Text Neck & Posture

Text Neck: Why Kids are at High Risk

How to Avoid Neck Pain and Improve Their Posture

Using a personal device shouldn’t be a pain in the neck.  However, children who spend more than 30 minutes on their devices in one sitting could suffer from chronic neck and back pain later in life.

Our clinic has seen a significant increase in postural injuries in children over the past 10 years and research suggests that hunching over electronic devices at a young age can entrench bad habits which will cause musculoskeletal issues in adulthood.

When the body can’t maintain the optimal position for its muscles to move and generate force, they figure out how to compensate or cheat to get the job done.  This compensation results in wear and tear on the body.

Here are some tips to help parents manage screen time and help reduce text neck!

  1. Chin up!

The most important way to avoid various neck problems is to not look down at a personal device for a long period of time. Bring it up to eye-level — if your child always keeps the tablet on their lap, try propping it on a table.

  1. Take a break

Children who spend more than 30 minutes on their devices will begin to show signs of neck and back pain.  Insist they take a break, flex their neck and get some physical exercise!

  1. Plank It

Challenge your child to take the plank or ½ plank position to help stimulate the glute bridge muscles and stabilizers.  In this position, your body has to do some work rather than slumping and hanging.

  1. Don’t let hips sag down to the ground, maintain flat back and butt by flexing abdominals
  2. Keep shoulders down, and neck long
  3. If your child is too tired to hold a good position, they are not strong enough to continue.

1/2 Plank

Full Plank

#FitnessFriday – Single Leg Deadlifts

SINGLE LEG DEADLIFTS

 

  1. Stand on your right foot with your core set and shoulders back.
  2. Hinging at the hips, slowly lift your left leg pushing your big toe towards the back of the room as your body starts to come forward. Go to a comfortable range that you feel your glutes and hamstrings without losing your core. Be sure to stay in a straight line and don’t let your back arch.
  3. Come down slowly, and repeat on both sides.

Once you find this too easy, add weights! Remember, if you aren’t stable on the basic, don’t move to the big stuff! Foundations are crucial.

#WednesdayWorkout: Compass Touches

Compass Touches

North, south, east, west. Compass touches are the best! This exercise is an excellent workout to strengthen your glutes!

 

Standing on left leg with knee slightly bent , right leg is going to tap north then back to the middle

Then north east, then back to the middle then east, middle then south east to the middle and then tap south.

Then switch legs , standing on the right leg, and repeat the steps on the other side!

TIP: Keep your knee slightly bent and don’t over reach to tap down. Keep your core strong, and your hips stable! Slow and steady!

The Problems with Chronic Cardio

Chronic Cardio

When people think of working out or losing weight they often think of jogging, running, the treadmill, swimming, or biking. And they aren’t wrong. These are great activities. However, many people believe that cardio is the key to losing weight, and research is saying otherwise.

According to Mark Sisson, constantly pushing yourself to run, cycle, or swim further and further everyday can cause your heart to be overworked. Over time this can put your heart at risk of enlargement and wall thickening, putting you at risk of a heart attack.  (See Mark’s article for more information on how constant cardio can also create cardiac arrhythmias and atherosclerosis.)

Another issue with chronic cardio includes overtraining. Problems can arise when we don’t let our body recover in between cardio training, which can create chronic oxidative stress. Oxidative stress occurs when we breathe, and is caused by free radicals. Free radicals damage cells in the body, and overtime can leave our cells and tissue unable to to function properly. Even though you may see your run times decrease, your body is not getting the recovery it needs.

As we age our muscle mass naturally starts to decrease which can create issues and cause injuries during chronic cardio. Now we aren’t saying that you shouldn’t do cardio, we are big fans of cardio! But there is a happy medium. To gain optimal function and training we recommend a combination of interval cardio and strength training.

If you have any questions or are interested in learning more about training, don’t hesitate to contact Dr. Jeff Weekes at drweekes@dynamichealthandperformance.ca.

#NationalChocolateCakeDay – Chocolate & Coconut Mug Cake

Chocolate & Coconut Mug Cake

 Ingredients (makes 1 serving)

  • 2 heaping tbsp almond flour (16 g / 0.6 oz)
  • 2 tbsp shredded, unsweetened coconut (12 g/ 0.4 oz)
  • 1 tbsp raw cocoa powder, unsweetened (5 g / 0.2 oz)
  • ⅛ tsp baking soda
  • 2 tbsp of a healthy low-carb sweetener
  • 1 large egg, free-range or organic
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin coconut oil or butter, melted
  • 3-5 drops liquid stevia
  • Optional: 2 tbsp whipped cream, coconut milk or sour cream

Instructions

  1. Place all the dry ingredients in a mug or a ramekin and combine well (or use the ingredients based on allergy preferences).
  2. Add the egg, coconut oil and stevia and mix well using a fork. Microwave on high for 70-90 seconds.
    For egg-free: Add coconut milk instead of the egg.
  3. When done, you can optionally top the mug cake with whipped cream, sour cream or creamed coconut milk.

