Yoga: What is it, Why, and Where?

Now that summer is officially here, you might be looking to start a new activity. If you are looking for another way to be active or increase your overall wellbeing, try out yoga! Yoga is a sequence of postures designed to align your skin, muscles, and bones, linking the movement of your body to the rhythm of your breath. There are lots of great health benefits, including building strength, boosting your immune system, improving your balance, and much more. Not only will you notice physical changes with regular practice, but you will notice that yoga will allow you to build mental strength. Through my own yoga journey, I have learned how to cultivate a healthy relationship with my body through self-care and positive affirmation. Doing yoga allows me to destress and take some time to focus on myself, especially during the busy school year. If you want to learn more about how to get started, give one (or all) of these options a try!

Free Yoga Youtube Videos

I started doing yoga by watching Yoga with Adriene’s (www.youtube.com/yogawithadriene) videos. Her videos are great for all levels, as they range from easy flows to more challenging classes. Here you will learn the basics of many poses and find classes specific to your own needs, all from the comfort of your own home!

Free Outdoor Yoga

Mat Collective, (http://www.matcollective.com) a local environmentally friendly yoga organization, offers free classes all year round in their Main Street studio.

During the summer, the classes move outside and are offered every day of the week. They offer 15+ weekly classes at both the Main Street (95 E 32nd Ave) and Kitsilano Beach location (1015 Maple Street). I love doing yoga right by the beach where you can hear the sounds of the waves and enjoy the fresh air. All levels are welcome to join in on these yoga classes in the beautiful outdoors. 

Free Yoga Studios

There are also several studios in Vancouver that offer free or by donation classes:

UBC Recreation

If you want to do yoga on a more regular basis, get an unlimited yoga pass at the UBC Rec Centre. (http://www.recreation.ubc.ca/mind-body/)  Take part in a number of different classes ranging from gentle, restorative yoga to strengthening core yoga. You can get the student summer pass or you can drop in for $10 a class.

Hot Yoga

If you want to go further in your yoga practice, try out hot yoga! Hot yoga studios are heated with far infrared radiant panels to provide a detoxifying and therapeutic practice. Hot yoga will allow you to tone your body, release muscle tension, and help flush toxins from your skin. I started attending hot yoga classes at the start of summer and found that I have progressed in strength and flexibility. I leave class feeling relaxed, energized, and motivated for the rest of my day. Many studios offer a discounted first month or monthly passes for students. Be prepared to sweat and feel refreshed!

Check out these hot yoga studios in Vancouver:

The Hot Box Yoga Studio at UBC http://www.thehotboxyoga.com

Oxygen Yoga and Fitness in Kitsilano, Olympic Village, Oakridge, Yaletown http://oxygentraining.ca

One Hour Hot Yoga in Downtown http://www.onehourhotyoga.ca

YYoga in Kitsilano, Yaletown, Downtown, South Granville https://www.yyoga.ca

Hot Yoga 101 in City Square Mall http://hotyoga101.ca

I welcome you to challenge yourself to step outside of your comfort zone. I encourage you to tap into your inner strength and find peace within yourself through your own yoga journey.

Namaste,

Lauren

 

Photos taken by Caid Dow (www.madebycaid.com)

Post Written by Lauren Lee

Fitting in Fitness- a Graduate Student Perspective

As a new student, at a new university, in a new province, and a new degree, I find it challenging to fall into a new rhythm. Sometimes I forget that I am my best self when I make time to move. When I am active I am more prepared to cope with intellectual road bumps, and more tuned in to what my body needs. I also have more energy than after your average cup of coffee. Not to mention, I can’t keep my eyes open by the time I hit the pillow.

If movement can make us feel great, what’s stopping us? For me, barriers to moving often show up in areas of my life related to money and time. These barriers can be different for everyone.

Here are some of my go-to strategies for making space for movement in your budget and your schedule:

  1. Prioritize, and schedule accordingly

Take a moment at the beginning of your week to schedule in fitness – just as you would schedule meetings and classes. Setting my schedule up this way at the start of the week helps me normalize fitness in my schedule. I intentionally make enough hours in my week for physical activity and this helps form a habit that carries me through busier times.

