Let’s Get the Kids Running

by Randy Brookes

There’s no question that physical activity is crucial for children. Not only does it strengthen a child’s muscles and bones, and prevent excessive weight gain, but it also improves brain function and helps maintain emotional and mental wellbeing.

Yet, the latest findings of the ParticipACTION Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youthgave Canadian kids a grade of D+ for their overall level of physical activity. Researchers concluded that only 35% of children ages of 5 to 17 are getting the recommended physical activity levels for their age groups. This pattern of inactivity is having dire consequences, with Statistics Canada noting that 30% of 5 to 17 year olds are overweight or obese, putting them at a higher risk of asthma, Type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Continue reading “Let’s Get the Kids Running”

Starting Out

by John Stanton

As runners, we all have to start somewhere. If you’re a beginner, your early experiences with a running or walking program can make or break your chances for success. Novice runners who approach their training with a “go hard or go home” attitude often experience overuse injuries or just plain discouragement. This is not the recommended way to begin a running program.

As with all fitness programs, start with a visit to your family physician. He or she may recommend that you start by walking or by following a combination walk/run program. Be patient and stick with it—in as little as 10 weeks, you can progress from couch potato to athlete. Just remember to commit to 10 weeks, not 10 minutes or 10 days. The lifelong benefits are well worth the investment. Continue reading “Starting Out”

Love on a Hill

by Dr. Sunny Leong

Who knew that I would meet my future spouse at a random Running Room hill training session on an August evening in 2014? I had never been much of a runner but I was getting ready to run my first half marathon in Edmonton. Misaki, on the other hand, was a running machine; she had run in 15 or more marathons before we met and had embraced running as a way to balance the rigours of graduate school. Continue reading “Love on a Hill”

Taking Stock

by Don Zabloski

The start of a new year naturally leads to reflecting on past accomplishments and setting goals for the year ahead. As a family, it can be a good time to celebrate things that are going well—and possibly press the “reset” button to correct any habits that may have slipped. For example, are all family members making a consistent effort be active and healthy? And, does everyone understand why it’s important to make that commitment?

As with all things, parents need to model positive behaviours and attitudes about healthy and active living. Of course, you have to take care of yourself before you can expect to take care of others. What will you do—or what are you already doing—to renew your physical and mental health? Continue reading “Taking Stock”

A Multi-Goal Approach to Training

by John Stanton

To get the most out of your training, you should set an ultimate goal followed by several smaller goals to get you there. Your ultimate goal might be to run a particular race, but before that, you must first train consistently.

It can help to run some smaller, shorter-distance races as targets to test you along the way. Many runners will tell you that the real reward comes from the training, not the race itself. Continue reading “A Multi-Goal Approach to Training”

Cross Training for Runners

by Sandy LeBlanc

I have yet to meet a symmetrical person. We’re all a little wonky, either due to structural differences like leg length discrepancy or scoliosis, and/or habitual imbalances such as playing a single sided sport, handedness or poor posture. For most people, these imbalances don’t affect quality of life—until you add a highly repetitive, sagittal plane sport such as long distance running. The good news is: we can fix many of these imbalances with strategic strength and flexibility training. Continue reading “Cross Training for Runners”

Group Profile / Markham, ON

by James Hodgins

I recently turned 70, so I asked five fellow 70+ runners why they’re running and what advice they’d give to those taking up the sport.

“Running is a sport for all ages,” Jack Kearns explained. “It doesn’t matter how fast or slow—you’re still being active.”

Jack’s words echo those of Miranda Esmonde-White, author of the New York Times bestseller Aging Backwards. The former Canadian ballet dancer believes by regularly exercising all of our 650 muscles, we are actively reversing the aging process. To quote another book, Born to Run by Chris McDougall: “You don’t stop running because you get old—you get old because you stop running.” Continue reading “Group Profile / Markham, ON”