Fitness in schools????

Once my son entered the school system, I became so much more aware of health and fitness in the school system.  Fitness for youth is a passion of mine and I love to show kids how fitness can be fun without even knowing they are having a great workout at the same time!  So, once I realized how little fitness is a priority in the school system, it drove me crazy!  Physical activity needs to be included in every school day!  Structured activity that focuses on game play and fun activities that increase body awareness, agility, hand/eye co-ordination, balance and so much more!  Parents that think this is not important are adding to the problem!  Most of these parents are inactive so for them to realize the importance of it, is pretty much non-existant!

What can you do as a parent who really cares about your childs physical activity?  Get active yourself and get active with them!  Encourage movement and play and get them outside!  Play… play…play! 

There are always budget cuts through every school district but cutting anything related to physical activity is a mistake!  Give these children the opportunity to try different sports and activities as I’m sure every child will find something they love!  We need to keep kids active and encourage physical activity!  It needs to be fun!  Talk to your child’s teacher or principal and ask about how much activity they get through the day.  How much P.E is offered to their class!  Encourage it and have fun!

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TSN Bring home the Cup!

Lumby Initiation A Bulldogs

SUBMITTED BY: Rhonda Catt

TEAM CITY: Lumby
TEAM NAME: Lumby Initiation A Bulldogs
ADDED: March 10th, 2010

Voting starts March 22!  Go to www.teamup.tsn.ca

Vote for the Lumby Bulldogs to bring home the cup!

As a parent of a first year hockey player it was entering the world of the unknown. How were these kids going to play hockey if they can’t even skate or handle a puck? Well, the joy of change was about to begin! The Lumby Initiation A Bulldogs range in ages from 4-7. A team full of heart, joy and determination! Time on the ice was full of fun and smiles! New friends, laughter and amazing coaches! It was improvement greater than any parent would expect! The honest ability to have fun and not care about the score! To learn the game of Hockey for no reason than to have fun and because you love it! This age shows us that this amazing sport known as our Canadian pastime has the ability to shower these kids with new friends, tolerance and acceptance, grace and determination. Each team member playing because of the passion of friendship and learning. The passion for Hockey! We were reminded of the reward of team spirit when we watched every Bulldog game! The innocents of a player scoring in their own net or two friends chatting on the ice while the play continues away from them! Or, being carried off by a coach because you fell and having those bright eyes light up again from a coache’s heartfelt encouragement. The Lumby Bulldogs shined by not only appreciating the true joy of Hockey but also by passing along that joy to each parent! If they lost a game, the enjoyment was so immense they didn’t even realize the score! The Bulldogs reminded us as parents to appreciate the moment. To appreciate the innocence of fun and the beauty of Hockey! These early years are truly the best!

It’s all about Change!

Sometimes we get stuck in a rut, especially when it comes to Health and Fitness.  It can be easy to chug along at the gym with the same routine because “at least you are going”…. Right?

I could be the nice fitness professional that says “Yes, great job”.  It’s easy to say and I have said it before.  But, there comes a time when you need to take action!  There comes a time when you need to take a look at your fitness program and say “enough is enough”.  Going through the motions is not the way to increase your fitness level or get the results you want!  I see it all the time, the same people in the gym and they never change!  How frustrating can that be! 

There needs to be goals!  There needs to be a desire!  There needs to be inspiration!  It needs to come from YOU!  No trainer in the world is going to make the changes happen for you.  You need to put in the work.  So, for all those people chugging along at the gym or whatever fitness program they are following!  What is your true desire?  Why are you working out?  Is it for general health?  Sport performance? Injury reduction?

Set goals!  Short term goals that will lead to long term success!  You could waste your time chugging along or have a solid plan and kick some fitness ass!

Is Function Fit?

Nowadays it’s a big buzz word about functional training.  What type of tools do you use… balls, BOSU’s…bands, straps, balance boards?  All are wonderful tools that can create fun, variety, excitement and great training effects.  But, if not used correctly it can set up an athlete or weekend warrior for dysfunction mayhem!  You hear loads of information circling in the fitness industry.  “Don’t train this, don’t train that, don’t lay on the ground, don’t squat, don’t …don’t…don’t”.  It all comes down to the goal of the individual. 

Training needs to address dysfunction!  This is the only way you will better your game and increase your fitness level without increasing your risk of injuries.  There is nothing wrong with ground based exercises or “training from the ground up” if there is a neuromuscular training effect needed. If you have to retrain a movement or muscle before attempting multi joint patterns then do it!  Do not get stuck in the fancy equipment! 

