• Epic Patagonia Trek — $2,999 (11 Days) From Santiago, fly to Chilean Patagonia, and make your way to your final destination: Torres del Paine National Park. Spend glorious days trekking from one refugio to the next.
  • Discover Oman — $2,106 (8 Days) Discover the awesome Islamic forts, age-old mud-brick houses, and silver- and spice-filled souqs that makes this Middle Eastern jewel such a feast for the senses.

Active Outdoors

Tips for staying cool when exercising outdoors

By the time summer finally arrives, most of us can't seem to spend enough time outside — doing everything from dining on patios to jogging in the fresh air. But if you're active in the heat, you're at risk for a number of heat illnesses like muscle cramps, heat exhaustion and even heat stroke.

Weather conditions play a big role in how your body regulates its temperature. For example, if it's windy, sweat evaporates faster, which helps to cool you. However, high humidity slows down this process, contributing to increased body temperature.

This doesn't mean you can't enjoy some workouts al fresco; just learn how to stay safe while you reap the benefits of physical activity in the warm weather. Here are some tips from Health Canada.

1. Know your risks. Your body is not used to extreme heat at the beginning of the summer or if you don't exercise regularly during hot weather. Your risk increases if you have certain conditions, like breathing difficulties, heart problems or a mental illness such as depression. Watch for symptoms of heat illness including dizziness, nausea, headache, unusually rapid breathing and heartbeat, and extreme thirst.

2. Be prepared. Check the weather and the Air Quality Health Index before you start to exercise so you can modify your physical activity as needed. If you will be in an area where mosquitoes are active, protect yourself with insect repellent.

3. Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of cool liquids, especially water, before you feel thirsty since by that time you're already dehydrated. Take extra water breaks — move into the shade, drink water and remove gear such as a helmet or equipment to let your body cool off.

4. Dress for the occasion. Wear loose-fitting, light-coloured clothing made of breathable fabric. Shade yourself by wearing a wide-brimmed, breathable hat. If you can't avoid the sun, use a sunscreen that is SPF 15 or higher. Remember, sunscreen will protect against the sun's UV rays but not from the heat. Sunburned skin is also less effective at sweating, putting you at greater risk for heat illness.

5. Be realistic. Don't expect your usual performance during extreme heat. Allow your body to recover after heat exposure. Spend a few hours in a cooler tree-shaded area or somewhere that's air conditioned like a shopping mall, grocery store or public building, such as the public library or community centre.



Top 5 après ski entertaining tips

Nothing says a well-spent great Canadian winter day better than skiing, friends, and getting together by the fire afterwards. Enjoy coming in from the cold after a long day hitting the slopes with these five après ski tips

1. Cultivate the cozy . Count on guests wanting to change into something softer, looser, and comfy after a day in ski gear. Offer cozy slippers, fleece robes or onesies, and plenty of fuzzy blankets for those who want some extra warmth.

2. Serve special winter drinks . Treat guests to local Canadian beer made for the cooler months, like Granville Island Brewing's Lions Winter Ale. With complex layers of vanilla, cocoa, and caramel, this brew is nicely balanced so the sweeter flavours don't overwhelm. Perfect with cream-based soups and other winter comfort foods, or add a scoop of vanilla ice cream for a hip beer float.

3. Fireplace fragrance . Kick up your fireplace or bonfire game a notch with pinecone fire starters. You can find complete instructions online, but this easy craft essentially involves dipping pinecones in scented candle wax that release a delightful aroma when you toss them in the fire.

4. Tasty treats . Choose laid back comfort foods that everyone knows and loves, like chocolate or cheese fondue, buttermilk biscuits, bread pudding, hearty soups, and creamy pastas. Find easy make-ahead recipes or make your place the home base and encourage a potluck family-style meal where everyone drops something off before heading out.

5. Don't forget the décor . Deck your halls with decorations that fit the theme. String lights everywhere for a winter wonderland feel and add rustic touches like tea lights in mason jars. Or go the DIY route by painting a pair of old wooden skis in funky colours and patterns and hang them on your wall.




How to train for hiking the trails

Shed your hibernation habits and head outdoors this season. Follow these essential training tips to get you prepared for mastering new and favourite trails:

1. Build a solid aerobic base. Cycling, swimming, running and group fitness classes will help develop your aerobic stamina, allowing you to keep your momentum on the trail. Begin with two to three days of aerobic training per week and consider adding more days as you improve.

2. Don't skip leg day. It may seem obvious, but building strength and flexibility in your legs is essential to your success. Since hiking is all about different elevations, try downhill and uphill lunges on a gradual slope. This will get your quadriceps ready for any incline or downward slope you may encounter.

3. Carry a weighted backpack when you work out. This will simulate what it will actually feel like on your hike with your lunch and a water bottle on your back. By doing this, you will find out where you could use strengthening improvement and can target those areas more frequently during training.

4. Drink lots of water. Gulping down plenty of liquids in the days leading up to your hike will ensure that your body is hydrated enough for anything you encounter.

5. Choose the right shoes . Ensure you are wearing proper footwear when you hike so you can focus on the trail ahead instead of your aching feet. Consider the outer material, types of insoles and the outer sole of the shoe to make sure it's the perfect fit for your activity. The WindRiver Adriane Low-Cut Approach Hiking Shoes from Mark's will work for all of your outdoor pursuits. Some shoes are waterproof and can be better suited for rocky, uneven terrain, while others are ideal for softer, looser ground.



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