Summer time, and the livin’s ACTIVE!

If you’re like me, the recent heat wave may have left you wanting to have an afternoon siesta more than go for a run!

Fortunately for all of us who prefer to exercise in non sauna-like conditions this past weekend brought on some relief.  The huge difference in my surroundings from Saturday’s workout (indoor gym) to Sunday’s Gatineau Park fun had me reflecting on encouraging everyone to get outside and play.

We are truly fortunate here in Ottawa to have such an incredible diversity of great summer activities to get excited about.  From organized festivals like this past weekend’s Hope volleyball event, to the myriad of provincial parks and recreational trails in the region to explore, there really is something for everyone.

After pushing through an indoor workout staring at the duct work on the ceiling of my gym on Saturday, it got me thinking that at this time of year there’s really nothing that you can’t do outside.

As a sample here’s what I got up to on Sunday:
7:30 am – 2k open water swim at Meech lake – Blanchet Beach http://www.canadascapital.gc.ca/bins/ncc_web_content_page.asp?cid=16297-16299-90645&lang=1: At this time of year there isn’t much more refreshing than an outdoor swim workout.  After not having been in the pool for nearly 5 months, I decided to bring up my short wetsuit for some flotation help.  The water was just so nice that after 1 lap around the island off Blanchet Beach I jumped out of the water and got rid of the wet suit. Coming from a triathlon background in chilly Thunder Bay, man, what a treat!

If you feel like you want to sharpen your skills a bit more before taking to the open water, check out Swim Ottawa and their outdoor sessions at the JCC https://secure.leda.lunarmania.com/~anzai0/swimottawa/Forms/Reg-MastersSummer.html .

Keeping on the idea that what can be done at the gym is even better outside, after 45 minutes in the water I moved onto the beach for some outdoor core strength. 

Sneaking in a few sets of your favorite core exercises (today it was front/side plank, oblique V-sits, bird-dog arm/leg extensions, vertical heel pushes and push-ups) comes much easier I think when you get to stare up at the leaves and clouds passing instead of air ducts! And even better, once your done you get to jump in the lake to cool off!

Men’s Health Magazine had some good ideas for getting summer exercises in with this section “Your Body is Your Barbell” suggesting some good exercises to do even while on the sidelines of your kids sporting events.  Love the idea… http://www.menshealth.com/gear-up-for-summer/workouts/Your-Body-is-Your-Barbell.php

1:00 pm Gatineau Loops with Fortune repeats: Follwing a quick brunch at home (with fresh bread from the fantastic bakery in Old Chelsea http://chelseabakery.com/ ) it was time to meet up with some of the guys from my cycling team Nine-2-Five Pro http://nine2fivepro.com/wpmu/ back in Gatineau Park at the Gamelin gates.  As soon as our little pack was shredded going up Pink, I knew I was in for a bit more than an easy loop with fortune repeats. 

Group training is a great way to get the competitive fuel to fire a killer workout.  Round up your friends, head out and have fun pushing each other with whatever you’re doing outdoors.  It’s a great way to spice things up and push your limits.  A huge thanks goes out to my N2F crew for making me hurt-so-good, again and again!

As you’ll often hear me say around the clinic – there’s more to life than physio! After 4+ hrs on the bike, I was in need of some serious chilling and recharging. I was lucky enough to have that need more than satisfied by the gang over at DiVino wine studio, http://www.divinowinestudio.com/ with a stellar dinner party and wine tasting showcasing the Puglia region of Italy.  The tasty wine, mouth-watering food and great company must have done the trick – after stretching this morning my legs feel amazingly fresh!

I know that for me anyway, life really can’t get much better than it did yesterday.  So get out there and enjoy yourself in and around this great city, summer’s here – for a limited time only!

– Shane

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