Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Strength Training Injuries on the Rise?

From 1990-2007 the number of injuries related to strength training has nearly doubled. In a study that was published in the American Journal of Sports Medicine earlier this year, the number of injuries have increased overall however there are a few findings that stood out.

  • Males represented the most injuries with 82.3%
  • Average age was 27.6 years
  • Most injuries were a result of using free weights
  • Common diagnosis was sprain/strain
  • Result of injuries were due to free weights being dropped


  • Females represented 18.2% of the injuries
  • Represented the largest amount of foot injuries


  • Those 12 years and younger represented the largest amount of hand injuries
    55 years- plus
  • Represented the largest amount of injuries involving machines

What has been the impact of this research?
Fitness and personal training publications have been running the statistics in order to raise awareness of creating safe strength training program for individuals. If you would like to read the complete study it is available in the SIRC Collection. Contact askalibrarian@sirc.ca .

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Toning Footwear - the next great fad?

You may have noticed ads lately for toning footwear. For years companies such as MTB, Sketchers, New Balance, Champion, Avia, Reebok, and Dr. Scholl’s have been developing their unique versions. Originally targeted at major sporting goods stores there are a few specialty stores that are considering how to incorporate them into their merchandise. One thing that seems to be holding them back is that there is no compelling research that supports the theory that these shoes are more effective at weight loss and toning like they claim. Until this happens some of the smaller specialty stores may wait it out a bit longer before putting them on their shelves. It sounds like we will just have to wait and see if these shoes can go the distance.

Articles in the SIRC Collection about toning footwear include:
  • Lefton, T. (2010). Toning craze helping shape up shoe market. Street & Smith's Sportsbusiness Journal, 13(10), 6.
  • Ryan, Thomas J. (2010) All hands on deck. SGB. 43(4), 48-49.Ryan, T. (2010). Toning Footwear Trend or Fad?. SGB, 43(2), 12.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Sport Injury Psychology

In a recent article in the SIRC Collection Dr. John Heil talks about the "10 Challenges" faced by the injured and recovering athlete, and the psychological tools that can help the athlete meet these challenges. He suggests that by approaching injury rehabilitation as part of the game that an athlete must play, the athlete can transfer sport skills to their rehabilitation. The following are the ten challenges he describes:

  • Challenge 1: Knowing the Game. Knowing the “how” and “why” of rehab engages the athlete in the process.
  • Challenge 2: Identifying Goals. Understanding the “how” of rehab invests the athlete in the process.
  • Challenge 3: Visualizing the Plan. “See, believe & achieve”.
  • Challenge 4: Focusing on Thinking. Thinking about the right thing, at the right time, in the right way.
  • Challenge 5: Managing Emotions. Channeling and modulating emotions (positive and negative) energizes rehabilitation.
  • Challenge 6: Playing with Pain. Differentiate performance pain from injury and adjust accordingly.
  • Challenge 7: Training with Intensity. Working smarter through physiological conditioning (intensity) and biomechanical precision.
  • Challenge 8: Calculating Risk. Decision-making based upon knowledge of ability, intensity and pain.
  • Challenge 9: Staying Mentally Tough. Turning negative momentum into positive by having the courage to take control of what can be controlled (personal thoughts, feelings, and actions).
  • Challenge 10: Self-Actualizing. Personal growth and development in the pursuit of excellence.

While meeting these challenges can help an injured athlete face their recovery with a sense of purpose and direction, they are also applicable to anyone facing adversity and looking for a positive way to move forward.

Order the full article from SIRC: Heil, John (2009). Sport Psychology and the Injured Athlete. American Fencing, 59(3), 30.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Youth Olympic Games

The first ever Youth Olympic Games got underway this week in Singapore. The Youth Olympic Games (YOG) is a sporting event for young people ages 14-18, balancing sport, culture and education. The vision of the Youth Olympic Games (YOG) is to inspire young people around the world to participate in sport and to adopt and live by the Olympic values. The Games take place August 14-26, 2010 and feature:
  • 26 sports and culture & education programs
  • approximately 3,600 young athletes
  • 205 National Olympic Committees
  • 20,000 (approx) local and international volunteers
  • an estimated 370,000 spectators

The next YOG will be the first Winter Youth Olympic Games and will be held in Innsbruck, Austria January 13-22, 2012.

