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12 Steps of Becoming a Healthier Exercise Machine

#1. Eat healthy, and you will be better able to exercise more. Healthy eating = more energy, more muscle and your internal organs will be happier and healthier too.

#2. Avoid smoking and alcohol. The cigarettes just hurt your lungs and the alcohol damages you heart, liver and kidneys.

#3. Exercise a little bit every day. Even just 6 minutes of cardio per day can have a dramatic benefit for your overall health. Making the effort to exercise 6 minutes x 365 days equals 2190 minutes of exercise per year you would not have gotten otherwise.

A 200 lb person who jogs 6 minutes every day burns approx. 100 calories each time. That is 219,000 calories burned in 1 year. Or 62.57 lbs of fat burned. So yes, 6 minutes per day really can make a huge difference.

#4. Take up a sport that you can really sink your teeth into. No, I am not saying you become like Luis Suarez (soccer legend who likes to bite people), but I am serious about people finding a sport they love which gets them outside exercising at least once per week. And the sport could be anything - axe throwing, rock climbing, kayaking, cycling, competitive dog running, etc. It doesn't matter. Just do it.

#5. A little weight lifting never hurt anyone. You aren't going to bulk up like Hulk Hogan by lifting a few small weights. But you will build extra muscle (which is handy to have) and stronger bones - which will stave off osteoporosis in your old age.

#6. Eat healthy snacks that you love. eg. I love carrot sticks. I cannot get enough of them.

#7. Remember it is not your body that is stopping you from exercising. It is your brain that is too weak willed. Summon the courage and just exercise anyway, regardless of what your brain tells you what you can and cannot do. Start slow and let your body pick up steam as exercising becomes easier as the months go by. Before you know it you will be shedding pounds, adding a little muscle and tossing out your old clothes for new clothes that is tighter fitting.

#8. Be positive about yourself. The people who fail are often the people who are negative about their own abilities to succeed and thus sabotage themselves mentally. Stay positive, stay focused - if you fall off the wagon, just get right back on it without blinking an eye.

#9. "The journey of a 1000 miles begins with a first step." But you need to have the willpower to finish the journey, and the courage to keep going even when the going gets tough.

#10. Stop hanging out with people who insult you. They are not your friends. Make new friends along the way as you change your life for the better. Strangers are only people who have yet to either become a friend, a rival, or an enemy - and most people are not that bad and most likely enjoy having new friends.

#11. Share your exercise / sports passions with friends. Who doesn't want to take up axe throwing, rock climbing, kayaking, cycling, competitive dog running, etc?

#12. Hire a personal trainer in Toronto - because we make lots of free lists like this one just because we really care about the health of our clients. Want to become healthier? We can help you! I don't care if you hire me, but you can always hire someone - even a friend - who can help get you set on the path to healthy exercising.

Archery Testimonials X 5

Five testimonials from a selection of my archery students.


"I am so grateful for your tutelage. I will refer you when I come across someone interested in [your archery] services."

- Joseph Ian Z.

Update: Joseph also sent the following in March 2015, updating his original testimonial:

"Charles has been a wonderful instructor. I am as novice as they come when I started my first lesson. The whole experience was very pleasurable. He was very personable, adaptable and knowledgeable. I would definitely recommend to all. The fact I was able to hit a coffee cup lid from about 60 ft, by my third day, says a lot.



"This has been an awesome experience and I can see why people say you are #1 archery instructor in Toronto. I will be coming back for more lessons, but first I want to go buy a compound bow and then you can teach me how to tune the compound bow during the lessons. Thanks again!"

- Barry D.

Note - I was unaware that I am being called the #1 archery instructor in Toronto, but sure, if that is what people want to call me I am okay with that title. I am not going to go shouting it from the rooftops however. Humility is better for your aim.


"Hey man, thanks again for the lessons. I learned a lot from you. I am going to be buying my own bow and maybe a 2nd one so I can get my girlfriend into it. I might end up bringing her back for lessons as well."

- Jake T.


