Showing posts from April, 2016

Thoughts on the Pursuit of the "Beach Body"

The internet can be an excellent source of gathering information, but it also has its downfalls. Around this time of year, we get bombarded with the idea of a "beach body" and that we all better jump on the next fad diet and increase our exercise to crazy amounts in order to achieve this so-called "beach body." This beach season, I challenge you to try something different. Try not to get sucked in to this idea. Instead, let's focus on having fun this summer and trying something new. Here are some ways to challenge the ads you see on the internet and instead feel good from the inside out:
1. Find activities you enjoy! Not everyone is keen on being stuck in a sweaty gym. That being said, it is others' idea of a perfect place to workout. If you're not keen on going to the gym, find something else that you enjoy. The weather has been great and it's only going to get better - maybe you want to challenge yourself to try new hiking trails this summer? Mayb…

1 Leg Balancing

Image Stand on one leg with your core engaged, hold for thirty seconds then progress it to sixty seconds. Repeat it four times, four times per day. Once mastered, then you can use a wobble pad underneath.

Gluteal Muscle Strengthening

This exercise is to strength your gluteal medius muscles. You want to stand inside a theraband with both legs with the theraband tied to something solid so it doesn’t move. With the knees straight but not locked, you’re going to gently raise the right foot off the ground and you want to try and do a peer motion called hip induction where you’re bringing the right leg just out to the side, without leaning to the right or left and you’re also going to keep the core engaged and the transversus abdominis. And you’re going to repeat that ten times doing three sets on each side.

Effects of Sleep Deprivation on Your Body and How to Have a Better Sleep

Sleep is a vital part of health and wellness, but it is also something that seems to keep slipping from our increasingly busy lives. Getting enough good quality sleep is important in allowing the body to grow and recover from daily stressors as well as illness and disease. Chronic lack of sleep can lead to more than just fatigue during the day. It may be the root cause of a number of issues, including the following:

1. Brain: Sleep is when your brain rests its neurons and strengthens newly formed neural pathways. Without adequate sleep, your brain becomes exhausted. You will feel sleepy, or have trouble concentrating during work or school. Lack of sleep can also put you at increased risk for mood swings, depression and impulsive (and possibly) risky decision-making. Your alertness can also be affected, putting yourself and  others at risk if you are driving or operating heavy machinery.
2. Immune System: During sleep is an optimal time for your body to produce antibodies and other cells…

Prayer Stretch

This is a prayer stretch which targets the Latissimus Dorsi muscle. You’re going to start by flexing the back upwards into an upward arch and the knees wide apart, then you’re going to bring the left hand, palm up, interlace the fingers and the elbows are off of the mat, head up and the chin in.  And you’re going to bring the buttocks down and you’re going to pull the arms forward with the elbows staying off. And you want to make sure that as you reach forward you’re bringing your butt back and you’re going to begin to lean a little bit more over to the left side as you’re stretching the left Latissimus Dorsi and making sure that you’re not tilting that right shoulder up and you want to keep leaning more into that left side. Keeping the shoulders level, hold this stretch for 30 seconds and three sets on each side, if you’re tight on both sides.

Hamstring Stretches

This is a hamstring stretch. You’re going to start with your heel on the corner of a wall or door frame and with your back flat and core engaged and the opposite knee and leg straight. Now with the toes off, you’re going to slide the heel up on the corner of the wall or door frame, keeping the other knee straight as well, with the core engaged hold for 30 seconds, do three sets.

Piriformis Muscle Stretch

This is a stretch for the piriformis muscle. You want to start off by lying flat on a mat by a doorway or a corner of a wall. Next you’re going to place your foot flat right on the corner and then you’re going to cross the opposite ankle on the opposite knee. Next you’re going to place your left hand on that left knee and push it towards that right foot, keeping the core engaged, you want to hold it for 30 seconds and repeat it three times and you can also do it for the opposite side.

Paddling Stretches Part 7 Forearm Muscles

The last stretch is for your forearm, with your elbow straight and your thumb points slightly towards the ground, use the other hand to bend your wrist until you feel a strong but comfortable stretch in your forearm. This muscle can get tight from gripping your paddle too tightly.

