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How to Safely Go on a Run During Current Pandemic: COVID-19 Precautionary Tips

How to Safely Go on a Run During Current Pandemic: COVID-19 Precautionary Tips

In the time when gyms remain closed due to the pandemic, running seems to be the last resort to fitness. Breathing open air will also improve the mood, as the pandemic-borne isolation can easily stress anyone, especially extroverts and regular runners.

Plus, exercising can potentially boost immunity and help fight the virus. Going outside, even for thirty minutes, means getting Vitamin D that plays a role in immune function.

So, is there a way one could go out for a run without risking their life or posing a threat to others? The good news is yes. There are measures a runner can take to protect themselves and others while still focusing on their fitness.

Below are precautionary tips to keep in mind when leaving to jog during the current pandemic.

Maintain Social Distancing; Keep 12 Feet Apart

Social distancing is the primary strategy to prevent risk posed by the Coronavirus.

So far, we know that Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has rolled out the advisory to keep six feet away from each other. The reason being that we spew droplets from the mouth when we speak.

However, when you run and pant, you are more likely to exhale respiratory droplets in a larger quantity and project them farther. Therefore, it is necessary to keep a farther distance between yourself and others when you are running – at least 12 feet.

Never Forget the Mask; Wear One that Does not Hamper Breathing

CDC guidelines recommend all should cover their faces with a cloth when in a public setting where social distancing is tough to maintain. Think grocery stores, for example. Still, we suggest you never leave the mask at home.

Whether or not your running space gets crowded, keep a mask ready, even if in the pocket. Unless the route is an off-beaten path where anyone seldom shows up, it becomes imperative to exercise caution. You might be following the guidelines, but someone else can get careless.

However, be picky about which mask you choose. Do not run with an N95 on that adds inspiratory resistance. Instead, choose a mask with a valve that has an expiratory port to keep airway resistance at a minimum. You can also opt for double-layered cloth masks that are neither too tight nor too loose.

Note that wearing a mask is not a substitute for social distancing, handwashing, or staying at home when ill.

Keep a Sanitizer in Pocket: You Never Know When It Comes Handy

Like we said before, putting on a mask is not a substitute for washing hands. When outdoors, you can come in contact with objects such as a traffic button or a bench when leaning on to stretch. While we strongly urge you to avoid coming in contact with public objects, let’s be real, it can happen.

In such a situation, you might not have access to water and soap. It is when sanitizer, handwashing’s powerful sidekick, comes in handy. It ensures germs do not transmit from you to others and vice versa.

Keep in mind, never leave the sanitizer in the car. Being alcohol-based, sanitizers are volatile and pose a threat if left inside an automobile. According to the CDC, they are flammable and can readily evaporate when exposed to heat.

BYO Water; Keep Away from Indirect Contact

Because the virus spreads through respiratory droplets, drinking at public water fountains or taps is a big NO during the COVID-19 pandemic. Bring your own weapon water to fight Coronavirus.

Similarly, refrain from using public restrooms too. It is a place where the surface is touched the most and randomly. From the door nob to the flush, every next object has come in contact with multiple people.

The CDC recommends that all frequently-touched surfaces be washed regularly. But who can tell if they are? For the same reason, avoid pit stops too.

Go Solo; Avoid Running in Groups

CDC advisory is to avoid gathering of more than 50 people, and several countries are asking to restrict the numbers to lower than 10. What does that mean for runners? Be extra cautious and limit the group to 3-4 people whom you completely trust to be safe. Despite the trust, strictly maintain the 12 feet social distancing.

Before planning a run with close friends or training partners, check with your local guidelines too. Ponder over the risk of asymptomatic spreading of COVID-19 and come up with a proper plan on how you’ll minimize the risk.

Above all, if you are not sure, drop the idea of group runs and go solo. It is the safest and most reliable option right now.

Avoid Long Intense Runs; Don’t Deplete Glycogen

While running can boost immunity, intensive runs can work against the immune system by depleting your stores of glycogen. How does it affect? Depleted glycogen means that post-run the body’s defences will be down, and it will be more susceptible to getting infected. It will prove even more problematic if, during the run, you come in contact with someone who is sick with the flu or virus. Therefore, it is better to avoid long, intense runs until we get through the current pandemic. Do not overdo exercises.

Those who are not regular runners should ease their way into increasing speed and distance.

Take Precaution; Take Shoes Off at the Door

According to Harvard’s Dr. Joseph Allen, the general public does not need to worry about tracking viruses via the bottom of their shoes.

Yet, consider leaving the shoes at the door once you are home. There’s hardly such a thing as being over-cautious when it comes to COVID-19.

If you have dedicated sportswear for when you go running, it is advisable to clear a separate spot to keep away from other outfits. Keep at least two sets, so you can wash one and wear another on alternative days.

Don’t Sweat It; Sweat Is Not Corona-Transmitter

This point is not a precautionary tip, but important information to relieve some stress. Respiratory droplets from the mouth can spread Coronavirus, sweat cannot.

