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What is Your Body Telling You?

Our bodies are very intricate and fascinating, it can tell us so much about our environment and what it perceives as something it likes or perceives as a threat. Question is, how often do we actually listen to those feelings that out body is trying to tell us? It’s very easy to just push through and continue on with what we are doing. We are only human and we like to rush through things to get to our end game but, is that always beneficial to us as a whole? Can your body handle that pace and for how long?

Your body is always adapting to our environment and doesn’t always like to do so in a linear fashion!

“Speed Hides Need”

A very interesting topic was introduced to me this past weekend, “speed hides need”. Meaning your body will find a way to complete a task in the most efficient way, not necessarily the best way. What truly spoke to me was that rushing feeling we get when we are completing tasks. “It’s just one more ________” or “I just don’t have the time for _________ right now”; common phrases we tell ourselves and maybe don’t think about what our body wants or needs. Think about it if you’re rushing to do something is it the same quality until the end? Likely not! This is where “speed hides need” comes into play! As an example you’re doing a squat close to the last repetition, are you consciously thinking about the quality of that movement or the quantity? If you’re speeding through your body may not always be ready, the way it tells us something was too much is through pain, and often unexplained pain is de to those unruly compensation pattern. By speeding through that movement your body is trying to hide that need and mask anything that would sense that you are off in your movement.

What Can my Body Tell Me?

Great question! Your body can tell you when you are maxed out! It can also tell you when it perceives a “threat”. This threat doesn’t mean someone who’s about to sneak up behind you. Rather, your body is telling you “I just can’t do that right now”. Ever get into a stretch and you just feel like you can’t relax into it that well? This may be a sign that you just don’t have that flexibility (yet!). Or this could mean you aren’t in the right mindset for it at that time. When we stretch we want to be relaxed, often if you are rushing through it or it’s uncomfortable your body and brain work together to signal a perceived threat or discomfort. This means something else may tense in response to this perceived stress preventing you from getting that full benefit. This is why it’s important to breathe! A few deep breaths in and out through the nose can do wonders, and help bring you into a better mindset!

Let’s talk about your body

Fight or Flight

This may be a concept you’ve heard before in school long ago. This relates to the nervous system and how your body perceives the environment. This tends to signal the body to be in a high alert mode. Meaning that you may be hypersensitive to the stimulus around you. When this occurs we need to find a way to downregulate (lower) that sensation so we can complete daily living tasks. This could be your fears, pain, or simply stress. It’s our job to figure out how to bring that down to a happy level. After all making your body feel its best is our top priority!

What makes you happy? It may be a pet, or it may be a hike in the woods, we want to know so we can help you best!

How Can We Help?

This is why we like to get to know you and what your goals are! This helps us determine what sorts of techniques will help your body best and determine how much “homework” to give you. This may be why we give you some breathing exercises or remind you to breathe when doing your exercises! Remember we work with your body to give you what it needs!

Written by: Michelle Gaudet BSc, CAT(C)

Certfied Athletic Therapist

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5 Quick Exercises You Can Do on An Office Break!

With a lot of people working from home these days (hopefully not for long!) we might not be taking as many frequent breaks or getting in key exercises! Taking a quick break is good to allow for your mind and body to rest and reset. Long hours in not our most ideal working space may lead to some troubles! Maybe our shoulders, our neck, or our mid back are taking a bit more of a toll on us than normal. Want to find out how we can help? Stay tuned we have your mobility moments ready for you to test out!

What should my break look like?

Your breaks should be relatively frequent. No this doesn’t mean endless trips to the fridge, your eyes and your body need a break too! It has been suggested that our eyes should have a break every 15 minutes from screen time for 1-2 minutes. Additionally, rest breaks every 30-60 minutes to get up and get moving around, in this time you should have the opportunity to work in some quick stretches! [1] Micro-breaks are also an excellent type pf break as they allow you fix your posture or even stand up to adjust if needed. [1]

5 Quick Exercises

1. Doorframe Grabs: Grab the edge of a doorframe (or pillar!) slightly above your shoulder, standing away from the wall legs shoulder width apart, move the hips away and allow the body to lean into the wall slightly. 15-20 per side.

2. T-spine Rotations: Grab some desk space, place one elbow on the counter edge, the other at the back of your head. Breathe in and rotate up, breathe out and rotate down. 15-20 per side.

3. Neck Stretch: With the hands (or a ball!) place at the area just between where the shoulder and neck meet, apply a gentle downward pressure, then tilt the head away *can rotate the head to armpit if needed for more stretch; return to neutral slowly. Repeat for 30-60 seconds (approx. 10-15 times).

