Sign up for personal training / sports training by emailing cardiotrek@gmail.com.
Showing posts with label Summer Activities. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Summer Activities. Show all posts

The Best Ways to Avoid Sunburns when Exercising Outdoors

So it is Summer and you are exercising outdoors regularly and you keep getting sunburns. How do you stop that from happening?

Prevention.

So what are the best ways of thinking ahead to prevent sunburns?

#1. Understanding how Sunscreen Works

You might think SPF 30 is twice as good as SPF 15 and blocks out twice as much of the sun's UV radiation, but you would sadly be wrong. That isn't actually how it works. It seems logical that 30 should be twice as good as 15, and likewise 45 and 60 should be three and four times as good, but that isn't how it works.

According to scientists:

SPF 15 blocks approx. 94% of UV radiation.

SPF 30 blocks 97% and SPF 45 blocks 98%, and SPF 60 blocks 99%.

So with numbers in the low to high 90s, this sounds pretty good, right? Sadly this assumes that the person applies the sunscreen liberally on their skin. There are other factors too:
  • Some places on the skin might get less sunscreen.
  • Sweat from exercising or extreme heat can cause the sunscreen to become diluted and less effective.
  • How often you reapply sunscreen.
  • The brand of sunscreen also varies in efficacy*.

* Some brands of sunscreen contain chemicals that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration have a watch-list for being potential carcinogens like titanium dioxide and octyl methoxycinnamate (OMC).

Because people often forget to reapply sunscreen, I recommend setting an alarm clock on your phone to remind you to reapply. Most companies recommend applying every 2 hours, but if you are worried you might forget then maybe aim for every 100 minutes or so.

If you are exercising and sweating a lot, you might even reapply once per hour.

If you are especially worried about getting a sunburn then you should always apply sunscreen liberally, as if you are a vampire who will die if you don't.

Do not use sun tanning oil. The SPF in that is so low it is basically non-existent.


#2. Limit your Exposure Time

The first half hour or hour, most people will be pretty safe from UV radiation depending on how vulnerable a person is. Some people are more pale and get sunburned easily, so they need to limit their exposure more.

So if you are exercising outdoors you might want to set a time limit for how long you are exercising, like 45 or 60 minutes, and then go someplace in the shade to cool off. Combined with sunscreen this is a very safe strategy.

You could even take a break for awhile, and later reapply sunscreen and resume exercising for another 45 to 60 minutes.

#3. Deliberately get a Tan

So your skin is actually pretty good at blocking out UV rays, but to do so it needs to be tanned. The darker shade of skin blocks more harmful rays from the sun and protects you. The more you tan, the more protected your skin becomes from UV rays.

The trick here is to get the tan, without getting the sunburns... and that means sunscreen and possibly limiting your exposure time. So you would need to be setting specific times to "go to the beach or park and get a tan" or whatever it is you are doing, and set a specific amount of time you will be spending at the beach, park, etc tanning. That or reapply sunscreen using an alarm clock on your phone to remind you.

#4. Tightly Woven / Loose Fit Clothing

Fabric that is too thin and not tightly woven can still let through lots of UV radiation, causing you to get a sunburn right through your shirt.

You should also bring something extra to wear in case your sunscreen wears off or runs out.

Try to pick clothing that is also comfortable to exercise in.

#5. Hat and Scarf

A good hat or scarf can protect you face and/or neck from sunburns. eg. A bandanna tied around the neck like a scarf also works well to prevent sunburns on the back and sides of the neck.

A big floppy hat is not ideal for exercising in, but a baseball cap and a bandanna would work nicely.

#6. Avoid 12 PM to 4 PM

The worst times of the day to be outside in the sun is approx. from 12 PM to 4 PM. So if you want to exercise and avoid those times, try to exercise in the morning or late afternoon / evening.

#7. Plan your Route / Day

Lets say you are going jogging. Plan a route that takes you under lots of shade trees so you are limiting your exposure to sunlight.