Image from @freetousesoundscom

10 Best Virtual Runs for This Summer

<span>10 </span>Best Virtual Runs <span>for This Summer</span>

In the times of social distancing and lockdowns, virtual runs rescue fitness freaks from boredom. From no-crowd road scene to the freedom to pick a location, the benefits and pros of virtual running are many.

The options are infinite. As a beginner with a treadmill, you can pick short virtual races or as a pro runner with accessible hiking trails, you can prefer 10K virtual marathons. In short, you decide how you’d like to escape the inactive routine and then make a run for it, literally.

Here’s a list of 10 best virtual runs scheduled this summer. Participate in and as many of them as you want.

Virtual Run Events

  • Fees: $8-$54
  • Highlight: Themes and Quirky Medals

From COVID-19 Relief to July Races, Virtual Run Events offer themed events galore. You will also find races that celebrate Harry Potter’s birthday. Here, you can run for fitness, to raise funds for various causes, for collectible medals, or cupcakes.

Disney Virtual Run

  • Fees: $40-$145
  • Highlight: Finisher Medal, Race Bib, and Certificate

Enjoy a 5K virtual run with Disney’s thematic Mad Tea Party, Space Mountain©, The Haunted Mansion©, or triple feat Virtual Challenge. The events will be happening from April 16 through August 31.

RUN WITH THE WORLD

  • Fees: Free
  • Highlight: Run, Walk, or Roll

Join this Facebook page to participate in monthly virtual run challenges. You go for the moderate 8km run or aim for the ambitious 60km marathon in 42 hours. For under16, 3km and 5km runs are also available. The events of RWTW allow you to participate in groups as well. The upcoming challenge is 42.2km in 42 hours between 7th-9th August.

Virtual Runner UK

  • Fees: £5-£15
  • Highlight: Pick Preferred Date and Distance

Missed the dates of some of the virtual races or found them sold out? Head to Virtual Runner UK and find an event for any date you prefer. You can also find runs of specific distances and get custom medals after submitting your results online.

7 Sunshine Coast Marathon Festival

  • Fees: $35
  • Highlight: Community Run

Participate remotely and still be a part of a community with 7 Sunshine Coast Marathon that lets you connect with other runners online. You can register for the upcoming 5k, 2k, 10k, half-marathon, or marathon happening on August 15-16.

Why I Run

  • Fees: $15-$50
  • Highlight: Women Virtual Run

Why I Run organizes virtual run for strong runner chicks. Run to stay active and pay to fund Girls Gotta Run. Options vary from 5k to trail running. Registration 2020 ends on August 1 for all except Vertical Miles (for trail runners), for which registrations are open till August 31. 

Ann Arbor Sports Commission Firecracker 5K

  • Fees: $27-$37
  • Highlight: Shirts, Facemask Buff, and Medals

Pick a day between July 4-31 to complete your Firecracker 5K virtual run. Submit your time to win awards through a virtual awards ceremony through Zoom on August 3 @ 7 PM. This year, raised funds will go to Rogel Cancer Center.

Great Run Across Michigan

  • Fees: $34.99-$50
  • Highlight: Certificate, Shirt, and Medal

Register, pick a day and start the challenge. You can run 115 miles (185km) in 40 days or 386 miles (621km) in 70 days. Too challenging? Register as a team to divide the miles and complete the task in 30 days. The money raised by the fees will benefit Kelleigh’s Cause.

Running is NOT Cancelled

  • Fees: $25
  • Highlight: One Flat Fee, Any Distance

Organized by Fleet Feet, the virtual event aims to keep runners motivated through COVID-19. Choose from 5K/10K/Half Marathon and upload proof. Finishers get a bib, a t-shirt, and a medal.

Virtual Wharf to Wharf Race

  • Fees: $35
  • Highlight: Bib, T-shirt, Free Training Plan, and Virtual Wharf Sticker

The 2-mile or 3.2km Wharf to Wharf Race is full of goodies. The event is scheduled for July 20-26. The first 7,000 participants will also get a Large Canister of Nuun and guaranteed access to Race 2021.

Photo by Brian Erickson on Unsplash

5 TIPS ON HOW TO STAY ACTIVE DURING COVID-19 | MIND, BODY AND SPIRIT

5 TIPS ON HOW TO STAY ACTIVE DURING COVID-19 | MIND, BODY AND SPIRIT

We truly are living in a unique and rare time. Most of us feel like we’re in a daze, still convincing ourselves to wake up from this nightmare. All of sudden, we are being restricted to do the normal things we used to do such as trips to the library, take your kids to the park, hold a gathering at home or elsewhere, even how we greet people now has changed. With kids being at home, the routine we’ve known before all this happened has been thrown out the window.

 

We believe that one of the best things we can do right now to keep us feeling 'normal' is by staying active. Michael Otto, PhD, a professor of psychology at Boston University says “The link between exercise and mood is pretty strong. Usually within five minutes after moderate exercise you get a mood-enhancement effect.” But the effects of physical activity extend beyond the short-term. Research shows that exercise can also help alleviate long-term depression. Some of the evidence for that comes from broad, population-based correlation studies.

 

So, how can you stay active during this pandemic? Below are some tips you can do to help you stay fit physically, mentally and emotionally.

