As a father first, the passion and care I pour into my children's development has no end. I want them to have every opportunity and for them to be able to realise their full potential. At 7 years old my daughter competes in gymnastics, plays soccer attends swimming lessons and dances with school. She is very active outside of these activities and says her favourite thing to do is climb.
Although she participates in many activities I am still cautious about how this may impact her health phycially and mentally. Ironic, no?
Recently, we decided to reduce the training load. So, swimming was cancelled over winter. We wanted our daughter to have time to play and just be. A hard decision, but I think the best for now.
I share this with you because I am one of you. A caring parent that wants the best for their child. I understand that there is a fine line and sometimes it can get crossed. Sometimes we need to know when and what is enough.
This brings me to some recent developments in the athletics arena, but something that is transferable across many fields,
In November 2016, youth development expert Wolfgan Killer facilitated a seminar on the best practices for the development of under 16 athletes. He stipulates that the objectives of a successful training program for young athletes should be to achieve broad physical development focusing on agility, balance, co-ordination, endurance and flexibility. The priority of a training program for athletes under 16 years of age should be general conditioning, not a tailored program for a specific event group.
What I find most interesting about Wolfgan's recommendations is that he suggests that young athletes to engage in multiple sports over the year. Finding that athletes that engaged in at least four sports are more likely to develop a broad range of fundamental movement skills improving their chance at athletic success. Ideally, he recommends that at least one of these sports is athletics, swimming or gymnastics as these are the foundation sports, which develop the fundamental skills of all sports.
Wolfgan recognises the importance of understanding the difference between a childs physiological age and their biological age. Stating that there can often be a 5-year variation in the development and maturity between athletes of the same biological age. An understanding of this is essential when programming for athletes particularly between the age of 11 and 15. Those who develop quicker are often at an advantage during this stage.
Special attentions need to be given to managing the recovery of young athletes. This can vary significantly between individuals and can also fluctuate as they mature or going through periods of rapid growth.
As a general rule an athlete should recover from a normal training session within 2 days. For a high intensity training session or after a competition this may take upto 7 days. Ideally, light training would be scheduled into these days.
Here are some great tips to keep in mind for U16 athletes:
Sport needs to fun and enjoyable and it is important for children to get the rest and recovery they need. It is OK to have some time off to rest and to reduce training loads.
We want to encourage our children to be active for life. Let sport build their character not just their performance and let's create environments that build self-esteem.
I hope this information has been as informative to you as it has for me.
Source: Athletics Coach Magazine, April
By Chris Bowles
Name: Hayden Smith
How did you get into Bobsleigh?
I come from a rugby and sprinting background. After competing in a 100m race back in 2014 another coach told me that I was probably on the "too heavy" side of being a successful sprinter and recommended that I give bobsleigh a try.
What were your first thoughts about the sport?
I just remember getting to the bottom of the track after my first run and thinking "oh no, I just quit my job to do this". The only way I can describe that first run would be like being in a frozen washing machine on spin cycle going >100kph. I ended up going back to the top of the track for another run and liked it a whole lot more the second time round. It isn't a comfortable ride in the back, there are a lot of bumps and unfamiliar pressures; nothing can really prepare you for your first run.
Goals & aspirations: Compete in the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea
Training requirements: Training consists of 8 training sessions (2 x pushing, 2 x sprints and 4 x weight lifting) and 2 recovery sessions per week. Generally a total of 15-16 hours/week.
Biggest challenges: Unfortunately I had a training injury in September 2015 where I broke my fibula and tore all of the ligaments in my ankle. The injury has been a big challenge with consistent treatment and follow up surgeries. I'm confident I am now back close to 100% with the help of a great team of health professionals and still consider myself somewhat lucky to still be competing.
How do you stay focused? I stay focused by keeping my eyes on the end goal of the games next year. I cascade overall goals down to daily training goals each day which allow me to focus on doing the right things now.
What do you love most about your sport? I love the speed and the adrenaline but also the camaraderie that you get from a close knit team that lives and trains together all season.
How do you qualify etc.?
To qualify as a team we will have 8 races from November to January where we accumulate points which add to our IBSF ranking. If our ranking is high enough we will be given the quota to nominate a sled (hopefully in both the 2-man and 4-man formats). Once we have the quota spot it's a matter of selecting the best team of 4 to go and compete.
Have you been to Korea? Seen the track?
I didn't get to travel to Korea last season for the test event. Unfortunately I had to have surgery on my ankle In February so I was still recovering from that. I watched the team race from back home and it looks to be a great facility with a pretty challenging track.
What's your goal for the Olympics?
Our goal is to start times that are in the top half of the field. Obviously we are challenged with the equipment we use compared to other well-funded nations but it's not really an excuse. Hopefully we can get a good start then have our pilot weave some magic.