Or if you are doing an activity where you know you will be in direct sunlight, plan out specific times during the day to take breaks, drink water, eat snacks, and reapply sunscreen. (Recommend eating first before applying sunscreen. Nobody likes tasting sunscreen in their food.)

#8. Vitamin Supplements = Minor Benefit

There are some benefits to taking a vitamin D3 supplement, in that sunburns won't be as severe, but it doesn't prevent sunburns. So you can take it if you want to, but bear in mind it doesn't prevent the sunburn itself. Anyone who claims it prevents sunburns is basically perpetuating a myth.

Some people have deficiencies in zinc and magnesium (likely due to a shortage in their diet or a genetic disorder), and as a result have more photosensitive skin. Taking vitamin supplements or eating foods that are higher in zinc and magnesium are helpful for people with those conditions, but will not benefit the average person.

Health claims by 3rd party websites and the supplement industry should be treated as biased and suspect. In researching this post I determined a lot of websites were advertising vitamin D3 and other supplements, and that they were exaggerating the benefits of taking the supplements.






Happy Exercising!

7 Fun Ways to Work Out With Your Dog

Competitive Dog Jogging
Guest Post by Eva Sykes

Keep your dogs away from developing health problems by ensuring they get their dose of physical activity! Obesity or overweight in dogs can cause them to have joint and heart problems, diabetes, and more. What’s a better way to keep them healthy and moving by doing something fun together, right?!

Here’s a list of fun ways to workout with your dog. Join forces with your loyal companion in achieving that healthy and fit bod!

1. Hiking

Have a spectacular time with your four-legged friend with a breathtaking view! Dogs also love nature and they definitely love exploring. But there are also some considerations you should be aware of to ensure your dog will be able to keep up. This includes their fitness, behavior, age, health, and size.

For your next trip, be sure to pack the essentials for your buddy! Just like humans, they will need some food, water, and their doggy bowl. And one more important thing is to consider all the precautions and safety measures for the both of you!

2. Running

Introduce him or her to a blissful jogging! You might’ve guessed that being on our list. Which really should be! Running is one of the famous and basic ways of staying active and fit. It may also be the easiest way to incorporate your dog into your workout routine.

For starters, you could use a leash and train them to run beside you. This will take a little time - but patience and consistency are key! Also, consider the heat and humidity. Dogs have small amounts of sweat glands, and they get rid of heat through panting and only sweat through their paws.

See Also: Dog Jogging for Beginners, a Competitive Sport

3. Obstacle Course

Level up the workout and fun with some obstacle course! This can create a challenge for both the dog and owner with its various exercise equipment. Some basic obstacle course items include a teeterboard, tire jump, a dog walk and a tunnel - which you can build in your own backyard.

Just keep in mind the safety and well-being of your dog while you set up the course. Unwanted accidents may also occur sometimes which can be treated by their vets. A wise advice, be prepared in advance and don’t put your finances in jeopardy with expensive vet bills! Have your dogs insured and be more financially smarter!

4. Swimming

Enjoy the water and burn some energy with your playful bud in the pool or beach! Some dogs may be scared of the water at first, but they will get used to it after some few tries. And if you really do love swimming, water-loving dog breeds like the Golden Retriever or American Water Spaniel will be your best swimming buddy! Swimming is also beneficial for old dogs suffering from joint problems or hip dysplasia.

For starters, you can have your dogs on a leash and walk by their side in the shallow area. Slowly let them get used to having their feet wet and the rest will follow. What are you waiting for? Chill by your pool or hit up the ocean!

5. Fetching!

Dogs are known to be crazy for retrieving items - be it their favorite toys, a ball or frisbee. Thus, they love fetching! This is a game they seem to not get tired of. And there is a scientific explanation backing this up. Dogs have been with us for centuries and they were used for hunting in the early ages. The behavior of running after something that is moving is still instilled and built-in dogs. This behavior is self-reinforcing to them and makes them feel good!

