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“No Pain in the Game” Golf Tips

With the sunny weather vastly approaching, many are itching to hit the greens and get to the first tee! As eager as you may be to start golfing season, you likely don’t enjoy the pains and strains that come with it. Swing force, awkward postures and warm-up neglect can lead to unnecessary injuries and pains.

Fortunately, a lot of these injuries are preventable and we’ve rounded up the best practices so you can play your game without the pain!

Proper Swing: Getting the right swing technique down isn’t just about boosting your game; it’s also about saving you from unnecessary pain. If you’re new to golf or tend to experience frequent strain post-games, sign up with a professional instructor for a refresher on safe and basic swing techniques.

Make Sure it fits: Ill-fitting clubs can not only interfere with athletic performance, but can also cause pain. Before that first swing, consult with a professional to confirm that your clubs are the right height. You also want to ensure that the material of the clubs is appropriate to your arm strength and has the right grip. Another thing you want to ensure fits well is your golf shoe. Select a quality golf shoe with adequate support and proper fit. This is key to preventing stress on the knee, hip and lower back pain.

Pre and Post-Game Prep: Make sure you take the time to warm up before the game with a brisk walk and some light stretching. Post-game is just as important for preventing injuries, so follow up again with some stretches. Stretching out the hamstrings, quadriceps, forearms, knees, and shoulders can do wonders for your muscles pre and post-game!

Push your golf bag: Don’t carry your golf bag! Ease stress on your back and prevent back injuries by pushing or pulling your bag and rotating turns riding the cart. If you must carry clubs, go for a double strap carry bag that distributes the weight evenly.

Keep hydrated: Hydration is a must out on those greens, especially on those hot days. Dehydration yields fatigue which leaves you susceptible to injury. Water is the optimal refresher here. Consuming alcohol can cause stiffened muscles and pain as it depletes the body’s fluids.

Chiropractic: Routine chiropractic care can help you stay active and moving, so it is perfect for those who want to prevent pain from the game! Chiropractic is often used to improve muscle and joint conditioning which has a direct effect on athletic performance.

Adjustments work to improve biomechanical function and enhance overall conditioning, important in situations where there is continuous repetitive movement, such as golf.

Chiropractic care also helps athletes fine-tune their muscles and joints for high-level performance and may reduce long term wear and tear.  Finally, treatment can be used to prevent, and sometimes shorten, the healing time of injuries.

Chiropractors can also instruct you on certain exercises to improve your strength and optimize your range of motion. In fact, many high-performance athletes, golfers included, turn to regular chiropractic care to maintain their performance.

References

Ontario Chiropractic Association. Get in the Game Without the Pain [pamphlet]. Toronto, ON: Ontario Chiropractic Association.

 

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Easy Ways to Fit in 10 Minutes of Exercise

Busy women who fit short bursts of activity into their daily schedules will reap many health benefits and even see results.

One study discovered that women who broke their exercise into 10 minute increments were more likely to consistently exercise over time. More so, the study revealed that these women lost more weight after 5 months than those who exercised for 20 to 40 minutes at a time.

The next time you’re stuck in an over-scheduled rut, remember some of these simple and portable exercise bursts to add into your day. Bear in mind that short bursts of exercise are a means of supplementing your fitness routine, not replacing it!

1) After you go outside to retrieve the newspaper or collect your mail later, go for a brisk 5-minute power walk up the street in one direction and then back the other way.

2) Squeeze in 5-10 minutes of jumping jacks while you’re waiting for dinner to cook or watching TV. A 150-pound woman can burn 90 calories in one 10-minute session!

3) Do some standing push-ups when waiting for a pot to boil or baking dinner in the oven. Stand approximately an arm’s length from the counter and push your arms against the counter. Push in and out for a few repetitions to tone the arm and shoulders.

4) Keep a set of free weights on a shelf in your bedroom or bathroom. During your bedtime routine, fit a few repetitions of some dumbbell exercises.

5) Briskly walk around the block several times while waiting for your child at an extracurricular activity or on your break at work. Add in 1-minute jogging bursts as your fitness levels improve.

6) Turn park visits with your kids into mini-workouts. Bring a ball to throw back and fourth to your kids and run for the fly balls.

7) Walk to restaurants or cafes on your lunch break at work that take you a bit out of your way.

