Tag Archives: health

Top 10 Fitness Apps

Winter, if you are on the west coast of the U.S., has been mild so far, and if you’re in Canada, like I am, the worst is yet to come. No matter where you are it’s still cold outside. For fitness resolutes, the first two weeks are the hardest for fitness — it can take up to a month before a routine is set and you no longer need to force yourself to get some exercise. Whether you want to add a morning jog before you go to work or schedule in a quick set or three in the gym, here are 10 apps that will help you accomplish your 2015 fitness resolutions.

Fitness

You Are Your Own Gym

This is one of my favorite travel companions since it’s essentially a gym in your pocket. This particular app hosts a series of workouts featuring body weight movements that don’t require any equipment, aside from a bench or chair that should be easy enough to find.

Body weight exercises are my go-to because you can do them anywhere and at any time. A quick set of 20 jumping jacks, 15 push-ups and 10 sit-ups/crunches done three times will pick up your heart rate and warm you up. If you’re looking for something more challenging, burpees and jump squats are an excellent way to sky rocket yourself, or you can really push yourself with interval training, such as Tabata

For more, visit BreakingModern here.

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…and then there was sun

tourdemiss

 

Riding through the streets of Mississauga during torrential downpour was an experience it itself. You have to quickly relearn how to operate your bicycle through wet streets, groups of cyclists and large ponds (literally, pot holes are horrible for this). My friends and I decided to complete the 60km Tour de Mississauga bike ride (some chose the 30km) and it’s certainly an event I am going to sign up for again.

As the largest free event in Canada, I also consider it one of the best organized events I have attended to date. From the optimistic and cheerful volunteers to the free barbeque after the race, to the pit stop with hydration station and cookies mid-race, I was more than willing to pay for the t-shirt (or jersey, your choice) that accompanied the race. Usually a race comes with a complimentary tech tee, but again, free race means you have to pay extra for the tee. The pick-up station at City Hall prior to the event, and on the day of, were well organized and easy to access, and the food trucks and vendors were great to talk to after the event.

The routes (5k, 10k, 15k, 30k, 60k, 100k and 120k) were well-planned and for the most part, easy to navigate. Generally speaking, there was a volunteer at every main turning point indicating which direction you had to go pending distance, though there were a few places where only arrows spray painted into the ground indicated which direction to turn. Maybe it was due to the sheer noise of the downpour in the morning, but I know some people missed the announcement that there were arrows on the ground to direct you towards your distance; different colours indicating different race distance. There was one part of the route where everyone missed the turn and we had to make a u-turn at a stop light to the chagrin of several drivers. Sorry!

Horrible weather aside, riding alongside serious athletes and bikers in a pack is certainly quite the experience. It was rather empowering and fun and the communal kinship felt amongst everyone was brilliant. I loved it. The second half of the race cleared up nicely and it turned out to be quite hot in the afternoon, which (mostly) dried up our clothes.

The afternoon was spent at Word on the Street, in which as usual I spent too much money, and eating up yummy foods.

Next up….er, not quite sure just yet, but there has been discussion about Santa suits and winter and maybe a race?

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Don’t forget to go to the washroom before you run

nightrace

A cool night for a great race.

Note to self: make sure you go to the washroom right before the race, even if you already went.

After all, running the first 2km feeling like you have to pee is horrible, horrible feeling. The first half of my 5km run, before I sweat out all the extra liquids in my attempt to hydrate, was a duck-waddling stride that had my stomach sloshing around and my bladder clenching. It sucked.

Too much information aside, this year’s Night Race was held at Sunnybrook Park and occurred as the sun set beyond the horizon and head lights (free with registration) became mandatory. The event had a Happy Kids 1km Fun Run (where all the kids were like the Flash), 5km and a 10km race.

The 5km track was a flat loop that backtracked at the two kilometre mark and around again at the four kilometre mark. What I found deceptively deceiving was how the trail went towards the starting zone again, but instead of it being the end, it continued outwards for another two kilometre loop. I know a lot of people were thinking, “WTF?” since the moment you hear the announcers and music, you decide to sprint and then you’re breathless, and then you think, “oh, I’m not done yet.”

Other than that, the event itself was well-organized, with a friendly atmosphere and glow-in-the-dark accessories that helped light up the night. The weather that night was much cooler than the previous day and was a very-much welcomed reprieve, which is also probably why I ended up drinking too much water.

Next up, Tour de Mississauga’s Signature 60km Ride.

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Another 5k for the books

Bellevue5k

Defi Boreal Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue in Montreal.

It’s always great to beat a personal record, even if the run itself wasn’t the best performance.

Last weekend’s run in Montreal wasn’t my best performance even if I did beat my previous time by a bit; in fact, it was rather horrible. It was one of those days where the humidity coupled with unexpected water cramps (from trying to stay hydrated) and a sore shoulder. It could’ve definitely been better.

