Do Woman and Men Need to Train Differently to Achieve Their Desired Results?

On a Microscopic level, there is virtually no difference between the muscle tissue of men and the muscle tissue of women. Men and women have different levels of the same hormones, and that is what is responsible for the difference in the amount of muscle a man can typically put on and the amount of muscle a woman can typically gain. Genetics will determine how much muscle each individual (man or woman) can put on. Some men will put muscle on more easily than other men and the same goes for women. The only difference in training between the sexes might be as the result of cultural, sexual and individual preferences. A woman may be more concerned with her butt and thighs, so she looks good in a pair of jeans. A man may be more concerned with his upper body. So he looks good without his shirt on at the beach. However, their muscles respond the same to training.

However there is evidence that gender differences may affect fat loss. In my experience at a Calgary Fitness Gym, it appears that men have an advantage in losing weight as a result of exercise and that women need a greater training stimulus to induce fat loss. One of the major reasons for this is body composition. Men have more muscle than women. Approximately 40% more. Muscle burns 30-50 calories/pound/day without doing anything so that extra muscle men have allows them to burn 40% more calories than us girls in everything they do. Sucks but true! I experienced this first hand when my husband was getting ready for a Calgary Firefighter Calendar photo shoot and I was getting ready for a body building contest. I had to diet my face off and trained twice as hard as him to get similar results each week. Other factors associated with fat loss which appear to be influenced by gender include fat topography and adipose reactivity, substrate utilization and response to exercise, hormonal differences, age and genetic factors. In pre-menopausal women, for example, it appears that resistance training may well be better than aerobic training in reducing sub-cutaneous fat and visceral fat and that aerobic training is better in reducing overall fat (Parker, 1999).

Women win in the long run- Women are better equipped for endurance events than are men, who tend to excel at shorter distances. According to the American Sports College of Medicine’s Lewis Maharam, M.D., women’s extra padding is a great energy store, and estrogen delays fatigue and prevents muscle damage over the long haul.

There is no genetic reason why men and woman can’t do the same exercises and training regimes except woman need to be conscious of the angle of their hips during squatting movements. Because of the wider Q-angle of women’s hips a wider foot position is safer and more comfortable on the knees allowing for better tracking. Also, training during pregnancy. If you have been training prior to pregnancy there is no reason why you can’t continue to train throughout the pregnancy as long as there are no complications. As your body changes exercises may need to be modified due to girth increases, balance and loose joints due to the extra release of Relaxin. Working with a trainer that is qualified to work with pregnant woman is a good idea especially if it is your first pregnancy.

Let the battle of the sexes begin! Get out there and train!

Lifting injuries and Massage therapy in Calgary

It is very common that people will injure there bodies because they are on a rush, or are trying to do things quickly instead of the way they are intended to be done.  The most common example of this would be low back injuries and arm/shoulder injuries.  Here are some tips that you can use in order to prevent these injuries from occurring.

The first thing that you must keep in mind is to plan before you move something. Planning ahead will prevent awkward movements from occurring. Clear a path, plan how you plan to move object and then execute.

The second thing to consider is lifting close to your body. Keeping objects closer to your body create a more stable centre of gravity which in turn makes it easier on your body.

Bending your knees and lift with your legs. I am sure we have all heard this a million times but this is the most important thing that you can do. By not hanging in the back, but instead hinging at the knees, it takes a lot of the mechanical stress off the lower back. As a massage therapist in Calgary, I can firmly say that this is usually the most common reason I see patients who injure there low backs.

The fourth piece of advice is for you to tighten your stomach muscles. Tightening your stomach muscles will take 50% or more of the force off your spine. With only half the load seeing you back, you can imagine that the muscles do not have to work as hard.

Last but not least, if it is to heavy, get help. When you feel your body straining that is your body telling you that you are on the cusp of hurting yourself and you need to set the object down and get help.

If you can follow all these tips it will put you on the right track towards injury prevention when lifting.

Is Chiropractic for you?

Chiropractic treatment body

Chiropractic is a form of alternative medicine. Traditionally it involved providing mobilization to joints in the spine to alleviate pain and decrease stiffness. More recently, there is a branch of chiropractic that chiropractors refer to as “sports chiropractors’. Chiropractors who specialize in this will also do a lot of soft tissue therapies, acupuncture and exercise rehab along with manipulation of joints to decrease pain.

Basic principles around chiropractic look at the spine and central nervous system as the key to functionality to your body. If the central nervous system is working effectively and efficiently, your body has no pain and maintains homeostasis. although this is true, your body has many more parts than just the central nervous system. Tendonitis pains are usually caused by dysfunction in the muscle more than dysfunction in the nervous system. So as chiropractors we have evolved to assess and treat all conditions looking at multiple systems, not just one.

When I was looking for a Chiropractor in Calgary, I had no idea what they did or if they could help me. I found that because of there broad and extensive training they can treat almost any musculoskeletal complaint that I might have.  They treat, knee pain, shoulder pain, hip pain, back pain, elbow pain, whiplash… and the list goes on.

If you are suffering from pain, there is no harm in going and trying it out a chiropractor to see if it will help you.

This article comes from my colleague’s (Dr. Ikram) long-time patient – who is an active sports personality needing regular chiropractic and physio services.

What is Physiotherapy?

Why Physiotherapy?
Physiotherapists work with clients of all ages and with a wide range of health conditions. Whether it’s pain management and rehabilitation from an acute injury like a sprained ankle, or management of chronic conditions such as diabetes or heart disease, a physiotherapist can help. But physiotherapy is not limited to rehabilitation of injury and the effects of disease or disability. A physiotherapist also provides education and advice for health promotion, disease and injury prevention.

Physiotherapists are health practitioners who work with people of all ages. Whether it be a baby with a big of a head turn or a 70 year old patient with Parkinson’s, physiotherapists are trained to help successfully treat symptoms to decrease pain, increase mobility and improve quality of life. Physiotherapy is not all just hands on therapy. A larger portion of the process is the education of patients, advice and promotion of health to prevent future injury and encourage people to be more proactive about health.
Being proactive about your health is the most effective method to prevent injury from occurring before it starts. Most people will never see a massage therapist, physiotherapist, chiropractor or any other practitioner in Calgary unless they have an issue that is bothering them. These same people will regularly take there car in for oil change and will regularly water there lawns all to be proactive so things work properly and flourish.
How can a Physiotherapist help you? What do they do?
Physiotherapists work to help people in many different settings. Some choose to work in hospitals, some research new treatments but the majority will work in a private clinic. It is a fee for service in these private clinics that is covered by most health benefit plans. Physiotherapists are experts in diagnosing and treating musculoskeletal pain and biomechanical problems. It is usually biomechanics problems created by injury, poor posture or disease that will create pain. It is this pain that the physiotherapist will treat and educate you on prevention in the future.

How am I diagnosed or assessed?
Physiotherapists take a full history include looking into your own past personal health history and family history to help them understand you better. They then ask specific questions about the problem you are having and use this to rule in/out big picture health problems. After they complete the history, they will do different orthopaedic tests to further assess your area of problem. these tests are designed to provoke your familiar pain. After all of this is complete, the physiotherapist will review there findings from the history and exam and come up with a specific treatment plan for you.