What are you doing to improve or maintain your health? Many diseases are quite preventable, are you doing anything to reduce your risk of developing some common diseases? Do you smoke? Please quit. Are you inactive? Please move. Do you consume more than two (women) or three (men) alcoholic drinks per day? Please cut down. Do you lift weights? Get started, especially if you are female and over 18 years of age. Do you walk, run, cycle, ski, swim, dance or do anything to get your heart and breathing rates up for a total of 20-30 minutes at least three times each week? Please do it.
So many symptoms of several health issues can be reduced or even prevented by exercising regularly and eating properly. Adult onset diabetes is one of the diseases that can be eliminated by following a healthy eating plan and a moderate exercise plan on a regular basis. Heart disease is another. So are some mental health issues and even some cancer risks can be greatly reduced through exercise and healthy eating habits. Even arthritis pain can be managed with some activity. Aside from disease prevention, eating well and exercising regularly will improve your mobility, flexibility, strength, balance and stamina. Your mood may improve, so will your sleep. In short, your quality of life will improve.
Where to start? I suggest moving. Even if you are a smoker, your health will improve through adding activity to your week. An active smoker is healthier than an inactive smoker. The more active you become the greater the chance you will want to give up the cigarettes next. How do you move? Choose an activity that you like and commit to it. Walking briskly is always a good place to start. You don’t need special equipment and it’s usually easy to do. Don’t stroll. Get your heart rate up a little. Too nasty outside for walking? Join a facility that has treadmills, buzz through Wal-Mart or go up and down stairs, wherever you can find some. Cycling and swimming are also excellent, especially for anyone who suffers from arthritis. These are non weight bearing activities that are excellent for heart health. Can’t do it outside? Find an indoor facility. Don’t want to exercise alone? Join a group activity like basketball, pickleball or fitness classes. Group activity adds the element of socialization which is also excellent for your mental health.
I mentioned weight lifting. This is an excellent exercise method for women, as well as men, to manage bone health. Young women, as well as those who are older and are pre or post menopause, who do strength training with weights will build their bone density, therefore reducing their risk of osteoporosis later in life. Before the age of 18, body weight exercises or exercise using light weights is best. After 18, heavier weights can be introduced. Anyone of any age should progress slowly and gradually when lifting weights. Care should also be taken to do it correctly in order to prevent injury. The added stress placed on bone through weight lifting will cause the body to lay down excess calcium, therefore improving the density of the bone. This means less risk of fractures, in the young or old. Strength gains can be made at any age. Older men and women both have become stronger, and therefore more independent by exercising with weights. If you are an older adult that seeks to maintain your independence, and wants to live in your own home as long as possible, I suggest you get moving. Your balance will benefit, therefore your risk of falling will be reduced. That alone will help keep you living independently. There is much you can do to improve or maintain good health. Make the move and start today!
Winter is the time to begin to get fit for golf. That’s right, especially if you are spending the winter here and counting the days until the course opens once again. Getting into the routine of a golf exercise program over the winter will keep your strength for the sport, improve your skills and have you enjoying the game at the very first game of the next season. Winter may not seem as long for you either.
Maintaining and improving strength and flexibility throughout your “core” will be the best thing you can do for your golf swing. The power for the swing comes from the core muscles. Any exercise that is rotational through the spine will be beneficial. It is important to engage the abdominal muscles while performing any rotational exercise however, to ensure that the lower back is protected. A simple ab, core strengthening exercise that can be used as a warm -up is to stand with the feet shoulder width apart, knees relaxed while holding a golf club or broomstick in front of you at shoulder height. Pull the abdominal muscles in as though you were getting ready to accept a light punch to the stomach. Do not allow the knees to move as you twist the upper body slowly from side to side. Gradually increase the range of motion of the twist. This will improve flexibility as well as strength. To take that exercise to a level higher, do it from a seated position on the floor or on a bench with the feet elevated and holding a weight. Lean back slightly, concentrating on keeping the abs engaged, and perform the twist. If there is lower back discomfort while doing this, do not lean back. Focus on as much rotation as comfortably possible. Make the waistline do the work, not the arms. Keep the shoulders relaxed. Use a weight that is challenging but not extreme. 10 to 12 repetitions is good.
Using a pulley machine in the gym for torso rotations is great for golf training as well. If possible have the pulley handle at about chest height. Keep the shoulders down, upper back muscles engaged and allow the knees to move as you pull the cable out and across the body. 10-12 repetitions is good for this as well. This can also be done with the handle coming form the bottom of the pulley machine. Pull the handle up and across the body with rotation, allowing the knees to move as they would in the golf swing. Be sure to keep the shoulders down. Begin with light weight and increase over time. Pay close attention to good form.
Both external and internal hip rotation exercises will also benefit your golf swing. One internal rotation exercise for the hips is to stand with feet shoulder width apart using a broom or golf club in front of you for balance. Lift one leg, flexing at the hip and knee. While keeping the upper body centered and stable, rotate the leg across the body as far as possible. Perform 15 repetitions fairly quickly but paying attention to good form. Do not allow the upper body to move. Repeat on the other leg. To target the external hip rotators, lie on you back with your legs lifted, knees bent at 90 degrees. Put your two fists side by side between the knees. Press your knees into your fists as you press the feet as far apart as possible. You will feel this one in the outer hip (medial gluts) area.
Both Yoga and Pilates classes will be very beneficial to the golfer as they incorporate many balance, flexibility and strength moves. You can also hire a personal trainer to design a golf specific training program. Keep fit for golf this winter and improve your game in the spring.
Holly Vanderzwet, B.P.E.
Puzzles and games are not the best exercise for your brain. According to plenty of research, physical exercise is the best activity for brain health. It is aerobic activity that benefits the brain not crossword puzzles or sudoku. Any activity that gets you sweating and elevates the heart and breathing rates for an extended period of time has a significant, overwhelmingly beneficial effect on the brain. When it comes to boosting your mood, improving your memory, and protecting your brain from age-related cognitive decline, exercise is as close to a wonder drug as you will get. Aerobic exercise is key for your brain , just as it is for your heart.
Resistance training with free weights, machines or body weight exercises is beneficial in that it allows individuals to improve and maintain muscle mass. Muscle mass burns more calories, even when the body is at rest but maintaining muscle also ensures that strength will be maintained. Strength is important to any older adult who desires to maintain independence in caring for themselves. Activities such as Yoga or Tai Chi are important to maintaining good balance and flexibility. Participating in a stretching program such as these will also help reduce age related mobility decline. All of these activities are great. Everyone of any age should participate in them as often as possible. But it is aerobic activity that will be of most benefit to the brain.
In a study done at the University of British Columbia, researchers found that regular aerobic exercise boosts the size of the hippocampus. This is the area of the brain involved in memory and learning. Resistance training, balance and toning exercises did not have the same effect on the brain. Aerobic exercise causes the body to create new blood vessels. Blood vessels carry oxygen. New blood vessels mean more pathways for blood to travel throughout the body as it brings oxygen to all areas. In the cardiovascular system this means if one pathway is blocked due to any kind of heart disease the blood will have other pathways to follow and a heart attack can be avoided or the severity lessened. An increased number of blood vessels in the brain means improved oxygen levels to the brain which means decreased risk of stroke and improved brain activity.
