The Importance of Exercise Recovery: Step 1 Strength Training

 

Last week I wrote an article on exercise recovery and mentioned that within the body there is a constant play of stability and mobility. Certain areas in our body function best when strong and stable and other areas of the body function best with more range of motion. I also briefly explored how six practices can help your body recover from exercise. Each week I will explore the six in more detail. 

The first practice I list is strength training, which at first may seem like a funny activity to put in a list about ways to recover from exercise. And while strength training doesn’t directly help our bodies recover from bouts of exercise, what it does do is far more important. Strength training lays the foundation to building a highly functional body. In the end this helps your body perform optimally so that it eases the demands on the body when you exercise, so less recovery is needed.

Strength training develops better force-couple relationships, which in turn creates a...

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The Importance of Exercise Recovery

 

Exercise recovery is more than just resting after a workout. In this article I go over a few important practices that can help increase your body’s ability to recover from exercise.

Within the body there is a constant play of stability and mobility. Certain areas in our body function best when strong and stable and other parts of the body function best with more range of motion.

ACE Personal Trainer manual (5th Edition) has a helpful list locating key mobility and stability areas within the body’s kinetic chain: 

  • Glenohumeral (ball and socket joint where the top of the arm and the shoulder meet): mobility
  • Scapulothoracic (shoulder blade attachment to upper back): stability
  • Thoracic spine (upper back where ribs are): mobility
  • Lumber spine (lower back): stability
  • Hip (ball and socket joint where the top of the leg and side of pelvis meet): mobility
  • Knee: stability
  • Ankle: mobility
  • Foot: stability

If you have ever taken one of my classes, you may have heard me speak...

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What is the Pain-Free Movement?

As an experienced Pilates instructor, certified Exercise Coach and Corrective Exercise Specialist, many new clients have come to me with over-use injuries, even with a few acute injuries. While healing acute injuries is not within my scope of practice (that is the purpose of a medical doctor and a physiotherapist) I can help you prevent future injuries and work with your current chronic pain and over use injuries. 

Chronic injuries develop over time. They often develop from poor movement patterns. Patterns we have formed over years depending on the type of work we do, how many hours we sit in a day, how we walk and stand, and how we move our bodies with load (our bodyweight) and what trauma our bodies have experienced in the past. Every individual is unique with their own habitual movement patterns. 

However, it's guaranteed that if we don't work on fixing our patterns at a certain point incorrect movement patterns will cause pain, discomfort, and/or...

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Injuries

injury May 31, 2020

There are two categories of injuries: Acute and Chronic. 

Acute injuries happen from accidents causing muscle strains, corrective tissue sprains, cuts, and/or broken bones. Traumatic injuries are best treated immediately after the accident. 

Runner's First Aid: RICE

  • Rest: don't make the damaged area worse by putting more stress on it, however, resting doesn't mean immobility either. Moving the injured area is important because it stimulates blood flow to the injured tissue. Your health care provider will advise how to move the injured area properly.
  • Ice: swelling is part of the healing process, but too much of it slows down healing. Applying ice causes vasoconstriction of the local blood vessels which limits bleeding and swelling to the area. Icing the injured area reduces your recovery time (very important!). Apply ice for 20min and allow an hour in-between applications. Repeat for 24-72 hours. Never place the ice directly on skin, have a...
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What is Pre-habilitation?

fitness injury May 20, 2020

Pre-habilitation is a proactive approach to avoiding injury. Professional athletes know of its importance, but it is often the missing component in the exercise programs of recreational fitness enthusiasts.

All experts agree exercise is key to health and longevity. Exercise helps with:

  • reducing risk of chronic disease
  • lowering blood pressure
  • reducing excess weight
  • giving us more energy and strength
  • boosts our mood
  • increases health of skin
  • boosts brain activity and memory
  • helps with relaxation and sleep quality
  • helping lessen aches and pains

One of the biggest issues with starting an exercise routine is muscle imbalances and repetitive motion with incorrect form that often leads to injury. I see this quite often with new clients coming to me for advice.

With pre-habilitation, qualified trainers use specific exercises to strengthen vulnerable areas, while lengthening tight areas of the body to avoid injury. Each body is different, depending on its own set of habitual movement...

