We wish you all the very best to you and your families today!
The holiday season is in the air—are you looking for one more great gift? Or are you looking for one last stocking stuffer?
For the adult who loves to travel south to participate in water sports, consider a mask and snorkel! They can always use those from the resort, but how many peoples’ mouths have been on that snorkel? For the kids, a pair of goggles that don’t cover the nose can make swimming lessons much less of a struggle. A pair of simple goggles is best for kids still taking lessons because it helps them learn proper breathing patterns. A mask that covers the nose disrupts the pattern and makes it harder for kids to get the proper body positioning in the water.
Everyone’s facial structure is different; we all have different eye and skull shapes and sizes. They make a ton of different types of goggles, so it shouldn’t be too hard to find a properly fitting pair. It takes a bit more time to get a proper fit, but it pays off when you don’t find yourself constantly having to readjust or empty your goggles in the pool. When fitting goggles bring them to the face without putting on the strap. You should be able to press them into your face and let go, and the goggles should not fall off right away. The longer they stay on when you’re not holding them, the less chance there is of them leaking when you get in the pool.
Once you have goggles that fit your face, you need to adjust the straps properly. Adjust the nose strap first. The nose strap should fit fine if you can put the goggles on your face as discussed above. Tighten the strap around the head so that it is firm, but not too tight.
Trouble-shooting your goggles: if your goggles are leaking, or if they are giving you a headache, then they don’t fit properly. Leaky goggles mean that your strap is too loose, the nose strap is too wide or too narrow, or they don’t fit your face shape. Goggles that give you headaches mean that your strap is too tight.
One more word on goggles: if your child is young and doesn’t mind the water on his or her eyes too much, send them to swimming lessons without their goggles. Too often they spend far too much time fussing with the goggles and not enough time learning to swim. If you child swims with you and doesn’t fuss at all with their goggles, it’s probably fine to go to swimming lessons with the goggles. And by the time kids start doing distances of 4 lengths of the pool or more (100 metres or more), you should think about getting them goggles so that they don’t start swimming into walls.
Have you been thinking about your New Year’s Resolutions yet? Is getting fitter or healthier on your list? If you’re looking to start or change your fitness routine, take a look at this list of the top twenty fitness trends for the coming year. Maybe you’ll find some inspiration for a new way to fit fitness into your healthy lifestyle. This list is compiled from the survey done annually by the American College of Sports Medicine.
- Bodyweight Training: as people are concerned about how much they’re spending on fitness, it’s no surprise that bodyweight training is topping the list this year. Bodyweight training requires little or no equipment, and can be the least expensive way to improve your fitness. Though bodyweight training has been around forever, it has seen a resurgence in popularity thanks to new classes and clever marketing. This is definitely more than just push ups and pull ups!
- High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT): Possibly last year’s most popular fitness trend, High-Intensity Interval Training is a fast-paced workout that mixes short bursts of high-intensity exercise with short recovery times. HIIT is shown to be highly effective at burning calories and building muscle.
- Highly Qualified and Experienced Fitness Professionals: As the number of available fitness professionals increases, interest is high in those professionals who have earned a certification in the field of fitness and have a proven track record of getting results.
- Strength Training: Strength training has dropped down from the number two position since the 2013 trends list, but it is still a major trend in the fitness world. Everyone is encouraged to do some strength training, men and women of all ages from the very youngest to the oldest. Strength training can build stronger bones, help control weight and increase energy levels. It can also be worked into any sort of comprehensive fitness routine, regardless of preferred style of training.
- Personal training: What works for one person does not work for everyone, and more people are taking note of this. Hiring a personal trainer to develop a custom fitness plan that is tailored to your personal fitness preferences and needs can make a difference in achieving your goals. Having a personal trainer means there is also someone there to cheer you on and keep you accountable, two things that can also make a huge difference.
- Exercise and Weight Loss: The trend of emphasizing weight loss with specific exercise programs and diet plans is alive and well. Look for programs that balance sensible exercise with a sensible, sustainable diet plan, and diet plans that don’t restrict calories below what is necessary to fuel your exercise.
- Yoga: Not a surprise to see yoga on this trends list, as it continues to be a favourite within the fitness world. Yoga brings benefits to mind as well as body, and can help reduce stress, as well as build strength, flexibility, and balance. There are also many types of yoga to take advantage of, such as the traditional vinyasa or hatha yoga or the newer aerial or hot yoga.
- Older Adult Fitness: Though here at the Sportsplex we have been covering the older adult crowd for a long time, it seems more and more people in the 60+ age bracket are looking to get fit. Many places are now catering to those adults who don’t want to be in a class full of 20-somethings.
