Sport and Fitness

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Edmonton’s river valley plays host to the season finale of Red Bull’s Crashed Ice

Imagine hurtling down an urban ice track weaving through the streets of downtown Edmonton and the river valley at breakneck speeds of over 60 kilometres an hour while thousands cheer as you fly by, knowing that one wrong move could send you into a glorious crash… Well, you don’t have to just imagine, as The City of Edmonton and Red Bull have teamed up to bring the grand finale of the 2015 Red Bull Crashed Ice to our city on March 14, and you may even get the chance to take part!

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Ice cross downhill (or downhill ice cross), involves direct competitive downhill skating at extreme speeds on a walled track featuring sharp turns and high vertical drops. A combination of hockey, bordercross and downhill skiing, only the toughest and fasters skaters from around the world shine in this extreme sport. Entering its 15th year of competition, ice cross downhill is recognized as one of the most unique and challenging sport of its kind, as well as the fastest sport on skates.

Since the first-ever race back in 2001, Red Bull Crashed Ice has developed into one of the world’s most breathtaking winter sports events. Riders hurtle down courses up to 600 metres in length in groups of four, shoulder to shoulder, as they fight it out for victory. The whole race is held on a steep downhill track dotted with chicanes, jumps and rollers. Pushing, sliding and sprinting are all on the agenda as the athletes race down the course, but the rules are very simple: first to the bottom wins.

“Hosting major international events during the winter helps us share our passion for winter and show the world that Edmonton is a prime winter destination. Red Bull Crashed Ice aligns extremely well with the Edmonton Winter City Strategy and is yet another reason for Edmontonians to embrace winter, and our northern heritage. This event is going to transform downtown and bring excitement to an area that is growing and becoming more vibrant,” says James Jackson of Edmonton Tourism.

Red Bull says that bringing Crashed Ice to the city of Edmonton is an exciting end to the 2015 season. The season finale stop is consistently renowned as the most iconic of the circuit and Edmonton’s will feature the longest track of the entire 2015 season. Other stops prior to Edmonton include: Saint Paul, Minnesota (Jan. 24);  Helsinki, Finland (Feb. 7); and Belfast, Northern Ireland (Feb. 21).

“As the sport of Ice Cross Downhill grows, it’s very exciting to expose Red Bull Crashed Ice to a new audience in Western Canada,” says Christian Papillon, Ice Cross Downhill Sport Director. “The city offers a perfect urban backdrop. I can tell you that Edmonton’s final showdown will have the most impressive and challenging track of the season.”

As the event is completely free to attend, organizers expect tens of thousands of people from all over the world to come and enjoy Crashed Ice and the general party atmosphere of downtown during this world-class event.

“In Quebec City last year, they saw roughly 100,000 people come to enjoy Red Bull Crashed Ice. I have a feeling Edmontonians will come through with flying colours,” says Jackson, adding that past Red Bull Crashed Ice events have brought in significant and positive economic impacts for previous host cities.

“This event is going to transform downtown.”

“Red Bull Crashed Ice, and all the other incredible sport and cultural events our community hosts have already put us on the map. We have a historic and well respected history of ice hockey and hospitality, not to mention a renowned event hosting capacity.” said Jackson.

Even though competitors come from around the world for Red Bull Crashed Ice, fearless local male and female athletes also have a chance to participate. If you feel like you have the right mix of strength, speed, stamina and courage, then Red Bull is inviting 200 male and 20 female athletes per qualifying city to participate in the Edmonton qualifier on January 31 (registration closes Jan. 23). If more than 200 men and 20 women register, then a lottery will be held to see who will be randomly selected for time trials.

As for the “professionals” competing in Edmonton, two Canadian athletes currently hold top 10 spots in the sport of Ice Cross Downhill. Scott Croxall (Ontario) sits at second place, trailing only Marco Dallago of Austria. Scott’s older brother, Kyle, a resident of Calgary, currently sits in ninth place overall and will have the coveted opportunity to battle on his home turf this season.

“Edmonton’s final showdown will have the most impressive and challenging track of the season.”

