Making The Most of #IPLC2017

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This post was originally shared through a blog I wrote for Parc. View the original post at http://parc.ophea.net/article/making-most-iplc2017.

The International Physical Literacy Conference (IPLC) is coming to the Westin Harbour Castle in Toronto, April 12-15, 2017. The IPLC is designed to bring together sport, health, education and recreation experts and practitioners, and policy-makers from across Canada and around the world to advance the knowledge, application and implementation of physical literacy programming across the globe. The conference will engage leaders, practitioners and stakeholders of physical literacy from around the world in a truly collaborative and innovative environment – and just happens to be the first place my book with Human Kinetics, Physical Literacy On The Move, will appear.

PARC and Ophea are very excited to be participating in this year’s IPLC. As a PARC Trainer, and H&PE Consultant with Ophea, I will be leading two workshops at #IPLC2017, so have complied my top five list for getting the most out of your conference experience!

1. Start following the hashtag NOW!

See who else is getting excited about #IPLC2017 and start connecting. Learn what they’re looking forward to and where they’re coming from. People come from around the world to this conference, so let’s get excited for a global physical literacy uprising together. Also, don’t forget to follow @S4L_SPV and @parcontario on Twitter. (And me too! @CatchingHeather)

2. Be prepared!

Many of the workshops at #IPLC2017 are active, so wear your runners and be dressed to move. Also consider bringing a water bottle, healthy snacks, and possibly an extra shirt for a quick change – you never know when a DancePl3y flash mob will break out!

3. Plan your workshops now.

Why wait? Sure, from years of attending and presenting at HPE conferences I know the first evening is usually reserved for sitting around with your team, and a few drinks, and making your conference workshop picks. “Ok, I’ll trade you a Getting Active After-School workshop in time slot B3 (Thursday April 13th) for an Addressing the Gender Gap in Physical Literacy workshop in time slot D3 (Friday April 14th)” Don’t wait! Make those picks now! Check out the workshop descriptions and conference festivities on IPLC website.

4. Leave the pen, bring your smart phone.

Why worry about missing an important fact while copying notes from a Power Point when you can just take a photo of the slide and keep on learning. This also applies to resources, videos of games, dances, or activities – don’t worry about writing the rules or steps, catch it in live action for later reference. Even better yet tweet that out (referencing the presenter of course – or even better, tag them directly in the tweet) and share it with the entire physical literacy community. If it’s inspired you, it’ll be guaranteed to inspire someone else. Don’t forget the hashtag #IPLC2017.

5. Be open to new ideas!

Take risks and move out of you comfort zone when it comes to new experiences, and learning. Try activities that are new and be open to new ideas and ways of thinking and doing. Attending a conference of this calibre is about connecting with people. So, be sure to bring a great level of energy, pack a water bottle, and most importantly have fun!

Sweat It Out: Orangetheory Fitness

At the end of October I was invited to check out Orangetheory Fitness in Oakville. I had seen this company popping up on my social from their Ottawa center and was excited to give their interval based training a try. After checking out the Oakville studio I was hooked and within two days I found myself at their Park Lawn location signing up for a monthly unlimited pass. Here’s what OTF is all about.

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What is OTF?

Essentially, OTF combines intervals of water rowing with strength training and various treadmill running intervals for a killer one hour workout. Classes are designed to push you into the “Orange Zone,”(get it…Orangetheory Fitness) which translates to 84% or higher of your maximum heart rate, for 12 to 20 minutes of the workout.

Throughout the workout you are tracked through your heart rate monitor (via chest strap or wrist band) to TV monitors throughout the center and your metrics including heart rate, calories burned, heart rate zones, and what OTF refer to as “splat points” are displayed.

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The Science.

OTF is backed by the science of Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption (or EPOC), where their heart rate monitored training workouts are designed for you to maintain a target zone that stimulates metabolism and increases energy. When you first enroll you give them your height and weight and this is used to give you specific metrics from anyone else. During the workout you are encouraged to earn 12 or more “splat points” (aka spend 12 or more minutes in their orange or red heart rate training zones) in order to experience what they call “the after burn”. OTF claims that their members “burn an estimated 500 to 1,000 calories in 60 minutes” and with this after burn “keep burning calories for up to 36 hours.” I have now attended 6 classes and my calories have ranged from 510-600, and I’ve seen the monitors of others displaying calories in the 1000 range. Here’s some data emailed post workout from my first visit:

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A Typical Workout.

Now there is no one class, according to an instructor last week they have 364 unique classes (they are closed on Christmas day). The classes follow four themes—endurance, strength, power, or a combination of all three on the same day. So you’ll spend 20-25 minutes doing cardio, 20-25 minutes doing weight lifting or rowing which could include TRX, medicine balls, free weights, body weight exercises – in my six classes I have yet to do the same exercises twice.

The Draw For Me.

After attending this free class I actually purchased an unlimited monthly class pass. What I like about OTF is that it gives me my strength training which I’m often lacking with my busy training and work schedule. It’s competitive but it’s also not. In one class you’ll have ultra-competitive and experienced folks (like a guy last week in his Boston Marathon shirt) and then people who are clearly new to fitness, older, and just needing to move. Also having the heart rate monitor and seeing how hard you’re working, means for me, that I can’t slack off – but don’t think this means other people see you metrics – well the physically do, but no one cares. Typically you don’t know peoples names and people are so concerned with their own workout that I’ve never heard of anyone passing judgement on the results of others. We’re all in this killer workout together. Plus, the workout is always different and changes every day so that makes it fun too.

Top of the line equipment, great music, killer moves, if you’re looking for something different day after day this is definitely a workout you should check out. Studios are popping up all over the GTA and they have various priced packages depending on your goals and workout needs. Check out OTF online to find a center near you.

Wild About It: Gaiam Blue Sundial Foldable Yoga Mat (2mm)

While Mark and I were on our summer work-cation we brought a “travel” yoga mat with us from Vancouver to LA. This mat came in very handy on the beach when we didn’t have towels, but was not easy to store as it needed to be rolled up and wasn’t as compact or convenient as it could’ve been. I ended up folding it which gave it weird creases and it no longer lays flat.

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Photo from Gaiam.com

After we returned from our trip I was introduced to the Gaiam Foldable Yoga Mat. This mat was everything I had been wanting in my other mat. Not only was it thin and light weight (weighs just 1 lb), it folds into a compact square with it’s almost perforated seems, making it easy for travel and yoga on the go.

This rubber mat has a sticky feel that won’t let your hands slip, no matter the temperature. I took it with me to last weeks CH Morning Live segment and while it was perfect to travel with various items from the ground – sand and dirt – got stuck and required a bit of brushing and shaking to remove.

This mat certainly impressed me with it’s size and it’s compact-ability. It was exactly what I’ve been looking for and if you’re someone who travels a lot, you should definitely look into it.

Available where Gaiam products are sold in store and online for $21.99.

For more information check out this video from Gaiam.com