  1. Make moving social

Take your coffee date on the road for a walk through Pacific Spirit Park. Kick a ball around with your kids. Set goals for movement with friends- and keep each other accountable.

  1. Explore your options

Find the best fit-you have options. Sign up for a class with UBC Recreation. Get outside. Check-out energizing online exercise videos (check out this link for a few options). Explore different studios in the city. Keep an eye out for free classes or discounted introductory offers. Attend community or by-donation classes. Look into an energy exchange (volunteer your time, in exchange for complimentary classes).

Building a habit takes time, effort, and often more than one try. I find my main motivator to be noticing the differences in my body and head space. Notice if you are more focused, notice which workout leaves you with the most energy, notice if you feel stronger, notice if you feel happier, and be kind to yourself along the way.

I’ll leave you with a challenge: put your phone (or desktop, or tablet, or laptop) away for the next 10 minutes and get moving!

Looking for inspiration? Try taking part in MoveUBC!

As February soon approaches, excitement on campus is building for the kick off to MoveUBC month! MoveUBC is a university-wide campaign to increase physical activity and decrease sedentary behavior amongst students, staff, faculty and the UBC community. Nontraditional forms of movement are welcome and encouraged!  

Learn more and get involved at http://www.move.ubc.ca/

Post written by Jocelyn Micallef

How to End Your Exercise Hiatus

Guest post by Wellness Peer Campbell Drohan: 

We all know that we should be exercising regularly. We know that it’s good for us, and that it will keep us healthy and strong. However, that knowledge doesn’t necessarily make exercising easy, especially when you’ve fallen off the exercise bandwagon (or if you never even got on it to begin with!).

I found myself on an exercise hiatus near the end of the summer. I was busy studying for a huge exam while working full-time and volunteering off-campus a few evenings a week. I barely had time to feed myself, let alone squeeze in a workout (or at least this is what I told myself…somehow I always had time to watch the latest episode of Dance Moms).

This persisted into the fall, where the madness of school starting up kept me distracted. The longer I went without exercising, the harder it became to get back into it, and I found myself in a vicious circle of inactivity. However, once October hit I decided that enough was enough, and started exercising again. Now, after a few weeks, I feel like I’m finally taking the time to take care of my body, and I’m so happy that I’m making my health a priority. Here are some suggestions I have for you if you’re looking to get back in shape after a break.

Start off slow. During one of my many attempts to get back into exercising regularly, I decided to take on a 40-day yoga challenge. By day three I was so sore I could barely lift my arms, and I ended up needing an entire week for my muscles to recover.  While it can be tempting to start off strong, slow and steady really does win the race. A 20-minute jog around the block is a whole lot better than nothing at all!

Get some new clothes. Sometimes heading to the mall can actually motivate you to head to the gym! Buying a new workout top or water bottle can get you excited to put them to use. When I was working up the motivation to head back to spin class, I went to Lululemon and splurged on a new pair of shorts. I was so excited to wear them that I went to the Birdcoop the very next day!

Find a buddy. Get a friend to join you for your workout! It’s going to be a whole lot easier to make fitness a priority when you know that someone’s holding you accountable. Dropping in at a UBC Recreation fitness class with a friend, heading for a swim at the Aquatic Centre, or playing a pickup game at the UBC Tennis Centre together are a few options.

Do something fun! I was a competitive dancer throughout high school, so the first thing I did to get back into workout out was attending a dance class. Getting off the couch to do something you love is a lot easier than forcing yourself to run on the “dreadmill”.

Remember that just because you’ve neglected your physical health for a while doesn’t mean that you will never be healthy and active again. It’s okay to not be perfect sometimes. Now, what are you waiting for? Get out there and sweat!

Arts Wellness Fair

See how living well can help you have an even better university experience.

Drop by for the Wellness Centre’s Caffeine Challenge or UBC Recreation’s Bike Blender to create your own smoothie. Take this opportunity to learn more about a range of wellness concepts and have your questions answered. Free refreshments and raffle gifts await.