If this means lying on the ground to introduce core exercises, hip strength or glute strength than it needs to be done!  I would say 100% of people are in this situation.  They have some dysfunction they are unaware of that cannot be ignored! 

How lazy are your glutes?  How much mobility does your ankle have?  How much movement happens at the T-spine instead of the low back?  Do you have back or knee pain?  Do you have neck or shoulder pain?  You are probably thinking…”yes to that and that…and that!”

Assess and address.  Assess dysfunction and address it!

When it comes to functional training, training that can transfer to everyday life, it’s great to incorporate tools into the program.  It keeps people interested and wanting more but there is a time and a place!  So, if you are hopping on a ball or BOSU or any tool for that matter without a clear understanding of true core function, how to brace.  Or shoulder girdle function or hip stability than step off and away from the mayhem!

Hernia Help

The following article touches on a topic that is somewhat confusing for many and may also be a little bit of heavy reading.  The goal of the article is to get anyone suffering from groin pain to take a closer look at their training program and if they haven’t done so already, speak with their doctor and qualified health professional to seek out their best options to prevent further injury.

In a number of sports there are high incidences of groin (inner thigh) pulls, abdominal injuries and as some call it, sport hernias.

There is much research on the topic but still no conclusion on what exactly causes these injuries. 

Hockey and soccer players tend to suffer the most but these issues can still be found in other sports.  A sports hernia can be described as a tear in the lower abdominal wall. 

 What is the cause of groin pulls or Sport hernias?  The research is not conclusive on this topic… it’s the chicken and the egg!  What comes first that leads to a Sport hernia?  Is it the abdominal walls’ response to a change of mechanics in the hips, imbalance in the adductor muscle group, core weakness?  What is known is the fact that many important issues play a role in groin pain and what can lead into a Sport hernia.  Knowing these issues is what can save you from a serious injury or even surgery.

 What most individuals who suffer from these injuries may be lacking is multidirectional mobility at the hip/pelvis.  You may have flexibility in one direction at the hip but lack it in another direction.  Gaining core stability, leg adduction (pulling toward midline of body) and true hip flexor function is also important.  Follow strength patterns that adduct (pull in) and flex the hip, side planking, single leg training and multi directional lunge patterns.  BUT, it’s crucial to point out that there are progression levels to follow and not everyone with groin pain may have the same diagnosis!

 This article is not written to diagnose.  It is imperative to consult your doctor and health professional if you are experiencing any sort of groin pain or abdominal discomfort.  If you are an athlete who has been suffering from a “pulled groin” you need to follow an appropriate preventative program and stop ignoring the pain.  Do not let mild groin pain turn into a serious injury!  There are several key points that must be followed in a properly designed program and missing a step will decrease its effectiveness.

 What do you do now?  Contact your doctor, physiotherapist or qualified health professional who knows & understands exact technique, functional movement of a muscle/joint and respects the demands put forth on the body during sport performance.

Is your Health a priority?

When a loved one is diagnosed with a serious health issue it certainly makes you appreciate what is important in life.  You do not have a true understanding of situations unless it has happened to you.  Once you experience this, for most, it creates a shift in priorities. 

For myself, the shock of my mothers Breast Cancer diagnosis made me examine life and priorities.  The courage and determination I saw from my mom especially through the trauma of Chemotherapy reminded me to not take for granted my experiences in life!  Each workout was even more exhilarating and each day was a gift.  As a Personal Trainer our influence on clients is very important and I realized that they influenced me more then ever!  Their support and encouragement was unending!  And the experience my mom went through made me a better mom!  She showed the true human spirit of determination and motivation! 

 Suddenly, it was the “big red truck”!  Once you know someone who owns one they are everywhere!  After Breast Cancer hit so close to home, I was talking to women or hearing stories of survivors almost daily!  The shock of how many women have experienced it actually hit home.  Illness and disease took on an entirely different meaning to me and prevention became even more important. 

 Reclaiming your health after a serious diagnosis can be a challenge but there is overwhelming evidence that exercise can help. Unfortunately, when it comes to cancer survivors, in a recent survey of more than 114,000 Canadian adults, fewer than 22% were physically active. (Courneya, Katzmarzyk & Bacon 2008).

 Most of the time things do not phase us if we feel we are healthy!  It’s when a situation arises that compromises our health that makes us think twice of our choices.  Or, drives us to investigate further into ways of making things better!  Start to open pathways now of increased knowledge in as many areas of health & fitness as possible. 