According to Red Bull, they are expecting the event to be one of the best yet in the history of the sport.

“Edmonton has a longstanding history of hosting world-class sport and culture events. From festivals to outdoor recreation, Edmonton residents come out in the thousands as spectators and volunteers to support major events. The city is a prime winter destination in Canada, with a population that truly embraces the winter season,” says Emily Palley-Samson of Red Bull Canada.

Closer to the March 14, further event information and broadcast details will be released. For more information, or to register as a participant, visit RedbullCrashedIce.com.

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Performance base layers are essential to outdoor running

As we know, Edmonton is known for its cold winters so running can be challenging.  But running all-year round can be a successful component to any athletic career allowing to help build a strong running foundation. Training year round can allow you to increase your weekly mileage and speed workouts. Running throughout the winter also trains the mind and gives you that added edge of mental toughness for race season.

Getting out the door may seem hard when it’s cold and dark but it’s actually quite easy if you know how to dress to protect yourself from the elements. Layering is essential and having fabrics that wick moisture, are wind resistant or water proof will make training comfortable and easy. Try some of these must-have items to stay fit this winter and throughout the holiday season.

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When you’re up against gusty winds and biting cold, the less skin that’s exposed, the better. Cover up from head to chin with this balaclava made of tech fabric.

Average Price: $25

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Cover your dome in an insulating, wind-blocking hat for long, cold runs.

Average Price: $20

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Designed for everyday pre-dawn/post-sunset use, the USB-rechargeable 75-lumen Sprinter is ready for any trail in any weather.

Average Price: $68

FlatsLinedrawingsAs in the Workbook

 

Thermal soft shell jacket combining a high performance fit and insulation for cold weather running.

Average Price:  $210

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Great for windy and wet days. These pants offer lightweight coverage for strong gusts of wind and moderate rainfall/snow.  Easy to slip on and off.

Average Price:  $140

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If packed snow and ice are making your favorite route look extra treacherous, strap these spikes on over your sneakers for extra traction. As always, though, run with care; sometimes inclement conditions make for a great reason to take a day off to rest and recover.

Average Price: $40

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Merino wool gloves plus touchscreen compatibility means warm hands and complete control over your favorite running playlist.

Average Price: $40

Treadmill vs Running Outside

– When the weather or footing is bad, it’s safe and easier (controlled environment)

– No resistance on the body (i.e., wind, hills, etc.) making running easier

– Easier to train at a specific pace and target range

– Can be boring and make one minute feel like an hour

– Can be a pain doing intervals or speed training as you have to constantly readjust your speed

Tip: Setting the treadmill to a one percent grade accurately reflects the energy output and better simulates outdoor running

 
 
 

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TRY THESE MUST-HAVE GADGETS TO HIT YOUR GOALS

Just because summer is over, it doesn’t mean your training has to end!  In order to help you maintain your fitness level heading into the winter months, try some of my favorite items to help you train, enjoy and reach your personal best.

Photo Credit: photos provided by United Cycle

cool products_1Capture and share your life’s most meaningful experiences with the HERO 3+ Black Edition. Twenty percent smaller and lighter than its best-selling predecessor, it delivers improved image quality and powerful new features geared for versatility and convenience. SuperView is a new video mode that captures the world’s most immersive wide angle perspective, while Auto Low Light mode intelligently adjusts frame rate for stunning low-light performance. Combined with 30 percent longer battery life, 4x faster Wi-Fi, a sharper lens and compatibility with all GoPro mounts and accessories, the HERO3+ Black Edition is the most advanced GoPro yet.

cool productsUnlike many fitness trackers on the market, the Garmin GPS Vivofit remembers your activity level for the current day and assigns a more attainable goal for the next. A great choice for anyone getting into fitness trackers.

cool products_5This advanced t-shirt from ArmourVent was built to get you to the finish line. It’s the latest innovation for the heat—a new type of mesh that cools you, giving you what you need to power forward.

