#StartingStrong: The Starting Line

It’s no cake picking a physical activity when sports hasn’t really been on the top of your everyday list. However, as time passes by, your body seems to start calling out for something physical and challenging. Maybe it’s time to grab the bull by the horns? Don’t worry: getting into sports may be more exciting than you think. You might even find yourself hooked into it.  But now, it’s time to lay down the right questions on the table. Which sport should you choose as a beginner? How do you avoid losing your motivation?Is it better to start exercising at home, or to join a club right away? Here are a few pointers we’ve prepared for you.

Sports for All

Working out doesn’t necessarily mean emptying your pocket. There are heaps of activities that you can do without paying a visit to the bank. Say, fitness walking. It’s the ultimate beginners’ sport. All you need is a good pair of shoes and the rest will follow: toned legs, strong core, muscles, and heart.

If you want something a bit more challenging, then running may be for you. Running regularly will cut down the risks of cardiovascular diseases. It also has the advantage of getting you outdoor. Whichever you choose, remember to work consistently to train your body and mind.

We at Decathlon also offer free sports events allowing you to possibly discover your sport.

Easy Access

Sports also does not necessarily mean investing on massive equipment or gym membership fees. Resources could be found even at the comfort of your home. Got a bike that’s been sitting around for a while? Go for a long ride! Or take it a step further by biking to work. Your body will thank you later.

If you find cycling too much, you can always try to find comfort in water. Swimming is one of the best all-round workouts: you will be using your whole body without any impact on the joints or back. And it’s such a pleasure to raid the meryenda table after training without a hint of guilt.

Which sports are most widespread?

With thousands of players and hundreds of clubs, basketball is undoubtedly one of the most popular sport in the country. You’re sure to find a court (or at least a ring) near you. While benefiting your health and body, basketball is also a very sociable sport.

Fitness is also very popular: gyms and fitness centers have been getting more and more widespread in the country. You can’t deny that gyms did a great job of adapting to their users’ needs: increasingly competitive prices, conviviality on all levels, professional guidance, longer opening hours, etc.

These are just a few sports that you may want to check out to kick start your year. There are heaps of other sports that may be the perfect fit for you! If you need advice, you may drop us a message on social media, join our online sport communities, or drop by our store and approach one of our sport leaders! We’re always more than happy to help!

Advertisements

10 Ways to stay motivated in fitness

The comfy sofa calling, tired after a hard day’s work, struggling to resist episode 128 of season 14 of your favorite show… or just can’t be bothered. These are just some of the 1001 (more or less) good reasons not to exercise. However, as the days go by, you’ll feel your fitness dropping, you’ll be short of breath, just going up the stairs will get you panting… It’s a sign! A sign that maybe it’s time to start exercising regularly again. We’ve listed some things that may help you in motivating yourself to get back on your fitness journey.

decathlon_kalenji

Set achievable goals

When you take up sport again after a long period of inactivity, it’s quite challenging to stay motivated for the long run. Some generally tend to aim too high and soon. This even sometimes becomes a setback if the goal is not achieved. Obviously,  it’s crazy wanting to run a marathon after you’ve been jogging for 15 days, or trying to bench press 100 kg when you only joined the gym 5 days ago. The key is gradual progression! First, draw up a plan that’s adapted to your current level, so that you don’t lose your motivation. By progressing little by little, you’ll keep the flame burning and you can move slowly towards your goal.

soft_mesh_decathlon

Make time and take time to exercise

Don’t have time? The usual false excuse. Assess your situation (calmly): how many hours a day do you spend on your smartphone, watching TV, or in front of your computer? All these time could easily be devoted to sport. It’s time to gradually change your habits. Optimize your days by a schedule. Start by allowing yourself 30 minutes in the morning before going to work, or in the evening before eating, to do the exercise that appeals to you the most. Walk or run around the block, work your core, relax with a yoga or pilates session. It’s just some choices from a long list of possible actions. A little hack is to disconnect all your multimedia devices before your session at home or at the gym: that way, you won’t be tempted by the slightest excuse to ogle your screen.

