Tag: Ottawa

November 30, 2018

Trying to motivate yourself to run throughout the winter months can be a struggle, but trying to stay injury free while you run throughout the winter months can be even more of a challenge! Check out these winter running tips that should help keep you running consistently all year long without pesky injuries slowing you down!

 

Temporarily reduce your weekly mileage with the first snowfall.

When you are running on snow as opposed to a hard, slip free surface you are using stabilizing muscles you haven’t used in a long time. This places you at increased risk of injury. Week 1 run 50% of your normal weekly mileage. Week 2 increase to 75%. By week 3 you should be able to return to your normal weekly mileage.

Avoid switching to the treadmill for 100% of your winter running.

First of all running on a flat uniform surface involves repeating the exact same movement over and over again which increases your risk of repetitive strain injuries like achilles tendonitis and plantar fasciitis.  Second of all when the snow melts and you switch back to running outdoors you will have to drastically decrease your mileage or you’ll risk injury. Running on the treadmill does not mimic running outside! The impact force from running outside is much greater than on the treadmill. Also on the treadmill you are trying to keep up with the track as it glides under your feet, whereas outside you actually have to propel yourself forward. It’s very different therefore your body needs to be allowed the time to adjust!

Make sure your important stabilizing muscles are strong!

Running on the snow and ice demands more muscle effort than running on the treadmill or outdoors on dry pavement. Especially from the glutes and core. (See previous glute strengthening blog!)

Wear the proper footwear!

Yaktrax

Either wear sneakers that are meant for winter running and have soles with studs or spikes, or purchase an ice traction device such as Yaktrax that fit over your sneakers.

Warm up!

Warming up is more important during the cold winter months. If you are standing in a parking lot waiting for others in your group to show and you are shivering and chilly, your muscles are tight and cold as you start to run which can put you at increased risk of injury. Jog on the spot, do high knees or bum kicks, or wait in your car with your heat blasting!

Ignore the pace on your watch!

Focus on effort level as opposed to pace if you are used to running with a running watch. You will run slower in the winter months. If you try to maintain the same pace you did on the clear dry pavement you could end up with an injury. Use the rate of perceived exertion scale. Perceived exertion is how hard you feel your body is working. These feelings are not objective like monitoring your heart rate, but they can give an estimate of your heart rate and your exercise intensity zone.

 

 

 

Try snowshoe running!

It’s a great way to get outdoors and enjoy the snow covered trails. You have to make some small technique adjustments such as running with a slightly wider stance and lifting your feet higher. This will challenge your hip abductors such as your glute med and min and your hip flexors so make sure you ease into snowshoe running gradually. It is much slower than road/trail running so don’t focus on pace. Again use the rate of perceived exertion scale above! Also, purchasing snowshoes that are designed for running such as the Atlas snowshoes shown below can definitely improve your comfort level and speed while snowshoe running.

 

November 15, 2018

Last week I discussed how much targeting my glutes has helped improve my running performance over the past 2 months. For those of you who have been wondering if your own glutes are up to par, here is a helpful follow up blog!

This is a great test for glute max strength so give it a try at home! You do not need any equipment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  •       Lie on the floor with your arms across your chest and feet shoulder width apart.
  •       Lift your bum off the floor so that you are only balancing on your shoulder blades and heels.
  •       Now try to lift your left leg! Can you do it? How long can you hold it for?
  •       Now try to lift your right leg! Can you do it? How long can you hold it for? Is it easier or harder than when you lifted your left leg?

For runners, asymmetry is not our friend! There are certain sports when muscle strength/flexibility asymmetry is normal and maybe even necessary to perform well (think golf/curling/baseball). But runners should be equally flexible and strong throughout the body. So if you do the above test and you find it more difficult to lift the left leg, your right glute needs some attention! And vice versa for the opposite side.  

Tune in next week for Part 3 where I’ll go over functional strengthening movements for runners!

November 12, 2018

 

The main goal of an initial assessment is to determine possible causes of your injury or impairment. We also ask: What can we do to remove or alleviate the pain?

