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

Toronto's $88 million hockey / skating arena still not completed

Back in August 2010, Toronto decided to build an $88 million hockey and skating arena on Toronto's waterfront, near Commissioners St. and Don Roadway. At the time $34 million had already been earmarked for the project. The city was contemplating a bond (essentially a mortgage) to help pay for the rest of the arena plus additional funding from the Ontario government. I am not sure how they raised the rest of the money, but the 'finding the money part' was presumably done years ago.)

Artists Rendition, circa August 2010
An user surcharge was designed to help pay off the bond over a period of 30 years. The arena complex will include four NHL-size ice rinks stacked above each other, spectator seating, restaurants, meeting rooms, an indoor track for running. The indoor arena will be ideal for tournaments and allow Torontonians to hone their ice skating skills even in the off season. The facility will act as a regional sports complex.

The building is designed to be environmentally sustainable (which is important since its build near the waterfront and can't be leaking waste into the lake) and may include an Olympic-sized rink for speed skaters and figure skaters (which would be great for if Toronto ever gets another shot at hosting the Olympics).

There was also some concerns about migratory birds flying into the nearly-all-glass structure so there are also plans to make it more bird-friendly.

So yeah, this was all announced and planned for back in August 2010.

Only one problem. It still has not been built.

As of April 2015, the only thing completed is that land was set aside for the new building and proverbial plans were still being made. The latest estimate is that building won't be built until 2018 at the earliest.

Meanwhile Toronto Mayor John Tory has been threatening to shut down 35 skating rinks across Toronto.

 To which you might ask, how many skating rinks does Toronto currently have? 49.

So 49 - 35 would leave 14 left open.

And since this is Toronto, and politicians in Toronto are corrupt, the 14 that get left open would probably be in rich neighbourhoods. Rich neighbourhoods with outdoor rinks that have been sponsored by companies like Natrel.

Below is the Natrel Rink on Torontos Harbourfront, a wealthy neighbourhood with lots of condos. The Natrel Rink is boasted to be "The most scenic rink in the city", but it only continues to exist thanks to its corporate sponsor, Natrel, maker of milk and cheese products, based in Montreal, Quebec. And guaranteed when choosing which ice rink to sponsor, Natrel opted for the "pretty one in a rich neighbourhood".

The Natrel Rink at 235 Queens Quay West

So Mayor John Tory is shutting down ice rinks across Toronto, but somehow back in 2010 the city managed to cough up $88 million to build 4 new ice rinks down on Toronto's Waterfront - but that conveniently hasn't been built yet and seems to be caught in a time loop of "Oh, we're still making plans for it." Something is fishy down on the waterfront...

Heads up Toronto. We will be having another Mayoral Election in 2018. If you appreciate hockey or ice skating, please don't vote for the idiot currently in office. True, he may not be as bad as Rob Ford, the worst mayor in Toronto's history, but that bar is pretty low and that doesn't mean John Tory deserves re-election.

In other news, please go outside and appreciate the ice rinks that Toronto does have. While we still have them.

No Ice Skating this Winter, 2016-17

NOTE

I am not teaching ice skating during the Winter of 2016-2017. I am however teaching Winter Archery and Archery Biathlon to anyone interested in learning such things.

I will be using my extra time to focus on finishing writing my archery book.


Happy Yuletide Season from Cardio Trek!

Happy Yuletide Season!

It is December 21st and that means the Yuletide season has officially begun. Time for folks all over the world to celebrate Odin and his 8 legged flying horse Sleipnir while he and his army of elves delivers gifts to all the good girls and boys via chimneys.

So get yourself a Yule log, cut down a tree as per the Old Norse tradition, celebrate with friends and family by eating ham and alcohol, pull on some big thick socks, go outside and go caroling from house to house while singing Nordic songs, visit sacred groves of trees, get kissed under a Mistletoe, and all that good stuff.

Other things you can do this Winter:

#1. Go skiing to celebrate Ullr, the Norse God of Skiing. (Ullr is also the Norse god of bowhunting.) Or just go skiing because it is fun. Downhill or cross country or even the Biathlon with Bow or Rifle, they are all good. :)

The logo on the right is for Archery Biathlon, but I am sure Ullr would approve.

