14th
Oct

It is a sad but true fact, that buying a new T-shirt or pair of jogging pants is far, far easier then actually going out and getting your butt moving. No one ever said exercise would be easy, and often training for sports isn’t as fun as actually playing them.

No excuse is going to be good enough, however, when you’re out on the field and you can’t keep up with the rest of the team. You might not always be able to convince yourself that getting some training in NOW! Is a good idea – so we’re here to help you work around the five lamest reasons people give for not exercising.

I’m too tired. You know the best cure for tiredness and fatigue? The endorphins that your body releases when you exercise. Start your day of with a set of stretches and a quick run or a few sets of weights, and you’ll be flying high with energy for the rest of the day.

I’m too busy. No you’re not. It’s understandable to have full days – we certainly do – but the only reason you don’t have time to exercise is because you didn’t MAKE time to exercise. When your workout is a priority, you’ll always be able to snatch a half hour here and there.

It’s boring. It doesn’t have to be! Sit-ups and lunges may not be wildly mentally stimulating, but you can toss on some killer tunes or an audio book at give ‘er. Your workout time can become a time to think out problems, mull over new ideas, and come up with great comebacks for the next time that rude guy in the office criticizes your outfit.

I’ll do it tomorrow. Bet you said that yesterday too, didn’t you? Even if you didn’t I can make you a promise: As much as you may not want to exercise right now – as soon as you finish you’ll be really, really glad you did! You know what they say: Once begun is half done.

I just don’t see the point anymore. We all lose motivation sometimes. When we hit a plateau and stop seeing the awesome changes in our bodies, or when it just seems like there’s too much else going on in our lives. Remind yourself of all the benefits you get from your exercise routine, call a workout buddy to exercise with you or, and this is the toughest one – just force yourself to to it anyway. Exercising is a habit that you’ve worked hard to get into but is very easy to break. Don’t give up on yourself – the feeling will pass.

So there you have it – 5 excuses you can’t use anymore. Can you think of any more? Write them in the comments and we’ll bust through them in no time. So go on – bust out that new tank top and break a sweat!




4th
Oct

“If you can’t be an athlete, be an athletic supporter!” Now, if you’ve seen Grease, maybe you were able to appreciate the hilarity of this line – I know back in my tender years it was a little over my head, but re-watching the film recently I heard that and promptly fell off my couch desperately trying to hold my sides together. Is there another piece of athletic equipment as useful and yet so titillating as the athletic supporter?

We’ve all seen America’s Funniest Home Videos, and watched Bob Saget’s wry smile as sap after sap is beaned in the family jewels in clip after clip. If only these poor fellows had been wearing an athletic supporter and cup – otherwise known as the jock strap.

Way back in the day, ancient Egyptians covered their organs of generation with a loincloth, a piece of cloth brought up between the legs and belted, to form a sort of skirt, open at the side. This was the earliest ancestor of the jock-strap we know today. In other climates, the loincloth wasn’t so popular, but the idea moldered in the collective psyche until the early 14th century when men began wearing pants.

I use the term pants loosely here, because they were really just two legs fastened together at the front and back, leaving all that dangled free exposed to the breeze. I’ll give you a moment with that image.

The Christian church, very powerful at this time in Europe, was not impressed, and insisted that parishioners cover up down below. Enter, the codpiece. Initially little more than a cloth sack, these covering evolved into  flamboyantly decorated and hugely exaggerated accessories that were often made of wood or tin, and stuffed with cotton and wood shavings to emphasize virility and masculine power. I think we can all agree that this should immediately come back into fashion.

Fast forward a little more. The Jock Strap as we know it first came into being in the mid 1870’s, invented by a man named C.F Bennet. Bennet was the owner of a Chicago based sporting goods company, Sharp and Smith, and felt the need to protect the nations’ testicles from the rigors of bicycle riding.  Thus, the Jock Strap, or Jockey-strap (so named for the bicycle jockeys it was designed to protect) was born.

(Fun Fact: the term jock, that we so often associate with high school and college athletes, were actually so called because of the jock straps they wore. Who knew?)

Over the years the Jockstrap has had a number of uses from curative (a jock strap charged with a mild electric current was said to relieve insomnia) to strictly precautionary (school and professional sports.)