One thing to keep in mind is that sometimes, you may be a bit sore after an assessment.  This is largely due to the fact that we’ve probably just moved your body in ways you’ve been avoiding due to discomfort or pain.  In order to determine a course of action, we as therapists trust in functional movement assessment techniques to help us get you back to the best version of yourselves as quickly as possible!

Physiotherapy Assessment

 

What to Expect

  • Our initial assessments typically consist of a 1 hour one-on-one session with a therapist, and 99 percent of the time, treatment will be provided on the first visit as well.

 

  • The therapist will review your health history as well as pose a series of helpful “red flag” questions with the purpose of eliminating any sinister causes as the root of your injury/impairment.

 

  • Expect to move!  Our bodies were designed to do so and chances are, you’re here to figure out what is keeping you from pain free movement.

 

  • It’s always a good idea to come dressed in non-restrictive clothing so that when a therapist is assessing your squat for example, you’re not going to be doing so in a suit or skirt.

 

  • If you have any diagnostic imaging available to you (x-ray, MRI), we will be happy to have a look at that with you.

 

  • Homework is probably going to be assigned.  Getting you back to feeling great will require your active participation and expectations will be set out for you by your therapist.  We are always available by phone or email if you ever have any questions or need clarification on what your homework is.

The initial assessment is the first step in getting you back in action.  Just remember, we want to see you as little as possible, but as much as necessary to get and keep you pain-free and functioning well.

November 8, 2018

2 months ago my husband and I made a very big move. We sold our home in Labrador, packed up our truck and our camper and hit the dirt road (literally) to move to Ottawa. I worked as a physiotherapist for 9 years at the hospital in Goose Bay, so accepting a job with Whole Therapy was a huge change for me. I was very nervous and excited and obviously was wondering if I had made the right decision.

Fast forward 2 months and I can say with absolute certainty that yes we made the right choice. My husband and I, along with our 14 month old daughter Emily, absolutely love Ottawa. We love to run, hike, cycle, canoe, and camp, so Ottawa has been a fantastic fit for us. But even more important is I love my new job. My coworkers are fantastic and have taught me so much in just a few weeks. I have met a lot of really cool clients and I love working with the team here to help people reach their goals as fast as possible.

One huge benefit to working at Whole Therapy is that the staff here not only work together to help each other’s clients but they also work together to help each other. I have been running competitively since I was in high school. Over the years I have completed 9 half marathons, 2 full marathons and a bunch of 5 and 10km races. Back home in Labrador I was a member of the Trappers’ Running Club Executive where I helped organize the annual Trapline Marathon (it’s a Boston qualifier and a fantastic race if anyone wants to experience a run in the rural north!) I helped organize and lead the running clinics for the Trapline and I offered education sessions on running form, injury prevention, stretching, etc.

So needless to say I am a runner and am very passionate about the sport. After moving to Ottawa I joined Run Ottawa and I immediately started exploring different running routes and trails around the city. I was having some persistent issues that seemed to start while I was running pregnant with my daughter in 2017. These issues particularly occurred during/after tempo runs, interval training or races:

  • Stitches under my ribs during my higher intensity training sessions that were just completely ruining my runs. Everything I did to stop them failed. I tried to eat at least 2-3 hours before running, do a good warm up, breathe deeply through the stitch. Nothing seemed to work.
  • My hamstrings were just destroyed after speed work. They were so tight, sore and stiff.
  • The area around my C-section scar just felt, for lack of a better word, ugly! Very achy and empty if that makes sense.

My first race in Ottawa was the 5km RBC Run for the Kids in the middle of September. I had a great race but again all 3 of the above issues definitely limited my pace. When I came to work that Monday and chatted to my co-workers about how the race went, I became the client instead of the therapist and it was awesome!

Jamie took me into the gym and focused on why my hamstrings were working so hard. Turns out my glute max was extremely weak especially on the left which meant my hamstrings had to work overtime to compensate. He gave me some homework which included single leg bridge reps, step downs and reverse plank on the stability ball with knee extension. He also worked on my breathing technique which he figured was the cause of my frequent running stitches.

Mel got her hands on me to work around my C-section scar. Emily is 14 months old so it has definitely healed, but I learned after that session that it was not so much the scar tissue causing the “ugly” sensation but the very tight hip musculature surrounding it.