8) When watching a TV program, jog in place during the commercials. A 150-pound woman can burn up to 45 minutes in 5 minutes!

9) Another ideal workout that can easily be done during light TV watching is leg exercises and lifts with small free weights.

References

The Editors of Prevention Health Books for Women. (2011, November). 25 Easy Ways to Fit in 10 Minutes of Exercise. Retrieved from: http://www.prevention.com/fitness/fitness-tips/fitness-25-fast-and-easy-ways-fit-10-minutes-exercise


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7 Reasons Women Should Lift Weights

There are many misconceptions when it comes to women lifting weights: lifting heavy weights makes women bulky, it’s dangerous, and once you have muscle, you can’t stop lifting or it will all turn to fat….

In reality, strength training offers numerous benefits, allowing you to live in a healthier, stronger body. Cardiovascular exercises alone will not help you achieve this.

Here are 7 reasons why women should consider incorporating a strength training program to their fitness regime.

1) MORE EFFECTIVE FAT LOSS

Although many people consider weightlifting only a means to add size, in comparison to cardiovascular exercise, resistance training is actually more effective in burning calories.

The huge advantage to weight training is your body’s ability to burn fat during and after exercise.

After a heavy bought of strength training, you continue to consume additional oxygen in the hours and even days that follow. When your body uses more oxygen, it requires more caloric expenditure and an increased metabolic rate.

2) MORE MUSCLE, MORE CALORIE EXPENDITURE

As you increase strength and lean muscle mass, your body uses calories more efficiently. Sitting burns fewer calories than standing; standing burns fewer than walking, and walking burns fewer than strength training.

The more muscle contractions you experience during a day, the more calories you’ll burn. If you have more lean muscle mass, you’ll have more muscle contractions and thus burn more calories.

3) QUALITY SLEEP

Strength training greatly improves sleep quality, aiding in your ability to fall asleep faster, sleep deeper, and wake less often during the night.

A study published in the International SportMed Journal suggests that morning resistance training or high intensity training greatly affects the quality of sleep and lengthens the time of sleep the night after training. 1

4) INCREASED ENERGY

As noted above, resistance training causes an increase in energy expenditure hours after you train. A study published by the National Institute of Health suggests that the chronic increase in energy expenditure, even after a minimal resistance training session, may favorably effect energy balance and fat oxidation.2Rather than reaching for that early afternoon cup of coffee, grab a barbell.

5) HEART HEALTH

Resistance training can reduce your risk of heart disease and was approved as a healthy form of exercise for those at risk from the American Heart Association. A study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning found that those who lift weights are less likely have heart disease risk factors such as a large waist circumference, high triglycerides, elevated blood pressure, and elevated glucose levels.3

6) BONE HEALTH

As you age, you are at risk of losing both bone and muscle mass. Postmenopausal women are at a greater risk for osteoporosis because the body no longer produces estrogen. A study conducted at McMaster University found that after a year of resistance training, postmenopausal women increased spinal bone mass by 9 percent.5 The earlier you begin weightlifting, the greater chance you have to maintain bone health later in life.

7) STRESS RELIEF

Exercise in general is a great way to manage stress. Researchers have consistently found that those who regularly strength train tend to manage stress better and experience fewer adverse reactions to stressful situations as those who do not exercise.6

References

Davis, K. (2014, May 2). 8 Reasons Women Should Lift. Retrieved from: http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/8-reasons-women-should-lift-weights.html


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4 Exercise to Develop Core Stability

What is the Core?

The “core” consists of a group of muscles including ab­dominal, hip and back muscles that stabilize the spine, pelvis and shoulder. The core provides a solid foundation for movement in the extremities. Core conditioning exercise programs need to target all these muscle groups to be ef­fective. The muscles of the core make it possible to stand upright and move on two feet. These muscles help control movements, transfer energy, shift body weight and move in any direction. A strong core distributes the stresses of weight-bearing and protects the back.

Why is Core Stability Important?

A strong, stable core plays an important role in injury prevention. Research shows that weak, unbalanced core muscles may predispose an individual to injury and are linked to low back pain. Stronger, balanced core muscles help maintain appropriate posture and reduce strain on the spine. Training the muscles of the core also corrects postural imbalances that can lead to injuries.