In the 1980’s and 90’s Jock straps fell somewhat out of favor, ceding ground to compression shorts. Recently they have been making a comeback as users tout the breathability as a major benefit, and possible infertility preventative. Please feel free to insert your own “breathability” joke here.




30th
Sep

There are some parts of the world where the weather is beautiful and balmy all year long. In these places, running year round is no problem – the only inconvenience is the occasional rainy day. In other parts of the world, however, between 4-6 months of the year are freezing, snowy, windy, icy and generally inhospitable. Some people would use this as an excuse to curl up with a cup of hot cocoa in front of a roaring television – but not you! You’re going to get out there and get your miles or kilometers) in no matter what.

Here are some tips to make it just a little bit easier.

Layer

You’re going to want to layer well. Make sure you have good support (ladies, this means an awesome sports bra) a layer next to your skin that wicks away moisture, and an outer layer that can be adjusted as you run, Like a zip-up fleece or hoodie. Of course, make sure your socks are in excellent condition.

Don’t Overdress
You’re going to be getting your blood pumping, and you’ll overheat if you dress for how cold it actually is outside. Aim for wearing closes appropriate for about 15 degrees warmer than you’re actually going to be exposed to.

Keep Hydrated

Getting enough fluids is just as important in the winter as it is in the summer, even if you’re not as thirsty! Luckily, that fleece or hoodie we talked about earlier will probably have a good roomy pocket for your bottle.

High-Traction Footwear

Make no mistake, ice is dangerous! Just because you’re not going to let it keep you indoors doesn’t mean you don’t have to take precautions. Get some good, high-traction running shoes, or a pair of slip on traction devices to stay safe over slippery surfaces.

Be Bright

It gets dark earlier in the winter, and that can mean decreased visibility for cars, trucks and snowplows. Make sure you stand out from the surroundings by wearing bright colors, reflective if possible.

There you have it. If neither rain, nor sleet, nor hail, nor snow will keep you inside this winter, you can run safely and have some fun!

Any great points we missed? How do you manage your winter runs?




23th
Sep

While you may be a summer-time bike rider, walker or runner; when the cold wind starts to blow, the obvious choice is to just stay home. While this is a valuable survival skill in most of Canada, it can wreak havoc on your workout schedule. What follows are some great tips for getting your sweat on within your own four walls, so put on your sportswear, grab a towel and a bottle of water and let’s go!

  1. 1. Weights

Weight training is one of the easiest things you can do at home. All it takes is a set of hand weights (or some canned beans – think outside the box), a little space to move around, and proximity to some good music. Pick your weights then lunge, squat, lift and pull to your hearts content.

  1. 2. Jump-Rope

Once solely the province of young girls in the playground, jumping-rope has proved to be one of the most effective and least expensive methods of getting in some cardio at home. If you have a backyard or driveway, you can run out whenever you have a few minutes and get some jumping in. A basement with high ceilings or any other ground level room will work as well.

  1. 3. Floor Exercises

Whip out that yoga mat (or equivalent) and do some series’ of sit-ups, crunches, leg lifts, push-ups, plants, lunges, squats… the list goes on. Remember that you want to increase your repetitions each time to keep your body developing.

  1. 4. YouTube Lessons

Here’s a challenge: Go to www.YouTube.com and type in any form of exercise. Any kind. How many videos appeared? Thousands? Millions? YouTube is a great resource for the workout-at-home-er. You can experiment with new styles, learn new techniques and have a guided workout in your basement or office, completely for free!

  1. 5. Hit the stairs

In most homes you’ll find at least one set of stairs, and it only takes a few. Whether you have stairs that lead up six flights (in which case, you probably don’t need to increase your workout at all!) or only eight steps leading up to your front door, you can walk or run up and down them a few times a day to work your leg muscles and get your blood moving.

As long as you have a few minutes to spare, some comfortable sports clothing and a floor mat, you can get all the exercise you need without setting foot out-of-doors.




16th
Sep

It can be so tempting. The row upon row of treadmills and cross-trainers. The beautiful fit people dripping with sweat and garbed in top of the line designer sportswear. The well-appointed weight room. The spunky aerobics instructors. The promises of “a new you!” Of ease and convenience.

