Monthly Archives: October 2017

  1. Tips and Tricks for Surviving Your Iron Man Race Day

    31st October 2017.There's no question about it: The Iron Man triathlon is one of the toughest sporting events in the whole world. It takes the mindset of the marathon runner to an extreme, and it is all about pushing your body to its absolute limits across all three events. To prepare, it takes months of structured training and a laser-like focus on the end goal: just making it across the finish line at the end of the day. Now, the time is almost here ? you can practically hear the starting gun when you look at the calendar and see that your race day is on the horizon. Perhaps you've even already started your training taper, winding down to be in peak condition. All that training helps to prepare your body for many of the challenges it will face during the race, but how should you approach the actual event? You don't want just to show up and start going at 100% effort with no game plan. That's a recipe for disaster, and it could spoil your months of hard work if you have to tap out early. With that in mind, it's essential to develop a good sense of what you should do to make the most of your race day. Here are some important tips and tricks to keep you comfortable and focused.

    Start the day off easy but be sure to prepare

    It's normal to feel nervous the night before race day, but make sure that you keep to an early bedtime and get plenty of rest. You're going to need it tomorrow! Wake up early so you have time to prepare and get yourself into the mental headspace that will set the stage for success. Take a shower that is warm but not too hot and enjoy the chance to relax. Eat a healthy but very light breakfast. Veteran Iron Man participants often go with a meal of about 400 calories in the morning. Remember, you'll refuel during your bike ride, and you don't want to try to start the swim on an empty stomach. Try some stretches to limber up before you head out the door. Once you've prepared

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  2. Yoga An Ever-Evolving Fitness Activity Adapts to Modern Demands

    30th October 2017. Stretching your body is an important part of fitness ? after all, without the proper stretches, we'd be sore every time we finished a round of strenuous exercise. Yoga goes a step further, though, and this ancient practice seeks to unify body and mind while you move through a series of positions. Some challenge you, others will leave you feeling relaxed and good about yourself, but every form of yoga can have positive benefits to your health. From strengthening joints to improving your mental wellness, there is much to gain ? but what if you aren't satisfied with a traditional, "basic" form of yoga anymore? You're not alone. In fact, recent years have seen an explosion in the number of new approaches to yoga hitting studios all around the world. While some are brand new inventions that stray farther afield from yoga's origins, others continue to draw on ancient practices for inspiration. From the unique and challenging positions of aerial yoga to the battle of wills that hot yoga often is, what's out there that you could try? Whether you're after new experiences or you just want to experiment with a type of yoga you're unfamiliar with, here are six of the most intriguing "alternative" forms of yoga out there.

    Take to the air with aerial yoga

    One of the most exciting and popular new ways to practice yoga involves leaving the ground altogether! Perhaps you've seen friends sharing pictures from their aerial yoga studio, or you've heard about it from others in passing. What does it involve? Rather than working through the session on top of a yoga mat, you'll instead climb into a giant sling hanging from the ceiling. Meant to support all your weight, the sling is the "aerial" component of the class. You'll use it to support your body as you explore new poses and positions that challenge your muscles in many new ways. Aside from being a fantastic workout for your core and your

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  3. Autumn is the Best Time of Year to Fly a Kite: 6 Reasons Why

    26th October 2017. While summer is considered the best time of year for many sports, the autumn holds its own appeal for outdoor activities as well. While others continue practising their football skills or join up with a crowd of marathon runners enjoying the last good weather of the year, you can choose to spend your time engaged in a more relaxing and mentally stimulating pursuit ? flying a kite! We often consider the spring as the prime season for flying kites, but the fall has its own host of benefits that make it worth your time to head outdoors. In the right wind conditions, flying a kite can even be a workout. You'll need to work hard against a strong breeze, and if a gust comes, prepare to engage all the muscles in your core keeping the kite steady. It's surprisingly exciting, and an excellent way to spend some of your time outdoors this season. Let's take a closer look at what makes the fall so ideal for putting together a brand-new kite, grabbing your string, and heading to your nearest open field. There are six reasons behind why this is the best time of the year for kiting.

    1. The weather stays good for most of the season

    Except for the very tail end of the season, autumn is usually a time characterised by its pleasant temperatures, moderating away from the high heat of summer. There might be a bit of a chill in the mornings or the early evenings, but for the most part, you will find the weather perfectly agreeable for being outdoors. Since flying a kite is all about enjoying your time in nature, this makes it especially ideal. The springtime can become too warm too quickly, and showers are much more likely to occur without warning. While the fall can have its fair share of rain as well, you can count on plenty of days of good weather. This fact makes it easier to make plans to go out to fly a kite; when every day in a week

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  4. What is Hydro-Fit Circuit Training? A Brief Introduction

    23rd October 2017.Water-based workouts are nothing new, but innovations in this arena happen all the time. We've come a long way from "Jazzercise" and the first aquatic aerobics classes. Besides swimming laps and practising your strokes, enrolling in some of these classes can be a good way to add variety to your workout while also enjoying a social atmosphere for exercise. Do you often feel the classes you've experienced in the past weren't strenuous or engaging enough? It's not an uncommon feeling, especially since many classes tend to fall into the same patterns after a few weeks of attendance. For those curious about other aquatic workouts out there, consider the rising popularity of Hydro-Fit circuit training. If you've experienced circuit training on dry land, where you rotate between a variety of stations for weight or cardio-based activities, then you already have a head start in understanding this type of exercise. For those who haven't tried this kind of training before, you may find it to be an excellent way to build up your strength in an environment you enjoy. With plenty of health benefits of its own and a widespread appeal, it's worth investigating. So how does it work? Let's begin by looking at what you can expect if you sign up for a Hydro-Fit class.