Details:

Wednesday, January 15, 11am–2pm
Buchanan D, 1866 Main Mall | Room D140 (Meekison Arts Student Space) Continue reading “Arts Wellness Fair”

Get Active. Get Social. Get INVOLVED!

Growing up, I was not an athlete. 

I picked flowers during soccer games, hid in the change room during gym class, and ate lunch inside to avoid being pulled into an impromptu game of tag. Even in high school, as I started to improve my physical fitness, I struggled to find a sport I felt passionate about or a team to feel like I was a part of, but then I came to UBC and that all changed.

It started almost exactly a year ago with Day of the Longboat. I was a last minute addition to the team who, after 3 tough races, was crowned the UBC Women’s Champions. I felt like a champ, and not just because my shirt told me I was. For the first time in my life I was part of a real team… and it was with a group of girls I barely knew.
Continue reading “Get Active. Get Social. Get INVOLVED!”

Running Machine

Ultramarathoner Scott Jurek running with a member of the Tarahumara. Wolf Gang’s Flickr page, http://www.flickr.com/photos/wolfgangkuhnle/4675427082/

Your lungs, your legs, your knees, your feet and your achilles tendons. These are all a part of your running machinery [1].

Did you know that humans have evolved to be runners? We wouldn’t be here if we didn’t have this ability. Our ability to run fast for long distances has helped us to survive in nature. When it comes to strength, humans just cannot compare to the 850kg rhinoceros or the 1361kg hippopotamus. It was endurance that helped us evade animals we couldn’t fight and endurance that helped us hunt down animals that we could outrun [2].

My love for running was refreshed when I read Born to Run by Christopher McDougall. This book is truly a breath of fresh air as the author takes you through a detailed and vivid description of the Copper Canyons in Mexico. This was the setting where a famous ultramarathon was held between elites in the modern running society against a Mexican tribe called the Tarahumara, renowned for their long-distance running ability.

What is truly impressive about the Tarahumara is that they can run for days at a time with nothing more than a slab of rubber tire strapped to their feet and corn beer for fuel [3]

Running machinery is built in all of us. Not in your fancy air-injected Nikes. Not in your Energy Boost Adidas running shoes.

If the treadmill is getting too monotonous and boring for you, try breaking your routine by hitting the trails, the scenery will keep you captivated. While seeking adventure, always remember personal safety. Bring some friends with you and always carry a cellphone with you for emergencies. Here are some trails around Vancouver [4]:

1. Pacific Spirit Park (UBC)
2. Stanley Park (Vancouver)
3. Brothers Creek Loop (North Shore)
4. Lynn Peak (North Shore)
5. Mount Seymour (North Shore)

1. How Running Made Us Human: Endurance Running Let Us Evolve to Look the Way We Do
2. Nature Journal: Distance Running ‘Shaped Human Evolution’ 
3. Tarahumara: A People Apart
4. Vancouver Hiking Trails

Staying Active During the Holidays

It’s that time of year again. Lights are hung, gifts are given and delicious food is consumed. Many people can get caught up in the holiday break and forget to take care of their body physically. Sometimes, going for a run in the winter weather is not always an option, and the gym can sometimes seem daunting.

So, here are a few excellent winter activities that will keep you active without you even knowing it! :

VanDusen Botanical Garden’s Festival of Lights

Ice Skating! A perfect way to get together with friends AND exercise. Although we may not all be professionals, the cold rink makes you want to move and get that blood flowing!

Skiing or Snowboarding! This does require some skill and can get pricy, but one day on the slopes and you’ll have definitely earned yourself a big cup of hot chocolate! If you can’t make it up to Whistler this winter, try one of the local mountains like Cypress!

Christmas Light’s Walk! It’s always nice to admire the time and effort some people put into decorating their house. Take this opportunity to walk around your neighbourhood with your dog or a loved one and enjoy the beauty of the Christmas lights! If you’re looking for something a little more professional, try checking out the lights at the VanDusen Botanical Gardens in Vancouver this winter.