Now you know we can fix you up with the best in clothes and gear for sports – but are gym memberships really all they’re cracked up to be? In this post we’ll examine some of the pros and cons that come along with Gym membership.

Gym Membership Pros

Variety: When you go to the gym you can choose between a wide range of cardio, weights and classes that you won’t easily be able to replicate at home.

Inspiration: Sometimes it just feels good to work out around other people. When you see your fellow gym-rats sweating it out it can push you to keep going.

Financial Motivation: You paid good money for this membership so you’re darn well going to get as much out of it as possible! Sometimes paying for something makes it more valuable or appealing, and that includes exercise.

Advice: Gyms are usually swarming with knowledgeable trainers who can answer your questions and address your concerns as they come up – from whether the treadmill or elliptical machine will be better for you, to correcting your form when doing pushups. This can be invaluable help.

Gym Membership Cons

Crowds: If you’ve ever been to a gym at about 5:30 on a weeknight, you know just how jam-packed with sweaty people it can get. Machines have line-ups and you have to keep a close eye on your time.

Expense: Gym memberships aren’t cheap! Some can get as high as hundreds of dollars a month. A few months worth of a gym membership could be more than enough to furnish your basement with a treadmill and a set of hand weights.

Attitude: There are some gyms – I bet you can name at least two in your city – that have a rather… stuck-up attitude. You go in and feel like people are judging you. I know that’s not what I need when I work out.

Upsells: Very frequently those helpful trainers above have secret identities as salespeople whose goal is to get you to pay extra for personal training, nutrition counseling, and, I don’t know – midi-chlorian counting. These services can be difficult to say no to, and can really drive up the cost of your membership.

At the end of the day, whether or not you decide to get a gym membership comes down to your feelings about it and the options available to you.




9th
Sep

Today you’ve got to get the kids fed and on the bus, stay awake for three meetings and at least one conference call, meet a friend for lunch, get the car cleaned, make dinner and try to spend some time with your neglected spouse. And we want you to exercise on top of all that?

You bet we do.

But we’re not unkind – we know that there are going to be days when you just physically do not have time to stop and breathe for ten minutes, let alone dig out the sports clothes and go for a run. When those days come up, use one of these tricks to get just a little fitness into your day.

Get it in before your shower. When you know you’re going to have a busy day, you aren’t going to have time to work up a sweat and shower down on your lunch break or before coming home for the night. When that’s the case, have some work out gear near your bed, so that first thing in the morning, you can toss it on and get in a mini-work out – maybe just once or twice around the block, or a few series of strength reps, then strip down, rinse off and start your day.

Sneak in some Deskercise. When you’re pounding the keyboard at work, stop every hour or so and work a little cubicle magic. You can slowly raise and lower your legs under your desk. You can life some water bottles a few times. You can clench and unclench your muscles and of course: Stretch! This is great not only because it ups your exercise tally on a busy day, but because getting your blood flowing now and then when you’re stuck sitting down all  day is super good for you.

Play with your kids. If you don’t have any, see if you can borrow some from a neighbor. There is nothing, nothing, nothing like a good romp in the local park with some little kids to make you feel young and alive. And those little buggers will keep you moving. Try a game of tag, run races- you’d even be surprised at how much energy you burn playing Simon Says and Mother May I!

Take the Hard Line. A lot of your time is spent doing things for other people; at work, and at home. Make a workout your time – inviolate and non-negotiable. Make a promise to yourself that the time to have your workout, or play your sport is not something you’re willing to give up – even if it means being ten minutes late for work once in awhile.

Make it your reward. This may seem counter-intuitive, but if you can shift your thinking around to the extent that your work-out – your time to put on your sports clothing, get out of the house and spend your time improving your physical and mental health, then you’ll find it a lot easier to make that time.

There you have it – some of these suggestions are easier than others, but I think we’ve proven here that exercise can be worked into the most jam-packed of day-planners. I want to hear your tips and tricks? How do you stay fit when you’ve got no time? Leave your answer in the comments!




10th
Nov

Welcome and thanks for reading! Here we’re going to be talking about all the new and exciting changes that are happening at MFE Sport and give you the heads up about deals and promotions.