Stay active and fit at home
Any movement can be considered activity as long as it is sustained for long enough and is at an intensity high enough to elicit a training effect. This is why many experts will recommend exercise begin at low-moderate intensities, especially when starting out. The 'low' is to ensure you do not exceed your capacity, especially if you have health conditions. The moderate is to ensure you achieve a level of intensity that goes beyond your regular threshold. What is right for you is a personal choice, progression should occur and you should always be assessing if you can handle 5-10% higher every few weeks!
This past year has seen many changes to the operations of our daily lives. During this time, we may have had to use these changes as a catalyst to inspire new routines or ways of completing that which may have temporarily been halted.
For many, fitness was a daily routine that may have taken place in fitness centres or other spaces that are currently closed down or now run at reduced capacities. In the absence of these spaces, we have seen increases in streaming services that deliver workouts to computer screens. It is likely that this mode of exercise delivery is here to stay, and while these streaming services may not replace the studios or gyms, they offer yet another avenue for people to incorporate fitness into their daily routine.
Download our Exercise Equipment Substitute List
Home exercise equipment has also been a little harder to find as more and more people gravitate towards home gyms or extra equipment to facilitate their virtual home workouts. However, one does not need an entire studio's worth of equipment to exercise effectively. Weights from a store are often priced at around $1 per lb., so a pair of 10 lb dumbbells will cost roughly $20 or $10 each. You may only need a few options depending on your goals.
While we cannot predict the future, what is true is that we all need exercise and activity. Virtual exercise is here to stay, and working out from home is convenient. As we move into 2021, we should reflect on our daily exercise habits and think about whether changes are needed.
As per the Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines, we should all be achieving a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate activity each week.
Whether you are a beginner or seasoned distance runner - long distance cardio is great for improving your health and bodies conditioning. So what quantifies as long distance cardio?
Typically anything from 20 minutes (beginner) to upwards of 2+ hours (advanced). The more you train in long distance the more you will increase your threshold of how far you can go.
Start with what is right for you!
The Virtual Sun Run occurs in less than 11 weeks from the date of this post (15-Feb-2021). Our training program will take you through 8 weeks of training with a minimum of 3 days per week of exercise. More for those that want it!
- For the beginner and intermediate the end goal will be for roughly 90 minutes of exercise utilizing walking, light jogging, and jogging intervals. This is roughly how long 10k will take using the mentioned intervals.
- For the advanced athlete the end goal will be to obtain 60 minutes or less of exercise performed at higher intensities. This pertains only if your goals are for increased speed!
The First 4 Weeks of Training (Beginner / Intermediate)
The goal of the next 4 weeks is to adopt a consistent routine and establish your baseline distance. If you are just starting out there is absolutely no need to be jogging or running at intensities that are difficult for you.
The focus should be on comfortability and sustainable exercise. This occurs when you are at a pace that has you breathing comfortably and you are able to speak without gasping for air.
- Download The First 4 Weeks: Training Program (Beginner to Intermediate - utilizing walk / light jog intervals).
Tips for the Advanced Athlete
If you are a seasoned runner, and you are looking to improve your race times, then it is important to build up your lactic acid tolerance. For some, the push to run faster may bring about challenging intensities that you are not used to. This may have been what it was like for you as a beginner, but you no longer remember the difficulty since distance has become your specialty!
Depending on your own level of comfortability I would suggest including interval training into your weekly routine. These will potentially be shorter duration runs for you. I recommend no less than 20 minutes, no more than 60 minutes. If you can go longer than 60 minutes your harder intervals are too easy.
General advice includes never pushing yourself 'excessively' harder than you are used to. Extremely high intesnity intervals are great for developing lactic acid tolerance, but only for the athlete who is ready for it!
- Download The First 4 Weeks: Intro to Lactic Acid Training for the Athlete looking to improve their race times.
Go to our Virtual Classes Webpage to Join
Topics will include
Basic Training Methodologies
Tips for The Advanced Runner
In light of COVID-19 and in an effort to help keep participants, volunteers and the community safe, the 2021 Vancouver Sun Run will be a virtual race event.
While there will not be an in-person race, you can still join thousands of others as you accomplish your goals and cross the finish line… virtually!
Whether you’re tackling the race solo or as a team, there are options for everyone. Run or walk your distance when and where makes sense for you!
