March 15, 2015
LO Otium Garden is easy on the eyes and tough on the body
The LO Otium Outdoor Exercise Garden at Canada Blooms features exercises for sports that represent the cultural diversity of St. James Town, the community where components of the garden will be installed after the show.

The garden accommodates the national sports of the Philippines, Sri Lanka, India, China, Russia and Korea. For instance, exercises have been designed for baseball and cricket, racquet sports (badminton, tennis, racquet ball), soccer, rugby, volleyball, basketball and cycling. These sports are also represented in the upcoming Pan Am and Para Pan games this summer in Toronto.

A wheelchair workout has also been choreographed for the garden, as well as an exercise program to strengthen core muscles that we use for gardening, because we all know what a workout this can be.

The garden will also feature a cross-training workout for cyclists to develop strength, flexibility, endurance and speed. These are just the kind of exercises that are designed to take place in the LO Otium.

The workout program itself focuses on the lower body and core, because these areas are constantly being activated while cycling. The routine is a full body workout that incorporates stretches and a warm-up, flexibility, endurance, core conditioning, power and strength training, as well as a cool down.

The following exercises are a sample of what you can see and do in the garden.

Canada Blooms takes place from Mar. 13 to 22 at the Direct Energy Centre in Toronto.
sketch of an outdoor exercise garden

Otium Fitness Challenge

In the LO Otium Outdoor Exercise Garden at Canada Blooms, LO members and the visiting public can exercise and have some fun by signing up for the Otium Challenge.

This is a fun fitness competition to test your power, core strength, and endurance to see how many sit-ups and push-ups you can do and how long you can hold the plank.

The winning LO members will be published in the next issue of this magazine. If you want to start training for the competition, here are some general tips on form.
man doing a sit up
Sit Ups
  • Bend knees and place the balls of your feet flat on the ground
  • Place hands on opposing shoulders
  • Tighten your abdominal muscles
  • Gently lift your head followed by your shoulder blade
man doing push ups with a harness
man doing push ups with a harness
  • Set hands at distance slightly wider than shoulder width
  • Think of your body as one straight line
  • Look slightly ahead of you not down
  • At the top push up and straighten arms
man doing a plank
The plank
  • Start off on a yoga mat in the push up position
  • Lower your forearms to the ground
  • Curl your toes under and engage your abs
  • Straighten your body and keep your spine and neck neutral
  • Flex your abdominals and hold this position for as long as possible