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Run Walk Ride with me at the @HSFRide this year & let’s #CreateSurvivors together!

Did you know:

Heart disease and stroke kill one Canadian every 7 minutes, making it a leading cause of death and disability in Canada.  

Today, more than 90 per cent of Canadians who have a heart attack and more than 80 per cent who have a stroke and make it to hospital will survive. Last year, the Heart and Stroke Foundation helped create 165,000 survivors.

As a Paramedic I, far to often, see the devastating effects of these two conditions on my patients and their families.  So when I was asked to be an ambassador for the all new run component of the Becel Heart and Stroke Ride for Heart I agreed without hesitation.

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This year they have a goal to raise $6.8million.  Funds rasied will support world class research as well as health education and advocacy to help the Foundation meet its mission to prevent disease, save lives and promote recovery from heart disease and stroke.  I plan on doing everything I can to help them meet that goal!  But I need your help by either joining me or donating!

DONATE

REGISTER

ps. if you are registering for the run use the discount code AMB05 for $10 off; you’re welcome 🙂

If you’d like to participate with me, then free up your calendar on June 5th for this unique opportunity to ride, run or walk on a traffic-free Gardiner and DVP, help create more survivors from heart disease and stroke.  Join 15,000 cyclists and ride 25, 50 or 75km traffic-free on the Gardiner and Don Valley Parkway. Or participate in our new 5km/10km Run or 5km Walk. It’s a whole new way to experience the magic of this landmark Toronto event.

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Your selfie game will be strong with a backdrop like this!

By supporting the Ride you will be helping to create more survivors.  Over the past 60 years, with the Foundation’s help, the death rate from heart disease and stroke has declined by more than 75 per cent, with nearly 40 per cent of this decrease occurring in the past decade.

By deciding to participate and train for this event you will also be taking charge of your own health and help to prevent a cardiac event or stroke from occurring to yourself!  Lack of physical activity is a risk factor for heart disease and stroke, and cycling/running/walking is a great example of a physical activity that is fun and easy to do.   It is recommended that Canadians get 150 minutes of moderate- to vigorous-physical activity each week so get signed up and start training!  Here are some other videos to help motivate you!

#KeepSmilin!


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Sunshine Blogger award

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WOW! I’ve been nominated for a Sunshine Blogger Award! Natalie Harris nominated me on her blog Paramedic Nat in this post here.  On her blog Nat is currently chronicling her mental health journey to recovery.  Part of it acquired while working as a paramedic.  I highly recommend following her both on her blog and on Twitter.  Her goal is to educate and help people (not just paramedics) with mental illness to seek help and to know they are not alone.  She is very candid in her posts and is such a better writer than me!  Every chance I get I try to read her posts in the hops that I can learn something from her!

Here’s how the Sunshine Blogger award works:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you
  2. Answer the questions they gave you or the same ones they answered
  3. Nominate other bloggers
  4. Notify the bloggers

Here are my answers to Natalie’s questions

What is the most important thing to you?

The most important thing to me, you guys may already know, is my family.  I will drop anything to spend time with them.  They are the light of my world!

If you could go anywhere in the world right now where would that be?

Well that’s easy!! To a Disney park!  Maybe to one I haven’t been to before, though, like Disneyland Paris.  They now have a runDisney event out there that is on mine and my wife’s bucket list.

What’s your favourite thing about blogging?

It gives me a chance to share a piece of my life with you.  It’s been helping with my writing, which never was very good (I always hated English classes! lol).  It has made this world a whole lot smaller and connected me with so many new friends!

What’s your favorite thing about yourself?

This is not an easy question for me to answer.  I’m not sure I have a favourite thing ….. I always find it difficult to sing my own praises so I think I’ll take a by on this one 😉

What has been your biggest challenge in life so far?

Parenting! Trying to teach young impressionable minds and have then turn into well mannered, smart, morally sound, productive members of this crazy world is no easy feat!

Do you believe in love at first sight?

Yes! I believe there is that one perfect person out there for everyone!  Thankfully I am fortunate to have found that!

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

Wow 10 years?  That means my daughter will be 18 and my son 16!  That’s kinda scary!  Funny how when you become a parent you start relating things to your children like this.  So in 10 years I will most likely be driving my daughter off to a post secondary institution somewhere and teaching my son to drive!  I will hopefully have run many miles with my amazingly courageous wife and many more upcoming!

How many languages do you speak?

Unfortunately just English.  I really wish my parents had taught me Dutch when I when I was a kid but I only know a few words and can pick out some words of it.  My kids are in French immersion at school so I am hoping to pick up a little more of that through them.

