Women Walking For Life Update

 

Time has passed quickly from the first statistical commentary on the risks of falls, thereby illustrating some benefits of pole walking.  The stats from that article were gleaned from the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI), and more current information can be viewed on the internet at any time. Feel free to browse…for those that love stats.

www.cihi.ca

The literature on benefits of Nordic Pole Walking is becoming more visible, on Facebook, in magazine articles, and even some news coverage has occurred.  With this exposure, the sport is growing in popularity.  The natural rhythm, the encouragement of good alignment, the appreciation of the fresh air we breathe while walking outdoors makes this physical activity pleasurable and therefore easy to repeat!

For those who are thinking about Nordic Pole Walking, be prepared to be pleasantly surprised!  The technique is best learned by being coached, even for the most basic walking with poles.  Some older adult centers (St. Catharines) offer free sessions by certified instructors, and a plethora of physiotherapists offer courses at various locations across the country.  Beginners to Advanced.

With many people travelling around the world, there are reasons to take your Nordixx Traveller Poles in your checked suitcase…many destinations have groups already established that you can join in for a walk or two while you are away.  Yep, just Google it.  Nordic Walk and the city/area you are planning to visit. Been there, done that!  If you are happy to explore on your own, you will be amazed at the conversation starters the Nordic Pole Walking activity instigates!  There is nothing like talking with a local and gleaning information on the best trail or the best view!

Yes, after 4 years of Nordic Pole Walking, I am still excited to participate, with my growing and evolving group or on my own.  The most recent adventure combined Nordic Walking with fundraising for the CNIB…it was a night walk called Night Steps, wind and rain included…who knew it could feel so good to pole walk for a great cause!

There have been several informal interest walks around the Niagara Region, some examples were:

Butler’s Barracks in Niagara-on-the-Lake

Niagara District Airport

Flight Locks Thorold

George Nicholson Trail

My favourite…Performing Arts Center (PAC) and Marilyn Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts.

So, we walk, talk and sometimes learn…they say we never stop learning…

Until next time…Debb

Emotional Intelligence

During a recent CAAWS workshop (Canadian Association for the Advancement of Women and Sport and Physical Activity) I suddenly realized why working with others to improve your fundamental movement skills was so important. In the process of completing the challenges with others, you are investing in your Emotional Intelligence. For years we have know that most successful leaders have a high E.Q. and research shows that it is far more important than a high I.Q.. Emotional Intelligence is the ability to effectively manage your own and others’ emotions. It focuses on emotional connections, emotional management and self- awareness. A high E.Q. enables a person to handle stress, change, uncertainty, ambiguity and demonstrate resiliency. It therefore allows a person to face the challenges and demands of day to day living.

In the 55+ group, individuals deal with ongoing multiple changes to themselves, to their companions and to their environment, without a high E.Q. coping can be quite a challenge.

In the Fundamental Movement Workshops individuals learn more about themselves. After the self-assessment they understand their strengths and weaknesses and once complete they are able to objectively see what actually exists rather than what they wish or fear. They also have the ability to look for new information that confirms, justifies and supports feelings, thoughts and perceptions.

The 55+ group need activities that enable the building of Emotional Self-Awareness, activities that develop the ability to know and understand oneself, or to be aware of ones thoughts and feelings and know why they are experiencing them. They need activities that develop Self-Regard or Optimism so that they have the ability to be decisive but humble and they have the ability to persist in the face of adversity.

One of the fundamental movements is walking, you can start with a self assessment of the skill however working with someone else allows the activity to strengthen your EQ. Begin by assessing your posture from top of the head to the base of the ankle. On the website womenwalkingforlife.com you can download an assessment tool which you can use as a guide. When working with a partner focus on empathy, recognize and understand your partner’s thoughts and feelings as you give feedback. Clearly express your thoughts and feelings, this giving and receiving helps maintain a mutually beneficial relationship. While walking watch the placement of the foot and the swing of the arm, give continual feedback. Throughout the walk maintain a positive attitude and outlook.

On the website womenwalkingforlife.com you will find continued updates on the importance of a high Emotional Intelligence as well other related research.

“In those fields I have studied, emotional intelligence is much more powerful than I.Q. in determining who emerges as a leader. I.Q. is a threshold competence- you need it, but it doesn’t make you a star. Emotional Intelligence can.” Warren Bennis.

Self assessment Tool

This is a self assessment tool developed by the “Canadian Association for the Advancement of Women and Sport and Physical Activity”, print a copy for your personal use.  To assess your posture correctly, stand in front of a full length mirror and examine your profile from the left side, from the right side and finally facing the mirror. Is the frame of your body straight, are your shoulders level, are your shoulders or back rounding. Start at the top of your head and work your way down to your feet. 

Self assessment tool 1.0

You are the product of many years of living a life and being employed in a variety of jobs. You may have developed a bad habit through these years which may affect your balance and flexibility in the near or distant future. Knowledge is power, if you see a problem, develop a plan to correct it. 

Testing Your Fudamental Movements

 

Once a year you should test your Fundamental Movement Skills, if one of them is weak or missing all may not be lost. Through a variety of simple activities you may be able to get the skill back.

It is important to maintain each fundamental movement skill. Researchers do not know what cognitive skill fired up when you acquired a specific Movement skill. They do know for sure that neurons that fire together are wired together. They also know a second thing about neurons “Use or Lose It”! At different points in your life the brain does a self assessment and it trashes any neurons that are not being used or that the body no longer seems to require.

The question is : If a FMS or movement neuron is gone what cognitive neurons is also gone or is in jeopardy?

Read this related article produced by the McMaster Optimal Aging Portfolio

Parkinsons Information

John Pepper is not a doctor or a scientist, but he has found a way to restore mobility for people who, like him, have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. Pepper leads a class to teach other Parkinson’s patients “Conscious Walking,” a method he’s used to stay mobile.

To learn more you should watch the following show.

John Pepper – Parkinson’s – fast walking -The Nature of Things” on CBC television, Thursday October 27, 2016.

or go to this web location

http://www.cbc.ca/natureofthings/m/episodes/the-brains-way-of-healing

Fast Twitch Fibers

Your fast twitch fibers are important to maintain, they are what help you respond to a sudden change in your walking surface, helping to prevent falls, the leading medical issue as a person ages. One of the ways to test your fast twitch fibers is by jumping.

jumpover

it is important to practice your jump technique by jumping over a board, line, or book. Make sure both feet travel together, use your arms and legs to propel you over the object landing on both feet at the same time, knees bent.

Stand with two feet together in front of a raised platform that is about 6 inches or 15 cm off the ground. Use your arms and legs to propel yourself up onto the raised platform, landing both feet at the same time, knees bent.

platform