Happy Holidays!

Get physical!

YouTube Preview Image

Students from Healthy Minds, the Wellness Centre, and UBC REC decided to find out how students stay active at UBC (video).

Music Motivation

Written By: Denise Wong

In order to prevent ourselves from giving up and to push our limits to the next level, music plays a
huge part in motivating our minds to keep going during our workout routines. This summer, I have
discovered new, non-typical tracks and playlists that have really enhanced my workouts and have
helped me in reaching my goals. Try listening to some of these mixes and tracks and see how they
keep you moving!

A State of Trance is a weekly radio program by Armin van Buuren that you can download every
week for two hours of non-stop trance mixes. I have never been interested in trance in the past until a
friend introduced me to these amazing mixes! The beat is infectious and definitely keeps your body
and mind pumped – perfect for high energy workouts.

Country music seems like a bizarre choice, but this has been my go-to workout music for a while
now. Whenever I tell my friends that I enjoy Country, their eyebrows immediately furrow and are
wonder why I would be into this type of music. Keith Urban and the Rascal Flatts are two of my
favorite artists who have great summer tunes that can make your workout uplifting. Their best tracks
include “Long Hot Summer” (Keith Urban) and “Hot in Here” (Rascal Flatts)

Bon Iver is a great listen for cooling down or for a relaxing yoga routine at home. Justin Vernon’s
amazing falsetto provides some soothing background goodness. Great tracks include “Blood Bank”
and “Woods.”

Download episodes of A State of Trance
Great Canadian Indie workout podcast

Breaking into Biking

Here comes that feeling you thought you’d forgotten. Sun on your cheek, cool breeze in your hair, and a big smile on your face as you whip down hills and around corners on your favourite two-wheeled machine.

Riding a bicycle doesn’t have to be an ancient past-time that your ten-year-old self used to enjoy. It can be a fun way to get around and stay active, especially in Vancouver.

With the convenience afforded by public transit, it’s easy to forget about the amazing infrastructure built for cyclists and to simply hop onto a bus to get where you need to go. Trust me, I’ve been there.

However, in an effort to avoid paying $100 a month for a bus pass during the summer (I wasn’t eligible for a Upass, sadly), I decided to invest in a cheap, lightweight, fixed-gear bicycle to get me around in the slowly warming weather.

And boy, has it been worth it.

Currently, I’m living in Kitsilano near Alma but working in both Gastown and at UBC. By bus, it’s about 35 minutes to downtown and 20 minutes to UBC in rush hour traffic. In total, I usually end up spending over an hour on buses, listening mindlessly to music and avoiding eye contact with people.

However, by riding my fixie, it takes me only ten more minutes each way because I get to dodge traffic on all of the nifty bike lanes scattered throughout the city. Not only do I save money and prevent the emission of greenhouse gases, I also get tons of fresh air and over an hour of feel-good cardio, everyday!

And, if by chance it starts raining or if I’m in a hurry, it’s easy to hop back on pubic transit with my bike since most buses and the Skytrains are built to accommodate cyclists.

So, what are you waiting for? Get out there and start riding, just don’t forget a helmet!

Bike

Looking for a super-cool custom bicycle for cheap? Check out Republic Bike!

Planning a cycling trip around the city? Check out the Vancouver Cycling Planner!

 

The Benefits of Walking

Whenever I’m feeling down I find it difficult to motivate myself to exercise, even though I know I will feel better afterwards.  No matter what mood I am in, however, I can always muster up enough enthusiasm to go for a walk.  Whether I’m taking the stairs down to Wreck Beach or walking the seawall around Stanley Park, walking puts me in a better mood and makes me feel healthier.

The benefits associated with walking are simply the benefits associated with increased physical activity: reduced risk of heart disease, increased ability to manage weight, improved mood, etc.  What’s great about walking is how accessible it is no matter your level of physical fitness and how easily it can be integrated into anyone’s daily life.  Oh, and let’s not forget a key detail important to students, walking is free!

