Monthly Archives

August 2016

Hamilton’s Exercise Assets – The Rail Trail

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Hamilton has an abundance of accessible options to be active. One of the most common things I hear people wanting to do when it comes to Physical Activity, is the the stairs. There are various stairs throughout the City of Hamilton. They include, Chedoke, Queen, Wentworth, Kenilworth and a few smaller ones that connect throughout what is know as the Rail Trail.

Although the stairs are a fantastic way to be active, I love the Rail Trail for it’s versatility. I grew up close to it, I remember that at different stages of my life, I used it for different reasons as well as different methods of training.

Rail Trail 1

The Rail Trail has been a project of neighbouring communities for 2 centuries. It was originally an artery of the City. In the early 1800’s it served to meet the demands of the growing City and its transportation needs from the East to West and the North to South end of the city. Over the years, it was owned, operated and maintained by many different Railroad Companies.

In 1993 the region developed what was then known as the CN Line which was abandoned into what is now known as the Rail Trail. It connects Hamilton from Dundas al the way up to Mount Albion which is located on the East Mountain. It stretches over 80KM in what is Ontario’s first interurban hiking trail. Some of the path is gravel, while other areas are paved. The trail offers something for everyone, it is conveniently located close to the Bruce Trail, sometimes even crossing it.

Niagara Escarpment View From Mountain Brow

The rail trail offers a path in which you can take your pets for a brisk walk. Even in the summer it offers enough shade that it keeps the path much cooler than being directly in the sun. Same if your running, its a great trail to put in some mileage for your week. If you’re out running the trail, it offers a gradual incline that becomes increasingly challenging as you run up the escarpment. The beauty of it is that as you run back, the same grade that challenged you at first, allows you to pick up speed. This makes the run back much more enjoyable.

Niagara Escarpment Off Rail Trail

I’ve taken my bike up the path, past all of the connecting stairs, past the Mohawk Sports Complex which is also a great place to visit. There is a beautiful view of the Niagara Escarpment on the Eastside of the path and on the other side of Mountain Brow Road. Have you been ? It’s a must see! The Rail Trail leads all the way to Albion Falls, another local waterfall that has great views. Just a bit further it connects to the Red Hill Valley Trail. It too offers a great hiking experience, it also has some pretty dope Mountain Biking Trails as well. You could go up the Rail Trail and down the Red Hill Valley Trail then through the City on a bike.

Hamilton has so much to offer, go out and explore…

Alix Stosic Member of the Month

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Congratulations to Alix Stosic who is our Member of the Month for July 2016.  Alix was our very first member at our George Street gym when we opened in October 2016.  Her parents and brother have been long time members at our Dundas location, so when we opened across the street from Alix’s work, it was inevitable that she would join.

Initially Alix started off slow since it was the holiday season and work was presenting challenges that limited her attendance at the gym.  At the same time, Alix was getting married in the spring.  Since then Alix has been unstoppable!  She regularly trains with Coach Cole and attends classes at Frid Street and she has been a regular at Cole’s Learn to Move initiative at the David Braley Health Sciences Centre.

We asked Alix a few questions to gain more insight about her Momentum experience and how being a member has impacted her.  Please keep reading as she offers great perspective that may just motivate you to get your own Momentum!

MF

How has Momentum helped you?

AS

While I was active in sports when I was younger, once I entered the working world, I was fairly sedentary and worked primarily at a desk. I had never been a ‘gym person’ so I wasn’t sure about how to use most of the equipment and felt a bit intimidated about the notion of starting from scratch. I started working with Cole twice a week in March. Initially, having an appointment and a scheduled time kept me accountable. With the coaching, I became more comfortable and confident with the equipment and with different exercises. After a few weeks of consistency, it was like a switch flipped; instead of slightly dreading going to the gym, it became something I looked forward to and actually had a tonne of fun doing. Eventually, I started incorporating some kind of activity into my daily routine, between the coaching and on my own. I feel very different both mentally and physically and have more energy than ever.

