Massage increases performance.

In the past 18 years of being a sports massage therapist/trainer, I have seen a lot. One of the most profound things I have seen is the increase in athletic performance in ‘athletes’ who receive regular massage treatments. Now, the theory is that massage increases performance by up to 20%. And understand that it is just a theory as doing study’s on massage is extremely difficult with so many variables to consider. But, I have seen it first hand. Along with a decrease in injury time, massage helps to keep muscles functioning properly. Breaking down the ‘injured’ tissue and allowing it to be flushed out for faster recovery time and increased gains in speed, strength, power, agility and flexibility!
Be nice to your body and keep it functioning at a high level.
Massage can be done as often as 2-3 times a week or as little as (depending on your activity level and other factors) once every 4-8 weeks.
Allow yourself to reach the highest potential possible and take care of that exercised/stressed out body with some awesome massage!!
Stay strong YYC!!

Quinoa patty.

Here are some delicious quinoa patties. Quinoa, sun dried tomatoes, spinach, onions, garlic, feta cheese with a dash of salt and pepper. Absolutely delicious, and quite healthy!! Only takes about 30 minutes to prepare.
Eat well and stay strong YYC!!


Workout at work

Here is a workout that you can do at lunch with some co-workers, a friend or even your boss!!! Find a park while weather permits, a spare boardroom or even a stairwell and go! Remember, exercise doesn’t have to be a full hour, any 10 minute increments of moderately intense exercise count!!
This one should take between 20-40 minutes. Remember to watch your heart rate and adjust accordingly!! Enjoy!!
Stay strong YYC!!

Do each of the following for 45 seconds to 60 seconds depending on fitness level (90 seconds of you are exceptionally fit). You don’t need any equipment except maybe a mat.
There will be some photos posted on my website real soon for exercise explanations.

1. Step- any step or stair.
2. Squats
3. Jumping jacks
4. Push-ups
5. Front bridge (plank) for max time
6. Good mornings-slowly and with a stable and contracted pelvic floor and core!! (Kegel up and belly button in).
7. Mountain climbers.
8. Crunches.
9. Pull-ups (lying under a bar if possible). If not skip to next exercise.
10. Bicycles.
11. Supermans-holding each for 5 seconds for an entire minute (2 if needed).
Repeat as fitness level allows. Usually 2-3 times will cover your lunch break.
Again, stay strong YYC!!

Laughter IS the best medicine

Laugh your way to a healthy heart!!
It has been suggested that laughter is the best medicine. That a giggle can carry an immense release of endorphins to help calm and ground anxiety, fear or anger. There have been many claims in the past of the power of laughter, we believe strongly in it. Being around people who seem to be having fun and laughing is contagious. It makes us want to be a part of it. It makes us feel good for the crowd that is laughing, and that is without even participating.
Lets take it a step further and use some science based facts:
1. Laughter decreases stress hormones and increases immune cells and infection-fighting antibodies, thus improving your resistance to disease.
2. Laugher triggers the release of endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good chemicals. Endorphins promote an overall sense of well-being and can even temporarily relieve pain.
3. Laughter improves the function of blood vessels and increases blood flow, which can help protect you against a heart attack and other cardiovascular problems.
4. A good, hearty laugh relieves physical tension and stress, leaving your muscles relaxed for up to 45 minutes after.
If we think about it for a minute… most people are stressed out. Whether it is job deadlines, shopping, kids, spouse, odd-jobs to finish around the house, or whatever your stress trigger is, most people are stressed about something. Laughter helps to relieve that stress, even for a moment. Here is a list of stress related diseases/conditions that most of us aren’t even aware of.
1. heart disease
2. chronic fatigue
3. anxiety attacks
4. mood swings
5. psychological distress
6. depression
7. sleep problems
8. high blood pressure
9. eating disorders
10. peptic ulcers
11. poor immune function
12. chronic pain
13. colds
14. flu
15. viruses
16. headaches
17. migraines
18. alcoholism
19. smoking-related respiratory aliments
Have a look at the chart below and ask yourself if you could use to improve even one of the benefits that are listed.

The Benefits of Laughter
Physical Health Benefits:
• Boosts immunity
• Lowers stress hormones
• Decreases pain
• Relaxes your muscles
• Prevents heart disease
Mental Health Benefits:
• Adds joy and zest to life
• Eases anxiety and fear
• Relieves stress
• Improves mood
• Enhances resilience
Social Benefits:
• Strengthens relationships
• Attracts others to us
• Enhances teamwork
• Helps defuse conflict
• Promotes group bonding

Here are some ways to create opportunities for laughter:
Creating opportunities to laugh
• Watch a funny movie or TV show.
• Go to a comedy club.
• Read the funny pages.
• Seek out funny people.
• Share a good joke or a funny story.
• Check out your bookstore’s humor section.
• Host game night with friends.
• Play with a pet.
• Go to a “laughter yoga” class.
• Goof around with children.
• Do something silly.
• Make time for fun activities (e.g. bowling, miniature golfing, karaoke).
Remember, a healthier heart can be a laugh, giggle, chuckle or even a snicker away!!

Stay strong YYC!!!

Beginner workout

Here is a general, full body workout for the exercise beginner. This is intended to be rather easy. Starting on an exercise program should be progressional to limit injuries.
Do each of the following for 15 repetitions. After each, use the bottom stair on your in-home staircase or step at the gym and step up and down for 30 seconds then move to the next exercise. Remember to alternate the lead foot on each new stepping set. Rest as needed and remember that no one should embark on an exercise program without full medical clearance from their doctor!!
1. Bicep curls
2. Lying tricep extensions (skull crushers)
3. Squats
4. Push-ups. (Modify if necessary, ie. on knees, against wall)
5. Bent over row
6. Face up bridge (lying on back, knees bent at 90 degrees, raise hips off of ground and hold as long as possible).
Remember that this is for beginners.
Stay strong Calgary!!

Have fun!!