How Do You Know If You’re Actually Strong?

hiking_failI workout fairly regularly and would consider myself strong-ish. I mean, I’m no bodybuilder, but I’ve moved past the sissy dumbbells. However, I have recently become aware that being strong at the gym and being strong in real life are two very different things. It’s similar to being book smart and street smart. You might think you’re strong because you can lift objects with cushy handles, but using your strength in real life is a different story!

Are you strong or do you just workout?

Splitting Logs

For those of you city-dwellers who have never been faced with this survivalist task, it’s much harder than it looks. Sure, it’s easy swinging an axe and getting it stuck in the log. It’s another thing entirely to have enough strength to power right through the log.

Going for a Hike

Once you find your rhythm, walking, or even running on a treadmill is fairly simple. Going on a hike in the great outdoors is yet again, very different! You will be thrown by the uneven terrain and the fact that you’re actually travelling beyond a stationary spot like in your gym. Embrace the added benefit of fresh air.

Moving Quickly for a Long Period of Time (aka Endurance)

Activities may include rowing (an actual boat) or paddle boating. Basically, anything that requires cardiovascular activity. It’s one thing to have the strength to do something for a short stint. It’s another to have the endurance to paddle around a whole (small) island.

Pulling Yourself Up

I may have discovered the difficulty of this task at the gym, but it definitely applies to real life (survival) situations. Sure, it’s easy when you have your legs moving you from one point to another. It’s much more difficult when all you have is your arms. My arms may look strong, but when put to the test, they don’t do so great. I’m regretting not playing on the monkey bars more as a child.

 

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Time Saving Tips for Those On-The-Go

hungover_bobI am not what you would call a morning person. I know, but surprise! Being that mornings aren’t my friend, I try to plan ahead as much as I can so I’m spend as much time in my cozy bed as possible. Hey, if the sun ain’t up, I shouldn’t be either! I’ve found that the more I do before I go to bed, the fewer things I have to do in the morning. Here are a few of my tips and tricks. Be sure to thank me in the comments below!

1. Preparation, preparation, preparation is key

Get as much ready the night before. This includes getting my lunch ready, getting my outfit ready, and getting my breakfast ready. I try to leave as much time for sleep as I can.

2. Breakfast on the go

Even if I’m running late (which is often), I do not skip breakfast. After all, it’s the most important meal of the day. However, who has time to eat breakfast at home? Never mind the time spent to prepare it. You could be sleeping. Hello??? I mean Zzz. Make sure you have many on the go friendly breakfast treats on hand. Utilize your time on the weekend to prepare them. You will thank me later! As my gift to you, here is the link to 9 Ridiculously Healthy Three Ingredient Treats (they freeze beautifully). Although, this does mean you’ll have to vacuum your car more frequently. You’d be surprised how many crumbs come from a single muffin.

3. Have multiple travel mugs

Who has time/ wants to do the dishes every day, especially when you don’t have a dishwasher. Not me.

4. Allow me to introduce you to Febreeze, your new best friend

I’m not suggesting you replace your laundry detergent altogether. After all, I’m not a fanatic; however, sometimes washing clothes takes too long/ you forgot and it’s too late to pick out a new outfit. Now, don’t get carried away. This handy trick is only ideal for borderline need to be washed clothes. If your clothing item of choice is buried under a pile of smelly gym clothes, you should go ahead and pick a new outfit.

5. GPS

Even if you know where you’re going. Knowing your ETA is key and provides peace of mind that you won’t be late for work, even if you’ll arrive exactly on time, it counts as not late!

6. Wear the same jewelry every day

One less decision. Check!

Neighbours: They’re Not Just to Complain About

Gladys_KravitzI  grew up in the country where neighbours are few and far between. Now that I live in the big city (suburbs), I’m learning that there’s something to having people closeby. They’re good for more than just a cup of sugar, which is helpful because I rarely (never) bake and the chances of me needing a cup of sugar are pretty slim. However, there’s a much larger chance I’ll need advice from someone familiar with the neighborhood (gossip) or who knows more about cars than I do. 

What your neighbours can do for you

1. Protection from thieves/intruders

Gladys Kravitz is way handier than people gave her credit for. If you don’t know who Gladyz Kravitz is, she’s from Betwitched…and we’re no longer friends.

2. Protection from (potential) murderers

See #1

3. They can keep you from blowing up your car and/or face

I’ve learned to appreciate the inquisitive neighbour who, after seeing me attempt to change a taillight, asks if I know what I’m doing. I did not…

4. Part-time dog friends

This is especially nice when your apartment does not allow pets.

5. Free entertainment

i.e. street peewee hockey, pool parties, etc.

6. Drama.

Just when you think it’s going to be another ordinary evening, you come home to find three cops parked on your street, in front of the house next door. 

7. Music

Before you can wish you can hear Twist and Shout blasting from your stereo, there it is, coming from the obnoxiously loud party next door.

8. Free swimming

Now, I haven’t actually figured out how to swing this one, but I’m working on it. Suggestions welcome. 

I suppose this also means that you should be willing, if able, to do the following for your neighbours as well… Also, this list is not all inclusive. If you have experienced other benefits from your neigbours, please, do share!

I Hurt Myself at the Gym So You Don’t Have To

safety-first-1

You’re at the gym. You’re in the zone. The last thing you want to do is ruin your workout by falling off of a machine. Yeah, it can happen. Fortunately for you, although unfortunately for me, I’ve already experienced a number of gym-related injuries. I’m here to share my misfortunes in the hopes that you can avoid an embarrassing gym moment or a nasty bonk to the head.