Dogs aren’t just the one who should enjoy fetching while you just stand and wait for them. Try making this game more active and rigorous by incorporating some of your muscle-building moves like crunches, lunges, and squats while he or she retrieves.

6. Cycling

Another cardio you can do with your dog pal is cycling. It’s a great workout for you and can help build your leg muscles. This is especially great for dogs that are always excited when running! You could bike around at a fast pace and don’t have to worry if they can keep. It’s best to engage in this activity in a safe bike trail or terrain where you can avoid traffic from other vehicles.

7. Seasonal Adventures

Whatever the season is, with the sun showing high up or snow falling, there are always activities you can do outdoors for fun! Go surfing or kayaking with your dog in the summer, snowshoeing, skiing or snowboarding through winter, and a lot more! Dogs are smart, active and trainable - try exploring new sports with them!

See Also: 10 Exercises to do with your Pet this Summer

Pros And Cons Of Swimming In Pool vs River vs Lake

Guest Post by Angie Earley.

Summer - Everyone’s Favorite Season

When the summer heat’s coming, you’ll bet that everyone around you is running to the nearest pool of water. While there are people that live in more populated areas and those that don’t, there’s surely a body of water somewhere. Like most people, when we think about getting away from the summer heat, we’ll dive into a pool of water. For others, they might feel like diving into a river or lake instead. Is it better? We’re going to discuss the pros and cons of swimming in pools vs. rivers and lakes.

The Difference Between Rivers And Lakes

There’s a clear difference between rivers and lakes, and many people have the two confused because their terms are sometimes used synonymously with one another.

Here’s the difference: A lake is usually a still body of water that’s surrounded by land and usually surrounded from all sides. The only exception to this definition is if it’s being fed into by a river, stream, or other moving bodies of water. A river, on the other hand, is a natural flowing stream of water. The water that comes from a river usually ends up in an ocean, sea, or lake. To illustrate, a river usually flows into a lake but a lake does not usually flow into a river.


Pros And Cons Of Swimming In Pools vs. Rivers And Lakes

Not everyone is able to afford a home and have a swimming pool in their own backyard but there are many benefits to swimming in monitored and sanitized waters instead of the natural waters that is given to us by nature. Here’s a list of some pros and cons:

Pros
  • Pools are generally much cleaner as owners use good quality robotic pool cleaner and pool filtration systems to get rid of dirt and debris
  • Pools usually contain a lot of chlorine, therefore ridding any and all bacteria swimming in the water
  • Swimming in a pool puts you in the security of a lifeguard. Lifeguards sit and watch over the pool and ensure that everyone is safe inside the waters
Cons
  • Swimming in a pool can be less accessible to some more than others especially if there’s no swimming center nearby
  • It’s not uncommon for swimming centers to charge anyone using their pool
  • Swimming in a pool can be dangerous if not supervised by an adult
Yes, swimming in a pool by consensus is much better than swimming in a river or lake. Let’s review the pros and cons.

Swimming in a pool by tradition, is incredibly clean, has much less diseases, and is much safer. Pools are usually sanitized and monitored by either the home owner or, if you’re swimming at a recreational center, then it is quality controlled by the facility. Pools are cleaned and sanitized with chlorine with a certain level of standard for cleanliness. The way they’re maintained eliminates the risk of diseases and is usually much safer than swimming in open water.

We do know that depending on the area that you’re living in, pools can be inaccessible. It can also be expensive especially if you have to pay membership dues in order to even use the facility in a recreational manner. On the top of that, although there’s usually lifeguards watching over swimmers, it can still be dangerous.

But to circle back around to the point, those are the pros and cons of swimming in a pool. The only real benefit of swimming in a river or lake, are: It’s free, you have complete freedom to do what you want, you feel liberated, you’re surrounded by nature. But aside from these benefits given to us by Mother-Nature, swimming in a pool is still the better choice. For one, there are always things lurking around in the waters and that isn’t just limited to animals or sea creatures. Natural bodies of water are usually home to thousands of tiny organisms naked to the eye, but it’s also a good breeding ground for parasites and diseases as well.

