Training after Injury

 dsc00491

Up until 2 months ago, I have always had an injury-free training and running career. Last time I got injured, I was in high school and I remember it really having a huge impact on the life choices that I made from that point onwards.

At the time, I was a semi-professional dancer, dancing 15+ hrs a week, teaching dancing, dancing at events, etc. I was planning on attending York University in Toronto to study Broadway singing/dancing and pursue that as a career but when I got injured, it made me re-evaluate my career altogether. I decided to abandon that dream and opt for plan b, which was to become a television host and keep dancing as a side job instead of my primary career.

Last year, when I started training heavily and racing, I saw a lot of people around me have to take time off due to injury. I felt a lot of empathy towards them but it’s not until you get injured yourself that you really understand the impact that an injury can have on your life.

At the end of July this summer, I got injured. Whether it was overtraining, improper form, new footwear or a combination of several things, no one can really know. The first doctor I went to see told me it was probably only a nerve issue so I could continue training. Little did I know, that this would actually make my condition worsen. So when I got back from my travels to Hawaii, with the recommendation of my trainer, Nike Master Trainer Eva Redpath, I went to seek a second opinion. Turns out, it wasn’t a nerve issue but most likely a protruding disc in my back.

Since the new diagnosis, I have stopped all physical activity, stopped running, biking, training and basically have had to be inactive. I’ve had to cancel a dozen events including several races, etc. September has been a very difficult month not only physically but also psychologically. When being active is your every day life, being told you can’t do anything for a long time and to stay put, is the worst feeling in the world.

Instead of being down on myself, I’ve been trying to see this as a learning opportunity to not only help myself get better but prevent further injury and put all the chances on my side so that this does not happen again in the future.

The always lovely Eva Redpath and I sat down for a chat the other day, to discuss training post-injury and what I can do once I get the clearance from my doctor to start being active again… And let me tell you, I’m awaiting that day like a kid awaits Christmas!

dsc00562

Eva’s 5 steps for recovering from an injury: 

  • Listen to your body – When you feel discomfort during certain exercises, don’t ignore it. Slow down or stop your workout depending on what you’re feeling. Let your body rest, use ice and heat as needed and allow your body time to recover.
  • Consult a Professional – For any injury, big or small, it is crucial to see a doctor. Let them diagnose the injury and recovery plan. It is critical to listen to what they say and follow their road to recovery.
  • Rest and Recover – Take time to let your body repair itself. If your doctor says no physical activity, then listen to them. If you don’t need to stop completely, make sure you’re following their advice and not pushing yourself. Doing too much too quickly can cause you to be out longer.
  • Stay Active – Take advantage of alternative ways to train, depending on the injury, and look for ways to stay active during your recovery period. For example, walking and swimming are low-impact ways to keep active.
  • Eat Clean – It’s easy to get unmotivated when you’re injured, resulting in a broken diet and fitness routine. It is important to eat healthy foods for the nutritious value they bring the body.

dsc00448

Eva’s tips on getting back into your workout routine after an injury:

Once your doctor has given you the okay, take it slow. It’s important to ease yourself back into your fitness routine so you can reintroduce your muscles to the movements. As you begin to build your strength back, you’ll start to feel when you can push yourself a little more. Also, it’s important to decrease reps and weight, allowing your body to work its way back up again. Bodyweight exercises are great for getting back into the swing of things. It’s important to pay closer attention to delicate areas of your body to prevent further injury. Depending on the type of injury, different workouts might work better than others. For instance, mobility workouts are great for certain recovery periods because they focus on maintaining flexibility and range of motion, as opposed to weighted workouts that can add stress to your injury.

Eva’s tips on where to find motivation when you are injured:

I find motivation from my fitness community, family and friends. They play a large role in the recovery process; keeping you thinking positively and eager to get back at it. I also look to the NTC app feed, it keeps me updated with the workouts my friends are crushing, along with helpful fitness tips from global Nike Master Trainers. Additionally, I like to check out my favourite fitness blogs and accounts for motivating content that will help keep me focused on returning from my injury better and stronger than ever before.

A big thank you to Eva for her always-inspiring chats!

