Welcome Olympians! We are so excited that you chose to participate in this fundraising initiative that will bring an art and music program to the Saskatoon Cancer Centre’s Pediatric department. It feels good to raise money for a great cause and you’ll feel great as you build some new wellness habits!! Please keep in mind; it’s not too late to register and this is a great event for the whole family.
In this blog you will find the list of events along with information that you need to be successful in this 17 day challenge. The explanation of the events below includes:
- Information about each of the events
- Why the event is part of the Lead Olympics
- How to earn points for your team in that event.
The events that have been chosen are part of a wellness formula for life. We hope that you will notice a difference in your body after these 17 days and we also hope that you start to integrate these events into your daily living on a more permanent basis!
You are responsible for keeping track of your points – and as this is the Olympics we want you to keep track with integrity– no scandals. So that means no Tonya Harding crow bar to the knee shenanigans. You can download and print our Point Tracker or just keep track electronically.
You have 3 opportunities to submit your points:
- February 14th (points earned February 9-14th)
- February 20th (points earned February 14-19th)
- February 26th (points earned February 20-25th)
Please email your points to firstname.lastname@example.org and use Lead Olympics Points in your subject line. In your email be sure to list the points you have earned in that reporting period and what colour team you are on.
Good luck to all teams!!!!!
Fascia is connective tissue that surrounds every single muscle fibre in our body. Fascia, like our muscles, can become dehydrated and tight. Unlike our muscles however, it cannot be stretched like an elastic muscle. Fascia needs to be ‘released’ through contact.
With a foam roller, block, or a dowel you can roll out the side of your legs (between the knee and the hip, but never roll over either joint). You can get a pinky ball or a tennis ball and roll out your feet and then use that same ball to roll out the palms of the hands.
Want to learn more about fascia and how a healthy fascial system can help you to run faster, sit straighter, or just feel better?? Try our Restorative Pilates class (you may hear people talk about it on Wednesdays at 6pm or our Block Therapy Classes on Monday mornings at 10:15am, Monday evenings at 6pm, or Saturday mornings at 11am). If you have never rolled out your fascia, ask your instructor next time you are at the studio to show you a few things that you can do to earn these points and start to feel better.
Using either a foam roller, block, or a wooden dowel (a broom handle) roll our your fascia 3 times a week for at least 5-10 minutes each time during the Lead Olympics. Each week you do this, add 3 points to your team’s score. If you do this less than 3 times in a week, you don’t get any points. Being consistent is key and we want you to start to feel how your body will move when the fascial system is healthy.
We all know that a tight muscle is NOT a strong muscle. We also know that if a goal of yours is to change your body for the better, then we need muscles that have fibres that can move and change.
Stretch for 5 minutes 3 times a week during the Olympics. You can use props to stretch like a Pilates Magic Circle, theraband, or you can use a towel at home that works just like a circle or theraband to stretch the hamstrings. We stretch with you in every class that you attend at the studio so you should be well equipped to successfully complete this event; but if you need some ideas, please ask! If you stretch for 5 minutes 3 times a week during the Olympics you will earn 3 points for your team each week, less than 3 times a week – you get no points. (No groaning people, we are trying to get you to build good habits here!!).
Our body needs to be hydrated to work properly – plain and simple. In “Your Body’s Many Cries for Water’, Fereydoon Batmanghelidj talks about the priority system in how your body uses water. The brain is the first part of the body to get hydrated, then second, are our vital organs, last are our muscles and joints. What does this priority system mean? It means that if we are not drinking enough water, it will be our muscles and joints that will be most impacted by it. A dehydrated body, is a sluggish body and we are in a state of dehydration even before our thirst mechanism kicks in. Let’s get hydrated!! There are many calculations you can make to determine how much water your body needs in a day but for simplicity’s sake we are going to go with 8 glasses (8oz) of water a day.
Hint: start your hydration as soon as you get up – take a glass of water to bed with you and then drink it when you get up. Start hydrating earlier, you will notice that you will think about drinking more water during the day.
For each day that you meet your hydration goal, you get 1 point to put on your teams scoreboard at the studio. You can earn 1 point daily for your team in the hydration event if you meet your daily intake goal.
The diaphragm is our main muscle of respiration and like any muscle, if it is not used properly, it has underused potential. When we don’t breathe properly, we get sick more often as our body’s trillions of cells rely on oxygen to keep them lively. Oxygen deficiency can also result in tight and sore muscles all over your body. A few deep breaths can help you feel more awake and vital throughout your day.
Completing 15 diaphragmatic breaths 3 times a day will earn you 10 big points each and every day! If you do not complete your 15 breaths 3 times in the day, you earn 0 points. To start, place one hand on your chest and one on your belly button. Breathe in through your nose like you are smelling a fresh baked apple pie, train your diaphragm muscle so that the bottom hand on your belly rises more than your top hand on your chest. On the exhale, as if you are fogging up a mirror, breath out of your mouth and let the hand on the belly starts to melt back toward your spine. This is a big point event – if you did this for each day of the Olympics – that would be 170 points to your team!
The "Random Act of Kindness" Event
Feeling good takes into account so many aspects of life – and feeling good is not just about fitness. In our Olympics doing good within the studio walls will earn you points!
Clean a fellow client’s mat, bring them their props in class, bring your instructor or therapist an apple (heehee, kidding), or come up with your own Random Act of Kindness both inside and outside of class! Hold open the door for someone or pay them a compliment! When your Act is noticed by the recipient, you will earn 1 point toward for your team’s score. This event is unlimited – do as many random acts as you can fit into a day!