Who do you compete with?
I first started the sport pushing Heath Spence but moved over to push Lucas Mata last season as Heath took on a coaching position with the Chinese team. We currently have 3 other brakemen in the team; David Mari, Lachlan Reidy and Gareth Nichols.
What does the road to the Winter Olympics look like for you?
We leave for Calgary in August and complete a training block using the Ice House. We will start sliding on the tracks once there is ice in October and will have races from November to January.
What do you do off the ice?
Off the ice I work as a Risk Assurance Analyst for Lion (a dairy and drinks company) here in Sydney. They are extremely accommodating to my schedule and always flexible with my training requirements. It's a rarity to be able to compete overseas for a few months each year and keep a job that continues my career development, so I can't thank them enough for that!
Can you tell me a little bit about your swimwear company?
The swimwear company is a bit of a side project. I really don't believe in asking for handouts from people without giving anything in return so it's a good way to help me fund my sporting endeavours.
Personal highlights? A couple of podium finishes (top 6 for bobsleigh) in Park City on the North American Cup Circuit last season would have to be my highlight so far. We had a great crew down there that worked together really well and that showed in our results. Hopefully this is a sign of good things to come next season!
Advice for young athletes? Definitely to stick with it and keep working hard, with the right attitude and commitment to training you can reach your goals. Too often athletes with buckets of talent throw it all away with the wrong attitude.
Favourite Quote? No quit, all hustle
With changes in lifestyles, footwear and activities of daily living, foot and lower limb structural abnormalities are becoming more prominent.
This increase can also be attributed to the fact that people are now more than ever before, conscious of their feet and the shape that its takes or forms over time.
A common problem that presents to podiatry clinics is one of malalignment of the lesser toes. The most often of these is an affliction referred to as ‘hammer-toeing’ of the toes.
A hammertoe deformity is one that is characterised by a retraction of the middle toe joints (dorsiflexed) whilst the furthest most part of the toe is curled downwards (plantar flexed). The result of which, is a raised, triangular styles middle portion of the toe joint which has a tendency to form pressure sports due to shoe pressure and a front part of the toe that is prone to callousing and corns. Hammertoes are not life threatening, however if left untreated may get worse and more debilitating over time.
Hammertoes have a number of potential causes which are listed below. It is important to realise however, that this deformity can be the result of a single factor or a combination of both intrinsic and extrinsic factors. Some common causes of hammertoes includes:
Most patients will present to a podiatry clinic with complaints of irritation along the top (dorsal) surface of their toes. This often corresponds to areas of pressure or rubbing along the surface of the shoe. Pressure induced irritation can often be due to callousing, corns or inflamed skin. Secondly to this, people with this deformity can present with concerns about the general appearance of positioning of their toes or pain along the balls of their feet which may be a secondary symptoms from the altered biomechanics caused by retracted toes. This discomfort may then result in an altered gait cycle which may impact on joints further up the chain including knees, hips and lower back.
In order to provide a bit of guidance with regards to treatment options available, below are a few options which may work to alleviate either the symptoms associated with hammertoe, or help correct the hammertoe deformity itself.
There is no magic bullet to dealing with hammertoes. This is why it is essential to have any concerns about your foot, toe or lower limb alignment checked out by a podiatric specialist who can guide you as to the best and most appropriate treatment protocol for your presenting complaint.
By Anel Kapur
For an appointment with a Health Associates podiatrist please contact 9542 3330 or book online
Chris and Alana founded Health Associates due to their mutual love for movement and people. Central in their life is the fact that exercise is a cornerstone to their success and without it they would not be able to perform and function at optimal levels in all other areas.
Chris and Alana met through Can Too. A charity dedicated to raising funds for cancer research while coaching people for endurance events. Alana was drawn to Can Too as her mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Passing away at only 53. Working as a fitness instructor and completing her university degree at the time Alana channelled the grief and loss of her mother into starting the Macquarie University Can Too pod. Knowing that she could help others through fitness and cancer research gave her a healthy outlet to cope with an enormously sad time.
Little did she know she would meet the love of her life, Chris who was the Macquarie University Can Too running coach. Chris had been through a series of his own unfortunate events that led him to study Chiropractic and Macquarie University.
Chris understands firsthand how an injury can impact your life. Chris was destined for great things as a rugby player. He had played at the highest level for his junior sporting career. Representing Australia in the U19 and U20 teams. He travelled around the world, playing with and against some of the most talented players of our time. Unfortunately, Chris endured a life-threatening spinal injury that ended his career too soon and left him with a spinal fusion of his cervical spine. To this day he has limited range of motion is his neck and consequently endures significant pain associated with fusion.
