Category Archives: Health

Are You Ready for the Backcountry this Season?

There has already been snow falling at Whistler and on the locals. The temperature is dropping, and I’ve already donned a toque and my winter gloves to bike to work! It’s time to start thinking about the winter snowboard/skiing season, and to start getting the gear ready for backcountry touring. The last few years I’ve spent more time gaining confidence, skills and knowledge about touring in the backcountry. It’s not something to take lightly. But, when all goes well, it can be a great workout and a beautiful experience.

To make it most enjoyable, knowledge and safety are key. I highly recommend, at minimum, taking an Avalanche Safety Course. I took one provided by Canada West Mountain School 3 years ago and learned a lot.

Dave Norona, local world-renown adventure athlete, has posted a great video about backcountry gear and safety. It’s a great intro if your new, or refresher if you’re seasoned.

Hiking up past Red Heather Hut, Squamish with my bro

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Recovery drinks make you faster!

And who doesn’t want to be faster? Mike McIvor, owner of Peak Centre for Human Performance in Burnaby, gives us the facts on why we all should have a recovery drink ready to go after a workout.

Recovery drinks are one of the easiest things you can do to dramatically improve the speed of adaptation from training. My favourite example of a study that demonstrates the importance was done on a group of athletes that were doing the same training. Group A took a carb/protein drink at the beginning and end of the day and Group B took it before and after every workout. At the end of the 16 week of the study Group A (beginning and end of day) made a 2% improvement and Group B (before and after workout) made a 20% improvement – yep – that’s right 20%. The reason is that when we complete a workout, we are carb depleted. Under normal circumstances, the body uses just fat and carb as energy. When we’re carb depleted, the body needs something else to help burn the fat so it turns towards protein – we store our protein in our muscles. The reason why Group A made such small improvements is because when they finished their workouts they were carb depleted so they were actively breaking down muscle fibre to fuel their daily processes and they didn’t reverse that until they had their next meal. The period of time they were in that catabolic state was enough to almost fully negate the effects of their training. By taking that recovery drink immediately after the session Group B reversed the process and began their recovery and as a result saw dramatically better results through the same period of training. Which group would you rather be in?

You’re looking for about 10-12g of a whey protein (depending on your size), 20 or more grams of carb, and 300-500ml of water and it should be taken within 15 minutes of finishing training. Mike recommends the Cytosport Recovery Drink but Endurox R4, Gu Recovery or even chocolate milk will do in a pinch.

You’re already putting in the training. With one small change to your routine you can dramatically improve the effectiveness of what you’re doing. Train smarter, race faster.

Thanks Mike! If you have any more questions about nutrition or training, contact Peak Centre for Human Performance at 604-299-7959. Now fill your bottles with “Go Juice” and get back out there!

Cytosport products

Running Injury Prevention

As I try to work through some hamstring issues these days, my physiotherapist at Active Life Physiotherapy in North Vancouver directed me to a new interesting document on the Prevention of Running Injuries by Blaise Dubois. This is a great read if you are a runner, or thinking about getting into running. It explains biomechanics, running myths, useful tips for picking shoes and even provides some discussion on the currently popular minimalist shoe. Don’t skip out on the Appendix either, it’s full of additional useful information such as interval training and stretching.

If you’re looking for more information on running stretches and exercises, check out the Active Life Physio website for more articles. ALP also does Video Gait Analysis which will  provide  you with visual feedback on running or walking gait. This will help identify any anomalies that may predispose one to injury and allow your physio to provide recommendations on gait correction, preventative exercise and footwear.

Good luck staying injury free and have fun on the trails!
 

Sophia Sauter, physio and owner of Active Life Physiotherapy - Iron Knee trail run, 2009

 

Healthy Muffin Recipe

My Grandma recently shared a quick, easy and healthy muffin recipe with me that I would like to share with you. I made a few changes to the recipe when I made them yesterday because I had some frozen blueberries to use. I exchanged raisins with blueberries in the recipe, and decreased the sugar content because of the added blueberry sweetness.  I also found that I had to add a bit more oatmeal to the mixture because it was too wet. I always play around with recipes though so I’ll give you the original. Hope you enjoy!

Grandma Morgan’s Oatmeal Raisin Muffin Recipe

1 cup oatmeal
½ cup butter
1 cup boiling water
¾ cup raisins
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup flour (I used spelt)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
Salt
2 well beaten eggs

Mix together oatmeal, butter, water and raisins. Set aside to cool. Add rest of ingredients and mix until dry ingredients are moist. Put in lined muffin tins and bake at 375F for 12 – 15 minutes.
(These muffins also keep well in the freezer)