Did you know…… that if you get less than 7.5 hours of sleep per night you are 3 times more likely to catch a cold? Did you know that a hot bath 90 minutes before bed will help you sleep better? It’s not your body temperature heating up but rather cooling down that will increase the production of melatonin and therefore make the onset of sleep easier.
Saskatoon is the 2nd sleepiest city in Canada and one night of lost sleep is the equivalent to a blood alcohol content of 0.1!
When your body gets too little sleep or poor-quality sleep (not enough deep sleep, or not enough dreaming), you tend to have more pain. The lack of sleep does not allow you to refresh fully the neurotransmitters you have that normally suppress pain. That extra pain drains your energy, too, so you feel wiped out very near to the start of the day.
We know sleep is so very important, but it is easy to let it slip. We want this event to bring the importance of sleep to the top of your mind.
We just want you to try to get more or more consistent sleep. For each night that you feel you are practicing a night time routine that will help you get more restful sleep, you get 2 points.
A big thanks to Amanda from SleepWell Consulting for her sleep tips included in this event.
Vegetable and Fruit Event
Canada’s Food Guide suggests kids eat 5-6 servings a day, teens need 7-8 servings daily, adult females need 7-8 servings and men need 8-10 servings of fruits and veggies each day. Visit this website for your copy of the food guide. Fruits seem so much easier to eat than veggies – so that is our challenge to you! Get more veggies into your day.
Aim for 2/3 of your servings in this section of the Food Guide to be veggies. Get those servings in and you earn 3 points for everyday that you meet your goal.
The "Shake up Your Routine" Event
We are creatures of habit – variation in our day ‘wakes’ up our nervous system in different ways. This is your chance to try something new and step out of your comfort zone – what have you got to lose?!
Try something different – brush your teeth or eat with your other hand, sleep on the other side of your bed, eat dinner sitting on the floor vs. at your table. Anything to shake up your routine and break away your usual day. There is no maximum on the event, so be creative and earn 2 points for each variation you mindfully do in a day.
Strong is sexy and sexy is strong. Pilates based training works so that the muscles are working in an essentric contraction which gives you the long lean look that so many of us want – it is also a very efficient way to workout because you are getting the stretch and the strength at the same time.
For the duration of the Olympics – for each minute that you hold a plank with EXCELLENT form you earn 1 point. So if in one day you do 3, one minute planks you just earned your team 3 points. But excellent form means following these guidelines:
- On your hands or on forearms, elbows under shoulders
- Neck nice and long like the rest of the spine
- Abs pulled up away from the floor (without sticking your butt in the air)
- Heels reaching away from the head, with the crown of the head reaching away from the heels
- Jaw relaxed and tongue away from the roof of the mouth – oh yeah and don’t forget to breathe
People with great balance – are they born or made??? Although some people may think that they either have balance or they don’t – balance is like any other skill – you MUST practice it to get better at it.
Balance is great to practice morning and night when you are brushing your teeth. You will earn 1 point for each time you practice balance while you are brushing your teeth – you can either lift up onto your toes (be sure though that your big toe and baby toe are equally connected – we call this releve) and stay there for the duration that you are brushing your teeth or you can lift onto your toes and come back down to a flat foot position and keep repeating up and down as you brush your teeth.
An Olympic Event at Lead would not be complete without a Posture event. We focus on posture in every class we teach and you will be educated about posture in every treatment you experience at Lead. Stand up and sit up during the Olympics and earn points for your team.
Here are the 4 posture points that we want you to think about:
- Stand/sit tall
- Feel your weight distributed into your feel – 60% in the heels and 40% across the widest part of your foot (not the toes)
- Envision the back of your head pressing against your invisible head rest
- Create some effort in your abs (the belly button to spine concept from Pilates) – no clenching your butt cheeks.
In week 1 of the Olympics consciously find your 4 points of posture listed above 3 times a day (breakfast, lunch and dinner) and continue to hold these 4 points for 60 seconds with conscious thought.
In weeks 2 and 3 increase to 6 times per day – the 3 times listed above and then add once in between your main meals of the day. The goal is to have to think, with focus, about those 4 points, but soon, as you develop a good posture habit, you will think about those 4 points and will already be there!! Yeah Posture!!
Complete the posture recipe as outlined above in Week 1 and then Weeks 2 and 3 and earn 3 points each day you meet your posture goal.
Eye Spy Event
We take the muscles in our eyes for granted. The ‘conveniences’ of our society have created situations for our body that we were not made for. For example: our body was built to move – not sit in a chair looking at a computer screen for 8-plus hours a day. Research shows that 80% of our vision occurs within 20 inches of our nose!! This is a crazy stat! We need to use our eyes in different ways. So much more living (than only 20%) happens beyond the 20 inches in from of our noses and we want you to be sure you are experiencing it!
Earn 5 points each day by looking to the horizon (or to the furthest point in the room you are in) 5 times a day for 30 seconds minimum each time. Don’t squint, relax your eyes and notice colour, texture, and shapes. Consistency is key – you do not score your 5 points until you have completed this task at least 5 times per day. If you wear glasses, remove them if you can during this event. It will feel good to relax your eyes and as each day passes during the Lead Olympics, you will feel the benefit of this ‘eye exercise’ more and more.