4. Scap Setting: Against a wall, stand slightly away and rest the hands below shoulder height, then gently draw shoulder blades together *remember shoulders are ear poison! 1 set of 10-15 with a 10 second hold. *Can also do seated at your desk

5. Finger Stretches: Take an elastic band (can be from Asparagus or other veggie packages!) place around the fingers, starting in a semi-closed grip separate the fingers evenly out in a star formation. 15-20 per side. *Great for if you’ve been typing or on the phone for longer than normal!

The above exercises will help get you up and get you moving! They will help reduce stiffness and keep you active during your break! It’s important to keep moving routinely throughout the day for spinal health and just overall well-being! Check out the video above for a demonstration of the first 3 exercises to show you how to get the best out of your break time.

What if I don’t have time for a break?

You should always make time for a break! Working from home shouldn’t be very different from your daily work routine. Your breaks may just look a little different right now. Especially not being in our normal environment we may be developing some bad habits at our makeshift desks (if we don’t have a nice home office). It is important for not only your physical health but, also your mental health to take a break and get some new perspective. So take that minute (or more) to have a break, fix that posture, and keep you moving so you can perform at your best! Quick trick, some of these exercises (Scap Setting and Finger Stretches) can be routinely done while you are still working!

Give these exercises a try and we are sure you will feel better! If you need further advice on you specific needs feel free to ask one of our therapists we would be happy to help program something specific to your unique needs!


[1] Hedge, A. (2019). Workstation ergonomics: take a break!. Found May 4, 2020 from:

Athletic Therapy Blog

10 Ways To Stay Active During Quarantine

By now I am sure we are all feeling the affects of having to stay home and stay indoors. This can weigh equally on our physical and mental health if we are not careful. Here are 10 ways that you can stay active in quarantine while staying safe and sticking to social distancing rules.

Be Creative

The first thing about staying active indoors is CREATIVITY. Therefore I challenge you to start looking at objects and furniture in your house as a piece of workout equipment instead of leisure equipment. You see recliner.. I see hamstring curl machine! You see laundry detergent.. I see kettle bell! All it takes is for you to change your mindset.

10 Ways To Stay Active In Quarantine

  1. Go for a walk! Starting off simple, as long as we are following social distancing rules, going for a walk is a great way to stay active and to get some fresh air.
  2. Stairs! Set a timer that goes off every 45-60 minutes and each time it goes off I want you to get up and do all the stairs in your house once! No stairs? No problem! Instead I challenge you to touch each wall in your house.
  3. Rehab Exercises! I couldn’t get away without adding this in my list! If you have an up to date list of rehab exercises from your therapist, that is another great way to stay active and to keep up with your route to recovery! If you need a reminder about the importance of doing your rehab exercises check out this blog!
  4. Virtual Rehab Class!If you are having trouble going through your exercises properly or struggling to find the motivation to get them done.. why don’t you join our weekly live virtual rehab class!
  5. Lazy Boy hamstring curls! You may or may not have noticed but the motion you do when you are kicking your recliner back into its neutral position very closely mimics the movement you do on a hamstring curl machine. So next time you are clicking your recliner back in to grab some movie snacks, why not add a couple extra reps!
  6. No weights? No Problem! If you are struggling to get your workout done due to a lack of dumbbells, look no further. There are multiple items that can be used to substitute weights such as soup cans, laundry detergent or even wine bottles! We all know you have a few of those lying around these days.
  7. Office chair leg extensions!We can’t forget about those quads. While seated at your new at home office you can get in a few reps to keep the blood pumping to your quads. You can do this by slowly straightening one leg at a time out in front of you. You can even add some ankle weights if you have any lying around.
  8. Get in a glute burn! Another exercises you can do seated at your desk and all you need is a band! Wrap the band around your knees and then slowly push your knees apart into the band and hold for 5 seconds. Try doing 10 reps and FEEL THE BURN!
  9. Family challenges! Get your family involved in some activity challenges such as “For the next 5 minutes everywhere you walk you have to do walking lunges”, or “Every time a commercial break come on you have to do 25 jumping jacks”. We do still have commercial breaks right..?
  10. Move your body! Staying active doesn’t have to be complicated. Keep it simple. JUST MOVE YOUR BODY. Play with your kids, entertain a pet, just move.

Stay Safe!

Most importantly remember that any activity you are doing should be pain free because want to keep our bodies in a way that is working with us and not against us. If you are unsure if any of the activities above are safe for your particular aches or injuries or maybe you realized your rehab list we gave you 3 month ago needs a refresh .. please remember you are not alone. Our team is still here to help you! Maybe it is time for you to book a Telehealth appointment with us to get a more in depth assessment and rehab program to do from home. Let us know how else we can help!

Written by Brodie Lefaivre

Certified Athletic Therapist

Competitive Edge Sport Therapy