Photos: Tyler – @tilore

How to Overcome Stress with Sweat

SP16_NTC_WT_EVA_WEEK2_0705 (1)

When stress gets to be unbearable, my go-to relief is working out. There is nothing that beats stress quite like sweat does.

Though I’m not currently training for any big races at the moment (I have yet to sign up for that first ever half-marathon that is on my bucket list for 2016! If you have any great half-marathon recommendations, please send them my way!), I’ve still been keeping a pretty intense training regimen each week. It has helped me tremendously with anxiety, insomnia and also stress in general.

There are many reasons why overcoming stress with sweat can be beneficial and with just a few minutes of exercise, you can reap major benefits. I spoke to my favorite trainer, Nike Master Trainer, Eva Redpath (who is currently featured in Vogue Mexico – hello!!) about the subject and she explained to me that it’s all about switching your mindset when comes to exercise.

People are still in the frame of mind – ‘oh my god, I’m so busy, I’m so stressed, I don’t have time to exercise’, I think it’s very important to start reframing that. As soon as you can reframe that, you can reprogram your mind to think about it differently. I want people to understand that the power of sweating it out can absolutely help you conquer all the things in your life, whether it be your job or all the things that you have to do, relationship things, you can conquer that by sweating it out, by relieving your stress. One doesn’t cause the other, exercising doesn’t cause you stress, exercising relieves your stress. If you reframe that then it will 100% become a priority in your life,” says Eva.

I have definitely learned lately that taking care of yourself first is the only way to overcome huge obstacles and to conquer that stress.

If you make yourself your last priority you will not feel empowered to get yourself through challenging situations. If you make yourself your first priority, you will feel energized and empowered to get through everything. We become resentful when we don’t have time for ourselves but it’s not about having time, it’s about creating time,” Eva adds.

SP16_NTC_WT_EVA_WEEK2_0670

We all lead busy lives and taking a 2-3 hour chunk of your day to exercise is just not realistic for most of us. But as Eva explains, it’s about maximizing the little time you may have.

As little as 10 mins by your bedside in the morning, can add up and does help. A 45 minute HIIT class before you go to work or on your lunch hour or straight away before you go home so that you get your exercise before you go home, all of these will 100% be enough.”

What I’ve learned is that even just a bit of movement will make you feel a whole lot better.

90 to 120 minutes after your workout, there is a release of endorphins and it is mood changing, whether it’s starting your day on that note or mid-day when you need that pick-me-up or at the end of the day because you still have to go home and do a bunch of things. If you think about doing that and recharging your batteries, it will empower you to make that a real choice that you can commit to,” she explains.

When I feel low energy, as soon as I start moving, it creates more energy. Energy creates energy. You will become more awake, more alert and on the ball. The more you’re moving in your lifestyle, even if you have a sedentary lifestyle, the more it will be beneficial. The body is made to move,” concludes Eva.

So you want to get moving but you only have 10-20 minutes for a workout? Check out Eva’s top 3 quick workout recommendations:

1) “Zoom in 10” – 10 minute workout by Kirsty Godso

2) “Fresh HIT” 14 minute workout by Betina Gozo

3) “Ready, Set, Zoom” 13 minute workout by Marie Purvis

All these workouts are available to download for FREE on the NTC app, that you can get here.

 

Indoor Workout Inspiration

IMG_1165 (1)

Photo credit: Nathalia Allen

Those who know me know that on any day, I’d rather be outdoors than stuck somewhere inside. I love being active outdoors, it’s what inspires me the most and also what makes me the happiest. I always prefer working out outside but when the weather starts getting really cold (and it sure does in Toronto!) and snow hits the ground, working out outdoors becomes a little trickier. I’m not a big fan of gyms; running on the treadmill bores me, machines are not my friend and I’ve never really found a workout class that I liked enough to stick with it for more than a couple of months. That said, this past year, I didn’t want to let the cold stop me from being active or working out, so I’ve found different ways to stay motivated to work out indoors. Whether it’d be by using the NTC app or taking some NTC group classes (the 1st class I’ve ever kept up for more than a couple of months!), it was the first time I actually transitioned my workouts from outdoors to indoors successfully.