Other studies have found that the prefrontal cortex as well as the medial temporal cortex regions of the brain have greater volume in people who exercise aerobically versus those who don’t. These areas of the brain control thinking and memory. Exercise also stimulates the release of growth chemicals in the brain which affect the health, abundance and survival of new brain cells. Exercise improves mood and sleep as well as reducing stress and anxiety. These factors can all play a part in cognitive impairment. If exercise can help, why would you not give it a try?
Researchers say that one new case of dementia is detected every four seconds globally. If you don’t want to be that person, get moving. Walk briskly, cycle, swim aggressively, get moving enough to break a sweat for at least 20 minutes 5-7 times a week. Dancing is also a great way to improve brain health. A style of dance that requires you to learn patterns or moves and is done at a level quick enough to elevate the heart rate is the best choice. Find a Zumba or line dancing class to attend. Not only will you have a ton of fun you will also be taking care of your brain.
Allowing your child to experience unstructured, free, playtime, outdoors or in is one of the best things you can do for them. Free play, along with the basic needs of shelter, nutrition, and education is vital to a child’s healthy physical, emotional, social and cognitive development. According to the Pediatric Society, unstructured play is essential for healthy brain development. Kids who are involved in unstructured active free play improve their strength, agility, balance, fine and gross motor skills as well as physical confidence.
Fitness Corner and Fitness Corner South
Fitness Corner and Fitness Corner South
As we move into the second month of 2018 are you still on track with meeting your goals for this year? May people set a goal of smoking cessation. That’s a good one. Health benefits begin to happen within the first hour after your last cigarette. Smoking elevates the heart rate, but not in a good way like that of a brisk walk. It is elevated due to decreased oxygen in the blood caused by smoking. The heart works harder to deliver what oxygen there is to areas of the body that need it. Your heart rate will return to a more normal level within the first half hour of your last cigarette and you are on your way to better health.
Within 12 hours after that last smoke your oxygen levels begin to return to a more normal level. This is due to the decrease of carbon monoxide in the blood. Carbon monoxide is released from burning tobacco and inhaled with the smoke. Carbon monoxide is toxic in high levels in the body. We have home detector systems for the stuff. It also bonds well with blood cells which prevents them from bonding with oxygen which pretty much feeds every organ we have. This lack of oxygen causes many problems especially for the heart, lungs and brain. The good news is within 12 hours carbon monozide begins to decrease and oxygen to increase. Within one full day of being a non-smoker your risk of coronary artery disease begins to lower.
At two days smoke free you will notice an improvement in your sense of smell and taste. At 2 weeks your withdrawal symptoms will decrease and at 3 weeks you will be able to exercise and perform physical activity without feeling winded. Blood circulation and heart function will be improved and your lungs will begin to clear. Less coughing will occur after a month or two. After one year smoke free your risk of heart disease drops to half that of a smoker. By 5 years your risk of stroke is as low as a non-smoker. By 10 years your risk of lung cancer is also the same as a non-smoker. Risk of other cancers lowers at 10 years as well. At 15 years your risk of heart disease is the same as a non-smoker.
The health benefits of quitting smoking are many. Non-smokers generally live 10 years longer than smokers. Give it up if you can and enjoy 10 more years of a healthy active lifestyle.
Perhaps you have just raced your first 5km, 10km or half marathon, at the very successful Rotary Huron Shore Run in Southampton, which is an important fundraiser for Saugeen Memorial Hospital. If you are experiencing moderate to intense muscle soreness in your legs as a result of your race, have no fear it is “only” DOMS and will subside eventually. Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness is perfectly normal after the continuous and excessive impact of running a race. It will get better in a few days or a week and you will walk normally once again. Your end of race, “I’m never doing that again” will turn to “I’m definitely signing up again next year” within a few short days.
DOMS is caused by micro tears in the muscles. No matter how hard you trained, you probably put more effort into the race, especially if you are somewhat competitive. The increased effort over time is what caused the minor (but feels like major) muscle damage. Muscle pain is rarely something to worry about. It will go away on it’s own. Epsom salts in a bath will help. So will staying hydrated. Choose a post race beverage with added electrolytes if your event was more than an hour in duration and water if it wasn’t. Participate in cross training activities at an easy to moderate pace in the days following the race. These include yoga, cycling or swimming. Keeping the blood circulating through activities such as these will help heal the micro tears.
Joint pain however, is different. Pain in the knees, hips, back, ankle or joints in the feet can be due to overuse such as a race or it can signal an injury, If joint pain persists it is best to get it assessed and treated as soon as possible to prevent further injury and keep you in training for the next event. Never continue to run through pain. Find cross training activities to keep you fit. Build these other activities into your training to avoid injury. Variety is important to avoid over training or overuse injuries. Make a stretching routine or yoga class part of the training plan too. Stay fit, injury free and register for that event you have always wanted to try!
Sometimes you just need to get to a gym. Sure there are plenty of ways to keep fit at home or outdoors, you have read about those workouts right here, but sometimes the best results come from a gym workout. Top reason? Socialization. It gets you out of the house. Especially in dreary weather. This can be very beneficial to your mood and therefore your mental health. There are too many distractions at home such as laundry, Facebook or a couch and fireplace. When you get to the gym what else are you going to do there but workout? You will be among others like yourself who are in search of a better fitness level. The atmosphere alone may motivate you to put in a good effort. You might be motivated by someone else there or they might be motivated by you. Chances are great that if you make working out part of your routine and attend the gym at the same time on a regular basis you will meet others doing the same and friendships will develop.
Reason number two? The strength training equipment. More often than not, the weights you may have at home are not heavy enough or won’t give you enough exercise variety. This is most true for bone health. To benefit your bones and prevent osteoporosis you need to perform only a few reps of many different exercises but with heavy weights. Strength training with heavy weights causes mild stress on the bones which causes the body to repair it by laying down extra calcium which in turn strengthens the bone. A variety of exercises, even for the same muscle group, is necessary to strengthen the bone in a variety of locations. The variety of machines and free weights in a gym allow you to do this.
Third reason? Intensity. I think people work out harder and maybe longer in the gym than at home. No one wants to be seen leaving the gym after only 15 minutes, those that do have a great excuse and some even have a good reason. Sometimes good old peer pressure is a good thing. If you want to up your intensity but need ideas or motivation, hire a personal trainer or attend a fitness class. The trainer or instructor will push you just a little harder than you will push yourself and you may be surprised at what you are capable of. A trainer will keep a close eye on your capability, adjusting if necessary, and an instructor should always caution you to pace yourself while showing different intensity levels for you to choose from. This will bring results. It is best to take workout advice from the professional gym staff however. Well meaning, friendly members may be eager to welcome you to the facility but exercise advice is best taken from the staff.