#2. Go snowshoeing. Because it is a lot of fun.

Below are photos of myself snowshoeing back in (I think it was) March 2016. I am looking forward to doing more snowshoeing again this winter.


#3. Icefishing. I am not sure how much exercise is involved in icefishing, but a friend of mine has been bugging me to join them for icefishing for over a year now and I would really like to try it.

#4. Join the Polar Bear Club of Toronto - People of all ages jumping in the freezing cold water, running around in the cold water, and then hanging out afterwards. It is really freezing but people sure seem to love doing it. See torontopolarbear.com


#5. Winter Archery Lessons. Yes, it is true. I do teach archery during the winter. See my archery lessons page for rates.


#6. Go for a Winter Hike in the Woods - Take the dog, friends, family, and your camera with you and get some amazing photography done. Want a great place to visit? Try the nature trails near Hilton Falls (Milton Ontario). The frozen waterfalls makes for some pretty amazing photography.


#7. Go for a Winter Hike and Go Bird Watching. You can really do this practically anywhere. Birds are surprisingly plentiful, even in the winter.


#8. Pick One of the Following
  • Ice Skating
  • Build Snowforts
  • Make Ice Sculptures
  • Winter Surfing or Windsurfing
  • Icycling with Studded Tires
  • Winter Jogging
  • Rock/Ice Climbing
  • Curling
  • Outdoor Axe Throwing
  • Winter Winery Tours in Niagara Region
  • Jet Skiing
  • Sleigh Rides
  • Snowmobiling
  • Winter Caving / Spelunking
  • Snowboarding
  • Tobogganing
  • Snow Rafting


Conclusions?

Truly the Norse were on the right track with their Yuletide traditions of celebrating winter.

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

Winter Archery Practice, Part Two


Winter archery is one of those sports which can be exceptionally rewarding and great exercise, but so few people even dare to go outside during the winter and try it.

I have written a fair bit on the topic over the years, including a Guide to Winter Archery for ArcheryToronto.ca a few years ago. More recently I have even been tempted to write a book on the topic, elaborating on an aspect of archery that few archers do and apparently don't know what they are missing.

See my previous post on this topic: Winter Archery Practice, Part One

Winter archery ends up having a very "survival-esque" feel to it. You are out there, embracing the cold and the wind, and you are learning to shoot despite the adverse conditions. Not everyone is into that, in the same way that not everyone is into going cross country skiing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, snowboarding, ice fishing, or various other winter activities. But if the mentioning of those activities bring back fond memories for you, now you begin to comprehend my love of winter archery.

Contrary to popular belief, I do teach archery lessons during the winter. But I also pick and choose which days I go outside to practice. Which brings me to the following...

Five Tips for Winter Archery

#1. Check the forecast and schedule a time.

I set a goal every week during the winter of going outside at least once to practice archery. I look at the forecast, compare with my schedule, and then try to pick a day that isn't a blizzard, the weather looks sunny or mostly sunny, and thus I mitigate the worst weather conditions. It also means I am making an active effort to schedule my archery practice, as many people will often say they want to do something, but if they don't actually schedule it then they will forget to do it.

#2. Prepare for the Day.

This covers everything from having the right clothes to wear, bringing a thermos of hot chocolate, coffee or tea with you, and even more basic things like knowing all your equipment is packed up / in good condition to go shooting. If you forget to buy the necessities / repair equipment, and have them ready to go then the day of shoot might come and you will decide to skip it because "Oh, I forgot to re-fletch those arrows. I might as well not go." Preparing for something also implies that you should double-check you have everything, in which case I recommend making a list and confirming you have everything well ahead of time.

In my case "preparing for winter archery" during the Winter of 2015/2016 also meant growing a beard so it would keep my face warm while shooting.

Last Winter I grew a beard to keep my face warm.
Behind me is a friend I invited out to the range.
#3. Bring a Friend with you.

Archery is always more fun with a friend to talk to, regardless of the season. They might be already into archery, or they might be more of a spectator.