Alana & Chris were drawn together by a passion to help people, to make a positive impact in the world combined with their love of health and fitness. These are now the cornerstones that lay the foundation to all that they do, all that they are and all they hope to be.
Get in line this Sunday as Sarah sets up at Loftus Oval to look after our mighty Rovers. All proceeds go towards the club but even better than that you will be supple before a game and rejuvenated after. If you are spectating, then make yourself comfy with Sarah and she will help reduce any tension and help your body feel amazing.
She will be available from 9am - 1pm.
Purchase massage token from the canteen. $10 for 10min. Sarah will have a time schedule available if you want to time your massage for a particular time of day (eg: post game).
Don't just stop at 10min. You can buy yourself 20 or 30min!!
Everyone that gets a massage with Sarah on the day will also receive a $10 OFF massage voucher to use with her in the clinic!
Aaron is a CrossFit competitor and head coach at CrossFit Kirrawee. Aaron competed with his team at the CrossFit Pacific regionals where they achieved an outstanding result held in Wollongong over the weekend.
CrossFit is a sport for all levels and ages. The sport focuses on integrating functional movements considered to be "the core movements of life" performed at a high intensity. It brings the best aspects of gymnastics, weightlifting, running, rowing and more. While CrossFit challenges the world's fittest, the program is designed for universal scalability, making it the perfect application for any committed individual, regardless of experience.
Aaron is not only in the Spotlight this month due to his amazing athletic achievements and his contribution to forging a healthier community. He is in the spotlight because he treats his body with care and respect. A lot of people, when exercising or playing sport expect their body to perform at a high intensity on demand yet put little time and effort into the restorative requirements that help keep your body performing at its best.
Aaron proactively sort care at Health Associates because he understands that he needs to support his body if he is going to be pushing it at high intensity. Furthermore, he understands that prevention of injury is better the fixing one and he wasn't going to limit his chances at the CrossFit Regionals by not implementing preventative care.
Over to you Aaron...
Name: Aaron Osborne
Occupation: CrossFit Athlete / Head Coach at CrossFit Kirrawee
What does health mean to you? Health and fitness is my life, not just my lifestyle. I live and breathe it and literally enjoy everyday of work, coaching and training.
How do you keep healthy? CrossFit is my source of health and fitness.
How you stay motivated? Goals and accurate load management that adhere to those goals. By pre planning my load management and keeping one step ahead of my fitness training and recovery, I can avoid those dreaded lulls or lack of motivation periods. I make sure I always reflect on the positive things I achieved that day, no matter how big or small, and finish on a positive note. I always want to be happy and grateful for what I have achieved at the end of each day, but never satisfied enough to not attack the next day just the same, with the aim to be a better person and athlete.
Why do you like coming to Health Associates? With the volume and intensity involved in training to be able to compete in CrossFit, prehab over rehab is my priority. Seeing Chris weekly keeps my body in check, which can so easily vary week to week. Having Chris being so versatile in his field of practice, I am not limited to just a simple chiropractic adjustment and off you go. The use of dry needling, ART & his functional movement assessments are such great tools to add in to my regular sessions at Health Associates.
Advice for others wanting to improve their health? Find YOUR reason WHY you want to improve your health, eliminate the cons and focus on the pros, find a type of fitness you enjoy, whatever that may be (CrossFit Kirrawee 😉) and get after it!
Favourite Quote: "The more you sweat in training, the less you'll bleed in battle!"
Spinal stenosis is a conditioned characterized by the abnormal narrowing of the spinal canal (1). This narrowing compresses the spinal cord and/or the nearby nerves and can cause symptoms that travel from the spine to the arms and legs. It is most commonly seen in patients 50+ years, often caused by the degenerative and arthritic changes related to osteoarthritis. Spinal stenosis predominantly occurs in the lumbar (lower back) and cervical (neck) spine. It is diagnosed with an MRI scan or a CT scan with myelogram (using an X-ray dye in the spinal sac fluid), and sometimes both.
A lot of people do not feel any effects of the narrowing of the spinal canal, but with increasing degenerative changes associated with aging, most people will eventually notice radiating pain, tingling, numbness, or weakness in the arms or legs, secondary to the compression of the spinal nerves or spinal cord. When a person is symptomatic, lumbar (lower back) spinal stenosis causes weakness in the lower back, buttocks, thigh, calf, foot, and claudicating pain (1). Pain is often worse with long periods of standing or walking. When cervical (neck) spinal stenosis is symptomatic, people can experience tingling into the hand, weakness, pain, or numbness in the arm or neck, deterioration of fine motor skills, loss of balance, and co-ordination problems (2). Spinal stenosis, however, can commonly be asymptomatic (3), which highlights the importance of corroborative findings between patient history and clinical examination (4), (5). Spinal stenosis symptoms often develop slowly over time, they come and go as opposed to experiencing continuous pain, and symptoms occur more frequently when standing, walking, or participating in activities in an upright position. Symptoms are relieved by rest (sitting or lying) and/or any forward flexed position.
