Get Moving For Life Blog
Wellness | Lifestyle | Disability & Injury Management | Injury Rehabilitation
Lifemoves Health and Rehabilitation's team of health care professionals share their knowledge with you so that you enjoy an enhanced quality of life. We post articles about wellness, disease and injury prevention, exercise for chronic diseases, injury rehabilitation and disability management.
Would you take a medication that would
significantly reduce your blood pressure, cholesterol and stress as well as
improve your cardiorespiratory and immune system, ultimately lowering your
chances of heart disease, certain cancers, diabetes? What if this medication
was free and had very view negative side effects which many medications do?
I am talking about the medicine of movement.
It is a sad thought, but every seven
minutes a Canadian adult dies from cardiovascular disease (CV). Heart disease and
stroke now account for two of the three leading causes of death in Canada.
Furthermore, 2.5 million were diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes in 2010. From
2010-2020 it is estimated that a further 1.2 million will be diagnosed bringing
the total to 3.7 million. Treatment for these chronic illnesses costs the
Canadian economy over $20 billion per year.
"Lack of activity destroys the good condition of every human being, while movement and methodical physical exercise save it and preserve it." - Plato
Movement is something innate and primal
that we have natural abilities for from the day (or possibly before) we are
born. It is necessary and natural and has enabled our survival for thousands of years - a
caveman who sat around all day didn’t eat! As babies, we are naturally capable
of picking up objects without jeopardising our back.
Where Did it all Go Wrong? The chair? The computer? Industrialization?
As we have developed and become more
technological evolved we have lost the art
of movement. It is no surprise that CV disease is one of the most leading
causes of premature death in first world countries. For most people, movement
is no longer a daily requirement; sitting at a desk all day, then coming home
to relax and watch TV.
Chronic pain syndromes have become have
become prevalent in the past 20yrs. Back pain has become one of the most common
chronic conditions in Canada with 4 out of 5 Canadians having experienced it in
their lifetime. In 85-90% of cases there was no specific cause of injury, with
a sedentary lifestyle presumed to be a leading factor.
What we all need to understand is that
our spines hate sitting and immobility….
Did We Lose Our Sense of Adventure?
It is recommended that each adult from
18-65 should partake in 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity
each week, combined with strength and conditioning of major muscles groups.
Unfortunately, only 15% of Canadian adults (18-65) meet the necessary guidelines
of physical activity. To add to that 3
out of 5 Canadians are overweight.
Escape from the Negative Immobility Cycle
We hear many obstacles and excuses
people use to escape from increasing their amount of physical activity due to chronic pain or chronic disease - “I
don’t know how”, “I don’t have the time” and “I am afraid of getting hurt.”
At Lifemoves® Health and Rehabilitation
we coach and enable clients to achieve a healthier lifestyle through movement.
Our role as Kinesiologists is to use the power of physical activity to prevent
as well as manage chronic diseases, disabilities and injuries.
Lifemoves®’ Kinesiologists can be your
exercise therapy guides to help you overcome these barriers to greater movement
and health. Physical activity speeds up
rate of recovery and can be specific functional requirements of that individual.
Labels: exercise therapy, medical fitness training, movement awareness
Lifemoves Health and Rehabilitation has been providing exercise therapy programs for people with disabilities, injuries and medical conditions in North Vancouver since 2007; in 2009, Alfred Ball Lifemoves' founder was a finalist for the North Vancouver Chamber of Commerce's Young Entrepreneur Award.
Why Our Clients Choose Lifemoves for Rehabilitation
Watch the video to hear what our clients say about their experience and get a feeling for what it is like to be a Lifemoves client.
Expertise, Education and Individual Care
Our Kinesiologists are members of the British Columbia Association of Kinesiologists which requires a four year degree with courses including in human anatomy, exercise physiology, human biomechanics. We keep up-to-date on current research and attend continuing education courses throughout the year. This knowledge is shared with our clients during the training sessions.