MF

Do you have any goals that you have accomplished that you would like to share with our community?

AS

One of my goals this summer was to do something different and active each week! Having this goal in mind has been so helpful to consider active options when making plans with friends, family and coworkers. So far, this has been early morning workouts, classes at Frid St, rock climbing, a running app where you run away from zombies, hiking, trampoline aerobics, attempting to train my dog to run with me (he’s an 8 lb chihuahua so that didn’t go so well, unfortunately), yoga and canoeing. I celebrated my birthday recently by running the ‘Insane Inflatable 5K’ with friends. Other goals were to touch my toes (I have never been able to and thought I was physically incapable, so was so excited when I realized I could!) and to be able to “lift big weights and eat big (vegetarian) steaks”

Congratulations Alix and keep up the great work!

4-ways to Get the Most out of The Bruce Trail

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Earlier this summer I had the opportunity to run large portions of the Bruce trail with a group of amazing runners. We set a ‘Furthest Known Distance’ for 48 hours northbound along the Bruce Trail. For my first leg I met a teammate at the top of the Wellington stairs and ran a 13km stretch to Old Dundas road. Along the way I hit sections of the Bruce I had never explored and discovered just how webbed Hamilton is with great technical trail. Here are some of the lessons I was happy to learn after 48 hours on the Bruce.

1. Learn to Blaze

You’ve probably seen them all over town but if you’re not a seasoned hiker it’s easy to ignore the white and blue dashes, known as ‘blazes’, that guide you down the Bruce Trail. No one likes being lost and the trail takes some confusing turns as it crosses highways and travels the escarpment. Good news is the system is simple and once you know what to look for you’ll be able to navigate the trail even if you’re speed hiking in the middle of the night with nothing but a headlamp.

blaze-sign

White blazes mark the main trail while blue blazes mark the many side trails you’re able to explore. A single blaze means continue straight while double blazes indicate an upcoming or turn. Simply follow the direction of the top blaze and you should stay on track. That’s it!

The Bruce runs along some major roadways before ducking under bridges or onto smaller single-track trails you may likely miss. Knowing how to read blazes will come in handy when trying to find your first access to the trail.

2. Don’t Get Lost & Support the Bruce

The Bruce Trail is taken care of by groups of volunteers all across the province. Here are two ways to pitch in and support this great natural resource. Maps are available at Adventure Attic, MEC.ca or directly through brucetrail.org. There is also an impressive app that lets you measure distance, track current location and easily distinguish between main and side trails. We used the app constantly on our FTD attempt and I can’t say enough good things about it.

3. Stay Fuelled

Be sure to bring enough water, snacks and electrolytes for your hike. The Bruce Trail is just that, a trail through the woods but luckily it does intersect with a public water fountain and washroom at the base of the Chedoke Stairs.

Keeping your body fuelled during a long hike is a key to enjoying yourself. Check out this homemade granola bar formula from NoMeatAthlete. Remember during longer, lower intensity endurance exercise our body relies on burning fat for fuel. It is important to eat healthy fats before and during activities as well as carbs to sustain energy. Those looking for a way to replenish lost electrolytes without added sugars or artificial sweeteners can check out products like Nuun or Emergen-C that can be easily added to your water.

4. Get the Gear

To make hiking or trail running a regular part of your life you will need to invest in a good pair of shoes and socks. If running is your goal our friends at The Runner’s Den in Westdale are experts at sizing and fitting you with the right model. Hiking boots are often more of an investment so do some research before you buy. REI (the American MEC) has a full right up on what to look for when selecting and sizing a boot. Momentum members get a discount on footwear at Adventure Attic, who also have great staff to help outfit you.

Whenever you’re sizing shoes for hiking or running be sure to account for swelling & try them on at the end of the day when your foot is largest. Be sure your heel is locked in place without rubbing and that you have enough room around the toes for any technical downhills.