To join the KPU team:
Go to the Vancouver Sun Run website
- Click on Register and then JOIN AN EXISTING TEAM
- The team name is KPU
- The pass phrase for this is KPU2021
Sport Rec will be assisting the team by providing training programs, keep your eyes on next week’s post!
Go to our Virtual Classes Webpage to Join
Topics will include
Basic Training Methodologies
Tips for The Advanced Runner
Since travel has been limited in the last year many people have been spending more time exploring their own “backyard”. Here in the lower mainland we are blessed with hundreds of trails to spend our hours bathing in nature. The more you explore, the more you will find destinations that become your favourites.
This is a great website to find trails. It provides updated information, pictures, maps, and more.
All Trails - British Colombia, Canada
Here are some pictures taken from last Summer's adventures
When going hiking it is always a good idea to let someone else know where you are going and to expect a text or call when you return to your vehicle. Be sure to prepare in case of emergencies (such as warm clothes, food & water, emergency shelter, first aid kit, signalling device, navigational device, pocket knife, and fire starter). You may be in your own ‘backyard’ but getting lost on trails is always a possibility. Be prepared!
See this site for helpful tips and tricks on what to bring on a hike:
North Shore Rescue - What to Bring
Here are a few great pre-season exercises to prepare for the Spring and Summer hikes!
The History of Weight Training:
Weight training as a means of developing strength has been around since ancient Egyptian and Greek societies which depict people lifting heavy rocks as measures of power. However, it wasn’t until the late 1800’s to the early 1920’s that weight lifting infiltrated main stream culture and a global industry was born. By the 1980’s bodybuilding became a popular sport that influenced film and TV stars, models and even other sports.
The desire to increase strength and size along with advances in science saw the beginning of an incredibly dangerous phenomena of taking steroids to enhance muscle development. This paired with high media coverage has had a profound effect on people's perceptions of what weight lifting is. It is not uncommon for weight training to be confused for body building.
The Science of Weight Training:
Unfortunately, many of the images we see in the media with respect to body builders are not ‘natural’ and this physique is not possible without synthetic steroids, combined with an excessive routine of lifting weights, eating, and sleeping multiple times a day every day of the week.
It is completely normal to want to lift weights once to five days a week, regardless of whether you prefer light weights and high repetitions, or heavy weights and low repetitions you will grow muscle. With an increase in muscle tissue, the body will begin to burn more fat at rest...this may actually have the effect of making someone appear ‘less bulky’.
When performed safely, lifting heavy weights can help improve the body's ability to perform daily activities and increase one’s strength and power. The average person loses 1 lb of muscle mass every year after the age of 30, so lifting weights can help combat this loss. Do not fall into the trap of media trends and generalizations around weight lifting. Lifting heavy weights alone will not change your body type such that you become the next Mr. Olympia. How your body responds to exercise is going to be unique to you and your body's metabolism. Performing different types of exercise routines will have various effects on your body especially over the long term so it is always best to have a well balanced approach.
If you are interested in changing your physique it is always good to keep track of your routine, diet, and results. If you are unhappy with your results consult a professional and look for guidance.
Check out this Exercise Routine that specifically targets all the areas around your spine. Sitting all day long can cause muscles in the upper, mid and lower spine to become shortenend and/or lengthened as well as weak.
When muscles muscles become imbalanced like this they can begin to pull on the spine creating aches and pains.
Check out the Stability and Mobility Exercises for Your Spine Routine.
Download a PDF version here or right click the image and [Save image as...]
Wouldn’t it be nice if we could choose the areas we would like to target? Spot Reduction has been promoted as a way to reduce fat stores in specific areas. A quick internet scan will provide you with countless exercises to target your problem areas. However, do they actually work? In short, although spot reduction would be ideal, scientific studies have debunked this fitness myth.
How does fat storage work?
Fat distribution is dependent on several factors such as gender, age, genetics and lifestyle. While some people store body fat proportionately, others will have higher fat storage in specific areas like, thighs, belly and glutes. This is particularly true for women who generally have a higher percentage of body fat than men.
Spot reduction has been a popular belief that touts working muscles in the problem areas to burn fat in that specific area. Unfortunately, fat loss does not work that way. How does weight loss work?
Stored fat that is found in your cells are called triglycerides. Before the body can use triglycerides as energy it must be broken down into free fatty acids and glycerol. During physical activity, free fatty acids and glycerol are used as fuel to keep the body in motion. These can come from any part of the body and not specific areas.
So what does this mean?