Read more about about Lifemoves' Kinesiologists
Kinesiologists are listed in the Community Healthcare and Resources Directory (CHARD), an online resource for medical doctors to provide timely referrals to their patients. With nearly 20 years of combined experience we understand how to adapt a physical activity program to a wide variety of medical conditions and injuries. We believe each person and each day are different therefore each session is adapted to our clients' current health status.
In July 2012, It's Time Fitness Results invited us to share their beautiful fully accessible ground floor private training studio with shower and towel amenities. It is located at 101-788 Copping Street near the North Shore Automall.
We have access to a private treatment room as well as a quiet non-intimidating training floor for exercise rehabilitation. The equipment includes pneumatic cable system that has 0.1lb increments which is safe for healing muscles and tendons, a soft treadmill that begins at 0.1 mph, free weights, push-pull sled, exercise bands, foam rollers, stretch bands and proper weight lifting equipment.
Please call us today at 604.283.1858
to get moving for life. ICBC and disability claims accepted.
Labels: active aging, choosing a kinesiologist, choosing a personal trainer, exercise therapy, kinesiology, medical fitness training, testimonials
Cross country skiing is relatively low-impact winter sport which is good for building strength and aerobic capacity; it can also be enjoyed well into your 80's.
I learned to ski on a flat frozen lake and the rolling hills of Saskatchewan. When my family moved to Vancouver in the late 1980's I started to ski at Cypress
Mountain as part of the Challenge Ski program for teenagers theiur trails became some of my favourites.
Last week, I rediscovered my passion for the sport when
two clients encouraged me to dust off my skis and go up to Cypress (they had been put away after retiring from racing biathlon). The day had
perfect conditions of -4C, blue skies and softly packed snow - great for skate
skiing and classic technique. The ski community is very close, friendly, and always willing to help out beginners and those who haven't been for awhile. I was welcomed back immediately by old
friends - human, skis and trails.
7 Steps to Begin Cross Country Skiing
a Series of Lessons with Rentals: It is always nice to get started in a
small group, semi-private or privately with a coach. Packages will often come with rentals
and the equipment is usually in good shape, new or just a couple of years old. Renting means you don't have to commit
to getting equipment before you try the activity a few times.
with Classic Skiing: This is
the old shuffle technique that is very similar to walking with poles. It is
less physically demanding than skate skiing to start. The technique is
wonderful to putz around the rolling trails on an afternoon and makes it easier
to break trail if it is snowing heavily.
3. Find a
Spot that is Flat with Rolling Hills: Some skiers complain that the
hill up to the ski school on Cypress is tough (it is very gradual and when you don't know how long it is it can seem very long). The reward
is a nice hot chocolate at the historical Hollyburn Lodge (sometimes even a
cookie). Other places to start cross country skiing near metro Vancouver are
Lost Lake, Callahan Valley and Manning Park's Strawberry Flats.
the Right Equipment for You: Finding the right skis and poles for you is very
important. The part of the under your foot is called the kick zone. If it is
too stiff when you push down you aren't going anywhere! There are classic skiis
that don't need to be waxed which makes life a little easier.
doesn't need racing equipment. Siggie's is Vancouver's premier cross county ski
specialist. It is family run business (which I like) which is now operated by
Siggie's son Anders. They will get you outfitted with appropriate equipment and
clothing for your needs and budget. Used equipment is also available.
Appropriate Clothing: Dressing in layers is paramount to your enjoyment
and well being. Bring a toque and gloves. This was something that was ingrained
into me as a Jackrabbit (think Girl Guides and Beavers, but for skiers; yes we
had skill badges =)).