SIRC wishes all athletes participating in the Games the best of luck!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Weighty matters

The latest position stand from the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) on weight loss and the prevention of weight regain highlights the continuing battle with obesity and overweight in the North American population. According to the statement “overweight and obesity affects more than 66% of the adult population and is associated with a variety of chronic diseases”. The Canadian Academy of Sports & Exercise Medicine (CASEM) discussion paper on physical inactivity in children and adolescents indicates that “over the past several decades, obesity has increased by 54% in children 6 to 11 years old and 39% in adolescents 12 to 17 years old”.

Recommendations from these organizations for weight loss and preventing weight gain include:
  • 150-250 minutes per week of moderately vigorous physical activity should be sufficient for preventing weight gain greater than 3%
  • physical activity lasting longer than 150 minutes per week usually results in modest weight lossc
  • consistent physical activity is the best predictor of sustained weight management following weight loss
  • most studies demonstrate that combining caloric restriction (diet) and physical activity in a weight management program has encouraging weight loss results
  • exercise programs combining aerobic training and resistance exercise show superior results for weight and fat loss

All the more reason for us to get out there and get active!

For more information on physical activity and body weight contact SIRC.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Master Athletes

Check out the latest SIRC Newsletter on Master Athletes!

A Master Athlete is anyone over the age of 35 and competitive. As baby boomers age the number of athletes competing later in life will be on the rise. Age group events become the new challenge as there is the chance every few years to be at the top of your game and still blow away most of the competition like running a sub-3hr marathon at age 70. Master Athletes are awe-inspiring but have different needs that should be recognized. If you are not ready to hang in your competitive hat check out how to tweak your program to stay at the top of your game well into the golden years!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Do I need a license for that? Music and Copyright

Any public performance of music falls under Canada’s Copyright Act. This means that if you are playing music at an event you will need to have a license from SOCAN. For sport, recreation and physical activity Tariff 9, Tariff 19 and Tariff 21 are commonly requested licenses.

  • Tariff 9 allows you to play music at events involving baseball, football, hockey, basketball, skating competitions, races, track meets and other sport events.
  • Tariff 19 allows you to play music involving physical exercise (dancercize, aerobics, body building and other similar activities) and dance instruction that take place in one room.
  • Tariff 21 allows you to play music in school and/or community recreational facilities for activities such as figure skating, hockey, fitness activities and amateur rodeos.

For additional information go to:

Helpful Links:

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

1 in 4 Youth Athletes Report Performance Enhancing Substance Use.

In a recent study it was reported that 25.8% of young athletes in Quebec indicated that they used one of more substances from an IOC prohibited and/or restricted list of performance-enhancing drugs in the past 12 months.

The top five substances listed were:
  • Recovery Drinks (49.4%)
  • Chocolate (34.1%)
  • Vitamin Supplements (26.5%)
  • Coffee (16.)%)
  • Creatine (11.5%)

These were followed by alcohol (11.4%) and marijuana (7.7%). Performance enhancers such as Anabolic Steroids (1.0%), Growth Hormones (1.2%) and Erythropoiuetin (0.8%) were reported with much lower than others.

What does this mean? Should we be educating our youth on the dangers of performance enhancing drugs more that we already do? Do we need to consider the additional social pressures they are receiving about these substances? Numerous studies can be found indicating high levels of medication and drug use amongst athletes, the following examples are from the SIRC Collection are listed below.

ReferencesGoulet, Claude; Valois, Pierre; Buist, André; Côté, Mélanie. Predictors of the Use of Performance-Enhancing Substances by Young Athletes. Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine. 20(4):243-248, July 2010.

Grossbard J, Hummer J, LaBrie J, Pederson E, Neighbors C. Is Substance Use a Team Sport? Attraction to Team, Perceived Norms, and Alcohol and Marijuana Use Among Male and Female Intercollegiate Athletes. Journal of Applied Sport Psychology . July 2009;21(3):247-261.