cool products_4This jacket offers advanced thermal protection with unparalleled breathability, stretch mobility, and moisture management for optimal performance in cold weather conditions.

cool products_3This salute to the ’60s has metal detailing inspired by electric guitars, and the retro riffs are part of a smooth, classic look as original as the icons of rock. Our homage to the era of high-decibel solos and horrified parents, Garage Rock is made of lightweight O Matter for comfort that never dies. It features high definition optics for the ultimate in clarity and protection.

cool products_6You know that point where quitting creeps into your head? Where you’ve had just about enough? That’s when you push yourself one step farther. And these are the capris that’ll help you get there. ArmourVent technology uses a specialized mesh to deliver unbelievable breathability and a light, stretchy, fast-drying fit.

cool products_2Feel the science of soft with Fresh Foam, an innovative midsole created from a single piece of foam that provides a lower, more natural underfoot feel. Developed using specialized design software, this lightweight men’s running shoe also features breathable air mesh and simple no-sew overlays that wrap the foot in the right places. A full-ground-contact, blown rubber outsole complements the shoe’s cushioning and delivers a smooth ride. The New Balance Fresh Foam 980: it’s unlike anything you’ve ever stepped into, and now available in limited edition colors.

WHERE TO GRAB YOUR GEAR

Edmonton is home to some fabulous retail shops and boutiques that offer a blend of high performance gear, great training resources, supplements and more. Here are a few that we have showcased but there are much, much more.

MOUNTAIN EQUIPMENT CO-OP
12328 102 Ave NW, Edmonton, AB T5N 0L9
780-488-6614
mec.ca

LULULEMON ATHLETICA
10558 82 Ave NW, Edmonton, AB T6E 2A4
780-435-9363
lululemon.com

UNITED CYCLE
7620 Gateway Blvd NW, Edmonton, AB T6E 4Z8
780-433-1181
unitedcycle.com

TECH SHOP BY FORZANI’S
11419 104 Ave NW, Edmonton, AB T5K 2S2
780-488-0854
thetechshop.ca

RUNNING ROOM
8537 109 St NW, Edmonton, AB T6G 1E4
780-433-6062
runningroom.com

RESOURCES FOR UPCOMING RACES/EVENTS

RunGuides.com
runguides.com/edmonton/runs

Athletics Alberta
athleticsalberta.com/

Make the Most of Our Short Golf Season with these top public courses

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Once again golf season is in full swing in Edmonton – for a few months anyway – and finding the right course at the right price can be tricky.

With more than 40 private, semi-private and public courses in the city alone and several dozen more in a short drive to surrounding regions, finding the right course to fit your budget is sometimes a hit or miss affair.

Amateur golfers in Edmonton seeking lush greens, immaculate fairways and manicured sand traps are at the mercy of Mother Nature. Being a northern city means that golf season is short and sweet in the Capital Region.

If you are not lucky enough, or can’t afford to have a membership at one of the many exclusive clubs in the Edmonton area, hacking and slashing your way through public courses with little knowledge can also get expensive. We highlight some of the best and affordable public courses in Edmonton to make sure those short golf days are maximized.

 

Lewis Estates Golf Club ($$$)
lewisestatesgolf.com

Voted Top Public Golf Course in Edmonton by the Top Choice Awards in 2013, Lewis Estates is a fantastic public course with immaculate conditions and holes that cater to players of varying ability. Well-known for its nicely manicured course and the right amount of sand and water to keep things interesting, Lewis Estates is also conveniently located just off the Anthony Henday and Whitemud Drive. Prices vary depending on the time of play, and range from $59 to $85 for 18 holes, but include a cart, range ball and often a $10 food and beverage voucher.

 

RedTail Landing ($$$$)
redtaillanding.com

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If you plan on flying out of Edmonton anytime soon, or just feel like a great round of golf, be sure to stop by RedTail Landing, located minutes from Leduc and the Edmonton International Airport. With its many links-style features, the course has been masterfully crafted by the celebrated Edmonton-based team of Puddicombe Golf, whose designs challenge golfers to use every club in their bag. Public rates are a bit more on the pricey end, ranging from $80 to $100 for 18 holes, but that includes a power cart and the use of their 19-acre learning facility.