Lots of gyms also provide child care in the facility. This is great for young moms and dads who want to maintain or improve their fitness, and good for the children too. They learn at an early age that going to the gym can be part of ones routine and is a good thing. They also meet new friends and learn to take advice from someone other than a parent. Been working out at home? Want to switch it up? Need a little assistance? Join a gym.
This quote comes from the mid 1800’s, “those who don’t make time for exercise now, will have to make time for illness later” so you think we would have figured it out and followed it by now. But no, today it has been determined that not getting the recommended minimum amount (only 150 minutes) of physical activity per week accounts for more deaths than diabetes, smoking and obesity combined. This tells us that many people are not making enough time for physical activity and it not just harmful to their health but it can be fatal.
150 minutes, just 2.5 hours per week. That is less than 30 minutes per day. Very, very doable if we just build it into lour daily routine. Add a 30 minute workout of some sort at the beginning, middle or end of every day. You can even split it up into three 10 minute sessions or two 15 minute ones. I have heard plenty of excuses over the years as to why it can’t be done. But, if there is a will there is a way. Because you won’t die tomorrow from not exercising today, it is easy to procrastinate. And we all know the stories of the 98 year old smoker who also enjoys gin on a daily basis or the 25 year old that died running in a marathon. These are not the norm. There also is no guarantee that you won’t die prematurely from the evil disease we call cancer no matter how well you care for yourself. The point is, exercise is a great preventive measure to ward off many debilitating diseases.
If you decided in January to “lose weight and get in shape” but now see your interest, determination and participation sliding, use “exercise for the health of it” as your February and beyond, mantra. Think of it as a prescription from your physician. You would and certainly should, take a prescribed blood pressure pill each day to prevent stroke. So prescribe daily exercise to yourself to prevent stroke and a host of other diseases associated with inactivity. As your health improves through activity you may find your doctor is able to reduce or remove certain medications for you.
An “exercise buddy” is a great way to keep up the motivation. Walking and talking with a friend is lots more fun than walking and talking to yourself. Join an organized group. Pickelball is an extremely popular activity and I know communities in the area offer this group activity in many locations. Fitness classes are an excellent way to get activity into your day. Getting yourself in the door of the class is the hardest part about it. But do it. Check the schedule, choose something you might like, and go. Fitness instructors are the most energetic, enthusiastic people on the planet who will be happy to see you in the class and will go out of their way to make it a positive experience for you!
If you are a working parent perhaps early morning or late night exercise feels like the only option but sleep is also valued so very much. That’s when 10 or 15 minute sessions can work. Or exercise with your children and they benefit too. The point is, just do it, exercise or die.
Two young, female, student athletes from Port Elgin will be competing for Canada in the World University games held in Almaty, Kazakstan over 11 days from January 29th to February 8th 2017. Approximately 2,500 student athletes between the ages of 17 and 28 from more than 50 National University Sports Federations around the world will be attending these games. For Kelly Gribbons age 21 and Kyla Vanderzwet 27, this is an amazing opportunity, a huge accomplishment and a very big deal! These games are held every two years in various cities around the world and are 2nd in size only to the Olympics. Kelly, a 4th year engineering student at the University of Guelph, has been named to the Canadian Women’s Ice Hockey team and Kyla, a first year medical student at the University of Western Ontario has been selected for the Women’s Nordic Ski team. Canada will be sending 93 athletes and 27 staff members including coaches and medical staff to these games to compete in 8 of the 11 sports which will be represented there. The athletes are issued Team Canada uniforms, will participate in opening and closing ceremonies and will be housed and fed in a new athlete’s village constructed in Almaty for these games. I know competing at an international level, at an event so close to the Olympic experience is a dream come true for Kyla and I am very sure it is for Kelly as well. But along with the dreaming comes a great deal of hard work.
The motto of the FISU (International University Sports Federation) is “Excellence In Mind and Body”. Both of these young women must balance training for their sport sometimes up to 18 hours a week, depending on the time of year, with keeping up with lectures, assignments, labs and tests. You see to be named to these teams they must have met qualifications based on competition results and be a full time student. Add to that the mountains of sweaty workout laundry that needs to be done, the shopping for, preparation and consuming of healthy nutritious fuel, as well as the quality rest for these athletes and there is little time for much else. I hear parties are few and Netflix is a great way to wind down if needed. Although just writing about this makes me tired!
Here’s one simple exercise to try that trains the legs that these gals both need for their sport. Sit against a wall with your back flat against it and your feet directly under your knees. Be sure that both the knees and hips are bent at 90 degrees. Hold that for at least one minute or as long as you can. When you feel the burn, hold it 20 -30 seconds longer. Both girls must endure a certain amount of pain to get the result they desire in competition. The mind needs to be trained to deal with this as well as the body. There is so much that goes into their training that only they know what it is. Success isn’t just about a place on the podium, although that must feel pretty darn awesome. Success can be a personal best, time wise or goal wise. It can be making it across the finish line with all your equipment intact, avoiding being tripped by an opposing stick on the ice or coming across the line with a PB or skating your best game ever.
Both Kelly and Kyla (who I am sure you have guessed is my daughter) have worked and worked-out at Fitness Corner. I have been glad to be able to provide a local venue for some of their training and I wish them great personal success at World University games 2017!! Have a great experience and lots of fun, girls! You deserve it! Go Canada go!!
It’s December. The month that is associated with sweet treats, special dinners, parties, drinks and gatherings with friends and family like no other month. A month when a healthy lifestyle can get shoved to the very back of the bus. But it doesn’t have to. With a little preparation, planning and just a bit of self control you can maintain your healthy habits. First of all, don’t beat yourself up for getting off track once in awhile during the holiday season. Allow yourself some fun too.
Try to stick to the “everything in moderation” mantra as much as possible during this time. Go ahead try the dips, sweets, cheese balls and all the appetizer table has to offer but stick to just a few of the less healthy choices. Choose more fruit and veggies than deep fried or sweet treats. Consuming something sweet actually makes you want to go for more. Try something more savoury after a sweet morsel to combat the craving. Move away from the table. If you locate close to the appetizers it is very easy to consume several without thinking. This risk increases with the consumption of alcohol. Pour wisely. Consume water throughout your evening as well to help limit the alcohol calories which, when in excess, will be stored around your mid section. Consuming at least one large glass of water before bed will help avoid a headache later.
Include exercise in the “everything in moderation”. If you have less time available to do your usual workout, don’t skip it, just do less. Tabata or HITT or circuit workouts that are short on time but tough to do are great for this time of the year. Even fitting just 10 minutes of an at home workout first thing in the morning can be beneficial. Or try a 20 minute yoga stretch routine before bed You’ll feel better, physically and mentally for having done some exercise rather than none at all. If you have a busy holiday party schedule you may have to write your workouts on the calendar as well. Make an appointment with yourself and keep it. Plan activities to do with the kids during their school vacation to help keep the whole family active. Schedule a brisk walk or run with a workout buddy for the morning after a party. It may seem tough to do but the fresh air will clear your head, the buddy will keep going and you will feel so much better than staying on the couch. Don’t forget to hydrate with water before and during the activity and fluid with some electrolytes after, especially if it is an hour or more in duration.