What do you think is your best post so far? Link

My best and most favourite post so far is a post I wrote reviewing my 10k run with the Justice League Runners.  It was such an amazing experience for me and I can’t wait for the next!  https://paramedicmike.ca/2015/04/22/running-with-the-jlr_toronto-for-a-special-kind-of-personal-best/

What’s your favourite quote?

Pretty much anything that came out of Walk Disney’s mouth lol, I wish I was around when he was alive!  My favourite, though, is “All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them” Walt Disney

If you could recommend one fellow blogger to me who would it be? And Why?

Carrie Burrows: From www.CarrieBurrows.com I never can sing her praises enough!  She is the one who has mentored my wife and I from the very beginning on our health and fitness journey.  Plus she is also one of our Disney peeps so there’s bonus points for that! 😉  I highly suggest you hit her up, she loves to answer your questions and ensure you are the best you you can be!

So now onto my nominations!

Carrie Burrows

Robyn Baldwin

Scott Evans

Justin Connors

Heather Gardner

JP Hernandez

Yogi Crystal

Tim Burrows

I’d love to see what guys have to say and hopefully learn a little more about you.

#KeepSmilin 🙂

Review @TeamTiux Compression Socks; not just selling socks but doing social good as well!

reblogging to tell you that I’ve been given a discount code for 10% off a pair of Tiux compression socks valid until July 31st! Share with your running friends!

Review @TeamTiux Compression Socks; not just selling socks but doing social good as well!.

The Not-So-Obvious Benefits of Sweat via @FixDotCOm

HI Guys!

Came across this post and I found it really educational; thought you would learn something from it like I did!

Copy and pasted with permission from:

http://www.fix.com/blog/unexpected-benefits-of-sweat/


You might work up a sweat at various times: a long run, sunny summer afternoon, or an important job interview, to name a few. Whether it’s refreshing or unplanned, sweating leads to a number of incredible health benefits, some of which may be surprising.

Perspire Much? Don’t Sweat It!

Glance around any fitness class, and you’ll see all kinds of perspiration. Some exercisers will be drenched from head to toe, while others will have nary a drop of sweat on the brow. Sweat isn’t exactly one of the great mysteries of the universe, but there is still a lot to discover about this amazing built-in skin system.

The human body is equipped with its own cooling system. The skin is covered with approximately two to five million sweat glands that run like ductwork in an attic. How much a person sweats is determined by physiological characteristics, including age and gender, room temperature, the level of exertion during exercise, how anxious a person feels, and whether the person is overweight.1

On average, humans can produce up to one to three liters of sweat per hour. Exercise and heat are the most common causes of perspiration because sweat’s main job is to cool down the body. However, stress, anxiety, and excitement can also cause sweating.2 That’s why foods and beverages that increase anxiety, such as coffee and tea, can ramp up sweat production.

Let’s take a look at the chemical makeup of sweat and learn why we all perspire in the first place.

The Reasons Behind Salty and Stinky Sweat

Sweat is primarily made up of water but it also contains salt and, depending on a person’s diet, other chemicals. Ever heard of the saying, “You are what you eat?” That’s not too far from the truth for sweat. The chemical composition of sweat can be altered by food and drinks, the reason for sweating, and how long a bout of sweating lasts.

One of the highest mineral concentrations in sweat is sodium, which explains why sweat tastes salty. In addition, sweat contains moderate amounts of potassium, chloride, calcium, and magnesium as well as small amounts of trace minerals including copper, zinc, and iron.3

But not all sweat is created equally. The human body hosts two different types of sweat glands: eccrine and apocrine. Eccrine sweat glands work like ducts on the skin’s surface and produce a watery substance. These glands are mostly concentrated on the brow, hands, and feet (though they cover much of the body), and they function primarily as the body’s A/C unit.4

Apocrine sweat glands are found in the hair follicles located in and around the scalp, armpits, anus, and genitals. Apocrine sweat glands produce a thicker, plasma-like substance that also contains fatty acids and protein byproducts, including urea and ammonia. Emotional stress triggers apocrine glands to expel fatty sweat into the skin, where bacteria break it down. This turns into an odorous fatty acid substance, which makes certain types of sweat smell and causes unsightly underarm stains . These glands remain inactive until puberty, which explains why preteen children suddenly smell after recess.