So what are some things to keep in mind if you’re planning on introducing more walking into your daily life?

Whether you want to introduce more physical activity into your daily life, enjoy the outdoors or participate in a social activity, walking is something you should consider.  One final tip for Vancouver-ites: learn to live with walking in the rain!

Resources –

Benefits of Walking

Walking Routes

More Walking Routes

Walk BC

 

 

Fun in the Sun

With the sun starting to come out, summer is finally beginning to sink in for many of us. Whether we are taking summer classes or earning some extra cash for the school year, it’s important to stay active and fit for the summer as well! With the nice weather outside, it’s very common to see a lot of students exercising outdoors to enjoy Mother Nature in all its glory. When making this transition from cooler to warmer weather, it’s essential to keep several things in mind while exercising to ensure that we’re getting the most out of our physical activity.

Prepare Yourself

It’s important to warm up before an activity, even if the weather is warm outside. This is to ensure that our body is warm both internally and externally. As well, ensure that you drink enough fluids effectively before exercise so that you’re not dehydrated during and after your workout.

Protect Yourself

Slap on that sunscreen! With the rise of skin cancer, it’s important to prevent it through measures that are as simple as applying sunscreen. If you’re going to be out in the sun for a while, try to use sunscreen with an SPF higher than 30. For more information on the benefits of sunscreen, click here. Additionally, you can check out Laura’s blog post on how to stay safe in the sun.

The Ideal Time

Try to exercise in the mornings or evenings. The sun is strongest between 11AM and 3PM, so you should try to stay out of the sun during these times. As well, air quality is best in the mornings!

Of course, if it’s extremely hot outside, or the air quality isn’t the best, there is always still the option of hitting the gym and exercising inside at your local recreation centre, or at the UBC Birdcoop on campus.


Exercising Can Make You a Happier Student

I remember back in Grade 11 and 12  I used to look at websites about university life.  As a first year student, one topic still remains in my mind, the “freshman 15”.  Packing on fifteen pounds in first year?!  I don’t think I’ve gained fifteen pounds yet, but I definitely have not been exercising enough.

According to the BC Health Guide, I should be engaging in three types of exercise: aerobic (ex: running, mowing the lawn), flexibility (ex: stretching, yoga) and strength (ex. lifting weights, climbing stairs) for a total of at least 2.5hrs a week.

My entire first term was: take the bus to campus, drag myself to class, and take the bus home. Back in high school I joined the weight room at my school and each day I would get at least 30 minutes of exercise.  In a short amount of time I was able to feel all the positive effects!  I was able to focus on my work longer, I felt physically stronger and more confident, I slept better. Altogether, I was a happier student!

At UBC, we have tons of options and variety for exercise:

  1. Instructional Activities: Take a class and learn yoga, tai chi, zumba….
  2. UBC REC Tournaments: Fun competitions! (ex. water polo, bowling)
  3. Birdcoop Fitness Centre: If you like the treadmill, the elliptical & weights
  4. UBC Rec Events:  Exciting events that will keep you excited! (ex. Day of the Longboat, Storm the Wall).
  5. UBC Aquatic CentreUniversity Golf ClubPacific Spirit Park trails and many more!

Try fitting in as much exercise as you can (and need) by taking the stairs, washing your windows…these all count as exercise! Visit HealthLink BC for more tips!

I aim to get my exercise by going to the gym at UBC on a regular basis throughout the week.  Stay tuned for my follow up post!

Tips for Exercising

Exercise, Once Upon a Time?

I used to exercise a lot while I was in high school. Running, swimming, and going for walks were something I did, and enjoyed doing. Unfortunately, coming to university changed this. I felt stressed with the workload; school and my social life became my sole focus. In my mind exercise could wait. Exercise became the thing I did once in a while, when I had time to breath. Last summer however, having the time to spare, I reminisced on many things. One thought being that I love exercising and I shouldn’t have stopped just because I was busy. So little by little I accommodated it into my schedule and I am happy to say that to this day I make time to exercise 3 or 4 times a week!