 How can it be so easy for some people to workout on a regular basis and impossible for others to even start?  We are coming upon the busiest time of the year for people to start and quit a fitness program.  Figure out your true motivation behind fitness?  Reasons that will help you enjoy fitness and life every step of the way!  Only you have the power to change!  All of this brings up amazing stories.  Uplifting and motivating stories that prove a healthy body is the answer to a healthy life!  Stories that encourage and make you say “wow, I can make a change”!  What a great opportunity to share their story and help others achieve what they keep reaching for.  Fitness should not be tedious or boring.  It should be an invigorating challenge, a fun experience and one you should be proud of! 

 Brian, 45

Can exercise save someone’s life?  I truly believe it can for it saved mine. Three years ago I was diagnosed with late stages heart failure and required a heart transplant.  Up to the point of my diagnosis I have always been very active, fit and healthy.  I have lived a lifestyle that always promoted fitness and healthy clean eating.  I know that being as fit and healthy before my transplant has had a great deal to do with my amazing quick recovery.  At times Doctors told me there was no way I should be able to do the things I was doing just before my operation and were awed by my ability to return to work as a firefighter, some even told me I would never return to active duties. Two weeks after my operation I was once again back at the gym using fitness to help me return to where I once was. 

Today more than ever I know that being active and fit whatever level you strive to achieve can help not only physically but mentally as well.  Keep positive, push through the hard trying times and the results will be more than worth it.  It may even save your life one day.

 Liz, 43 

It took me a long time to find the motivation to exercise and now can’t imagine my life today without it. I personally can attribute my fitness to helping me deal with my depression.  After starting a fitness program, I decided to stop taking my antidepressants (that I had been on for seven years). Three years later, I am still off of the medication, and I know that in order to stay healthy I MUST make fitness a way of life.  I am thankful for the friends I have met along the way that encourage and support.  

 Brenda, 54

Fitness is important to me because at 50 I was seriously thinking of quitting showing horses competitively as my lack of power and stamina was seriously affecting my riding. I found a fitness program that I fell in love with and now at 54 I feel better than I have in years. I have lots of energy to go all day and the power and stamina needed to show a cutting horse at the international level in which I wish to compete.

 Nadine,41

For me it was finding myself after having kids.  I’ve set up my exercise routine around women who I can vent, laugh, cry, or whatever else emotion comes up.  This bond has become so strong, not exercising isn’t an option.  It is too easy to loose yourself in the family life, which I feel just makes us angry and tired. 

 Geri, 37

Fitness and athletics have always been a part of my life.  However, it wasn’t until I had three children within four years, and hired a personal trainer that I realized how little I truly understood about nutrition and fitness, how much I took my body for granted in my twenties, and how I wasn’t pushing myself to my full potential.  Between my second and third child I built a strong base and was in good shape, therefore my third pregnancy was far less painful and uncomfortable. I feel, and I write this 8 weeks post-partum, that I look my best after this birth, being my third, than I did with my other two babies.  It also makes a huge difference in dealing with the stresses of motherhood.

 Verna, my mom!

Your health is the most important thing in your life, something you should never take for granted like I did.  Just because you don’t feel sick, it doesn’t mean that “something” isn’t going on inside your body you don’t know about.  Being diagnosed with breast cancer and having to go through surgery and the horrible chemo journey made me realize this and also realize how important it is to take care of yourself. Something as simple as eating healthy and exercise can and does make a big difference and something we can all do.

 In closing, I also think of my father-in-law who is 79 and still playing hockey!  This proves that age is just a number!  Remember, only you have the power to change.  Make 2010 your best year ever!

ACL Injury reduction

Reducing dysfunction and risk of injury through daily tasks and sports should be a high priority for anyone following a Fitness routine!

Getting injured is probably the last thing on someone’s mind when playing a pickup game of Basketball or joining a women’s Soccer league but it happens frequently.  One injury high on the list for many is an ACL partial tear or complete rupture and the majority of these are non-contact.  Many times additional injuries are sustained along with the ACL such as meniscus (cartilage) tears and other ligament tears throughout the knee.  Much research shows that females may run a greater risk but there is still debate.  Some key reasons for ACL injuries include a smaller intercondylar notch, higher Q angle (wider hips), fatigue, shoe or ground surface along with weather conditions, decreased core strength and proprioception.  Phase of menstrual cycle has also been noted in research as playing a role in these types of injuries.  There is still much research needed to fully understand the reasoning behind these injuries and how to reduce the risk.