Just make sure that if you do bring a friend that they are not one of those who get cold easily, wear inappropriate/inadequate clothing when outdoors, and/or are whiners. Nothing is worse than doing a winter activity outdoors and you brought your whiny friend who hates being cold but apparently doesn't know how to prepare for cold weather. Instead bring the friend you know LOVES being outside in the winter, knows how to dress warmly, and embraces adventure and conversation. (If you are like me, you can think of a couple people already that fit that description. Or if you live in Toronto, send me an email and we can hang out sometime. I will invite a couple friends and we can make it a group event.)

Every year the Toronto Archery Club sometimes has several winter archery meetups too, usually one in early December, another in mid January, a third on Valentines, and a fourth on St Patrick's Day. That way you can also meet new people and enjoy the sport as a larger group.

#4. Know your Limits.

Knowing what distances you can accurately shoot at is handy. It is very easy to lose arrows in the snow if you are shooting at distances you know you are less than accurate at. You should also set a time limit for how long you are going to be outside. 90 minutes or 2 hours for example might be a good idea.

#5. Take Breaks.

With a winter activity like ice fishing all you really do is sit around and talk, maybe read and hope that the fish bite the hook. With winter archery you will eventually get cold and/or tired, as the cold will sap your endurance and strength. To remedy this you should take regular breaks to "warm your innards" with a hot drink, or possibly even visiting the indoors for a few minutes before later returning back outside. For example, one thing you should do before you even go outside is to take a bathroom break. A full bladder means your body is expending energy keeping all that liquid warm, but an empty bladder means you have more energy keeping YOU warm. Thus if you feel the need to go at some point, go take a bathroom break and you will discover you will be warmer afterwards because you will no longer be wasting energy keeping excess liquid warm. Taking regular breaks will also improve your endurance and strength levels, so that you are shooting better and don't start making mistakes due to fatigue.

Want more tips? Leave a comment below and I shall write more on the topic of Winter Archery.

Happy Shooting!

Examining some rabbit tracks in the snow.

Canadian women's hockey - why is it not televised more often???

Canada's Women's Olympic Hockey Team took the gold two years ago in February 2014 in a nail biting game against Team USA. The USA was winning most of the game 2 to nothing, and then the Canadian women tied it up during the last 5 minutes of the 3rd period - followed by winning in overtime.

It was a truly memorable and entertaining game.

But it made us think:

Why does the CBC not broadcast women's hockey games more often?

I mean once every 4 years at the Olympics seems like showing a lot of favouritism towards men's hockey, especially when the NHL is basically all year round when you are living in Canada.

And what is more, the broadcasting rights for Hockey Night in Canada was lost. The CBC lost the rights back in November 2013 when Rogers Telecommunications outbid them in a huge 12-year landmark deal worth $5.2 billion CDN.

A sub-licensing agreement with CBC allows the public broadcaster to continue airing "Hockey Night in Canada" on Saturday nights for four years - and then they will lose the rights to air after that.

Which to me means it is now time for Canadian women's hockey to shine.

Think of this as an opportunity for the CBC to finally - after decades of waiting - to finally broadcast women's hockey on a regular basis.


The CWHL (Canadian Women's Hockey League) was founded in 2007 and has 5 teams:

Boston Blades
Brampton Thunder
Calgary Inferno
Montreal Stars
Toronto Furies


The members of many of those teams represented Canada in the Olympics. So we know they are really good at what they do.

If the CBC started broadcasting their games we would see a huge rise in attendance, more people becoming fans of CWHL, more support for women's hockey in general.

Hockey Night in Canada? I say it is past time for Women's Hockey Night in Canada.

See also: Women's Hockey in Canada at a Crossroads

Women's Hockey in Canada at a Crossroads

The post below is regarding the 2010 Winter Olympics, during which Canadian women hockey players took the gold. The post below was originally written in 2010, but has since been reposted here.

See also our 2nd post on this topic: Canadian women's hockey - why is it not televised more often???

Not a lot of women around the world play hockey. Heck, not a lot of men do either. As a sport its really only popular in Canada, the USA, northern Europe and Russia. There are other countries who send women's hockey teams to the Olympics, but its really only a token effort because they don't really spend much on their teams beyond buying all the women on the team a custom hockey jersey and paying for their transportation to the Olympics. Just a hunch, but the women on the poorer country teams probably have to pay for their hockey equipment.

