Three Reasons you are Too Busy With Work and Life to Exercise.

We have all been there, too busy, tired or have more important things to do than to exercise.

I’m going to be giving you some tough love, because I’ve had to recently do this for myself.

There is ALWAYS time to exercise in life. One of three things is usually the culprit of why exercise does not happen in our lives.

  • Priorities. Everything we do in life is about priorities, and priorities dictate the way our life moves. If you do not prioritize exercise and training, you will not do it because there are so many other things and distractions that will get in our way instead. So, work today on how you are going to prioritize exercise and movement.
  • Time Management. Telling yourself that you do not have time to exercise is 99% of the time not true. You do have time, but your time management is poor. Have you ever looked at your screen time and how much of your day you are on your phone? I bet you may be spending most of your day on your phone looking at instagram, TikTock or some other mindless distraction when you could be spending that time moving and exercising. Instead, put your phone down and stretch, strengthen, work on your mobility or flexibility for 20-30 min. Want to watch your favourite show? Okay no problem, but while you are watching it, roll out a mat and exercise WHILE you watch it. Another idea, if you can, get to bed earlier and wake up earlier before your busy day gets started and exercise. Time management is everything, it gives us the freedom to do the things we love.
  • Excuses. We have all used excuses in the past and some even in the present, you may be using one right this second. As mentioned above, excuses can be valid and true at times, but they really are not serving you. You have this thing that is very valid, but it serves no purpose in your life. So what you need to do is get rid of your excuses, get them out of your life. Because once you start doing this you will all of a sudden find more time to do more things. Excuses are just justifications to make ourselves feel better.

Think of this equation the next time you want to skip out on exercise:

make exercise a priority + work on your time management skills = less excuses

If you work on making exercise a priority (in any shape or form of activity), and you work on improving your time management skills and MAKE the time for it in the week, then you will not have any excuses left to get it done. Start with 2 times a week for 5-10 min, believe me when I say, your body will thank you. And you may find out that you really like exercise. In fact, it may turn into love one day.

Now, this is not to say that if you have been working hard and training all week that taking a day off to rest is bad. IT IS NECESSARY. In fact, you should have at least 2 rest days a week if you are training or being active 3-5 days out of the week. I’m saying this for the people like myself that has not been consistently active. 5-10 min is all you need to stretch, strengthen or mobilize. Set a timer and get the thing done.

LEW xoxo


Squat, because no one raps about little butts

This month’s exercise is a squat. This is a fantastic all around full body exercise that is very functional for everyday life. Have I convinced you yet to give it a try?

Targets: quadriceps. Also incorporates: gluteus maximus, aductor magnus, soleus, hamstrings, gastrocnemius, erector spinae, rectus abdominis, obliques.

How To: Squat down by bending your hips back, as if you are sitting in a chair, while allowing knees to bend forward being sure to not extend them too far past the toes, keeping your back straight and knees pointed same direction as feet (towards the 2nd and 3rd toes). Descend until thighs are just past parallel to floor. Extend knees and hips until legs are straight. Return and repeat. 

Important to keep in mind: Keep your head facing forward, back straight and feet flat on floor; equal distribution of weight throughout forefoot and heel. Knees should point same direction as feet throughout movement. Core engaged, shoulders back and down with chin tucked and squeeze your glutes on the way back up. Once you add a bar, DO NOT place the bar on the back of your neck, be sure it is placed on the top of your shoulders (feel for the ‘shelf’).

What do I do with my hands? Well, this depends on how you are doing the squat.

If you are doing a body weight squat, you can put them out in front of you or cross your arms over your chest. If you are doing the exercise with a dowel or the squat bar, place the dowel behind you placed on your shoulders, NOT your neck, and have your hands equally on both sides holding the bar in place.

Once you start to become a natural at this exercise then you can start switching it up by changing how and where you hold the squat bar (i.e. front squat vs. back squat), you can bring in different gym equipment like a barbell or kettlebell, or change the positioning of your feet and legs. There is just so much you can do, isn’t it so exciting?!

This is a great all around exercise to become comfortable and familiar with. Give it a try today with your body weight alone, then add in a dowel, and finally progress to a squat bar as your biomechanics improve.


Athletic Therapy vs. Physiotherapy: Is there a difference?

In the world of healthcare professionals, it can get confusing as to what each one specializes in and what kind of treatment you may receive from them. The two most common distinct healthcare professions that are confused with each other are Athletic Therapy and Physiotherapy. Both are trained in musculoskeletal rehabilitation and assessment, and have a few differences.