Snacks and Warm-Water: Cross country skiers expend a lot of energy. Public places often have
lodges that you can grab a lunch, but what about those hunger pangs while out on
the trails? Trail mix and granola bars are great. We called our trail mix GORP
because it becomes all gooey after skiing for while. Yes, I said
warm-water. If you bring cold water it will be frozen by the time you want a
7. Smile and Have Fun: Not much more to be said here!
(photo - Alfred, Monique and Chris at the top of Cypress Mountain)
Labels: active aging, aerobic fitness, cross country skiing, cross-country skiing, maxV02, winter sports
The day my Dad bought me my first pair of cross country skis, suited me up and placed me outside in the backyard in the vegetable patch was the start of a life long love for cross country skiing. It is hard to believe that it has been nearly 33 years since I strapped my little boots into those wooden skis to learn to ski. Cross country skiing is part of many memories with my family exploring Canada, mostly by car by attending different races and loppets.
Cross country skiing is a sport that many people can participate in as they age. Those are no longer able to downhill ski without hip, back or knee pain are able to slap their feet onto the narrower boards and glide along the snow. The belief that you can't go fast on cross country is simply untrue. The only challenge is that you have to propel yourself up the hill first!
World class cross country skiers are among the most aerobically fit individuals on the planet. Their maximum volume of oxygen uptake (Vo(2max)), a measure of cardiorespiratory fitness is 70-95 ml/min/kg compared to a sedentary male who's Vo(2max).is around 35 - 45 ml/kg/min (top end sports
). This level of fitness can extend into your 80's.
A recent article in the Globe and Mail promotes the "Jaw Dropping Benefits of Cross Country Skiing"
and explains some of the wonderful physiological benefits of this full-body sport. What stood out was that a study in the January 2013 issue of Journal of Applied Physiology compared the fitness levels of some very fit lifelong octogenarian cross country skiers with age matched untrained men and found that:
"the superior cardiovascular and skeletal muscle health profile of the octogenarian athletes provides a large functional reserve above the aerobic frailty threshold and is associated with lower risk for disability and mortality."
The take home message? Live Long, Cross Country Ski and Prosper
. So get outside on a pair of cross-country skis!
Trappe S, Hayes E, Galpin A, Kaminsky L, Jemiolo B, Fink W, Trappe T, Jansson A, Gustafsson T, Tesch P. New records in aerobic power among octogenarian lifelong endurance athletes. [Abstract]
J Appl Physiol.
2013 Jan;114(1):3-10. doi: 10.1152/japplphysiol.01107.2012. Epub 2012 Oct 11.
photo credit - Ben E (elementary school friend)
Labels: active aging, aerobic fitness, cardiovascular disease, cross country skiing, cross-country skiing, disability risk, mortality, winter sports
The sight of snow on the mountains overlooking Vancouver
brings joy to many in the cold winter months. More and more Vancouverites are
spending their time on the slopes taking part in winter sports such as
snowboarding and downhill skiing which are available right here on our doorstep.
According to new data released by the Canadian Institution of Health Information (CIHI), Skiing and Snowboarding injuries are now twice as frequent as those seen in hockey. Injuries commonly seen on the slopes are muscle strains, ligamentous sprains, joint dislocations and fractures. The good news is that the majority of these injuries are avoidable!
What can be done to prevent you from becoming one of 5,600 Canadians seriously injured on the slopes each year?
Over the past 20 years a strong focus has been placed on
injury prevention. It is important to identify the intrinsic and extrinsic
factors that may predispose and individual to injury.
What is the Difference Between Extrinsic and Intrinsic Factors?
Extrinsic or external
factors include equipment, ambient temperature, snow conditions, while Intrinsic
or internal factors include age, biomechanical imbalances, fatigue and poor
Identifying and Changing What We Can
While a lot of emphasis has been placed on extrinsic safety equipment including always wearing a helmet, Kinesiologists can help reduce some modifiable intrinsic factors. Today we will identify some intrinsic factors and provide a few interventions to help prevent injury and or chronic conditions. Although some things like age, gender and skeletal structure can not be changed, there are several adaptations to protect an individual.