If you do get off track during the holidays, don’t fret. Don’t even think of going on a “diet’! Just get back on track with healthy eating habits you can maintain combined with a regular exercise plan. I’m sure every gym in the area will have a special in January to entice you to get into a fitness plan. Also keep in mind that we can gain more weight between New Year’s and Christmas than the other way around!
Unless you are a “snowbird”, chances are you have stored the golf clubs away until next spring. I’m sure however, if you are an avid golfer, you never stop thinking about the sport. Right now is the time to think about your golf fitness for next season. Maintaining your fitness for golf over the Fall and Winter seasons will probably mean a better score when you first hit the course in the Spring. Swim, walk, run or cycle, indoors or out during the off season to maintain your endurance for the game but focus on few other important areas as well. Be sure to consider core strength, flexibility through the spine and hips and shoulder stability when keeping fit for golf.
The power for your swing will come from a strong core. You need not do 100’s of sit-ups daily to strengthen the core. In fact this, at one time a standard exercise, is no longer part of an exercise regime. Planks of all kinds, side, high, low, “bird-dog” and any variation you can do will strengthen the core muscles more effectively and safely. If you aren’t familiar with a plank, start easy. Place your forearms on your bed, hands together, elbows apart, step your feet back so that you have a nice straight line from the heels to the shoulders. Squeeze your shoulder blades together and hold as long as you can. If this is easy and you can hold this plank for one minute with little effort, take it to the next level. Lift one foot, hold for one minute then repeat on the other foot. Taking this low plank position to the floor will increase the intensity. Any weighted rotational core exercises will also be a great benefit for golf. Seated “Russian twists” or standing torso rotation, holding a med ball or body bar are great. Stand on a BOSU ball or kneel on a stability ball for added balance training difficulty.
Torso rotation also improves the flexibility about the spine which facilitates the golf swing. The more flexibility range you have through the spine the stronger your swing will be through a longer range of motion. One simple stretch is to sit upright on a chair or bench, knees together and feet flat on the floor. Place one hand behind you and slowly and gradually rotate the shoulders around to face sideways. Engage the abs as you do this to protect the lower back. Make the rotation from the spine, not just the shoulders as much as possible. Also engage the muscles between the shoulder blades to ensure the shoulders are down. Hold the position for 30-60 seconds. Also try standing, feet in a wide stance, with a body bar or broomstick held across the back of the shoulders, abs engaged. Perform a torso twist so that the lead shoulder rotates down and the other up. Repeat several times on both sides.
Shoulder, particularly scapular, stabilization will also benefit your golf swing. One super simple exercise to do is to hold both arms out in front of you at shoulder height, thumbs up. Actively pull the shoulder blades together while keeping the shoulders down. Check this one in a mirror to be sure the shoulders are staying down. Hold for 5 or 10 seconds then release. Repeat several times. Be aware of how it feels to engage those muscles in the upper middle back and try to recruit them during your swing. Other weight room exercises such as a single arm, seated, pulley row will also greatly benefit shoulder stability.
If this seems a bit overwhelming to put together for yourself, the fitness classes that benefit golf are pilates and yoga. These focus on core strength and flexibility and an instructor guides you safely through correct technique. A personal trainer can also be of great help when training for golf. Don’t wait for Spring, get fit for golf now.
Holly Vanderzwet, B.P.E.
When we attend the annual Can Fit Pro World Fitness Conference each year there are always a few new things to try. Some are good, some not so much and some are great! We purchased “fitness drumsticks” after the conference this year and have been having fun with them in our classes. This is a way of tricking our class participants into doing a million squats and lunges in one session without really being aware that that is what they are doing! The “sticks” are used to hit the floor, then hit together above the head or just at shoulder height. Routines are usually choreographed to music so there is a specific beat to keep and because you are hitting the floor to make that beat the range of motion for the squats, plies and lunges is quite deep. Hence the great leg workout! We have discovered there is much we can do with these sticks to create a great workout that not only tones the legs but also elevates the heart rate. Arms are also toned just through holding the drumsticks (which weigh less than a pound) and moving them in various directions at various speeds. This is a great, fun activity that has you feeling a bit like a rock star. Beware the tired legs however.
HIIT (high intensity interval training) and Tabata continue to be popular at this conference. Tabata is a method of interval training designed in Japan for their national speed skaters. It was been embraced by the fitness industry as way to “get fit quick” or just get a high intensity workout in a very short session. True tabata takes only 16 minutes to complete. The idea is that you work as hard as you possibly can during the session and only take the required rest breaks. HIIT is the same. If you feel good during these workouts you probably are not working hard enough. They are meant to be tough. Work hard in the intervals, which are cardiovascular in nature and only rest for the allotted time. Tabata is 20 seconds of high intensity followed by 10 seconds of recovery. This is repeated 8 times and then a 1 minute rest is allowed. All of that is repeated 3 more times for a total of 4 sets. Then you are done! In more ways than one! Typically exercises are repeated and are usually simple in execution so as to be able to maintain good form and high level intensity.
HIIT is similar to Tabata but follows no set plan. The intervals are what you decide them to be. Maybe 30 seconds of hard work, 15 seconds recovery or 45 seconds of hard work with 1 minute recovery. The idea with this type of training is that when the body is confused by the changing levels of intensity it burns more calories. It definitely does that, but this method of training also boosts the cardiovascular benefits. Participants of one study who did Tabata four times a week for 6 weeks saw improvement in both aerobic and anaerobic conditioning as well as improvement in their MVO2 or maximum oxygen uptake (which is an indicator of cardiovascular health). Others in the study who did steady state aerobic conditioning for one hour, 5 times a week on a stationary bike saw less improvement in their aerobic capacity, less MVO2 improvement and no change in their anaerobic capacity.
When it comes to the brain, size matters. You do not want a smaller brain. Things that can reduce the size of your brain include brain injury, alcohol, not enough sleep, smoking, high blood pressure, diabetes, lack of exercise, negative thoughts, diet and obesity. You can accelerate the age of your brain and reduce it’s function through these factors but you also have the capability to decelerate it’s age by reducing these factors. The common thread that I see to help reduce all of these risks, of course I do, is exercise. Exercise and a little self discipline. Due to the plasticity of the brain, or it’s ability to change, you can make improvements to it within 2 months of changing to a healthier lifestyle.