    How hydro-fit circuit training works

    We've already mentioned that hydro-fit circuits involve moving around to different stations, but how is that different from other circuit-style water aerobics that have you cycle through a variety of exercises? The first significant difference to be found here is simple: hydro-fit requires the use of additional equipment. From foam pool noodles to floatation cuffs that go around either your ankles or your wrists, the equipment comes into play to provide added resistance and a bigger challenge. The result is that instead of merely working out your body from a cardio standpoint, you're incorporating

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  5. The Benefits of Short Distance Running Over Endurance Training

    19th October 2017. When it comes to the running world, there's one thing you'll see hammered home as more important than anything else: distance, distance, distance. Everyone seems to want to be able to claim that they ran farther every week. Marathons are often held up as a serious goal for many. Even half marathons continue to gain popularity, and there are the super endurance tests you'll find in the "ultra-running" community. Is focusing on distance and endurance the only way to go when you want to run for fitness? Absolutely not! In fact, there aren't any rules that say focusing on long-term stamina is the best practice. Why punish yourself with hours-long runs when it just makes you not want to run at all? Short distance running is not only easier to accustom your body to, but it can have distinct health benefits of its own. It's also easier to fit shorter runs into a busy schedule or when the weather isn't good. So, what are these benefits and how should you approach this challenge? Once you develop the right routine, you'll find that working on your mile time is far more enjoyable than trying to shave seconds off a 5 or 10k run. First, let's look at the reasons why you should consider shortening your daily distance goals.

    The health advantages to short, intense runs

    In general, the health studies out there have found that short-distance running presents the same type of health benefits as long-distance running. In fact, there appears to be almost no difference between the two regarding their benefits. Whether someone ran 180 minutes per week or just under an hour did not matter; both studied groups saw improved heart health, increased cardiovascular endurance, and an overall lowered risk of death. If you're concerned that running less than your peers will have an adverse effect on your health, don't worry! Any exercise at all

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  6. Looking Ahead to Winter Cycling: What You Need to Know

    16th October 2017. When someone asks a question such as "what's your favourite time of year for cycling?" you probably won't hear "winter" as an answer very often. Unless you live some place where winters are especially mild with little to no chance of snow, you'll face tonnes of unique challenges that make cycling a bit more difficult. Not only that, but you'll also be fighting against your own desire to stay indoors where it's warm and cosy! It's important that you stick to the routine you've built up over the course of the whole year, though, because you don't want to lose all the progress you've made. With that in mind, making the right preparations for winter ahead of time will simplify the season and make it easier for you to achieve your goals. By the time the spring thaw arrives, you'll still be near peak condition and ready to set a whole new slew of goals for the next year. So, what should you do to prepare? From assembling the right gear and prepping your bike to thinking about some backup plans in the case of nasty weather, there's plenty you can do now. Let's start by looking at the winter kit you?ll want to have on hand before the temperatures plunge.

    Gearing up for your winter bike rides

    Grabbing the right cycle clothing is one of the most important preparations you can make for the upcoming winter. Temperatures can vary, so you'll need a varied wardrobe to match. We'll touch more on how to use that wardrobe to your advantage below, but let's begin with a list of the items you are most likely to need: a hat, a jacket, the right pants, good socks, and some solid gloves. Beneath all this, you'll want base layers made of sweat-wicking materials. You should have both a light jacket and a heavy jacket as you will not always face the same levels of wind and cold. Keep an option for bringing a water bottle along, whether you wear

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  7. The Benefits of Bodyweight Training: What Can It Do for You?

    12th October 2017.What's your favourite type of exercise? Unless you're a hardcore runner or swimmer, chances are your answer isn't going to be "cardio." Even so, it's an important and critical part of developing your physical fitness; it's also often something you can work on without the need for any special equipment. Cardio alone isn't going to bring you to a higher level of healthiness. It contributes in a big way, of course, but look at any serious fitness regimen, and you'll notice a common trait: they all balance cardio training with some kind of weight training, too. Unfortunately, for many, weight training seems like something out of reach to them. You might feel this way too, especially if you cannot afford a gym membership or simply do not have the time to invest in going to a weight room. Even purchasing home weights can be troublesome and expensive. What if you didn't need barbells and dumbbells to improve your muscles and start complementing your cardio workouts? You can do just that with bodyweight training. Although exercises in this category have been around since time immemorial, they're growing in popularity now and could soon become the next "big thing" for home fitness. So, what exactly do we mean when we're talking about bodyweight training? The concept is surprisingly simple.

