessons during January / February when there is ample snow on the ground. If the snow starts melting too much towards the end of winter we may simply be doing "archery lessons" and skip the skiing aspect.

You notice also that E. asked about other locations where she could learn archery biathlon. Unfortunately I am unaware of anyone else in Toronto (or remotely near the GTA) who teaches archery biathlon.
To sign up for Winter Archery Lessons or Archery Biathlon send an email to

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.
 
 
 


How to get the best of both worlds when buying archery equipment

A


"Hey Charles, hope all is good with you. This is Aadil, I took lessons with you like over two years ago, unfortunately have not practiced archery since. I want to get back into it, and maybe down the line take more lessons.

I wanted to ask if you could recommend arrows and bows:

For bow, I am looking at the Samick Sage Takedown @ 40 lbs.

http://www.lancasterarchery.com/samick-sage-takedown-recurve-bow.html

For arrows, I am a bit confused about because there are so many. Would you be able to recommend any?

Would love to hear you again, and perhaps maybe catch you on the field someday.

Best,
Aadil S."

A

Hey Aadil!

Long time no see!

I never recommend starting at 40 lbs when getting your first bow, but if you really want to get 40 here is my recommendation:

Get two sets of limbs, 25 lbs and 40 lbs. This way you can practice form on the 25 lb limbs and when you are later ready to shoot 40 (to build muscle, to hunt deer / small game) you can switch to the more powerful limbs. This then gives you the best of both worlds... A lighter set of limbs which are easier for a beginner to practice form on, and a stronger set of limbs for when they want to build muscle, shoot longer distances, practice for hunting, etc.

What I don't like to see is when a beginner gets a 40 lb bow, finds out that shooting it is exhausting, the exhaustion takes the fun out of it, and then their bow collects dust in the closet most of the year. Having the lighter limbs allows them to have more fun, still practice, practice more often, and has the bonus feature that you can give the 25 lb bow to a friend / sibling / etc and they can still hopefully shoot it.

Since you are looking at getting a 40 lb bow, I recommend getting 500 spine arrows. Depending on your draw length you might need different arrows, so please consult the chart on the following page:

http://www.cardiotrek.ca/2014/05/3-frequently-asked-archery-equipment.html


The 500 spine arrows will be a bit too stiff for 25 lbs, but better to be too stiff than to be too easily broken.

Also with respect to arrow fletching, aim for 3 to 4" fletching. 5" fletching is great on a day when there is zero wind, but we live in Toronto and there is ALWAYS wind here. 3" fletching will be less effected by the wind. 4" fletching will be more accurate when there is less wind. Pros and Cons to both.

I wouldn't worry too much about brand names. Get 500 spine and 3 or 4" fletching and you should be fine.

With respect to more lessons I sometimes have discounts, so if you check my website once in awhile I sometimes post a discount. So if you are thinking of getting more archery lessons, perhaps subscribe / come back to my site regularly and you will probably see a discount posted.

If you have more questions feel free to ask. See you at the range!

Sincerely,
Charles Moffat
CardioTrek.ca

Is traditional archery the same as instinctive archery? Nope.

Q

"Hi Charles,
Is what we did last class considered instinctive shooting, since we didn't use sights?

D."

A

Hey D!

That would a misnomer to call traditional aiming/style the same thing as instinctive. The two things are very different.

Unfortunately there is a lot of confusion/misinformation about what instinctive aiming / instinctive style is (Lars Anderson is not helping either, his videos are full of misinformation), and this is not the first time I have had to explain the difference. Compound Shooters and Olympic Shooters have an awful habit of looking at traditional style and thinking that it is instinctive, but they don't know that there is an aiming methodology to what the traditional archer is doing, and that there is a specific form.

Traditional Aiming - Aiming off the tip of the arrowhead.

Gap Shooting - Aiming using the gap between the side of the bow and the target, using memory to remember where to aim. Sort of like an imaginary sight.

Aiming with Sights - A gadget commonly used by Olympic and Compound shooters that tells them where to aim.

Instinctive Aiming - Not really aiming, but rather just "shooting from the hip" using "gut instinct", like you might see in a Western quick draw duel.

Traditional Recurve Style - Following form principles designed to increase accuracy through repetition, muscle memory, stable footing/form, consistent back power, etc.

Olympic Recurve Style - Very similar to Traditional Recurve Style, but with several changes to take full advantage of gadgets commonly used in Olympic archery.

Compound Style - Form wise it appears similar to the other two, but compound shooters are less worried about form as the gadgets on the typical modern compound bow basically allow a complete beginner to shoot with a remarkable amount of accuracy with little to no knowledge about how form could improve their accuracy.

Howard Hill Style - Commonly used by longbowmen and some traditional recurve shooters, the Howard Hill Style is similar to Traditional Recurve Style and is for archers who prefer to cant their bow while shooting. (You saw me demonstrating this style on Sunday with my 1972 Black Hawk Avenger bow, although with the aided flair of me kneeling during the shots.)

English Longbow Style - No canting, often involves aiming to the side a bit. In the case of an English Warbow there is a different method of holding the bowstring and releasing.

Horseman Style - Nearly identical to the Howard Hill Style, but with a Horseman's Release and/or a Thumb Ring. Often with a much more profound cant on the bow.

Instinctive Style - Formless. Just pull back any which way and shoot. No form needed. So for example if I lifted one leg and pulled the bowstring back underneath my leg (like a showoff would) and then shot, that would count as instinctive shooting. Pull back the bow from behind my back, over my head, partial draw, overdrawing way off to the side, etc - that would all be instinctive. The downside of this formless style is that the archer is really just guessing where the arrow will go. With practice they get better at guessing, but it is really only remotely accurate at very close distances. Any mid to long range distance and instinctive style/aiming is useless.

Little kids who have never done archery before basically shoot instinctively.

What I prefer to teach is ALL the different methodologies of shooting, starting with traditional and progressing in the directions the student is more interested in. If they later want to learn how to use sights, I will teach them how to use sights. If they want to learn Horseman Style, a horseman's release, etc - then I will steer the teaching in that direction. If they express an interest in longbows, then I will typically teach them the Howard Hill Style and show the differences between English Longbow and Howard Hill style. Thus if they want to learn multiple styles, I will teach them multiple styles.

So what you did on Sunday was:
  • Traditional Aiming.
  • Traditional Recurve Style.
  • Field Archery - In terms of what you were aiming at and the random distances. As opposed to say "Target Archery", "Flight Archery", "Clout Shooting", "Popinjay"... "3D Shooting" would be pretty similar to Field Archery, but would often involve shooting uphill or downhill.
If you want to learn more about Instinctive Style during lessons let me know and I shall demonstrate some shots and you can try it out too to see how you like the formless style of shooting.

(I decided to use this question and answer for an article on my website. I will list your name as "D." for privacy's sake.)

Sincerely,
Charles Moffat
CardioTrek.ca

At what temperature does archery equipment become brittle?

Q


"At what cold temperature does archery equipment become more brittle and more likely to break?"


A

Depends on the material used in the construction of the archery equipment.

Fiberglass (commonly used in bow limbs) becomes brittle and increasingly brittle at a temperature of 0° C. For this reason my personal preference is to never do archery if the temperature is -5° C or colder. (That and I don't like freezing outside when it is super cold conditions.)