 4 Exercises To Develop CORE STABILITY(see attached file for RELATED IMAGES)

Building a strong core means doing exercises regularly that target the abdominal, hip and back muscles.

Arm/Leg Raise

Starting position: Lie on your back with knees bent, feet flat on the floor and arms raised straight up in front of you. Maintain an abdominal brace (by tighten­ing your stomach and buttock muscles).

The move: Lift one knee up toward 90 degrees and extend the opposite arm over your head to the floor. Hold for 2-3 seconds. Return to the starting position and switch sides.

Repetitions: Repeat 6-8 times. Gradually work up to 3 sets. Rest for 30-60 seconds between sets.

 

Arm Extension

Starting position: Kneel down onto your hands and knees. Keep your spine in a neutral position and main­tain an abdominal brace (by tightening stomach and buttock muscles).

The move: Extend one arm out in front as much as you can – even a little way makes a difference. The goal is to make your arm parallel with the floor. Be sure to keep the rest of your body stable. Hold for 2-3 seconds. Return to starting position and switch sides.

Repetitions: Repeat 6-8 times. Gradually work up to 3 sets. Rest for 30-60 seconds between sets.

 

Leg Extension

Starting position: Kneel down onto your hands and knees. Keep your spine in a neutral position and main­tain an abdominal brace (by tightening stomach and buttock muscles).

The move: Extend one leg behind as much as you can – even a little way makes a difference. Be sure to keep your upper body stable. Hold for 2-3 seconds. Return to starting position and switch sides.

Repetitions: Repeat 6-8 times. Gradually work up to 3 sets. Rest for 30-60 seconds between sets.

 

Cross Crawl

Starting position: Kneel down onto your hands and knees. Keeping your spine in a neutral position, tighten stomach and buttock muscles to create an abdominal brace.

The move: Slowly extend one leg behind you; at the same time extend the opposite arm out in front until parallel with floor. Be sure to keep your torso square and stable. Hold for 2-3 seconds. Return to starting position and switch sides.

Repetitions: Repeat 6-8 times. Gradually work up to 3 sets. Rest for 30-60 seconds between sets.

 

*If you feel pain or discomfort while performing any of these exercises, or within 72 hours of exercising, please cease performing these exercises and consult your doctor.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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3 Areas to Exercise for Posture

Healthy posture form can make all the difference in the world when it comes to your health. How you carry yourself goes far beyond appearing tall and confident. Correct sitting and standing practices ensure your body functions properly.

When Your Posture is Good:
• You appear and feel better than you already do
• You prevent back aches, strains, muscle pains and headaches
• You reduce the wear and tear on your joints
• You build up your spine’s flexibility and strength
• You exert less energy on daily tasks as your muscles are being used efficiently

There are many things you can do on your own to improve your posture health. One of those is incorporating corrective strengthening and exercises into your fitness regime. Below, we have outlined 4 areas to focus on strengthening with links to the corresponding exercises.

Area 1: Strengthen Your Core:
A strong core (abdominals, lower back, obliques and hips) is the foundation for healthy posture. In addition to building your back’s resiliency, a strong core maintains your body upright, improves balance and allows you to move with greater control and efficiency. The top core exercises include:

Basic crunches for rectus abdominals
Side planks for obliques
Standing side bends for obliques
Plank hold for transverse abdominals
Back extensions for lower back
Crunches with a twist for abdominals and obliques

Area 2: Correct Rounded or Hunched Shoulders
Countless hours spent hunched over the computer, steering wheel, mobile devices or performing daily tasks lead to the postural abnormality of rounded shoulders. These types of forward-reaching behaviours tighten and shorten your chest, shoulders and hip muscles while weakening the muscles of your upper and middle back.

Strengthening the weak upper back muscles and stretching tight muscles in the chest, shoulders, lats and hips can greatly improve your posture overtime. As the upper back gains strength and the chest becomes more flexible, your shoulders naturally pull back. The top exercises to strengthen your upper back include:

Reverse Dumbell Flys
Rows with resistance bands
Standing chest stretch for the chest and shoulders
Torso Stretch for the shoulders

Area 3: Improve Tilted Hips
Ideally, your hips should fall neutral and level. When people’s hips tilt forward, it is a postural issue known as anterior (forward) pelvic tilt. Pelvic tilts are commonly observed in people who sit all or most of the day and spend hours with their legs bent. This sedentary behavior causes weakness in the hamstrings, glutes and abs and tightness in the hip flexors and thighs. The top exercises to strengthen the hamstrings and glutes are:

-*All the aforementioned core exercises
Bridges for hamstrings and glutes
Leg curls with ball for glutes
Single leg hamstring flexion with ball for both hamstrings and glutes
Standing quad stretch for quads and hips
Kneeling quad and hip stretch for quads

The Posture App!