Record your progress

Daily, and after several weeks of exercise, you might feel like you’re not progressing, and like all your effort is for nothing. Don’t let this thought be your one way ticket to losing your motivation and giving up. To stay motivated and see your progress, arm yourself with a little notebook that you can use to write down everything you’ve achieved in each session. When you re-read these entries days or weeks later, you’ll soon realize how far you’ve come. What could be more motivating than realizing that just 3 months ago, you could only run for 20 minutes at a time, and now you can do 10 km without stopping?

domyos_yoga

Define your goals

One of the most important things when you want to stay motivated for sport is quantifying your progress. Love running? Try to improve your time for running 5 or 10 kilometers. Drawn to strength training? Beat your record for push-ups or pull-ups. Tennis player at heart? Try playing a set against an opponent who seemed unbeatable a few months ago. The closer you get to your goal, the more satisfied you’ll feel.

surfboard_olaian_Decashop

Buy some new sport equipment

Buying the latest sports gear often makes you keen to try out your purchase as soon as possible! Leave your equipment where you will see it: on your bed, in your lounge… this will make you want to use it as quickly as possible.Don’t forget your budget though.

Commit!

What could be a bigger commitment than promising your partner, your friend, your colleague or a family member that this time you mean it, you’re going to start exercising and stick with it? Why not draw up a contract on paper and sign it in blood (okay, we’re exaggerating slightly, but you get the point). You’ll have no choice and this”moral pact” will mean you’ve given your word. You can also make this promise to yourself. Just verbalizing your commitments will push you to achieve your stated goal.

smile_break

Break up your training

When you go back to exercising, don’t try to completely transform your habits. You shouldn’t see sport as a constraint, but as a pleasure that will adapt gradually to your needs. Initially, to shake up your routine gently, why not break up your training?If you’re struggling to fit an hour of sport into your day, there’s no reason not to do 2 x 30 minutes, to suit your timetable. It’s best to exercise regularly (3 or 4 times a week) in small doses, rather than doing one long, 2-hour session. Regularity is the key to long-term success.

confidence_dance_domyos

Have confidence in yourself!

Does that seem like a silly thing to say? In any case, it’s useful to remember: the only person you can count on is yourself.  So be kind to yourself. Don’t compare yourself to other people as each story is written uniquely. The good news is, progress is accessible to everyone, and results will follow. Progress isn’t even an obligation. Keeping things constant is already an achievement!

We hope these tips will be useful to help you finally take up and stick with exercise.Don’t hesitate to share your tips and tricks for staying motivated!

The Benefits of Racket Sports for Kids

Sports activity. The expression comes back over and over and is often associated with health and well-being. But for children, what are the real benefits of sports? In particular, racket sports?

Sports activity. The expression comes back over and over and is often associated with health and well-being. But for children, what are the real benefits of sports? In particular, racket sports?

Coordination and motor skills developement

Your child’s body is constantly developing and coordination has to keep up with their growth. A child’s body schema* is not fully established and needs to gain strength. Racket sports make them work on their motor skills in relation to a projectile. To be able to play, one must remain mobile at all times, the right distance from the projectile and make a correct movement to send it back towards their opponent.

The use of elements external to the body is a plus: they become aware of their body, and their capabilities and limits in space. It’s an integral part of their psycho motor learning.

*Awareness of the body and its position in space.

muscle.jpg

Muscle development

In addition to improving their coordination, racket sports can also help children can gain muscle strength. In fact, racket sports are ideal for developing all parts of your child’s body.

This muscle strengthening will enable your child to acquire the notion of balance – extremely important in their physical development. Racket sports call constantly on balance: transfer of weight from right to left legs, jumping and landing, constant placement and replacement.

eye.jpg

It improves eyesight

If there’s one type of sport that can develop your child’s vision then it’s racket sports.

The projectiles in racket sports all have different trajectories: a shuttlecock in badminton can fly flat or drop from the sky, straight or cross-court. And the same goes for tennis and table tennis balls. Your eye is constantly challenged when analyzing these trajectories. Your child will develop better visual acuity.

CONFIDENCE.jpg

An undeniable psychological and social boost

Just as the “physical development” factor is extremely important for children, so is the psychological aspect. During play, your child will have to use notions that are quite vague at first, but that will help them to develop mentally. Racket sports are played in groups but always face to face. Your child will develop their autonomy and will be required to make their own decisions. In turn, these decisions will help develop their self-esteem and autonomy. It’s a virtuous circle that brings a great deal to your child’s development.

Socially speaking, sport is generally a good thing. It enables children to create social relationships in a context that doesn’t necessarily involve school. Relationships are forged therefore on different aspects such as physical performance and their role and place within a group.

Racket sports are beneficial when it comes to your child’s development. Kids can burn off energy using suitable equipment. So pick up a racket and start your smashing boundaries!

4 Workouts To Do With a Partner

Training can be easier with a partner. Having someone to keep you on track, provide support, and keep it interesting during a slough, what could be better than training with a buddy? This is our duo workout program, which you can use to supplement your own routine while working towards a shared fitness goal. As you’ll see, having a partner in action is great for your health!