 1) Home workout – If there are particular workouts you have been wanting to try but just never got around to doing it, this is the time to try it out. If you have kids at home, encourage them to do the workout with you. If some of the moves aren’t easy for them to do, encourage them and let them know they can modify it. The main thing is doing the workout together as a family. Kids are used to doing a lot of activities when in school, so this #stayinghome and #socialdistancing thing is an adjustment to them just as it is for us, parents. Get them moving through kid-friendly workout videos. 

Here, is an example of a workout you can do with your kids at home. PS. There are tons of workout videos out there, keep searching until you find one that works with the whole family.

 

2) Meditate – Now this one can be hard if you have little ones. If you can find time in the morning to do this (right before the kids wake up) then great! You can also meditate midday and really any time of the day, as long as you find that quiet space, then you’re set. Meditation can help bring calmness in the body and mind. With all of us glued to the news for the past weeks, it’s important to take some time to relax your mind and body. According to healthline.com, some forms of meditation can improve depression and create a more positive outlook on life. Research shows that maintaining an ongoing habit of meditation may help you maintain these benefits long term.

Don't feel like you need a lot of time to be able to meditate, even 5-10 minutes of meditation is enough to calm your body, mind, and spirit. If you’ve never meditated before, here’s a video you can follow. There are tons of videos for “Meditation for Beginners”, so again, keep searching until you find one that suits as there are different types of meditation.

 

 

3) Run – Depending on where you are in the world, but given that your location is not on lockdown, consider going for a run in and around your neighborhood. If you’ve never ran before, start with a walk, jog, run method for a total of 1km. It goes something like this: walk for 2 minutes, jog for 3 minutes, run for 1 minute, and repeat until you reach a distance of 1km. Increase the distance and modify the number of minutes when your body is ready. For example, start running 1-3 a week -  Monday, Wednesday and Saturday. Start with 1km and the following week, increase it to 1.5-2km and so on. Don’t forget to stretch after each run and remember to listen to your body. Stop when you need to. Do it slow and steady. Doing this too fast may cause you to feel discouraged, it could feel like 'you can’t' do it, when in reality – you’re just doing too much too fast. Here’s a great ‘running for beginners’ video you can follow if you’re looking for more running tips.

 

 

4) Intuitive eating – During a stressful time, it’s easy to fall into an unhealthy way of eating. All these social distancing, stress, kids being at home 24/7, staying and working from home could feel very overwhelming. It is not a crime to have a treat, but know when you are overdoing it and do something about it. For example: have your favorite chocolate bar on a weekend instead of just any day of the week. If you’re one to cannot help yourself when you see sweets at home – do not bring it at home on days when you feel you shouldn’t be eating treats. Now, more than ever, we need to take care of ourselves to avoid trips to the clinic or hospitals to avoid getting the coronavirus and to protect the vulnerable in our community. But if you really want to have that piece of cake - hey, don’t be too hard on yourself and waste the whole day feeling guilty about it. Breath and let it go. Tomorrow is a new day. The key is to have your ‘intuitive eating’ on at all times or at least most days of the week. Check out this video for intuitive eating tips. 

  

 

5) Read – Have you ever wished you had more time to read? Perhaps this could be the time you reach out for that business book you bought months ago, but haven’t yet gotten the chance to even open it. Read some self-development books or any book that you feel will help you grow for the better. Don’t get into the ‘what is the point?’ mode just because we are going through this COVID19 crisis. Look ahead and lookup. This will be over, too. If anything, we should all take this time to prepare for what we have been working on before all this happened. Prepare for that day for when this is all over. Below are some of our favorite reads in random order:

 

  • The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod
  • The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferris
  • Essentialism by Greg Mckeown
  • The Success Principles by Jack Canfield
  • The E Myth Revisited by Michael E. Gerber

 

 

 

 

 

Sources:

www.apa.org

healthline.com
 

5 Action-Packed Winter Activities in Ottawa, Canada

5 Action-Packed Winter Activities in Ottawa, Canada

Come winter, some cities look dull, but Ottawa enlivens. While the city is gregarious all year long, it becomes a festive carnival of winter activities between December to March. When the rest of the world snores in wintry slumber, Ottawa sets off to work with its ice skates on. The streets brighten up with lights and artists sharpen their rasps for the upcoming Winterlude festival.

Get packed, because there is not a thing about wintry Ottawa you would want to miss. Throw in some sweaters and a pair of winter boots to get going. Travelers on budget, who won’t be needing bank-breaking boots again, can opt for spikes instead. They won’t take space and will make sure you don’t slip and hurt yourself.

Attend Winterlude Festival

Winterlude is an annual festival held between January and February. The city spends three frosty weeks celebrating the pristine season by turning into a massive playground. You will see a gala of mind-bending ice sculptures in Federation Park, while on the far side will be the river-turned-rink Rideau Canal. The festival also hosts several culinary events where you can sample flavors of Canada. Another best part about Winterlude festival is that admission is free!