The Better Choice: Swimming In A Pool

There’s a certain attraction to the imagination when someone thinks about swimming in a natural body of water like a lake or river. And yes, there are people that usually loves Mother Nature so much, that all they want to do is swim with nature. However, when you weigh the pros and cons of doing so, instead of swimming in a pool, generally, the risks outweigh the benefits. The real question is, to help anyone make an informed decision, is: “Why put yourself through the dangers of becoming sick or infected by parasites for something so second-handed like swimming?” Certainly, anyone that cares for their lives, will see that it’s simply not worth it. Swim in a pool instead and shelter yourself from any foreign diseases.



Author Bio: - Angie Earley is a founder of PoolVacuumHQ.com blog; it’s a blog about Pool Cleaning tips, guide, reviews, news, equipment and events.

Three Ways to Combine Archery with Swimming

For those people who love finding something fun to do in the summer - and for those people who are fanatics about both archery and swimming - here are 3 ways to have fun while combining the two.

#1. Snorkeling + Target Practice. Truly for those who love snorkeling and a challenge. Balloons that are weighted down make for good targets.



#2. Archery Diving - tricky to do, but something that will be a real challenge. Not a lot of people have attempted archery trick shots like this since the 1950s.


#3. Bowfishing while Wading in a River. Not really swimming, but still something fun to do. Just need a fishing license and a bowfishing reel. Only legal during carp bowfishing season, which in Ontario is May to July.


BONUS!

#4, #5, #6. Archery Surfing, Archery Kayaking, Archery Windsurfing, etc. Just because nobody has ever done it before does not mean it is not possible to try it. For safety purposes I recommend using blunt tipped arrowheads when doing archery trick shots while doing water sports!

Happy Shooting and Swimming!

8 Reasons to take up Snorkeling

Ever wanted to get into snorkeling? Well here are 8 fun activities you can do while snorkeling - hopefully some of them will inspire you to get snorkeling lessons and try it out.

#1. You can swim with the fishes and see the world from their point of view.


#2. You can try spearfishing while snorkeling. For those of you who also like to know where their food comes from.


#3. Practice your underwater hand signals / Sign Language. The hand signals below are "I love you" in American Sign Language (ASL).


#4. Hang Out with Friends / Make New Friends



#5. Collect Sea Shells and Dead Starfish


#6. Play Underwater Tag, Hide-and-Go-Seek, Capture-the-Flag, Etc.

#7. Learn more about Exotic Sea Life In-Person



#8. Search for Shipwrecks, Plane Wrecks, Pearls, Etc.


BONUS - Pick up ocean trash while you are out there and help save animal lives. Don't leave any trash behind either.

8 Fun Cardio Exercises to do in July


July is basically the middle of Summer and it is a really good time of year to be doing cardio exercises outdoors. Some of these you can do any time of year, but why not July?!

Thus here are 8 Fun Cardio Exercises that are perfect for the month of July.

#1. Swimming

#2. Snorkeling

#3. Cycling or Mountain Biking

#4. Tennis

#5. Parkour / Freerunning

#6. Dancing

#7. Hiking in the Woods

#8. Canoeing / Kayaking

4 BONUS THINGS TO DO IN JULY

Frisbee Football

Jogging at the Beach

Beach Volleyball

Play Tag with Water Guns


Gone Hiking and Fishing - The Niagara Escarpment

From June 26th to 30th I will be away on vacation - hiking, fishing and camping - and will not be answering emails very quickly during that time period.

The location I will be hiking will be along the Niagara Escarpment of Ontario, which has many cliffs, rocky outcroppings, waterfalls and other sights. Below is a map showing waterfalls that dot the landscape along the Niagara Escarpment.