In a nutshell, when an individual loses body fat, it is often evenly distributed through the body. Unfortunately, this means that if you have a ‘problem’ area, you are unable to target it and it will often be the last area you see progress.
Gaining weight can be frustrating but rather than trying the latest fad diet or workout craze, the best way to get results is by creating a calorie deficit. That means ensuring that your calorie output is significantly higher than your calorie input. If you want to see progress, track your diet, get some physical activity and be patient and consistent!
Be sure to checkout kpu.ca/sportrec/virtual-classes for more details!
This week we are offering up a Progressive Push Up Challenge with the goal to increase the amount of push ups you can do at once! If even only by 1 or 2. Begin the challenge by completing as many push ups as you can in a row (no breaks!). Then record that number and the next day repeat, but this time add 2 more. After the initial baseline test you may take as many breaks as you need to get the desired repetitions.
If your shoulders and chest are feeling sore, take a days rest in between!
- With that said, download our program and get pushing!
- Download our Progressive Push Up Challenge document here
- You may use Microsoft Teams or join via the web application.
- If joining via web application please include student or employee in your username.
- Please remember to turn off your microphone and webcam.
- Please have enough space to perform various exercises in a full range of motion.
- Remember to properly hydrate, and go at your own pace!
- Please see our Virtual Classes page for full details.
In conjunction with National Health and Fitness Day, KPU Sport and Recreation would like to challenge everyone to daily exercise. Whether it is walking, cycling, or anything that makes your heart pump and your body sweat. You can track your distance traveled or your time spent being active.
- Use this Interactive Form to record your daily exercise
This workout consists of 6 main exercises which all utilise many muscles of the body. This is great for helping activites of daily living and is often called funcational training. Be sure to keep the movement slow and controlled and keep your core tightened up at all times! These exercises are also great for developing total body power, as you get more comfortable with each movement increase your weight and the speed!
- High intensity exercise is great for burning calories and building muscle. Make sure to listen to your body and modify as necessary. You may pause or take breaks whenever you need.
- This type of exercise is great for doing 1 - 3 times per week, be sure to give yourself at least one to two days in between doing this routine again. If you want to add a set be my guest!
Your core muscles are what connect your upper and lower body. It stabilizes your body, allowing you to move in any direction with proper balance. From putting on your shoes to running a marathon, a strong core is beneficial to everyone to ensure that the body is functioning properly. Besides ensuring proper mobility, strong core muscles are important for good posture, preventing back pain and improved balance and stability.
That said, it is often a neglected muscle group and simple core exercises should be included in a well-rounded fitness routine. To get you started, we have created a 7-day plank challenge for you to begin working on your core muscles. Click on the link below to download the tracking sheet. Remember to challenge yourself daily and work hard!
- Download the Electronically Fillable PDF here
Follow along with this downloadable yoga guide, we provide the specific poses shown in order. If you need to modify any movements for your abilities or skip specific poses all together, do what works for you. This is a guideline to get you on your mat and maybe create your own practice of what works best for you! Enjoy!
- Download the Yoga Routine PDF here
Over the last few weeks we have encouraged people to get active on a daily basis as we may find ourselves having to adapt to new situations. Minutes that count towards activity can really be anything, so get creative and have some fun. Here's how one of our Intramural Leaders is getting creative.
- Stuck at home with a roommate, family member or on your own?
- Attach cushions to yourself or set up a cushion wall to be able to continue your kickboxing practice at home!
Working out at home might feel awkward or unconventional but all it takes is a little creativity and the will to get it done:
- Clear out a small space where you can freely move up and down from the floor.
- Make sure you have enough room to swing your arms and legs and step a few paces in each direction.
The objective of this program is to increase your heart rate and make your muscles burn a little bit! If the exercises are too difficult or you find yourself needing a rest, please feel free to stop at any time.
- Download The Home Workout Program (click here)
- As part of this program we have also included options for weight and equipment substitutions at home (click here)
Download this E-fillable Weekly Activity Tracker (click here). Keep yourself accountable for your daily and weekly movement. Create a copy for each week and fill it in as you go along.
Ways To Increase Your Daily Activity
Low Intensity Exercise
This type of activity is great for doing in longer duration's. It could be moving from room to room with no objective.
(20 - 120+ minutes)
Moderate Intensity Exercise
This intensity may vary for everybody. It should get your breathing rate up and be slightly uncomfortable.
High Intensity Exercise
This intensity of exercise will burn and be very uncomfortable. It is often paired with low intensity intervals for recovery.