Tag Archives: chill

What To Do When It’s -13 Degrees Outside

With this crazy cold weather, even though people in Alaska are probably laughing at us, it is hard to get up and do something!  Too cold to walk the dog, or go outside for yourself for more than 15 minutes, or maybe your car is parked outside and won’t start, so your stranded at your house…

Here are some ideas if your car will start…

My dog after doggie day camp...
My dog after doggie day camp…

Have a dog? PetsMart has doggie day camp ($15 for half day, $21 for full day) where you can drop your dog off (with the updated Vet paperwork) and your dog can play with others in a room while you can go off and amuse yourself with errands.

I do this with my dog when he has cabin fever and we haven’t been able to take him for longer walks or runs, he comes home absolutely exhausted, which is awesome!

With or without pets, go visit somewhere unique, like an aquarium! There is a new one in southeast Michigan called Sea Life, I haven’t been there yet, but I plan to very soon as this cold weather continues throughout the week!

Go rock climbing.  Even if you are brand spankin’ new to it, it would be a great thing to do with this weather.  You can pay rock climbingfor a class and day of climbing, which also pays for another trip to the gym (and you never have to pay for the starter class again, they will re-teach you for free every time if you want). Not sure about your state, but Michigan has one Planet Rock gym in Ann Arbor, and a brand new one in Madison Heights. Go do something different! You might be like me and get addicted to a new great hobby!

I’ll mention the usual mall visit and raiding Costco’s sampler stations, but those aren’t very creative.

If your car won’t start…

Get caught up on work: I know… doesn’t sound very exciting, but getting stuff done that you didn’t really have time to do before will actually bring you a lot of happiness!

Be Artsy:  You likely have some kind of art supplies in your house, if you don’t, you’re missing out.

Inspired in the fall :)
Inspired in the fall 🙂

Simple as using pencil and paper to do a cool shading piece of artwork, or get complicated with fun acrylic paintings. Anything you feel inspired to do can be found on YouTube to make the complete amateurs look like they knew what they were doing, so why not?

If you can get out to Micheal’s, I suggest investing in a wood burning pen.  Wood burning designs is actually very calming and amusing.  I’ll make a separate post that goes into detail on how I’ve done that, but it is one of my favorite indoor activities, and the smell is like a subtle bonfire. 🙂

Best Fat-Burning Winter Workout

With the recent snow storm chaos, I am personally ecstatic to finally cross country ski right out my back door, and then I also thought, how many people who love to exercise, like the snow, or made a new years resolution to loose weight have never cross country skied?

As the definition from Wikipedia cracked me up, so I’ve decided to use it. Cross country skiing is is travel on skis over snow-covered terrain, whereby skiers rely on their own locomotion rather than on ski lifts or other forms of assistance.

XC Skiing Northern Michigan
XC Skiing Northern Michigan

So with your own locomotion propelling you forward, it’s a workout that works out your legs, abs and arms, giving you a thorough full body workout.  What most people don’t realize when they hit the gym in the winter, is that it takes a good 20-30 minutes before you even get to the point where your are burning fat.  Your body burns it’s “ready to use” sugar first which could be from what you just ate, to the Gatorade you may be drinking. Once it has burned through that, then it starts going to its reserves, but, ONLY if you are not exerting yourself too much.  Doing a workout where you’re able to hold a conversation and work out for a longer time (over an hour) is where your body will burn fat the most efficiently.

Cross Country skiing does JUST THAT.  It is a “medium” workout, not too hard, not too easy, just right for burning that winter fat that seems to add up so easily.  So how do you do it? It’s pretty self explanatory, you use the poles to keep your place while you move one foot after another, but where to do it all depends on the resources around you.  You could cross country ski around your subdivision if you wanted, you don’t need much snow to move, but the most enjoyable experience is getting out with some trees.  Renting is suggested, since it is cheap and you can see if you’d like it.  County parks (at least in Michigan) have them for rent. Doing a little research in your community and calling places that sell skis may help as well in finding rentals.

Hopefully you’ve been inspired to try XC skiing if you’ve never thought to, or get out and do it if you have!  I have my own equipment now and have found it extremely worth it, if you hunt the outdoor stores online for a while, you’re bound to find a good deal. I was able to get great skis, boots, and poles (all new) for under $200.  Patience is a virtue :).