If you’re also in need of inspiration for taking your workouts indoors, here are a few motivating tips from my favorite Nike Master Trainer, Eva Redpath:

How do you make the transition from outdoor workouts to indoor workouts interesting?

While outdoor workouts can become more difficult as the weather gets colder, it’s important to use the dropping temperatures and harsh conditions as motivation.  There’s no need to move inside completely. Push your limits and go out your comfort zone— literally.

Creating a workout plan that incorporates both indoor and outdoor workouts as the weather transitions is a great way to keep your workouts feeling fresh while challenging yourself in new weather conditions. A great way you can do this is to take your warmup outside. Try going for a quick jog or do a shorter NTC workout to get your body warm before heading inside to finish strong. One of my favourite workouts to take outdoors  is Kirsty Godso’s Zoom in 10 Workout. It’s only 10 minutes so it’s perfect to get your heart going. Follow it up with Dafne SchippersCore Control Workout inside.

Another option is to create weekly challenges and commit to working outdoors 1 – 2 days of the week. Try using outdoor objects as part of your workout. For example, find a bench and do lateral toe taps with hold Tabata style (40 seconds on, 20 seconds off for two minutes.) Another drill you can do on a bench is incline push up to tricep push up for a minute followed up by drop squats with alternating touches for 30 seconds – do a couple sets of these then head on inside to stretch out.

What are some tools that people can use to motivate themselves to work out indoors?

One of my main go-tos is the Nike+ Training Club app. It’s a great tool for indoor workouts, but you can take it outside too! It includes a variety of gym and studio workouts to help you stay lean, toned and strong. It’s almost like having your own personal trainer in your pocket. Within workouts, the in-app ‘coach’ cheers you on and helps you finish strong. It also connects you to the global N+TC community where you can find inspiration while motivating and cheering on others through the Sport Feed.

Can you share with us a quote that inspires you to stay active these days?

If you do what you always did, you will get what you always got.”

Fall Workout

IMG_1234

Photo credit: Nathalia Allen

Fall officially starts tomorrow. As it starts getting colder outside, it becomes increasingly hard to find motivation to stay active and work out. Luckily, one of the best trainers in Canada – Nike Master Trainer, Eva Redpath, shares with us her favorite fall workout and tips on how to stay active.

What are your fall fitness recommendations?

I’m constantly setting new goals to stay motivated throughout the year and find that it’s the best way to kick off a new season. With the time changing and the sun setting earlier in the Fall, it can feel as if it is later in the day than it is and can make people more tired than usual. Getting into a routine of working out early will guarantee you aren’t missing workouts and you’re starting your day off with a sweat session. Try taking a morning NTC class or use the N+TC app to keep yourself motivated by creating your own 4-week program and finish your workouts anywhere at any time.

What is your favorite N+TC workout to make the transition from summer to fall?

When making the transition from Summer to Fall, I love to turn the heat up with high intensity training. Nike Master Trainer, Utah Lee created a killer “Cardio Hustle” workout on the N+TC app. Utah’s 30 minute  high intensity moves incorporate speed-based drills for an all-over body burn. With quick body rotations, power moves and stability work, you create lean muscle, improve reaction speed and build cardio. It’s one of my favourite N+TC workouts and I always finish feeling the burn!

What keeps you motivated to work out as the temperature drops?

When the weather changes, I love to update my wardrobe and this applies to my fitness pieces as well. One of the best ways for me to stay motivated is ensuring I have all the pieces needed for the results I want. Adding new pieces that are designed to keep you warm even in the coldest weather takes the excuses out of season. One of my favourite winter pieces this year is the Nike Therma-Sphere Max Women’s Training Vest. It’s designed for cold weather training to keep you warm without overheating. The Nike Sphere raised nodes provide warmth and comfort and the lightweight, breathable fabric allows you to have full range of motion for full body workouts. It has a durable, water-repellent finish to help with staying dry. Go out and brave the winter in style with its asymmetrical zipper and overall sleek design.

