Winter # 4
by Daniel on November 26th, 2012
It’s been a couple months since I last wrote for Nature Fitness. I suppose I’ve been putting energies into other areas of my life but now it’s time refocus, I’m sorry I’ve been missing in action. I won’t lie and say that I’ve been busy because I’ve certainly had the time to update my social media and the site but I’ve never been one to love the internet or technology for that matter. You know really the last place I really want to be is in front of a computer or a screen. Sometimes I feel like the more I use the web the less time and energy I have for the things that really matter in life. However, this is the way of the world today and if I’m to reach out and connect with those who may not know about the service I provide then I’ll need to get over my grudge against technology. So here goes
It’s hard to believe that this will be my fourth winter season training outside. It’s even harder to believe that I have clients that will drag
their butts outside in the cold at 6:30am so I can train them. If there’s one thing I’d like to take a moment for it’s to send out a special thanks to my long term client Steve Harris. (@stevenharris) Steve’s been training with me outside for four years now and I’ve never known a man like Steve who regardless of the weather or the lack of sleep, he never gets in a grumpy mood during our sessions. Steve you are Zen my friend ha! I’d also like to thank his wife Janine who will soon be completing a second winter with me. Janine now trains with Lucy (their dog) and although it wasn’t easy to begin with I’ve really started to enjoy having Lucy around during our sessions. So for those who say they can’t train outside because they feel bad leaving their dogs at home I’ve got good news for you, I do that! I should also mention how proud I am of my new client Noemi for joining me outside this winter. Noemi I’m so pleased you believe in me and even though I push you past your comfort levels I always notice the improvements and the gains you’ve made. I truly love my Nature Fitness clients and I’m glad I’ve been able to find those who love being outside just as much as I do.
To say that training in the fall is my favourite time of year would be an understatement, I absolutely LOVE IT! Something about the sun beaming through the autumn tree’s that sets them
alight is so inspiring and beautiful. Some people need music or a coffee to feel energized but if you’re looking for a natural high then this has to be it. The energy that surrounds the park during this time of year is probably the soul reason why I started to take personal training outside. If you’re looking too improve your mental health and physical fitness then being outside is the key to feeling free of the stagnation and boredom that often comes from being coup up during the cold weather months.
I’m sure many of my readers wonder what I do with my clients when the sun isn’t available during training. At first we clung to the lamps that are spread out randomly throughout the park but staying in one place defeats the purpose of Nature Fitness. I love to run trails and take in the different scenery of the park. Rather than staying close to the light I decided it would more enjoyable to bring the light with us via headlamps used for hiking. It was a little scary at first but there isn’t a part of High Park that I haven’t trained in so choosing the appropriate trials and training areas wasn’t as hard as I thought. Though it’s dark and there’s next to no one around there’s something about this sensation that’s fun. We work together through the park and enjoy the sound of silence; it’s calming and an adventure at the same time. Of course this style of training isn’t for everyone and I would recommend those interested in night training be more experienced with trail running/ hiking but if you dare try I can assure you that I make the training safe and achievable for clients of all levels. Also, ask yourself…are you scared of the dark? Ha!
As the days shorten and the nights get longer one will probably notice that the cold is coming… but when? I’m sad to say that these above seasonal temperatures reek of global warming and even though it’s nice to have a break from the cold I can’t help but feel sorrow for our poor planet. I hope in some way Nature Fitness speaks to those who feel the same way but even if you don’t believe the planet is warming and that the cold weather will soon come, I think there’s one thing we all share as Canadian and that’s how to dress to stay warm. I should also mention for those who think I’m crazy to be out in minus temperatures that I only do so if it’s no colder than -10, past this and training might become uncomfortable, depends on the person. Anyway, it’s not you that should be concerned about getting cold, it’s me. Many times my clients end up taking off a layer or two because they’re over heating due to the increase of their core temperature. As for myself I’m not the one exercising as much so keeping myself warm is of the upmost importance. That being said I wanted to share with you some of my opinions about staying warm when winter training and a little advice about equipment.
When exposed to cold weather the parts of our bodies that get cold first are the hands and feet. This happens because circulation to our limbs slows in order to keep the majority of blood close to our vital organs, to protect them. Making sure you have the proper shoes, gloves and hat are a necessity to staying comfortable. As for a where to go to get them I’d suggest anything from MEC or sometimes Winners!. They’re prices are fair and if you can spend that bit more you’ll know it’s going to be worth it, especially at MEC. Another reason I like MEC is their return policy as they really do back their customer service, great store. One should also remember that wearing a toque is of the upmost importance to staying warm because up to 75% of our body heat can be lost through an exposed noggin. Golden rule: If your feet are cold, put on a toque So what should you buy for shoes? Last winter I wore these Gortex trial running shoes by Salomon and they were life savers. My feet were always warm and the water resistant Gortex lasted easily for the winter, not to mention how much I biked in them. I also loved the draw string laces and I miss them……shoe laces just aren’t as fun anymore. Basically in my opinion anything Gortex is amazing but also look out for good tread. If the soul of the shoe is soft and bendy it’ll get cold faster then something that’ sturdy, so don’t always buy shoes for looks.
Well anyway on with Winter I say! It’s going to be great and I look forward to how sharp the air is in the morning after a snowfall, with a bright blue sky that goes on forever. My thermos filled with Mate becomes my new addictions and long johns become my weekly fashion statement. Staying warm becomes my clients motivation to exercise and just like the season that came before we start to realize how being outside, even in the winter, how enjoyable it can be. So… ask yourself…”could do I do it?”