The fitness workout below has been made so that each exercise involves you and a mate. It should take about 20 minutes, but you can drag things out and repeat parts if you like. To get started, you’ll want a medicine ball (or a weight 1-5kg that you can pass between you), a stopwatch, and some water to stay hydrated!

Fitness Goals

  • Upper and lower body and core muscle strengthening
  • Cardio

arm extension

Exercise 1: Arm Extension

  • Targeted muscles: triceps, shoulders (+ legs)
  • Performing the exercise: stand face to face, about 2 m away from one another, with your feet hip-width apart. The thrower holds the medicine ball to their chest and throws it to their partner, who catches it. The catcher then becomes the thrower and sends the ball back to their partner. We recommend starting the exercise with a squat (bend your legs, with your heels remaining on the floor) then throw the medicine ball to your partner as you stand up. Here are some more options:
    • the receiver catches the medicine ball and goes straight into a squat.
    • in their starting position, the thrower places the medicine ball behind their head.
    • combine both of the previous options.
  • Breathing: exhale as you stand up from your squat and throw the medicine ball. Inhale as you catch the ball and go into your squat.
  • Safety tips: your heels should remain on the ground, your abs should be tensed, and your shoulders dropped.
  • Number of repetitions: between 5 and 20 throws and squats (the number of squats can be increased infinitely depending on your experience and fitness!)

 

Exercise 2: Chest Rotations

  • Targeted muscles: obliques
  • Performing the exercise: standing back to back, but without your shoulders or back touching, rotate your chest from right to left to pass the ball between you. In order to intensify the workout for your abs and obliques, do not rotate your hips.
  • Breathing: breathe fluidly. From right to left, inhale then exhale.
  • Safety tips: keep your back straight, brace your core and keep your shoulders relaxed.
  • Number of repetitions: 1 to 5 minutes.

russian twist

Exercise 3: Russian Twists

  • Targeted muscles: abdominals, obliques and arms.
  • Performing the exercise: sit on the ground with your feet raised (easier option: keep your heels on the floor). Holding the medicine ball in your hands, tense your abs then rotate your chest from right to left. Throw the medicine ball to your partner while keeping your balance. They then catch the ball and perform the same rotations before throwing it back.
  • Breathing: inhale as you catch the ball, exhale during the rotations. Inhale as you prepare to throw then breathe out when you actually throw the ball.
  • Safety tips: keep your abs tensed, your shoulders down, and make sure you are twisting from your chest rather than your neck.
  • Number of repetitions: between 10 and 30 reps.

Exercise 4: Pullover Crunch

  • Targeted muscles: abdominals, back, triceps.
  • Performing the exercise: sitting down, catch the ball with your arms bent, then unroll your back onto the floor. extend your arms behind your head then throw the medicine ball to your partner as you sit back up.
  • Breathing: inhale as you catch the medicine ball and unroll your spine. Exhale as you throw the ball and curve your spine.
  • Safety tips: unroll your spine starting with the lower back, and keep it on the ground (despite your arms stretching away with the medicine ball). Remember to brace your abs. Roll your spine back up starting with your neck, and pull your ribs towards your hips as you throw. Keep your shoulders relaxed.
  • Number of repetitions: 5 to 20 reps.

 

Do you have some workouts you’d like to share? Share them in the comment section below!

 

 

2 second 2XL Tent: A Review

Last weekend, we had a chance to participate at the Campfire Movement Event which allowed a lot of our users (mostly, tots!) to try our products and one user, Jenny Villaflor, happily shared her experience with using the Quechua 2 Second Tent! Check out her review below:

3

A tent could make or break a first camping experience. It’s the home away from home outdoors so it’s important to make sure that when you decide to be adventurous, you invest on a right and quality equipment.

Our basis for rating a good tent is pretty simple. They need to be comfortable to use, easy to put up and down and most importantly, they need to keep me and my family protected from unpredictable weather conditions.

We have a reliable tent from a different brand that we have been using for quite a while now and in terms of comfort and protection I have nothing but good things to say about it. The setting up and packing part is a whole different story but it’s nothing I can’t live with until i learned about Decathlon’s pop up tents under the Quechua brand.

Quechua’s 2 Seconds tents are probably the best invention every beginner outdoor families could wish for. It’s a value for money investment that is fool proof and reliable.

In our recent car camping trip in Caliraya we are able to put this line to a test.