I was hoping to beat the 25 minute mark, though I ultimately ended up with just over 26 minutes, (which really isn’t too far off in the grand scheme of things). I would have (almost) preferred finishing the 5k with a smile on my face and not have beat my PR, but there’s always next time. Training for races this year hasn’t been going as well as it should since I’ve been particularly lazy to specifically train for said events, even if I am rather active. So really, there’s no one to fault but myself.

Time for a mini break before another race at the end of August…though I’m already planning for next year’s line-up of races.

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On completing a Try-a-Tri

TryATri

Getting ready for my try-a-tri!

It’s a humbling experience completing any race because it doesn’t matter how much you train (or how little), there will always be someone out there who is younger, fitter, and/or better than you.

I recently completed my first try-a-tri in 54 minutes and it was a blast. The try-a-tri is a much smaller triatholon at 375m swim/10k bike/2.5k run.

Overall, I’d say it was a success, though I think I could have done better during the swimming portion. It’s quite a different experience swimming in open water with a couple dozen bodies beside you compared to a stationary pool. However, it wasn’t as horrible as I thought it would be (you know, the whole internal fear of being pushed down and trampled), though I was diverted from my straight path by a not-so-gentle nudge in the face. The push resulted in me swimming towards the shore before having to zig-zag back when I realized my knee hit the ground.

My friends and I arrived earlier than our race time to check out the scene and get the lay of the land. We were able to catch the tail-end of the swimming for the Sprint Traitholon and overheard the referee refer to some athletes’ shaky legs as sea legs when they transitioned to the biking portion of the race.

At first we weren’t quite sure what he meant, but after we finished the swim and made our way up to the bike stop (up a small incline), we understood the shakiness. SEA LEGS! I’ve heard the term before in reference to being on a boat too long and then returning to land, but it didn’t occur to me the same could happen after a swim. Totally true.

The 10k bike ride went smoothly, as did the 2.5k run. I was slightly worried about this transition since I was always shaky after practicing it prior to the race. Literally, duck waddling shaky. My first attempt at the brick work (from bike to run) was a struggle – the one kilometre I attempted after the bike was as if it was my first time trying to run…but worse; it took me well over 10 minutes to complete said kilometre. During the try-a-tri, I was able to complete the 2.5km run in 14 minutes.

Now, to determine my goal for next year: repeat the try-a-tri and aim for a faster time, or go for the Sprint Triatholon, which is 750m swim/30k bike/7k run. Hmmm…

Anyway, here’s to another 5k race next week in Montreal.

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Academy of Osteopathy has set up a shop on Ottawa Street

The 140-student Canadian Academy of Osteopathy has set up shop on Ottawa Street.

Academy principal Robert Johnston launched the school on Melvin Avenue in 2003 but when he decided to expand he looked to Ottawa Street.

“I’ve had great support from the community over the years and (Ottawa Street) is going to be one of the most important streets in Hamilton in several years,” he said, noting as a Hamilton native, he is committed to his hometown. “I’ve been asked more than once to move the school to Toronto but I’ll be keeping it in Hamilton.”

A former Canadian Tire at Ottawa and Dunsmure has been converted to classroom space.

Osteopathy looks at the relationship between the anatomy and the physiology of the human body. Students are taught to address the anatomical and physiological reasoning for problems, and to choose the appropriate technique to address it.

There are currently around 140 students from around the world enrolled with the school. Students have the option of enrolling in September or April, with a 12-month rotation of six months in class and six months of clinical training.

Prior to becoming an osteopath, Johnston was a massage therapist looking for treatment for a neck condition that had ailed him for several years.

He attended an osteopathy session with Dr. Alfred Reid Johnston in Waterdown and issues he had disappeared.

“I was blown away by his ability to rectify the problem that had bothered me for years,” Johnston said, noting he shortly thereafter started educating himself about osteopathy in the United States and the United Kingdom, before returning to Canada.

Johnston studied under one of the founding fathers of osteopathy, John Wernham. As an independent school that maintains its own autonomy, the staff remains accountable for what students learn, he added.

There are various options for those interested in attending osteopathy classes, from entering straight from high school to pursuing it after completing an undergraduate degree.

The 1:4 to 1:6 teacher-student ratios also allow for individual attention for students to learn in a close-knit classroom for four years of learning, with an option to extend classes to five years.

The Canadian Academy of Osteopathy also operates out of the Melvin campus, using its rooms for practical workshops and a student clinic. The student clinics are free to the public, and patients can drop in more than once for ongoing care.

Students are required to complete 1,000 volunteer hours as a part of their studies.

“We are very dedicated to community-based services, and this is one of the ways we give back to the community,” said Johnston. “I’m very committed to bringing Hamilton forward and having the (academy) in Hamilton is to give the city recognition.”

Originally posted in Your Hamilton Biz.

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