According to Statistics Canada, while Canadian home internet users 16 and older who search for health information remained steady around 60 per cent between 2005 to 2007 – next to essential search such as weather and online banking – the percentage of those who contribute to blogs (a.k.a. weblogs or online journals and diaries), photos, and discussion groups jumped from 12 to 20 per cent.
The following five inspirational blogs deliver a demonstrated authority and passion for a healthy, active lifestyle.
1. BC Runner
Vancouver-based freelance writer and running advocate Usha Krishnan dishes up tips on everything from jogging, sprinting, and breathing techniques to running in the rain.
Why we like it: User-friendly design with useful diagrams and inspiring photos.
Sample: "One of the most important aspects of any jog or run is to fine tune a correct breathing pattern. Inhaling and exhaling at a steady pace allows oxygen to flow to your tired muscles, making it easier to take the next step."
2. Bicycling Blogger
Cycling enthusiast Kevin Rokosh drives home tips on all things cycle including nutrition, racing, recovery, training, equipment — even "bikertainment".
Why we like it: For those looking to take their cycling up a notch, you will find this site takes a not-so-serious yet informative approach to cover all the bases.
Sample: "You must find fun inside the process of training because you won't always exactly hit the goals you've set for yourself. If you've put all your expectations into reaching those goals and you don't hit them you've set yourself up for huge disappointments, and life is just too short for that. Find the fun in just riding your bike."
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3. Gluten-Free Guidebook
Travel journalist Hilary Davidson serves up reviews of restaurants, shops, hotels and products targeted at travelers with celiac disease (in which gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye and barley, damages the small intestine), and gluten intolerance.
Why we like it: Avid travelers seeking a gluten-free experience will love this well-written account of Canadian and international destinations – you'll be surprised by the number of establishments that are gluten-free.
Sample (about New Brunswick's The Blue Door restaurant): "Every appetizer and entrée that is gluten-free is highlighted with a crossed-out wheat sheaf (similar to the symbol that so many celiac societies in Europe use). Vegetarian offerings are also clearly highlighted. There is plenty of choice: the gluten-free appetizers include a house-smoked duck breast with arugula laced with a ginger-pomegranate-watermelon dressing (yum), and Prince Edward Island mussels dressed with sake and mango (which I almost ordered)."
Founded in 2004 by Les and Helen Faber of Ottawa, Cyclemania features the pair's exploration of scenic routes and provides a broad overview of cycle related issues.
Why we like it: Imparts invaluable information on community, equipment, racing, safety, cycle experiences abroad and at home, and even spinning through posts, forums, videos and vibrant photos.
Sample: "What does it take to be happier? The answer is simple: Go out and ride a bike ... ride it for three days in row. From there it will be impossible for you to stop. That's basically what happened to me."
5. Teaching Kids Yoga
Toronto yoga teacher Aruna Humphrys spreads good karma with tips on helping kids to relax, be healthy, and enhance relationships through the practice of yoga.
Why we like it: Posts inform readers about the latest yoga-related DVDs, books, and teaching techniques for teachers and parents alike.
Sample: "If kids are never given challenges they will never experience the bliss of living. There is no greater feeling of union than lying on the ground exhausted and satisfied, having fully put body, mind, and spirit into overcoming a challenge."
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Sarah Snowdon is a Toronto-based writer who blogs at www.MoreMovement.com