If you have had a previous injury (even if it is no longer pain full) muscle imbalances and
compensations often occur following an injury, resulting in changes in your
movement patterns and muscle function.
Furthermore, poor core strength
impedes your ability to control your pelvis and spine and hence your centre of
gravity. Reduced flexibility of muscles and range of motion of the joints will
reduce tensile strength and reduce the threshold before rupture. Oppositely,
hyperflexibility of the joints can predispose them dislocation.
5 Tips to Keep Safe Snowboarding and Downhill Skiing
for the slopes; Winter activities are often physically taxing on the body.
Strong, healthy muscles and joints are better prepared for activity than those
who lead a sedentary lifestyle. Keep active in the upcoming months and
throughout the season with regular conditioning, stretching and aerobic
exercise. This reducing yoru risk of injury ossible injuries, improve performance and make the day on the slopes more enjoyable.
Schooled; Take lessons from a qualified instructor to make sure you are
safe and ready for the slopes. Learn how to fall properly, it is inevitable and
might just save your bacon! At the same time, stay on terrain that matches your skill level.
Preparing the body for physical activity has numerous physiological and
psychological benefits. A sport-specific warm-up will only take 10 mins and has
been proven to reduce the risk of injury. Similarly, a cool-down post activity
will help improve recovery post exercise (before you hop into the car for the ride home).
Exhaustion Never ski or snowboard to the point of exhaustion. According to
the American Association of Orthopedic Surgeons, most serious injuries occur at
the end of the day. Mental exhaustion will reduce concentration and reaction
time. Furthermore, fatigued muscles reduce balance, control and support of the
spine and extremities. Allow for sufficient rest periods between winter
activities to allow for effective recovery.
Body Drink plenty of water before and during winter activity. Take regular
breaks for snacks throughout the day.
safe over the winter. For a full biomechanical assessment to identify and treat
the internal factors of injury risk contact Lifemoves Health and Rehabilitation at 604.283.1858
Labels: downhill skiing, injury prevention, snowboarding, winter
Some clients have asked whether
or not they should have a joint replacement. This is a difficult and personal decision. Determining whether or not
someone needs a joint replacement requires a thorough health and
lifestyle assessment along with diagnostics such as an MRI and X-ray
with a surgical consultation.
Since, Kinesiologists are not surgeons and cannot
specifically tell a client to have surgery or not what can we advise?
There are a couple of quick questionnaires that can assist you in deciding
whether or not surgical intervention is needed.
Oxford scores evaluate how the quality of pain you have been and how
that affects your ability to do activities of daily living.
Oxford also has a pain score which is measured on scale of 0 -
10 from no pain to severe pain. Another pain scale is the Visual Analog
Scale, which is 0-10, but also has a colour gradient; it can be used to
evaluate pain during specific activities. Use these every 4-6 weeks to
track the development of your condition or disability as well as how
effectively a treatment plan is progressing.
Pre-surgery exercise therapy that includes flexibility and strength training has been proven to assist with pain management and reduce the time it takes to return to pre-surgery functional levels. Although, recovery is 6-12 months, clients with a properly designed progressive exercise programs do get back to doing more activities than they were before the joint replacement, this is especially true if they have had some past history of participating in the activity.
Lifemoves recently had one client who was able to post-pone their joint replacement surgery for a couple of years by combining strength training with Fascial Stretch Therapy. We are looking forward to seeing them again once the site of surgery has healed and they are discharged from Physiotherapy. When considering surgery keep in mind the long-term impact your decision may have on your quality of life - positive or negative.
If you are struggling with osteoarthritis and need some guidance please call us at 604.283.1858
. We would be happy to help.
Labels: active rehabilitation, chronic pain, total hip replacement, total knee replacement
Lyme Disease is
a chronic and debilitating illness which affects thousands of people each year.