 

Training for San Francisco

20150620_barkerfoto_9175

The Nike Women San Francisco Half Marathon is only a few weeks away! Having been training for races for the past couple of months, I’ve realized the importance of also adding other types of workouts to your weekly training plan. Nike Master Trainer Eva Redpath shares today her recommendations in preview of the big race!

Eva’s Top 3 NTC workout recommendations:

For anyone training for the Nike San Francisco Half Marathon in October, cross training is an integral part of your training journey. In addition to getting your runs in,  I’d recommend starting to incorporate the Find Your Fast NTC Challenge into your training schedule. One of the great things about the program is that you can design your workouts based on your schedule and fitness level. The workouts focus on strength to increase lean muscle tissue, endurance to improve cardio fitness and flexibility to reduce muscle tension and speed recovery, which are all important for runners.

Three of my favourite NTC workouts are:

Maurie Purvis’ Ready, Set, Zoom: This is a fast paced, dynamic workout to build strength with metabolic and core drills that are designed to help you move faster

Kirsty Godo’s Zoom Fast: This combines quick, powerful movements for speed, endurance and agility

Traci Copeland’s Reach and Recharge: This gives you a great stretch to increase flexibility as well as increases your breathing technique

Staying Fit While Traveling

FullSizeRender(21)

Next week, I’ll be leaving on a 5 week trip across the southern United States. Because I’ve been training so hard these past couple of months, the one thing I don’t want to do while I’m away is stop working out. I know it’s easy to stop when you’re not at home, when you’re on the road or in a different country so I’ve enlisted the help of my favorite Toronto trainer, Nike Master Trainer Eva Redpath to give me tips on how to stay fit while traveling. In case you aren’t already doing the new 12-week NTC Find Your Fast challenge, this is the perfect time to get familiar with the app and what’s great is that you can easily build a core circuit with a small amount of space in your hotel room.  Hope these tips will be helpful to all of those also traveling this summer!

Eva’s 3 simple training exercises for traveling this summer:

1) Hollow body: is a time challenge, hold it for 60 seconds or 30 seconds. From a seated position, lower to the ground and focus on keeping your lower back connected to the ground, and your core contracted. Extend raised legs and arms out at a 45-degree angle. Keep neck relaxed, core tight and shoulders off the ground.

FullSizeRender(20)

2) Side plank with rotation: out of Ready, Set, Zoom, Mary Purvis’ brand new workout on the N+TC app. Start in a seated position, from a seated position, rest your forearm on the ground and get into a side plant. Keep your hips lifted and aligned with your shoulder and knee. Rotate through the chest as you extend your free arm to the ceiling and down towards the ground. Repeat for 60 seconds.

FullSizeRender(19)

FullSizeRender(18)

3) Mountain Climbers:  This can also be a time challenge, 30 or 60 seconds. Start kneeling. Placing hands on the ground, directly under shoulders, form a plank. Back straight, core tight, weight over shoulders. Drive knees into your chest as fast as you can. Keep your hips down, arms strong and upper body still.

FullSizeRender(22)

Eva’s general fitness recommendations while traveling:

-“I make a rule for people when they travel, for them to keep in mind that their regular program will shift but in exciting ways. You can explore your city and make exercising a priority. Sometimes, I’ll tell people when they reach their destination, drop their bags and go for a little 5k run. Put on your GPS or your app and go out for a little run to get to know the neighborhood. If you make it a rule that you check-in, drop your bags, you get dressed and you go, if that works with your schedule, then it’s a good way of making some form of physical activity a non-negotiable.

-“In terms of exercising when you’re going to be on the road, any little pocket of time that you can find to get into the N+TC app and do either a 15 minute or you’ve got the Zoom in 5 with Skylar Diggins, which is literally a 5 minute workout. I think that when you travel, it’s really about fitting your exercise into the windows of time that you have available to you.

-“The nutrition part of it will be so key. So trying to make healthy choices while you’re on the road, whether or not that means bringing some protein powder or if you’re eating out at restaurants, you can make food substitutions or watching portion control. Staying properly hydrated. I have two parts of advice for people traveling or on the road: stay as true as you can to the way that you eat even though you’re not prepping your own food, which I always recommend to do. The only way to guarantee you know what you’re eating is to prep it yourself. That’s number one. In terms of getting your exercise in, it’s where it can fit with a couple of basic tools you can bring along with you like your running shoes, your training shoes, you have access to both of the running and N+TC apps, explore your city, walk as much as you can and then when you wake up or when you go to bed, because you know those are two things you’re always going to do, fitting in some sort of physical activity. Every little bit will count and add up!