In addition to utilizing the above exercises, you can also work on improving your posture with the Straighten Up Canada App. This FREE, easy-to-use posture program was developed by Canadian chiropractors and can be used virtually anywhere for just 3 minutes a day!

The app features 12 unique posture exercises, adult and youth exercise options, highly accessible image and video content, tracking functions, posture information and much more!

References

Kent, G. Exercises to Improve Your Posture: Stand Taller, Look 10 Pounds Thinner. Retrieved from: http://www.sparkpeople.com/resource/fitness_articles.asp?id=1407&page=3


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10 Ways to Rev up Your Metabolism

A speedy metabolism is one of the most powerful weapons when it comes to shedding the extra pounds and maintaining one’s ideal weight.

To break it down simply, metabolism is the total number of calories your body burns each day. Now, how fast your body burns calories depends on a number of factors. Some individuals are genetically blessed with a faster metabolism than most. Biologically speaking, men seem to burn more calories, even in rest mode, than women do. As we age, our metabolism slows down at a steady rate and subsequently keeping the weight off can be both tricky and frustrating.

The good news here is that there are many things you can do on your own to optimize your metabolism.
We’ve gathered 10 sure-fire tips to get your calorie-burning machine going!

1) Build Muscle: Muscle is the top consumer of calories in your body. Your body is always burning calories even when you’re in rest mode. People with more muscle have a higher resting metabolic rate. Increasing your muscle mass means your body will work harder at burning calories even when you’re sleeping. Ways to increases muscle mass in order to ramp up your metabolic rate include:

• Combine cardio activity with light weights to keep your heart rate going while building leaner muscles
• Combine strength training with aerobic activity
• Do 1 or 2 sets of 12-15 repetitions that focus on each muscle group twice a week
• Target the abs, biceps, glutes, and quads for the above repetitions

2) Take care of your thyroid: Your thyroid is vital to your metabolism as it acts as metabolic thermostat of sorts. The thyroid releases hormones that help to control the overall body temperature and rate that your body burns calories. When your thyroid is out of balance, your metabolic rate slows down. Keep your
thyroid in its best health so your metabolic rate is functioning at its peak. Keep your thyroid in shape by:

• Consuming good carbs like whole grains, vegetables, and beans
• Don’t completely cut carbs out of your diet, as studies have shown that this can reduce thyroid function by an alarming 50%
• Keeping complex carbs in your diet

3) Snack smart: It may sound strange, but snacking can actually help you lose weight. Of course, this all depends on how smart you are snacking! What happens when you eat 3 large meals spaced out is that your metabolism slows down in between. Eating several small snacks every 3-4 hours will keep your metabolism going, thus burning more calories over an entire day. Regular snacking will also help you eat less at meal time.

• Have a power plate every 3-4 hours
• Make sure the plate has 3 components of 1 protein, 1 carbohydrate or good fat and unlimited vegetables
• Don’t skip on meals or food which signals the metabolism to slow down thinking the body is going into fasting mode
• Start your day with a high protein breakfast to curb hunger

4) Get spicy: It’s true that spicy foods can help you lose weight! Spicy foods contain natural chemicals that increase your metabolic rate. Note though that with spicy foods, the metabolic rate boost is likely only temporary. However, incorporating spices into your meals daily can help improve your metabolism overtime.

• Add a tablespoon of chopped red or green chilli peppers to your dishes
• Spice up chilis, stews, pasta, and casseroles with red pepper flakes

5) Protein, protein, protein: We burn more calories when digesting protein than any other fat or carbohydrate. Substituting some carbs with lean proteins will boost your metabolism.

• Incorporate meats like lean beef, turkey, fish, white meat, and chicken
• Nuts and legumes
• Beans
• Eggs
• Low-fat dairy products

6) Black Coffee: When consumed in limited amounts, black coffee can help with giving you a short-term boost in your metabolism. It will also help to ramp up your endurance while you exercise.