Whether a patient is asymptomatic, or symptomatic, even after careful examination, management and treatment decisions for people with spinal stenosis remain a challenge that has providentially been described as a “balancing act” (6). This is due to the lack of clear, evidence-based research available on nonsurgical treatment options, and that neurological function deficits are not always associated with the severity or extent of the stenosis present. Some common treatment options for spinal stenosis include:
Not all spinal stenosis cases are the same and the level of spinal stenosis will present differently in different people. Future research is needed to focus on expanding treatment options for spinal stenosis, particularly in the area of exercise, physical therapy and nonsurgical interventions. More research is also needed to determine the predictors of failure and success with both nonsurgical and surgical treatment approaches. In the interim, patients, primary care health practitioners, doctors, and surgeons, should engage in shared decision-making that include a full disclosure of the current evidence available for nonsurgical and surgical interventions for spinal stenosis (5) and determine what is the most appropriate option for you.
Staying active is essential all year round however it becomes increasingly more difficult during winter. In this blog I share with you my personal tips that help me keep active during winter.
1) Get your momentum
I find it best to anticipate the cold weather and to start activity before the chill really sets in. In my experience I find by doing this I have already gained some momentum and starting isn’t so hard.
2) Set yourself a bottom line
If your standards are low for yourself then you won’t have much driving you. If you set your goals higher than where you are at then you may set yourself up for failure. I find when I am starting out on an exercise regime I need to take an honest inventory then I meet myself where I am and set goals to help me get where I want to go. This often means I need to look at the behaviours that aren’t serving me and start ones that are. Having a bottom line means that no matter what, you will do whatever it takes to stay above the line. Personally, I exercise at least 3 times per week but generally 5.
3) Make a commitment to someone else
Making a commitment to others often helps us stay accountable and committed. I also feel that the power of working in a group or team increases our output and performance. I stay accountable by joining a running group 2-3 times per week and I also participate in group personal training classes.
4) Make Mondays Count
I believe that it is important for your psychology to begin the week on your best foot. Having a successful start to the week creates the momentum and determination to keep going strong during the rest of the week.
Every Monday I wake up at 4.15am for a 5am class. I have been doing this for 4 months now and i love it. I am home before the family wakes up and I have started my week with high energy.
5) Stop thinking about it!
When I was living in rural Queensland I remember someone telling me once “make the decision once.” This has stuck with me ever since. Often when we set ourselves new goals we start off with a lot of enthusiasm until it gets too hard or difficult. The reality is, is that as long as we live we will be experiencing summer, autumn, winter and spring. And all the elements that come with it. There is nothing new about it, and if you are reading this then you have experienced them numerous times already. So time to get on with it and do the thing you need to do.
Yes it will be hot, cold, wet or windy. So what! You made a decision so get the job done. If it's cold, wear a jacket. Wet - train indoors. Hot - run in the morning. And if it's windy, lets hope its on your back.
The weather gives us an opportunity to be creative, enjoy nature and strengthen our will and determination to continue to pursue health and well-being regardless of the weather.
Ingrown toenails, technically referred to as onychocryptosis, is an often painful condition where the nail becomes wedged into the soft tissue of the toe often resulting in pain, redness, swelling and infection. These are all symptoms often associated with the condition however in some cases only mild discomfort is observed. Ingrown toenails are a very common condition that presents to a podiatry clinic. Males and females are equally likely to develop the problem and genetics plays a role in susceptibility. Whilst a lot of the time people are able to successfully treat ingrown toenails at home, those suffering from chronic conditions such as diabetes or experience severe pain and/or infection should always seek the guidance of a podiatrist.
Common causes of ingrown nails
Ingrowing toenails can be caused by a varying number of factors. Some may work in conjunction while others may be standalone and enough to result in discomfort. Some common causes of ingrown toenails include:
Common treatments for ingrown nails
Most patients I have seen with ingrown nails, are able to be given relief with a simple resection (cutting) and removal of the ingrowing wedge of nail. Sometimes this can be done conservatively (partial nail clearing) or under a local anaesthetic in a procedure called a partial nail avulsion (PNA).
Many things can be done at home however to reduce not just the pain or an ingrowing nail, but also to help treat any existing infections that may have formed as a result. Some methods include:
Ingrowing toenails are painful enough to disrupt your day, but they do not need to. If you, or someone you know is suffering from ingrowing toenails, please contact us and let our experience guide you on the road to happy and healthy feet.