Avoiding high concussion risk activities such as football, wearing a helmet for activities such as cycling or skiing, limiting alcohol, quitting smoking, adopting good sleep habits and limiting unhealthy foods all fall in the self discipline category. Exercise can reduce high blood pressure and diabetes, improve your sleep and help you maintain a healthy weight. Avoiding obesity can benefit the brain. Avoid obesity through healthy food choices and moderate, physical activity on a regular basis. Obesity reduces the size of your brain. As your weight goes up, the size of your brain goes down. This was shown through 10 studies done in the U.S. using brain scan information. Definitely keep your brain young by always learning knew things but also keep your brain young through physical activity. Cardiovascular fitness activities are the best for heart health but they are also the best for brain health. Keep the blood and oxygen flowing to the brain through activities which elevate the heart and breathing rates.
Getting less than 7 hours of sleep on a regular basis can lower the blood flow to the brain. This is detrimental to brain health over time. The brain needs blood flow and the oxygen that travels with it. Not getting enough sleep also causes weight gain as poor food choice cravings increase. Your metabolism also gets out of wack due to poor sleep habits. Physical activity helps you rest at night. Especially if you avoid caffeine after 3 p.m. and increase your water intake. Activities such as restorative yoga and meditation can also promote sleep. Meditation improves brain function because it activates the front part of the brain which is the thoughtful part of the brain. While meditation can teach relaxation and learning to “chill out” it also actually activates the brain.
Avoiding negative thoughts was mentioned as a factor in brain health. For some people these are automatic and very difficult to reduce. They are referred to as “ANT’s” or automatic negative thoughts. Too many of these, too often can lead to anxiety and depression. One way to kill the “ANT’s” is to question the thought and not believe every negative thought you have. Tell yourself that’s not true and write down the reasons it isn’t. Also write down things you are grateful for on a daily basis. Exercise can also help reduce negative thoughts as it produces the “feel good” hormones. You begin to feel better about yourself. Depression can also be lessened. Certainly seek professional help for anxiety or depression. Final note, hang out with upbeat positive people who practice healthy habits. People are contagious, choose wisely.
Do you what to look five pounds lighter and a few years younger with little to no effort? Of course you do. Do you think it sounds too good to be true? Well it’s not. Do you want to know what miracle achieves this? It’s good posture. Yep, simply standing with good alignment through the spine can make you appear slightly thinner and have people guessing your age. Think “little old person”. What do you visualize? Probably someone slumped forward with a rounded back and forward shoulders comes to mind. Avoiding that look by practising good posture helps you appear younger and slimmer as well as helping to prevent back, shoulder and neck pain. When the spine is not in proper alignment the back muscles, ligaments, discs and spinal joints are all under increased and uneven stress. Muscle strain is a common result. Since the low back supports most of the weight of the body it is particularly vulnerable to pain due to poor posture. Neck pain is also common due to bad posture habits such as slouching or holding the head too far forward.
Now stand sideways in the mirror allowing the ab muscles to relax. Notice the abdomen. Notice your spinal alignment. Chances are your belly is protruding, your low back is in an excessive arch and your shoulders are slumping forward somewhat. Now engage the abdominals. Pull them in slightly, as though you were getting ready to accept a light punch. Check your refection once again. Looks like you just lost five pounds, yes? Your shoulders probably pulled back slightly as well. Simply engaging the abs in this manner as often a possible throughout your day, especially when standing will do much to improve your posture, strengthen your core muscles and protect your low back from discomfort. Using this simple technique will benefit you much more than any amount of ab crunches which promote excessive forward flexion and a rounded back.
Engaging the abs while standing trains the transvers abs which when strong, do the most to protect the low back. No need to suffer through 100’s of ab crunches to improve core strength, simply practice pulling in those abs as often as possible, whether you are seated or standing. Exercises such as variations of a plank, when done correctly will strengthen the core and promote better posture as well. Preventing muscle imbalances will also benefit posture. If your job requires you to sit for several hours each day, you may be shortening your hip flexor, hamstring and chest muscle groups while lengthening and weakening your upper back muscles. Get up from the desk every so often to move around and do your best to become aware of your posture. Is your head centered over your torso? Is your chest slightly elevated? Are your shoulders down and relaxed? Are your abs lightly engaged? Poor posture habits can become good posture habits simply by becoming more aware.
If you are experiencing back, shoulder or neck pain you may need someone else to help assess your posture. Chiropractors and physiotherapists are great at this. They will be looking to see that
your ear, shoulder, hip, knees and ankles are all in alignment. They will also assess any muscle imbalances and be able to help you make changes that will benefit your posture and therefore your back, shoulder and neck health. Better posture really can help you look and feel younger!
Are you an active person who would enjoy the benefits of weekly or even daily massage appointments, but without the price tag that would go along with this luxury? Well this service can be within your budget through the regular use of a foam roller. While this therapeutic tool does not replace the skilled hands of a registered massage therapist, it will help lessen muscle soreness, let you recover from workouts more quickly and keep you flexible and injury free between massage appointments. Self myofascial release, or “foam rolling” has transformed from a once rather mysterious technique used by professional athletes, coaches and therapists, to a daily practise for people of all fitness levels. Fascia is a thin, tough, elastic type of connective that surrounds muscle. This tissue can become restricted due to a number of reasons. Pain, decreased range of motion even injury may result. Myofascial release techniques have been used by sports therapists for years but with the availability of foam rollers you can keep the fascia flexible yourself.
While warming up, cooling down and stretching (at the end of a workout or as separate workout session such as a yoga practice) are all still very important aspects of a workout, they alone are not always enough to release muscle tightness. Foam rolling can assist in relaxing muscle knots, breaking up adhesions between muscle layers, improving range of motion about a joint and restoring normal blood flow, all of which mean quicker workout recovery time. As you “foam roll” the muscles you can control the amount of pressure you apply. It will hurt, especially on those muscle groups that are particularly tight. That discomfort signals the areas that need attention. Focus the rolling on those areas but also roll the length of the muscle. If you foam roll daily the discomfort will diminish.
All of the major muscle groups will benefit from frequent foam rolling. A tight IT band is very often a cause of injury for runners. Rolling it will prevent that. As will rolling the calves, quads and hamstrings. Low back, shoulders, mid and upper back will all benefit as well. Leave no muscle group untouched. There are several sizes of foam rollers available and they come in different densities. There are also small hand held ones. A chiropractor, physiotherapist or personal trainer can help you choose one that suits your purpose. If you are an active person who wishes to remain active and pain free then foam rolling needs to become part of your workout routine.
Currently there is no cure for Parkinson’s disease. It is a chronic neurological condition that affects 100,000 Canadians, mostly in, but not limited to, those over age 60. There is reason to believe however that the symptoms of this disease can be slowed or changed through regular physical activity. It is known that on a day to day basis, people with PD who exercise regularly are able to move more normally than those who don’t.
It is known that in PD the brain cells that produce dopamine, a chemical that carries signals between cells in the brain and helps control body movement are damaged and lost. There is a lag time between when the loss of these cells begins and when the motor symptoms of the disease start to show. During this lag time the brain is actually changing to compensate for the loss of dopamine neurons.This ability of the brain to change is known as neuroplasticity and scientists believe that exercise may contribute to neuroplasticity, helping the brain to maintain old connections, form new ones and restore lost ones.
