What foods can I eat to improve cognition and focus?

by Tara Postnikoff

When discussing nutrition in athletic training, we often think about food as fuel—specifically, which foods will energize our bodies and make us faster or stronger. This is valuable information, but we shouldn’t overlook the fact that proper nutrition can also improve our mental focus and cognitive function. With that in mind, let’s explore the foods we can eat to feed the brain.

Compared to our other organs, the brain is greedy. It requires a lot of energy to work effectively and oversee what is happening in the rest of the body. The brain accounts for roughly 2% of total body weight but can demand up to 20% of total resting metabolic rate (RMR). For someone with a 1300 k/cal RMR, this can mean approximately 260 calories are needed just to fuel the brain. Continue reading “What foods can I eat to improve cognition and focus?”

Choosing the Right Shoe

by Dr. Reed Ferber, Ph.D. CAT(C)

You may already be aware that there are three categories of running footwear: neutral, stability, and motion control. A neutral running shoe is designed to provide cushioning and less foot control as compared to its motion control counterpart. A stability shoe has some component of pronation control material, which is generally placed near the middle or arch of the shoe. A motion control shoe typically provides a significant amount of pronation control and often has some type of non-deformable material, such as a plastic plug, placed on the outer rear edge of the shoe. This is all good to know, but what is the science behind fitting a runner with the proper shoe? Continue reading “Choosing the Right Shoe”

What You Need to Know About Runner’s Knee

by Dr. Richard Beauchamp M.D., FRCSC

Have you experienced pain around the front of your knee(s) during or after a run? If so, you may have had a case of runner’s knee. Runner’s knee is actually a vague term used to describe the above symptom—pain in the knee. However, it is not necessarily a precursor of arthritis; in fact, it has been said that there is no correlation to hip and knee arthritis in active marathoners.1

Runner’s knee is a common condition, but the actual causes and effective treatments are not easily explained. Runner’s knee is a grab bag of other diagnoses and conditions often aggravated by the pounding of the legs on the ground during your sport. Your legs have to generate force in order to run, as well as absorb force in order to protect your bones and muscles from injuries. Runner’s knee can also occur in walkers, although not as frequently. Continue reading “What You Need to Know About Runner’s Knee”

Active Talk Time

by Don Zabloski

Now that we’ve settled into the first few months of another school year, this is the perfect time for families to come together for some active family talk/cheer time.

Remember, not every conversation has to be a sit-down one. Walking, running (at a pace where you can talk comfortably), hiking, shooting hoops, kicking a ball or playing catch are all ways that family members can be active and have meaningful discussions at the same time. Covering a variety of age-appropriate personal topics during these active chats will help kids develop socially and emotionally through their childhood, adolescent and young adult years. It’s also an opportunity to talk about why we engage in daily physical play and eat nutritious foods, reinforcing the positive effects on one’s body and mind. Continue reading “Active Talk Time”

Side by Side

by Michelle Gjerde

One day in 2009, my husband Lionel came home from work and announced that he wanted us to participate in the Great Lake Walk, a 56K trek around beautiful Lake Cowichan. I was instantly intrigued but felt uneasy about the long distance. I spent the next few months walking the streets of Campbell River, B.C. to prepare for the event. Together with our 15-year-old son Justin, we achieved our first-ever endurance walk. It was an exhausting day that turned out to be a blast, filled with hours of stories, jokes and complaints about how far away the finish line was. Continue reading “Side by Side”

Watch and Learn

by Kathy Carter

When I first started using a Nike sports watch, I suppose I expected it to help my running. I never imagined it would help me in so many other ways, too.

The watch was given to me for my 50th birthday, nearly six years ago. Since I am not one to embrace new technology, it sat in its box for several weeks until my frustrated husband finally set up an account with Nike and declared I was “good to go.” Continue reading “Watch and Learn”

We Are Winter

by John Stanton

Winter running builds character, and our Canadian winters offer character-building opportunities galore. There’s nothing quite like running on a winter morning under a crisp blue sky or heading out in the evening as delicate snowflakes float gently around you. or all its beauty, winter running and walking can also present a few practical challenges. Here are my best winter running tips. Continue reading “We Are Winter”

Trust Your Gut

For many years, it was thought that the only role of the gut was to digest our food. However, with recent research showing that our gut microbiome influences our brain health, immunity, heart health and more, it’s not surprising to see gut health taking a central role in research and the media. Here are a few pointers to help keep your gut healthy. Continue reading “Trust Your Gut”