I’ve been an absent blogger lately, but I have an excuse: There are a few exciting changes in the works right now at Chatelaine. You’ll learn more in the weeks ahead, but I’m sad to say that this blog won’t be continuing. I’ve had a great time sharing with you — and I hope you’ve found some useful things here!
Just for fun, here’s a look back at some of Healthwise’s “greatest hits”:
- Six food mistakes parents make
- How ridiculous the Body Mass Index can be
- Music on the brain: one case in which it helps with dementia
- My floor hockey team in the playoffs — we finally won!
- A workout in the park with our “Makeover of a Lifetime” ladies, who were in the magazine in 2008 (and a milestone for Kiki, and I joined the ladies for a spinning class)
- Insights into breast cancer treatments from the brilliant scientist Tak Mak
- Assistant style editor Kate Daley guest-blogged about training for a triathlon (and she crossed the finish line!)
And of course, you can still find heaps of health content on Chatelaine.com. Now, don’t forget to eat your veggies and squeeze in a little daily exercise. Stay healthy! (And look for me in a new spot on Chatelaine.com in the near future…)
I picked up a couple of great little tips from taking this online quiz.
Take the quiz yourself and test your beauty know-how before scrolling down to see the tips I loved.
Are you trying any new fitness activities this summer? To keep myself motivated, I’ve been doing a little bit of everything — mostly running, lots of walking, swimming, some weight-training, the occasional rock-climbing session, and I’m still playing floor hockey.
Last week, I ventured into a fitness class called “Body Conditioning by Dancers,” taught by the Toronto-based personal trainer Eva Redpath. It’s been ages since I’ve done a fitness class, and this one was pretty grueling. It’s about an hour and 20 minutes, and since Eva’s also a trained dancer, it combines dance moves with strength-training, using your body as resistance. I brought my camera along, but I was working too hard to take any photos! This video from Eva’s website will give you a sense of the exercises we did during the class:
In the video, Eva and one of her participants also make the case for group fitness, saying that it’s motivating and makes you push yourself harder than when you’re working out alone. I’d have to agree — you’re definitely less likely to slow down or give up when you look around and you’re surrounded by women who are sweating and grunting and pushing themselves through each exercise.
I’ve been saving these photos for a day like today, when I need a serious pick-me-up. The French photographer Thierry Bouët photographs babies in the first hours after being born. Don’t they look like little old men?
(Via A Cup of Jo)
Chatelaine’s assistant style editor, Kate Daley, vowed to complete a triathlon this summer. Lucky for us, she agreed to blog about her training, here on Healthwise, and last weekend, she completed the race. Congratulations Kate!
Well, I did it.
I went from limping with a fractured kneecap to swimming, biking and running, all in one intense event.
The morning of the Joe’s Team Triathlon, lightning split through the sky and thunder rumbled as we drove toward the race site on Lake Joseph, in Ontario. The weather made me more than a little nervous. I’m not scared of storms, but I was scared that the race would be delayed and I just needed to get it over with so I could relax!
But as the morning progressed, the storm turned into light rain showers, and I pulled on my trusty (rented) wetsuit and got ready to start the swim.
Overall, there were about 450 people in the race, and there were probably more than 50 swimmers in my wave. (They put the swimmers in different categories so everyone doesn’t start at once and crash into each other.) I’m a pretty good swimmer but I couldn’t go too fast because I was literally stuck behind a wall of women kicking… No excuses, but I know I could have done it in a better time. When I finally ran out of the water to strip off my suit and grab my bike, the adrenaline was pumping fast through my system.
Above, one of the swim waves in Lake Joseph.
I started off slower on the bike because I wanted to get my bearings. About a million women who were 10 to 20 years older than me zoomed past. They were in way better shape than I am. It gave me hope for the future — if I train like this for a few years, I’ll be built like some of those women and be zooming past the 20-somethings without a second thought. (They write everyone’s age on their leg so they can track your age group, but as I realized, age doesn’t matter!) I got into a groove on the bike so I started to speed up and pass people.
One memorable moment was when I was pushing up a hill, and a man running along the highway, wearing an HSBC triathlon shirt, yelled at me, “You can do it.” What? That buff guy who could smoke this race in a second is encouraging me? It made me smile and push even harder. A lot of people yelled encouragement at each other when someone looked tired, and it really gives you that extra motivation, knowing that someone is rooting for you.
And now for the part of the race I worried the most about: the dreaded run. I used to be a semi-good runner. But that took me years of daily practice because, like I’ve said, I’m not a natural athlete. And with my fractured kneecap, my running has been sub-par, at best. I tend to overcompensate with my right leg, and I’ve been pulling those muscles and damaging my hip trying to pull myself along on daily training runs. I started walking at first to give my knee a few moments of rest, but everyone was booting it along, so I couldn’t resist. I started running (albeit slow) and just kept going until the end.
Running across the finish line was amazing. I had asked lots of people to sponsor me, and I didn’t let them down. It also kind of felt like, “Wow, I have to find a new race because that one was awesomely motivating!” (Fear of failure is a great motivator for me.) For the future, there’s the HSBC Triathlon series, with lots of upcoming races. I’m thinking about doing one more race before the season ends so I can work on my speed. And there’s also the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon; I’m considering doing a 5k (or half marathon, if I’m feeling optimistic) just to keep myself motivated and training. I also want to join a bike team in Toronto to learn how to ride in a pack and improve on my times! Who knows, one day I might fulfill my life-long dream of completing an Ironman. (This article in the National Post a few weeks back gives me hope.) I know, I’ve got lofty goals. But training for this triathlon has taught me not to underestimate the power of my body.
Still, no race will ever be as fun as this one was.
Above, me, my brother and my sister, before the race.
And when Joe Finley, who has been battling cancer since 2004, gave his speech, I think everyone who raised funds felt like this was one of the best races they’d ever do in their life.
Good luck to anyone else who’s training for a race, and let me know if you have any good tips!