Dr. Jason O’Brien, a well respected surgeon in the Okanagan, sees the majority of his ACL surgeries from injuries suffered through woman’s soccer, Skiing and Basketball.  85% of those successfully return to pre-injury activities.  Dr O’Brien stresses that a proper rehabilitation program is crucial for post-rehab success.

 What can you do now to reduce your risk and ensure that your current fitness program is on the mark when it comes to injury prevention?

You need to find out what activities place you at risk such as jumping and landing, how you cut or pivot during a game?  How is your body position in these movements of deceleration?  Most individuals with an increased risk of an ACL tear cannot perform standing single leg squatting.  When playing sports, movements are mainly on one leg, so everything changes, especially when you land on one leg!  Develop that ability to land on one leg properly and correct your positioning if needed.  Increase the eccentric strength to absorb force.  Increase your strength and fitness level to reduce fatigue while playing.  Train single leg strength, perform stop and start drills!  Improve glute strength and hip stability.  There is so much that needs to be included in a good training program to reduce injuries.  It needs to be your dedication to the program and the quality of it that does the job!  It could be the one thing that saves your knee and a visit to a surgeon!

 If you would like more information on upcoming programs to help reduce ACL injuries email cattconditioning@yahoo.com

For the love of Hockey

About a month ago Personal Trainer Rhonda Catt wanted to give the opportunity of owning a team signed NHL hockey stick to someone who truly deserves it. Rhonda was able to do just that with the help of summer client Andrew Ference who plays for the Boston Bruins. A 2008-09 team signed Boston Bruins hockey stick was able to make someones Christmas even more special! Laurel keating nominated Devon Strand who is a grade seven student at CBSS. Devon is 13 years old and was born completely deaf.  When he was two he had a Cochlear Implant which enables him to hear vibrations and noises.  Being deaf has caused him not to be able to participate in programs that most 13 year old boys like to do.  Two years ago, his father Rob, was killed tragically in a car accident in Alberta.  This has been more of a tragedy in Devon’s life than anything.  Not a day goes by, when i am around him, that he doesn’t talk about his father wrote Laurel Keating in her letter to Rhonda Catt.  Sherry, Devons mom, knows that winning the signed stick is very exciting and appreciated!  Something that he can hang on his wall and show his friends! This can be something he can be very proud of.  Thankyou to Laurel Keating for taking the time to contact Rhonda. Rhonda would like to take the time to thank everyone who contacted her.  It’s great to see people think of others and want to help.

Oh Canada!!!…. Glory, glory!

I remember the day at the gym when I was asked if I was excited about the Olympic Torch relay coming into town!  I laughed….. laughed because I thought it was crazy!  No need to spend all that tax paying money on something like a Torch relay!  What is the point!  I even made fun of those little red Olympic mittens! 

Oh how 17 days can change everything!

I absolutely love sports!  Being a professional athlete would be an amazing dream come true!  Playing a sport for your life and staying fit!  How can that be bad!  What a great life!  But, these Olympics did start with a dismal display and no one realized what the outcome would be.

I found myself on that first day of TV coverage wondering what was going on.  Getting used to the fact that these Olympics were in my same time zone so whatever was on TV then was actually happening.   

Oh, our first Gold medal on home soil… ever!  I guess that is exciting.  Well, maybe I’ll spend a bit more effort watching the athletes and seeing the great Olympic coverage.  Things were changing…. excitement was building!  I looked forward to coming home and turning the TV on and so did my children.  

Suddenly, my skepticism was slowly disappearing.  I was overwhelmed with what I saw on TV!  Canadians were supporting our athletes and these Olympics like nothing we have ever seen!  I wanted those red Olympic mittens.  I wanted a shirt that said “Believe”.  I wanted to come home and turn the TV on and cheer for our Canadian athletes who have trained and struggled so long and hard to get there.  What a feeling!

I started to Believe!  I started to realize that these Olympics would be our most successful ever!  This would be the moment that would make Canadians stand and shout loud and proud who they are and what a great country we live in.  The silence of our pride is gone.  The ability to cheer and raise the beautiful Canadian flag proudly was overwhelming.  No more quiet, apologetic Country and we are not sorry for feeling this way!  We rock and we want everyone to know it! 

Own the Podium was NOT a failure!  It brought this wonderful country together.  It made Canadians believe.  It made Canada shine!  The Gold medal count may show our success but how this Country came together is the true Gold medal!  Way to go Canada!  The support you showed our athletes… amazing!