Athletic therapists are focused solely on musculoskeletal disorders and injuries, and can be found working in a clinic setting or with a team. Meanwhile, physiotherapists have a wider scope of practice which encompasses neurological and cardiovascular health issues as well as musculoskeletal, and can be found working both the hospital setting and in outpatient clinics. Both professions will complete a thorough assessment of your injury, and provide education, complete manual therapy techniques and provide therapeutic exercises for you to complete at home. They will help manage both acute and chronic injuries, all the while maintaining a high professional standard of care for all of their patients.

You do not need a referral from a doctor to see either an AT or physio, however you should always check with your extended healthcare provider to see if you are covered, as different providers cover different therapies.

Shared skills and knowledge of each profession:Shared treatment approaches of each profession:
1) Assessment and diagnosis of injuries
2) Treat sport injuries, work injuries, MVA’s, and life injuries
3) Rehabilitation and exercise programs are included with the treatment plan of all injuries
4) Educate patients in management of acute and chronic injuries
1) Soft tissue manipulation and joint mobilizations
2) Preventative taping and
Electrotherapy training (NMES, TENS, IFC, ultrasound, heat and ice, etc)
3) Exercise prescription (strength, flexibility, mobility, and proprioception)
4) Biomechanics analysis
5) Patient Education

Athletic Therapy

Athletic Therapists are experts in musculoskeletal disorders and injuries. This is accomplished after a highly demanding 4 year program, at an applicable university, to achieve a degree of Bachelor of Applied Health Sciences. This program focuses primarily on rehabilitation, assessment, prevention and restoring of the musculoskeletal system through maintaining and maximizing the bodies movement to relieve pain and increase your quality of life. Following this program there is an intense national certification exam of a written and practical that must be passed in order to work in Canada as a Certified Athletic Therapist. They are typically found working in a clinical setting or with a sports team in a field setting providing emergency care.

It is very common to have the name give a false representation of who they can treat. They do specialize in athletes as the name provides, but they are also trained in MVA’s (motor vehicle accidents), work injuries (the industrial athlete), post-operation, and everyday aches and pains.

The regulating body of the profession is the Canadian Athletic Therapists Association (CATA) and each province across Canada has a provincial chapter as well.

The definition of the profession provided by the national association is as follows:

“Certified Athletic Therapists are best known for their quick-thinking on-field emergency care of professional and elite athletes. The first to respond when someone gets hurt, they are experts at injury assessment and rehabilitation. It’s that same mix of on-site care and active rehabilitation skills that makes Athletic Therapists so effective in treating the musculoskeletal (muscles, bones, and joints) injuries of all Canadians, whether on the field or in the clinic.

Athletic therapists adhere to the Sports Medicine Model of care. They treat a wide range of patients, from kids with concussions to seniors recovering from hip replacement surgery, using various manual therapies, modalities, exercise prescription and even bracing and taping. The treatment varies but the objective doesn’t: an Athletic Therapist’s goal is to help clients return to their usual activities, whether that means playing competitive sports or walking to the mailbox and back.”

More information can be found on their website: https://athletictherapy.org/en.

Physiotherapy

Physiotherapists help restore movement and function when someone is affected by injury, illness or disability. They accomplish this through movement and exercise, manual therapy, and patient education. Physiotherapist’s in Canada complete a 4 year undergrad and then proceed into a 2 year masters of Physiotherapy, followed by an intense certification exam. Their formal education focuses on the study of neurology, cardiorespiratory and orthopaedics.

They are typically found working in private clinics, hospitals, retirement residences and child development centres. Physiotherapists in Canada work with clients of all ages and with a wide range of health conditions. Physiotherapists tend to specialize in a certain area of practice, which can include working with patients who have had strokes or other neurological injuries, paediatrics, women’s health, oncology rehab, in intensive care units and other inpatient settings as well as common musculoskeletal injuries.

The definition of Physiotherapy from the Canadian Physiotherapy Association:

“The heart of the physiotherapy profession is understanding how and why movement and function take place. Physiotherapists are highly skilled and autonomous health professionals who provide safe, quality client-centred physiotherapy through a commitment to service availability, accessibility and excellence. The profession is shaped by scientific evidence and the education and competencies of the physiotherapists delivering the services. Physiotherapy is grounded in the belief that, to be effective, its services must respond to the changing needs of populations and our health system.”

More information can be found at their website: https://physiotherapy.ca/description-physiotherapy. Here you can find a document on the detailed description of Physiotherapy.