Now all that’s left is to get out there and hit the trails. See you on the Bruce #HamOnt! #GetMomentum

 

Momentum Fitness

Cole Czuchnicki / Momentum Coach
cole@getmomentum.ca / 289.527.3780

Momentum Fitness
10 George Street, Hamilton, ON L8P 4Y4
www.getmomentum.ca

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Family Fitness – Brian’s Bayfront Walk

By | Interesting Articles
As an entrepreneur in the fitness industry it’s never hard to find a way to get active.  It is, however, a challenge to maintain a work life balance with my family.  So scheduling time on the calendar to enjoy quality time is something my wife and I make sure we do and many times this involves doing something active.  After all, the mental health reward that is guaranteed from being outdoors and getting our blood pumping helps us feel brand new after long work days.
We enjoy going to some of our favourite Hamilton walking routes usually to enjoy coffee or a meal at the end of our walk. We circle many of Hamilton’s most popular spots or park close to one and do an out and back route that leads us back to the reward at the end of the walk.
Today we used a great APP called “Map My Walk” which is a free download and syncs with other mapping apps and websites such as Map My Run, Map My Hike and Map My Bike.   You can also search other peoples routes and add your own to the public list for others to enjoy.
The app works to track steps, calories burned and distance.   You can also share your results with friends on Facebook. This total walk is longer than most but we use the walk as a few hours to spend together enjoying trails, water front and parks along the way. If we feel more tired due to the heat we will enjoy a city bay front trolly back to Princess Point. They don’t have a lot of room for bikes and such but in the past they have made accommodations to help us get back to our starting point.
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Fridays are a day we all look forward to because we explore new trails and find new favourite spots in our city and we love to do this together. That is what enjoying movement is all about. Please let me know if you ever need a hand setting up your app or looking for a new and exciting trail to walk about in Hamilton.

 

Momentum Fitness

Brian Humphrey 
brian@getmomentum.ca / 905.929.2348

Momentum Fitness 
110 Frid Street, Hamilton, ON L8P 4M4

10 George Street, Hamilton, ON L8P 4Y4 
www.getmomentum.ca

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Top 5 Reasons to Ride Your Bike in Hamilton

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Bike riding in Hamilton is something most of us learn as a child, it’s a fairly basic skill that we soon forget. Cycling can be a lot of fun, it can also improve our overall health and well being. It can prevent cardiovascular disease, improve mental wellbeing and even change our body composition. British research suggests that 30 minutes a day can reduce body fat percentage by up to 11 pounds in 1 year.

Easy On The Joints

Bike riding is a low impact activity which can be beneficial if we are rehabbing an injury, or need an alternate method of Cardiovascular Training. Running is a great activity to participate in but it can be hard on the body. Cross training through cycling is a great way to stimulate a heart rate response without the added stress on the joints. Your body will thank you for the reduced impact.

Improved Brain Function

Health experts often remark – “if exercise came in pill form it would be the most sought-after drug on the market.”  As we know Exercise improves strength, flexibility, performance and physical fitness. Countless studies have shown that exercise improves cognitive function. And more recently studies have shown that exercise can improve mental health, warding off anxiety and depression by improving self esteem.

Ride For Better Health

As I mentioned above, your health, longevity and wellbeing are the most important reasons to ride a bike. “Moderate exercise makes immune cells more active, so they’re ready to fight off infection.” This is helpful if you’re somebody that is easily susceptible to illness. Riding a bike helps the body become more efficient, regenerating cells much more easily, which helps to reduce cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, obesity and high blood pressure.

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Fun / Exploring Hamilton

Cycling can be a lot of fun, it’s also a great way to explore your city and just about anywhere you ride. There are many trails in and around the Hamilton area that are designed specifically for biking. The City of Hamilton has invested a lot of resources into its infrastructure to improve your biking experience. Hamilton has recently added new lanes on Charlton which connect to Dundurn street, with future plans to connect to another path in 2017 on Bay street south. All of these bike lanes showcase the trails in and around the escarpment and provide an urban escape minutes from the core of the city. You can follow these trails to many different lookouts and waterfalls located throughout the city.