"Thanks again for the lessons. Patrick and Ryan really enjoyed learning from you and I am amazed at how quickly they learned how to shoot 10s. We will definitely recommend you to our friends. As per your suggestion we have already enrolled the boys in Boy Scouts so they can get some archery practice that way too. See you next Summer!"

- Mary-Lee and Jason G.


"Thank you again for teaching me and my boyfriend. He is now demanding we buy our own equipment so we can get into archery on a more permanent basis. We had a wonderful time and look forward to shooting more zombie targets in the future."

- Andrea L.

Below - Elvis teaching archery during a clip in the film "Tickle Me".

Want a fun target to shoot at? Zombie Elvis. :)

Dieting - How much dieting is actually necessary to achieve results?



I have noticed in the past that sometimes people don't actually diet or exercise that much and yet still manage to shed the pounds they were looking to shed. What are they doing differently? How much dieting [or exercising] is actually necessary to achieve results?

- Vanessa R."


Hello Vanessa!

Honestly, it varies with the person obviously, but the quick and easy answer is "not that much".

People can sometimes achieve amazing results just by reducing their caloric intake to the recommended amount for their body type (if they were over eating this will be more difficult for them to do because they will get cravings for their favourite foods) and combining their new "reasonable and balanced diet" with an exercise routine - something simple like jogging for 30 minutes every day or doing yoga for 30 minutes, or swimming, bicycling, or any kind of cardio activity.

30 minutes out of every day is a tiny portion of the 1,440 minutes a person has available in a day - we use 480 minutes just for sleeping. 30 minutes is only 2% of your day, but that 2% can make amazing differences if you use it for exercising.

For food it is all about calories in and calories out. The average female only needs approx. 1800 calories per day, and the average male only needs about 2000 calories per day. The exact number a person needs varies with their body type and their level of physical activity, which is usually based on their occupation. Athletes for example often consume 2500 to 3000 calories per day because they need the extra energy. But for the Average Joe, those numbers are unnecessary extra calories.

Unfortunately many people often eat out at restaurants, order pizzas, snack on junk food, etc - and their diet might be closer to 3,000 to 4,000 calories per day.

Let's pretend you're a man who we will call Average Joe who only needs 2,000 calories per day. At his normal weight he weighs 170 lbs.

But Joe likes eating junk food regularly and consumes closer to 2,100 calories per day, but he is only burning 2,000 calories per day during his daily activities.

Now here is the important part: 1 lb of fat is 3,500 calories.

Ergo if Joe keeps eating an extra 100 calories per day he will gain 1 pound every 35 days. He would gain roughly 11 lbs of fat in a year - and possibly start developing health problems if he does this over many years without changing his routine. In a single year (plus overeating during Xmas) he might go from 170 lbs to 185 lbs.

But lets pretend that Average Joe decided he wanted to reverse the process. By going on a healthy diet, and only eating 2,000 calories per day.

Joe's weight would then stabilize and stop going up. He would stay at 185.

Now he could try reducing his diet to 1,900 calories (or lower, which is problematic for your health if you go below 1,500) and would lose weight doing that (some of that would be muscle mass however, due to a loss of protein in his diet).

A better solution for Joe is to maintain that 2,000 calories / day routine - but ADD more exercise to his routine.

So for example if Joe weighed 185 lbs and then got into cycling and cycled 6 miles (or 10 km) every day then he would burn approx. 350 calories each time. (Note: It takes approx. 25 to 30 minutes to cycle that far at a leisurely pace - it isn't even cycling that fast.)

At 350 calories per day Joe would lose 1 lb (3500 calories) every ten days.

Which means Joe could be back at being 170 lb "Average Joe" in only 150 days.

And have more muscular legs to show for it. So truth be told he might actually be closer to 175 lbs, because he might put on 5 lbs of muscle (or more).

Note also that Joe could have also just skipped the diet and gone straight to cycling. At 2,100 calories - 350 calories, Joe would be losing 250 per day. Or 1 lb every 14 days. Thus it would take him longer to lose the weight, but he would eventually achieve his results (and still be able to enjoy the snacks he loves).

Eventually Joe would reach his goal and then would actually need to either decrease his cycling or increase his eating habits to balance his exercise activities with his diet. Preferably with healthier food so he puts on more muscle.

