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Winter Cycling? It’s no problem. M
any people convert their how to ride in the city we tell commute to cycling every them ‘Drive like a car and if you summer but come winter, they need to stay safe, take the lane.” park their bike until the next Unless you are comfortable in turn of season. Winter riding the higher traffic areas, stick to is just too dangerous, not to a bike or multi-use path. More mention cold, right? Absolutely of them are being cleared each not! Or so say a growing number year. The issue is not the cyclist of winter cyclists. Significant losing control or sliding under snowfalls may not arrive until a vehicle – extremely unlikely well into December or longer, – but motorists not as used to and with the exception of a seeing cyclists on the road as few days here and there, you they are in summer. Visibility may find your ride not much is key so ﬂuorescent vests different than in the summer. and lights become even more Currie Gillespie, an active important. Just as you wouldn’t member of just about every want to blend into the dark, cycling related association make sure you wear colours that in Winnipeg including the also stand out in bright daylight. Manitoba Cycling Association The second but no less has a few suggestions on how to important factor is staying warm. weather winter cycling. As any winter rider will tell you, dress right and you’ll arrive at Stay visible and warm your destination sweating even “The Highway Traffic Act in a moderate wind-chill! That stipulates that cyclists not swing moisture is what you want to in and out between parked cars. avoid at all costs though. Find a line to follow and stick invest in a skin-tight base layer to it. The act also says that you made of nylon or lycra that must ride as far to the right as wicks sweat away from your practicable,” says Gillespie. body, then layer with ﬂeece “This is a grey area term leaving or wool and a wind and water lots of room to argue safety. resistant outer shell. When we try to teach someone
wear a hat under your helmet gloves must be wind-resistant with another ﬂeece or wool layer for warmth, same as clothing. Most bike shops carry a variety of the better gloves and claw-style mittens called lobsters that allow better grip and responsiveness to breaks and gears. bulky boots are OK provided pedals are larger and provide for good grip. Many winter riders will change their pedal for the season. goggles are good to have for added protection but as anyone who wears glasses will tell you, fogging can be a problem. “I love my goggles because they have a tiny battery-powered fan that last forever,” says Gillespie.
Thick nubby tires He declined making recommendations of one type of bike over another, but suggests cyclists new to the winter ride go with thick, nubby tires. The studs definitely have to go on the front because that’s where you’ll need the control, plus the front brake is what gives you 70% of your stopping power.
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As for bike maintenance, Gillespie says “a brilliant bike mechanic told me that once your bike is cold, keep it that way. Don’t ride it then take it into a nice warm garage where snow and ice will melt, giving moisture giving a chance for rust to attack the chain or other steel parts like the rear hub.” ■
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Quiet your Monkey Get Back in Motion Clearing snow is inevitable but there is plenty you can do to keep the muscle aches of moderate exercise from turning into serious strain and pain. Shoveling on a regular basis is best but not always possible so using both the right tools and techniques are important. Having a plan that includes where to put it all will save you having to pile it higher than you should or climbing over hills to make more room. Take time to STRETCH before heading outside. Use a shovel or scoop that allows you to PUSH the snow rather than lift it as much as possible. If you do need to lift snow out of the way, keep loads reasonably light and NEVER TWIST & Throw. Rest as often as you need. If despite all caution you still find yourself suffering more than mild muscle strain do not seek the comfort of a heat pad. The cruel irony is that inflammation responds better with ICE to start! For more detailed information about this topic see the full article posted by Dr. Gerald Tole, D.C. on www.winnipegwellnews.ca SPONSORED BY
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n these busy times when worry feels constant and relaxation increasingly elusive, maybe the problem isn’t a monkey on our back, but in our head. “Our minds are constantly assaulted by stimulation during every waking moment and even restful times,” says Bahram Moterassed, MMFT, a Winnipeg psychotherapist who has practiced meditation for over 16 years. “It’s a like a monkey mind; constantly jumping from one thing to the next, agitated, without focus and never at rest.”
Meditation has been widely practiced around the world since ancient times and rather than being considered something best left to those willing to dedicate years seeking enlightenment in utter tranquility, the exact opposite is true in our modern, harried life. Never has the need been so great for us to learn how to quiet the constant chatter within. We’ve all heard about the importance of stress reduction and the perils of not doing so – higher blood pressure, outbursts of anger that can impact our jobs and personal lives, but if you balk at the thought of adding ever more pressure on yourself to learn greater control and selfdiscipline you’ve got the wrong idea. Moterassed explains, “When someone asks me, ‘what will I gain by meditating’, I say, ‘Nothing. Actually you are coming to learn how to lose.’ It’s as though the sun is shining, but you have a heavy curtain in your window. Meditation is not about creating the sun but learning to push the curtain aside to let the light pour in. You are letting go of yourself, your emotions. It’s about awakening. Only then can you really see what is around you.” Although it can be, don’t assume meditation need be connected to a religious practice or even a spiritual one. “My approach to meditation is watchfulness,
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Mind witnessing and awareness,” he says. Meditation is not sitting like a monk, closing the door and looking to find complete silence. It can be as simple as being in the moment; experiencing whatever you are doing whether it is eating, brushing your teeth, doing the dishes, or taking a shower.” Of course, slowing the whirl of thoughts is not so simple. “200 years ago meditation was easier to achieve because there wasn’t the non-stop stimulation we have now, so we turn to active meditation techniques: power shaking helps release physical energy, emptying the mind through gibberish or alternately focusing on one and only one thing such as a candle, a repetitive gesture or chant are just a few,” says Moterassed.
Although meditation is a very individual pursuit, it doesn’t have to be practised in solitude...
For the beginner, a guide or teacher can be extremely helpful in suggesting various techniques, identifying areas where we seem to be having difficulty, offering encouragement and even pointing out progress we’ve made when it isn’t as readily apparent to ourselves. Although meditation is a very individual pursuit, it doesn’t have to be practiced in solitude and many prefer a group setting.
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Rona Lynne Fitzpatrick has offered “Gong Bath Meditation” in small groups of no more than six or so for the last three years. It is an active meditation using singing or Tibetan bowls where the sound is used to assist in clearing the mind. As the name implies, the waves of sound wash over you and immerse you in the experience that is at times is anything but a ‘quiet’ meditation. There is a marked difference in using a recording as opposed to feeling the vibrations.
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This is an abridged version of a longer article that is posted on www. winnipegwellnews.ca. I have listed just a few other resources under the News and Events section on the back page, but encourage readers to add comments online about how and where they practice meditation, either free of charge in a community setting or through paid sessions.
Fitzpatrick reinforces the idea of meditation being about learning to let go of control. “That can be downright disturbing to some people.” she says. “There is a change in our brain activity and when we become aware of a change it is common for defense mechanisms to kick into gear – fidgeting, resisting and even a feeling of heightened anxiety for some initially. There are plenty of books on the subject helpful in understanding the concepts and providing examples but handing over the task of leading the way may help much in the final relaxation needed, at least to start. ■
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News & Events Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) courses offered through the CMHA, Winnipeg Region office: www. cmhawpg.mb.ca/mbsr.htm MBSR is an approach to self-care that can assist in managing stress, pain and illness. Cost (8 week course) $75.00 for non CMHA Winnipeg Members/ $50.00 for Members of CMHA Winnipeg. Subsidy possible. The Centre Renaissance Centre located at 844 Autumnwood Drive 256-6750 offers a “Twin Hearts” meditation session every 2nd Tuesday at 2:00 pm and/ or every 4th Wednesday at 7:00pm. $5 suggested love donation. www.centrerenaissance.ca Sri Chinmoy Centre of Winnipeg. For information about free classes, call 944-1041 or visit .ca.srichinmoycentre. org/centres/winnipeg The Art of Living - Winnipeg Art of Meditation Course Location: Manitoba Hindu Seniors 834 Ellice Avenue, Manitoba, Winnipeg Nov. 11 - 13, 2011 Weekday : 6:00:PM-8:30:PM Weekend timings : 2:00:PM-4:00:PM Cost : $100.00 Phone : 204-275-8674 or Email : winnipeg@artoﬂiving.ca or visit www.artoﬂiving.ca
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CONTACT US! You can reach the Publisher — Mireille Theriault — at firstname.lastname@example.org, by calling 887-2999, or leaving your comments and questions on our discussion board at www.winnipegpwellnews.ca The information in this publication is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advice. We encourage our readers to always conduct their own research into any treatments or programs and to consult with a medical professional prior to the start of same. Winnipeg WellNews is published monthly with 2,000 print copies per zone distributed through waiting rooms at most walk-in medical centers, dentists, chiropractors, alternative health practitioners, natural food and nutritional supplement stores as well as fitness and exercise facilities...wherever health and wellness matters.