The future of women's hockey has become problematic as far as the Olympics is concerned. Since becoming an Olympic sport Canada has won 3 of the 4 Olympic golds and the USA has won the other 1 remaining. No other nation has either come close. (In 2014 Canada won gold again, bringing the total to 4 golds for Canada, 1 for the USA.)

The problem doesn't end there however. There is no professional Women's Hockey League televised on TV or broadcast on the internet. Women hockey players are basically unpaid amateurs.

The IOC (International Olympic Committee) is thinking of dumping women's hockey as a sport because nobody else has been able to beat Canada or the USA in hockey. Not even the Russians or the Swedes, or any other Scandinavian country which is usually pretty good at hockey.

This lack of competition has the IOC thinking about dropping the puck on women's hockey and ditching it altogether.

At the IIHF World Championships Canada won 9 of the 12 available gold medals. Team USA won the other 3. At the Olympics Sweden is the only one to get a silver (by beating Team USA in 2006) and Sweden and Finland have managed to take home bronzes during other years and at the World Championships Sweden, Finland and Russia have gained medals, but likewise have been shut out of the gold.

Part of the problem is that Canada has a lot more minor/amateur hockey competitions for women to do / join. Other countries don't have the teams and tournaments available for young women to join, strengthen their skill in the sport and get better at it.

Its a bit like those poor North Korean soccer players who sucked so bad at the World Cup because they had diddly squat for experience.

Just look at the scores: The Canadian women's hockey team has scored an astonishing 140 times and only been scored on 9 times. The USA trails with 107-12. When our teams are that good it becomes evident the other teams are just amateurs trying as best as they can.

The good news is that many people in North America take hockey as a sport seriously. There is a market and support for a professional women's hockey league, but the question of getting it started is the real issue. Canada has 77,000+ women's hockey players. The USA has 60,000+. Import the best players from Russia and northern Europe (just like we do for the NHL) and while the games are hosted in North America it really becomes an international sport.

In theory it doesn't have to be hosted/limited to North America. An International Women's Hockey League (IWHL) would work just as well.

The hope then is that women's hockey will become a permanent thing with other countries gaining more experienced players... but at the same time women's hockey will finally be getting the respect it deserves.

In the photos above Team Canada celebrates the gold with beer and cigars. The behaviour caused a bit of an uproar at the time but it was all in good fun. (Six years later it seems ridiculous as most people probably don't even remember that incident.)

It should be noted that one of the objections to women's hockey is the fistfights that sometimes happen. Its considered normal for hockey, but not normal for women (hence why women's boxing has had troubles being accepted in the past).

"Its not a sport until a fight breaks out."

Toronto getting exercise after freak snowstorm + Snowshoeing

Last night the fiancée and I visited my future mother-in-law and the three of us watched the season finale of The Walking Dead - and marveled at the freak blizzard out the window. This is not so unusual for Canada, but it is unusual for April.

By the time we left to go home our car was covered (shown here on right) and the snow was falling so fast it was difficult to clean the car fast enough because the snow kept adding more.

When we got home I had to shovel the driveway out before we could even park the car, because it is on an uphill slope and it was too slippery to get the car up into the driveway properly until after it had been shoveled.

So thanks to the weather many of Toronto's residents are getting some extra exercise cleaning off their cars or shoveling their driveways.

Today is my day off so I am going snowshoeing for fun - in April.

If you have ever gone Snowshoeing before then you know it is an exhausting exercise. However I will point out that with modern snowshoes it is easier than the old fashioned snowshoes.


I will update this post later with some photos of my snowshoes in action. (See Update Further Below.)

Snowshoeing Notes and Tips

If you have poles, might as well use them. Keeps your arms moving = extra exercise.

Make sure your snowshoes actually fit you. I recommend trying them on inside before heading outside so you know how to put them on easily and that they do fit you.

Wear boots. Shoes won't do it. Maybe don't wear steel-toed boots like I do, but hey, I am used to them.

Dress warm in multiple layers. If you get too hot while exercising you can unzip or unbutton a layer.

Bring a drink with you. Water, tea, coffee, hot chocolate. Snowshoeing is thirsty work.

Pick a nice circular trail / route, possibly one with different options so you can pick and choose which way to go. Avoid steep hills.

