Winter Olympics: How to Train for the Coldest Games

The Winter Olympic Games is a major international multi-sport event held once every four years for sports practiced on snow and ice. The majority of the athletes that travel to these cold countries to compete in their sport are not used to a cold climate, and therefore it may be seen that they are at a disadvantage and will not excel. A lot of outdoor athletes would say it’s better to tough it out and train in the cold. They argue that it strengthens your immune system and provides vitamin D and fresh air. But even the bravest of winter warriors know the risks: The winter brings a greater chance of injury, bad weather, and less light. However, there are ways of training for the Winter Olympics that will allow the athletes to reach their optimum potential.  

 

Beating the cold- climatize 

It is a good idea, if possible, to arrive in the country you will be training and competing in earlier than you need to be there so that your body has time to adjust to the change in the climate. Research has shown that it takes around 2 weeks for your body to climatize to an extreme weather change, so if it is possible for you to do so then definitely spend some time allowing your body to adjust! However, of course, this is not always practical and realistic, especially for an athlete with a busy schedule, so the next step may be more suitable for you.  

 

 

Clothing 

Definitely make sure that you equipped with clothing that is going to keep you warm in the coldest conditions- even if this means packing for the worst and not ending up wearing as many layers as you had previously planned. If you are cold, you are likely to be distracted which will prevent you from performing at your best- particularly if your sport requires a steady hand- you don’t want to be shaking like a leaf! You can find some great clothing and equipment for the cold weather at Snow Gaper.

 

Technology 

This one could be linked to clothing, as there is clothing that is enhanced with technology, designed to maintain body temperature (mainly of athletes) to achieve peak performance. Research has found that increasing clothing insulation via electrical heating pads within a garment during a warm-up and immediately after a sprint has positive benefits on performance. 

 

Work hard in the summer 

Just because you are going to be competing in the Winter Olympics where it will be very cold, this is not to say you shouldn’t bother training hard in the summer! Although there is no way of knowing who will scoop up medals at the Winter Games it’s already pretty clear who won’t- those athletes who didn’t sweat buckets, hone their skills, and perfect new tricks long before, in the summer. When vacationers hit the summer beaches, winter athletes need to be hitting the gym! A medal at the Olympic Games in February is primarily won with work done in the summer.  

 

Everything You Need to Know to Get Started in Kayaking

There’s never a bad time to start a new hobby. With so many options out there, it can be hard to decide which to choose. Well, you can stop your search because do I have the perfect hobby for you! Often overlooked, kayaking offers an exciting alternative to most tamer hobbies. With a multitude of obvious benefits such as improving your health and fitness, there are also a bunch of other useful skills you’ll learn as you develop. Plus, how cool would it be to slip the fact you kayak you’re your conversations from time to time? Whether you’re looking for adventure, to improve your fitness or you’re just hoping to try something new, here is everything you need to know to get started in kayaking.

What is Kayaking?

Well, Kemosabe, kayaking is a popular watersport, most often in lakes and rivers. For the more advanced kayakers, there is also the option of kayaking in the ocean or rivers with very fast streams. But, considering how risky that can be, even for professionals, it’s probably best to start off simple and safely in a relatively shallow lake or a calm river. Different from canoeing, kayaking involves sitting in a slim boat with a closed deck to prevent the boat from filling with water as it involved a lot more whole-body movement than canoeing. Kayakers propel themselves across the water with double-ended paddles.

What are the Benefits?

Well, first and foremost, kayaking offers an excellent opportunity for exercise. Most people probably don’t realize this, but kayaking is a sport that really engages your whole body. As you’ll probably be spending most of your time trying to keep your balance in the boat, it’s an excellent exercise for toning and building muscle in your core. Plus, you’ll really be toning and building so much strength in your arms from constantly having to paddle, you’ll be ripped in no time!

As previously mentioned, another benefit of getting into kayaking is most definitely the bragging rights. Kayaking is such a cool hobby to start, you’ll find plenty of people interested in your hobby. Once you start to develop your skills and feel more confident on the water, the opportunities are endless. You can explore different waters and if you’re looking for something more relaxing to do, you can even fish on a kayak! Kayaking is also a great way to meet new people as the sport already has a massive community of people who love being on the water. You can share tips and improve your own abilities along the way.

How to Stay Safe

Considering kayaking is a water sport, it only makes sense that the most important thing you should do before getting into your boat is to make sure you know how to swim. Even if you follow our advice and start off in a relatively shallow lake or river, if you capsize (which will be likely in your first few tries, as you try to get accustomed to keeping your balance), you may still need to swim back to the edge to get yourself back into your boat. Plus, it’s a useful life skill to have so win-win.

Whether you’re renting or buying your own, it’s important to make sure you’re getting the right equipment for you. You should make sure you get a kayak that’s the right size for you. As part of the design is to ensure that as little water as possible will get into your boat, you should make sure the gap around your waist isn’t too large as it could run the risk of allowing too much water to enter your boat. It would also make it more difficult to control as you’re supposed to use your body to keep your balance. On the opposite side of that, make sure the gap is still large enough for you to get in and out of the kayak comfortably – you don’t want to get trapped.

Naturally, with kayaking being a watersport, it’s probably a good idea to invest in a decent quality wetsuit. This will ensure your body is kept well insulated and will help with buoyancy and your ability to swim in the water. Another beneficial purchase would be a pair of water shoes. While it may be tempting to go barefoot to become one with nature, the reality is that lakes and rivers are unpredictable and so it’s probably a good idea to have something there to protect your feet. You never know what you might end up stepping on. Plus, it would also help with grip if you’re trying to pull yourself out of the water. As kayaking most often takes place outside, you’ll find yourself exposed to the weather. Whilst it’s a bad idea to go kayaking during a storm, on calmer, sunnier days make sure to keep yourself hydrated and topped up on sunscreen.

Most importantly, stay safe and happy kayaking!

 

 

Why Canoeing is a Great Outdoor Watersport

Nearly two million people go canoeing in Britain alone, it is an ever-growing sport and it is easy to see why. Canoeing is a thing of variety, if you want to be a thrill seeker then you can find the most dangerous white-water rapids or if you want a simple relaxing stroll down stream in the sun, no matter what you have your answer.

Unlike similar individual sports such as cycling or running canoeing will bring you closer to nature, interacting with numerous water life you will not be able to feel the calming and tranquil state of nature and of the great outdoors when canoeing. It has been proven that just being outside taking in the nature of the world will lower your stress levels, taking you out the suffocating cities into natures gentle grasp.

If you ignore from these great reasons to pick up canoeing and do simply look at it as a sport or an exercise. The amount of upper body strength and cardio training canoeing will provide you is immense. The self-propelled nature of the sport will provide you such a good core strength, with relative low impact on your body.

It is a sport that does not require too much physical strain but delivers so many physical rewards. Just from moving the paddle you will see improvements in your back, arms, shoulders and chest. From even the simplest strolls you will see benefits.

Canoeing is such an accessible sport as previously mentioned the things you can do in a canoe are nearly unlimited, a sport that relieves you from stress of the suffocating city with it`s natural ties to nature, and with an unbelievable amount of physical and mental benefits. It should be a no brainer to pick up your nearest paddle and give it a splash.