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How to Stay Motivated

fitness health running May 09, 2020

Staying motivated can definitely be much harder than initially starting an exercise plan. It’s just a fact of life. Starting a new habit and sticking to it is super hard. In this article, I am going to provide a few helpful tips to stay consistent with your habits so you can reach your health and fitness goals.

Just as we gradually train our bodies to develop strength and endurance, so need to do the same for our minds.

  • Think of yourself as an athlete. If you put effort into consistently working out you are by definition an athlete. Your goal may be to feel better, to look thinner, and have more energy, but in the end, you are an athlete. And if you put yourself in that mindset, psychologists say you’re more likely to act like an athlete. And athletes stick to their workout program regardless if they feel like it doing it or not.
  • If you have ever taken one of my classes you know I usually say “oohhh isn’t this so much fun?” or “wasn’t that...
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A Simple Method to Avoid Injury and Live Pain Free

fitness health Apr 26, 2020

Now that is an important topic we all are hoping for, eh? Now let’s see if I can deliver…

I am super passionate about this. I’ve been for quite a while. It’s always been a focus, but definitely since I had my rotator cuff (the muscles under and over your shoulder blades) injury back in August 2018. You can read about it on my blog here.

At the time, I read a book about shoulder injuries called Framework for the Shoulder and the author, Nicholas DiNubile, mentioned that once we are in our 40s the rotator cuff muscles have received so much wear and tear and with changes in our tissue composition as we age we are quite likely to injure those muscles. A bit disheartening I should say, but I wasn’t satisfied with that answer. Nope. My plan is to not experience that pain again.

Being a Corrective Exercise Specialist with the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) I knew exactly what happened. I was training 6 times a week with heavy weights with...

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Why do Pilates?

fitness pilates Mar 21, 2020
 

I have been purposely practicing movement since I was a child. From the age of five doing acrobatics and ballet to aerobics (think bright purple unitard with leg warmers) at my local community centres in my teens.

I have always loved movement so deciding to become a fitness professional in my 20s was a no brainer. 

In my 20s, while personal training my Toronto clientele, I also trained as an endurance athlete, and also in my early 30s when my children were little. I moved into heavy weight lifting in my late 30s. During these years I always practiced yoga as a recovery method, balancing my other activities and trying to stay injury free. 

In my mid-40s, I found Barre, and have enjoyed the amazing transformation in my body. And then recently, about one year ago, I discovered Pilates. I immediately fell in love with the practice. I found the articulation of the spine (flexion, extension, rotation, and side flexion) fascinating. In yoga, we mainly keep the spine...

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Three Helpful Tips to Keep to Your Resolution of Becoming Healthier

goals health Jan 02, 2020

New Year’s Resolutions. We all make them with the best of intentions and I actually love them. Every year, the week before January 1st, I begin contemplating about what I’d like to change in my life for the upcoming year. On December 31st I carve out a bit of time with my journal to write out my plans. 

Now, truthfully, as the year unfolds some of those carefully crafted ideas don’t even get implemented. Some of those ideas live for about a month or two and then get dropped. But thankfully some of my changes do stay and new habits are formed. 

If your Year 2020 resolution was to develop healthier lifestyle habits and you are worried you may not stick to your new plan, you are reading the right article! As a Certified Personal Trainer, working for the Township of Langley, I have seen lots of success with clients reaching their goals. 

I have noticed three important steps that have led to successful outcomes for clients sticking to their...

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Can Christians Practice Yoga?

flow yoga Dec 07, 2019

Can Christians practice the postures of modern Western yoga? I have encountered so many differing opinions over the past few years. Below I share my own journey and then a few important facts I have researched. 

I grew up Catholic and left the Church and abandoned my family’s faith when I was in college. I became quite alternative, studying various spiritual paths. Two that stuck were Buddhism and the philosophy of yoga. I went on a handful of meditation retreats and practiced Vipassana (Insight) meditation 1-2 hours a day. In 2012, while on a retreat I had a beautiful and encompassing experience of God which slowly brought me back to exploring Christianity. God pursued me loudly and greatly and after some struggle (think Jacob wrestling with God), I listened. I visited almost every Christian denomination before deciding to head back home to the Catholic Church, which is another story entirely for another post. 

While as I was a newbie Christian, I still...

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