One study divided 67 people with PD into 3 groups. One group exercised briskly on a treadmill for 30 minutes at 70-80 % of their maximum heart rates. The 2nd group also walked on a treadmill but at 40-50 % of max HR for 50 minutes. The 3rd group did leg strength training with weights as well as stretching exercises. All groups worked out 3 times a week for 3 months. At the end of the study, all groups had improved but in different ways. Not surprising, the walking groups improved their cardiovascular fitness and the weight training group improved leg strength. What was surprising was that the group who exercised at the higher intensity on the treadmill did not improve in their walking speed as much as the other two groups. In all groups walking gait was improved, meaning less shuffling or freezing. The conclusion made was that both moderate cardiovascular and strength training on a regular basis are important for those with PD, just as they are for the general population.
Other activities that have been shown to help those with PD improve their mobility are dancing, Nordic walking, boxing and yoga or Tai Chi. I think the message is that whatever the activity, if it is done on a regular basis as soon as possible after being diagnosed it will be of a benefit. Studies have also shown the sooner a PD patient gets involved in a “fall prevention” program the better. Risk of falling can be lessened a great deal through balance training exercises. Balance improves as does confidence which translates to a lessened fear of falling and fewer falls. Being told you have PD does not mean you should sit down and take it but rather get up and fight back.
Many of us have suffered with lower back pain at one time or another. It can range from mildly annoying to extremely painful. It can come on quickly or have a gradual onset. Specific reasons for the pain can be difficult to determine and recovery can take a long time. Lower back pan is one of the main reasons people seek treatment from a chiropractor, physiotherapist or physician. It is also one of the main reasons people lose time at work. People who smoke, are overweight, sedentary, have poor posture or have weak back and abdominal muscles are more susceptible to back pain. We don’t normally think of smoking, although it causes many other health problems, as a low back pain risk. One study, however, found that those who smoked where a third more likely to have back pain than non-smokers. So this is another reason to kick the habit if at all possible.
Low back pain can be due to an acute injury that happens abruptly such as incorrect lifting or it can be due to an overuse injury that gradually worsens over time. Sometimes something as simple as picking a tissue from the floor can trigger back pain. This will not be the cause but will be “the straw that breaks the camels back” so to speak. Chiropractors and physiotherapists are excellent at assessing and treating back injury. It is probably not necessary to see a physician unless the pain is debilitating or doesn’t improve with treatment. A physician can do the necessary medical tests to determine a more serious problem if one exists.
Fight the urge to stay in bed when low back pain comes on. We were designed to move. If bed rest is necessary it should not be more than 1-2 days. Avoid heavy lifting but continue light activities. Focus on improving and maintaining good posture at all times but especially when lifting. Seek the advice of the chiropractor or physiotherapist to gradually rehabilitate the injury. Very often specific exercises to stretch and strengthen abdominal and back muscles can relieve the pain and prevent it from returning. When continuing your normal activities, be aware of engaging the abdominal muscles and using the legs to lift, not the back. Avoid lifting and twisting at the same time. Continue to work on strengthening the core muscles and keeping the leg muscles flexible even after the chiro or physio has released you. Poor core strength and tight hip flexors or hamstrings can bring on constant lower back discomfort. Continue exercising to avoid more pain. Working with a personal trainer specializing in injury prevention can help you continue to make gains and avoid set backs. Programs such as pilates and yoga can also be beneficial but be sure the instructor knows you have had back discomfort. Seek an entry level class or ask for modifications to help you progress gradually. Be aware at all times of how you are feeling during a class. Stick to the “if it hurts, don’t do it” rule. The instructor will understand. If they don’t, find another who does. Get familiar with the therapeutic techniques used to rehabilitate the injury. And get familiar with your body. At the first twinge of any returning pain, use the stretches or exercises to prevent it.
Emotions and stress can bring on pain. Tension gets held in all areas of the body and we may not even realize it. Pain is the result. The brain can increase your pain. The worse you think your pain will be, the worse it will become. Chronic pain can bring on anxiety and depression. Working to reduce stress and rerouting thoughts away from the pain center can help prevent more serious issues. Yoga and meditation are also excellent training for this. Getting quality rest is important as well. The body feels pain when it isn’t well rested. While napping can be restorative it can also disrupt quality nighttime sleep, especially if the nap is more than 20 minutes. It’s best to go to sleep and wake at the same times each day. When sleeping it is helpful to sleep on ones side with a pillow between the knees to prevent back pain. If you are experiencing low back pain, focus in on your posture, core strength and hip flexibility. See a chiropractor or physiotherapist if necessary and exercise regularly to treat and prevent the problem.
Want to improve your golf swing this season? If so, look to improving strength and flexibility through your core muscles. The core is the engine of the golf swing. The stronger and more flexible you get through the core, the higher the clubhead speed and ball distance can go. Perform the “standing club twist” exercise as a warm-up to your workout to help improve flexibility for your swing. To do this, hold the golf club at shoulder height, with arms straight out in front, elbows relaxed and the grip about shoulder width apart. Keep your feet and hips stable and knees soft as you rotate the club right and left. Engage the abdominal muscles (tighten them as though you were preparing to accept a light punch to the stomach) and begin to rotate the club right and left. Start in a small range of motion then gradually increase to rotate as far as possible. A lightweight bar or broomstick in the gym can be used for this exercise as well.
Any exercise that targets the transvers oblique abdominal muscles will benefit the golf swing. The “Russian twist” is a simple one. Sit on a mat, knees bent, lean back slightly, abs engaged. Using a weight or med ball, twist the torso from side to side. Lifting the feet off the floor increases the intensity. Be sure to rotate the body and not just move the arms. Aim to take one shoulder towards the floor and the other towards the ceiling as you move from side to side. Another, not so easy one, is the “torso twist and arm raise from a push-up position”. Assume the “up” phase of a push-up. Hands under shoulders, elbows straight but not locked, feet shoulder width apart, straight line from shoulders to heels. Lift one hand and rotate chest towards the ceiling on that side. Do not move the hips. Do engage the muscles between the shoulder blades to protect the shoulder joint. Do engage the abs. Aim for as much twist as possible. Starting from the knees instead of the toes will make this exercise easier.
A “standing cable cross arm raise” done in the gym is another good core strengthener. Stand to the left of the weight stack holding the handle in your left hand, the cable coming from the bottom of the machine. Keep your arm straight and raise it out to the side at shoulder height. Return and repeat. Being able to throw a weighted ball, that won’t bounce back at you, such as a “slam ball” at a cement wall, with a twist of the torso as fast as you can will also improve your swing. Sitting on a stability ball and tossing a med ball sideways between you and a partner with as much force as you both can take is good too. Beware of surroundings for this one. Yoga and pilates are also great golf training programs. Train the core and have a great golf season!