Recipe and Photo Credit: Martina Slajerova

 

#WednesdayWorkout – The Pelvic Floor

The Pelvic Floor

Your pelvic floor is THE base of function for your body. These muscles are important as a stable base for pelvic organs, and helps improve urinary incontinence and low back pain. Try this exercise – ideal for post pregnancy – to help strengthen pelvic floor stability!

1. Lay on your back with your arms in a locked positon above your head

2. Pull the band down to your sides as you begin to squeeze your core

3. Focus on the muscles that sit between your hip bones — hold the arms down for a deep breath, and release the arms back up.

PROGRESSION:

1. Once you are comfortable with pulling the arms down to your side and breathing, add a march!

2. Pull the arms down to your side squeezing your muscles and one knee at a time comes up into a marching position, SLOWLY lower that leg back down and switch to the other leg.

TIP: try to keep the hips from rocking back and forth as you lift and lower your legs

 

#NationalPeanutButterDay – How to Make The Best Homemade Peanut Butter

How to Make The Best Homemade Peanut Butter

PREP 10mins

COOK 10mins

TOTAL 20mins

Makes approximately 1 1/4 cups or 20 (1 tablespoon) servings

Ingredients

Basic Peanut Butter

2 cups (300 grams) unsalted shelled peanuts

1/4 to 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1 to 2 teaspoons honey

1 to 3 teaspoons peanut or vegetable oil, if needed

 

Almond Peanut Butter

1 cup (150 grams) unsalted shelled peanuts

1 cup (150 grams) unsalted whole almonds

1/4 to 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1 to 2 teaspoons honey

1 to 3 teaspoons peanut or vegetable oil, if needed

 

Chocolate Peanut Butter

2 cups (300 grams) unsalted shelled peanuts

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

2 tablespoons peanut oil or vegetable oil, plus more as needed

1/2 cup (45 grams) unsweetened cocoa powder

1 1/2 cups (170 grams) powdered sugar

 

Directions

Roast Nuts

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Add the nuts to a round or square cake pan (or rimmed baking sheet). Roast nuts for 3 minutes, shake pan then roast another 3 to 5 minutes or until the nuts are lightly browned and smell nutty (careful, they can burn quickly). Let cool until you can handle them.

 

Basic Peanut Butter

If you are making crunchy peanut butter, add 1/3 cup of the roasted peanuts to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse 6 to 8 times, or until the peanuts are chopped into very small pieces. Transfer chopped peanuts to a bowl and reserve for later.

Add the roasted peanuts to the bowl of a food processor. Process 1 minute then scrape sides of bowl with a rubber spatula. Process another 2 to 3 minutes until the peanut butter is shiny and smooth. Add your desired amount of salt and honey then process until combined. (We add 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1 1/2 teaspoons of honey). Check the consistency, if it seems too thick, add oil, a teaspoon at a time, until you are happy with it. For crunchy peanut butter,  stir in the reserved peanuts.

 

Almond Peanut Butter

Add nuts to the bowl of a food processor. Process 1 minute then scrape sides of bowl with a rubber spatula. Process another 2 to 3 minutes until shiny and smooth. Add your desired amount of salt and honey then process until combined. (We add 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1 1/2 teaspoons of honey). Check the consistency, if it seems too thick or dry, add oil, a teaspoon at a time, until you are happy with it.

 

Chocolate Peanut Butter

Add the roasted peanuts to the bowl of a food processor. Process 1 minute then scrape sides of bowl with a rubber spatula. Process another 2 to 3 minutes until shiny and smooth. Add salt, oil, cocoa powder, and the powdered sugar then process another minute until blended and shiny. Check the consistency, if it seems too thick, add oil, a teaspoon at a time, until you are happy with it.

 

Nutrition Per Serving: Serving Size 1 tablespoon / Calories 95 / Protein 3 g / Carbohydrate 3 g / Dietary Fiber 1 g / Total Sugars 1 g / Total Fat 8 g / Saturated Fat 1 g / Cholesterol 0 mg

 

Recipe and Photo Credit: Adam and Joanne Gallagher

 

 

 

#NationalPieDay – Lazy Man Paleo Faux-Apple Pie

Lazy Man Paleo Faux-Apple Pie

Serves: 2-4

Ingredients

  • 4-5 medium sized apples, rinsed + sliced
  • 2 Tbsp. melted coconut oil or butter
  • ½ a lemon’s worth of juice
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp. nutmeg
  • pinch of salt

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 375{F}
  2. Give your apples a rinse and then slice it up using your favorite method.
  3. Place your apple slices in the bowl along with your melted fat, lemon juice and spices, vanilla and pinch of salt.
  4. Give it all a really good mix and then put it all in a pie dish!
    Or a baking dish, whatever you have handy will work!
  5. Bake for 25-35 minutes until the apples are soft / fork tender.
  6. Let it cool for a few minutes and serve!

Recipe and Photo Credit: Paleo on a Budget

Do we REALLY Need Nutritional Supplements?

Do we REALLY Need Nutritional Supplements?

By Olivia Hart, B.Sc. Nutrition and Dietetics

When it comes to supplements, we are bombarded with media telling us to take the next best thing and the next thing you know you feel like you are eating pills for meals! Let me help to debunk some of the supplement myths and tell you what you really need.