Remember to wash off your snowshoes before storing them. 

The snowshoes in the photos and shown above, in case you are curious, are Yukon 930s (size large). Brand doesn't really matter so much so long as they work and do their job.

Update Below: Photos of my Snowshoes in Action.








Five Ways to do Weight Lifting Outdoors in the Winter

#1. Build your own outdoor gym equipment, including:

  • Bench Press
  • Bench with Free Weights 
  • Bulgarian Training Bag
  • Chin-Up Bar
  • Farmer's Walk Bars
  • Incline Bench
  • Kettlebells
  • Medicine Ball 
  • Obstacle Course (Strength Based) 
  • Parallel Bars (Gymnasts)
  • Rope Climbing / Rope Ladder
  • Rowing Machine
  • Stairs (for Leg exercises, or as an Incline)

eg. To build a rowing machine you will need: Rope, a wood or metal bar as a handle for pulling, a stationary metal bar that is elevated off the ground, a heavy weight attached to the far end of the rope, and something to brace your feet against.

#2. Shovel Snow out of the Driveway - and if you have extra energy, clear all the snow from the backyard and front yard too, so you have frozen grass to workout on.

#3. Fill sandbags with snow and build a wall of sandbags... Or a bench made out of sandbags, and use that bench as a bench press, an incline bench or for using free weights on.

#4. Build something out of the snow - snow man, snow fort, ice rink, hockey rink, ice sculpture. Does it really matter as long as you are exercising?

#5. Clean out the garage and turn your garage into a gym.

Examples:

That old broken air conditioner? Use it as a weight for a rowing machine.

Old furniture / chairs? Add some wood and make a bench for using in combination with free weights.

Old scrap metal you aren't sure what to do with? Check out the dumbbells further below.

Old broken bicycle? Make a training bicycle for building leg muscle.

Old patio umbrella with metal pole? Get rid of the umbrella part and use the metal pole to make yourself a nice chin-up bar.

Old junk that you really are not sure what to do with? Take it to the curb for garbage collection. Clearly if you can't use it for weight lifting, then it probably isn't good for much else.

Winter Chin-Up Bar
Homemade Dumbbell
Scrap Metal Dumbbells

Archery Biathlon Training

Looking for something new to try this winter in Toronto?

How about Archery Biathlon?

Similar to rifle biathlon, archery biathlon is actually an ancient Nordic sport which was done by Vikings in Scandinavia. It was so popular in fact that the Norse god "Ullr" was basically the god of the archery biathlon. (See the images of Ullr further below.)

For those who are thinking of trying something new that is really challenging archery biathlon might be the right sport for you.

The sport builds the following:

Endurance
Cardiovascular Strength (Heart and Lungs)
Balance
Back and Upper Body Strength
Leg and Lower Body Strength
Aiming / Accuracy Skills

For more information about signing up for Archery Biathlon Training or Winter Archery Lessons, see my previous post on the topic of Winter Archery Lessons.

And as promised, images of the Norse god Ullr below:


Winter is Coming! - Winter Archery Lessons in Toronto

Okay, okay, settle down. It is only September 15th, 2015. It is not Winter yet.

But I am already looking forward to teaching archery lessons during the 2015/2016 winter season. Maybe too much sun has fried my brain and I am now yearning for the cold?

Normally I only teach archery lessons from March to October, but last year and the year before I also taught a few - literally just a few - Winter Archery Lessons to those few Torontonians who were that crazy that they wanted winter lessons.

The start of the 2014/2015 Winter was quite mild last year, but then we got record breaking cold temperatures in late January and early February - so most of my winter lessons last year were done during December / early January or late February. The coldest part of the winter was just so ridiculously cold and snowy and there was no point being out there.

So I do have some rules regarding Winter Archery Lessons:

#1. Must be 16 years old or older.

#2. You must dress warmly - multiple tight fitting layers are best, including long johns, ski pants, hoodie, tight fitting winter coat, nice warm hat, etc. [Myself I am going to be purchasing a new pair of ski pants and a "heated hoodie" for this upcoming season.]

#3. You must bring a thermos full of a hot drink with you. Trust me, you will want it. [I recommend the "24 Hour Thermos" made by Thermos Ltd.]