My second race in Ottawa was the 10km Ottawa Fall Colors Run. I ran stitch free, I felt my glute max was definitely working harder than it had been a month ago which meant my hamstrings weren’t totally exhausted following, and I didn’t have the ugly C—section scar feeling!

I still have a lot of work to do over the winter months but I can say with confidence that I think I will be able to run some personal best times next year with the help of my fantastic coworkers!

If you are a runner and you want to run as efficiently as possible, the off season is coming up and it’s a great time to book an appointment and be assessed for any muscle imbalances you may have!

Posted in Physiotherapy by Pat Moore | Tags: , , ,
October 25, 2018

After you’ve had fun carving your pumpkin, save the seeds and make a healthy snack with the pumpkin seeds.

 

ROASTED PUMPKIN SEEDS

  • 1 cup raw pumpkin seeds
  • 1/4 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Sprinkle of chili powder (you can also add paprika & cumin)
  • Sprinkle of sea salt & garlic powder

 

  1. Wash the seeds, toss them with the olive oil and mix well. Add your spices & mix again. You can also change up the spices to your taste!

 

  1. Lay them out on a baking sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes at 350 degrees or until golden. Just watch them so they don’t get too brown.

 

 

Enjoy!

 

Carole Woodstock, RHN

www.fuel4lifenutrition.com

August 16, 2018

I’m not easily motivated anymore. I used to snap to attention the minute I saw a quote – any quote. The door of my room as a teenager was full of silver-penned wisdom in a spiral pattern. I gobbled up inspirational speeches like I was starving.

These days, it takes more to move me. I’ve become a little desensitized to the parade of stock photos and inspirational phrases marching across my social media feeds. I understand that I Am Worthy. I get that I have to Persist to Succeed. So now what? I need some more good life lessons to chew on!

When I decided to go to the Can Fit Pro Fitness Conference this year, I was apprehensive but excited. Surely someone there could motivate me. I wanted to be moved.

I wasn’t disappointed. Having trouble being motivated? Try this:

  • Surround yourself with ‘better’ people. Stronger people. More flexible, more educated, more worldly, more affluent. It’s true what they say: if you’re the best in the room, you’re in the wrong room. I took an advanced flexibility class. I took a Pound: Rockout/Workout class. I learned about reflexive stabilization during the gait cycle (I know, sounds intense!). All of these seminars pushed my comfort zone, challenged my brain, and reminded me of how much I don’t know. It was bliss.

If you’re the best in the room, you’re in the wrong room.

  • Watch other people get motivated. Five of us shared an apartment. We were able to have some down time in between sessions together, sharing what we learned from our various experiences. The excitement in people’s faces and voices when they just clicked with some piece of knowledge or resonated with someone’s lecture is amazing. It’s like watching a kid open birthday presents. I get filled up by that glow, and I saw it everywhere. Lightbulbs were almost literally going off in people’s heads everywhere I looked. Looking at the ways others were moved lit me up.

Meeting of the nerd-minds between sessions.

 

  • Hit all the senses. Simply reading motivational quotes doesn’t do it for me now. But sitting in a room hearing Petra Kolber talk about Detoxifying Perfectionism using her own real life examples as well as motivational quotes is. Listening to a pump-me-up song is fine, but what’s better is holding onto a pair of RipStix and drumming the ground like a seasoned Rockstar while the music thumps through the room. Watching a Zumba class from outside the gym studio is cool, but feeling the collective energy of the dance and the music as you pass by one on the trade show floor is So. Much. Better.

    Waiting to rock the Pound class.

While I didn’t digest major life-altering messages this weekend, the content within the CanFit conference left me with lots to mull over. And despite my sensitization to motivation, I found that I was definitely spurred into action by what I saw, heard, and experienced.

 

Until next year, CanFitPro!

 

About the Author: Jen Wright is an RMT and the owner of Whole Therapy. She is an avid gym-goer and loves to lift heavy stuff.  She sees clients of all ages and stages, especially those who are engaged in bettering themselves.  She believes that pain-free is possible.  For more about Jen, click here.

