It’s finally April and our breast cancer survivor teammates are eager to get outside! There are so many benefits from working out outdoors — from increased Vitamin D levels to mood improvement. However, if we don’t take some precautions, we could quickly get injured.

Knot A Breast team members, friends and furry friends hike the TH&B Hamilton to Brantford Rail Trail, Hamilton ON (photo credit: Milka Vujnovic)

1. GO SLOW

Every website we visited listed this piece of advice. Even if we have been walking/running on a treadmill, spinning indoors, or doing the elliptical, we cannot expect to take the same level of training outdoors right away. The pavement is harder, the weather adds to the workout, and the incline varies outdoors. Scale back to about 70% of what you were doing inside and gradually work your way back up. And if (gasp) you haven’t been working out inside, START REALLY SLOW!!! There is time — you will get there. Start with a brisk walk.

2. ALTERNATE INDOOR AND OUTDOOR TRAINING

This way you can get in some tough workouts indoors, but still reap the benefits of the outdoors. Try increasing the incline on the treadmill to prepare yourself for elevation changes outside.

3. KEEP UP YOUR RESISTANCE TRAINING

So often we are so happy to get outside and run or bike or swim or walk or hike that we forget to keep up with the weights! But in order to do cardio, our muscles and bones need to be strong! You could even take the weights outside. Dragon boating demands cardio fitness and strength.

4. DRESS APPROPRIATELY

Now is a good time to evaluate your “gear”. Check your shoes. Do you need more cushioning for your feet? Do you have layers that can be taken off when you work up a sweat? Do you have a water bottle to take with you outside?

5. GET OUT THERE

No more excuses! Now is the time to get fit!!! Have fun!

The Knot A Breast Dragon Boat Team partnered up with the OHL Hamilton Bulldogs for our annual hockey fund-raiser on Saturday, March 2nd, 2019. The Bulldogs played against the London Knights at The Dog Pound (nickname for First Ontario Centre). Everyone scored some fun and some were winners.

Knot A Breast team members and family sold pucks for the “Chuck A Puck” event at the game. We had a lot of fun selling the pucks throughout the game. At the end of the game the Chuck A Puck event took place. The pucks that land in the tire at centre ice win. Two excited little boys won the prizes (a $50.00 Canadian Tire gift card and two tickets to the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto).

The funds raised at the game (ticket sales and Chuck A Puck) will help support Knot A Breast’s training and racing initiatives. Many teammates, who were unable to attend the hockey game, generously donated their tickets to Annunciation of Our Lord Elementary School. School children and their families were very excited to get the donated tickets and were able to have a fun afternoon at the game.

We look forward to next year’s game and working in partnership with the Hamilton Bulldogs to support the endeavours of the Knot A Breast Dragon Boat Team.

On Monday, February 11, 2019, members from Knot A Breast Dragon Boat Team were joined by members from SNCC Warlocks Dragon Boat Crew to participate in the Threshold Metabolic Challenge. The challenge was created to raise awareness of and help end the stigma around mental illness.

The Threshold Foundation was created in memory of Jared Humenik, who lost his battle to mental illness, to raise money and awareness for mental health and addiction. All proceeds raised through Threshold to a Brighter Tomorrow are donated directly to rehab centres and CAMH.

Bryan Kelly, personal trainer and owner of SMBS Training Studio, conducted the execution of the metabolic group activity, with the assistance of our group fitness leaders, Officer Dana Wood and Officer Therese Irving-Peckham, who provided guidance and demonstration in the high and low impact metabolic programs. Metabolic training involves completing structural and compound exercises with little rest in between exercises in an effort to maximize calorie burn and increase the metabolic rate during and after the workout. Metabolic training is high intensity anaerobic exercise that makes you breathless!

Both the high and low impact groups participated in two full rounds of a wide variety of exercises including frog squats, t-stand push ups, floor pull over, paint cans, ski jumps to name a few! All movements, holds, stretches and rest periods are 30 seconds each to make up a 20 minute round. Knot A Breast breast cancer survivors stepped up to the challenge and completed this twice!! What a great way for team members to improve their cardiovascular capacity and burn some serious calories to prepare for the upcoming dragon boat racing season! Participants that provided a voluntary donation and participated in the group activity were entered into a draw for some great prizes and KAB members took away several!

Congratulations Knot A Breast for stepping up to the fitness challenge to support a great cause!

Knot A Breast is selling tickets to the Hamilton Bulldogs game on Saturday, march 2nd at 4 p.m. where they will take on the London Knights. Tickets are available through any member of the team or you can contact us for more information.

Watch for Knot A Breast team members on the mezzanine selling “Chuck A Puck” bags as a fundraiser. Funds raised will help support our training and racing initiatives.

If your puck is closest to centre ice, you could win some great prizes! See you there!

Now that we’ve enjoyed the holidays, it’s time to get down to serious business.

Dryland/Pool practices are every Monday at 7 p.m. We alternate between group fitness training in the gym and a poolside practice focusing on technique. Training is held at the Hamilton YWCA at 75 McNab St S.

If you are a breast cancer survivor and are interested in coming to check it out, contact us for more details.