Winter Archery Gloves will be provided. They work well and are surprisingly warm.

All other archery equipment is provided. If you wish to bring your own equipment please send a description of your equipment when you contact me via email.

2015/2016 Winter Archery Lessons Rates

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

2 Students
$120 for 90 minutes; 3 Lessons - $337.50; 5 Lessons - $540; 10 Lessons - $1050.

3 Students
$150 for 90 minutes; 3 Lessons - $427.50; 5 Lessons - $675; 10 Lessons - $1320.

To sign up for Winter Archery Lessons send an email to

New Winter Archery Logo

Notes

For my purposes "Winter" officially starts when there is either snow on the ground or the temperature dips around 0 degrees Celsius or lower. That means I may start charging the Winter rate in November if the temperatures are that low.

The upcoming Winter will also give me more time off to work on my upcoming archery book, the 2nd archery book I have written (the first is "Dreaming of Zen Archery"). The upcoming book will be a how to guide to recreational archery, as I have determined there are many books on the topic of competitive archery, and quite a few books on bowhunting, and even a bunch on the history of archery - but I have found zero books on the topic of recreational archery, or as I like to call it "archery for archery's sake". Recreational archery is not meant for competitions, not meant for hunting, it is purely for those people who do archery for the sheer enjoyment of the sport.

Oddly enough over 90% of archers are recreational. Less than 9% of archers are bowhunters. Less than 1% of archers actually compete. The vast majority of archers are those who do it purely as a recreational hobby, so I find it strange that nobody has written a book on this topic.

5 Exercises to do in March

So March is here and warmer weather is just around the corner. Here are 5 exercise ideas for people to do during March while the snow is melting and it isn't quite warm enough to do other more summer-oriented activities.

#1. Shovel Snow out of the driveway. Chances are likely you will need to do this anyway, but if that is already done you can also:

Make one last snowman before it melts.
Have a snowball fight with friends / family before it all melts.
Move all of the snow on your property into one corner and let it melt there, so that the grass can start growing sooner.

#2. Go Snowshoeing, Skiing, Snowboarding or Ice Skating one last time.

Or if there isn't enough snow left to do those activities, go for a hike instead. Take the dog with you!

#3. Stay inside and exercise like you did in January and February. Maybe you dislike cold weather entirely and have no interest in going outside when there is still a wisp of snow on the ground, in which case staying inside might be more your thing... But that sounds awfully boring so why not change it up a bit? You could:

Get a gym membership for 1 month only.
Get a membership at a yoga studio for 1 month.
Get a membership at a rock climbing studio for 1 month.
Get a membership at a boxing gym for 1 month.
Sign up for 1 month worth of martial arts lessons.

#4. Try an Extreme Sport that is either outdoors or indoors. Examples:

Sign up for archery lessons in Toronto.
Join a paintball organization so you can run around and shoot friends with paint.
Try "Archery Tag" at one of the various locations in Toronto that offer it.
Join a club that does Parkour or Freerunning (hopefully you are under 30 and already reasonably fit).

#5. Spring Clean your Home. Cleaning things is actually very good exercise and your home probably needs a good cleaning anyway. Listen to music while you clean, take your time doing it, work up a sweat, and remember to take a break every so often. Have fun!

The Benefits of Exercising NOW, before Winter begins

"Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise." - Benjamin Franklin.

Every winter I create a weightlifting exercise program for me to do indoors during the winter months. This year I have decided to start early. What is nice is that even though I started on Wednesday, I am already seeing results by Monday.

I make this exercise program for me to do every Winter because I know I won't be outside as much exercising during the Winter. Thus I have to compensate for my lack of outdoor exercise by doing more indoor exercises.

When choosing which exercises to do weightlifting makes good logical sense because it requires less space to do properly when compared to jogging, running, swimming, tennis, golf, archery, boxing, etc. In some cases even less equipment, because I don't have an indoor pool handy. :p

So what exercises do I do?

#1. Chinups using a chinup bar installed in a doorway near the washroom. This guarantees I am building biceps in a hurry.

#2. Dumbbell exercises designed to target the shoulders, triceps, and pectorals.