4

Easy to put up and down:

Though I find the “2 seconds” part in the name a bit exaggerated, I am not saying I am not at all impressed with how easy it is to set it up. Literally, you just have to pull it out of the bag and unsnap the color coded belts and it practically just erects itself. You just have to secure it to the ground with the pegs that is included in the kit and you are done. You can also guy out the fly sheet if you are expecting strong winds and wetter weather condition at the camp but otherwise, you are done. Everything takes about 5-10 minutes depending on your level of OC-ness. 

Putting it down and packing it up is just as easy. After removing all the pegs, you just just have to pull the snap from inside the tent out and snap it back to its color coded partner and the tent will just bend naturally into a circle. Pull the string down and it will create a figure of eight that will lead you to its last fold before putting it back to its bag.

6

Let’s talk about comfort:

Though this tent is meant to sleep only 2 person, Quechua’s 2 Seconds 2XL tent was able to fit all four of us inside – two adults, a three year old and a seven year old comfortably.  The trade off is the space for our things but since we’re practically camping beside our car, it wasn’t really a problem. It has  lots of little pockets for storing small stuff like wet ones,  toothbrush, phones, etc. and a hook in the middle above the head area where you can hang a lamp or a light. The tent also features a small vestibule that fits a small Quechua table which can be used for cooking or food preparation using climbing grade small portable stoves and cookwares in case of bad weather condition. The space can also be used to store shoes in case of heavy rain to keep it dry.

5

Weatherproof:

This is our main consideration when choosing a tent. We don’t mind spending 20-30 minutes to set up a tent if it means it will keep my children dry. During our camp, The wind was blowing at roughly around 25km/h speed. From inside the tent you would think there is already a storm outside but really it was just wind with a little bit of rain. We were really surprised with how well the tent performed and it’s  aerodynamic design is very commendable. The whole family slept comfortably and if it weren’t for the sound of the wind howling, you would think everything is just calm. The tent also has a very good ventilation that helped managed if not zero out the condensation.

If you are looking for something quick and easy to set up and pack for an upcoming car camping or beach trip, this tent is ideal. It’s bulky and heavy but it fits perfectly at the back of our SUV together with our cooler, our bags, kitchen stuff and even toys.

We are rating this tent 5/5 stars in the camping category.

I hope though they come up with a hiking grade that is easy and smaller to pack soon!

21 Things for your summer checklist

Admit it or not, we all look forward to summer. For kids, it’s a hundred percent guarantee that summer is a one way ticket to smiles, sweats, and a lifetime’s worth of memorable experiences. But  for professionals and busy bees, creating something out of summer is a different story. It is assured that for some though, a summer getaway will never be out of the story.

That’s why, we’re here to give you a list of summer activities so you won’t have to spend a lot of time thinking of your next summer adventure!

hiking_philippines_decathlon

  1. Go on a hike!
  2. Run at least 10 kilometers per week
  3. Discover a new sport.
  4. Go snorkelling!
  5. Go on a water therapy
  6. Have a picnic with your friends or your family
  7. Watch the waves on a beach
  8. fishing_philippines_decathlonGo fishing!
  9. Learn surfing
  10. Plant a tree!
  11. football_events_philippinesSign up for free summer sports events!
  12. Learn skateboarding and rollerblading
  13. Discover a new music genre!
  14. Join a marathon or a fun run!
  15. Learn how to bike.
  16. tentsCamp by a beautiful scenery.
  17. Fly a kite
  18. Do clean up movements! Pick up trash while doing your daily walks or run!
  19. Bike, run, or walk to work!
  20. Do yoga.
  21. Play sports with kids and the young at heart! 

Do you have more ideas? Share them on the comments below!

Backyard Birding Quest

You’re wrong if you think I have a beautiful backyard. I don’t, as the place where I live – in Sitio All-Top to be exact – is near a dirty creek, which we fondly called “gillage” means beside the village, as it’s just few meters across the exclusive village named Merville Park in Paranaque City. However, the dirty stream on my backyard is still possessing some vegetation where birds can perch, rest, and eat. There are trees living on its bank such as the Talisay, Bangkal, Ipil-ipil, and fruit-bearing trees like Mango, Bilimbi, Guava and Star Apple, as well as cultivated trees like Papaya, Banana and Malunggay. Though not as dense as they were in the the 1990s, yes, there’s still life on our backyard. I still have a handful of luck because there are still remaining patches of greeneries from the past, where different birds live and pass through. On the other hand, my involvement in hiking and other outdoor activities for several years exposed me to the beauty of wildlife, specially birds; which I had the most experience in terms of wildlife encounter, in the form of listening and appreciating their flight. Birds are one of my fascination in the outdoor. It delights me to see the beauty of their presence and enjoyment from music they bring. Moreover, to see some of them within my neighborhood, is another great thing I truly celebrate. Making me have a pretty laid back birding spot, just on my backyard!

