Functional Training and Bicep Curls

“Why are there no bicep curls?”. This is a question I often hear, probably because I don’t have any of my clients doing bicep curls. Shouldn’t we be working on arms? My answer is that they are doing functional training, and for most people, bicep curls are not functional. If you are a Bavarian waitress, then yes. And if I had one as a client, I would include bicep curls in their program, particularly in the month leading up to Oktoberfest.
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6 Tips for a Great Ski (or Snowboard) Trip

I suspect for some people, this article could be more aptly named “Ski Trip Survival”. Ski and snowboarding require a lot from your body. It is true that you have help getting up the hill, but that doesn’t mean gravity is doing all of the work for you, no matter what your non-skier friends might say. In fact gravity is the reason you need to be strong and fit to ski: You are battling against it! Unless you want to achieve terminal velocity that is. Racers may like that, but just about everyone else tends to prefer staying within highway speed limits. And of course the racers need even more from their legs and core to control that ridiculous speed!
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Reducing the Risk of Low Back Pain for Skiers

I had an article published in Ski Pro Magazine this fall, Reducing the Risk of Low Back Pain. For those of you who are skiers but not instructors in Canada, here is the link to the online version of the magazine:

Reducing the Risk of Low Back Pain.

The article is on pages 30 and 31, or you can get to it by typing “low back’ into the search field.

Lessons of the Hip & Spine from Dr. Shirley Sahrmann

This article was written after I had the pleasure of attending a two-day seminar with Dr. Shirley Sahrmann, author of Diagnosis and Treatment of Movement Impairment Syndromes. Throughout the course, and then on the eight hour drive home, I had a lot of opportunity to really think about what I learned and its relevance. This article presents a combination of what I learned from Dr. Sahrmann, as well as some of the thoughts it provoked.

I don’t care how much you don’t move
This was a statement she made repeatedly throughout the course, and reflects the premise that it is usually the place that moves too much that is the problem. This is in keeping with her belief of exercise instead of manual therapy as the best approach for addressing movement disorders, because manual therapy typically addresses shortness.
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The last words on Sodium, Soup and Health Check

This is another follow-up to my previous two posts about sodium and the Health Check label.

The first was about high sodium content of Heinz soups, and the second addressed sodium levels in products with the Health Check logo.

In short, I was driven to correspond with both Heinz and the Heart & Stroke Foundation (who run the Health Check program) after being shocked at the high sodium content of Smart Ones soup. This lead me to identify reporting irregularities in nutrition information posted online. I have received correspondence from both parties that do address this issue. I’ve included copies of both letters below. And for those who are in a hurry, here’s the tweet-sized version:
Continue reading The last words on Sodium, Soup and Health Check

More on Sodium in Soup and Health Check (TM)

Last week I posted about an email “conversation” with Heinz Canada about the high sodium content of their soups, which lead me to the discovery that they were making incorrect health claims on their website. They state that their tomato juice “is endorsed by the Heart & Stroke Foundation’s Health Check™ logo”, but upon further inspection, it has too much sodium to meet the requirements of the Health Check program. I emailed both the Heart and Stroke Foundation (they run the Health Check program) and Heinz about this finding, and I heard back from the Heart and Stroke Foundation within a couple of days. I have yet to hear back from Heinz. Here is the H&S Foundation reply:
Continue reading More on Sodium in Soup and Health Check (TM)

A clear answer from Heinz about sodium in their soup

I sent the following letter to Heinz Canada after almost buying a can of their soup, but then putting it back because of the alarming sodium levels. Their answer follows…

My email to Heinz:

“Can you please tell me why your soups have so much sodium? I almost bought your Southwestern vegetable soup today but then I saw the label and put it back. 820mg of sodium in a 60 cal serving? Wow! Im not sure Ive ever seen another food that is so sodium dense. Seriously! So 3% of daily calories has 34% of daily sodium?
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Accepting Aging as an Athlete

I explained what I’ve written below to my neighbour as I walked by him on my way home from playing ultimate, and he started to chuckle. I asked what he was laughing about and he said “It’s fun watching you grow up”. This is my neighbour who used to be on the Canadian National Figure Skating Team, so he knows what athletes go through as their career (or in my case “career”) winds down.
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Snack time! What are you eating?

I snack. I’m not ashamed to admit it. I try to snack a bit less often, and I try to keep most of my snacks relatively healthy. But snacks definitely have a place in my life.

Delicious fro-yoFor a while I was on a mission to find those great tasting snacks that are still reasonable in terms of calories. And boy did I find some. Ever had Chapman’s Frozen Yogurt? Wow. It’s seriously tasty. I recently had some Caramel Pecan Crunch. I’m amazed that it tastes that good at only 140 calories per 1/2 cup serving. I was thinking that this is amazing – basically the same nutritional impact as boring old yogurt, but tastes like ice cream (seriously – it’s good). Obviously this has to be a regular snack item.

But sadly there is a problem. Continue reading Snack time! What are you eating?

Just Say No to Your Cravings…Sometimes

I had an epiphany earlier today. Here goes: for most of people, weight loss is really very simple. I don’t believe it involves evaluating the many, many, many diets and nutrition plans out there. Success and failure can be had with any of them. There are some long term studies that show one version is marginally better than the other, but the reality is that the majority of people who try them, do not succeed. So we as a society have tried every possible diet under the sun but none of them work.

The epiphany that I had is that the reason we’re failing is so very simple. It’s not the program; it’s us. We don’t know how to say No to ourselves. Continue reading Just Say No to Your Cravings…Sometimes