7) Have some green tea: Green and oolong tea help to boost the metabolism for a couple of hours due to the caffeine and catechins they contain. According to research, drinking 2-4 cups of green/oolong tea can give the body fuel to burn 17% more calories during a fairly intensive but short workout.

8) Stay away from crash diets: Diets that subsist on consuming fewer than 1,200 calories can actually contribute to slowing down a metabolism. These diets can signal to your body to burn valuable muscle tissue and fat, thus slowing down your metabolic rate. While you may be able to drop the pounds quickly with these diets, you will not be so doing so on the grounds of quality nutrition. You’ll end up losing muscle and your body will burn less calories which will unfortunately cause you to gain weight faster.

9) Up your workout game: Injecting some intensity into your workouts will boost your metabolism for your times of rest later. High-intensity exercises deliver a larger, longer spike in resting metabolic rates over low to moderate intensity workouts. Here are some tips to ramp up your exercise routines:

• Add speedier bursts to your treadmill activity, walks, or runs
• Combine strength training and aerobic activity together
• Mix in intervals to any cardio workout , switching between high and low intensity sets
• Make aerobic activities more challenging to burn more calories

10) Keep yourself hydrated: Water plays a significant role in metabolism in that we need it to process the calories we intake. Dehydration even in the slightest form, can yield a metabolism to slow down.

• Drink a glass of water before every meal and snack
• Munch on fresh fruit and vegetables which naturally contain water

 

References

3 Rules to Reboot Your Metabolism. Retrieved from: http://www.doctoroz.com/article/3-rules-reboot-metabolism

Smith, M, MD. (2013, August 19) 10 Ways to Boost your Metabolism. Retrieved from: http://www.webmd.com/diet/ss/slideshow-boost-your-metabolism

Roth, M. Rev It Up: How to Reboot Your Metabolism. Retrieved from: http://www.fitnessmagazine.com/weight-loss/tips/how-to-increase-metabolism/

 


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The Immunity and Exercise Connection

Battling off colds and flu viruses, managing bacteria and viruses we encounter daily, and attacking the “bad” cells that form in our body are just a few of the many incredible things our immune system does for us. The strength of or immune system is impacted by many factors, most notably our age, gender, diet, medical status, stress and fitness levels. It’s so important that we carefully consider all these various lifestyle aspects to ensure we are doing everything in our power to keep our immune system balanced.

One of these factors that we definitely want to ensure we’re taking care of is exercise. The relationship between exercise and our immunity is a fascinating one which doctors are still continuing to do research on the link between. Along the way, they have discovered some significant truths in how exercise boosts the immune system.

exercise ball girl

Generally speaking, research has revealed that regular and moderate exercise is beneficial to your immune system

Here’s how:
• Exercise boosts your immune system by providing a boost to the cells in your body that are assigned to fight bacteria
• More recent studies show that there are actually physiological changes in the immune system that happen when a person exercises
• After a person exercises, the cells capable of killing bacteria and viruses circulate at a more rapid pace through the system
• Even though this boost only lasts a few hours after exercising, it is usually enough to keep you much healthier than if you didn’t exercise
• In people who don’t exercise, these cells appear to work at a much slower level
• Studies have shown that people who work out regularly take half as many sick days annually than those who don’t exercise consistently
• For those who exercise regularly, there is a decrease in prolonged inflammation
• Contributes even more directly by promoting good circulation, enabling cells and substances to travel freely throughout the body and be more efficient
• Exercise has been shown to aid in the increasing production of macrophages, which are cells that fight the types of bacteria that can trigger upper respiratory diseases
• Exercise also slows the release of stress-related hormones, and stress is shown to increase the likelihood of illnesses

Exercise for Immunity:
• To help the body resist various diseases and viruses, aim to exercise at a moderate intensity for at least 40 minutes per day
• Don’t overdo it! Too much exercise can negatively impact immunity strength
• High intensity endurance activities (marathons, racing) lasting 90 minutes and over can increase your susceptibility to infection for up to three days
• Keep your exercise routine consistent and progressively challenging, but be sensible about the gradual changes and variety in your program

References

Brown, J. (2013, March 11). How Exercise Affects Immunity. Retrieved from: http://www.coreperformance.com/knowledge/wellness/how-exercise-affects-immunity.html