One person, not that much older than me, said she wasn’t walking any more because she wanted to save her knees. I feel she is much too young to sit down and do nothing active, no health benefits to that. I have other folks, in their 80’s and 90’s who tell me they go to the gym regularly because it does more for them than any anti-depressant pill ever could. Many people I know would not be doing what they are capable of in the gym or at home if they didn’t exercise on a regular basis. Think arthritis for example. Everyone will develop arthritis eventually. Some feel the symptoms sooner than others, Some not at all. Injury and surgery in a joint will bring arthritis on earlier. Some high impact activities may do as well. If your usual high impact activity is causing you joint pain then switch to something less jarring. Cycling is the new running don’t you know? The joints need synovial fluid moving through them to keep cartilage healthy and the joints running smoothly. Moving the body gets this fluid flowing. Choose an activity like cycling, swimming or yoga that allows movement without impact.
Activity also strengthens the muscles around the joints. The stronger the muscle the less stress on the joints. This is especially true for the quads, hamstrings, and calf muscles in connection to the knees but also having strong core muscles will protect the spine. Engaging those core muscles while twisting or lifting will help prevent back pain. Keeping the upper body strong benefits the shoulders as well as the back. Strength training with weights or even just your own body weight can greatly enhance your joints. If you are unsure of what exercises and activities you should do to benefit your joints seek the advice of a physiotherapist, chiropractor or personal trainer to get you on the right track. Not only does exercise strengthen muscle, it helps you maintain a healthy weight. Less weight on the joints, especially knees, reduces a lot of stress on them and the resulting pain. Keeping flexibility around the joint as much as possible is also beneficial. A regular stretching program is a must.
Please don’t sit down and forgo exercise. Your body and your brain will go to mush. There are so many health benefits to be gained by exercising by anyone of any age that it must be part of your daily routine. The way to save your joints is to use them. Strengthen the muscles surrounding them. Keep them flexible. Exercise smartly. Keep fit and enjoy life!
You’ve decided to enter the world of fitness. You’ve done your homework. You’ve selected a facility with lots of options that will give you what you need. The gear is purchased and you are ready and eager to attend. That first visit can be somewhat intimidating but a little less so if you have a few tips. Ask about an “introductory program” to give you basic familiarity in the weight room. This really helps you know what you are doing instead of walking around the place aimlessly. You will also be shown how to use equipment correctly and safely. A good basic program will give you an efficient workout that targets all major muscle groups. It’s a nice easy way to start. If the facility does not offer this or if you feel you need something more specific then it is best to hire a personal trainer to map out a plan for you. Investing in a trainer can greatly reduce your risk of injury and increase your chance of success.
At our booth at a home show recently, I noticed several little people being chased by their parent or grandparent. Kids like to move. The adults were trying to keep up to keep track of them. I also noticed that the only people who wanted to try our equipment on display there were kids. They were trying to ride the spin bikes, which were too big, play on the BOSU and stability balls, or lift the dumbbells which, although only 7 pounds were too heavy for them. When we were riding the bikes to demonstrate them, comments from some passing adults, where “that looks too much like work” or “get a motorized one”. Now, not all adults were so negative, many were very positive about the activity but when and why do we change from being kids attracted to activity into adults who avoid it? What can be done to encourage our young people to continue being active as they get older? Early on, just getting out in the yard to explore uneven ground is great. Take them for short neighbourhood walks, then to a park or playground. Help them to explore climbing, jumping or skills such as riding a bike.
As they get older, organized sports can be good. Team activities provide a social aspect to a child’s development. They learn how to get along in a group and work together as a team. Great life skills. Not all kids however enjoy team sports so avoid pressuring them. As they get older, expose them to lots of different activities. Let them try swimming, skiing, bowling, tennis, soccer, biking, or just climbing on a jungle gym, lots of different things that aid their physical co-ordination and development. Exposure to different things can build confidence and perhaps make them less self conscious among peers. When a friend invites them to join them for a day of skiing or tennis they can accept with confidence.
The number one thing you can do to gain all the benefits mentioned above is cardiovascular fitness on a regular basis. That’s aerobic exercise. It’s exercise that trains the heart and lungs. It’s activity that elevates the heart and breathing rates beyond normal. It makes you sweat. So walk briskly, run, cycle, swim, even dance at a pace quick enough to make you breath a little quicker. Participating four or five times a week is good but daily is better. Cardiovascular fitness suggests health benefits for the heart. That is true. You decrease your risk of heart disease and stroke by training aerobically. Your heart becomes stronger. Your resting heart rate is lowered. Your body produces more blood. This increased blood volume allows more oxygen to get to areas that need it. Hence increased energy. Your body also develops more pathways for blood to take. This is important if you do develop blocked arteries due to poor diet or genetic reasons, your body will now have alternate routes for blood to take. This means that a fatal heart attack may be avoided. I personally know two men who were avid cyclists yet had heart attacks. They were both told had they not been aerobically fit due to the cycling the heart attack would have been much more serious and possibly fatal.
Increased circulation through aerobic activity is what also helps prevent dementia. More oxygen going to the brain is a good thing. Studies show that people who are aerobically fit show much less brain aging. Dancing is good for the brain in that it makes you commit steps or patterns to memory. Aerobic activity also helps prevent and manage diabetes. All food we eat, not just the sugary ones, is broken down to glucose to be used for everything we do. We need glucose to think, breathe and to exercise. If we overeat the excess blood sugar is stored as fat to be used later. If we don’t exercise, the stored glucose doesn’t get used. If we eat again we produce more glucose. Not only is there excess blood sugar, there is now more stored fat. The body eventually can’t keep up with trying to lower sugar levels. This is when type II diabetes develops. This can totally be avoided by not over eating and by exercising regularly.
Another annual Can Fit Pro (Canadian Fitness Professionals) conference has come and gone. I have attended 20 out of 21 of these conferences and prior to that I was part of CAIN ( the Canadian Aerobic Instructors Network) and attended their conferences for almost 10 years. Yes, I have been in the fitness “biz” for many years. I must have started young. The number of fitness instructors, personal trainers, and club owners attending these conferences continues to rise each year. 10,000 this year. Toronto hasn’t seen that many energetic people, with toned physiques in spandex clothing, brightly coloured runners and carrying yoga mats, ever I’d say.
