Are You Ready for Your Workout?

Have you heard the discussion around warming up, static stretching, dynamic stretching and unsure what this means to you?

Recent research recommends the use of a dynamic active warm-up prior to exercise. Studies have found that dynamic stretching before exercise helps to increase performance and decrease the potential for injury.

What is Dynamic Stretching?

Dynamic stretching involves a more active warm-up. During the warm-up, joints are taken through their full functional range of motion. These movements are initially performed slowly with a gradual speed increase, and with an arc of motion which mimics that of the sporting activity you are about to perform. Dynamic stretching is an exaggerated but controlled movement where the muscle remains active while it is being lengthened.

It is important that dynamic stretching not be confused with ballistic stretching. Ballistic stretching involves trying to force a part of the body beyond its available range of motion in a bouncing or jerking movement. Dynamic stretching however involves much more controlled movements that are limited to the current range of motion of that particular joint.

How does it work?

Dynamic stretching has been found to provide a positive response to the neuromuscular system. This results in enhancing performance related to force and power production.

What about static stretching?

There is a growing body of evidence that suggests that warm-up static stretching can actually be detrimental to performance.

Studies have found that static stretching can actually cause reduced muscle activation, depressed reflex activity, and a diminished maximal force production. When compared to dynamic stretching, static stretching had a negative influence on vertical jump performance.

It is therefore recommended that dynamic stretching and warm-up is to be used immediately before play, whereas static stretching is used as a cool down after exercise.

Tips to get the best out of your exercise session

  • Perform an overall aerobic warm-up prior to any dynamic stretching (get that heart pumping!)
  • Practice dynamic movements with one body part moving in relation to another
  • Apply sport specific movement patterns (ie. if your about to kick the football do some dynamic leg kicks, if you’re about to run, do some dynamic ‘butt kicks’)
  • Don’t forget about rotation! Rotation of the trunk and torso is a movement that is integral in connecting the lower limb with the upper limb.  Good trunk rotation will allow force to transmit from the lower limb to the upper limb and vice versa; thereby helping reduce the risk of injury and improve overall force production.

Try these exercises below!

Please note that this method of stretching does require increased control and coordination when compared with static stretching. It is therefore important that you set aside some time to do these movements correctly. Start with a smaller range of movement and slowly increase your movement range.

Leg Swings/Kicks

Aim: To warm up the legs and elongate the hamstrings

Movement:

  • While standing, bring one leg forward in a kicking motion.
  • Return and begin again.
  • Be careful not to bounce or over-extend your back. Once warm, you can also try this in a walk.

Butt Kicks

Aim: To warm up the legs and elongate the quadriceps

Movement:

  • While standing, bring the foot of one leg towards the bottom.
  • Return and begin again.
  • Be careful not to bounce.

Walking Lunge with Rotation

Aim: To coordinate the leg and trunk movement and maximize trunk rotation. Great for any sport such as golf and tennis involving transferring of force from lower limb to upper limb

Movement:

  • Drop into a lunge and rotate the trunk over the forward leg.
  • For more support, you can have your back knee resting on the ground.

Push Up to Walk

Aim: To warm up the chest, wrist, hand and elbows while also elongating and warming up the hamstrings

Movement:

  • Start in the push-up position.
  • Then walk the feet toward the hands until you feel a stretch in the hamstrings.

Call us today and discuss your warm up routine with one of our experts. We can personalize a program for all body types, sports and activities.

Three Simple Tools to Support the Immune System

The immune system is comprised of many interconnected biological structures and processes that help to protect the body against infection. Below are three simple factors to incorporate into your lifestyle to help improve the functioning of your immune system.

1. Hydrate

Drinking enough clean water to fulfill your minimum daily requirements is imperative for proper immune system functioning. The daily requirement is equal to half your bodyweight in ounces. For example, someone who weighs 160lbs would need to drink 80 ounces of water, or 10 cups. It is important to not guzzle the water down in one sitting, but to frequently sip throughout the day well before bedtime.

Examples of the Benefits of Hydration:

  • Helps to keep our mouth, nose, eyes and sinuses moist. The protection of these areas is essential for oral and respiratory health.
    • The mouth and saliva are the first step of the digestive process.
    • As part of the upper respiratory system, the nose and sinus filter and moisten air as it travels down the airway.
    • Symptoms of allergies and asthma can worsen with dehydration.
  • Lubricates the joints: Joint cartilage and disks between the vertebrae are made up of approximately 80% water and help with shock absorption, which can prevent pain.
  • Removes waste from the body through sweat, urine and feces.
  • Blood is made up of more than 90% water and carries oxygen – which is picked up in the lungs – to the rest of the body. If enough water is not present, the blood can thicken and result in the increase of blood pressure.
  • Protects the brain and spinal cord: Dehydration in these areas can affect both their structure and the functioning, resulting in issues with thinking and reasoning.

2. Sleep

Getting adequate sleep promotes healing through hormonal and immune responses, and is vital for proper immune system functioning. Ask any of our experts about alignment, pillows, and manual and alternative treatments to help improve your sleep.