Carbon Fibre (commonly used to make arrows) becomes brittle at -60° C. So not as much of a concern.

Aluminum actually becomes stronger at colder temperatures. It is at high temperatures (above 100° C) that aluminum becomes increasingly weaker.

Leather, Feather Fletching, Glues, etc - Honestly, I don't know, but I am going to guess certain glues and epoxies do become brittle at low temperatures and that it varies on the type of glue or epoxy. Leather and feathers I would not worry about. Same goes with plastic fletching, I am going to assume that is pretty durable.

Wood is more resistant but not indestructible. It also varies on the type of wood being used, but the rule of thumb is that the harder a wood is, the more brittle it becomes at lower temperatures. So the problem here is that many longbows (and some other styles of bows) use various kinds of hardwood - and that typically the best hardwoods make really good bows.

Other factors effect how brittle wood is, like the following:

Moisture Content - Because wood contains water, when the water turns into ice it expands - thus damaging the wood itself. The higher the moisture content in wood, the more brittle it can become.

Type of Wood - Certain types of wood, like pine or spruce, are excellent for making structures outdoors because they are more resistant to water and ice damage. However pine and spruce is horrible for making bows. In contrast oak, hard maple, and other hardwoods are great for making bows - but are very vulnerable to water and ice damage.

Oils and Finishes - This protects the wood from gaining additional water content. A well oiled bow is more protected from water damage and mildew, but that doesn't mean it cannot be effected by ice damage from the preexisting moisture content.

Kiln Dried Wood vs Acclimating Moisture - Kiln dried wood has its moisture content reduces and if then sealed with oil and finishes, it will be more resistant to ice damage. However there is a problem... if the wood after it was kiln dried was given time to acclimate to the surrounding moisture content in the air before being sealed - or worse, it was never sealed - then it will have the same moisture content as regular wood anyway.

Treated Woods and Specialty Woods - Some woods are treated with resin to create brandname woods like "DiamondWood" and "FutureWood", like those used by the Bear Archery Co. The resins make the wood more durable and water resistant - and thus more likely to be able to take extreme colds. There is also woods like Accoya®* wood, which is treated with acetic anhydride, which increases the wood's durability, "dimensional stability" (whatever that means), resistant to rot, and makes very resistant to both water and cold damage.

* Apparently adding ® is more or less a requirement when talking about Accoya® wood. It is mostly used for outdoor purposes. To my knowledge nobody has ever made a bow out of it. It would probably be good for making arrows however. If anyone does make arrows out of Accoya®, please email me some photos and let me know how well they work.



Note - Nobody really asked the question, but I felt the topic needed to be discussed and that other people would benefit from learning everything above.

How to become a professional archer faster and more efficiently

Q


"Hello Charles!

I saw you answer archery questions and I have one I am hoping you can answer.

I have been thinking of getting into competitive archery and I was wondering if there was any training techniques you would recommend in order to become a better archer that would allow me to progress faster than the Average Joe (or Jane in my case). Basically I want to stand out and I am looking for ways to do that via training.

Regards,
Angie B., North Dakota"

A

Hello Angie!

Actually there is many different ways to get a competitive edge through training, but what I am going to recommend is a comprehensive approach because your fellow competitors, if they are remotely serious, are probably doing at least 1 or 2 of these techniques.

My impression from what you are asking is that you want to really stand out from the other competitors, and that means doing a lot more than just a few techniques, but instead doing all of them in a more comprehensive manner.

The two most common things competitors do are:

#1. Practice Archery Regularly

Usually 3 to 4 times per week. For some archers this is often the only thing they do.

#2. Regular Non-Archery Exercise

This could be weightlifting, cardio, resistance exercises, yoga and a variety of other methods of improving strength, endurance, balance, posture and so forth. The problem with getting regular exercise is that many people in North America are loath to do it, so it makes sense that a country like South Korea (where regular exercise is more popular and people routinely go hiking in the mountains for the fun of it) wins roughly 75% of all medals at international competitions.

So right there, you can see that South Korea and similar countries where regular exercise is popular already has a distinct advantage that allows them to stand out.

Another problem with archers is that they often think "Practicing archery counts as exercise, so I don't need to do other kinds of exercise."

Thus many archers don't exercise outside of doing archery itself. Unfortunately a lack of comprehensive exercises results in muscle imbalances which actually hinder the archer's endurance and strength. So this idea that professional archers "only need archery to exercise" is a myth.



And now we get into the topics that most archers do NOT do, including so-called professionals.

#3. Comprehensive Exercises

So Regular Exercise and Comprehensive Exercises are two different things. One just means regular repetition adding up to a quantity of exercise. Comprehensive means that the exercises you are doing cover a broad range of topics for different purposes.

Above I mentioned the following types of exercises:

Cardio - Specifically things like jogging or swimming, your goal here is to boost endurance and your heart's strength. Your heart controls the blood flow to your lungs, your muscles, your brain... this increases endurance, strength, and reduces mental fatigue. You want to avoid exercises that focus too much on speed, like sprinting short distances. Jogging is more effective because it builds the heart muscles more.

Weightlifting and Resistance Exercises - Your goals here are to increase overall physical strength and endurance. This will have some effect on heart strength, but not in the same way that cardio does. This is why you need to do both. The weightlifting/resistance exercises need to be done slowly so that you can build endurance more efficiently. The beauty of this is that you can target specific muscles or muscle groups, but you also need to building the "whole set" so to speak. If you focus too much on building a single muscle, you won't achieve much results. That is why targeting muscle groups is more efficient, so that all the muscles build up cooperatively. Thus, you also need to be comprehensive in your approach and target all the muscle groups.

Imagine for a moment an archer who only targets their upper back muscles, and does nothing for their chest, shoulders, arms, lower back - clearly will get a few benefits from building up their back, but their back muscles eventually reach a point where it starts compensating for a lack of strength in other areas. This leads to other muscles becoming weaker and eventually a muscle imbalance develops. This can also lead to bad posture and a host of other problems.

Yoga - If you have never done yoga you will never know how tiring it is and how much it uses your own body weight to increase your strength, endurance, balance and posture. Think of the simple push up, which is a common old school exercise for building the muscles in, arms, shoulders, pectorals and upper back. It uses your body weight to create resistance. Yoga follows the same principle, but applies it to a multitude of other muscle groups. In my experience, people who do yoga regularly tend to do remarkably well at archery. (Yoga also has the added effect of boosting mental endurance. There are also Yogic breathing exercises which are handy for archers who want to learn to control their breathing while executing a shot.)

#4. Healthy Diet Habits

This is another thing many archers in North America don't take seriously (and another reason why countries like South Korea have a distinct advantage competitively).

Imagine two archers who do the same training regimen, but the only difference is that one archer has a typical North American diet and the other archer has a healthy diet which focuses on protein, vegetables, calcium, vitamins and nutrients. Which one do you think will have more strength, more endurance and a healthier balance of chemicals in their brain (which effects mental conditioning)?

The obvious answer is the archer with the healthy diet. And because many archers don't embrace a healthy diet, this is one definite way to get a competitive edge over the 90% of other archers who frankly probably have horrible dieting habits.

#5. Reading Books

Honestly, this is very important and I am going to recommend you read the first book most of all.