Summary

With a few small differences in the two professions, both are a great resource for injury prevention, treatment and education. The largest difference is the scope of practice of a physiotherapist includes cardiovascular and neurological training along with the ability to pierce the skin through extra training in IMS (intermuscular stimulation) and acupuncture, which is not included in the scope of practice of an Athletic Therapist. However, both are experts in helping you recover from your injuries and getting you back to doing what you love!


Part 1: The beginning of a positive lifestyle change

“I was assigned this mountain to show others it can be moved.”

This is a progression of photos of me over the years. 2013: I was 24 in this photo and just a few months away from graduating from a very intense program at school, probably around 120-130lbs, pale, blackened eyes, stressed and thin hair. 2016: 27 years old, 155lbs and 3 months into what I did not know was an autoimmune response in my body. 2018: exactly one year after diagnosis, healthy and looking better then I have in years and feeling fantastic.

Just over two years ago, at the age of 27, I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease through a blood test. Six months before that I became extremely ill after a trauma from an accidental hit to the face with a hockey stick. Don’t get me wrong, now that I know about this, I realize I actually have had symptoms my whole life but just thought of them as my “normal.” 

Growing up I remember having frequent ear infection after ear infection and I do remember a lot of arguments over taking this artificial banana tasting medicine, which really wasn’t the best. As a fun fact, I have now been informed that repetitive ear infections in a kid can be a sign of a food allergy or intolerance. Now keep in mind, it is not always associated with food allergies and can be due to a virus or bacteria and can be a serious medical condition that needs to be looked at right away as it can lead to hearing loss or the infection spreading.

Along with ear infections, I had knee pain and other joint pain, seemed to get the stomach flu quite a bit, when I was 17 I had my first go at gastritis (which I now realize this may have been an autoimmune flare up because I also had another trauma; to my knee this time; and it occurred around the first time I had gastritis) and again another time 5 years later in the Dominican Republic (May 2012). I could never seem to get my iron up no matter how much red meat and iron supplements I took (this was before I realized you could get iron from vegetables and fruit as well) and I was always anemic (I now realize this was most likely due to malabsorption in my small intestine). 

Want to know something super ironic? I worked in a bakery for 7 years, yup, a full on gluten infested, flour in the air, bakery. This is when I really started getting symptoms; shocking, I know. 

This is my hand recently with Dermatitis Herpetiformis.

Symptoms such as: shortness of breath, anxiety, menstrual problems (infrequent, heavy, light, painful, PMS, etc), clustered blistering bubbles all over my hands (Dermatitis herpetiformis), hair falling out, nails always breaking and nail beds always peeling, painful acne spots on my face and buttocks, red bumps on my upper arms, mouth ulcers, stomach sickness, difficulty concentrating and I was ALWAYS hungry; I literally could out eat all of my friends in school. It was very difficult for me to gain any weight, I remember my family doctor telling me I needed to be around 140lbs for my height and I was always around 115-120lbs (I’m not complaining and I was really active but it was just weird eating as much as I did and not gaining any weight). My hair dresser always pointed out to me that I was loosing a lot of hair at my appointments and mentioned a handful of times that I had psoriasis on my scalp. I do remember having flaky chunks of skin come off my scalp in my finger nails when I would scratch my head.

Jan 2017, just a few days after diagnosis (super inflamed gut), to Feb 2017, just one month after. The difference after one month of being gluten free was huge. Also, take note of how messy my room was, this just goes to show how awful my mental state was at the time. I had no motivation and just did not care.

Before the trauma occurred, I was sluggish, gaining weight (I was around 150-155lbs, which could have been muscle), unmotivated, bloated, my hair was thin, and I was tired. After the hockey stick trauma in 2016, I did not know what was going on with me, I became very mentally and physically ill. It started with really low energy which I thought was from lack of sleep because my sleep pattern went from sleeping well to falling asleep fine but waking up all night. I had maybe 2-3 hours of sleep a night, which resulted in me nodding off in the middle of the day. Concentration and thinking was a struggle, my brain was in a fog all day and everyday. I started to experience becoming sick with the common cold at least once a month, which turned into a sinus infection which I was put on one dose of antibiotics for and soon after got my first ever yeast infection. PMS was HORRIBLE, I had headaches that later turned into migraines, cramps, bloating, and nausea. I had the Dermatitis herpetiformis (DH) rash on my hands blistered and cracked open with sores all over my fingers. I had a mental hit as I was depressed and mentally fatigued, quite literally crying 2-5 times a day over what seemed like nothing.

The last month before I finally went to get help (6 months after the trauma), I had migraines which I have never had before in my life, really sharp pains in my gut, and what got me going to see a doctor was my mouth bleeding every time I brushed my teeth and huge bleeding oral cankers as I know this can be a sign of malnutrition.