Smith A, Stewart B, Oliver-Bennetts S, et al. Contextual influences and athlete attitudes to drugs in sport. Sport Management Review. August 2010;13(3):181-197.

Solberg H, Hanstad D, Thøring T. Doping in elite sport - do the fans care? Public opinion on the consequences of doping scandals. International Journal of Sports Marketing & Sponsorship. April 2010;11(3):185-199.

Tscholl P, Alonso J, Dollé G, Junge A, Dvorak J. The Use of Drugs and Nutritional Supplements in Top-Level Track and Field Athletes. American Journal of Sports Medicine . January 2010;38(1):133-140.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Food for … health!

There are many foods and nutrients that can help boost our body’s health and performance. An article from the SIRC Collection highlights 10 foods that lead the pack because they have more highly concentrated nutrients or special compounds that fight disease.
  1. Blueberries: These berries have more antioxidants than many other fruits and vegetables and are also a natural ant-inflammatory. The darker the berry the more antioxidants they have.
  2. Tomatoes: Contain lycopene, a chemical that potentially helps to reduce the risk of several cancers.
  3. Pomegranates: For heart health. Drinking an 8.5 oz glass a day can improve blood flow to the heart by 17%. The juice also helps prevent formation of fatty deposits on blood vessel walls and decreases blood pressure.
  4. Salmon: High in Omega 3s which help with cholesterol, decreases inflammation and can elevate mood.
  5. Flax seeds: Health benefits from these seeds include lowering cholesterol, triglycerides and blood pressure, and help reduce the risk of heart attack. They contain beneficial fats and are high in fibre.
  6. Green Tea: Research suggests that those who drink green tea have shown lower cholesterol levels and that epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) contained in green tea knocks out cancer cells.
  7. Coconut: During cold and flu season the lauric and capric acids in coconut have antiviral and antibacterial activity to boost your immune system. Research also suggests that it boost your anti-inflammatory response.
  8. Açaí: Full of antioxidants and health-promoting fats, the fatty acid in açaí has been shown to promote good heart health.
  9. Broccoli: High in vitamins C, K and A, as well as dietary fibre, it also has multiple cancer fighting properties and protects against heart disease.
  10. Dark Chocolate: Research shows that it is high in antioxidants and can lower blood pressure. Cocoa content should be 60% or higher, the darker the better.

Adding these foods into your daily diet can improve your health and help you avoid the chronic diseases that afflict many people.

For more details, order the full article from SIRC :
Barrett, Koren (2009). 10 Super Foods: What They Are and Why You Should Eat Them. Volleyball, Nov 2009, p.20-21.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Winning Immunity!

A healthy immune system helps us fight off diseases, helps in wound healing, and helps determine how well we age. In the sporting context, a healthy immune system aids training recovery, protects from illness and minimizes time away from training and competing. However, we all feel a little run down sometimes and this is our body’s way of saying that our immune system is a little weak.

Symptoms of a weakened immune system:

  • fatigue
  • listlessness
  • repeated infections
  • inflammation
  • allergic reactions slow wound healing chronic diarrhea
  • infectious illness

By avoiding as many of the following factors as possible you give your immune system a better chance to fight for your continued good health. The following are factors that weaken an immune system:

  • stress
  • caffeine
  • sugar
  • alcohol
  • processed foods

There are a number of ways that nutrition can provide you with better health by providing immune system boosting nutrients. The following are foods that boost your immune system.

  • garlic
  • ginger
  • specific vitamins/minerals (Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Selenium, Zinc, Beta carotene)
  • Acidophilus/probiotics
  • Omega 3/good fats

By adding one or two of these foods to your diet or avoiding some of the factors listed above that weaken the immune system, your immune system should start working better for you letting you concentrate on your fitness and sporting goals.

For more details, order the full article from SIRC:
Malar, Joanne (2010). Win Immunity! Boost your immune system – Get your immune system fighting for you. Swimnews, 37(1), p.18-19.

Other resources: