What is your favourite breed of dog? Ours is rescued!
When you’re a kid, a dog can be your best friend. Someone to play with, someone to talk to, someone to love you unconditionally. Rescue dogs are a special breed; they need extra love and care, but will return the favour with love of their own. Whether a child knows it or not, having a rescue dog teaches skills that will last a lifetime: empathy, responsibility, patience. As your kids start a new chapter this school year, teaching them about rescuing animals in need is a perfect way to emphasize these important qualities.
Adopting a dog is no easy feat, but it can make a world of difference in not only your life, but also the life of the animal. According to the Ontario SPCA, the term “puppy mill” describes a breeding operation in which dogs are repeatedly bred for financial gain and are kept in substandard conditions. Puppy mill dogs are often confined to small cages for their entire lives and commonly suffer from various infections and parasites. A puppy mill cannot meet the needs of a dog and is a form of cruelty.
Rescue dogs can be fearful or timid; rightfully so! These pups have often been abused, mistreated, or abandoned. They need love and patience in order to reach their potential – just like kids.
So, what steps should you go through to adopt a dog?
First of all, these are the things you should look for in an adoption organization:
– Animal welfare/happiness comes first
– Application required
– All pets spayed/neutered
– Full disclosure of the dog’s history
– Offer ongoing support to adopters
– Not for profit/charity
Once you’ve found the perfect place, here are some of the important steps to follow when choosing your new canine family member:
How to Help Pet Homelessness
Adopt Even if you want a purebred, research breed-specific rescue groups. You can also foster a rescue dog to provide a temporary good home (that could even turn into permanent, should you fall in love!)
Get Your Pet Fixed There are low cost options to spay or neuter your pet; preventing unplanned litters is important!
Spread the Word Get involved at your local shelter! Volunteer, donate, and tell your friends what you’ve learned about animal welfare.
Donate Whether they offer spay/neuter programs, take in homeless dogs or provide other forms of animal support, donate your time or spare supplies to animal welfare organizations; every little bit helps!
As your kids head back to school this fall, encourage them to think about the ways they can make a difference in their community.
Heading back to school gives young adults an opportunity to find a cause that is near and dear to them. What could be a better cause than the environment? More importantly, the food we consume and the sustainability of human life. Here at Sporting Life, our attention has recently been turned to the plight of the bees.
Did you know…
It requires 556 worker bees to gather a pound of honey.
Bees fly more than once around the world to gather a pound of honey.
A single beehive can make more than 100 pounds of extra honey. The beekeeper only harvests the extra honey made by the bees.
They’re smart: Scientists have discovered that bees take the shortest possible route between flowers. Instead of flying randomly from flower to flower, bees get it all done as efficiently as possible.
1/3 of the food crops humans eat everyday require bees and other pollinators to successfully produce a crop.
The rusty-patched bumble bee, once abundant in southern Ontario and now almost extinct and officially designated as endangered.
Six more bees have declined to such an extent that scientists have advised the federal Minister of Environment to take steps to protect them.
Colony failures can be caused by a number of factors including: starvation, weak honey bee queens, pesticides, diseases and pests.
Bees seem pretty important, huh? Without them, we wouldn’t have 1/3 of the food that we eat every day. For the sake of not only human nourishment but the survival of our environment and local ecosystems, we need to take steps to save the bees!
5 Ways to Save the Bees
Educate Yourself Perhaps the easiest thing you can do to help the bees is to educate yourself. Everyone knows that knowledge is power – learn about the struggling honey bee population, educate those around you, and get involved! For starters – watch this video for a new perspective on bees and how diverse they are:
Buy Local Honey By purchasing local honey, you are supporting beekeepers and bees in your area. As we have learned, this directly helps the environmental health of your neighbourhood! Unlike pasteurized honey, raw honey comes straight from the hive and is unheated, unpasteurized and undiluted, which means it retains all the antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and delicious flavor. Eating local raw honey is an easy way to stay healthy and support your community.
