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Showing posts with label Swimming. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Swimming. Show all posts

Swimming Vs Drowning

This child is only pretending to be drowning. During a real drowning
you would probably only see his hands.
Every year thousands of Canadians die from drowning. The average number of drownings in Canada per year is currently 3,551.16. It kills 10.1 out of every 100,000 Canadians per year.

For comparison purposes, the murder rate in Canada is a mere 1.45 for every 100,000 Canadians per year. Drowning kills 6.9 times more people than murderers do.

Want to know what the leading cause of drowning is?

It is:
Not knowing how to swim.

Globally, approx. 400,000 people die every year from drowning.

20% of all drownings are children and youth under the age of 14, largely because they don't know how to swim.

And even those people who are resuscitated using CPR don't necessarily go back to their normal lives. Over 50% of non-fatal drownings result in hospitalization due to nonfatal drowning injuries, some of which can lead to long term health problems such as memory problems, learning disabilities, and permanent loss of basic functioning (aka, permanent vegetative state).

Another big factor is gender: 80% of drowning victims are males. Male pride and a refusal to take seriously the risk of drowning leads many men to drown because they "think" they are strong swimmers, when in reality they are poor swimmers and have bitten off more than they can chew.

Impoverished minorities are also more likely to drown with numbers ranging from twice as likely to drown to five times more likely to drown, depending on the ethnic group. This is because they are also the least likely to have received swimming lessons. The numbers are largely tied to economic factors, as poor parents are the least likely to be able to afford swimming lessons for their children.

Having access to a local swimming pool, having access to swimming lessons, having the desire to learn how to swim, having access to water related sports and activities.

Ignoring age, gender, economic factors, etc, there are a number of key areas that cause drownings. They are the following:

#1. Lack of Swimming Ability - This includes no knowledge of how to swim or simply being a poor swimmer.

#2. Lack of Proper Fencing - Having a fence surrounding all sides of a pool lowers the chances of a child drowning in a pool by 83%, compared to a fence where only 3 sides of the pool have barriers preventing entry.

#3. Lack of Supervision - One of the biggest statistics for drownings is children under the age of 4 who are left unattended, sometimes in a bathtub, near a pool, river or lake. It can happen quickly, even with the presence of lifeguards.

#4. Location - Most drownings for children under the age of 14 happen in pools. Over the age of 15 and most drownings happen in wilderness areas such as rivers, lakes, oceans, etc.

#5. Boating Accidents + No Lifejacket - 72% of boating accident deaths are the result of drowning, with 88% of drowning victims wearing no lifejacket.

#6. Alcohol Consumption - This statistic skyrockets for teenagers and adults. 20% of boating accident deaths involve alcohol, and 70% of water recreation drownings also involve alcohol. Alcohol effects balance, coordination, and judgment, and the effects of alcohol are worsened by sun exposure and heat, making swimming and drinking exceptionally dangerous.

#7. Seizures and Narcolepsy - For people with a seizure disorder drowning is the leading cause of accidental death, which occurs most often in bathtubs. For people with narcolepsy falling asleep without warning can be very dangerous during many activities. Knowing how to swim won't help them during a seizure, but they should certainly consider switching to showers.

So how do we prevent people from drowning?

Well, for starters children should start swimming lessons from a young age. The rest is mostly common sense things: Pools should have proper fencing. All swimming and swimming lessons should be supervised, and young children should be supervised while taking baths. Always wear a lifejacket when boating. No alcohol before or during swimming. People with a history of seizures or narcolepsy should stick to showers and even consider wearing a lifejacket when swimming.

The key parts of this is swimming lessons + common sense. Think of getting swimming lessons like getting a vaccine against drowning. It isn't a guarantee that a person won't drown, as accidents can still occur, but the chances of a person drowning is significantly reduced if they know how to swim.

As someone who was raised with parents who had a pool, I didn't really have a choice. I had to take swimming lessons, my parents saw to that. I wasn't even allowed near the pool unsupervised until I had reached level Red at the local pool that provided swimming lessons. As I got older I even got into snorkeling, an activity I now find to be quite enjoyable and only enhances my love of swimming. To any parents reading this, I strongly recommend you do the same. Get your kids swimming lessons. Don't take chances with their lives.