Man vs. Woman: The Sweatonomics

Japanese scientists discovered that women need to exercise harder than men to get a good sweat going. The researchers placed four subject groups in a controlled environment and then asked them to cycle continuously for one hour. The study showed that men are more efficient at sweating and that untrained women had the worst response when it came to breaking a sweat.5

Previous studies have shown that higher levels of testosterone in men may increase sweat output. The study mentioned above was the first to suggest that women may be at a disadvantage when it comes to cooling off during heavy bouts of exercise or during hot conditions. Researchers have suggested an evolutionary reason for this: women carry less body fluid than men, and they may sweat less to prevent dehydration. For this reason, it may be advisable for women to take more precautions in extreme heat conditions or during long bouts of exercise.

Age-related factors can also affect the amount of sweat a person produces. As the skin changes during the aging process, the sweat glands produce less sweat. This can make it harder to cool off and may increase the risk of heat stroke.6

Sweat Glands: The Everyday Hero

Sweat glands aren’t just nature’s ice bath. From warding off bacteria to protecting the kidneys, perspiration is the inspiration for several healthy functions that extend beyond a good cool down.

Germ Fighters

While studying proteins involved in skin cancer, a team of researchers discovered a potent natural antibiotic called dermcidin. The researchers learned that sweat glands constantly excrete this antibiotic.7 Persistent skin washing can remove this natural protective barrier.

Though a long shower after a hot sweaty day sounds perfect, it may limit your defense against germs. University of California researcher Tomas Ganz notes that bacteria thrive in hot, moist conditions. Dermcidin can limit what thrives on our skin, reducing our risk of infection. But Ganz cautions that being sweaty all the time does not guarantee protection: “It depends on how much dermcidin a person exudes.”8

Healing Powers

University of Michigan researchers discovered that sweat glands play a role in the wound-healing process, including recovery from scrapes, burns, and ulcers. In a study published in the American Journal of Pathology, Laure Rittié, Research Assistant Professor of Dermatology, notes that sweat glands are understudied and that they may hold the secret to speeding up wound repair.9

The study found that eccrine glands store an important reservoir of adult stem cells that can quickly take action when a wound occurs. Rittié explains that sweat glands are understudied because they are unique to humans and not present in animals, which are commonly studied in laboratories. Rittié and her research team hope these findings will pave the way for a greater understanding of the skin’s healing process and lead to better targeted therapies – especially for those who experience skin ulcers from diabetes or bedsores.

Happiness Defenders

The act of sweating alone doesn’t ward off bad moods, but a good sweat in the gym or outdoors increases endorphin levels – those feel-good hormones that contribute to a runner’s high.10 Endorphins are related to positive mood and an enhanced sense of overall well-being. Endorphins are related to positive mood and an enhanced sense of overall well-being.11

Kidney Protectors

Sweating limits the accumulation of salt and calcium in the kidneys and urine, which can reduce the risk of kidney stones. In addition, more sweating increases thirst, which may lead to greater water consumption. The more water goes in, the less likely it is that kidney stones will form.

A study published in 2013 by the American Society of Nephrology found that small amounts of physical activity and reduced caloric consumption might decrease the risk of kidney stone development by 31 percent.12 Breaking a little sweat on a brisk daily walk can go a long way when it comes to prevention.

How Much Sweat is Too Much?

For the most part, sweating is necessary and healthy. But sweating more than normal may be caused by a condition called hyperhidrosis. Hyperhidrosis occurs when the body sweats unnecessarily, dripping perspiration from the head, feet, palms, or underarms.13 Though it’s not harmful, excessive sweating can put a damper on daily activities and cause added stress, which can lead to even more sweating.

Signs of Hyperhidrosis:

  • Visible sweat when no physical exertion or excessive heat is present
  • Interfering with daily activities (for example, sweaty palms make it difficult to open doors)
  • Soft, peeling skin from continued moisture
  • Frequent skin infections, such as athlete’s foot or jock itch

Tips to Reduce Excessive Sweating:

  • Apply antiperspirant (not deodorant) to dry underarms before bed. Sweating is less likely to occur during sleep, and this will allow the skin to absorb more of the ingredients overnight, which provides greater protection during the day.
  • Avoid foods and beverages that may cause excess sweating or anxiety. Some of these foods are caffeinated beverages, such as coffee and tea, and spicy foods.
  • Wear natural fibers that allow the skin to cool. Loose clothing can also help prevent excessive sweating.
  • Learn how to relax during stressful situations. Meditative practices can reduce stress and anxiety, which may help reduce perspiration.
  • When all else fails, a dermatologist can prescribe an antiperspirant or inject Botox in the affected areas, which can reduce excessive sweating.

