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Archive for the ‘nature’ Category

Last night Cleveland was hit by a HUGE thunder storm (at least by Northeast Ohio standards) with hail the size of a quarter! We just drove through the main street of Lakewood this morning and trees were down with everyone trying to clean up and assess the damages. Just a reminder that nature is a powerful thing…

On a different note, I posted a poll yesterday on comfort foods and here it is again. I’d love to have your input! Just so you know it has a purpose…


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This weekend, other than being the Superbowl party, I was supposed to have a race. The Dirty Dog 10k Trail Run. I was very excited for it, because it’s not one of those race where I’d try to set a PR, but really it was all about enjoying the frozen forest, the trails and the landscape. Breath in the cold air in the nature where city noises can’t reach… Well I just found out (totally my fault) that it is 1 hour and a half away from here. And I don’t have a car. So bye bye trail race in the mud/snow/forest, I’ll have to find a closer one. Which is most likely to be just a regular on the road race… I’ll still go on a long run this saturday in the frozen winter landscapes… sigh…

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As some of you may know, I am going to Puerto Rico in less than 3 weeks, and I can’t wait! I’ve been doing a bit of research and decided to talk about water sports today. So for those of you who are taking a warm vacation, live in the sun year round or those day-dreaming, read on.

Snorkeling
What is it? About three days ago I had no idea. Never even heard that word before (remember English is only a second language!). So I researched it, and it seems to come right in my realm of aquatic capacities (no great swimming skills required).
Basically, it is swimming at the surface of the water with a tube called snorkel. Yep, that’s it. But what’s so wonderful about it, is that you get an amazing view of the under-water life while getting in some exercise AND relaxing! Yes that’s possible: for one hour of leisure swimming, a 150lbs person will burn 408 calories. Amazing right? – That is if you don’t just float the entire time (Thanks Foy)
All you need is access to a beach, a snorkel, a snorkeling mask and you are good to go! Now if you want to go all-in, get some snorkeling fins and an under-water camera for great memories.

Kayaking

Well you probably already know what it is: sit in your kayak, paddle in hand and… Paddle! This is a great way to explore a body of open water (sea, lakes, etc.) and its surroundings. Bring a cooler with lunch and beers, and enjoy the warm rays of the sun (I am not promoting drunk-paddling). And of course, believe it or not, you are making your shoulders, chest, biceps, and all those muscle work as you paddle. So that’s another awesome fun, relaxing way to exercise and enjoy the great outdoors. Note that I’m talking about sea/lake kayaking and not going to attempt rapids (for the moment).

I’ll make sure to take tons of pictures, and will give you a “compte-rendu” of my first tropical water sports experience. But meanwhile, I want to know your water-sports experiences, and what are your recommendations???

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Raquette à Neige

Once reserved for excursions in the deep Siberia or Northern Canada, the snowshoe has made its way into the runner’s agenda. (or any other person wanting to stay in great shape). Although often disregarded, snowshoeing has humongous fitness benefits. And well, for us northern people, running on an iced sidewalk is not always an option (if ever). So whether you live in the south and are taking a snowy vacation, or live in the north (like me) and are simply looking for ways (other than treadmill) to stay in great shape, read on because this is for you.

Most of us (well at least where I’m from) have already done it. But if you haven’t, no worry because really all you need to know is how to walk! Seriously. So put some snowshoes on and head to the trails, because that may be your best workout as of yet (regardless of your fitness level). It is one of the best cardiovascular exercise and according to Dr. Declan Connolly of the University of Vermont, it burns up to twice the amount of calories as walking at the same paste. Not a walker? run and you could burn up to a thousand calories per hour!

Not only is it a low impact sport (perfect if recuperating from a knee injury) it also engages all the muscle groups. Especially great for the quads, hip flexors (also improves flexibility), extensors and calves, add a pair of poles and you’ll be working on your neck, arms and back muscles as well! Not to mention the breathtaking scenery of snowed trail in the woods and the wonderful opportunities to connect with people!

Before you head outside, make sure to stretch properly and warm-up. Wear appropriate clothing (synthetic fibers, wool…) and wind and water resistant outer layer if possible! For the snowshoes, many sites and parks offer cheap rentals o if you are going to buy a pair (great investment!) make sure to do your research because there are many different kinds!

Happy Snowshoeing!

— My next snowshoeing excursion is set for next Sunday! Yay!!!

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