Monday, October 25, 2010

Cooking at the Campsite

This year we put our camp wok to the test. Picked up at MEC online and delivered at one of those time periods where shipping is free - look for them typically around this time of year. Easily packed in the kayak if needed. Some of the simplest dinners were quickly done on the wok. We chose to pack a few ingredients in plastic bottles that made a difference - olive oil, fresh garlic, onion, black pepper, fresh ginger and a few fresh vegetables that easily were hidden away. We froze a few pieces of chicken and picked the odd piece of one thing or another on the road. I think I used a few other of our friend Cyril's gourmet cooking ideas - like bring a good knife.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Straighten Up and Avoid LBP

I missed the official date of World Spine Day - which has as its theme "Straighten Up".
So here are a few suggestions which would best be described as general guidelines, since once you develop a back problem a full assessment and consultation with a physiotherapist would be a good idea.

Since I frequently provide education sessions on low back problems here are a few ideas I often mention. These points are grounded in scientific evidence, but I have left out a lot of detail for this entry.

The Bone and Joint Decade is coming to a close shortly, so what better time to reflect on this topic?

1. Stay or get fit - look at walking 10000 steps per day as a start. Exercise in general is critical. Basically it keeps the joints healthy and of course improves maximizes heart and lung function. Most of us are slightly biased to our own special interest: Tai Chi, Yoga, Rowing, Kayaking, Aquatics, Swimming, Running... but it seems we are hard pressed to say one is better than another. The truth may be that some exercises and sports are better suited to one individual more than others. Why not do a combination?

2. Actively work your abdominals(and associated back stabilizers) throughout your day. Learn to tighten your abdominals - specifically the transversus abdominis(TrA)even when cutting vegetables, painting, waiting in grocery line. But don't stop there. Also practice the plank, mini squats or lunges, bridges to activate back muscles and key leg muscles. Work up to 20 reps X 3 sets. All these muscles play a role in stabilizing the back or lumbar spine.

3. Eat healthy - my old boxing coach always said "you are what you eat" - his actually phrasing was more like: if you eat crap, you are crap.
And this has turned out to be more true than he would ever have anticipated. Who could have predicted how much fat, chemicals and salt would be stuffed into fast foods, and even into restaurnant dishes we thought would be healthy.

4. Get plenty of sleep. This is the best time to heal, recuperate and regenerate. An associated study suggested that workers should watch how much overtime you do. The link presumably is that workers who are non stop on the job have little time for yoga, kayaking or running. All the good stuff. So given the choice - leave work on time.

5. Watch what you do and how you do it. Bending, stooping and twisting are high risk movements. Watch what time of the day you do them and limit the high risk movments in your exercise routine. If you have been doing yoga for 20 years you are at less risk than if you are just beginning. If doing the Sun Salutation for example, you may wish to avoid full toe touching first thing in the morning, especially if you are not going to be snow boarding or participating in an activity that requires that movement. Bend your knees when lifting loads from the floor - visualize you are an olympic weight lifter. And when transferring loads - pivot your feet.

6. Watch how you are sitting at the computer,or when driving. Quite often your leg position can impart stress to the back region. As a guideline in the car: your knee should be slightly higher than your hip when your foot is on the gas pedal.

7. Work on your posture - even when you are doing tasks around the house. The goal is what is described as - neutral spine position.

the Wave

I just bought this book and I am starting to work my way through it but find myself jumping ahead and back - to different sections.

An incredible work of research and first hand experience that no doubt will add to the collective understanding of one of the
most powerful forces in nature. It is scary though how many aspects of the ocean are still unexplainable, particularly waves.

As we well know living and kayaking in Newfoundland -
never turn your back on the ocean.

Highly recommended. Enjoy. Maybe a potential guest for KNL retreat 2012.

Sunday, October 17, 2010


This weekend I am out in Stephenville Crossing running a technical coaching clinic for NCCP.
Found a great competition sequence.

Friday, October 1, 2010

A good sense of humour

Sometimes things don't go as planned. For some of us - that can be just when you were counting on things to go right.