Sustainability

It’s relatively easy, it’s also a very cost effective way of commuting and or getting from point A to point B. It can be a faster way of commuting at times, especially during rush hour. You can save big money on gas, especially with the increasingly climbing rates at the pumps. You also do your part to reduce your global footprint on the planet by cutting back on greenhouse emissions.

You’re Invited!

I enjoy bike riding fairly often, as a matter of fact, I ride just about everywhere I go. On Thursday August 10th 2016(Tomorrow) I want to invite you to partake in a short 30-45 minute bike ride. We will meet at Momentum Fitness Hamilton which is located at 10 George Street between Bay & Caroline and then proceed to Bayfront Park. We will conclude our ride by refuelling and supporting Green Bar Hamilton who is an integral part of the Hamilton Community. You will need a bike but if you don’t have one thats okay. In the event you do not have one, you can rent a SOBI (Create an account here and then rent one at one of the many SOBI Racks throughout the City). You can also download the App to create an account and get more information on the SOBI Program. I love that there are alternatives being provided for us to be active in the City. Renting a SOBI is relatively easy and cheap, it’s fairly common for people to travel via SOBI to work or to work meetings. I see many people using them and it fills my heart with joy. Health, Wellness & Fitness is more than being in a gym – it’s about making a conscious decision to include physical activity into our day to day routine. Pick up a bike today and #CycleHamilton

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Do you have questions or comments related to this blog.  Connect with the author:
Carlos Flores NSCA-CPT
Twitter / Instagram – @CoachLosFlores
Facebook / LinkedIn – CarlosFlores

The Exercise City – Hamilton, ON

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HAMILTON IS THE EXERCISE CITY

Hamilton is the Steel City!  Hamilton is the Ambitious City!  Hamilton is the city of Waterfalls!  What Hamilton does not get enough attention for is all the amazing assets Hamilton beholds for people to exercise, workout and get active.  I dare say that Hamilton has the most diverse exercise assets in the world.  Hamilton is the Exercise City!

Think of all the parks we have: our waterfront, the trails, Sobi bikes, the escarpment, our streets and neighbourhoods.  With so many unique places like these located in close proximity to one another, we need to highlight these assets and provide people with more ideas and information about how utilize them and reap the benefits of exercise.

https://youtu.be/O1QEXipDnD4

That’s going to be Team Momentum’s goal over the course of the next six weeks.  We have at least another 6 weeks of beautiful weather ahead, so let’s take advantage of these amazing assets and get moving outdoors.

We’ve identified our favourite assets based on geographical location and landscape so for the sake of this experience we’ll be focusing on:

  • Conservation Areas, Trails & Waterfalls
  • Parks
  • Streets & Neighbourhoods
  • Stairs
  • Momentum Fitness
  • Tim Horton’s Field

At these places we’ll be hosting workouts as well as sharing content for you to try on your own. Here is a breakdown of some of the opportunities we’ve created for you:

  • Sweat to Eat – Saturday, August 13th at 8AM
  • Power Hour Workouts – Tuesday’s and Thursday’s at 630AM
  • Group Sobi Bike Rides
  • Pokemon GO Run Club
  • and many more…

For more details please be sure to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or go to www.getmomentum.ca/events

TRY THIS WORKOUT!

In the meantime, here is a quick workout that you can do at the Chedoke Escarpment Stairs:

  1. Walk, jog or run around each loop of railing until you get to half way (the large platform landing)
  2. Once on the landing, catch your breathe and then perform each exercise in the video (push ups on the railing, squats, step back lunges, knee drives, leg raises)
  3. Use the railing for balance
  4. Perform 10 reps for each exercise
  5. Walk, jog or run back to the bottom and repeat up to 4 sets

 

https://youtu.be/bKHhb167dMk