I would like to share the tips that have helped me succeed along the way:

  1. Schedule it – I have realized that whatever I schedule, I do! It especially helps when you do schedule exercise on the same day, at the same time every week.
  2. Believe it – Believe you exercise. Tell yourself it is something you do, and you might just start doing it.  I was taking the wrong attitude before, telling myself constantly “I used to exercise.”
  3. Music it – Make a playlist of upbeat, gangster, or techno songs that will help you keep motivated as you exercise.
  4. Change it up – Run, dance, walk, ice skate, roller blade, play football, play rugby and practice yoga. You don’t have to conventionally exercise in order to stay fit, do what works for you. Do what you enjoy, and if you don’t enjoy exercising, trying doing something you don’t consider being exercise, but that gets you moving!

Remember: Exercise is good for your brain!

Image Credit: Lululemon Athletica

 

Healthy Resolutions

This year, I decided to do something a little different with my new years resolutions. Rather than making a long list of 20 of so grandeur goals and overly zealous promises to myself, I decided to choose three very specific and accessible goals for myself all relating to health and wellness, as opposed to material goals or achievements. This is the list that I came up with:

1. Do some kind of physical activity for 30 minutes a day. — Whether this be going for a walk around my neighborhood, going to a yoga class, dancing at a club, there are so many options! 20 minutes so nothing — I’ll still have 23½  hours in my day to do other things!

2. Eat a local, seasonal fruit or vegetable every day. — Becoming aware and knowledgeable about what produce is in season and where its being produced is vital for building a connection to your food and the food system around you. When you’re at your local produce market, check the label to see where it’s produced and also ask the market clerk what is the best produce of the season.

3. Make a new recipe once a week. — Being a full-time student, I find it difficult to set aside time in my week to do what I really love to do: cook. So I’ve made it a priority to dedicate every Tuesday night to “family dinners” with my roommates where I try out a new recipe I’ve found on a blog or cookbook. It doesn’t have to be fancy; in cooking, often times the simpler the better. By scheduling a time every week to dedicate to something I enjoy doing give me a constant outlet to explore my culinary creativity and also have a sacred space to reflect on my week. I find the process of cooking can be incredible therapeutic and releases built-up stress.

January is also my favorite time to be creative in the kitchen. There aren’t nearly as many winter vegetables as other seasons, so I like to be creative in using what is available and in season. For example, winter vegetables such as butternut squash, pumpkin, yam, cauliflower, and leeks are perfect for making yummy soups and stews. To get your protein in, lamb or lean beef go great in hearty soups. To spice it up, I always add a touch of paprika, curry, ginger or cinnamon. Pair your stew with a rustic and crusty homemade bread and you have a hearty meal that will last a few days.

Keep in mind that drinking water is essential especially during the winter, as the air is drier and leave you often dehydrated. Warm tea and/or hot water are great for increasing your circulation when walking around campus outside. I also take a Vitamin B and D supplements to boost my energy and mood.

For delicious recipe ideas for seasonal cooking this month, check out this awesome blog.

For some healthy food blogs to check out:

Also, if you are not familiar with the UBC Farm, they have a multitude of resources that are amazing and fruitful. Check out their revamped website here and get your hands dirty.

Go Green- Thrive For Your Mental Health

As the weather in Vancouver slowly starts to get more and more summer-like, I’m sure that many of you (like myself) have kicked your outdoor hobbies back into gear. The mental health benefits that stem from physical activity are increasingly becoming common knowledge, but did you know that exercising outdoors could offer even more benefits than plain-old working out at the gym?

I recently came across an article online that described a study conducted on 38 mentally fatigued university students. Some of the students were asked to go on a 50 minute walk through urban settings and others in green space. The results found that those students who had taken a walk in a natural setting had a better cognitive performance than those who had gone for walks in an urban setting.

So where on U.B.C. campus can you find somewhere naturally stimulating for a walk or fresh air?