 

 

Coloniale Golf Club ($$$$)
coloniale.ca

Coloniale-01Located in the exploding Town of Beaumont, Coloniale is an 18-hole Championship links-style that has regularly received a 4-Star Rating from Golf Digest’s Places to Play. Designed to be playable for people of all skill levels, Coloniale has an array of bunkers and lakes throughout to offer a challenging but rewarding round. This picturesque course is well worth the extra drive to Beaumont. Rates are on the upper end and vary from $82 to $95, but include a shared power cart and use of the driving range. Junior players can also play free with an adult during dusk times.

 

Jagare Ridge Golf Club ($$$$)
jagaregolf.com

Situated along the banks of the Whitemud Creek Valley within Edmonton city limits sits the tranquil setting of Jagare Ridge. This 18-hole championship-style course was designed with the natural elements of the valley in mind, which in turn dictates the various challenges for golfers. Designers have gone even further though to ensure the course has a minimal impact of the many animals sharing this habitat. With flowing creeks, abundant cliffs, various elevation changes and plenty of large, old growth trees, this course is a pleasure from start to end. For adults, prices range from $75 to $90, but that includes a power cart and access to the driving range.

 

The Legends Golf and Country Club ($$$)
legendsgolf.ca

Legends-01This full facility, 27-hole golf course offers everything the serious golfer expects. This picturesque course, just outside of Sherwood Park features large, beautiful ponds, gently rolling hills, elevated tees, and combines spectacular views of the North Saskatchewan River valley. The result is a tranquil setting to provide the golfer with an exciting and enjoyable experience. Water is in play on many holes, so shoot straight or you’ll be swimming often. Prices are excellent for the course, ranging from $35 to $57 for 18 holes, but that does not include a shared power cart.

 

The Ranch Golf and Country Club ($$$)
theranchgolf.com

Head out west on Stoney Plain Road and make sure to stop at the always challenging “Ranch.” This Canadian Tour course has earned its reputation as a difficult course with a championship design. The front nine feature a links-style design, while the back nine include narrow tree-lined fairways and dangerous water hazards. The 18th hole has even been dubbed one of the hardest on the Canadian Tour. But don’t be intimidated by one or two tough spots, as the comfortable environment is a great place to hone your skills. Prices for adult guests are either $72 or $85 depending on the day of the week. The quality of this course is great for the price.

 

Riverside Golf Club ($$$)
edmonton.ca

riverside-01Riverside is a city-owned but challenging 18-hole course that incorporates the North Saskatchewan River as a water hazard just metres away from many fairways. Located in the river valley for the past 60 years, there are plenty of opportunities at Riverside to sharpen skills and swing every club. The club also offers various fun but competitive leagues for all skill levels. The nice bonus at

Riverside is the price. Ranging from $44 to $54 for 18-holes, Riverside is a good deal considering the challenges this course offers. Price does not include power cart.

 

Victoria Golf Course($$$)
edmonton.ca

Officially Canada’s oldest city-run course, Victoria is a good challenge for beginners and mid-level players. With forgiving fairways and greens along the backdrop of the North Saskatchewan River valley, it’s a great course to develop your skills and fundamentals. It can get busy, but most golfers are patient and will even help with tips! Throw in views of the Alberta Legislature and University of Alberta buildings and the rich history in the course dating back to 1896 and you can be sure Victoria is a great place to spend a few hours. Prices for adults range from $46 to $57.

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Mandatory bicycle and defensive strategies can make for a better ride

shutterstock_75200233_cover_3bikes-01Cycling, inline skating and other wheeled activities are great ways to get active, get around and keep fit. The City of Edmonton is expanding its bike trails, so now is as good a time as any to get out there on your “wheels” and explore our fantastic network of concrete freedom. However, many Edmontonians don’t even know the mandatory rules surrounding bicycles, so here’s a quick recap! With constant horror stories of bicycle vs vehicle in the news every few weeks, including smart risk strategies from Alberta Health Services as part of your wheeled recreation can help prevent injuries.
Be safe out there!