My Top 8 Gym Safety Tips

1. Watch where you’re going.

You may not think that this one belongs on the list. It does. Sometimes you’re in the zone and you’ve just finished an extremely difficult exercise and are moving onto the next. Before you know it, you bend down to pick up a weight and forget that the squat bar jets out further out than you remember. Bonk. Right in the face.

2. Don’t touch gym equipment and then touch your eye.

I don’t care how itchy your eye is. I don’t care if you think you’ve rubbed your finger clean on your shirt. Don’t do it. Your eye will get so much worse.

3. Don’t be dramatic when putting your weights away.

No matter how tired you are, place your weights down carefully. Remember, your fingers are very close by. It might look cool, but you know what doesn’t look cool? Blue finger nails…

4. Don’t kick gym equipment.

No matter how light a piece of equipment looks, don’t try to kick it out of your way. It’s gym equipment. You will hurt yourself.

5. Ensure the locker doors around you are closed before you tie your shoe.

You cannot imagine the pain that ensues when you stand up from tying your shoes and bonk yourself on an open locker door. Yes, it’s unpleasant.

6. The Internet is not the same as a personal trainer.

Exercise caution when trying a new exercise you learned on the internet. I don’t want to tell you that everything on the internet is bad. However, if you see a video and think, “Huh, that’s a creative use of that machine,” don’t do it! There’s a reason why that machine was not intended for that type of use.

7. Take Notes.

When working out with your trainer (assuming you read my previous post and got one), take accurate notes. If not, you could put the machine at an extremely low weight and fall off. I wish this didn’t happen to me. I also wish that I didn’t end up with a giant bruise on my leg from the fall.

8. Don’t challenge your trainer.

Yes, you want your trainer to push you to your limit, but exercise caution. He will rise to that challenge and you’ll be unable to walk for two days.

Tips for The Realistic Cooker: Frozen Olive Oil

Olive oilDon’t Store Your Olive Oil Where It Can Freeze Into a Solid Mass

Now, you probably didn’t know this could be a problem, until it happens to you. I didn’t realize this was a thing. The conundrum was thrown at me when I opened my cabinet to find a frozen bottle of olive oil. Apparently the cabinet I keep my oil in is very cold because my olive oil was frozen solid. Faced with the problem of having a salad with just balsamic vinegar, I needed to act quickly.

How to Thaw Your Olive Oil

1. Boil Water

You might think this is the first logical solution, but who has time for that? Plus, it would create more dishes. You have a salad waiting and you’re starving! However, if you’re looking for a fancy solution, this is the one for you.

2. Body Heat

Why boil water when you have a natural source of heat at your fingertips. Take your bottle of frozen olive oil and hold it close like it’s your child, your frozen child who’s on the verge of hypothermia.

3. Warm Running Water

Still frozen, eh? Take that bottle and run it under some very hot water. That should release enough for you to enjoy your salad. Wala! A salad is born.

What To Do With Your Day Off (When You Have No Money)

1004331.pngStaycations aren’t nearly as rejuvenating as far-away-cations. A change of scenery can do wonders. Throw in a beach and an endless supply of beverages in carved out pineapples, and I’m set! Now, how do you explore a change of scenery if your vacation time and budget leave much to be desired? Continue reading.

Pretend You Work Downtown

Got a couple days off and you’re not sure what to do with them? Head downtown. Now, this one really only works if you don’t already work downtown. Explore the joys of commuting into the exciting downtown financial district without worrying about being late for an important meeting. However, if you walk with purpose, those around you will think you’re heading to an important appointment. For those of you who already work downtown or don’t live near a booming metropolis, pick a nearby suburb (or the closest thing you have to a booming metropolis).

Where Do You Go?

Now, seeing as you don’t have an actual downtown job to head towards, where do you go? Find a trendy hipster coffee shop and plunk yourself down. Pull out your computer and pretend like you’re working on an up and coming screenplay or blog of some kind (Bonus points if you actually have a blog to work on). No one needs to know you’re actually catching up on your online shopping.

Take Yourself Out to Lunch

Find a trendy lunch spot (yes, trendy is key) and enjoy a meal for one. I understand that many are hesitant (including myself) to sit alone in a restaurant. However, the best time to try this is during lunch on a weekday, especially near office buildings. Lots of people grab quick sit down lunches by themselves. Still hesitant? Pull out that handy laptop and enjoy a (fake) working lunch. Books and news publications can also be utilized to create the illusion of a productive lunch (extra bonus points if you actually learn something from your Time Magazine).

Freedom: Not All It’s Cracked Up to Be

vpi07wI recently ventured out on my own and am renting my very own grown-up apartment. With this venture into fierce independant living, I have discovered the meaning behind what the late George Michael so eloquently sang about, “freedom”.

Freedom is…

  1. Washing dishes by hand…a lot of dishes…because you thought it would be a good idea to wait until you ran out of mugs before doing the dishes. P.S. Dear Dishwasher, come back to me!
  2. Coming home and not discovering that someone surprise washed your dishes…because you live alone/are fiercely independant.
  3. Defending the fact that scrambled eggs and toast for dinner counts as cooking.
  4. Realizing that maybe you should learn how to cook something that’s not a form of eggs.
  5. Waking up to your car buried in snow… because you live in Canada and no longer have a garage.
  6. Having to wake up early so you have time to dig your car out of the winter tundra before work.
  7. Dropping a pen and realizing that no one’s cleaned back there…ever.
  8. Not being able to blame the hair in the shower on someone else.
  9. Endless loads of laundry.
  10. Being reminded that you started a load of laundry before you went to bed…because you were awoken by the crazy loud buzzer you can’t figure out how to disable.