healthy tips

  • Top 6 Tips for Spine-friendly Snow Shoveling

    Recently I was talking with my brother Mike who said, “my lower back starts to ache whenever I see snow in the forecast.”  If you too can relate to Mike’s pain, know that you are not alone. I hear this statement all the time in the clinic, and in a city like Calgary this can make it hard to get through the long and snowy winter. To help make this winter a bit more comfortable keep reading to see my top 6 tips for spine-friendly snow shoveling.

    1. Lighten the load

    Avoid the temptation to load up that snow shovel. Keeping the shovel light will reduce the load on your lower back and help keep you feeling your best. Yes, it may take a few minutes longer to clear the snow, but your spine with thank you the next day.  

    2. Keep the shovel close

    The further you reach a loaded shovel away from your body, the greater the sheer stress in your lower back. An easy way to reduce this stress is to keep the shovel close to your core and tilt the shovel to unload the snow.

    3. Avoid the “bend and twist”

    Nothing makes my back hurt quite like watching someone bend and twist their spine while lifting – “ouch!” To keep your chiropractor from cringing, please remember to hinge from the hips and avoid spinal twisting whenever lifting or moving the shovel.

    4. Engage your core

    Gentle core engagement will act as a support brace for your lower back, providing extra stability when performing a challenging task. To create this abdominal brace, gently tense your core muscles, thinking of lifting your lower abdomen in and up.

    5. Take breaks

    A simple way to reduce lower back stress is to take frequent breaks. This may mean going inside to warm up, pausing to have a socially distanced chat with a neighbor, or merely stopping to enjoy some fresh air in the beautiful wintery wonderland.

    6. Ask for help

    If your lower back hurts before you even step outside, then consider asking a family member or neighbor for help. Pain is an important signal that the body uses to get your attention. Listen to your body and avoid pushing through the pain.

    Written by Dr. Caitlyn Cameron BSc(Hons), BSc, DC

  • 5 Easy, High Protein Recipes

    A protein-rich diet is important no matter your age, health, or body composition goals. Adequate protein consumption is especially important as we age. Research shows seniors need more protein to build and maintain muscle than they previously needed in their younger years. Protein is also the most satiating of the macronutrients, meaning we will stay full for longer after each meal. You can’t go wrong adding more protein to your diet! From quick smoothie recipes, light lunch options, and a few easy dinner ideas, here are 5 recipes to try at home. 

  • 8 Best "Deskercise" Stretches for People Who Sit All Day

    Work-related pain isn't just limited to construction and heavy manufacturing. Sitting at a desk in the same position all day, performing repetitive motions, can worsen and even cause musculoskeletal conditions, pain, and general discomfort. Take a few minutes and try some energizing, cost-effective and time-efficient exercises, right from the (dis)comfort of your desk. Get ready for a physical and mental reset: Physiotherapist Breanne Lyon's is here to help! Here's a quick video demo, and the descriptions and recommendations are below.


    1. One Arm Hug
      Take one arm across your chest, and place your hand on your opposite shoulder. Use the forearm of your other arm to cradle your elbow, and pull your elbow into your chest for a deeper stretch. Hold for 25 seconds. Repeat 2-3 times on each side.
    2. Reach for the Sky!
      Begin by sitting straight up in your chair with your feet flat on the ground. Link your hands together, push your palms out in front of you, and reach your arms above your head. Make sure to keep your shoulders relaxed. Hold for 15 seconds, repeat 5 times.
    3. Seated Lat Stretch
      Take one arm above your head, reach to your opposite side with the forearm facing the front. Use your other hand to grab your wrist and pull for a deeper stretch. Hold for 15-30 seconds. Repeat 2-3 times per side.
    4. Seated Tricep Stretch
      Raise your arm and bend your elbow towards your back, reaching your palm as far down as you can. Use your other hand to push your elbow back for a deeper stretch. Hold for 15 seconds. Repeat 3-5 times per side.
    5. Wrist Stretch
      Start with your palms together in front of your chest. Slowly lower your hands toward your waist, keeping your palms together, until you feel a mild to moderate stretch in your wrists. Hold for 15 seconds. Next, push the backs of your hands together for a reverse stretch. Hold for another 15 seconds. Repeat 5 times on each side.
    6. Seated Spine Twist
      While sitting in your chair, cross one leg over the other. Twist your body toward the side with your leg on top. Use the arm of the chair to pull yourself into a deeper stretch. Hold for 15 seconds, repeat 3 times on each side.
    7. Hamstring Chair Stretch
      While sitting at the edge of your chair, with your heels on the ground and toes pointed up, reach your torso toward your legs. Keep your back straight. Hold for 25 seconds, repeat 3-5 times.
    8. Calf Raises
      Stand behind your chair, and place your hands on the back of the chair. Raise yourself onto the balls of your feet slowly, while tightening your calves, and keeping your back straight. Hold for a few seconds at the top, and roll your feet back down. Repeat 10 times.

