By Andy Smith,
Fitness Director, eMbody Fitness
As snow descends from the heavens my reaction is one of excitement and joy. Living in Canada means winter, and being Canadian means getting out and enjoying the winter.
Initially Snowshoes were developed as a means of winter transportation. It has since transformed into a sport and the popularity of the sport has risen by over 50% since 2008. There are now many trails, races and ways to enjoy the beautiful Canadian scenery from the platform of this great gear.
For those of you looking forward to spending more time on your snowshoes the following exercises will help strengthen the hip flexors, the quadriceps, the hamstrings and gluteals to help with the added work in lifting the leg to clear the snowshoe with each step. It will also target key muscle areas in the upper extremities as well as the abdominal muscles. The focus of the exercises is on functional activities that directly relate to joint and muscle actions that will be used when snowshoeing.
Try for 2 sets of 15 repetitions of each exercise: Don’t hesitate to ask a trainer for help with the exercices.
High Step Ups:
While standing on the floor, place your left foot on the plyometric box or stair 14 -17” in height. Use your left leg to lift yourself to standing position and then slowly lower back down to the floor for 15 repetitions. Repeat with the right leg
Lateral Step Down:
From a 6” box on your left leg bend the left leg so the knee stays over the toes. Lower your right leg while sitting back with your hips and extending the right foot forward.
Step out with the left leg in front of right, and slowly lower your body weight down, centered between both feet. Body weight is split roughly 50/50 to front and back feet. Lower down until each knee is bent 90 degrees and use both legs to raise your torso up again.
Stability Ball Single Leg Squat:
Balance on the stability ball with the left leg, lower down as far as you can while retaining balance. Repeat on the right leg.
Prone Stability Ball Back Extensions:
With your toes on the floor and your abdomen over a stability ball, hold a 3 or 5 lb weight in each hand. Raise the arms from the shoulders, lifting the weight in each hand. Raise the hips, with elbows slightly bent and extend the upper back keeping the head level.
Supine Leg Bridge with Abduction:
Begin by lying on your back on the floor, knees bent and feet on the floor. Place your fingers from one hand on the lower abdomen and slowly lift your hips and lumber spine off the floor up to the shoulder blade area. Lift and straighten your left leg so you are balanced just on the right and move the leg laterally to the side and back 15 times. Repeat for the right leg.
Begin by lying on your stomach on the floor, with elbows directly under your shoulders and forearms forward on the floor, palms down. Lift your body off the floor, keeping your abdominal muscles contracted and squeeze your gluteals. Hold for one minute.
We are big fans of Shaun Francis, CEO of Medcan. We hope you enjoy this article as much as we did. Read on!
A few years back, the World Congress of Cardiology staged a remarkable debate that illustrates the extent that expert recommendations can differ at the foremost edge of scientific research. On one side of the stage was McMaster University’s Dr. Salim Yusuf, who had co-authored a study on sodium consumption that found that too little salt can be almost as dangerous as too much. Opposing Dr. Yusuf was the University of Sydney’s Dr. Bruce Neal, a salt outlier who argued that we should all eat less than 2,300 mg of sodium per day—far below average.
The best part about the new year is the feeling of new beginnings and leaving the clutter of 2017 behind us. We as human beings love fresh starts. Wiping the slate clean. Pressing restart. A facelift for the soul. The excitement of new possibilities is here! Are you ready? How will you celebrate and change?
So why is going to the gym more one of our top resolutions? Well, we usually let that slip the most, and because of that, our healthy life style takes a bit of a hit. Not to fear! Lets get the ball rolling this year with some tips on keeping that motivation going all year around.
The Definition of Wellness
Wellness is an active process of becoming aware of and making choices toward a healthy and fulfilling life. Wellness is more than being free from illness, it is a dynamic process of change and growth. "A state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity." - The World Health Organization
This year we are focusing on healthy living, lifestyle and wellness. Why? Because we can not grow and reach our goals without taking care of our selves first!
This blog is to encourage all our members to take some well deserved “me time” through out the week. Whether it is for ten minutes or a whole morning to recharge, we know a busy life can mean stress, fatigue and unfortunately a lack of self care. Each week we encourage you to take time to relax and re-centre. Focusing on what it is that makes you happy and well. On top of talking about wellness, we hope to leave you with some goals, challenges and even a recipe or two! Using these tools for mindfulness will help you stay focused on what you want and how you can get there, the healthy way. Understanding that wellness comes in all shapes and sizes.
Benefits of Wellness
-Improve and maintain motivation
-Cuts your risk of cancer
-Control stress and sleep patterns
-Gaining new perspectives
-Focus and goals
-Maintain positive outlook and gain confidence
-Short and long-term health benefits
-Better control over cholesterol and blood pressure
-Reduce your risk of chronic diseases
Relax right now!
Not only does this assure you of a complete and rounded breath, but it forces you to focus purely on the act of breathing - invaluable if you’re trying to un-clutter your mind to concentrate on a race, a business meeting, or whatever reality you find yourself in. If you do this for three or four minutes at a stretch, you’ll lower your stress level, both mental and physical. The old ticker will thank you for it and the lungs will finally get a well-deserved break from the sporadic and tension-fraught air-gulping to which you’ve been subjecting them.
Try out this exercise to relax and increase your mindfulness. Slowly breathe in and out as the triangle expands and contracts.