Go Ahead, Break a Sweat

Offering a natural cooling system and unique healing properties, a little perspiration each day may be what keeps the doctor at bay. Remember to replenish what you sweat out by sipping plenty of water throughout the day and drinking a little more during and after a vigorous workout.

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Sources:

  1. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/003218.htm
  2. http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0028824
  3. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18156662
  4. http://www.derm101.com/inflammatory/embryologic-histologic-and-anatomic-aspects/eccrine-units/
  5. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1113/expphysiol.2010.053710/abstract;jsessionid=5334BEFFC756A0872519C9FBFBBC6830.f04t01
  6. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/004014.htm
  7. http://www.pnas.org/content/111/41/14687.full.pdf+html?sid=01bbf9f8-ed21-484b-817b-e0453c4f8e89
  8. http://www.nature.com/news/2001/011105/full/news011108-3.html
  9. http://www.uofmhealth.org/news/archive/201211/sweat-glands-play-major-role-healing-human-wounds-u-m
  10. http://link.springer.com/article/10.2165/00007256-199213010-00003
  11. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC474733/
  12. http://jasn.asnjournals.org/content/25/2/362
  13. http://www.hyperhidrosiscumc.com/hyperhidrosis.html

Special @RunCRS #STWM run & @TwitterCanada visit with @ChrisDoyle #OCanada

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Well what can I say!  This would have to be one of my most favourite fields trips!  A once in a lifetime opportunity! I am so thankful to the people at Canada Running Series for making this happen.  All the #STWM Digital Champions and Community Leaders were invited for an exclusive invite only run and tour of Twitter Canada HQ followed by a presentation from Chris Doyle the Director of Media leading Twitter’s partnerships for Canada in TV, sports, news, music, gov and more.

The evening started with me taking the GoTrain and man am I ever thankful I made that decision!  There were others that chose to drive and because of awful traffic and collisions on the highway they were not able to fully attend:(

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The train got me real close to our secret destination downtown and it was only a short 10min power walk!  Turned out to be a nice warm up before the run!  Although have you ever tried to walk quickly in Birkenstocks?  Its no easy feet feat and I felt my shins start to tighten up a little!   Thankfully I got there early enough to stretch them and change into my runners!

Next up it was a brief welcome from Race Director Alan Brookes and a description of the run and route from Community Leader Willaim Chaupiz from Night Terrors Run. Then we were off!

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Its not always easy to run through the busy streets of Toronto for a suburb runner like me but I was able to hold my own run ahead and snap this quick shot 🙂

The run went well at a nice pace (check out my Garmin data Garmin Connect)  with a few stops for traffic lights and most importantly photo ops!

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When the run was complete and high fives given we moseyed on over to the uber secret location to meet with Chris Doyle.   Once inside, the perfect post run spread of food and snacks was waiting for us; bonus!  Many of us were meeting each other face to face for the first time so this was a great chance for us to introduce ourselves, mingle and, of course, snap some more pics!

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Colour matched jelly beans and a branded toaster in their lunch room!

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This looked like the perfect spot to lay down right after my run

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Man did we ever press Chris to keep these mugs but alas they were for staff only and not to be removed 😦

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If I worked here I would never eat breakfast at home again!

Then it was time for Chris’ presentation!

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Chris did an amazing job of presenting some Twitter best practices, his involvement with Twitter Canada’s sports partnerships, and, an introduction to their new app Periscope.  Periscope is an app where you can live broadcast any event you like!  This is the next level of SM sharing.  So now instead of text or picture based post you can now bring people right into your world with sound and video!  I am very excited about the future possibilities of this!  I can foresee many people broadcasting parts of their #STWM  race or even the triumph and reunions at the finish line.  The possibilities of this really are endless and subject only to the limits of your imagination!

Next it was time to tour the rest of their office!

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obligatory selfie with Chirs Doyle

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Selfie of a Selfie with Dawn @inkdgirl55

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Group shot on the Twitter couch

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Some of you might recognize this controversial dress…… its blue and black! This adorns the wall in one of their break-out rooms

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Twitter branded gumballs to keep the people in the lab happy 🙂

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High fives for a great day and for a @Unicef #HighFiveIt campaign

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Amazing day capped with a group shot in front of Twitter Canada’s signature hashtah sign

 Once again thank you to Twitter Canada for inviting us into your home!  Thank you Canada Running Series for orchestrating this and accepting me as a digital champion!  I’m really looking forward to sharing my first marathon journey and interacting with other #STWM runners! 10446674_463853833790016_8674201951774378793_n

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