One of my personal favourites to visit is Hilton Falls near Milton, Ontario - not because it is the closest to Toronto, but because you can walk both on top of the falls and also behind the waterfalls. To get to Hilton Falls it is a roughly 20 minute hike through the woods from the parking lot.

Walking along the top of the waterfalls, close to the edge


At the base of the waterfalls


Behind the waterfalls


There are many places within a quick drive from Toronto where people can go to exercise, go hiking, cycling, swimming and many other activities.

Get out there and exercise!

10 Exercises to do with your Pets this Summer in Toronto

#1. Take your dog jogging!

#2. Take your dog to the beach - go swimming and play frisbee!

#3. Doggie Weightlifting - this is you lifting your dog up in an affectionate manner and rubbing their belly, then setting them back down, and repeat. You dog will think it is a game.

#4. Take your dog cycling in High Park.



#5. Join a Meetup Group for people who enjoy dog-related activities. Learn more by browsing the different meetup groups for Toronto dog owners.

#6. Competitive Dog Jogging. (Yes, that is a real thing.)

#7. Mountain Hiking with your Dog.

#8. Canoeing or Kayaking with your Dog. (Get your dog a special canine life jacket.)


#9. Dog and Owner Hurdles.



#10. Play a Classic Game of Fetch with your Dog. (Even more fun with water.)


BONUS

Dog Yoga in the Park


8 Activities to do at the Beach

#1. Frisbee!

#2. Build a sandcastle - if you are moving sand around, it still counts as exercise.

#3. Go snorkeling in the water!

#4. Try Rock Balancing. See my post "Sculpture as Exercise".

#5. Fly a Kite - admittedly this could burn very little calories, but if you run with the kite it burns a lot more.

#6. Go for a jog or run along the beach.

#7. Do yoga at the water's edge.

#8. And the classic, go swimming!

Bonus Activities!!!

Tug of War

Beach Volleyball

Skip Rope

Arm Wrestling

Play Tag with Water Guns


Archery on the Beach - this used to be a pretty popular activity in the 1950s - but now it is banned in some locations. eg. You cannot do that in Toronto, but there are other beaches within an hour drive of Toronto where you can do archery at. Check the local by-laws to be certain. You will need your own equipment and you will still need to establish some safety guidelines so you are not shooting near people (reckless endangerment = fine + possible jail time). Best way to do it is to pick a secluded beach which has almost no people there.

Rock Climbing, Waterfalls Exploring, Spelunking and More!

There are many great ways to exercise, but the following is several of my favourites. Some of these you can even do as family activities, but others are dangerous and children should not be doing them at all. Use your better judgment. Some of them are also very frugal and won't cost your wallet much.

#1. Rock Climbing

Now I don't mean going to a special "rock climbing gym". I have never done that, although I presume it is still fun to do that indoors with the safety of a harness and first aid kits nearby. You can still do that if you wish, but for myself I do Freehand Rock Climbing - no ropes, no safety harness, if I fall, I fall and hurt myself.

Rock Climbing Tips

Don't climb anything freehand unless you are absolutely confident you can climb it without falling.

Practice on trees. (Or in a rock climbing gym.)

Stick to small climbs first as you build up your strength and skill.

Always be certain of your footing or handholds before you go to the next foothold or handhold.

Remember to plan your route back down. Sometimes getting up is easier than climbing back down.

If you don't think you can do it, maybe it is time to crack out the harness and ropes. Safety first.

#2. Waterfalls Exploring

This is a bit like rock climbing, but the surfaces are going to be slippery. Often you need to climb over wet rocks that are slippery, but it is a lot of fun to work your way around and get behind a waterfalls - or even go swimming below it (warning - if there is signs that say "no swimming", that means this falls is powerful enough to have undertow that can drag you under and kill you. Only swim near the base of a waterfalls that is relatively weak).

The photo on the right is of Hogg's Falls in Ontario.

Waterfalls Exploring Tips

Wear super grippy boots that you don't mind getting wet.

Wear gloves, possibly even grippy fishing gloves.