Install a Hive Did you know that you can have your very own bee hive at your home or business? Companies like Alvéole make urban beekeeping possible. We have two hives on the roof of our Yonge Street location! By installing a hive, you are not only inviting bees to pollinate your neighbourhood, but you are able to harvest your very own honey. The extraction is done artisanaly at Alvéole’s honey house, and you are welcome to do whatever you please with your honey – keeping the locally sourced cycle alive!
Go Organic Pesticides are no good for humans and bees alike. Pesticides used on plants linger in the nectar and weaken bees’ immune systems. Organic is the way to go! Keep an eye out for labels that indicate that the food was grown without pesticides, or buy your produce from a local farmer’s market. This will ensure that your food is bee-friendly, and you are supporting your community in the process.
Plant For Pollinators Bees rely on pollen and nectar to survive – if there is a lack of supply nearby, the bees can starve. An easy way to help your local bee population is to plant a pollinator-friendly garden in your yard. You can find a list of plants for pollinators here, but even simple herbs such as sage or rosemary are loved by bees!
As you head back to school this fall, think about the ways you can make a difference in your community.
The Fjallraven Kanken backpack was created in 1978 to spare the backs of school children. Back problems had begun to appear in younger age groups where shoulder bags were popular. The backpack soon became a common sight at pre-schools and nature schools around Sweden! While originally created for kids, this backpack is a staple for all ages that are into the minimalist, Scandinavian style.
Why do we love it?
– Durable Vinylon F material repels moisture better than any other synthetic fabric. Fibers in this material swell in humid weather for superior water-resistance….no wet books while waiting for the bus!
– Two zippered compartments with two side pockets. This simplicity keeps you from losing things in the abyss that is your school bag.
– Simple shoulder straps make this bag easily customized and wearable for long periods of time.
– The logo doubles as a reflector to keep you safe on walks to school at dawn or dusk.
These features are all kinds of appealing, and can be found in each of the different variations of the classic backpack:
The classic! Made of durable fabric, the classic will outlast even the toughest of school days. Two side pockets and a zippered pocket in the front make for easy day-to-day storage.
The cutest little backpack you ever did see! The Mini is just that – a mini version of the classic. It is perfect for young kids headed back to school, or as a smaller daypack for adults! Doubles as a fashletic purse, which we aren’t mad about.
While you may be able to fit a laptop in the classic, this Kanken features padded shoulder straps and a specially designed area made to house a laptop computer neatly and securely.
Kanken No. 2
Redesigned and better than ever! The Kanken No. 2 is made from a sturdier fabric and has leather straps, making it a new and slightly improved version of the original. This bag also comes in laptop form!
We are all about being eco-friendly, especially with the start of a fresh new year. The Re-Kanken (and the mini!) are sustainable versions of the classic style, as each bag is made entirely from eleven plastic bottles! Dyed with SpinDye® technology that radically reduces the amount of water, energy and chemicals used, this bag is mindful of our environment. Check it out:
Is there any better fresh start than heading to university or college for the first time? Leaving home and starting a new adventure opens the door for you to be whoever you want to be and shape the world that you want to live in.
The idea of shaping your world is important. As a young adult, you have a clean slate to create the life you want to live. This is the time to consider: what is important to me? Where do I stand on issues that affect the world I live in?
Did you know…
As of 2012, 31 million primary-school pupils worldwide dropped out of school
1 in every 13 people is a refugee
Over a billion people live with some form of disability
The LGBTQ community was the predominant victim group for assaults in Toronto in 2016
Canadian women earn 87 cents for every dollar made by men
It is up to you – smart, innovative young adults – to fight for the causes that affect the well-being of other people just like you all over the world.
We are all a part of one world. No matter what cause weighs on your heart, it is our responsibility to come together to fight for equality, diversity and inclusion.
How can you help?
Practice Inclusion. Bringing the world together can be as simple as changing your own mindset. We encourage you to practice inclusion and love with those in your own life and community.
Educate Yourself. Do whatever you can to learn about others. Attend conferences like the one featured above; read online journals or blogs; talk to people who may be experiencing a different lifestyle than you.
Join the Fight. On campus, you will find countless places to lend a hand and encourage change. Find the club, organization or group that speaks to you and join! Meet like minded individuals and learn what you can do to help others.
As you head back to school this fall, think about the ways you can make a difference.
Arc’teryx has been a staple brand for both outdoor enthusiasts and the Sporting Life community for years. Defined by “Design, Craftsmanship, Performance”, Arc’teryx continues to innovate and create smart, technical pieces that will help you perform your best in the great outdoors.
Arc’teryx is built on the principle of obsessive, precise design and production. A Canadian brand (we love to support fellow Canucks) based out of North Vancouver, Arc’teryx is designed just minutes away from skiing, climbing, and harsh mountain environments. What better setting to inspire the best innovations in technical clothing? Arc’teryx is known for their high quality Gore-Tex hardshells and ergonomic fit, among many other praise-worthy design features.
Since its inception in 1989, Arc’teryx has stayed true to its statement of purpose:
At Arc’teryx, the goal is to create equipment that enables a person to be immersed in the moment of doing, regardless of external conditions. Simple solutions to complex challenges; this is the essence of minimalism and our philosophy of design. Reducing the effects of weather, streamlining use, and moving efficiently creates a timeless, outdoor experience.
Simple solutions to complex challenges. This is so important to those of us who love the outdoors – Mother Nature is complex enough. Your clothes don’t need to be.
Wild spaces challenge, invite, heal and provoke. They are spectacular, intimidating, soothing , ordinary and vulnerable. They evoke our humanity, the feeling that we are where we belong, and we belong to where we are. From city to ice climbing, to the deepest powder snow, the wild spaces of winter.
Fall/Winter 2017 carries on the brand’s tradition of superior craftsmanship. #CelebrateWild in the new styles and revisions – click below to explore some of the beautiful new pieces available at Sporting Life!
Your body does a lot for you, especially if you put it through tough cross training workouts. Yoga is the perfect active recovery workout for your non-training days to let your body grow and lengthen, while also benefiting from the meditative side. Like anything, results improve when there is a balance and breaking out of a routine. Yoga will help balance out your strength training workouts and use muscles that may be getting missed. If you can’t make it to a yoga class, incorporate yoga poses into your post-workout stretch routine. Adding yoga consistently to your fitness routine has many benefits for cross training.
1. Increases flexibility and range of motion Start with a beginner’s class or restorative poses to get your muscles used to the different movements. Just like any sort of training, your body will evolve into the movements the more you practice. Stretching out your muscles and joints will increase your flexibility and improve your range of motion for your other workouts. This will help you push past plateaus and goals in your other workouts because your body will be able to do more, and reach farther.
2. Improves stamina, balance, and stability Continually moving and breathing will help train your muscles to work longer and hold the poses. It’s a different kind of muscle training and will help with your stamina in your other workouts. Not only will holding poses help your stamina, but it will challenge your balance and stability as well. In yoga, your core is the key to staying up right and moving into more challenging poses. Without having to do endless sit ups, the whole yoga workout relies on your core to keep you balanced. Strengthening it will improve your balance and stability which you will see as improvements in your other workouts.
3. Prevents injury Yoga helps improve muscle imbalances, relieve muscle tightness and the increased flexibility will help prevent injuries. Yoga helps strengthen all muscles including the little ones that don’t get used as often in regular day activities and other workouts. These muscles often surround the bigger muscles and other joints; strengthening them will help protect your bigger muscles that get used during your other cross training workouts and help prevent you from getting injured.
4. Improves posture and breathing Whether you’re a runner, cyclist or body builder, similar and routine movements can affect your posture. Stretching out your body during yoga can counter-act those movements and encourage your body to have proper posture during cross training workouts and your every day life. For example, if you’re an avid cyclist all those hours spent hunched over on the bike can be paired with chest opening poses and hip openers.
Similarly, the breathing practiced in yoga can be transitioned into your cross training workouts to improve your movements. Breathing can be overlooked and not thought about while you’re running or lifting, but it’s just as important to practice breathing as it is to open your body through yoga.
5. Boosts other workouts All the benefits of practicing yoga will boost your other workouts. Increased flexibility, balance and range of motion will allow you to lift more, run faster and workout longer. Incorporating yoga into your fitness routine will balance out your body, muscles and movements which benefits not only your workouts but your every day life as well. As long as you don’t push your body past it’s limits, even while stretching, you will see the benefits of yoga for your cross training in no time.
Andrew Obrecht is one of the Founders and Motivators of popular spin studio YYC Cycle. The studio was founded by three ambitious, born-and-raised Calgarians who saw an opportunity to offer an innovative, dynamic form of group exercise that breaks the mold of traditional indoor cycling. Along with their team of Motivators, YYC Cycle provides the community with an incredible fitness and lifestyle experience that extends beyond the studio doors. There’s a reason Andrew has been described as a Fire Starter, Passion Seeker and Connector: Much the way he does in spin class, Andrew will inspire and motivate you in all areas of your life.
With the arrival of summer it is important to shield yourself and your loved ones from the sun’s harmful UV rays. 90% of skin cancers and premature aging are a result of UV exposure. To avoid the consequences of the sun it is important to invest in good sunscreen with SPF and clothing with UPF protection. The Skin Cancer Foundation considers clothing to be the most safe and effective defense in the fight against skin cancer and aging. When you wear clothing with UPF you are protected where there is fabric, so there is no need to worry about re-applying sunscreen every two hours. UPF does not wash out of clothing so you are free to swim and wash UPF garments as you wish.
Unlike sunscreen with SPF that only protects against UVB rays, UPF clothing is effective in protecting both UVA and UVB rays.
UVA (Ultra Violet A) penetrates and damages the skin’s thickest and deepest layer, the dermis, breaking down collagen along the way. UVA penetrates clouds and untreated window glass. It is harmful from sun up to sun down.
UVB (Ultra Violet B) causes your skin to burn, your body’s mostly unsuccessful attempt at blocking UV light from going deeper. UVB penetrates clouds and is harmful from about 10:00am to 4:00pm.
At Sporting Life, we carry a variety of clothing with UPF technology from a variety of brands. UPF fabric is incredibly lightweight and durable even in salt or chlorine water. UPF clothing offers style and functionality for activities like swimming, sports, hiking and more!
Don’t Forget About Sunscreen!
Shop a variety of options for everyone in the family. From water-resistant formulas to sensitive options for kids and infants, we have everyone covered to ensure a fun and safe day out in the sun.
Not sure how you’re spending your holiday weekend this year? We’ve rounded up the best ways to celebrate Canada Day in each of our home cities – Calgary, Toronto and Ottawa. Where will you be when Canada turns 150?
Fort Calgary will host a celebration that is bigger and better than ever! Take part in a free pancake breakfast, live music and entertainment, children’s crafts and petting zoo, food trucks, and a chance to dress-up like a Mountie!
Visit the new Canada 150 sign in Prince’s Island Park! Appreciate it as a symbol of how we’ve come together as a nation, and snap a photo to remember this milestone for our country. While you’re at the park, stick around for an Aboriginal Showcase and Powwow, and learn more about Canada’s military history.
The site of our finish line party for the Sporting Life 10k, Olympic Plaza is the perfect place to spend your Canada Day! There will be entertainment galore of all sorts – song, dance, art, and more. Afterwards, take a short walk over to Riverside Avenue, where you can watch fireworks against the incredible backdrop of the Rockies.
It may be tough to get tickets if you haven’t already, but the Blue Jays are playing a home game on Canada Day…what could be more patriotic than cheering on our country’s lone MLB team? If you can’t get a seat at the Rogers Centre, you can always set up at a local patio or at home to watch the game. Come together with family & friends and support Canada’s team!
Toronto Ribfest happens to fall on Canada Day weekend…can you say perfect? Spend the day outside, grab some delicious food & drinks and enjoy the entertainment available at Etobicoke Centennial Park.
Fireworks are a given for the big 1-5-0. Whether you set up on your street (safely!) or visit a local park, there are countless locations to get cozy under a blanket and watch a fireworks show. May we suggest visiting Nathan Phillips Square? Fireworks kick off at 10:55pm on Friday, Saturday, Sunday AND Monday night, and you can get an Instagram opp with the infamous 3D Toronto sign!
Last but not least, the Nation’s Capital! Ottawa is the hub of all things Canada 150. Stop by one of three designated celebration zones in the city and take part in some of the exciting activities!
Parliament Hill – Experience the “Inspection of the Guard”, a 21-gun salute, an Air Show with the Snowbirds and CF-18 and more! You might even catch a glimpse of the Prime Minister or some of the incredible Canadian talent performing at the evening show.
Major’s Hill Park – Enjoy a huge variety of family-friendly programming including buskers, trivia games, face painting, fun photo opportunities, swing dancing performances, rides for kids on the VIA Rail miniature train, the 25th annual Great Canadian Chicken BBQ, and much more!
Canadian Museum of History – Take part in indoor and outdoor programming including inflatable games, wall climbing, live wild animals, puppet theatre, a Syrian house, plus the official opening of the museums’ new Canadian History Hall! Live entertainment will also be present.
Bring on barbeques, patio get togethers, after work drinks and weekend adventures because summer is here! Get ready for July and August’s heat wave with our top 10 summer essentials to get you through a relaxing weekend at the cottage, spontaneous trips to the beach or exciting pool days.
The Swimsuit Summer means swimming and you will definitely need a cute suit to make a splash in the pool, lake or ocean! We have swimwear in tons of prints and colours for everyone in the family. Our wide range of styles will guarantee that you can find a suit for your needs and body type.
The Casual Sandal Run out the door to your favourite summer outing in a pair of convenient sandals. Sandals are great for any summer occasion and they will keep your feet feeling comfortable and cool all summer long.
Cool Shades Nobody wants to be squinting in the sunlight! Sunglasses are a very important summer accessory that protects your eyes and give a fashionable, cool look. The right pair of shades can really flatter a person’s face shape. Try universally flattering aviators for effortless appeal.
The Wear Everywhere Jacket Just because its hot outside doesn’t mean you won’t need a jacket in the summertime. A lightweight jacket is the perfect cover up for cool evenings and breezy summer days.
The Stylish Hat Warm weather calls for a hat! Protect your face from the sun and look good in the process with a hat to match all your summer outfits. Fit for all summer adventures, a hat can accompany you to the beach, on a hike, to a music festival or on your holiday.
The Graphic Tee Graphic T-shirts are sure to make a statement and the easy silhouette won’t put pressure on your style! You can never have too many, so stock up on styles with graphics that reflect your personality.
Denim Shorts The laid-back feel of denim shorts screams summer! Look effortlessly cute and casual for a fun afternoon bike-ride or a walk to the ice cream parlour.
An Insulated Water Bottle Quench your thirst on the go with H2O in an insulated bottle. The summer heat guarantees cravings for ice cold water so try an insulated bottle that will keep iced drinks cold for up to 24 hours.
The Carry Everything Bag You will need a roomy bag for all your needs this summer as you embark on trips, adventures and family fun. From the beach to the cottage, a practical bag will take you anywhere in style.
SPF Shield your skin from the sun with a reliable sunscreen that will block harmful UV rays that cause cancer and aging. With water-resistant and kid friendly options available, there is no excuse to get sun burnt this season!