Paddling Stretches - Part 6 Bicep & Tricep Muscles

This next stretch is for your biceps; put the back of your hand against the wall and as far up the wall as feels comfortable, then you’re going to turn your body away from the arm that you’re stretching until you feel a strong but comfortable stretch in your biceps.
To stretch your triceps bring your arm up over your head and bend your elbow so that your hand is touching the back of the same shoulder; you can use your other hand or a wall to increase the stretch by bringing your elbow further back.

Why You Should Include Balance Training in Your Program

Balance training is something you may or may not have included in your warm-up, rehabiliation or workout program before. However, it is a major component of a well rounded and complete program. Generally, the different avenues for which you will train your body will fall into the category of strength, power, agility, flexibility and balance. If you have not considered including balance training into your normal routine, here are some reasons you may want to re-consider:

1. Improves proprioception. Proprioception is your brain's awareness of where your body is in relation to itself (e.g. your knee relative to your ankle) and your body in relation to its environment (e.g. it will behave differently on a stable vs. an unstable surface. Essentially, balance training can help to improve the communication between your brain and your body (neuromuscular coordination). Training this connection can help your body to learn more complex movements in the future. So, if you are looking to learn…

Paddling Stretches - Part 5 Pec Stretches

This stretch is for your pecs which are your chest muscles.  Usually when I see paddlers do this stretch they twist too much with their body which puts a lot of force through the front of the shoulder and stretches the shoulder capsules instead of the chest muscles.  To keep this from happening use a doorway or a corner of the room and step forward with one leg to help keep your back neutral; lean forward until you feel a stretch through your chest and you can see now there is much less stretch happening directly at her shoulder.  This is important for paddlers because stretching the shoulder capsule will make your shoulder more unstable.  You can also move your arms up higher or down lower to feel the stretch in different parts of your chest.

Ball Releasing

So sitting on your side with your arm out, put the ball under where your hip meets the ground - this is the top of the IT Band. Usually you want to roll out before your stretch out and with rolling you want to roll parallel to the fibres first and then perpendicular. So for the IT Band, you want to roll up and down first and then across. For how long you should roll, usually it’s until the discomfort is cut in half, so when you first lie on the ball it will be a bit tender and then it should go down in about in half and that’s when you can stop rolling.

Next is going to be the Piriformis or the glutes. So this one is a little bit harder to find but you want to put keep the ball a little more to the outside of the glute and little bit towards the top. So basically find a tender spot or a hot spot and for this you want to roll side to side and then you’re going to roll up and down.

Next is for your back, so you’re going to take two balls and put them side by side, one ball should be on…

The Key to Core Stability Strengthening

This is a great basic conditioning exercise for runners, soccer players, ultimate frisbee players, swimmers, cyclists, climbers, combative sports and volleyball.

Paddling Stretches Part 3

For the next stretch you’re going to lay on your back with your arms straight out and you’re going to bring one leg across your body. This is an upper back stretch but depending where you’re tight, you may feel it in your back, your chest or your glutes. Repeat this stretch on both sides. Next lie on your side and grab your top ankle with your top arm, you want to try and keep your core engaged so your lower back doesn’t arch. This is a quad stretch which is good to do on it’s own but you can also make it more of an IT band stretch by bringing your bottom foot up onto your top knee and pulling it towards the ground. You want to repeat this stretch again on both sides. The next stretch is for the hamstrings. You can do this with a partner or in a doorway. You’re going to lie flat on your back and put your ankle on your partners shoulder, have them bring your leg towards your body until you feel a strong but comfortable stretch. You can also put your heel onto a door frame and put your…

Paddling Stretches Part 2

This next one is a hip flexor stretch. So you’re going to go into a canoe pose and you want to feel this in the front of your hip on the knee that you’re kneeling on. This is going to be important to stretch for canoers to get that nice long reach. It’s also important for kayakers to stretch because you’re sitting in a boat all day and your hip flexors are getting really short and then you’re going to go into cross training and with running and cross country skiing and skating, you need long hip flexors to get that nice long push back and it’s going to reduce your risk of injury in the off season. Now you’re going to cross the front leg over and to the into Pigeon Pose. You should feel this in the glute of the front leg. A good cool down in stretching is really important because it’s going to decrease your muscle tightness, it’s going to remove the waste products that have built up throughout exercising, it’s going to reduce your risk of injury as well increase your rate of recovery.…