Skate Along the Rideau Canal

Skating on the world’s largest natural rink is something of a bucket list item. Strike it off at Rideau Canal. It is also one of the many free things to do in Ottawa. Depending on the weather, the river rink opens from late December to late February. You would think that the activity is popular only among kids and tourists. But wait until you see several office-goers sliding to their jobs with their bags on the shoulder. It is really a rip-roaring sight!

Wander Around the Byward Market

Byward is the oldest and largest market of Canada. Dotted with eye-popping cafés, it is a boisterous concoction of foodies, buskers, shoppers, and camera-toting tourists. Its artsy streets are great to take leisurely walks. However, during winter, the path may get slippery due to frost. This is when the winter boots or spikes you packed will come in handy. It is in this neighborhood that you will come face-to-face with some prominent edifices like the National Gallery of Canada and Notre Dame Basilica.

Stay late after the sunset to revel in its effervescent nightlife when several pubs and clubs come alive teeming with live music and dancing.

Go Extreme at Gatineau Park

Sited few minutes away from downtown, Gatineau Park sprawls across a whopping 361 sq. km. of area. Feuille-morte in fall, the park turns blanched during winter with its fair trails flanked by tall, bare trees. It is a sight for sore eyes. But beyond that, the wintry park also turns into a playground for snowshoeing, snow biking, winter hiking, and cross-country skiing. Remember we asked you to pack spikes? This is why. The park has inviting and cozy cabins too for those who wish to spend a night here.

Go Tobogganing at Green’s Creek Park

Visiting Green’s Creek is another fun thing to do in Ottawa. The park has a natural city-wide hill with multi-level snow-covered slopes that make for great slides. Just grab a sled, glide, and have fun.

Below 0 degree can be scary, but in Ottawa it is festal. Step in and you will find yourself amidst handful of Ottawa winter activities to make your vacation in Canadian capital a memorable trip.

 

Running Again After A Maternity Break | 6 Tips How To Get Back Into Running After A Long Break

Running Again After A Maternity Break | 6 Tips How To Get Back Into Running After A Long Break

I'm not what you would consider a "runner". I don't run every single day nor do I run most days of the week. I, however, before getting pregnant with my second baby, used to enjoy running particularly short runs on weekends and some evenings during the week. 


One summer day in 2018, I was out for a run, an attempt to do a 10K that afternoon. I didn't feel like running to begin with that day, but I pushed myself to get out of the house anyway. I started feeling dizzy around 1km mark. I stopped running. I thought maybe it was just too hot for me. So I walked and decided to head home. 


A few days after that attempt of doing a 10k run, I found out I was pregnant. It made sense why I was feeling the way I was that day. The dizziness was one of the pregnancy symptoms I was having. Since finding out I was 4 weeks pregnant, I stopped running all together. I guess I always had it in my head that I may feel dizzy again while out running.


And so my pregnancy was happening and all went well fortunately. Nine months later, our beautiful baby girl was born. If you're reading this, I'm guessing you also took a break from running when you got pregnant. Having a newborn is just magical, isn't it?. All the pains of giving birth however you gave birth, just disappears (not entirely but you know what I mean) once you see your baby. Then comes the sleepless nights, and being unable to get out of the house like I used to. I knew this was temporary as this is my second child.


I live in Ottawa, Ontario, where winters can be rough. Snow and rain mix together on top of a gloomy day. This kind of weather definitely did not motivate me to start getting back into running again. In fact, I have forgotten about it for a long while. 


I wanted to get rid of my "baby weight" but I wasn't mentally and physically ready to run outside again. I started doing short workouts at home every morning and started getting myself back into eating the right amount. I went all out during my whole pregnancy! Eventually I bounced back to my pre-pregnancy weight. 


My baby is now 9 months old and we're in the middle of January here, I started craving to run and sweat again. I'm not sure what got into me. I guess the "not running" just got old eventually. I'm looking into joining a Winter run and hopefully join more short races come Spring and Summer. If you've read this far, wow, thank you! Stay and read a little more to find out how I plan on getting back into running again after a long 18-month-break of zero running and how you can, too. 



      1. SELF-TALK - Self-talk yourself to get back into running. There's no one who can convince you more than anyone else. In fact, your best motivator is yourself. Once you rely on somebody to motivate you, then you're not really doing it for yourself. It's always good to have an accountability partner but the motivation has to start from within. Remember all the good feelings and endorphins you'd have after a run when you used to run then compare it to those months you haven't. You miss those days, don't you?! Of course, you do! That is why you're reading this blog in the first place.
      2. JOIN RACES - Joining races is another way to push yourself. You can start slow and just to finish the race can be your first goal. Don't worry about being the 1st runner up. I know I won't! I want to get back to running smoothly, so I will start slow and steady. 
      3. JOIN A RUNNING GROUP - Join a running group in your area. Keep in mind Facebook groups. You will be surprised how many active groups there are in your area. If you're not a fan of a 'meet-up' type of thing, joining a running app can be helpful as well. I particularly like Strava, but there are tons of running apps out there that can contribute to motivating you to run again. Remember though, it has to come from within. 
      4. KEEP TRACK - Don't just run the same pace, try to beat your time. By beating your time, you're setting a goal for yourself pushing you to work even harder. If you don't achieve the time you're going for, don't be too hard on yourself. Just let it go and try again. 
      5. KEEP GOING - It's so easy to turn anything into a habit, isn't it? When you start working out, it doesn't take long before you realize how doing something good for yourself just simply feels good. It feels right! When you start to skip a workout or 2, that can turn into not working out at all especially in the winter months. Have an accountability partner to keep you motivated. Remember that the more we age, the more reasons there are why we should be working out. You can also use your kids as an inspiration to keep you motivated. Keep in mind, they mirror what they see their parents do. 
      6. REWARD YOURSELF - Reward yourself after completing a run. Why do you think they give runners a medal after a race? Thought of it yet? The best way to treat yourself is when you know you deserve it! Whether it's a new running gear or a slice of cake, go for it! Just know your limits and don't overdo it. Overdoing rewards could easily turn into guilt and you don't want that. Just keep it simple yet very rewarding. 