There has been much research into Lyme Disease and the best form of treatment. It is vital to keep active with any chronic illness, however many individuals
with Lyme Disease are unsure how to exercise without aggravating their
the opportunity to devise a therapeutic exercise program for someone
Chronic Lyme Disease with the major goal of improving daily energy which
would enable this client to work for longer durations. As
Kinesiologists we provide exercise therapy programs for clients with
of illnesses and medical conditions. However, Lyme
Disease isn't one that we see too often. As a result, we needed to
review the latest scientific research on the
effects of exercise on this condition.
According to the
BC Ministry of Health there have been 60 cases of Lyme Disease to date in BC,
20 of which had no record of travel outside the province.
What is Lyme Disease?
Lyme Disease is
an illness caused by a bacteria, called Borrelia
Burgdorfei. The bacteria is transmitted when an infected tick carrying the
bacteria in their stomach comes in contact with a person and passes on the
infection through a bite. The disease affects the joints, the heart, the skin
and the central nervous system (CNS).
disease progresses in 3 stages:
- Early Localised Disease – After a
person has come into contact with a tick and has been bitten the area around
the bite develops an expanding red ring; however 1 in 4 people never develop a
rash. One will also experience fatigue,
muscle & joint soreness, swollen glands and headaches.
- Early Disseminated Disease – The
bacterium and its affects can spread throughout the body causing disease in the
joints, heart & CNS. If one has developed a rash it will most likely
subside in 4 to 6 weeks unlike the other effects of the disease.
- Late Disease – At this stage the
effects of the disease will have caused inflammation in the cardiac muscle,
causing abnormal rhythm. The CNS can develop facial paralysis and disease of
the peripheral nerves leading to impairments in balance and co-ordination. One
might also experience headaches and confusion.
Other symptoms include arthritis and inflammation of the joints causing
stiffness and pain.
Lyme Disease Treatment
Disease can be cured with a course of antibiotics. The type of antibiotic and
its effectiveness depends on the stage of the disease. The earlier the disease is diagnosed the
greater the chance of a full recovery. For some individuals the antibiotics are
ineffective and the disease continues to persist despite the antibiotic intervention.
Exercise Therapy for Lyme Disease
physical activity is encouraged for people with Lyme Disease. Exercise is vital
to stimulate muscle and nerve regeneration but also to move bacteria trapped in
the brain and heart into the blood stream where it can be destroyed by the
immune system. Exercise will also increase body temperature and blood oxygen
levels, creating an inhospitable environment for the bacteria. Furthermore,
exercise will drive the antibiotics deeper into the muscle tissues.
working with a client
with Lyme Disease it is important to be aware of how much the central
system is fatigued during each training session which is impacted by how
much energy the client has expended during the days prior to the
session. Although the main goal is to increase energy,
too much, too soon can negatively impact the client’s ability to recover and
function throughout the rest of the day and the following day.
to intense cardiovascular conditioning in not recommended because it can depress the immune system and cause undue fatigue we are left with
resistance training to improve muscular stamina. We started by
focusing on gentle body weight exercises to increase joint, spinal
stability which added greater core and hip strength so that activities like walking and climbing stairs were
less fatiguing while balance also improved.
program was gradually progressed to using exercise tubing, cables and
weights in more dynamic movements such as presses, rows, deadlifts, and
ups. The intensity was kept at an individualized light to moderate level
so that each activity
was enough to stimulate health gains, but not produce too much fatigue.
Another way we reduced fatigue was by using self-myofascial release and
stretches that improved joint range of motion.
important part of programs is client education. This included teaching
the client pacing strategies as well as proper movement patterns before
loading (adding greater levels of difficulty and resistance).
Please contact us at
604.283.1858 if you know of someone who is affected by chronic fatigue or Lyme
Disease and is unsure of how to exercise appropriately.
Photo Credit: istock. Contributions by Alfred Ball
Labels: chronic fatigue, chronic pain, lyme disease