Active Minutes

by Don Zabloski

While attending weekly toddler Sportball sessions with my son and young granddaughter, I have witnessed the positive relationship between age-appropriate exercise and an overall sense of well-being. As parents follow, direct and guide their children around the gym to attempt various physical literacy challenges, they are experiencing positive mood swings evident in their bright and happy facial expressions. Not to be outmatched, the children openly demonstrate their joy for chasing balls, spinning hula hoops and manipulating bean bags at their personal pace. Spirits have also been lifted for those of us on the sidelines, in the roles of enthusiastic cheerleaders and picture takers.

Continue reading “Active Minutes”

Nutrition During Sport: Amping Up Performance

by Lisa Podlecki, RD, Diploma Sport Nutrition IOC

While plenty of attention is typically paid to pre- and post-workout nutrition, what you eat during a workout or race can also have an impact on your performance. For example, have you ever felt faint, light-headed or dizzy during a workout? Have you been unable to focus or concentrate? Do you find that your pace decreases during the second half of a race? Have you experienced a sudden loss of energy or “hitting the wall?” If any of these symptoms resonate with you, or you want to take your performance to the next level, consider trying the strategies below. Continue reading “Nutrition During Sport: Amping Up Performance”

How do seeds benefit the runner?

by Tara Postnikoff

Don’t be fooled by seeds’ small size—they can pack a big nutritional punch. Like nuts, seeds contain a mixture of healthy fats including monounsaturated fatty acids, polyunsaturated fatty acids and Omega-3 fatty acids. They also contain a variety of antioxidants and phytochemicals that offer potential health benefits. Seeds are a source of protein, vitamins, minerals and fibre, and their high fat content can help increase satiety.

It’s a mistake to overlook seeds as part of a healthy diet, especially for runners. Seeds contain Omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for the body and must be obtained from food. Two powerful components of Omega-3 fatty acids are EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid). EPA is known to have anti-inflammatory and immune boosting properties, and is thought to assist in joint lubrication and shock absorption. DHA is good for the brain as it improves blood flow during mental tasks, in addition to promoting cardiovascular health and muscle recovery. Read on to see what you think of these super seeds.

Continue reading “How do seeds benefit the runner?”

Arm Injuries in Runners

by Dr. Richard Beauchamp, M.D., FRCSC

Among runners and walkers, arm injuries are much less common than leg injuries. Even so, an injury to the arm or shoulder can be debilitating—anyone who has experienced the pain of inflammation around the shoulder knows what I mean. An athlete can cope with a leg injury by limping, using crutches, elevating, sitting, or lying down. In contrast, it is very difficult to “rest” an arm joint such as the shoulder or elbow. Even standing and sitting can require the arm musculature to contract, often resulting in pain. You just can’t “get away” from arm pain quite as easily.

Since runners pound the pavement so hard and so repetitively, it is a natural assumption that injuries would be confined to their legs. Runners’ legs have to contend with an inordinate amount of force—up to three or four times their body weight. These forces have to be absorbed by the body, thus injuries can occur in the legs, as well as up the skeletal structure to the back, neck and arms. Continue reading “Arm Injuries in Runners”

Common Running Injuries

by Kaylie Wilson

Hi, my name is Kaylie Wilson and I am a Physical Therapist at Momentum Health in Calgary, AB. I have been practicing for almost 7 years in private orthopedics, so I have seen a lot of different injuries! I am also an avid runner and have been for 15 years. I have competed in 2 half marathons, and 1 full marathon, though currently, all my runs are with my very active border collie, Jackson. Due to the present COVID-19 pandemic, there are more people taking up running with gyms being closed, so now would be a good time to discuss common running injuries. The first one I am discussing in this week’s blog is Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome, otherwise known as Runner’s Knee.

Continue reading “Common Running Injuries”

Baked Tofu

by Lisa Podlecki, RD,
Diploma Sport Nutrition IOC

Tofu is a great protein source if you decide to go meatless for a day or if you are vegetarian/vegan. It contains all of the amino acids (building blocks) of protein so it can help maintain and build muscle mass. This is an easy and delicious way to prepare tofu for the week—feel free to marinate the tofu or change up the spices or condiments based on your personal preference. The nutritional yeast in this recipe is a great source of vitamin B12 for vegans. Serve as part of a main dish or add on top of a salad.

Continue reading “Baked Tofu”

How Yoga Will Make You a Better Runner

by Allie Cooper

While runners have some serious stamina, they are often lacking in other areas which could improve their performance. Upper body strength, range of motion, and proper form are just some of the problems that runners experience, while others struggle with the right mindset during long running sessions. Incorporating yoga into your training schedule can help address some of these issues. Here are some of the ways that runners can benefit from adding yoga to their weekly workouts. Continue reading “How Yoga Will Make You a Better Runner”

What Nutritional Choices Should Runners Make to Help Them “Stay Regular?”

by Tara Postnikoff

Consuming dietary fibre will help runners have regular daily bowel movements. Fibre can help normalize bowel movements and provides the bulk to keep them well-formed (not too loose and not too hard).

What foods contain fibre?
Fibre is a component of carbohydrates that provides little caloric value or energy as it passes through the digestive tract without being absorbed. It is commonly found in the skins of fruits and vegetables and the outer coat of grains, lentils, legumes, nuts and seeds. One of the main benefits of fibre is promoting a healthy colon and good intestinal function. Fibre also helps with the elimination of waste products from the body and promotes a healthy gut biome by giving the “good” gut bacteria something to feed on. Continue reading “What Nutritional Choices Should Runners Make to Help Them “Stay Regular?””

Muscle Strains

The body has hundreds of muscles of  various types—slow twitch, fast twitch, skeletal, smooth and cardiac, to name a few. Muscles provide their power by contracting and relaxing, thereby generating a force that causes movement. Running muscles require a strong anchor (where one end of the muscle attaches to a bone or ligament) and the other end of the muscle connects to the flexible part of the limb. When that muscle contracts or shortens, movement of the joint is produced.

The science behind this muscle contraction and relaxation is very complex. It involves proteins called actin and myosin, along with various other elements including calcium, potassium, sodium and water. This is why it is so important to supply the fuel (water, electrolytes, etc.) for the muscles to work while you are training. Continue reading “Muscle Strains”