That's all folks, I hope these tips will help you get back into running or just working out in general. Leave your comments below if you have other tips not mentioned above. 

Written by: Monica Juno Arsenault
Co-founder, Yatta Life Inc

9 Of The Best Winter Hikes in Canada

9 Of The Best Winter Hikes in Canada

The winter solstice is behind us and winter has officially begun. You may think that the dawn of the darkest part of the year means our hiking days are now in hibernation, but they don’t have to be. Despite the shorter, colder days, and all that snow out there, you can still find quality hiking adventures.. Let’s discuss some of the best winter hikes in Canada.

1.Rawson Lake, Alberta

For the first 15 minutes of the hike to Rawson Lake, the trail is flat, following the shoreline of Upper Kananaskis Lake. Here, you’ll experience spectacular mountain views along an alpine lakeshore. Once you pass the Sarrail waterfall, however, the easy times are over; a 300-meter climb through a spruce forest awaits you. As the trail begins to level out again, you’ll know the lake isn’t far ahead.


The hike to Rawson Lake is 8 kilometers, with an elevation gain of 305 kilometers, and takes 3 to 5 hours round-trip. This hike will require snowshoes.

2.Troll Falls, Alberta

This easy, short hike begins at the Stone Trail parking lot. The trek offers evergreen forests and open aspens on a wide trail. Proceed onto a narrow trail that snakes along the left bank of Marmot Creek to witness debris from the 2013 floods. At the end of the trail, you will see the blue, u-shaped falls. For an other-worldly experience, take a look behind the falls; just make sure to wear proper crampons.


The trip to Troll Falls and back is about 3.4 kilometers and will take 1 to 2 hours.

3.Prairie Mountain, Alberta

If you want a decent workout, take a hike up Prairie Mountain. After arriving in the Elbow Falls parking lot, take the trailhead across from the lot, by the winter gates. This hike is steep for most of the ascent, making you feel more like a stair-climber than a hiker. The trail only moderates once you’ve almost reached the summit. Be prepared for wind and far-reaching mountain views at the top. Prairie Mountain is dog-friendly and open year-round, but crampons are strongly suggested for a winter hike.

4.Johnston Canyon, Alberta

Starting at the Johnston Canyon parking lot, located on the Bow Valley Parkway, you can choose from two short hikes to some of the most accessible waterfalls in Banff. In winter, use these as a great way to see frozen waterfalls without having to travel too far in the icy conditions. Strap on a pair of crampons and decide whether you want to make the 1.1-kilometer stroll to the Lower Falls or the longer 2.7 kilometers to the Upper Falls. 


Take a catwalk through the frozen canyon, marveling at the spectacular views. At Lower Falls, cross the bridge and traverse the tunnel to get up close and personal with the icefall. If you proceed towards Upper Falls, you will begin to gain elevation. At Upper Falls, you may see ice-climbers in action as well. The entire trip is 5.2 kilometers and will take 2 to 2.5 hours (to the Upper Falls).

5.Lake Agnes Tea House, Alberta

Beginning on the shores of Lake Louis near the Fairmont Chateau Hotel, the trail climbs uphill on a wide, switch-backed path for 3.6 kilometers. The trail is rated as moderate and takes most people between 1 and 2 hours. There is an elevation gain of 400 meters. Once you reach Lake Agnes, you will see the tea house, though sadly the business is closed between Canadian Thanksgiving and June 4th. Despite the lack of a hot drink provided, enjoy views of Lake Agnes’ alpine waters before heading back down the trail.

6.Nassagaweya Trail, Ontario

Located near Milton, not far from Toronto, this hike offers 14.4 kilometers of scenic views. Experience natural wonders such as cedars that are thousands of years old, sheer cliffs, caves, and glacial deposits. Take a chance at spotting snowy owls, chickadees, and a host of other wildlife.


Begin your hike at Rattlesnake Point and travel through forested areas until you reach Crawford Lake. The trail is an out-and-back.

