Baby it’s…warm…outside: giving your body some love this winter

What a spectacular time to be alive! I had the pleasure of giving my beautiful friend a beginner ski lesson the other day at Lakeridge Ski Resort and was ecstatic to be able to hit the slopes in jeans and only a couple of thin layers. I can’t be the only one loving this warm streak, not to mention all the sun. We had a blast and I was reminded of how much a girl can enjoy winter.

Annette and friend on the chairlift at Lakeridge Ski Resort.

So, since I can’t imagine we’ve seen the last of winter just yet, I thought I’d highlight some of the many things to do on campus as well as in and around Toronto to keep your body moving and enjoy this so-far-mild winter!

Do I really need that? A look at the business that is fitness

Lifting gloves:

Disclaimer: “Trolls” on the internet love to pick on people who wear lifting gloves – just ignore them. Whether you need lifting gloves is for you to decide and is no indication of how much you can lift, how “beast” you are, or anything of the sort. Many bars and barbells have a knurled surface (is that a fun word or what?). You’ve probably seen it, the pattern of thousands of diamonds that cover most of the bar, it’s there so athletes can get a better grip on the bar. This knurling, however, doesn’t make for a particularly pleasant grip and can cause the hands some discomfort – to reduce this discomfort, some people choose to wear lifting gloves. Others wear gloves to improve their grip when their hands start to sweat, and others wear gloves for entirely different reasons. Point is, if they’re going to benefit you, go right ahead. Don’t feel the need to put on a brave face while the bar exfoliates your hands. It doesn’t make you any more awesome than the guy or gal next to you whose hands aren’t the same shade of bright red.

Source: harbingerfitness.com
Source: harbingerfitness.com

Brand-name apparel:

I’m not even going to go there. Your body is just as strong and just as amazing in your highschool gym shorts as it is in Lululemon yoga pants that set you back $140, or bright green UnderArmour sweats.

Annette is shown in three poses on aerial silks.

Taking stock of the semester: what is there to celebrate?

If you’re as prone to self-deprecation as I am, the end of the term may inspire some troublesome realizations and painfully remind you of all the goals you set in September. As the year winds down but exams wind way, way up, it’s hard not to take stock of the past few months – if only to procrastinate.

It’s really easy to identify the goals we didn’t realize and the plans we didn’t follow through with, and the associated negativity is not something any of us needs right now. So, I’m looking back and while I can’t ignore my “areas for improvement” I am sandwiching my criticisms of myself with silent celebrations of all the things I did well and accomplished.

Annette is shown in three poses on aerial silks.
As well as some flashy, Instagram’ed celebrations.
Text reading "Keep calm and kickbox".

Feature: Cardio kickbox at Goldring

I’ve never really participated in a group fitness class that wasn’t a quiet, restorative yoga session. As such, I had no idea what to expect from the “Cardio Kickbox” drop-in fitness class offered at the Goldring Centre. I came into the class without expectations, exhausted after a long day on campus, and somehow I walked out energized and uplifted.

Woman seen frolicking through a field of flowers with a text overlay which reads "This is me after signing up for kickboxing!"
Basically.
Source: memeshappen.com

Take an active break! : A small gym exercise routine

October is a terrifying time of year – and that has nothing to do with Halloween. I have never before been so overwhelmed with things that need doing/studying/writing. But we’ll get through this… right?

I’m kidding of course, we always do and we will again – that thought has always been helpful to me when I’m swamped and feeling hopeless.

When there’s so much to be done, it can be hard to squeeze in some physical activity. As many of us live in residences and apartment buildings with small exercise rooms, I thought I’d put together a simple small gym study break as a perfect addition to my self-care routine!

Try 1-3 sets of 10 repetitions of each of the following exercises for a fast, full body workout between textbooks!

Annette is shown in 3 stages of a pushup.

Drop-In Skating and Exam Prep (Already?!)

I’ve been feeling a little-more-than-a-little subpar recently. I’m not sure if it’s the weather or a change in routine due to injury or just everyday stressors, but I don’t like to hang out in ruts like that. Last Friday served as a nice little pick me up, thankfully. I finally made it out to drop-in skating at the Varsity Centre!

I regret that I didn’t take pictures, I was consumed by how good it felt to be using my legs after making my arms so terribly sore at aerial silks. I’ve been less active recently and I think that might be contributing to my lousy mood. Skating with a good friend helped! I went on Friday from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. in the afternoon and it served as a nice study break. Skate rentals are available for only $3.39 (debit/credit only) and entry is free with your T-Card of course! It wasn’t very populated, which I really appreciated. I definitely recommend checking it out, especially if you’re looking for some space to make some mistakes (I sure am!).

Source: www.macedoecunha.com.br
Source: www.macedoecunha.com.br

The Barbell Prescription: The What, Why and How of Weight Training

So much cool stuff happens on campus all day every day. It breaks my heart that I literally don’t have the time to go do and see and hear everything.

On Tuesday, I went to a free seminar that was held at Hart House called, “The Barbell Prescription”.

You know it’s going to be a good one when you’re already taking notes and salivating over the guest’s credentials.

Dr. J Sullivan joined us from Michigan. A former US marine, 3rd degree black belt in Karate, 3rd level Krav Maga practitioner, doctor, researcher… The guy received a $2 million research grant from the NIH… that’s the National Institutes of Health. It’s a big deal. On top of all that, he owns, manages and trains clients at a gym called Grey Steel, for aging adults.

Dr. Jonathon Sullivan
Dr. Jonathon Sullivan Source: greysteel.org

We started off talking about what we considered an “athlete”, how we’d define the word. I learned a little bit about Greek athletes (the word athlete comes from the Greek “athlos” which means contest or feat). Apparently there was an athletic event in the Greek games, “Hoplitodromos”, which was a race in full battle armour. Competitors in the games had to swear an oath to Zeus that they trained for a minimum of 10 months. Awfully specific for so many years ago!