Paddling Stretches Part 1

This first stretch is for the lats so you’re going to start in a table top position and you’re going  to sit back towards your heels. You want to keep your pinky fingers down and your thumbs up to increase the stretch. This stretch can be done on a ball like the girls are showing in the back, on the floor or on a high bench. When you move your hands to the left, you are going to increase the stretch on the right and move your hands to the right you are going to increase the stretch on the left. More most stretches, you want to hold them for 30 seconds to a minute and repeat them four to five times on each side. And then you’re going to go back into the table top position and you’re going to do a cat stretch. So you’re going to push up through your upper back and and feeling the stretch in-between your shoulder blades. A good cool down is going to include stretching as well as your on water cool down.

Paddling Warm Up Part 2

Next is canoe - kayak specific rotates so you can do them with or without your paddle and with these you just want to stay nice and loose and follow the swing of a natural stroke.

We’re ending with Burpees and jump squats. It’s good to end with something a little more explosive especially if you’re going out for a time control or a race. So again, it’s important to choose a warm up that works for you and includes your arms, legs and core. But remember that it is important to actually include a warm up that increases the blood flow to your active muscles, it’s going to reduce your risk of injury. Your muscles are going to contract faster and stronger making you faster in the race and in practise  and it’s going to make you feel ready to participate especially after heats and semis being ready for the final.

Paddling Warm Up Part1

For kayakers and canoers it’s important to do an on land warm up for your legs, arms and core before getting on the water. This is going to give you an example which is going to include all three, but it’s important to find what works for you. We’re starting off with just high lunges, feeling the stretch of the front of our back hip. Now we’re adding an arm raise on the opposite side of the front leg. It’s really important to warm up before practises, not just before races so your body is used to it on race day. And it’s also going to lower your risk of injury during practise and help you get the most out of practise. So you’re going to end up making bigger gains throughout your practise. Now we’re adding a rotation towards the front leg.
Instead of doing full arm circles which can add stress to the front of the shoulders, we’re going to do arm swings in three different directions which our shoulders normally move in. So this first one is just across the front of your body; and the n…

How to Stay Accountable and Motivated Towards Your Goals

So it's warming up in Vancouver and a few months have past since we decided on our new year's resolutions for 2016. How are you doing on yours? Maybe you're doing great (congratulations!), or maybe you could use a little extra motivation to stay or get back on track. This week, I'd like to discuss some goal-setting tactics to help you make the most of those resolutions or other goals that you are working toward.
I've included some further discussion on goal-setting later on in this post, but first I'd like to talk about a few ways to stay accountable and motivated in reaching for your goals.
1. Write it down. Make a contract with yourself. Write down your goal(s) and sign in. Post this paper somewhere you'll see it each day. If you're feeling creative, decorate it with pictures or magazine clippings that are relevant to your goals.
2. Tell somebody about it. Tell a good friend or spouse or parent or co-worker or anyone about your goal. Reach out to thi…

One Legged Squat

This exercise is deceptively simple. It is called the one legged squat and the key of the exercise is, you want to keep the knee in alignment, don’t let it wobble back and forth. And as you keep the knee in alignment, you also want to make sure you engage the core as you squat down you want to bring the buttocks backwards so the centre of gravity is back, and as you squat down, you want to keep the knee over ankle - not over your toes. And you’re going to repeat three sets of ten. As you master that then you’re going to add a more difficult component - the hop. Now all this as you can see is using a red resistance band and as you do the hop you want to make sure you keep the alignment the same as you were doing before with just the squat. You’re also going to do three sets of ten.

Core Neck Exercises

Lay on your back with your knees raised. Lay your head on a pillow and place a rolled towel under your neck. Press your tongue to the roof of your mouth and bring your chin down towards your throat. Keep your posture tall and long like your head is being pulled by a string. Next raise your arms up, hands in fists and move your arms up and down for five seconds - do 3 sets x 15 reps. Contact us for more information

Neutral Spine Posture

Start on hands and knees position on a yoga mat with a reverse arch in the upper back. You are wanting to keep your tailbone upper back and head in alignment.

Cat Stretch

Start on hands and knees on a yoga mat. Spread your knees wide and under your hips, keep your head and chin tucked in towards your chest. Keep your shoulder blades wide and pull upper back up. Hold this for 30 seconds, do three sets, three times per day.