Before we get into it, there are two things we need to remember.

We are all biochemically unique. This means I will most likely require a different supplement regime then the next person. Our bodies all operate differently, have different imbalance or “stuff” going on and therefore should be treated differently.

Supplementation is meant to be added to a healthy diet to ensure we are getting what we need or to help our bodies find it’s balance. Supplementation is not magic and will not supplement a healthy diet. In other terms you can’t pop pills to make up for the fact that you don’t eat a single vegetable ever!

So, as mentioned in point number 1 every individual will require different specific supplements for what is going on with them, BUT I can definitely say that these would be my top 4 for EVERY BODY! These supplements will only help, never harm.

Multi-Vitamin
A multi-vitamin will cover your bases if you get a good quality one. Multi-vitamins become increasingly important for aging populations and extremely active individuals. As we age, it’s important to take measures to ensure our body is well nourished in order to keep living a vibrant life and as an athlete you automatically increase your needs of vitamins and minerals due to the increased amount of stress you are putting on your body. If you are an athlete who can down 20 servings (1/2 cups) of fruits and vegetables a day, that is absolutely incredible! BUT, if not let’s give our bodies a little extra help and supplement! Additionally, studies show that our soils mineral profile has declined greatly,  which results in less minerals in our foods! POP THIS PILL! (and don’t be alarmed if your urine becomes neon- it’s just excess B vitamins)

Vitamin-D
Living where we live (in Canada), we don’t get as much sunlight exposure as our bodies require in order to have a consistent storage of active vitamin D (D3). Ever heard of seasonal depression? Did you know that it’s linked to low vitamin D, which helps our brain make happy chemicals? I ALWAYS recommend clients take vitamin D liquid drops from the months of September to March in order to help build up your storage and in the sunnier months just get outside and soak up the sun!

Probiotics
We hear a lot about these in commercials promoted by women belly dancing because probiotics help to keep the GOOD gut bacteria happy and healthy. This means less stinky gas, better digestion which leads to better absorption of vitamins and minerals, less bloating and good bowel movements. That’s enough to make me want to belly dance! BUT if you need more convincing, what if I told you your mental health relies greatly on the health of your gut? WELL IT DOES! There are certain chemicals in the brain that 90% of them are made in the gut. Happy gut, happy body, happy mind, happy life, am I right?

There are some other honorable mentions such as: protein powders (see previous blog), fish oil pills (contraindicated in individuals on blood thinners), and herbal remedies but I will save that for an entirely different blog post of its own!

If you’d like a specific supplement regime for yourself, book a free consult with me by calling the clinic (905)339-2333 or emailing me at oharty@dynamichealthandperformce.ca

#CheeseLoversDay: Healthy Mac & Cheese!

Butternut Squash Mac ‘n Cheese

Yield 3 to 4 servings

Prep time: 15 Minutes

Cook time: 45 Minutes

Total time: 1 Hour

Ingredients:

For the butternut squash:

  • 1 large or 2 medium (2 to 3 pounds total) butternut squash, halved and seeded*
  • Grapeseed or sunflower oil
  • Fine sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

For the cheese sauce:

  • 1 cup (180 g) roasted butternut squash
  • 1 tablespoon (14 g) vegan butter**
  • 3/4 cup (180 mL) unsweetened and unflavoured almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon (12 g) potato starch or cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup (20 g) nutritional yeast, or more to taste
  • 2 teaspoons (10 mL) Dijon mustard
  • 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon (15 mL) fresh lemon juice, or more to taste
  • 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons (10 to 15 mL) chickpea miso (or other light miso), to taste

For the pasta:

  • 8 ounces (340 g) macaroni, mini shell, or rotini pasta (use gluten-free, if desired)
  • Mix-ins of choice (e.g., cooked squash, kale, spinach, broccoli, peas, etc.)

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C). Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Lightly spray or brush the oil onto the orange flesh of each squash half. Garnish with salt and pepper. Place the halves cut-side down on the baking sheet. Roast for about 35 to 50 minutes, uncovered, until a fork or knife easily slides through the squash. The skin will be lightly browned and the squash may be brown in some spots (which only adds to the flavour).
  2. When there are about 20 minutes left of the squash’s roasting time, cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain.
  3. After the squash is finished cooking, flip it flesh-side up and let it cool for 10 minutes or so before handling.
  4. Into a blender, add the cheese sauce ingredients (butter, milk, starch, nutritional yeast, Dijon, garlic and onion powder, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and miso) along with 1 lightly packed cup of the roasted squash (simply spoon it out of the skin and measure). Blend on high until smooth.
  5. Add the cooked and drained pasta back into the pot and stir in all of the cheese sauce. Chop the leftover squash into small cubes, scoop the cubes out of the skin, and add them into the pot (along with any other mix-ins you like). Heat over medium and stir until thickened. Add more salt and pepper to taste (and more lemon juice if you want a bit more brightness). Serve immediately.

Recipe and Photo Credit: Oh She Glows