  • Precision Archery by Steve Ruis and Claudia Stevenson. Read the whole book, even the chapters you don't think will effect you. Just read it all.
  • The Unfettered Mind by Takuan Soho. This is a good introduction to mental conditioning. The book is actually a series of letters from a Buddhist monk to samurais of the time, and while he talks about swords the same advice also applies to mental conditioning for archers. (Do not read "Zen in the Art of Archery". That book is horrid.)
I have a book titled "High Performance Sports Conditioning", edited by Bill Foran, but I don't think it is still available. Instead I recommend finding a newer book on the same topic of Sports Conditioning. The book I have is basically a big 366 page textbook for athletes who want to do sports conditioning, so you need to be looking for the equivalent.

#6. Sports Conditioning and Training with a Coach

This is unfortunately where money comes into the equation.

Having a coach that can advise the athlete on training techniques, exercises, diet, mental preparedness for competitions... this gives the archer a distinct advantage. A good coach will challenge the archer in new ways that will keep their training regimen interesting, interactive and ever changing.

#7. Start Competing and Learning from the Competitive Experience

You probably won't do so well in the first so many competitions, but your goal here is not to win. It is to learn how to compete and start learning how your mind is effected by the challenges of competition.

I know first hand from competing that you can be winning and suddenly flub a shot or two close to the end because I was not mentally prepared for what to do if the wind suddenly picks up and I am getting tired of holding shots while trying to time the wind conditions. That really messes with your head, trying to time a shot in-between wind gusts while you are tired and you grow anxious... and before you know it, you are stressing out and mess up a shot or two because you are basically having an anxiety attack.

And that is what makes the difference between coming in first and coming in second. Stress and mental conditioning can make that tiny bit of difference on the score card.

The trick I think is to try and remember "It doesn't really matter. Just relax and shoot. Even if you miss, will it really make a big difference to the grand scheme of things?" Because it doesn't matter. Nobody ten years, a hundred years or a thousand years is going to care that you missed a shot.

But competing and learning how to accept that defeat when you almost won, and then learning from the experience will make you a stronger and more mentally prepared competitor in the long term.

#8. Practice in all Weather Conditions

If you practice even on the days when it is cold and rainy, the day will come when it rains during a competition and you will be mentally ready for it. The other archers might not be ready because maybe they never practiced in the rain. But you have, so that makes you the better archer when it comes to shooting in the slop.

Best of luck to you in your competitive career!

Sincerely,
Charles Moffat
CardioTrek.ca





Brace Height on a Jandao Recurve Bow

Q

Hello I have a jandao and I was trying to go all over the internet to find the brace height but I'm sol. 

Do you know what the brace height is if I'm shooting 28#66"?

Or where I can ask?

Thanks,
Dwayne
A

Should be approx. 7 or 8 inches.

If you cannot be certain of the brace height I recommend experimenting with it to see which brace height gives you the most speed. Don't worry about accuracy yet, just try to see which brace height gives you the most speed from the arrow. When you find that it will also turn out to be the most accurate, but speed is easier to spot.

If you have difficulty trying to determine which brace height is fastest by yourself, try having a friend or two stand by and judge the speed of the arrows.

Due to personal preference some people will sometimes prefer a slightly higher or lower brace height, still very close to the "ideal brace height", but within a margin of error that some archers find more comfortable.

Sincerely,
Charles Moffat
CardioTrek.ca

PS. Regardless of what the poundage is, the brace height on Jandao should still be the same. So it doesn't really matter if it is 28 lbs, 20 lbs or 38 lbs... same ideal brace height.

Three Frequently Asked Questions: Stump Shooting, Different Elevations, Obstacles

Below are three frequently asked archery questions related to shooting in the wilderness:

"I heard there is something called Stump Shooting. What is it?"

Stump Shooting is the act of shooting at old rotten stumps of trees - rotting tree trunks. The rotting stumps make excellent targets in the woods because they are so soft your arrows go in and come back out easily, without damaging your arrows.

The beauty of stump shooting is that you can wander around in the woods, look for stumps that make great targets - and then practice shooting at it from different angles, different distances, and even different elevations. As an activity it is truly a fun one.

Learn more about Stump Shooting: An Archer's Guide to Stump Shooting


"Do you aim differently when aiming downhill or uphill at a target?"

At short distances, no, not really. While it may seem like a target is further away because of the angle, the amount of time the arrow is in the air makes little or no difference whether you are shooting at a target from an upward or downward angle - what really matters is how much gravity effects the arrow during its flight. While it is true that the arrow would go slightly faster downhill and slightly slower uphill, at short distances the differences is so negligible that it makes really no difference.
At longer distances - extreme heights and such - then you can see a huge difference in terms of where you need to aim.

I can recommend shooting at different heights and practicing aiming uphill and downhill so you can perfect your form and get better at aiming upwards and downwards.
Regardless of the height, the arrow is only in the air for 20 yards of distance - thus gravity effects it the same.


"What is the best way to deal with obstacles in the way when you are trying to shoot?"

There is not one single answer to this, but rather multiple answers. The "best way" really depends on the circumstances and the obstacles.

In some situations kneeling might produce better results. In others you might actually want to get more elevation to shoot over an obstacle. Or you might decide to move sideways to get a clearer shot from a different angle.

I recommend practicing all three so you get really good at figuring out how to solve the problem.

So the long winded answer I guess is "Practice everything and you can do everything."

Is my 15-year-old son still eligible to learn archery?

Q

"Hi, my son is very interested in learning archery. However he is just under 15 years of age. I know you have an age minimum, please advise if he is still eligible?

Do you have any spots open for Saturdays in the morning? Full package.

my thanks,
Nancy H."

A

Hey Nancy!

I retired from teaching archery about a week ago to spend more time with my son while my wife works on her career. My weekends are pretty busy indefinitely so my availability even on weekends is best described as "fully booked". So I am not available any more to teach, regardless of your son's age.

Sorry if there is some mixed messages with respect to my Retirement Signature Message. I should update that.

However I do have a suggestion. Sign your son up for Boy Scouts (when he turns 15 he can switch to Venturer Scouts, which is for ages 15 to 17).
  • Beaver Scouts (Ages 5-7)
  • Cub Scouts (Ages 8-10)
  • Scouts (Ages 11-14)
  • Venturer Scouts (Ages 15-17)
  • Rover Scouts (Ages 18-26)

I can also recommend an excellent book:

Precision Archery
By Steve Ruis and Claudia Stevenson
https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/precision-archery/9780736046343-item.html


If you have any questions (such as questions about buying archery equipment) let me know and I will help the best I can. Have a good day!

Sincerely,
Charles Moffat
CardioTrek.ca

Retirement Signature Message - I officially retired from being a personal trainer / sports coach as of August 28th to pursue being a full time stay-at-home-dad while my wife pursues her career. I will be using the time to finish writing an archery book and I may sometimes teach Archery Lessons (weekends only), depending on my availability. In the meantime please browse free archery tips on CardioTrek.ca, testimonials, and check out what else Cardio Trek has to offer.

Expensive Compound Bows Vs Super Adjustable Compound Bows

Q

Hey Charles.

Question for you on Bows...