#3. Old School Exercises like Sit-Ups and Push-Ups. The sit-ups target the abdominal muscles and the push-ups target pectorals, various back muscles, triceps and shoulders.

#4. Jumping Jacks - I love jumping jacks while listening to music. This is a quick indoor cardio that burns a lot of calories in a relatively short time. The more you do the more you burn. It also builds strong calves and ankles.

#5. Squats with Light Weights - This is for targeting my thighs and calves. Stronger leg muscles builds better balance and makes you faster when you need to run in a hurry.


The other thing I want to get back to is the concept that there are benefits to be reaped NOW by getting into exercising right away instead of postponing it for later. As a personal trainer Winter is the slow time of the year for me, which means I would normally be exercising less. But because I like to maintain my physique and improve upon it I complement my workout in the Winter with the weightlifting and old school exercises. Last year I didn't start my weightlifting routine until December - when there was already snow on the ground. Partially because I moved in November last year and was still sorting through boxes.

But this year I am all settled in and I felt a sense of urgency to get back into it early this year so I started my new weightlifting regimen on Wednesday October 1st. I didn't set out to pick that day, it just happened to be that day. So I did weightlifting on Wednesday, Thursday, took a break on Friday and Saturday to let my muscles relax, then again on Sunday, and now it is Monday... and I am seeing some fast results.

I am not just talking extra muscles either although I am definitely feeling more buff. I am sleeping better too. I am going to bed earlier, getting up at 6:15 before my alarm goes off at 7 AM, I feel well rested and alert, my appetite is up, and I am feeling super positive about myself.

And according to my bathroom scale I have put on 4 lbs very recently - which will be mostly muscle and increased bone density. (For record keeping I have gone from 190 to 194.)

I should point out that normally people don't put on a lot of muscle in a hurry unless they have the right combination of metabolic rate, exercise, protein/nutrient intake, etc. If you are interested in this topic of how fast muscles can grow I suggest reading the following two articles:

How Fast can you Grow Muscle

Two Alternative Models for Predicting Muscle Growth

If you read the 2nd article I have posted my own model for predicting muscle growth which takes in factors like Height, Shoulder Width, Metabolic Rate, Dietary Sufficiency, Gender, Exercise Rate, and Training Category - which makes it the most comprehensive method of predicting muscle growth.

There is also the Muscle Memory factor - which is difficult to calculate. Basically what that is is when a weightlifter gets sick for a long period of time they lose a bunch of muscle mass, but when they get back into weightlifting again - even after years - they are faster at putting on the muscle because the old muscles retain the memory. This is likely the biggest factor for me right now, allowing me to build up muscle a lot faster than I normally would.

My goal this Winter is to put on at least 20 lbs of muscle and weigh 210 lbs by mid-March.

And if sleeping better and feeling healthier is a side benefit, so be it. Those are benefits I like having.


Note - This Winter I also going to be doing Archery Biathlon (combo of cross country skiing and archery) once there is snow on the ground, which combines a high intensity cardio exercise with a resistance training exercise.

New Archery Biathlon Logo

Winter Archery Practice

During January and February I sometimes go to the archery range to get some personal practice in. I don't teach archery during the winter, but whenever there is a day where the weather is nice it is fun to go and get some extra practice in.

The trick about practicing archery in the winter is whether or not your aim is good enough that you are not missing any shots and having to search for your arrows in the snow.

If you're lucky the snow will have a thick icy layer on top and your arrows will just skitter across the top.

Another problem is that there is no winter maintenance of the target butts - which means they look pretty decrepit during the winter. You have to aim your shots in the corner so you aren't aiming near the softer middle sections of the target butts - where there is often either a gaping hole or material so soft your arrow goes straight through and keeps going.


Because it is so cold outside I strongly recommend wearing multiple layers of clothing. eg. On this particular day I was wearing a t-shirt, a sweater, a hoodie, an outdoor vest, a jacket, a neck warmer, hat and gloves.

Alternatively you can also go to a longer range - 50 yards for example - and practice there instead. But you had best have really good aim if you want to be shooting at that distance and hitting the target with tight clusters.


I have even made a series of fun videos of myself doing archery in the winter, shown below, wherein I was shooting a snowman for fun.






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