    Want help developing a customized, accessible, and attainable movement routine? Book an appointment with Breanne and get started today. Resolve discomfort and avoid pain and injury. Your body (and your boss!) will thank you.

  • Fun Activities for Kids During Winter Break

    Christmas may have come and gone, but most kids in Calgary don't go back to school for at least another week. Your precious little angels are already bored of all their Christmas presents, and you long-ago stopped trying to limit their consumption of holiday treats (legitimate food groups this time of year, according to one holiday expert). Struggling to imagine how you'll make it through the next week in one piece? Here are some fun activity ideas with children during winter break: 

  • How to Prevent Shin Splints

    Shin splints is a common condition that is characterized by pain on the front of the lower leg (shin). This condition can be triggered by irritated muscles on the back of the leg (the calf). In the springtime we often see a lot of clients with this condition: people who are excited to get outside and enjoy outdoor activity, oftentimes after being less physically active during the colder months. When we change our level of activity and/or the types of activities we engage in, we can experience discomfort as our bodies adjust to the new demands.  

    Here are a few things you can try to help prevent shin splints so you can enjoy the outdoors without pain!

  • Safe and Healthy Return to Sport

    Written for Logo SBRby Dr Nicole Barry, D.C. and Kevin Connell, P.T. of Energize Health


    Starting a new season can be an exciting time, especially after a year like we have all had! It can also be a time where the likelihood of injury is higher, due to our bodies not being used to the demands of the sport. With this in mind, we have created a simple outline, focusing on 3 key areas, to prepare your body for a safe and healthy return to softball. Let’s get into it! 

  • Top 5 Tips for Staying Active During Winter

    We get it. Winter can be a challenging time to remain active thanks to the colder weather, less daylight hours and snowy, slippery conditions. Remaining active year round is really important. We've jotted down some tips to help you stay on track with your mental and physical health goals, even as the snow falls! 

  • When January becomes February: A Story of Self-Compassion

    Written by Lisa Shaw, the Owner of Energize Health, from our most recent email newsletter. View the full newsletter (including an exciting baby annoucement!) here.


    I had good intentions of having this newsletter in your inbox four weeks ago.

    It was a business-related new year’s resolution, in fact: to be more timely and consistent with sending out our email newsletter. The busy holiday season swiftly turned into post-holiday clean up, and before I knew it, the chaotic, back-to-school adjustment had arrived. Drafts of this newsletter sat, untouched, for weeks.

    Was my resolution unreasonable? Was I expecting too much of myself? Maybe. Maybe not.

    The answers to those questions are important to consider, but it is not what matters most. What matters most is: how do I treat myself in a situation like this, when I didn’t meet my own expectations? What is my inner narrative when a task I deem to be of importance is left out there - hanging - waiting to be finished and I just. can’t. get to it.

    Do I beat myself up? Tell myself I should better prioritize, stop procrastinating? Make more time. Rest less. Work more. Produce. Produce. Produce. 

    Or, instead… can I extend myself some grace? Take a deep breath. Speak to myself, kindly, as I would a friend: “It’s okay. Life has been really busy. No one except you is worried about this work not being done. The work will always be there. Go. Rest. Hug your babies. Eat some food. Nourish your body with exercise, and your mind with a book. Be kind to yourself. You’ll get to this newsletter when you are able, with a motivated mind and rested heart.” 

    This year at Energize, we want to strive to promote kindness and self compassion. By developing a more compassionate attitude towards ourselves, we may also learn to be kinder and more understanding of others. Mistakes and setbacks (real or perceived) can be seen as learning opportunities, allowing us to practice self-compassion and forgiveness rather than berating ourselves for failing. Through this approach, we can foster a deeper connection with ourselves, our communities, and the greater world around us. Be kind to yourself. This is the only resolution you need.

    I invite you to join me in this resolution. Set the simple but profound intention to be kinder to yourself in 2023. Your self-compassion and love will bring better health and happiness to you, and will create a ripple effect, positively impacting those around you in ways you likely can’t even imagine. 🦋

    Please accept my kindest and warmest new year’s wishes, belated but sincere. Thanks for being here, and I hope to cross paths with you at one of the clinics soon.


    Lisa Shaw
    Owner, Energize Health
    Direct: 403-869-1220
    Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

    You will never speak to anyone more than you speak to yourself in your head. Be kind to yourself.

  • Why You Should Care About Homecare

    I love treatment. If I could, I would have treatment at least every week at one of the clinics. Especially massage, gosh I love love love massage. You'd think I would get massages more often, being married to a massage therapist, but whenever I complained to Josh about pain I am experiencing, he just tells me to " do the exercises".
    But alas, I, owner of the clinics and consequently someone who genuinely knows better, really suck at doing my home care exercises. Oftentimes when I go in for treatment I tell the clinician, "I know, I know - what I really need to do is strengthen my glute muscles. I know that would relieve my back pain and prevent it from reoccurring. But I just can't seem to make myself do it! Can't I just lay here and you make me feel better? Please?!"