I'm really interested in getting a decent composite bow off the start (after a few lessons of course). The one I'm thinking of getting is the Oneida Kestrel or Pheonix. Do you think that's a bad idea? I read online that it's ok to go with more expensive bows as it just means I won't grow out of the bow quickly. I know online comments aren't always accurate, so I'd like to hear from a pro. Thoughts?

- Geoffrey C.

A

Hey Geoffrey!

The Oneida Kestrel as seen on the popular "Arrow" TV show.
The bow has seen a boost in sales thanks to the show.
Well, the Oneida Kestrel/Pheonix are definitely more expensive hybrid recurve compound bows. I only know of two people who even own Oneida bows, as they are pretty rare. I should note that older Oneida's can also be very accurate, judging from the one I shot a few years ago and it was made during the 1990s.

I would disagree with the statement that "people don't grow out of more expensive bows as quickly" because obviously there is going to be exceptions to that statement, and since there are so many different kinds of expensive bows, that is quite a few exceptions.

A better statement would be:

"A compound bow that is easy to adjust, fully adjustable, and has a broad range of power settings, draw length settings, and even comfort settings is the kind of bow a person will not easily grow out of."

This weekend I met a guy who had purchased a compound bow with two comfort settings. The first one had a hard Wall, but faster FPS arrow speed, while the second setting was more comfortable with a soft Wall, but slower FPS arrow speed. Modern compound bows are becoming ever more complicated, and this is largely due to manufacturers trying to make bows which are more easily adjustable and have more options for adjustment to suit the user's needs.

Consequently having more options / more adjustability can make a compound bow more expensive...

However not all compound bows are super adjustable. Some are quite the opposite, they are very narrow in how much they can be adjusted because the manufacturer has decided to focus on making a bow super powerful, faster FPS arrow speed, a harder Wall, more let off, extra gadgets for the sake of accuracy, more durability, lighter, better balanced, more expensive materials, etc.

There are many ways to make a compound bow more expensive. The ability to not grow out of it too quickly doesn't necessarily factor in to the ways a particular bow is more expensive.

With expensive bows there is always the chance a person ends up buying the wrong bow too and ends up regretting it because it was too powerful, not adjustable enough that it was suitable for the individual, etc.

eg. I saw a guy a few weeks ago who bought his girlfriend a compound bow expecting her to be able to use it, and unfortunately she wasn't strong enough to pull it even at the lowest possible setting because the bow he had purchased was not adjustable enough. She then ended up shooting his bow instead - which was super adjustable and could be adjusted to her draw length and power needs. Later he ended up shooting her bow instead of his own. (Maybe that was his evil plan all along, to get himself a new bow?)

If you have additional questions let me know. Have a great day!

Sincerely,
Charles Moffat
CardioTrek.ca

The Oneida Eagle Phoenix Hybrid Recurve Compound Bow

Archery Equipment Checklist

Q


"Is there a checklist of items I should get when looking for archery equipment [to buy]? I am looking to shoot recurve."

- Joe B.

A

Samick Sage is a very popular beginner recurve.
Hey Joe!

Sure, here you go:

  • A recurve bow in a poundage you can pull and hold steady for long periods. Avoid any bow you cannot pull and keep steady. When sold a new bow typically comes with a bowstring. See a list of popular recurve bow brands and models, there are plenty to choose from.
  • A Bowstringer - to string your bow properly, without the risk of damaging it).
  • An archery glove or tab (to protect your fingers properly). The most common style is a 3-finger glove, such as the one made by the American company Neet.
  • Arrow Rest - there are many styles of arrow rests, choose one you like that is within your budget. Generally the better quality arrow rests effect the accuracy of your dramatically, so if you are going to invest in something better, spending it on the arrow rest is a good idea.
  • Nock Bead - a tiny brass bead that goes on your bowstring that is used to prevent Stringwalking by accident.
  • Arrowheads - 125 grain field points are the most commonly used. Heavier field points are for shooting at close targets, light field points and for shooting further distances.
  • Arrows that are spined correctly for your bow's poundage. This is actually extremely important. You want the right arrows that suit your bow, both for accuracy reasons and for safety reasons (shooting cheap weak spined arrows on a very powerful bow can cause the arrow to shatter midshot and you can end up with pieces of arrow in your bow arm or hand - see photo below). See 3 Frequently Asked Questions about Archery Equipment for more details.
Just one reason why you need arrows that are spined correctly for your bow.

Optional, but Not a Necessity. See Optional Archery Equipment for more details.
  • Armguard or Bracer - arguably a necessity for some people, but not everyone needs one.
  • A spare bowstring. (In case the first one breaks.)
  • Spare Parts for Arrows - spare nocks, spare fletching, fletching glue, spare arrowheads, spare inserts. This is in case you ever need to repair arrows.
  • A quiver of some kind - possibly a back quiver, side quiver, hip quiver, ground quiver - or you can just make your own.
  • Dampeners - puffy balls that make your bowstring quieter.
  • Archery Backpack - to carry your gear in.
  • Bow Sock - for storing a longbow or one-piece recurve in.
  • 3D Targets - for shooting at fake rabbits and such.
  • Portable Archery Targets - for when you don't have anything else to shoot at.
  • Stabilizer - a gadget to help prevent people from canting the bow.
  • Decorative Limbs Skins - purely for decoration.
  • Wrist Strap - so you don't accidentally drop your bow.
  • Bow Racks / Bow Stands - for storing your bow when you are not shooting it.
  • Strange Arrowheads - Whistling arrowheads, Tibetan howling arrowheads, blunt arrowheads, glass arrowheads, flint, obsidian - there are quite a variety available.

When should you get a better bow?

While this is an uncommon question (more suited to an intermediate archer who is ready for their second bow), but it is an important one when it comes to archery equipment.

First lets explore what the word Better might mean to some people:
  • More expensive.
  • Higher poundage.
  • Faster limbs.
  • Different style of bow.
Next we shall answer the questions according to each of these different meanings?

Gold Plated Martin Firecat
When should you get a more expensive bow?

This first question really relates more to budget than anything else. Someone who is on a frugal budget might want to limit themselves to buying 1 new bow per year (along with arrows with the correct arrow spine for that bow).

Someone with a more expensive budget could buy a new bow every 6 months or so, or more often, depending on their whimsy. It is their money after all, they can spend it on whatever frivolities they want - like buying a gold plated compound bow, like the one on the right. I suggest 6 months however because I feel that is a good amount of time to get reasonably good with one bow before moving on to the next (assuming the person is practicing regularly).

When should you get a higher poundage bow?

When your current bow feels too easy and weak because your muscles have grown so much that it now feels easy in comparison. If it feels a little easy, get a bow that is 5 lbs heavier. If it feels very easy, get a bow that is 10 lbs heavier.

Not sure which to get? 5 lbs heavier is the safer option.

When should you get a bow with faster limbs?

This is a trickier question, because faster limbs really comes to style, brand and model. For example Black Swan is a recurve bow manufacturer that makes bows with ceramic-carbon limbs - which are very fast, comparable to compound bow speed.