5 Questions With: Eva Redpath

(null)

When I think of some of my current role models, I think of this lady – Eva Redpath. I met Eva, fitness expert and Canada’s first Nike Master Trainer this past summer at a Nike event in Toronto and was immediately blown away by her presence and energy. I got to work out with her that evening and not only was it one of the hardest workouts I’ve ever done in my life but it was also one of my favorite workouts. There is no doubt that Eva’s passion for fitness and positive attitude has rubbed off on me. Since then, I’ve had the privilege of having her as a coach every Thursday morning with the Nike Women NTC crew at Academy of Lions and have become an NTC addict. NTC is now a very important part of my life and has been key in my transformation towards a healthier and better me. I couldn’t be more honored to have this inspiring woman on the blog today. Here are my 5 Questions With Eva Redpath:

1) What inspired you to become a fitness expert and trainer?

I have a strong background in dance and through the years began to really notice that a lot of the women I was dancing with have poor body image, so it’s been a personal passion and mission to create and build a strong support system and network for women. Empowering women through fitness and building community is truly what Nike Training Club is all about, which is why I jumped at the opportunity to work with Nike. It’s a brand and program that I personally connect with and can leverage to reach and inspire more women.    

2) The fitness world has changed a whole lot in the past decade, what do you think of its evolution? Is it easier or harder to live a healthy lifestyle today?

I think there are so many accessible resources and options out there for women who want to lead a healthy lifestyle, including apps she can use at home, group fitness classes and communities of women who all motivate each other. So what it comes down to is putting pen to paper. Just write down one realistic – and be honest with yourself – goal that you can achieve today. It’s easy to get overwhelmed with larger goals that require life changes, so try taking it day by day honouring one simple intention per day and celebrate your little successes. 

3) Being a personal trainer and fitness instructor goes above and beyond simply working out. How do you want to impact the women you’re working with? What do you think separates you from other trainers?

For me it’s all about empowering women through sport. This is just one of the reasons that I think building community is such an important element to training. I think it’s so important for women to empower other women, whether that means finding a group of girlfriends who share similar fitness goals and scheduling workouts together or coming together through live NTC and other group fitness classes.

4) You were the first Nike Master Trainer in Canada, what does this title mean to you? How important are programs like N+TC, the one that Nike developed?

For me, being Nike Canada’s first Master Trainer was a really natural fit. My role with Nike has presented me with an amazing opportunity to reach more women and N+TC has been a powerful tool in showing women what fitness can do for their lives. As women, our time is scarce and fitting in a workout can be a challenge for even the most dedicated athletes, which is why I’m a huge advocate for the N+TC app. The app is literally designed to be a personal trainer in your pocket, allowing you to fit in a workout anytime, anywhere, no matter if you have 5 or 45 minutes to spare.

5) You are a woman of many talents. You are a dance instructor, an actress and an entrepreneur, amongst many other things. How does each of these aspects of your career help you achieve your life goals?

Through my career as a trainer, I’ve learned that you have to be willing to try new things in order to exceed your perceived potential and discover that you’re stronger than you think you are. The same is true in life and for me, the mental and physical challenges I face in training, give me the strength and perseverance to overcome the obstacles – big and small – I encounter in my day-to-day life.

What’s next for Eva Redpath?

As Nike Canada’s first Master Trainer, I couldn’t be more excited for the Nike Women’s 15K Toronto. I think it marks a new experience for athletes in two ways. It’s a proving ground for women to put themselves to the test and rediscover the joy of running faster, and running further.

As someone who’s just returning to running, I’m really looking forward to training for the race with a strong a community of women who are supportive, encouraging and celebrate your achievements. Yet if you’re a seasoned runner, it’s your opportunity to crush a new personal best.