BACKYARD BIRD WATCHING

My backyard bird watching started when I brought home the Solognac 8×42 500 series Binoculars from Decathlon Philippines for test. I tried it countless time by watching birds on my backyard, which happened after the two outdoor trip I did – where I also brought the said optic – in the month of October and November last year. However, the binoculars testing I had on my backyard did not end as trial. Indeed, it resulted to a preliminary spotting, which followed with focus backyard bird watching. So, on November 17, 2017 around 6:30 in the morning – few days after my last outdoor trip with the optic – I visited my backyard to watch birds again. Through the Solognac 8×42 500 series Binoculars, I repeatedly watch birds, and recorded the color patterns on their feathers, wings, crown, vent, belly and tails, which eventually served as key for me to name them later on, with the help of the Internet. It made me happy to recognize variety of birds that morning – from Pied fantail to Yellow-vented bulbul, Eurasian tree sparrow to Asian glossy starling, and Brown shrike to Golden-bellied flyeater – showcasing  the power of their flight.

.

binocs

On the other hand, watching birds through the binoculars is truly entertaining. I was ogled with the birds I’ve seen, and it piqued my interest to think of ways to share this kind of enjoyment. Then, I come up to plan a photo shoot documentation like other birders do. But it didn’t go easily.

BACKYARD BIRD PHOTO SHOOT

The backyard bird photo shoot I had – in the morning of February 02 to 04 this year – did not easily went through. I’m a beginner and I encountered difficulties dealing with the camera. There were times when I get over excited and I unconsciously made noisy moves, which made birds became intractable and fly away. However, learnings went along the way. I learned to deal with the camera, to hide myself, to silently observe them from distance and to carefully glimpse to see where they are mostly hop and perch, until I managed to take photo of them one by one.

IMG_9664

The Pied fantail (Rhipidura nigritorquis) – This bird has been the first product of my photo shoot. Mostly, I see it fly together with the Eurasian Tree Sparrow. It was very visible in the morning because of it’s fan-shaped tail, and black and white color combination. But taking a photo of it was not easy, as it is constantly moving, agressively attacking other birds, even the rat roaming on the tree branch. I just had a good timing to take a photo when it perched on the branch of Talisay tree.

IMG_9724
The Pied Triller (Lalage nigra) – At first, I thought it was a “shrike” because of the black-stripe passing through it’s eye. Then the pied (black and white) patterns on it’s wing confirming that bird is definitely a Pied triller. However, very few than the Pied fantail.
IMG_9758
The Eurasian tree sparrow (Passer montanus) – This is the most dominant bird I always seen everywhere on my backyard. They are mostly very busy in getting dried stem to build nest on neighbor’s external ceiling, and sometimes joining the roosters eating on ground.
IMG_9815
The Yellow vented bulbul (Pycnonotus goiavier) – The most active among the birds I’ve seen during the quest. Very easy to recognise as they are mostly perches in inclined position, making it’s yellow vent to be visible. They flies and hop everywhere in a cluster.
IMG_9803 (2)
The Brown shrike (Lanius cristatus) – Same as Eurasian tree sparrow; this bird species is very common on my backyard. They hop in different trees and they are very comfortable to perch on barbed wire, wall and cable.
IMG_9838

The Zebra dove (Geopelia striata) – It has an occasional appearance – mostly in pairs – when I conducted the photoshoot. Perches on a high spot and not too much moving, yet active in surveying the ground like a chicken.

The Yellow-bellied sunbird – Though I’m unlucky to see again the Asian glossy starling and golden-bellied flyeater during my photoshoot, the presence of a Yellow-bellied sun bird which suddenly landed in tall Malunggay tree is a nice complementary.

The Philippine Pigmy Woodpecker (Dendrocopos maculatus) – The most intractable bird I saw during the photo-shoot. I’ve  seen it pecking the dried tree branch for only seconds and haven’t had a clear shot. Though I regret, yet still thankful for this very surprising encounter. To see my backyard accommodating an endemic bird, is such a pleasant discovery!

Overall, I am pleased to finally document different the kind of birds from my backyard. Hoping I could see again and take photo of their other breed I haven’t yet include in the photo shoot. Very thankful to Decathlo’s’ Solognac 8×42 500 serie sBinoculars! This tool exposed me to the idea of enjoyable wildlife discovery without leaving my comfort zone and left high importance to my “birding eyes”, in learning to identify the birds. For sure, I’m gonna bring out this optic again; to check out new birds encounter on my backyard or try it for a longer birding quest in the future.