Black Swan Ceramic Bow Limbs

If you shoot a compound bow and want a faster compound bow, this becomes more of an issue of your budget, in which case see the More Expensive Bow option further above. How often you buy a new compound bow and go through the process of tuning it is really up to the individual. Compound bows comes in a variety of speeds, with each bow having a variety of pros and cons such as:
  • More speed / kinetic energy
  • Less hand shock / vibration
  • Smoother draws
  • More let off
  • Less physical weight
  • More durable materials
  • Smaller or longer axle to axle length
  • More gadgetry
  • More overall accuracy
  • Price
The problem however is sometimes one pro offsets a con. eg. If something is made of more durable materials, it is typically also heavier. If it is both more durable and lighter weight, then it probably be very expensive - however using lighter weight / more durable materials can sometimes be a good way to increase overall speed, so there can also be a speed benefit by using better materials.

Note - Most compound bows already shoot in the range of 300 to 350 fps anyway, so you do have to wonder what difference a few extra fps actually makes? Answer: The biggest difference is more accuracy at longer distances - in which case if you are shooting that far then you had better learn how to breathe properly while shooting because a simple error like breathing into your chest and lifting your shoulders can ruin a shot.

When should you get a different style of bow?

When you feel like trying something new and different. Nobody is forcing you to use one style of bow, and no single style of bow or archery style is "better" than other styles, it is simply different and comes with its own pros and cons.

Someone who shoots compound bow and later decides to get into longbows might decide that longbows is something they feel is better simply because it is more enjoyable and challenging. Some people really enjoy the simplicity of shooting longbows.

Detail of arrowrest on fibreglass backed laminated wood longbow.
Or vice versa, someone who is getting older and wants to keep shooting despite some physical ailments might decide to swap out their old longbow for something different - like a wooden compound bow made by Black Hawk, example below. This way they still get to shoot a beautiful wooden bow, but get to relax a bit more thanks to the 50% let off.

Black Hawk Warrior Wooden Compound

Isolated Muscle Twitching

Q

"Hey Charles!

I know you are knowledgeable about sports injuries so I thought I should ask you. I have been getting these weird muscle twitches lately in my left arm, just below the elbow on the upper part of my arm. It is only in the left arm which is part of the reason why I think it must be a sports injury. They last for several seconds and you can visibly see the muscles spasm. It is rather weird. I haven't been exercising much lately because it is winter and I am not sure what I could have done to give myself a sports injury, assuming that is what it is.

They started yesterday and now it is happening even more today. It is getting worse and I am starting to freak out a bit. Any ideas?

- Rodney B."

A

Hey Rodney, long time no see.

Okay, well you are in luck. I don't think it is a sports injury. I think you are having isolated muscle spasms because you probably haven't been sleeping much lately (I am guessing because of New Years etc, it messes up the sleep patterns for many people). I get them sometimes too, always when I have had a lack of sleep. One time I got the spasms in my left eyelid and it was really annoying.

I have found that if I simply take extra time to sleep, maybe even have naps when possible, the spasms go away and everything rights itself.

According to my research they can also be caused by high stress (which effects sleep patterns). So that can also be a factor.

If they don't go away after lots of sleep, then you should definitely consult a doctor.

Sincerely,
Charles Moffat
CardioTrek.ca

Reply

"Oh damn. I think you are right. I have been staying up for the last two nights really late and playing Skyrim. Like staying up til 4 AM, that sort of thing. That game is really addictive. Okay, I just need to go to sleep sooner and stop playing Skyrim so late at night. It all makes sense now.

Thanks Charles! You're awesome!

- Rodney B."

Reply

Glad to hear my educated guess was accurate. I was wrong about the New Years Eve, but correct about the lack of sleep. Go sleep more!!!

 

Question: Do you teach Winter Archery Lessons?

Q

"Hello!

Do you teach archery lessons during the winter? How much for 3 lessons? Are the lessons outdoors?

- D.S."

A

Hey D.S.

Yes, yes I do teach Winter Archery Lessons. Three lessons are $170 for 3 lessons (for 1 person). And yes, they are outdoors, although I limit myself to only teaching on days that are:

  • -5° C or warmer.
  • Not snowing or raining.
  • Not incredibly windy.

I recommend also reading my Archery Lessons Syllabus so you have a better idea of what each of the lessons will be focusing on. While Winter Lessons do have a stronger focus on skills that are useful during the winter, the overall scope of the lessons remains the same as the normal lessons.

If you have additional questions feel free to ask. Have a great day!

Sincerely,
Charles Moffat
CardioTrek.ca


About Winter Archery Lessons

2016-2017 Winter Archery Lesson Rates

Weekday Morning / Afternoon Rates (Start Time: 10 AM to 2 PM)

1 Student
$60 for 90 minutes; 3 Lessons - $170; 5 Lessons - $270; 10 Lessons - $520.

Weekend Rates (Start Time
: 10 AM to 2 PM)

1 Student
$90 for 90 mins; 3 Lessons - $255; 5 Lessons - $405; 10 Lessons - $780.


Notes

All equipment is provided during archery lessons. Winter Archery Gloves are also provided in a variety of sizes. Buying your own equipment is not mandatory, but it is optional.

I also teach Archery Biathlon (combination of cross country skiing and archery), so if a person is interested in learning that they just have to ask. I do not provide the skis or poles however, so that is something you would need to purchase or already own if you are interested in doing Archery Biathlon.

Snowshoes are handy if the snow is really deep. Again, not mandatory.

Wearing temperature appropriate clothing is mandatory. I also strongly recommend bringing a thermos filled with a hot drink.

See Also

Winter Archery Practice, Part One

Winter Archery Practice, Part Two

Toronto Archery Lessons Syllabus

Q


Hi There


I’m interested in [archery] lessons, is there a syllabus?

- Daniel C. 

A

Hello Daniel!
Lesson 1
  • Safety Lecture
  • Eye Test
  • Aiming Lecture
  • Proper Form Lecture
  • Field Archery Practice
Lesson 2
  • Target Archery Practice
  • Arrowhead Lecture
  • Focus of lesson is on building quality form and good habits.
Lesson 3
  • Long Distance Field Archery Practice
  • Arrow Spine Lecture
  • Focus of lesson is to be using consistent back strength, which is key to long distance accuracy.
Lesson 4
  • Precision Target Archery Practice / Aiming Exercise
  • Bowstring Waxing Demo
  • Focus of lesson is to get rid of remaining bad habits that hinder accuracy.
Lessons 5 to 10
Topics Vary, tailored to the student needs/desires, but may include:
  • Adjusting for Wind Conditions
  • Long Distance Shooting
  • Long Distance Field Archery
  • Gap Shooting
  • Shooting at Moving Targets
  • Shooting while in Motion
  • Additional Precision Archery Practice
  • Instinctive Archery
  • Aiming Exercises
  • Flight Archery
  • Night Shooting
Lessons 5 to 10 also typically include a short lecture and/or demo on topics dealing with equipment maintenance, technical skills, etc.

If you have additional questions please feel free to ask.

Sincerely,
Charles Moffat
CardioTrek.ca


Training Muscles for Bowhunting

Q


"Hi Charles,

I enjoyed the lesson.

I would like to see you for more lessons but I need a week or so before I can commit to any further dates.

I’d also like to get your opinion on purchasing a bow. It would be great to have to teach me on my own."

Warmly,
Rachel P.

A

Hey Rachel!

Well, since I know you want to get into bowhunting I am going to make a rather specific recommendation:

Get two sets of limbs when you buy your bow

One set 25 lbs, the other set 35 lbs. The purpose here is so you can practice with the 25 lbs and build your accuracy and form, and then whenever you want to build strength you can switch to the 35 lb limbs.