Happy Swimming!

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!

Is Canada's Wonderland cheaper than a Toronto Gym?

Okay, stay with me on this one...

How much does it cost you to get a 1 month membership at a Toronto gym?

Well lets look at a few big box store style gyms around Toronto...

Extreme Fitness... Cost? ~ $70 to $100 per month.

Recently got bought out by GoodLife Fitness, is referred to as an Extreme Ripoff by a BlogTo.com review. They try to sucker people in with 1 month free deals or "$8 per month" deals that later turn out to have hidden fees, even though they claim there is no hidden fees. They also claim there is no annual contract, which is bogus because everyone who signs up at their gym is automatically put on the annual contract (it is in the fine print). Learn more about this by reading Extreme Fitness, Extreme Ripoff. For fun try contacting Extreme Fitness and try to get them to tell you their normal monthly rate over the phone and discover how evasive they are about answering that question. Extreme Fitness also has a notorious reputation for overcharging people, double charging people, and refusing to stop charging you even after you cancel your gym membership. They routinely overcharge customers on purpose.

GoodLife Fitness... Cost? $63.92 + HST per month.

Spoke to the nice lady on the phone and she quoted me the above price. However having read reviews and some of the info on the GoodLife website, that price is the bare minimum. GoodLife likes to add extra fees for everything you can think of. Towel service. Access to the pool. Access to tennis courts. Day Care services for your kids if you bring them to the gym with you. GoodLife is all about gouging you with the extra fees. With tax included the total is $72.23 per month.

Next lets look at an organization that should be cheaper because in theory they're supposed to be a non-profit.

YMCA... Cost? $48 to $58 + HST per month.

The YMCA of Greater Toronto operates 8 locations with a range of different facilities, some with both gyms and pools. The prices vary on what is available at the location. The price is above is the normal Adult rate for people 22 years old or older. Unlike other gyms however the YMCA also offers family rates with prices varying between $81 to $97. Thus if you are a couple and have kids, you can truly save a bundle. We should note that the YMCA also charges a signup fee when you become a member.

And finally lets look at something that isn't even a gym...

Canada's Wonderland... Cost? $89.99 for a season pass + $45 for all season parking.

And yes, you read it correctly. Canada's Wonderland is arguably cheaper to use as your own personal gym if you don't mind driving there and paying for parking. The $89.99 is the normal rate for an adult season pass. (It is fairly easy to get a discount however as they do promo codes on a regular basis.) The season pass gets you roughly 4 months of access to the park, the splashworks pool, all the rides, etc. Certain things which are optional are clearly going to cost extra, oh and you should really bring food with you because the food prices inside Canada's Wonderland are ridiculously expensive.

Thus a person could theoretically go there, exercise, go on rides, stand in long line ups regularly, go swimming, completely avoid the fattening / overpriced food, and ultimately only pay $89.99 +$45 + HST = $152.54 for the 4 month stay.

Compared to 4 months at the Toronto gyms mentioned above you would be spending:

Extreme Fitness... $280 to $400 for 4 months.
GoodLife Fitness... $288.92 for 4 months.
YMCA... $216.96 to $262.16 for 4 months.

So Canada's Wonderland is cheaper than all the above examples, you will clearly have more fun there, and it is ultimately the more frugal choice (even with the all season parking pass).

Want to know what is even cheaper?

Toronto Parks and Beaches... Cost? Zero $s per year.

Parking is free. Swimming is free. Ice cream is extra. All the sand and beautiful skies you could want. Many of Toronto's parks have many unusual amenities.

Unusual Amenities

The Toronto Archery Range at E. T. Seton Park.
Sunnybrook Stables at Sunnybrook Park (where you can take horse riding lessons for a reasonable fee).
Riverdale Farm Petting Zoo and Dog Park.
High Park Petting Zoo and Fishing Pond (and Swimming Pools, Tennis Courts, and more).
Mountain-bike Trails / Hiking Trails at Don Valley Brick Works Park.
Allan Gardens Conservatory and Dog Park.
Centennial Park Conservatory.
Centennial Park Ski and Snowboarding.
Earl Bales Park Ski and Snowboarding.