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A bicycle is classified as a vehicle which belongs on the road. Cyclists have the same rights and responsibilities as drivers of motor vehicles. You must obey the same rules of the road when riding your bike on-street as you do when driving your car.

In off-street situations, such as bike paths, cyclists are sharing space with a variety of other users.

Look First
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  • Ride defensively, anticipate actions of vehicles and stay alert for hazards. A pedestrian or animal could dart in front of you. Shoulder check each time you turn or move out to pass.
  • Debris, grates or holes in the road could make you swerve or crash. Wet or cold weather could affect the path, or your ability to ride.
  • Is your bike safe? To stay prepared check your bike to make sure it is in proper working order – each time you ride.

Conduct an ABC Quick Check

A = Air – firm tires
B = Brakes – check that they work
C = Chain – tight, well-lubed

Get Trained
Knowing how to ride a bike safely is not common sense. There are three basic rules of the road that all cyclists need to know and follow:shutterstock_75200233_singlebike_purple-01

  • Stop at all intersections.
  • Look left, right and left again before proceeding.
  • Ride on the right.

Wear the Gear
Protect your head. Bike helmets protect riders of all ages.
Important helmet tips:

  • Always wear a helmet that is right for the activity.
  • Make sure it meets current, approved helmet safety standards (e.g., look for a CSA, Snell, or ASTM sticker).
  • Make sure it fits – snug, level, stable.
  • Replace your helmet every five years or after it has been in a crash.
  • You must be seen and heard. Reflective tape, reflectors and lights make you more visible. Bright clothing catches people’s attention in the daytime.
  • Since bicycles are quiet, your bike should have a bell or horn.

Drive Sober
Keep on your bike and injury free by giving your full attention to cycling with no impairment of any kind. Impairments include alcohol and other drugs, and distractions like cell phones and music.

Useful Web Links
Alberta Centre for Injury Control & Research
ThinkFirst Canada
Alberta Health Services

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the Park bench workout

Turn your environment into your own personal gym

Wouldn’t it be great to get a resistance training workout without paying gym membership fees? Does exercising outside in fantastic weather appeal to you?

Instead of sitting at a playground supervising your kids playing would you not like to save time and get your workout in also? Believe it or not all this is possible. Approximately 25 years ago I designed a quick intense workout program that you can perform with just a park bench, your body weight and some tubing.

The goal is to move through each exercise with little or no rest. Beginners should aim for 10 reps, intermediate level is 15 reps and advanced exercisers can perform 20 reps for each exercise.

Perform the circuit for three sets. The circuit is designed for general overall fitness training all components of fitness such as: muscular endurance, cardio, core strength and functional movement.

Try this park bench workout circuit for a firmer and fitter body:

PUSH UPS

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  • Facing bench placing your hands shoulder width apart.
  • Keep your head, shoulders, hips and heels aligned. There should be no sagging or elevation at the hips.
  • Lower your sternum to the bench coming as close as possible to touching it. The focus should be bending at the shoulders and elbows.
  • Be aware of your head jutting forward as you lower.

 

ONE LEG BALANCE LATERAL STEP UP

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  • Stand facing sideways to the bench and place the inside foot flat on top.
  • With good erect posture use mostly the leg on the bench to step up while preventing the other foot from touching the bench.
  • Hold the position for one second to show complete control then lower under control (not falling fast) back to the ground.
  • Keep the heel on the bench at all times pressing evenly with the toes.
  • Make sure the knee cap is aligned with the second toe at all times.

 

ONE LEG SIT DOWN SQUATS

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  • Pick one leg to balance on.
  • Push your hips back to sit on the bench.
  • Once you sit down stand back up trying to maintain balance.
  • Through out the movement keep your chest up avoiding an excessive bend forward.
  • The goal is to keep the kneecap lined up with the second toe. Most imbalances occur from the knee collapsing inwards.
  • Repeat reps for the other leg.