    Bodyweight basics: what is this kind of training?

    If you aren't using weight equipment to train, then what do you use in this style of exercise? The answer is right in the name: the weight of your very own body. Your body weight can provide an excellent resistive force, just like the weight attached to an exercise machine. Think about it: do you think you could lift your body weight in terms of actual hand weights? Probably not. Many people can accomplish at least one pull-up or push-up, and with effort, they can do even more. These most basic exercises are a part of bodyweight training. Perhaps

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  8. Swimming World Swimmer of the Year 2016 Profiles

    9th October 2017. Who is the best swimmer in the world? Before you can answer that question, you'll need to be more specific: male or female? Men and women compete on different levels, and their accomplishments can be quite different from one another. After that, you'll need to be even more specific: what do you mean by "the best"? Even the most elite swimmers can have an off day and end up blown out in a race that they would usually win. Taking the time to figure out who qualifies as the best based solely on statistics may not work well, either ? so how can you answer the question? Luckily, we don't have to do it on our own: many official bodies help us judge a swimmer based on the totality of what they've accomplished in their career or during a given year. Such is the case with the US-based publication Swimming World, which for more than 50 years has named its "World Swimmer of the Year" for both men and women. A distinguished title, being named World Swimmer of the Year means that the individual has achieved a standout performance over the course of the entire year. For 2016, the honours went to the illustrious Michael Phelps in the men's category and the indomitable Katie Ledecky in the women's arena. These are two swimming champions who need no introduction, but what was it about their 2016 performances that led to their ability to claim these titles? 2016 did see an exciting Olympics in Rio, after all, but there's more to it than those performances alone. Their action-packed careers also speak for themselves. Let's take a closer look at their lives, their accomplishments, and the way these two incredible American swimmers continued to dominate on the world stage.

    Michael Phelps: contender for the Greatest of All Time?

    Michael Phelps is no stranger to the world stage of swimming, and he's certainly

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  9. 7 Helpful Hints for Autumn Runners – Make Running Fun and Enjoyable

    5th October 2017.Every runner knows the feeling of relief that accompanies checking the forecast and seeing the first inklings of autumn on the horizon. As the temperatures from summer finally start to subside, the foliage begins to change, and it becomes much more enjoyable to spend more time outdoors. Of course, that's when it isn't raining! Runners can face some unique seasonal challenges during this time of year. You can't let that slow you down, though, especially since you might not be able to train as hard during the winter. Snowfall tends to shut down your drive to plough through the kilometres on your to-do list. Preparing for what awaits you during this time of year can help you stay focused on your goals without letting your fitness suffer. From how to deal with the unpredictable weather to ways you can use the season to your advantage, there's plenty of opportunity waiting for you. So, what should you keep in mind as autumn finally arrives again? Here are sevenseven simple tips and tricks to bear in mind as you start lacing up your shoes and admiring the red and orange tint to all the local trees.

    1. Find new and exciting places to run

    With the weather changing and the scenery taking on the colours of autumn, now is the perfect time to start exploring new places for your runs. Leave the beaten path ? why keep running the same routes that you've been following all year? The autumn is the ideal time to explore local parks or to travel further afield for some prime running trails. The shorter days and cooler weather will make these excursions much more enjoyable, and you'll run into fewer frustrating problems like insects as well. If you feel your interest in running flagging after the summer, this is a good way to recharge your batteries. They don't need to be long runs, either ? you can even use park trails to experiment with fartlek training. However you choose to approach it, seize this last opportunity

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  10. A Simple Guide to Commuting by Bicycle

    2nd October 2017. Cycling isn't just a sport ? at its heart, it is just another mode of transportation. When bicycles first arrived, that's certainly a core part of their function. Competitive racing and long-distance endurance cycling, plus the avid fitness community that surrounds biking, all came much later. For many years, it was just a means for getting from Point A to Point B. Whether you want to save money on petrol, or you're hoping to "go green" in your life, why not consider spending less time in your car and more time in the saddle? You could choose to commute to work or to run basic errands. Believe it or not, some people even do their grocery shopping on a bicycle. Commuting by bike means you'll spend a lot more time on two wheels, though, and it can be a lot different than cycling for fitness. You may even need a different bike altogether to safely and comfortably complete your commutes. What do you need to keep in mind to make this effort a success? Here are some helpful hints to start you on the way to an eco-friendlier and fitness-focused way to commute.

    Why commute by bike at all?

    Why should you give up the air-conditioned comfort of your car to ride a bike to work or the grocery store? While it might seem like a selfish consideration, it's not unreasonable ? especially in the hottest parts of the summer months. You don't have to sell your car to commute by bike. You'll see drastically reduced expenses, however, regarding how much cash you have to spend on petrol. You'll put less wear and tear on your vehicle, too, so over time it will provide you with a longer life and more reliable performance. Beyond saving money, there are other benefits. You could actually shave time off your commute. Do you find yourself stuck in traffic all the time? Traffic jams are frustratingly common, but bikes allow you to zip around them without a worry. While you won't want to cycle through

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