Ontario Laws wise, you need a minimum 39.7 lbs (18 kg) at 28 inches for deer and 48.5 lbs (22 kg) at 28 inches for elk, moose or black bear.

However there is a problem. You have a shorter draw distance, closer to 26 inches. This means you will likely need 45 lbs or 55 lbs respectively for hunting those types of game, to make up the difference for your shorter draw.

You will be able to pull that poundage eventually and hold it, but like weightlifting you want to follow a gradual process. The bow you were shooting yesterday was 18 lbs at 28 inches draw. So 25 lbs vs 18 lbs will still be a step up from what you were doing yesterday, and 35 lbs is for the days when you want to building muscle faster. The problem with many beginner archers / would-be hunters is that they often try to go straight to the higher poundage bow, without going through the whole gradual process of building up strength. Think of it like dumbbells. People don't go straight to the 40 lb dumbbells and use them constantly, they get bored and tired too quickly while doing that. You want to practice with 20 lbs, 30 lbs and build up to 40 lbs so you are using proper form. (It is amazing how often amateur weightlifters cannot do a simple bicep curl properly, often sticking their elbows out on an angle and lifting partially with their shoulders.)

Some people prefer to do an even more gradual process. 25 lbs, 30 lbs, 35 lbs, 40 lbs, etc. However in my experience the 5 lb difference is barely noticeable. An extra 10 lbs is more of a shock in power and that builds muscle faster. Alternating between two or three poundages gives the muscles a chance to relax while still shocking them regularly.

Note - You might decide you are not ready to commit to having two sets of limbs yet, in which case just get the 25 lb limbs for now. You can always go back later and get more powerful limbs when you feel you are ready to make that step.

Building Accuracy First

With archery it is also really important to be building accuracy first before attempting to build muscle. Accuracy matters most of all and that requires good form. The problem with higher poundages it is becomes more difficult for people to maintain good form and people will often botch a shot because they cannot hold it steady.

Once an archer has developed good accuracy then they can switch to higher poundages and go through the gradual process of building strength, shocking the muscles repeatedly, switching back and forth between poundages regularly. It is also beneficial to have a 2nd set of limbs for "off days" when the archer is feeling tired, hungry, distracted, distressed and just wants a more relaxing shoot.

What To Get

The Samick Sage is the bow I typically recommend. Ask for 25 lb and 35 lb limbs. Make sure it is a RH model.

If you want to look at other brands / models, check out http://www.cardiotrek.ca/2016/09/recurve-bows-brands-and-models.html

You will also want the following:

Archery shooting glove - Make sure you get the correct size that fits your hand.
Arrows x 12 - Make sure you get arrows that have screw in arrowheads. Do not get the glue in arrowheads (they break too easily).
Arrowheads x 12 - 125 grains each.
Arrowrest - Either a traditional Bear faux fur rest or a more modern arrowrest, eg. Flipper. Ask them to install it for you.
Bowstring Wax
Bowstringer
Nock Bead - Ask them to install it for you on the bowstring. If not, I can show you how it is done.

The store I recommend most is Tent City because they have the best prices and good selection (and if they do not have it then they can order it). Expect to be spending about $350 if you are shopping at Tent City. It will be closer to $400 / $450 at other locations.

TENT CITY
Address: 1600 Steeles W, Concord, ON L4K 4M2
Phone: (905) 660-6885
Hours:
Sunday Closed
Monday 10:00 am – 6:00 pm
Tuesday 10:00 am – 6:00 pm
Wednesday 10:00 am – 6:00 pm
Thursday 10:00 am – 9:00 pm
Friday 10:00 am – 9:00 pm
Saturday 10:00 am – 5:00 pm

Hours of other locations are listed on http://www.archerytoronto.ca/Archery-Equipment-in-Toronto.html

If you have any questions feel free to ask. Have a good weekend!

Sincerely,
Charles Moffat
CardioTrek.ca

Archery Question about Instinctive Archery

Q

"Hey Charles,
Going to get a little philosophical on you but just wanted to hear what your perspective is.

Don't people instinctively shoot when they practice a specific style of aiming after practicing it for a long enough time?  Kind of like knowing what notes to play over a given chord progression when improvising in music or being able to to counter punches by feel and timing because you have mastered those situations via practice.  Much like what Miyomoto Musashi goes into when he talks about mastering the way of strategy as a means of mastering any skill or art in the Book of Five Rings.

What makes this style of shooting different than any other style?  Or is my definition of instinctive different than what it is in archery terms? 

- Gordon M."

A

Hey Gordon!

Next time you see me ask me to demonstrate instinctive shooting for you and I shall do so.

There is a lot misnomers and confusions about Instinctive Archery. Some people mistakenly think it is a further progression of Traditional Style or Gap Shooting. Some people even think that Traditional or Gap Shooting IS instinctive, since they don't know the differences. This is why there is a lot of false information out there because some people don't know the technical definition.

It should also be noted that there is a difference between Instinctive, Subconscious, and Experience. Instinctive is laid out below, but shooting subconsciously and experienced shooting should not be confused with the former.

Instinctive Shooting
● Shooting with no set anchor point, ie. a floating anchor point that moves constantly depending on the whim of the archer.
● Shooting without any kind of aiming technique. No Gap Shooting, no aiming off the arrow head (Traditional Aiming), no sights, etc. Basically just shooting / "aiming from the hip".
● Shooting without any worries about proper archery form.

Pros
• You don't need to learn proper archery form to shoot instinctive.
• You don't need any sights, stabilizers or other gadgets.
• You can theoretically shoot around corners
• Fun. But with a downside. (See below.)
Cons
• Only accurate at very short (point blank) distances. Point Blank is anything under 30 feet (10 yards)). With more powerful bows the range of point blank can be extended, but accuracy will never be super accurate at mid or long distances and will instead look like a complete loss of accuracy.
• People eventually get bored of Instinctive Archery, mostly because of the lack of accuracy at mid to long distance. It is fun, but it eventually becomes boring and repetitive.
• People who shoot Instinctive too often will sometimes develop bad habits with respect to proper archery form, and this can then hurt their accuracy when doing other styles of archery. (This happened to a friend who was playing too much archery tag and his accuracy went down because he developed some nasty habits which took him months to get rid of.)
In a sport like archery, where the whole point is to be accurate, instinctive archery has a reputation for being inconsistent and inaccurate. This is why so few archers use the style. It is simply too inaccurate and thus least likely to be chosen as a style worth learning.

When it comes to archery then Accuracy Matters.

I would argue that it is best for archers to learn multiple styles of archery so that they are ☆VERSATILE☆. That way they can pick up any bow, shoot any style, use any method of shooting/aiming, and be competent at every style. They will likely still choose to specialize in one style of archery, but being proficient in every style of archery is also handy and gives the archer a deeper understanding of how to shoot regardless of the equipment being used.

In that sense I do actually encourage people to learn how to shoot instinctive style, but it should not be the only style you are learning. Learning multiple styles allows the archer to explore all the avenues of what it means to be an archer, and not be trapped into thinking "I am only a compound shooter and that is all I will ever be." or similar thoughts.

Have a great day!