He might even add weightlifting to his exercise routine later - becoming a cycling and weightlifting aficionado. No longer is he "Average Joe". He would become "Hunky Joe".

So yes, back to Vanessa's question, people can make dramatic changes with relatively minor (but permanent) changes to their diet and exercise routine. It is really just a matter of math. Calories in vs calories out.

Note - The guy in the photo below is just a model. His legs are too skinny to be a cyclist.

Archery Personal Note - Robin Hooding a Moving Target

The following is more just for me.

Dear Diary,

Today I Robin Hooded (split my own arrow) while shooting at a moving target 60 feet away.

In recent years (ever since I started taking archery seriously) I have gone from shooting cake sized clusters to doughnut sized clusters and more recently to shooting at tiny moving targets.

To what I did today... Hitting and splitting my own arrow on a moving target, on a very windy day (30 kmph gusts).

Today was a day to remember.

I need to start shooting at small moving targets 90 feet away. I figure that should be more of a challenge.

Shooting compound long distances / adjusting sights



I am a beginner at archery and recently bought a compound bow because I was told that you could shoot long distances using them. But when I went to the archery range and tried shooting at the long range I couldn't even hit the target. The arrows didn't even go half way. When I tried adjusting the sight higher the arrows kept going roughly the same spot. I used the peep sight and everything they said to use in the store, but I cannot figure out what I am doing wrong.

Someone at the range said I was shooting at the 90 yard range, which doesn't seem that far to me. My arrows are flying at 305 feet per second so 90 yards (270 feet) should be no big deal. Why are my arrows only going halfway?

- Geoffrey C."


Oh wow.

#1. Your arrows may be traveling at 305 fps, but they are still arcing downwards as they fly through the air. You need to be aiming higher - which on a compound bow means moving the sight lower. See #4.

#2. You really need to practice at shorter distances first. Especially if you are a complete beginner. Start at 20 yards and sight in the top pin. Then go to 30 yards and sight the next lowest pin. Then 40 yards, 50 yards, etc. If you just purchased the bow it likely came with a 3 pin sight, which means you are very limited in what ranges you can shoot accurately using the pins.

8 Pin Compound Sight
If you get a 5 pin sight then you can sight in 20, 30, 40, 50 and 60 yards. Or you could do 20 yard increments: 20, 40, 60, 80 and 100. Obviously having a 5, 6, 7 or 8 pin sight gives you more options.

The Toronto Archery Range has 20, 30, 50, 60, 70 and 90 yards targets - thus a 6 pin sight would be sufficient for every target - with larger gaps between the 30 and 50 pins and between the 70 and 90 pins.

#3. You should stick to the 20 yard range until you can get tight (doughnut sized) clusters that are on target using the top pin. Then move to the longer ranges. Beginners are always trying to shoot at longer distances before they are ready to do so, so you are not alone in this.

When your clusters are tight then you can try the 30 yard range and repeat the whole process until your clusters are on target and the size of a doughnut.

#4. When adjusting your sights, if your arrows are too low then you need to move the sight lower, not higher. If the arrows are too high, then you need to move the sight higher. Whatever you do on the sight, the arrows will do the opposite.

The same goes with left and right. If your arrows are too far to the right, you need to adjust the sight to the right.

Now you might wonder "Why is it the opposite?"

The reason is because you need the arrow to be angled upwards on a higher angle. If you move the sight higher, the arrow goes lower instead of higher. When you move the sight lower - closer to the arrow - then your arrow will be angled higher.

#5. When it comes to shooting really long distances you may need to get an oval-shaped sight with quite a few pins, like the 8 pin sight shown further above.

#6. You might also benefit from some archery lessons. You might even consider getting recurve archery lessons too, just so you understand the physics better. I always recommend people learn recurve first before trying compound, longbow or Olympic.

If you continue to have difficulties you should consider archery lessons as an option. Beginners especially should consider getting lessons because beginners have so many bad habits that need to remedied before they can shoot straight.

Looking to sign up for archery lessons, boxing lessons, swimming lessons, ice skating lessons or personal training sessions? Start by emailing and lets talk fitness!


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