#ChooseYourWinter

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

Nike has put together a fun series of outdoor events in Toronto for the next couple of Mondays. These events titled #ChooseYourWinter combine running and NTC for a good 1.5 hour workout outdoors. I took part in the initial event on Monday night and was astounded by the amazing group of people that came out and took part in this event. I applaud Nike for the series of events they’ve been hosting as of late in the city. Over the past couple of months, they’ve really developed an wonderful community of sport and fitness enthusiasts and specifically, an amazing community of women. I never thought I’d be the kind of girl to a) sign up for a group exercise class and b) look forward to attending these classes every week. Since I took the fall off from traveling, I’ve had the opportunity to attend weekly NTC classes offered by Nike and as a result met some rad new women. The weekly NTC classes have become an integral part of my week. Since the weather is getting colder by the minute, it’s a great complementary exercise to the running that I still do outdoors.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

What I particularly like about Nike’s new #ChooseYourWinter campaign is the emphasis on outdoor physical activity even as the weather drops. As a kid, I would spend most of my time outdoors skiing, skating, cross-country skiing, making forts, etc. But as an adult living in a busy city like Toronto, I find I spend WAY less time outdoors than I’d like to. This is why I’ve continued running and also make it a point to walk outdoors as much as I can. These four special #ChooseYourWinter events are a reminder and also proof that you don’t need to stay indoors all winter.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

50+ men and women gathered on Monday night to run with members of the different Nike Running Clubs to a secret location, which ended up being Fort York for a 30-minute NTC workout with NTC Master Trainer Eva Redpath. We were greeted by lights, DJ FeelGoodSmalls, ice sculptures and a killer atmosphere! Rarely have I had so much fun outdoors, especially while working out. It’s so motivating to workout in a group, there’s really nothing quite like it!

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Another great thing about these events is that you’re able to try some brand new Nike workout gear & shoes for the night. I’m obsessed with their new Pegasus 31 flash running shoe. Not only are they glow in the dark but also water repellent. I also tried on one of their amazing jackets that kept me warm in the -10 C weather.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Processed with VSCOcam with m3 preset

If you’re looking for a fun thing to do on Monday night for the next couple of weeks, come join us at Nike’s The Loft. Just make sure you sign up in advance via Nike’s website here to be able to participate. See you at 6pm on Monday 😀

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

Nike Pro Bra

Yesterday I had the lovely opportunity to attend the exclusive Nike Pro Bra Collection launch event taking place in Toronto at the NTC Studio located at 548 Richmond Street West. After years of testing, Nike has finally developed a sports bra using a new 360 degrees fit system that you can get in 5 styles and 25 sizes. Until July 31st, you can book an appointment with one of Nike’s Fit-System Concierge who will help you find your perfect Nike Pro Bra size. At the same time, you can also get a complimentary intimate NTC Session at their amazing new studio.

photo 2 (28)

photo 3 (7)

photo 4 (5)Last night I was able to do just that! Not only was it super fun to try out these new bras and all the colorful Nike Pro gear, but little did I know, I would also be working out with a Nike Master Trainer Eva Redpath (yea, they had forgotten to mention I’d be working out for 45 minutes, oops!). Luckily, the fine folks from Bolt Fresh Bar (my favorite place to go for snacks, smoothies & breakfast!!) were there for some post-workout treats!

photo 2 (29)Last night’s event was a great place to meet wonderful ladies from all walks of life who also have a love for working out and Nike. Over the past couple of years, running has really become important in my life, never thought I would say this, but I can honestly say that I enjoy my runs. Though not always easy, they always feel so rewarding in the end. Each time I run and feel like I can’t run any longer, I try to remind myself, that I run because I am lucky and grateful that I can! And if you’re also someone that works out, you know that it’s always exciting to try out new gear. I’m very stoked to be able to work out in this new Nike Pro Bra!

photo 1 (28)

If you’re interested in dropping by the NTC Studio for a NTC Session and a Nike Pro Bra fitting, go here: www.548richmond.com.

A big thank you to So Sasha for the invite, Eva Redpath for kicking my butt and all the lovely ladies from Nike present last night. Great times!

photo 1 (29)