The stubborn human I am, it took me 6 months of being sick to finally consult a doctor. The first doctor I saw told me to go back on birth control…yup. Talk about negligence, keeping in mind he was a walk in doctor that was extremely tired but that is absolutely no excuse. Knowing what I do now, he let me walk out of his office after less then 5 minutes of talking, close to being hospitalized. Thankfully I knew better and threw out the prescription paper as I was leaving the office and the next day I went to another walk in and met the incredible doctor that I now proudly call my family doctor. She spent what felt like 30-40 minutes with me and listened to my entire story and all of my symptoms for the last 6 months. Palpated my abdomen and sent me on my way for a blood test looking into multiple conditions.

Fifteen minutes after this appointment (about 3pm), I was in another building having my blood taken. This is when I really knew something was wrong as they were having trouble finding my veins and getting blood from them. The nurses had to go to both arms to try and get enough blood for the tests.

9am sharp the next morning, when the walk in clinic opened, I received a phone call telling me my blood results have come back and I needed to go in to speak to a doctor immediately. This of course, got my heart racing. Getting my blood results back this quickly had me thinking I had a serious health condition. The doctor sat down and told me I had Celiac Disease and I was extremely anemic. To test for celiac disease they test for a tTG result in the blood (IgA antibody level) and this level should be less then 12. Mine was over 300, and the iron/ferritin level was 3.4 when it should be between 40-200. 

I left that doctors office surprisingly relieved and felt as though the bag of bricks I was carrying around had been lifted off my shoulders. I went home and immediately spent hours researching celiac disease and the more I read, the more my life made sense.

If you are in a position of not feeling well, or knowing something is just not right, do not give up – your answer is around the corner.

Next week will be Part 2 of my story, three years after diagnosis.

With love, be kind to yourself,

LEW xxx

Please Keep This Disclaimer in Mind:

This article is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent diseases. We cannot provide medical advice or specific advice on products related to treatments of a disease or illness. You must consult with your professional health care provider before starting any diet changes, exercise or supplementation program, and before taking, varying the dosage of or ceasing to take any medication.


Who am I?

“Be yourself, everyone else is already taken.” – Oscar Wilde

Hi Friends!

As I mentioned in my About section, my name is Lauren and my nickname is LEW (this stands for the initials of my full name).

It seems like everyone and their cat is starting a blog or a vlog, and to be honest, for many years I was afraid to do this. Thinking to myself that I did not have anything worth writing about or no one will ever want to read about my life. However, I know realize that this is nonsense! Everyone is their own important and amazing soul and everyone has a worthwhile story to share.

Truthfully, I want to start writing a blog to bring more awareness to two passions in my life, which are: Athletic Therapy and Celiac Disease.

Firstly, I work as a Certified Athletic Therapist in Canada and we are often confused with Physiotherapy. Both careers being as amazing as they are, there are slight differences and I will be discussing about this in my blog along with writing about conditions, exercises, stretches, mobility, prevention and so much more.

Secondly, I have known I am Celiac for almost 3 years now, and I cannot believe the kind of mixed messages and untruthful information out there about this disease. With the rise of a gluten free trends and lifestyles, there is no wonder why people confused someone with celiac disease with someone who is non-celiac gluten sensitive or another human who has decided to eat gluten free because they feel better. 

“In a study released in 2016, Hyun-seok Kim, MD, a doctor at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School in Newark looked at a national survey taken from 2009 to 2014. Only 1% of the population has celiac disease, and this number has not changed in recent years. Although celiac disease numbers remained stable during that time, the number of people following a gluten-free diet tripled, from 0.5% of the population to nearly 2%. This was bringing in an estimated $4 billion dollars of sales on gluten free products in 2015.” (WebMD, 2016)

Those numbers are HUGE, and thinking that it is now the year 2019, I could only imagine how much larger those numbers are.

My goal is to connect with everyone interested in either of these topics and if I end up helping just one soul in my journey into blogging and sharing about my life experiences, that would mean the world to me.

Please follow along or share the information I am providing if you know of anyone it will help. Subscribe to get notified when I post new updates.

WebMD 2016 Reference: https://www.webmd.com/digestive-disorders/celiac-disease/news/20160916/whats-behind-gluten-free-trend#1

Please Keep This Disclaimer in Mind:

This article is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent diseases. We cannot provide medical advice or specific advice on products related to treatments of a disease or illness. You must consult with your professional health care provider before starting any diet changes, exercise or supplementation program, and before taking, varying the dosage of or ceasing to take any medication.