7.The Crack, Ontario

In Killarney Provincial Park, you will find a 6-kilometer winter hike called The Crack. The out-and-back hike has steep areas and icy, exposed rock, so snowshoes, crampons, and trekking poles are recommended. Why is this trail called The Crack? Once you pass Kakakise Lake, cross a bridge, and ascend the elevation gain that awaits, you will see why. At the top of the trail, you will find a deep chasm encompassed by tall rock walls. A beautiful winter panorama will serve as another reward for reaching the end.

8.Barron Canyon Trail, Ontario

The Barron Canyon Trail runs along the north rim of the 100-meter deep Barron Canyon. The trail is located in the northeast corner of Algonquin Park and features gorgeous conifers and exposed rock cliffs. The trail does traverse the length of an unfenced cliff, so keep children close, pets leashed, and consider wearing crampons for added security.

9.Skyline Trail, Nova Scotia

Located along the famous Cabot Trail, a scenic drive in Nova Scotia, Skyline Trail is a 6.5-kilometer loop rated as easy. The trail is relatively flat, wandering along the coast. Don’t let the lack of elevation gain lead you to believe this trail is not worth your time; stunning views greet you at the end of the hike and you are quite likely to see moose. Try taking this hike near sunset to really up the “wow” factor. Allow 2 to 3 hours to complete this loop.

Winter Safety For Winter Hikes

Before you set off on an epic winter adventure, be sure to familiarize yourself with some basic winter safety.


  • Wear insulating layers that can be put on or removed as the weather and your body temperature change. Focus on lightweight and waterproof items.
  • Wear warm, waterproof winter hiking boots with a decent tread to accommodate slippery conditions. Make sure to have enough toe room for thick winter socks.
  • Hiking in the cold burns more calories: bring snacks.
  • Nightfall comes quicker in winter, don’t forget a flashlight or headlamp just in case.
  • Since we don’t feel as thirsty when the temperatures are lower, it’s easier to get dehydrated. Bring plenty of water and make sure you drink it.
  • Let someone know where you’re going, how long you expect your hike to take, and when you plan to be back. That way, if something goes wrong, someone knows where you are.

Photo by Gaurav Kukreti on Unsplash

 

What To Look For When Buying Trail Spikes For Winter Running

What To Look For When Buying Trail Spikes For Winter Running

As anyone who has ever experienced a Canadian winter knows - it’s absolutely essential to have the proper grip and traction for icy and snowy surfaces. And that’s especially the case if outdoor winter running is part of your overall fitness regimen. However, not all trail spikes for winter running are created the same, so you’ll need to consider the following key features when buying winter shoe spikes.

 

Ability to grip icy surfaces

 

There’s a big difference between running on regular pavement and running on icy, slippery surfaces. If you plan to spend most of your time training indoors during the long winter months, then you might not need additional protective gear to keep you upright and protected from hazardous falls. However, if you plan on tackling some more difficult terrain (including hard, packed snow), or if you plan on running on a mix of sidewalks, streets, and smooth surfaces (any of which can be iced over), then you’ll definitely want to make sure your traction devices for winter include a pair of stainless steel ice spikes.

 

These stainless steel spikes can really dig into icy surfaces and ensure that you stay upright. When it comes time to evaluate different winter running grips, be sure to check out the alignment of the spikes. Optimally, they will be strategically spaced apart so that the entire surface of your running shoe that makes contact with the ground has an even distribution of spikes. One of the most important factors when doing winter trail running is maintaining your balance, and that’s why you need to focus on trail spikes rugged enough to adapt to a variety of terrain conditions.

 

Flexibility and durability

 

Seasoned outdoor recreationalists are probably all too aware of the wear and tear that a long Canadian winter can take on your ice and snow grips. As a result, really give some serious thought to the flexibility and durability of your ice spikes. The best winter shoe spikes, such as those from Yatta Life, use stainless steel spikes connected to a dynamic flex-chain. These spikes also include a tough, elastomer shoe harness. This means that – literally – there are no weak links in your winter traction device. This chain-and-spike system featuring stainless steel spikes is simply the best way to ensure that your ice and snow grips hold up for the entire winter season.

 

Convenience and portability

 

Most people, when they think about winter shoe spikes, assume that they need special gear bags to tote them around. Nothing could be further from the truth. The most effective winter running grips, in fact, are designed to be taken on and off very quickly, and to adapt very easily to a variety of shoes, boots and other footwear. Best of all, you can stash them in a backpack or gym bag. That means you can take them wherever you go during the winter. You can even keep them in your car for quick errands, when you might need to make brisk walks across icy parking lots.

 

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By understanding how each of these three factors impact your overall running experience, you can ensure that you wind up with a grippy, durable slip-on traction system that you can take everywhere.

8 Mother's Day Gift Ideas for Active Moms 2019

8 Mother's Day Gift Ideas for Active Moms 2019

Mother’s Day is a holiday honoring motherhood that is observed in different forms throughout the world. This occasion was created by Anna Jarvis in 1908 and became an official U.S. holiday in 1914.  While dates and celebrations vary, Mother’s Day most commonly falls on the second Sunday in May and traditionally involves presenting mothers with flowers, cards, chocolates, and other gifts.