 

UPPER BACK TUBE ROWS

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  • Wrap the tubing around a secure part of the bench.
  • Sit with good posture in a half squat position.
  • Pull your elbows backwards bringing your shoulder blades together.
  • Avoid rounding your back during the movement.
  • For added resistance either step backwards from the bench or use thicker tubing.

 

ONE LEG POWER STEP UP WITH KNEE DRIVE

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  • Place one foot on the bench.
  • Drive your foot into the bench launching your body upwards with enough force that your foot leaves the bench.
  • Simultaneously drive your knee upwards with the other leg.
  • Maintain good upright posture and the knee cap lined up with the second toe.
  • Repeat for the same reps on the other leg.

 

PLANK WITH TORSO ROTATION

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  • Place both hands on the bench shoulder width apart.
  • Keep your head, shoulders, hips and legs aligned.
  • Most incorrect postural compensations occur with the head collapsing forward, the lower back arching excessively and the hips elevating.
  • Feet closer together makes the movement more difficult.
  • Rotate your torso and hips removing one arm from the bench reaching for the sky. Rotate back to the bench repeating for the opposite side.

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Tim Berrett Cover-01Former Olympic race walker Tim Berrett has been competing internationally for Canada for over 25 years. During that time, he has competed in several Olympic and Commonwealth Games. He retired from international after the 2008 Beijing Olympics, and resides in Edmonton. With races that lasted up to 50 kilometres, we sat down with Tim to discuss his love for the sport, his training regime as an Olympian, and how he still maintains WELLNESS in his life.

Q: You have been competing internationally for over 25 years, what got you interested in race walking in the first place?

A: I started in high school in England … I had competed in all other events in track and field and members of our school team were asked to either participate or volunteer at the county championships for race walking. The course went past my front door, so I had no excuse other than to attend. I chose to give the event a try rather than stand on a corner and direct my teammates!

Q: Did you compete in other sports before trying race walking?

A: Yes, I was very active in a number of sports while growing up. I have participated in all events in track and field, including the pole vault and hammer throw! I also played rugby, soccer, and cricket (I grew up in England), as well as swimming, cycling, and golf. Since moving to Canada in 1987, I’ve also participated in cross-country skiing and triathlon

“Athletes in all sports at the highest level must have the ability to push their physical and mental limits.”

Q: Being an Olympian is no easy task, what did your daily training consist of when you prepared for a race?

A: I retired from competition after the 2008 Olympics. But when I was in training, I would cover up to 200km in a week, averaging 30km a day with a ‘rest day’ each week. This would be either a single training effort (up to 40km) or split into two workouts with varying distances and intensity. In addition, I would do strength training with weights up to three days a week, with mobility and stretching exercises daily.

Q: What is the hardest part of race walking?

A: There are a number of different aspects to the sport that are difficult. Race walkers must not only push their limits physically, but have to ensure that their form and technique are sound throughout a race in order to pass the scrutiny of the judges. The event and its judging are often misunderstood by the casual observer and the training can be lonely.

Q: How do you maintain your focus over a 50-kilometre race?

A: Although the event lasts between 3 1/2 and 4 hours (depending on racing conditions), the athlete always has something to think about while racing. Maintaining good technique is important, not just to pass the judges’ eyes, but also to ensure economy of effort and that requires constant concentration. Athletes also have a fluid replacement plan for the race to ensure that they avoid dehydration and this can change during the race depending on conditions.

Q: How does the discipline in race walking relate to the rest of your life?

A: Athletes in all sports at the highest level must have the ability to push their physical and mental limits in order to endure the training and competition stresses. Outside of sport, athletes can be relentless in the pursuit of excellence, and will persevere until they find success in whatever task they are attempting.

“The event and its judging are often misunderstood by the casual observer.”

Q: What other methods do you employ to maintain overall wellness in your life?

A: Now that I no longer compete, I try to stay active and eat a healthy, balanced diet… having children who are active in several sports ensures that we are never sedentary, and having a dog ensures that I get out every day to exercise both him and myself – otherwise the whole family suffers with the mischief that he gets up to.