Tips for Improving Your Sleep

  • Make small changes where you can.
  • Too much blue/junk light can disrupt melatonin production and circadian rhythm.
    • If you suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), try to get 30 minutes outside or with a blue-light lamp early in the morning to tell your body to wake up.
    • Dim the lights at night, and shut off screens, such as phones, computers and TVs 1-2 hours before bedtime.
    • Blue-light blocking glasses help to facilitate an ideal environment for melatonin production.
  • Make sure your room is DARK, even an alarm clock light can affect your sleep quality.
  • If you snore, ask your doctor about getting tested for sleep apnea. Apnea is a temporary cessation of breathing and it can occur during sleep.
    • Alcohol consumption can worsen the symptoms of sleep apnea.
      • The muscular relaxation that occurs with alcohol consumption also affects the muscles of the throat, thus increasing the risk of snoring and apnea.
      • While alcohol consumption may help you to fall asleep, it blocks restorative and rejuvenating REM sleep.
      • It is a diuretic so instead of sleeping, you may be up urinating.
  • Avoid sleeping on your stomach as it can contribute to the pain in your lower back, your neck and your jaw.


3. Manage Stress

Excessive and chronic stress can persuade the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) to stay on like a light switch. This stress response (fight or flight response), can suppress the immune system.

Tips to Manage Stress

  • Controlled breathing: You can use your breathing to reduce SNS activation and to balance the autonomic system, lower cortisol, blood pressure, and improve blood and lymph flow.
    • Controlled rhythmic breathing helps to increase the prevalence of Natural Killer cells (cells part of the immune system that help to fight infection).
    • Take time out in your day to stop and just breathe.
  • Use a journal to get busy thoughts and triggers out onto paper.
  • Spend some time focusing on gratitude and love for the people, animals, nature, and experiences you come across daily.
  • Something as simple as going for a walk in a forest aka forest bathing, can be incorporated.
    • Interacting with nature has shown to increase the production of Natural Killer cells, reduce blood pressure and pulse, have mood boosting effects, and reduce inflammation through terpenes in the air.
    • We are constantly bombarded by invasive electromotive forces (EMF) from wireless devices, cell phone towers, Wi-Fi, cars and more. You can reset your own natural electromagnetic field by physically touching the earth and nature.
    • Take a break from it all. If you cannot get out of the city, head to one of Toronto’s forest saturated parks or find a quite spot on the shores of Lake Ontario while maintaining social distance.
  • Massage therapy not only feels amazing for your muscles and fascia, but has shown to increase the number of lymphocytes and to lower cytokines which play a role in inflammation after only 45 minutes. It also reduces levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, and vasopressin which plays a role in aggressive behaviour. Incorporate a regular monthly massage as maintenance for your muscles, fascia, mind and immune system.
  • Exercise, Yoga, Pilates, ELDOATM and meditation are all excellent outlets, just ask our expert team!
  • Aim to cultivate a lifestyle that incorporates stress management naturally.

Written by: Ashly Metcalf, Registered Massage Therapist at Ace Sports Clinic

Winter giving you Dry, dehydrated skin?

Dry, dehydrated skin may be one of the most common client complaints, especially in winter, when the weather is cold, dry and windy.  The first step in addressing this problem is to differentiate between dryness and dehydration.  It is important to separate these two issues initially in order to determine potential causes.  Once this has been done, the whole picture can be evaluated to develop an effective treatment plan.
Even oily skin can experience dehydration.  Dehydration is a lack of water, not oil.  This means sebaceous oil activity can still be normal or even overactive in dehydrated skin. One of the biggest consequences of dry, dehydrated skin is an increase in sensitivity, as dryness and dehydration are precursors to sensitized skin.  Addressing it quickly can help stave off issues of sensitization.

Get a thorough skin analysis today!

Both dry and dehydrated skin can experience:
• Irritation, inflammation, itchiness and sensitivity
• A feeling of tightness or tautness
• A look or feel of roughness
• Slight to severe flaking and scaling
• Fine lines, redness and cracks
Fortunately, there are a range of modalities available from traditional treatments to cutting-edge technologies to help comfort and treat both dry and dehydrated skin.

Facials can help!

A facial is essentially a multi-step skin treatment that is one of the best ways to take care of your skin and to preserve a youthful look.  A facial cleanses, exfoliates, and nourishes the skin, promoting a clear, well-hydrated complexion and can help your skin look younger.  You also receive advice on the best way to take care of your skin. A facial works best when it is part of an on-going program of skin care.

How do I select the right Facial for my skin type?

OxyGeneo treatment provides the only 3-in-1 super facial.  Patented and clinically proven OxyGeneo technology results in unparalleled skin nourishment and exfoliation for smoother complexion and younger looking skin. Results are seen after only one treatment.

What makes OxyGeneo a Super Facial?
OxyGeneo provides 3 effective facial treatments simultaneously.  It combines gentle exfoliation, natural skin oxygenation, and a deep facial rejuvenation with the infusion of essential revitalizing nutrients.

•    Plump and hydrate
•    Restore skin volume
•    Renew youthful glow
•    Revitalize dull complexion
•    Reduce appearance of wrinkles
•    Firm skin and tighten pores
•    Improve skin cell production

How often should I get a Facial?

How often you should get a facial depends on several factors—your skin type, skin condition, skin care goals, age, conditions where you live, even how much you care about your skin.  If you want to take good care of your skin, getting a professional facial once a month is ideal.  Why? The skin is a living organ, and it takes about 30 days for the cells to move up from the dermis to the surface, or epidermis, where they flatten out, die and slough off.  Giving it a boost every 30 days is what your skin needs to look its best.


Ace Sports Clinic is pleased to introduce “Spa by Ace”. Extending our committment to positive personalized care, we now offer luxurious wellness treatments provided by our Medical Aesthetician. Relax, unwind and bring balance to your body and mind within the “Spa by Ace”. Book your session today.