Sincerely,
Charles Moffat
CardioTrek.ca


Follow Up Question

"Would it be kind of like the archery equivalent of fast draw shooting with revolvers?

- Gordon M."

If the revolver was shot from the hip (or something similar). Yes.

Sincerely,
Charles Moffat
CardioTrek.ca

35 Benefits of Exercising During Pregnancy

Guest Post by Jessica Walter.

Did you know that if you're pregnant, you're not only allowed to exercise, but that it's actually encouraged you do so, for the health of both you and your baby?

With that in mind, and to encourage more women to move around a bit during their pregnancy, we've compiled this list of 35 amazing benefits of exercising while pregnant.

The American College of Obstetricians suggests women who are pregnant exercise a minimum of 20-30 minutes a day for maximum benefits.

Use this guide to motivate you to get started today.​

35 Benefits of Exercising During Pregnancy

Physical Benefits of Exercising While Pregnant
#1. Expectant mothers who exercise are less likely to have unplanned c-sections
#2. Running while pregnant is a great way to boost your heart
#3. Weight training during your first trimester will help prepare your body for the added weight of your baby
#4. During your first trimester, you can try riding a bike for a healthy way to increase your heart rate
#5. Doing Pilates can help you with balance issues associated with pregnancy
#6. Activities such as yoga can help reduce blood pressure
#7. Exercising throughout your pregnancy can lead to a faster, easier labor
#8. Exercising during pregnancy can help tame your lower-back pain
#9. Regular exercise can prevent pregnancy complications such as gestational diabetes
#10. Pregnant women who exercise have improved circulation and blood flow
#11. Women who exercise often will feel less pain from symptoms of pregnancy
#12. You'll notice less swelling of your legs and ankles once you start exercising

Emotional Benefits of Exercising While Pregnant
#13. Light to moderate exercise can give you a better self-image
#14. Regular exercise can help curb mood swings
#15. Doing daily exercises will help boost your energy levels
#16. Exercise can give you an overwhelming sense of accomplishment while pregnant
#17. Light exercise throughout the day can help combat fatigue and give you a better night’s rest
#18. You'll learn proper breathing techniques that can help during your delivery
#19. You'll feel better about going into childbirth
#20. Exercising during pregnancy can take your mind off of things

Exercising Benefits for Both You and Baby
#21. Regular exercise can increase your baby’s brain function
#22. Expectant mothers who exercise tend to keep up the habit after their babies are born
#23. Studies show that mothers who exercise produce children that are leaner than mothers who don’t
#24. Baby will be less likely to incur complications such as cerebral palsy
#25. Babies of mothers who exercise regularly are more likely to have a healthier heart
#26. You're less inclined to have an overweight child
#27. You're more likely to carry your baby to full term
#28. Babies born to mothers who exercise semi-regularly are less at risk for learning disabilities

Post-Delivery Benefits of Exercising During Pregnancy
#29. Exercise can help promote better sleeping habits
#30. Women who exercise during and after pregnancy are less likely to have postpartum depression
#31. Exercise can make it easier to drop weight once you have your baby
#32. Incorporating physical activity into your daily routine will ultimately give your child a positive example for years to come
#33. Abdominal workouts can help lead to a faster recovery
#34. Regular exercise while pregnant will help you bounce back quicker from pregnancy
#35. You'll be more likely to continue your exercise once you child is born
Final Thoughts

Physical Benefits of Exercising While Pregnant

#1. Expectant mothers who exercise are less likely to have unplanned c-sections

More and more mothers are being diagnosed with gestational diabetes, which can lead to your baby growing too large. In this case, your baby may be too hard to deliver, requiring a cesarean delivery (11). Moms who exercise during their pregnancy are less like to have unplanned c-sections (12).

#2. Running while pregnant is a great way to boost your heart

If you’re fit and your baby is healthy, it’s perfectly okay for you to continue your normal routine up until your final trimester—it's a great way to boost your heart (2, 5). Expectant mothers who are new to running should start slower and build up to running. Don’t overdo it too quickly, and be sure always to listen to what your body is telling you.

#3. Weight training during your first trimester will help prepare your body for the added weight of your baby

Studies from the Journal of Physical Activity and Health reports low to moderate training twice a week is safe and effective for pregnant women—and weight training during your first trimester can help prepare your body for your baby's added weight (6).

#4. During your first trimester, you can try riding a bike for a healthy way to increase your heart rate

Once you enter your second trimester, your balance may not be what it used to be. At this time you may want to consider switching your bike out with a stationary bicycle, which is a healthy way to increase your heart rate (9).

#5. Doing Pilates can help you with balance issues associated with pregnancy

Pilates focuses on building core muscles and challenging your strength and balance. When you become pregnant, your body begins to produce higher levels of relaxin, which softens the ligaments in your pelvis to make room for your growing baby (7).

This relaxing circulates throughout your entire body, not just your pelvis which can lead to wobbly hips, knees, and ankles. Over time you will learn what your body is capable of and how to control your balance (6).

#6. Activities such as yoga can help reduce blood pressure

High blood pressure is common in pregnant women and even up to 20 weeks after delivery. High blood pressure can decrease the blood flow to the placenta (8), and your baby may receive less oxygen and fewer nutrients if you are diagnosed with high blood pressure. Doing a little yoga during your pregnancy can help to reduce your blood pressure (6).

#7. Exercising throughout your pregnancy can lead to a faster, easier labor

Strengthening your abdominal area, core, and pelvic floor can aid in speeding up both labor and delivery (1, 2). The average first-time mom has a labor of 12-14 hours (3)—cutting this time down will lead to a happier, healthier mother and child.

#8. Exercising during pregnancy can help tame your lower-back pain

Pregnancy related back pain is a common complaint in pregnant women. The added strain caused by your baby bump can have a negative impact on your quality of life.

It's estimated that 50 percent of women will suffer from lower back pain due to pregnancy. Of those women, one-third will experience severe pain (13).

Doing low-impact weight training or stretching exercises such as yoga can significantly help lessen your pain (1).

#9. Regular exercise can prevent pregnancy complications such as gestational diabetes

If untreated, gestational diabetes can deliver excessive sugar to your baby’s bloodstream, which can cause potentially serious complications for both you and your unborn child (12).

Doing regular exercise during your pregnancy can help prevent this (11).

#10. Pregnant women who exercise have improved circulation and blood flow

You can increase your circulation and blood flow by doing consistent exercise (14).

This will allow your baby to receive nutrients it needs more efficiently. Better circulation also helps prevent constipation, varicose veins, and leg cramps.

#11. Women who exercise often will feel less pain from symptoms of pregnancy

By strengthening your muscles, you are essentially giving your body the ability to cope with aches and pains associated with being pregnant (17).

To relieve back pain, try exercises that involve stretching such as yoga. If you are suffering from abdominal pain, try swimming.

#12. You'll notice less swelling of your legs and ankles once you start exercising

Swelling of the legs is common in pregnant women, but increasing your circulation will help calm this swelling. Walking helps increase this circulation by pushing excess fluid in your legs through blood valves and back to the heart (18).

Check out this YouTube video for some great ways to start incorporating exercise into your pregnancy.