Photos courtesy of James Aldridge

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Activate a Plan for Your Family

Rona Ambrose-01Over 50% of children in Canada are not doing enough to achieve their “optimal growth and development,” according to studies cited by Health Canada. This shocking statistic should be enough to motivate parents to work with their offspring to improve diets and increase physical activity – but where do they start?

Busy parents are often overwhelmed with day to day chores and activities, and may feel that they do not have the time, money or means, to tackle the necessary task of working to improve their child’s health and fitness. However, there are fairly easy ways to access knowledge and support services.

One approach to start with is to visit your family doctor for advice. These days, not every family is able to have their own family physician, or pediatrician, but there are many walk-in clinics, as well as provincial health centres, with professionals available to provide guidance.

The Dieticians of Canada website has valuable reference material for families, including information on how to locate a dietician in your area, to work with you to create a healthy eating plan.

“Get up off the sofa, turn off the electronic devices, and move!”

Government websites and agencies are another place to begin a search. All levels of government provide health information online, and often have programs in place to assist families in their pursuit of wellness.

For example, the Honourable Rona Ambrose, Canada’s Minister of Health, recently announced a new Government of Canada project, The Play Exchange, a contest which asks Canadians to send their ideas to help youngsters “get moving.” The aim is to assist the development of new initiatives, improve fitness, and reduce chronic disease among youth. Judges will choose the most promising contest ideas; community and business leaders will mentor contestants to develop the concepts; and in January 2015, the finest innovations will be highlighted on TV, and voted upon by the public. Up to $1 million will be awarded to the winner to bring the top idea to fruition.

In addition, “The Play Exchange’s Active at School Challenge is looking for the best idea in each province and territory that helps children achieve one hour of physical activity every day. The Play Exchange’s Active at School Challenge will provide $3,000 to the top innovation, entered by a school , in each province and territory.”

Moreover, the federal government revived the popular ParticipACTION plan a few years ago. It also created a Children’s Fitness Tax Credit, which allows parents to claim up to $500 for eligible fitness program fees for children under the age of 16 (or 18, if the child has a disability).

Closer to home, the City of Edmonton works to ensure young citizens are “welcome and involved” and “promotes their well-being and safety,” through Child Friendly Edmonton. The plan highlights kid-friendly parks, pools, rinks and playgrounds; activities such as day-camps, sports teams, and art programs or performances; and visits to locations like the John Janzen Nature Centre, Edmonton Valley Zoo, or City Farm.

The provincial government has information and initiatives for children in Alberta, as well. In 2010, it launched the website, Raising Children, which coordinates information regarding children aged 0-6. Additionally, a co-departmental approach is used, with Alberta Education and Alberta Health in the forefront through school and health care programs.

With a little research, you can locate other health and fitness resources to boost your child’s well-being. Alberta Recreation and Parks Association oversees Everybody Gets to Play, which was developed by the Canadian Parks and Recreation Association. This project aims to increase access to recreation for youth from lower income families.

“There are easy ways to access knowledge and support services.”

Sports for Kids provides child care along with physical activity, for ages 3 to 16, in the Edmonton Westmount area. The organization offers fitness experiences and instruction for youth in attendance.

Don’t forget to check the options and facilities available through your local community league. For more than 90 years, the Edmonton Federation of Community Leagues has featured all sorts of recreational choices for families.

The most important thing to do for your child and your family is to get up off the sofa, turn off the electronic devices, and move indoors or out. You will save yourselves from a lifetime of health problems, feel better, and accomplish more with your lives!

 

Resources:

Alberta Health Services
Alberta Recreation and Parks Association
City of Edmonton
College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta
Dieticians of Canada
Edmonton Federation of Community Leagues
Government of Canada
Health Canada
ParticipACTION
The Play Exchange
Raising Children
Sports for Kids

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Fresh Fit Foods innovative concept provides an enjoyable new way to get healthy. Advertising Feature Photography by Grant Olson Chicken & Fruit Snack No time to cook,...