Life: Picture it NOW

In my brain-fried state of mind after a long day of work and whatever else life throws my way, I find myself  “facebooking”, a verb I predict will be added to the dictionary in the near future BTW.

After flipping through my news feed, I was still mind-numb and didn’t feel like sleeping, so I flipped through my own pictures to reminisce on old times. Something i’m sure, and hope, everyone does once in a while.

I want you to take a minute and section out your day with what you do with your time.

For me, an average 24 hour work day goes like this..

7 hours sleep, 2  hours getting ready and driving, 8 hours work,  3 hours errands/pets/house/dinner maintenance, 3 hours homework/grading/planning,  1 hour of relaxing/getting ready to fall asleep… and repeat.  That’s only if I don’t have other things I need to do, like coach after school, or get the car fixed, etc.

Random weekend canoe and off-road adventure trip in Gladwin, Michigan
Random weekend canoe and off-road adventure trip in Gladwin, Michigan

When looking at the pictures, click after click,  I had a mini epiphany realizing that WOW, I’ve had a crazy, adventurous, fun life with awesome people… but how could that be?

 

 

 

When I take a snapshot of what my average day looks like, I realize that I’ve barely set aside any time at all to even have a life, but somewhere in chaos, I made a choice.

 

Ended up running the Detroit Half Marathon by myself, the view was worth it :)
Ended up running the Detroit Half Marathon by myself, the view was worth it 🙂

When I seemed too busy to even fathom doing anything besides what I need to do, I chose to do what I want to do instead.

I’ve made choices to live instead of exist.

Life is not your job, house, or stuff. Life comes in the moments in-between what normally fills our day and mind. So even though you have endless responsibilities, set time to actually do what you want and enjoy life, because if you’re not… then what’s the point of all work you put into it?

Everyone needs to make a living, but most people forget to actually live in the life they work so hard to make.

So I post a challenge to everyone reading this,  I want you to make a choice to do something that makes you happy instead of something productive… and take a picture of it. 

Better yet… reminisce with your own pictures tag any pictures of you making the choice to live instead of exist, it will help stir up the ambition that’s in all of us!

If you have Instagram, tag the picture with #time2beAmbitious.  If you don’t have Instagram, tag the Facebook page Time2beAmbitious in your picture.

Happy tagging 🙂 I look forward to seeing everyone live!

 

Trail Running for Amateurs! 3 Rebuttals for the most common excuses.

Winter
Winter

Running indoors has its benefits, it gets you moving, especially in the wintertime. No need to embrace the harsh elements of the outdoors when you’ve got a treadmill or indoor track right? Wrong!  Limiting yourself to the indoors for training, or even to suburbanized sidewalk running is dooming yourself for a short lived running life.

You need to see and feel the inspiration nature can give you if you just take the time to step out into the wilderness.

Here are some remedies to a few possible hindrances keeping you from the trails.

Spring
Spring

“bad ankles”: I have them, so I get it. Running on the trails is a higher chance of rolled ankles with rocks and roots, but it happens a lot less often than you might think. Your ankles do get stronger the more you go on trails, therefore leading to less rolled ankles.

Start on a mild trail, and if your ankles are sore, then that’s good!

It means that your stabilizing muscles and tendons were working hard and will be even more ready for next time.   If you have serious ankle issues, tape your ankles by watching YouTube videos, or get a brace from a local drug store.

Summer
Summer

“I’m going to get lost”: unless you are in the real deal wilderness of Canada or something of the sorts, the chances of you getting lost and actually being in real danger is slim to none. But to ease your fears, there are a few things you can do. The more prepared the better if you are one who is paranoid. Stop by the park office for paper maps, turn on a gps trail map app, go on the parks website beforehand and get a feel for the trail. The information is out there, but you can always take my suggestion and just GO.  Getting temporarily lost can feel exhilarating and adventurous, let alone distract you from the fact that you’re getting a ton of exercise!