July 25, 2018

When you are training in the heat and sweating buckets, it is important to replenish lost electrolytes. Physical function may hang in the balance if electrolyte levels remain low after a workout. Resulting symptoms can include muscle fatigue, dizziness, and nausea. But the right sport drink can get those electrolytes back in the body, no sweat.

Commercial sports drinks contains load of sugar, which slows down the rate at which water enters the blood. They also are typically loaded with artificial ingredients, which isn’t doing your body any favors.

The best way to replace electrolytes is through real food. Instead of reaching for a commercial sports drink, try this electrolyte option that is good for your health and will save you money!

 

HOMEMADE ELECTROLYTE DRINK (Like homemade Gatorade)

– 1 cups of coconut water (unsweetened) – 1⁄4 cup of your favorite fruit juice (unsweetened) or fresh lemon or lime juice – A pinch of sea salt

Coconut Water is packed with electrolytes! Naturally refreshing, coconut water has a sweet, nutty taste. It contains easily digested carbohydrates in the form of sugar and electrolytes.

Not to be confused with high-fat coconut milk or oil, coconut water is a clear liquid in the fruit’s center that is tapped from young, green coconuts.

It has fewer calories, less sodium, and more potassium than a sports drink. Ounce per ounce, most unflavored coconut water contains 5.45 calories, 1.3 grams sugar, 61 milligrams (mg) of potassium, and 5.45 mg of sodium compared to Gatorade, which has 6.25 calories, 1.75 grams of sugar, 3.75 mg of potassium, and 13.75 mg of sodium.

Fuel4Life will help you optimize your health and energize you for life!

www.fuel4lifenutrition.com

Carole Woodstock, RHN, FIS, NCCP

Posted in Nutrition by Carole Woodstock | Tags: , , ,
July 11, 2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How do we experience trauma in pregnancy, and more specifically, birth? To every person trauma is seen differently. Our past experiences may influence how we perceive certain situations. Every woman who goes through pregnancy gives birth in one form or another. On paper, two people can have had the exact same experience, the same outcome, yet they walk away feeling very, very different. One may feel encouraged and completely satisfied with the birth while the other may walk away from the experience with feelings of abandonment, fear, or simply discontent.

When we talk to new moms, we often ask how the baby is doing, however, I often ask how the birth was. It is important to ask both questions, but we have to truly listen to what they are saying (and they may skirt the birth part of the question). We need to change our language and ask not how the birth was but rather how they felt the birth went? Two questions that on the surface mean the same thing, but people will answer completely differently.

If we ask the first question, how was the birth, it gives the new mom an out. Similar to when we ask “how are you?” Almost automatically our response is “Good! Thanks!” While at the same time we are running through the list in our heads of all the things that are wrong. We think of these questions as pleasantries and as if people don’t actually want the real answer, as if we can’t burden them with the truth.

Asking how someone felt about something – that’s different. We immediately are asking the person to unload. We are trying to create a small modicum of safe space. Now, when you ask this question, you have to be prepared for the answer. It may not be pretty.

Personally, I felt like I had a great birth with Henry (2 years ago). During and after I felt I was supported and heard. I attempted to keep my mind open and to let things progress naturally (this is usually a huge struggle for me). Did I have the “perfect” birth? No, there was some pretty scary moments that could have severely changed the outcome, but I had great people who trusted what I was telling them and whom I trusted. However, my experience was mine. I know of other women who could have had the same situation and afterwards felt like they had been violated (maybe emotionally or even physically). A lot of how someone perceives their labour and birth is based on their previous experiences. These experiences change how we live our lives day to day, so why would they not also change how we view birth?

If a woman had gone through sexual abuse as a child, could the birth of her own child not seem like another abuse to a region of her body that has already been sensitized?

If a woman was taught that vaginal birth was the only true form of birth, but being forced into an emergency cesarean, would she not feel like she missed something valuable?

Someone may be traumatized by tearing or later finding out they have a prolapse.

Trauma comes in all forms. It can be physical, mental, or emotional. It can happen during pregnancy, labour, delivery, or postpartum. Awareness of postpartum depression is slowly increasing, but not as to why it may occur. The points listed above are just a small sample of what someone may go through or what may have been a trigger for her.