Let's be honest, everyone is different and some mothers may appreciate receiving something else rather than the traditional chocolates and flowers. Don't get me wrong, it would still be appreciated but why don't we go a little extra mile by giving what she can actually use. In this generation, many mothers seem to be more active and more athletic. Many women in this day and age tend to care more about their well-being. They exercise more, they're conscious of what they put in their bodies, etc. In this blog, we will share with you some best fitness gift ideas for active moms.

 

                              1) Salomon Women's XR Mission Running Shoe

                               Salomon Women's XR Mission Running Shoe

 

Any mother could always use a good pair of running shoes. Most moms are after comfort especially when running errands all day, or just running after her kids. This Salomon running shoe is one of the best women's running shoes available in the market.  The Salomon XR Mission Running Shoe combines lightweight feel with stability to provide a comfortable running experience. Utilizing Salomon's Sensifit and Sensiflex technologies, this flexible training shoe easily transitions from road to trail and is perfect for short- to middle-distance runs. It features a breathable mesh upper, an oversized tendon, and a tough Contagrip outsole for traction on wet or muddy trails.

 

                                                          

 

 

A lightweight breathable mesh is surprisingly water and wind-resistant and features a 2-way zipper and underarm eyelets to help improve Airflow. Bonded interior seams help enhance comfort, while reflective accents enhance visibility. V-fold binding at the hem and zip pockets complete this performance jacket. Any active moms can appreciate a good windcheater. It's available in bold ombre or Allover palm print. 

 

For mothers who love to hike even on the snowy season, try Yatta Life's Trail Spikes. Grippy, durable, slip-on traction systems, with strategically placed stainless steel spikes connected to a dynamic flex-chain with tough elastomer shoe harnesses. Provides a firm grip and instant traction on snow and ice and attaching securely and effortlessly, she'll be able to handle any adventure that comes her way. The spike design is excellent for walking, hiking, or running on packed snow, and provides excellent traction on ice.

 

Yesss! This is a must-have for all moms! Almost all women own a good pair of leggings. Leggings have become an everyday wear for a lot of women, not just moms. It's sleek, it feels like a second skin and super comfortable. What's not to love? This dual-layer EVO ColdGear construction combines a smooth, fast-drying exterior with a brushed, heat-trapping interior. Signature Moisture Transport System wicks sweat to keep her dry & light. Welded seams eliminate chafing no matter how hard she works. Super minimal encased elastic waist delivers a smoother, more streamlined silhouette.

 

5) LUNA PROTEIN - Gluten Free Protein Bar - (1.59 Ounce Snack Bar, 12 Count)

 

 

                                              5 Mother's Day Fitness Gift Ideas to Active Moms. 5 Mother's Day Fitness Gift Ideas to Active Moms.

Ok so who doesn't love chocolate and salted caramel? All of us want to indulge once in awhile except with Luna Protein Bar you won't be guilty consuming them. Consume it everyday if you must:)  LUNA has always believed in the power of women. Championing them in all their pursuits from day one. "Equality won’t happen overnight, but we can get closer everyday". LUNA support women’s equality today and every day and they won’t stop until equal is equal. A great tasting, health-conscious protein bar that has a mission any mom would agree with! Available in wild varieties - berry greek, chocolate chip, cookie dough, lemon vanilla, mint chocolate and chocolate peanut butter....Yum!

 

6) Balega Women's Enduro No Show Socks

7 Mother's Day Fitness Gift Ideas for Active Moms.

Any active moms deserve a comfortable pair of socks. Balega socks are engineered with the company's proprietary drynamix moisture management technology that keeps feet cool and dry while allowing free Airflow for maximum comfort, performance and durability.  All of Balega running socks have been race tested and incorporate a hand linked seamless toe, eliminating abrasion across the top of the foot. The company also knits an extra deep heel pocket ensuring that each sock fits the foot perfectly and does not slide down during a run. Designed with a medium volume construction. Drynamix Polyester 86%/Nylon 12%/Elastane 2%.

 

This is ideal if you like to put together a gift basket or even better if you sign up for their monthly subscription. So what is Flow exactly and how is this water different from any other boxed water in the market?  Flow is a naturally alkaline pH of 8.1 keeps you (and your acid levels) balanced. It contains essential minerals and electrolytes to electrify your fitness recovery and it comes different flavors to help you achieve your hydration goals. "Drinking naturally, mineral-rich alkaline spring water is a simple and affordable way to feel and look amazing." Care about the environment? Flow's packaging is a paperboard pack. Plant-based cap. +68% renewable. 100% recyclable. Designed to have a low carbon footprint. What's not to like?!
For active moms that are also into fashion, Garmin Vívomove HR is the watch for her. This stylish hybrid smartwatch features a touchscreen with a discreet display. Precision hands show the time and dynamically move away when you swipe through your messages, heart rate and more. It counts steps and calories while monitoring wellness, including all-day stress tracking.

Best Ways To Lose Weight and Stay in Shape During Winter

Best Ways To Lose Weight and Stay in Shape During Winter

During the coldest months of the year, it can be difficult to find the motivation to exercise and keep in shape. On particularly cold and snowy days, aiming for a quick cardio workout in the comfort of your own home might be the most attractive option. However, the best ways to lose weight and stay in shape during winter actually require you to get outside.