Fall
Fall

“It’s just not convenient”: It most definitely takes time and effort to get out on the trail, and I understand your thinking if you get home from work and only have a little time before the sun goes down to get an outdoor workout in. To work it into your schedule, make it a weekend event that you can look forward to.  Planning ahead makes it more likely to happen, and with the hilly terrain and new scenery, you’d be getting twice or three times the workout in the same time period than if you were to be jogging around your subdivision.  Think about those kind of outcomes and you could instantly justify the extra travel time and efforts to get to new places.  Oh, and don’t forget to soak it in! I have a blast taking pictures while on the trail,

I worry less about my time and pace since the terrain is so different, and it is a great opportunity to see wildlife, stunning plant life, and more.

If I missed a key reason that is keeping you from the trail, please comment on this post and I’d be happy to throw some possible solutions your way!

NO SUCH THING AS BAD WEATHER… JUST BAD CHOICE OF CLOTHING.

Quotes addressing this idea have been sourced back to 1912, and it holds true to this day! As we are reaching record lows across the country for this time of year, I figured it would be appropriate to create a post that addresses the best clothing that gets your mind off the chill factor.

As one who doesn’t let the cold hinder activity, I wanted to share what I’ve learned about how to dress in winter.  It took much trial and error through a large span of climate settings, but what is posted is the best of the best of my experiences. The following advice goes from head to toe to help you be prepared for the winter chill.

NOTE: this is somewhat bias towards women… since I am not a man and don’t know what is, or is not, comfortable. If you are a male reading this and have some good recommendations, PLEASE comment below and share the knowledge!

“You know it’s all about the base…”

The most difficult thing to anticipate in the winter is whether you will be too hot or too cold during your adventures outside…either one could be very uncomfortable and affect your experience.  I’ve had the best result with the following…

Detroit Turkey Trot 2013
Detroit Turkey Trot 2013

Head: fleece headband and men and woman can wear the behind the head earmuffs. Both of these are nice because it allows heat escape, avoiding the sweating and overheating factor.

Neck: I used to wear a variety of scarves with different densities, but I’ve moved on from those and onto Buff neck-wear.  I absolutely love the lightest density

Buff Neckwear
Buff Neck-wear

shown in this image. I’ve used it in multiple races and it helps to cover my face and allowing me to breathe, and doesn’t get too hot if the weather warms up on the adventure. I also have a more dense version of the Buff which I use for less exerting activity or more severe weather.

Upper body: when the weather is under 40 degrees, I resort to tight, form fitting Under Armour long sleeve base layer tops.   Men Click Here.

IMG_0583 (2)

Over the base top, I wear a light jacket if I’m running or doing similar exercises in degrees colder than 35 degrees.  If I am doing activities such as downhill skiing, cross country skiing, or hiking, I’ll wear a sweatshirt over the base, then a coat over the sweatshirt (depending on how cold it is and the intensity of the activity).

The main point is dress in layers!

If you’re exerting a lot of energy, start off feeling cold because if you start your exercise feeling comfortable, you will be too hot in a matter of minutes.

I once ran a 5K in 7 degrees and was grateful for my light choice of clothing as I found myself throwing off my gloves in the middle of the race.

Legs: I have been lucky to have relatives who know me and my hobbies during the holiday season, so I have no lack of athletic winter tights to fill my dresser drawers.  Athletic tights such as these truly help block the chill, while allowing mobility to the max.  I also use these as a base to all moderate activity, wearing them under jeans and snow pants when the temperature really drops.

Toes:  Cotton is not your friend, especially in the winter. I’ve read about the negative effects of cotton through various magazine articles and my experiences agree, cotton is terrible for athletic people.  The best solution, especially when the weather is below freezing, is wool. REI and Smartwool are my top two brands, as they have different densities for all kinds of activities.  From light running socks to extremely thick winter socks, these brands have a sock for any occasion. But with IMG_0593warmth and moisture wicking technology comes the hindrance of cost.  These socks are VERY pricy, my advice? If you have small feet, buy the children socks. They are just as good quality for a fraction of the cost.  Have normal size feet? The REI brand and other off-brands are usually cheaper than the most popular Smartwool.  You can go a step further and just wait for holiday sales to occur, socks are almost always on the discount list during the holidays.

For discounted gear, check websites for their outlets. Here are a few good ones!  Nike  REI   Dicks Sporting Goods  Under Armour

There you have it, head to toe recommendations from yours truly, based on over ten years of experience in running, skiing, snowboarding, and hiking through the winter months!

Taking a poll for my new post, please help me out!