Suns out, runs out … side! Truthfully, when the sun’s out, who’s ready to take all their activities outside?

For the outdoor sports junkie, this is the best time of year! Finally, you can take your hiking, running, cycling (anything!) outside without having to pile on layer after layer of sweaters, long sleeve tees, long johns, and windbreakers. Hallelujah!

We encourage people to be active in order to use the integrated, functional body that we are creating in the gym. After all, your training with EPIC supports extra activity! For those who find it natural to get outdoors and move, the quality of your hike, run, bike ride, kayak, etc. will increase because your body is not a limiting factor.

72% of Canadian households report that at least one person in their household will partake in outdoor activity.

Many of our clients come to us to ensure that they are able to perform their best outdoors doing the things they love. Whether you raising the gear on your bike or on your training in general, this is how you’ll maintain high-performance function while doing what you love.


Warm Up

Skipping a warm-up is a sure-fire way to get hurt. Even if you don’t look at your activity as a workout per se, if you bike to work or are taking the canoe out on the lake, your shoulders and hips get tight, your muscles get stiff. You need to activate your muscles properly before you begin to use them.

A proper warm-up is a dynamic warm-up.

This means we’re neurologically connecting body to brain through movement in preparation for your activity.

Holding your arm across your chest or bending down to touch your toes might feel good as a stretch but they have proven ineffective in actually preparing the body for physical activity. When sleepy muscles and joints are not patterned before your activity it’s like someone waking you up by startling you- you’re bound to lash out at them, aren’t you?

Going from sitting to exercise is not a smooth transition. Exercise some sympathy for your bod! Incorporating movement into your warm-ups you’re increasing circulation and getting blood to your muscles making them more resilient.


Nutrition

Ensuring you’re getting proper nutrients will have a direct effect on your performance. This isn’t only in regards to food but in the summer especially, placing an extra emphasis on replacing the nutrients we are losing through sweat and this extra activity. Muscle soreness? Pelvic bones bruised from jumping on that bike again? Swollen ankle from that past sprain? Recover your tissues and body with proper nutrients.

It’s important to remember that sweating doesn’t necessarily mean you’re having a great workout- or even that you’re working hard. It just means your body has hit a certain temperature. When we sweat we are losing electrolytes (specifically sodium and chloride but also magnesium, potassium, and calcium). In order to be properly hydrated, our bodies need these electrolytes to even absorb the water we’re consuming. We suggest enjoying a high-quality electrolyte drink.

This means NO Gatorade or gel packs.

Products like Endura are naturopath-grade and have few ingredients so you’re getting the electrolytes your body needs and not the sugars in other power drinks.


Plan Ahead

Especially with hiking, we see a lack of planning lead to problems. It’s important to know or at least do some research on the trail you’re hiking ahead of time so you’re not pushing yourself too hard in the beginning, and you know where you can take a break. Bring along layers of clothing, snacks, water, and supplies if you need them like a headlamp or bear whistle. Even making sure you go pee before you hit the trail can help!

It may seem silly or eye-roll worthy but many hikers, even experienced ones, can find themselves lost, injured or disoriented if they haven’t properly prepped. We love the app, AllTrails, to help us get ready for our hikes.


Mindfulness

Outdoor sports are fun, and that should absolutely be the #1 reason you want to get out there and do them! But they do still come with responsibility. We need to be mindful when we are hiking trails, kayaking on the lake, or cycling in the bike lane because we ultimately are in an uncontrolled environment when we are outside.

Being subject to the elements are what people often enjoy most about their outdoor sport but when we are not paying attention or giving awareness to our surroundings in the process, it increases the likelihood of getting hurt. Even spending at least 5-10 minutes doing your warm-up is a way to settle into your environment and plan. We teach in our Forest Bathing events to ask permissions from Mother Nature when you are at her mercy- ask for her protection. This has been a practice in Native American cultures since the dawn of time and adds an element of respect, acknowledgement, and preparation for your body, mind, and soul.


In any given year 65 - 80% of all runners will be out of the race lineup with an injury. That is why we have created the Functional Runners Assessment as a 360° tool to help Ottawa runners not only avoid injury but learn more about how they move and what they can do to improve their running and beat their personal bests. We want to put you in the most optimal condition with this ultimate assessment. During the month of June, we’re offering FREE Functional Runners Assessment. Request yours today!