- Functional Fitness: functional fitness is meant to improve balance, coordination, strength and endurance for day-to-day life. This type of fitness is meant to duplicate the movements performed throughout the day, in order to make these activities easier as fitness improves.
- Group Personal Training: It has become more popular to hire a personal trainer as a group of 2-4 people. This reduces the cost for each person, but allows for the trainer to still provide individual attention.
- Worksite Health Promotion: As the cost of healthcare increases, and the effects of inactivity become more apparent, many employers are looking to reduce costs for sick leave and long-term absences by providing more health and wellness guidance at the workplace.
- Outdoor Activities: Spending time outside will never go out of style! Many fitness enthusiasts are spending time in the great outdoors doing such things as hiking, canoeing, kayaking, surfing, skiing, snowboarding or playing games or sports. Best of all, being active in the great outdoors can be done anytime, anywhere, and by yourself or in a group.
- Wellness Coaching: Wellness Coaching has seen a large increase since last year, where it was #17 on this list. This incorporates a look at the whole body-mind connection, and integrates behavioural science with promoting health, disease prevention and rehabilitation. Coaches provide support, guidance and encouragement, and focuses on the client’s values, needs, and goals. Wellness coaching is often incorporated into personal training services.
- Circuit Training: This style of training is where one performs 6-10 exercises in sequence, one after another. Each exercise is done for a certain number of repetitions or for time before moving on to the next exercise. Circuit training can be similar to HIIT training, but is usually performed at a lower intensity.
- Core Training: This training is focused on building strength in the muscles of the core, which includes the abdomen, thorax, and back. This improves the stability of the core, which makes many activities of daily living easier to perform. Equipment commonly used in this type of training includes stability balls, bosu balls, wobble boards or foam rollers.
- Sport-Specific Training: This style of training is kind of like functional training for sports. This style of training can be a way to improve performance in a specific sport. This would include improving throwing accuracy and speed for a baseball player on the off-season, or a hockey player doing some speed skating work in the off-season.
- Exercise for Children: with the increasing prevalence of childhood obesity, there is a trend towards providing exercise and activity opportunities for youth.
- Outcome Measurements: One thing you’ll probably see a lot of is the emphasis on doing measurements before training and after to see definite progress or result. This is largely increased with the prevalence of technology that can track data on exercises completed, heart rates, calories burned, and more.
- Worker Incentive Programs: Along with worksite health promotion initiatives, employers are providing incentives for their employees to engage in health-promoting activities. This is geared towards helping employees create healthy sustainable lifestyles.
- Boot Camps: this trend seems to be on its way out, but the premise of boot camps is to simulate a military style workout that includes cardio, strength, endurance and flexibility drills. This type of training is great for those who love intense, structured workouts.
What are your thoughts on this list? Is there anything you think it up-and-coming that this list missed? Let us know!
Do you have problems falling asleep at night? During the hectic holiday season, getting enough restful sleep is essential. Rather than reaching for sleep aids try just 5 minutes of stretching before bed. Focusing on breath while stretching allows your body to relax and sheds unnecessary muscle tension. You may also find that you sleep better though the night!
- Lay on your back. Take a deep breath out and draw your knees into our chest. Hold for three deep breaths, and release your knees. Repeat this a few times.
- Sit crossed legged. Rotate your torso to one side, and take a deep breath out. Roll your body down, aiming your forehead to your one knee. Stop once you feel a gentle stretch and hold for three slow breaths. Repeat towards the opposite side.
- Lay on your stomach with your forearms and hands on the ground beside you. Take a deep breath out, push from your forearms and arch your back. Hold for one breath and lower. Repeat three times.
Practicing good “sleep hygiene” is important for getting a restful sleep every night. In addition to doing some light stretches and deep breathing, there are a few things that you can do to improve your sleep:
- Avoiding stimulants like caffeine, alcohol and nicotine in the hours before bed.
- Use the bedroom only for sleeping—watch tv, use the computer and do other activities in other rooms as much as possible. Avoid using the bedroom to do work-related activities.
- Establish a pre-bedtime routine: try to do the same few things before you go to bed, such as a quick tidying of a room, preparing lunch for the next day, reading a book, or doing some journaling. The routine creates an association in the brain between those activities and sleeping.
- Maintain a consistent schedule: as much as possible go to sleep and wake up at the same times each day. This will set your internal clock so that your body can learn when to start making hormones that make you feel sleepy.
- Keep the bedroom cool and dark. Your body has a set temperature that is slightly lower when you sleep, and if your room is too hot your body has trouble getting to that point, and can make sleep difficult. A dark room helps the body to send sleep signals as well.