Camino de Santiago

by Ivana Baldelli

After years of marathon running, I was ready for a change. In 2019, I found the challenge I was looking for: to walk a “camino” in Europe, where there is a highly established network of ancient pilgrim routes. The backbone of the network is the French Camino, or Camino Francés. Historians write that this route was originally walked by St. James the Apostle, and thus it is often referred to as The Way of St. James. The “finish line” is the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, in northwestern Spain.

This walking adventure felt like a natural progression after middle-age marathons, Running Room programs and fitness centres. Come September, I was not going to be a tourist on vacation—I was going to be a pilgrim on the Camino Francés.

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Iceland’s Church Run

by Rebecca Maybury

As most readers will understand, runners have a slightly warped definition of the word “vacation.” This is precisely how I found myself awake hours before dawn on Boxing Day during a recent family holiday, about to embark on a 14.5 kilometre run around Reykjavik, Iceland.

In the spirit of inclusion, I had invited the entire family to join me, but only one showed even the slightest enthusiasm. As the rest slept off the overindulgences of the previous few days, my cousin Matthew and I zipped across the frozen Icelandic tundra in our rental car. Destination: Seltjarnarneskirkja, a church sitting atop a hill on the outskirts of the capital.

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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.

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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”

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”