Emotional Benefits of Exercising While Pregnant

#13. Light to moderate exercise can give you a better self-image

A lot of women struggle with the changes to their body goes through while they're pregnant, but exercise can help you feel more comfortable by making you feel more in control (14).

#14. Regular exercise can help curb mood swings

Exercise releases endorphins that trigger a positive feeling in the body, making you feel good (9).

Start with 10 minutes of light exercise a day and add more based on how you feel, both physically and mentally.

#15. Doing daily exercises will help boost your energy levels

After exercising, you will begin to feel more motivated to do other activities as well, improving your mood.Staying active also keeps you from becoming restless and anxious (16, 17).

#16. Exercise can give you an overwhelming sense of accomplishment while pregnant

The things you can do while you're pregnant are sometimes limited, but exercising during pregnancy doesn’t have to be one of those things.

Enjoy the satisfaction of completing a task such as a yoga class or a morning jog.

#17. Light exercise throughout the day can help combat fatigue and give you a better night’s rest

Even if you never exercised previous to your pregnancy, you may want to consider taking a short walk or a relaxing swim on a semi-regular basis—this can help you fight fatigue and get a better night's sleep (4).

#18. You'll learn proper breathing techniques that can help during your delivery

Exercises such as yoga can help you learn the breathing rhythms that are essential in keeping you calm and focused while giving birth (6).

#19. You'll feel better about going into childbirth

First-time mothers may question their ability to give birth, but when you exercise, you are setting yourself up for success.

Childbirth will be easier for you when your body is prepared. This knowledge will give you confidence and relieve some stress you may be feeling.

#20. Exercising during pregnancy can take your mind off of things

Being pregnant can definitely be stressful, but taking the time to exercise will give you the much needed relief to clear your head of all the what ifs.

Exercising Benefits for Both You and Baby

#21. Regular exercise can increase your baby’s brain function

Studies have indicated that babies of mice who exercised daily were less prone to neurodegeneration, which are changes in the brain that can lead to Alzheimer’s disease (11).

#22. Expectant mothers who exercise tend to keep up the habit after their babies are born

If you're still exercising after you've given birth, you'll have a lot more energy to be active with your little one once they arrive.

#23. Studies show that mothers who exercise produce children that are leaner than mothers who don’t

And even though the baby is thinner, its organ size and head circumference remain the same healthy standard doctors look for when delivering children (17).

#24. Baby will be less likely to incur complications such as cerebral palsy

Exercising during pregnancy increases the blood flow to your child. And without a good flow, your baby could be at risk for oxygen deprivation from birth (21).

#25. Babies of mothers who exercise regularly are more likely to have a healthier heart

A 2014 study showed that infants born to mothers who participated in regular exercise were more likely to have a healthy fetal heart rate variability (13) (15).

#26. You're less inclined to have an overweight child

Babies who are born with excess fat are more likely to be overweight throughout their early childhood (19), and babies born 20% or more over the recommended weight are at risk of becoming obese adults.

#27. You're more likely to carry your baby to full term

Exercising during your pregnancy can help prevent a premature birth, which can lead to many complications for baby, such as immature lungs, infections, inability to maintain body heat, and pneumonia (22).

#28. Babies born to mothers who exercise semi-regularly are less at risk for learning disabilities

Placental insufficiency can lead to a variety of learning issues, if not caught early on in your pregnancy (21).

Post-Delivery Benefits of Exercising During Pregnancy

#29. Exercise can help promote better sleeping habits

Did you know that exercising during your pregnancy can help you sleep better once baby comes along? (23). And as a new mother, you are going to need all the quality sleep you can get!

#30. Women who exercise during and after pregnancy are less likely to have postpartum depression

The endorphins released from exercise can help you feel relaxed (9). Moderate exercise has been prescribed for patients with mild to moderate depression (10).

Exercising as a social event can create a fun atmosphere that will boost your mood even further. Try exercising with a friend or a group.

#31. Exercise can make it easier to drop weight once you have your baby

Studies have shown that women who gain more than the recommended 25-35 pounds throughout their pregnancy will have a harder time losing that weight (14).

#32. Incorporating physical activity into your daily routine will ultimately give your child a positive example for years to come

Exercise at an early age can boost your child’s brain function (24).

#33. Abdominal workouts can help lead to a faster recovery

After the first trimester, stick to exercises that don’t require you to be on your back.

Some great abdominal exercises include standing pelvic tilts, seated belly tightening, along with any other core exercises you can complete seated (2).

#34. Regular exercise while pregnant will help you bounce back quicker from pregnancy

Completing the American College of Obstetricians guide of 20-30 minutes of exercise daily can assist in preparing you for bouncing back from your postpartum period (20).

#35. You'll be more likely to continue your exercise once you child is born

Starting healthy habits can keep you lean and strong through your lifetime giving you more memories with your child.

Final Thoughts

​Hopefully, this list of 35 benefits of exercising during pregnancy gave you the motivation you needed to start exercising today. Whether you decide to go on an afternoon walk, dance your heart out to your favorite tunes, or join a prenatal yoga class, both you and your baby will benefit greatly.

If you found this guide helpful, please share it with your family and friends. It may just give them the extra push they need to get off the sofa. Don’t forget to comment with your favorite ways to exercise while pregnant!

Sources

1 http://www.webmd.com/baby/features/exercise-during-pregnancy-myth-vs-fact#1
2 http://www.webmd.com/baby/features/exercise-during-pregnancy-myth-vs-fact#2
3 http://www.webmd.com/baby/guide/normal-labor-and-delivery-process#1
4 http://www.webmd.com/baby/features/exercise-during-pregnancy-myth-vs-fact#3
5 http://www.babycenter.com/0_running-during-pregnancy_7877.bc
6 http://www.healthline.com/health/pregnancy/first-trimester-exercise-fitness
7 http://www.fitpregnancy.com/pregnancy/pregnancy-health/5-ways-pregnancy-affects-your-balance
8 http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/pregnancy-week-by-week/in-depth/pregnancy/art-20046098
9 http://www.parents.com/pregnancy/my-body/fitness/exercise-during-pregnancy/
10 http://www.webmd.com/depression/guide/exercise-depression
11 http://www.whattoexpect.com/pregnancy/exercise-benefits
12 http://www.whattoexpect.com/pregnancy/gestational-diabetes/
13 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24287100
14 http://americanpregnancy.org/pregnancy-health/effects-of-exercise-on-pregnancy/
15 http://www.livescience.com/13628-exercise-pregnancy-baby-heart-benefits-cardiovascular-disease.html
16 http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/pregnancy-week-by-week/in-depth/pregnancy-and-exercise/art-20046896
17 http://www.babycenter.com/0_eight-great-benefits-of-pregnancy-exercise_7864.bc
18 http://www.livestrong.com/article/370099-exercises-to-reduce-leg-swelling/
19 http://www.webmd.com/parenting/baby/news/20051013/do-bigger-babies-become-fatter-adults#1
20 http://www.babycenter.com/0_the-best-kinds-of-exercise-for-pregnancy_7880.bc
21 http://www.healthline.com/health/placental-insufficiency
22 http://americanpregnancy.org/labor-and-birth/premature-birth-complications/
23 http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/labor-and-delivery/in-depth/exercise-after-pregnancy/art-20044596
24 http://www.webmd.com/parenting/raising-fit-kids/move/kid-brain-exercise
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