While I cannot personally help you through your trauma, I can be a sounding board, a shoulder to lean on, or someone who can help you find someone to talk to. Please reach out. You are not alone.

July 10, 2018

Lower back pain. Every branch of medicine seems to have a different take on what to recommend. A new study published in the May 18th edition of JAMA Network Open sheds light on the subject with a direct comparison between usual non-chiropractic care, and usual care with chiropractic.

Dr Christine Guertz DC, PhD and colleagues enrolled 750 American active duty military service members with lower back pain from three different military bases. 375 members receive medical care as usual from their physicians. The remaining 375, received up to 12 chiropractic treatments of the lower back and surrounding areas along with usual care. Chiropractic care sometimes involved the use of the additional tools and techniques often utilized by chiropractors in their practice.

 

Analysis of the data showed that the addition of chiropractic lead to significantly greater benefit than standard medical care alone. This new data reinforces the recent recommendations put forth by the American College of Physicians. They now recommend inclusion of spinal manipulation along with other non-drug treatments often used by chiropractors as first-line therapy for both acute and chronic lower back pain.

If still considering whether to try chiropractic, Dr Rory Turner, Dr Damien Marion, and Dr George Surko of Whole Therapy are all highly skilled and experienced chiropractors who would be happy to answer your questions.

Yours in good health
David Gilbert – Integrative Therapist.

 

Author: David E P Gilbert. David is a highly experienced Integrative Therapist specializing in anxiety/depression, stress, burnout, grief, trauma, Post Concussion Syndrome and self-sabotage. He’s based at Whole Therapy and ECOSYS Wellness Center in Ottawa ON. Canada. Being trained in a number of modalities including Emotional Freedom Techniques and PTT (Picture Tapping Techniques), he works with clients both in-office and via phone or video cam across North America. Work so powerful it’s guaranteed
June 19, 2018

Molly helped me run the hills today (in her snowflake jammies)

I’m training for a spartan race in July. It’s a bigger one than I’ve done in the past – 15 kms instead of 5. The race takes the participants up and down Calabogie Peaks, winding through 25 strategically placed obstacles along the way.

I will have to scale walls, crawl through mud, carry sandbags, throw spears, and climb ropes in my quest for the finish line.

This race will mark my return back into the realm of Being Strong, as it’s the first true test of my endurance and overall fitness since having my daughter, Finley last year. I was sedentary most of the pregnancy due to an SI joint injury, and my postpartum recovery was long and tedious as a result. There were many times over the last year when I worried I’d never be able to feel strong again. I heard a lot of “Well, you HAVE had a baby…” and “Your body really isn’t ever the same”, and “You ARE 36 now, that’s quite a few years since the last baby…”

Despite the naysaying (from others AND from myself) I pushed on with my training, stubborn in my resolve to feel capable like I once did. I looked to Trainer Jamie for help with strategic strengthening. I relied on my workout partners Bailey, Ana, and Yvette to set the bar high and motivate me with their own fitness levels. And I used my colleagues at Whole Therapy and their various chiropractic, physiotherapy and massage skills along the way when I inevitably needed my joints and muscles worked on.

And here I am, at 7am on a Saturday, 6 weeks from Race Day, with my running shoes on and my water pack on my back, looking up Mooney’s Bay hill. I’m “sprinting” (read: sloooowly running) up the hill ten times, which will likely make me want to barf. But I’ll do it anyway. Because so far, even with the obstacles of having a baby, being injured and out of shape, and being older, being strong is so much more important than giving up.

Most journeys feel metaphorically like they’re an uphill battle. This one literally is. But with a lot of training, and a little luck, I can use my success with this upcoming race to prove to myself that not only am I physically Strong Again, but I’m also mentally able to bounce back from a weak mental state to a strong, confident one.

Wish me luck.

 

About the Author: Jen Wright is an RMT and the owner of Whole Therapy. She is an avid gym-goer and loves to lift heavy stuff.  She sees clients of all ages and stages, especially those who are engaged in bettering themselves.  She believes that pain-free is possible.  For more about Jen, click here.