Looking around in the classes at the conference you see people of all ages, shapes and sizes but also many, many very fit people. You get a sense that people today are quite fit. But then, walking back to the hotel, on the streets of Toronto, mixing with the general population, you realize that most people today really are not very fit and therefore probably not very healthy. So if there are more people choosing fitness as a profession, not only getting fitter themselves but also helping others to do so, shouldn’t the general population be getting fitter? Well apparently not. Here are some stats learned at this year’s conference. More than 50 % of North Americans are obese. By the year 2020 that will rise to 80%. Obesity is considered a disease. But one that can be prevented. If a child has one overweight parent, the child’s chance of being overweight as well is 50%. If both parents are overweight, that jumps to an 80% chance for the child. Adult diseases such as diabetes and heart disease due to being overweight are now being seen in children. 75% of the world is sedentary. Only 12-15 % of a population will join a fitness facility. This is not uplifting news, although it should keep those of us in the business with no shortage of work. We just need to get more people moving more often. Sounds simple. Can’t be or those stats wouldn’t be what they are. Get moving and get your kids moving. Do it for your health as well as theirs. Active kids usually come from active parents.More
Improved bone density is probably the number one health reason to lift weights as a woman. By working out with moderately heavy weights bone density will be increased and your risk of developing osteoporosis and fractures related will be reduced. Be sure to choose a weight that is not too light. Choose a weight that allows 10-12 reps of an exercise but no more Your last 2 reps should feel difficult. If you feel like you can do up to 15 reps then the weight is too light for that exercise. As you perform a strength training exercise, the muscle pulls on the bone, stressing it slightly. The body then lays down more calcium in the bone to repair the stress, therefore improving the density and strength of it. This is extremely important for menopausal women looking to maintain bone health at a time when estrogen lessens and bones can weaken as a result. It is also important for young women in their late teens and early 20’s who can develop a strong baseline bone density level by adding strength training to their workouts. The stronger your bones are prior to menopause, the less risk of osteoporosis for you after. You can also strengthen bone through impact activities such as running but as we age those activities become less comfortable. Another reason to add weight training to your list of things to do regularly.
“Go for the burn” went out with Jane Fonda’s striped leotard and legwarmers so why are some fitness programs promoting pushing yourself to the max.? If you are feeling “the burn” during exercise it means that too much lactic acid has built up in the muscles and the body is unable to dissipate it. Fatigue is setting in. Fatigue usually causes incorrect form and technique which can lead to injury. It’s not a great idea to continue pushing when technique fails. The program or trainer who pushes you to do as many reps as fast as you can without focusing on correct technique could be doing you more harm than good. Look to be pushed a little harder than you would push yourself and to be encouraged to try new exercises that challenge you but your safety should always be top priority.More
Drop by Fitness Corner this season to help support this great program or bring a Toonie to our Christmas Luncheon or Wine & Cheese Cookie Exchange if you would like to contribute.
The Community Kitchen was implemented in 2004 to assist people in a number of life skills areas. This group is open to anyone in the community interested in meeting on the 2nd Friday of each month at the Lutheran Church in Port Elgin. A group of 10-12 participants cook a meal together, eat lunch and then take leftovers home. There is no cost to the participants.
The benefits of this program:
- Teaching skills in meal planning and preparation
- Showing how to prepare balanced healthy meals in a cost-effective way
- Focusing on the safe handling of foods
- Teaching the nutritional values of foods
- Helping those who are experiencing isolation by providing a supportive environment to meet with people
- Assisting with specialized diet requests i.e. Diabetic diets
So what’s best, strength training with free weights or machines? It’s a debate that has been going on for years. Now also consider strength training through body weight only exercises or the use of tools such as heavy ropes or a TRX. Now what’s best? The answer may depend on the individual and their personal goals. Machines are great for the experienced body builder looking to build size but machines are also great for the beginner exerciser, or older adult as machine exercises are easy to learn and implement. Anyone rehabilitating an injury can benefit a great deal by using weight room machinery first and moving into body and free weight exercises as the rehab progresses. Athletes benefit a great deal from functional free weight and body weight exercises but will also do well using specific machine based strength training.More
A BIG Thank You to all volunteers, participants, and their sponsors at the Annual Terry Fox Run 2013
- Michelle Hunter, Tia Jesso, Kathy Alstein, Lianne VanGeel, Kathy Reece, Nanci Cameron, Becky Lutz, Diane Lutz
- Geordie Farrell
- Susan Cook
- Frank Vanderzwet, Earl Farrell, Bob Hunter, Bob Love
- Nanci Cameron, John Prinsen, Barb Elias, Ann and Alex Thain
- Jane Rae, Karen Alberts
- Jennifer Cooper, Holly Vanderzwet, Rieko Moorehead
FINISH LINE CHEER TEAM
- Murray and Joyce Thede
ENTERTAINMENT by “ROUGH IDEA”
- Wayne Marks, Dave Sullivan, Jim Scurfield, Bill Harper, Sandy Nelson
- Maria Bertrand, Dolores Spielmacher
SPECIAL THANKS to Saugeen Track and Field Club for km signs, Fitness Corner for post event refreshments, Shoreline Beacon and Saugeen times for Media coverage
THANK YOU to everyone who made this event another successful fundraiser for the Terry Fox Foundation for Cancer Research!
Sunday September 15th is the 33rd annual Terry Fox Run. I’m sure many of you already know that Terry Fox was a very determined, young, man who having lost his leg to cancer, set out to run across our entire country to raise funds for awareness and research into that, often, devastating disease. Do you know all of his story?
Following a minor car accident in November 1976, Terry was left with a sore right knee. He mostly ignored the pain, since he was an athlete he was used to it, but when it continued into February of the next year he sought treatment and received painkillers. When the pain became debilitating in March of 1977 he again visited his family doctor who quickly diagnosed osteosarcoma. This is a cancer of the connective tissue and is the most common primary cancer of the bone. On March 9th, when he was only 18, Terry’s right leg was amputated just above the knee. The night before his surgery, Terry’s high school basketball coach visited him and not knowing what to say, he showed Terry an article about an amputee runner who had participated in the New York marathon. This planted the seed for Terry’s idea to run across Canada.More
You can do a great circuit routine to benefit your fitness level outdoors at the park. Begin by walking, biking or running to the park as a warm-up. Do some triceps dips on a park bench. (10 to 20 is a good number). Try “step-ups” on the bench next. Step one foot up on the bench, bring the other one up to meet it then step down. Try 10 – 20 reps with one leg leading then switch to the other leg. Do some “mountain climbers” next. These are done from a “high plank” position with hands on the bench, elbows straight and the body in a diagonal line from head to toe. Alternate bringing one bent knee in towards the body, keeping the hips down and the abs engaged. Again 10 to 20 reps on each leg is good. Repeat the circuit then go for a short run.More
Last year the Heart and Stroke Foundation used “Make Death Wait” as their campaign slogan. A powerful statement that made us pay attention. This year they used “Make Health Last” as their slogan and ran a powerful television ad that also made us take note. It’s the ad where one side of the screen shows an older adult tying up running shoes and heading out for a bike ride. The other side of the screen shows the same older gentleman putting on slippers and being pushed in a wheel chair down the hallway of a nursing home. The message is, will you live your later years enjoying being active with family members or will you lead a lower quality lifestyle due to ill health. The ad states that the average Canadian will spend the last ten years of their life in sickness. The narrator encourages you to view makehealthlast.ca to change your future. I checked, they have plenty of good information there. This heart and stroke web-site shows us 5 ways to make health last. You will also see the cost in years off your life by not following these 5 rules to better health. Inactivity will cost 4 quality years. Poor dietary habits, 3 quality years. Excessive, unmanaged stress, 2 quality years. Smoking 2.5 quality years and excessive drinking 2 quality years. Individually doesn’t seem to bad. Add them up, total cost is 13.5 years.