Wear clothing you don't mind getting wet. Avoid white t-shirts unless you enjoy showing off.

Don't bother trying to climb the sides of the waterfalls. It is too slippery.

#3. Spelunking

Otherwise known as cave exploring or cave diving, spelunking is an amazing activity to get into if you love exploring geological formations, crevices and caverns.

Spelunking Tips

Good quality boots.

Gloves are handy too.

Flashlight or headlamp is very handy.

Try getting guided tours of caves (ones with stairs, safety bars, etc all in place) first so you know what to expect.

Take a spelunking safety course.

#4. Rocky Mountain Biking

Bouncing over rocks while cycling down a hill might not sound like your cup of tea, but to those who love it then it is certainly a possibility.

Start slow, stick to the easy cycling trails and work your way up. Also, buy a better bicycle that has higher quality shocks and sturdier tires. You don't want your equipment to fail if you go over a rock your bicycle simply could not handle.



#5. Natural Parkour / Freerunning

If you are familiar with parkour / freerunning, then you also know this activity normally occurs in an urban environment. But there is no reason why you could not do this in a more natural terrain - using rocks and trees as your obstacle course. All you are really doing is applying the same principles of parkour to a different landscape.



#6. Tree Climbing

And by this, I am referring to climbing trees using ropes, helmet and a harness. You could climb the bottom reaches of the tree freehand, but once you start to go high enough that you might run into a weak limb that could snap underfoot it is time to get the rope and harness out. The views from the top can be pretty spectacular.



#7. Underwater Spelunking

See #3 above, but add in scuba gear. You will need snorkeling lessons, scuba lessons, and eventually underwater spelunking lessons. This activity is both expensive and dangerous. Definitely not for children either.



#8. Extreme Rock Balancing

Normally rock balancing is an activity done by one person who just lifts up a rock and then balances another rock on top of it. Extreme Rock Balancing is done by a team of people using much larger rocks, ropes, chains, pulleys, ladders, the whole shebang.

You will need a group of friends (preferably friends who are also into rock balancing), and you will probably want one person to document the whole project using a video camera.

Muscles will only get you so far with this project. You will also need patience and perseverance. And friendships will be tried and tested if you get into an argument about how to best achieve the finished product.

You will also want your finished product to last. You won't want it falling down the first time a teenager comes along and gives it a push. Thus aim to your rocks large enough - and well balanced - so that it wouldn't fall down even during a small earthquake.

Some people might want to cheat and use a crane or tractor to move the rocks, but if men of old can build Stone Henge and the pyramids of Egypt, certainly a group of adults can balance some rocks without using machinery.

Unlike normal rock balancing you probably will not be balancing multiple rocks together. But one or two should be possible.

Best of all your end results will stay up for a long time and baffle future generations.



8 Fun Summer Activities

So... you are on vacation and looking for some fun right?

Here are 8 ideas for fun things to do this summer that will get you exercising!

#1. Snorkeling - Honestly, it is actually EASIER than regular swimming.



#2. Bicycling - Get that bicycle outside and explore the great outdoors / Toronto!



#3. Rock Climbing - Not as expensive as you might think, and very easy to get into if you have the Niagara Escarpment near you. Hear that Toronto? Get outside!



#4. Gardening - More fun if you love plants, less fun if you despise mosquitoes.



#5. Water Pistol Tag - Fun for you, fun for the kids, and fun for anyone who is overheating. (More fun if you can only shoot someone who did not shoot you. Same rules as "no touch backs" basically.)



#6. Archery Tag - Wait, what??? What is archery tag??? See below.



#7. Canoeing or Kayaking - Because canoe / kayak rentals really are not that expensive (there are multiple companies offering canoe rentals and it has driven the price down) and totally worth it.



#8. Make up your sport. eg. Bicycle Archery Tag or Canoe Archery Tag

Because new ways to have fun are just waiting to be invented.

Aha! Snorkeling archery!


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!

Subscribe by Email

Followers

Popular Posts