Toronto Parks also are home to beaches, pools, skateboard parks, mountain-bike / hiking trails, ice skating/hockey rinks, tennis courts, basketball courts, baseball diamonds, football/soccer/rugby fields, wading pools, water parks and more.

And the vast majority of Toronto Parks services are free.

Oh and lastly Toronto Parks and Recreation operates 81 community centres which have gyms and a wide variety of fitness options. If you live in Toronto then you probably live near one of them. Just register as a member and then just go.

Lastly universities often operate gyms which also open to the community, for a comparatively small fee. So if you live near Ryerson, U of T or York University those are also great options.

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.

Swimming - A Full Body Workout

The beauty of swimming is that you can control how fast or slow you want to exercise.

Furthermore its a full body workout, utilizing all of your major muscle groups.

Plus the water works like resistance weight training. Thus swimming combines the benefits of cardio with a light weightlifting program.

You can also alternate different kinds of swimming activities whenever you want to try something different. eg. Snorkeling!

Lastly swimming is FUN. So it makes it easier to stay motivated.

Below is a calories burned chart for a variety of swimming activities.


Activity, Exercise or Sport (1 hour)
130 lb
155 lb
180 lb
205 lb
Swimming laps, freestyle, fast
590
704
817
931
Swimming laps, freestyle, slow
413
493
572
651
Swimming backstroke
413
493
572
651
Swimming breaststroke
590
704
817
931
Swimming butterfly
649
774
899
1024
Swimming leisurely, not laps
354
422
490
558
Swimming sidestroke
472
563
654
745
Swimming synchronized
472
563
654
745
Swimming, treading water, fast, vigorous
590
704
817
931
Swimming, treading water, moderate
236
281
327
372
Water aerobics, water calisthenics
236
281
327
372
Water polo
590
704
817
931
Water volleyball
177
211
245
279
Water jogging
472
563
654
745
Diving, springboard or platform
177
211
245
279

Exercising while on Vacation

When I was little my parents really only had 1 kind of vacation they went on:

ROAD TRIPS.

Hours upon hours in a stuffy car (not always with AC), not getting any exercise and when we did get outside it was usually for guided tours of caves (spelunking, huzzah), historical sites or museums.

Small surprise that when I reached adulthood my standard for vacations were very different.

#1. I went via train or bus and once there I walked, cycled or took a taxi. It was more relaxing and I got more exercise that way.

#2. I took up freehand mountain climbing. Lots of exercise and some danger involved because there is no safety harness. No more caves for me.

#3. I love Buddhist temples in Asia... and they're usually near the top of a mountain, so again, another excuse to exercise. Take your camera with you.

However not everyone is like me and embraces exercising while on vacation. So here is Three Ways to Be Fit on Vacation

1. Book Hotels with Fitness Facilities

You should rarely book accommodations that doesn't have a gym. Not only does this narrow down your search results for a hotel or resort but it allows you to stick to my normal running + gym regimen.

You will discover that working out first thing in the morning helps you to stay mindful of your diet throughout the day (people tend to overeat while on vacation), and although a vacation allows a little leeway on nutrition initiates, it still helps toward not completely destroying my pre-holiday results!

2. When a Gym is not Available, Make Do

Even though you can make the best effort to stay in hotels with fitness equipment it doesn't always work out. Sometimes, the resort never even had a gym in the first place, their facility is under renovation or they open later than when you need to exercise. In this case you make the most of what you have by running on the beach, doing body weight exercises in your room or walking the grounds of the resort.

3. Plan for some Activity

It's great to sit on your butt all day and heck, you very well may deserve it but planning some hikes, swimming or any other activity is not a bad idea! Not only will you see more of the country that you are visiting but you will work up an appetite for those restaurant sized meal portions.

4. SWIM!

If you are staying at a place near the beach or has a pool, make an effort to use it. Don't just pack your swimsuit and then forget to use it.

Better yet, take up snorkeling. It is AMAZINGLY GOOD FUN.

If a tiger can swim, so can you. :)

CPR + Epilepsy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



10 Swimming Tips

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ice Skating + Swimming Testimonial

"Thank you again for teaching me ice skating and swimming. I feel much more confident now when skating / swimming alone and I am using the techniques you taught me.

Thank you so much!"

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

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