 

Cross-country skiing

 

There’s nothing quite like cross-country skiing for an intense aerobic workout. One big reason why cross-country skiing delivers such a caloric burn is because you are literally engaging all of the muscles of your body – your legs, your glutes, your core and your arms. For a less intense workout, search out groomed paths where the snow has already been packed down.

 

Winter hiking

 

If you live near hills, mountains or nature trails, you should definitely consider the calorie-burning appeal of winter hiking. According to one research study, you actually burn 34 percent more calories when hiking in extremely cold temperatures than in more moderate temperatures. Moreover, you can increase the aerobic value of winter hiking by carrying a heavy backpack or searching out trails with steep inclines or uneven terrain.

 

Just a word of caution, however: if you plan to do hiking in extremely snowy or icy conditions, it’s best to bring along a pair of crampons that you can quickly slide on and off your hiking boots. The best crampons have strategically placed steel spikes that really dig into icy surfaces, giving you very secure traction.

 

Running

 

For urban outdoor enthusiasts, running might be a more practical option than winter hiking. You can actually run faster and longer in the cold, and this makes it a great training option for those looking to get ready for spring and summertime races.

 

As in the case of winter hiking, though, you will definitely want to make winter traction a priority. Most serious runners prefer to wear ice cleats or urban running spikes for additional traction. A lot depends on your specific geographic location – if your neighbors don’t clear the sidewalks, or if you live in a more rural location, you will definitely want to strap on a pair of ice cleats before heading out for a run.

 

Ice skating

 

There’s something relaxing about gliding along a frozen pond or ice rink during winter, which is why you might not think of ice skating as a top workout for losing weight. The key here is making sure that you are adding in lots of turns and change of pace – the more that you are bending your knees and moving your body, the more calories you will burn. And to ramp thing up even more – you can turn a day of ice skating into a casual game of ice hockey with your friends or family.

 

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Getting outside is a must during the winter months. Exercise options such as winter hiking, cross-country skiing and winter running are some of the best ways to lose weight (and then keep the weight off!) during the coldest months of the year.

Looking To Make the Move From Gym Treadmill to Outdoor Running? Here’s What You Need To Know

Looking To Make the Move From Gym Treadmill to Outdoor Running? Here’s What You Need To Know

 

Many people assume that running on a gym treadmill is the same as running outdoors in nature, and that it’s very easy to make the transition between these two types of running. However, the reality is that the actual, physical mechanics of running is different outdoors. Think about it – instead of running on a never-ending flat surface, you are running up and down hills, along winding trails, or up and down sidewalk curbs. Moreover, you also have to contend with wind resistance, slippery surfaces and humidity. So, with that in mind, here are a few practical steps you can take to transition from treadmill to outdoor running.

 

Change the incline on your treadmill

 

Perhaps one of the most important things that you can do to prepare for running outdoors is getting used to run on inclined surfaces. So, on your gym treadmill, try to ramp up the incline to 1 percent, and then 2 percent, as you get your body used to moving up and down different types of surfaces.

 

Slow down your pace

 

In the gym, have you ever seen the workout mavens who crank up the speed on the treadmill so that they are sprinting rather than running? That’s simply not possible outdoors, especially in cold wintry conditions. The gym is really an optimal training environment, and when you run outdoors, you’ll notice very quickly that your overall pace is going to decrease, filled with more side-to-side movements instead of just charging straight ahead. So slow down your pace and get your body ready to run at a more moderate pace outdoors.

 

Choose natural surfaces over hard pavement

 

As you begin to swap out gym workouts for outdoor workouts, choose your locations carefully. In order to minimize the risk of stress and strain on your body, choose natural surfaces – such as groomed trails – over hard asphalt or pavement. In a gym, treadmills will help to absorb the impact of constant pounding. You won’t get that same type of cushioning when running on urban streets, and may experience soreness in your ankles, shins or knees as a result.

 

Think in terms of circular loops

 

There are two ways to plan a run outdoors. One way is to think of a route as a movement from Point A to Point B, followed by a careful retracing of the route back from Point B to Point A. But a better way is to think about a running route as a circular loop. By planning circular runs, you won’t have to worry about straying too far from your home, and realizing too late that you have gone too far.

 

Prepare for the elements

 

Finally, when running outdoors, you need to consider the elements. If it’s wet and windy, you will need to wear (at a minimum) a rainproof windbreaker or other gear. If it’s particularly cold and blustery, you might want to add a breathable base layer. And if you decide to squeeze in some trail running in snowy conditions, always make sure that you have the right winter traction. Winter ice crampons that slip on over your shoes can give you a sturdy grip and safe traction, even in icy conditions.

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If you’re thinking of making the transition from treadmill to outdoor running, keep these important points in mind. Once you’ve taken into account the different ways to prepare yourself both mentally and physically for running outdoors, you’ll see how free and liberating it can be. Instead of going nowhere fast on a hard rubber surface, you’ll be exploring the world around you and becoming more attuned to your body’s natural rhythms.