I recently went on a tour of the U.B.C. Farm for the first time in my academic career. I was impressed by how beautiful it was, and how it suddenly felt as though I had entirely left the city. What impressed me even more was that the tour guide told our group that the Farm was open to the community and students. Students are more than welcome to come and find a spot in the grass to study or have a picnic on a nice day.

So this summer take it (whatever your “it” is) outside!

Straight Talk: Perfect Your Posture

When you were young, chances are you were constantly told to “sit up straight.” Now that you’ve entered university, however, nobody is checking in on your posture. This might seem like a relief, but there was a reason for that persistent nagging.

Posture has a huge impact on both your physical and mental health:

Physically, poor posture contributes to shallow breathing, poor blood flow, and poor digestion. It also puts stress on your joints and can lead to loss of energy and coordination. Not to mention, the worse you posture is, the more back pain you are likely to suffer from.

Mentally, posture is often a reflection of your self-esteem. When you have good posture, it makes you look better and feel more confident. The reverse is also true, so make sure to pay attention to your spine.

Continue reading “Straight Talk: Perfect Your Posture”

Get Moving!

 Now that a new school year is starting, many of you are probably coming up with your fitness plan. From personal experience, I can say that planning to get up at six every day for a run, go to the gym three times a week, and do pilates and yoga ever other day is just setting yourself up for failure. Unless you already exercise a couple hours a day, this plan is just not realistic no matter how great you think it would make you look and feel. So here are some tips to come up with a plan that can last past the first midterm.

  1. Exercise with a friend. When someone else is involved, skipping the gym in favour of the tv is much less likely. Keep each other on track, and also enjoy the time you get to catch up.
  2. Start Slow. If you don’t exercise much, deciding to do yoga three times a week, or go for a half-hour walk every day is a much better bet than planning to work out like a professional athlete. Being realistic with you plan now will increase your chances of success.
  3. Above all, you must enjoy what you are doing. When the sun stops shining and the famous Vancouver rain is pelting your window, it’s going to take something amazing to get you out of bed. Check out Shopping Week by UBC REC; this is a free way to find out what you really enjoy and could commit to.

What is your plan for this year?

Top 5 Ways to Savour Summer

With the end of summer drawing closer and closer, it’s time to make the most of the time and sunshine we have left.

  1. Plan a short trip. When I think of vacations, I think of plane trips, exotic climates, and slightly suspicious new food. But taking a trip to somewhere close by can be just as exciting and much more reasonable for people who can’t take time off work or can’t afford the ridiculous taxes and fees on flights. Why not spend some time up at Harrison Hot Springs, or go camping on an island you have never seen?
  2. Go camping without the tent. Campsites can be a great place to spend the day. There are lakes, hiking trails, and picnic areas that you can take advantage of without having to pitch a tent.
  3. Climb a mountain. Whether you do the Grouse Grind or just wander around on the top, mountains can be loads of fun even without the snow. Grouse Mountain in North Vancouver offers the Theatre in the Sky, a refuge for endangered wildlife, and the hilarious Lumberjack Show.
  4. Try some new wheels. Cars are overrated; try getting around by bike or rollerblades. If you are really adventurous you could even attempt to ride a unicycle.
  5. Consult Google. Type in “Vancouver events,” “Vancouver Bungee Jumping,” or even “Vancouver Knitting Competition.” Find something new to do, and do it.

Come up with your own idea. What have you always wanted to do? Then comment and share it with us!

Best Sport of All: Swimming

Guest Blogger: Devin Chen, UBC Graduate 2010

I love swimming. I swim 3+ times a week, all year long. I enjoy every moment I am in the pool and it also makes me enjoy every moment out of the pool. As I was swimming yesterday in the UBC Aquatic Centre’s blue, cool, and huge outdoor pool, I really felt so lucky that I am able to use and enjoy this awesome venue.

Here are a few reasons why I love swimming…

1. It’s SUMMER! I love summer – the sun, the heat, and the long days!  Swimming and summer, not only do they start with the same letter, they also closely associate with each other! The outdoor pool, the sun, drink by pool side (cool orange juice! yumm….) Continue reading “Best Sport of All: Swimming”