Its week three of the CHFAs Revive in Five Challenge and, this week, were focusing on bone, joint, and muscle health.
This past weekend, I finished up week two of the Canadian Health Food Association’s (CHFA) Revive in Five challenge by taking a quick walk along the shaded pathways and wandering trails that make up some Vancouver’s portions of the Trans Canada Trail. It was, I have to admit, a great way to end the weekend and week two of Revive in Five.
Now that week three is upon us, though, it’s time to switch gears again. This week, Revive in Five challenges us to focus on our bone, joint, and muscle health by improving our strength and flexibility.
Ever wanted to take yoga? Well, this week is a good time to start. Practising yoga—particularly yin yoga and power yoga—is a great way to loosen our muscles and improve our flexibility. Yin yoga, with a slow rhythm and poses that are often held for up to five minutes, is an effective way to slowly stretch out stiff muscles and tight tendons, while power yoga is a fast-paced way to improve both strength and flexibility.
For those opposed to brightly coloured foam mats, the CHFA recommends split squats to strengthen and seated supine stretches to lengthen. Check out week three of the Revive in Five challenge for more details about these two exercises.
We’ve all heard that salmon is good for our hearts because of the high amount of omega-3 fatty acids it contains. However, the rich, red meat of salmon is also swimming with vitamin D, protein, and other nutrients that make it a great dish for promoting joint and muscle health.
With all that in mind, this week would be an great time to try out alive recipes such as Salmon Cakes with Pineapple Salsa, Quinoa Flatbread Salmon Pizzas, or Citrus, Spinach, and Salmon Saladfor dinner.
If you’re not at all a seafood lover, there are alternatives. Okra, a bright green seed pod high in calcium and potassium, is great for helping to improve bone health, while many types of nuts and seeds—such as pumpkins seeds and almonds—are high in proteins and “good” fats.
To keep our muscles moving, the CHFA suggests a few supplements. Omega-3 supplements help joint health, as this particular fatty acid has an anti-inflammatory effect. Look for omega-3s supplement that are derived from marine sources (such as salmon).
Calcium/magnesium supplements, which often have vitamin D in them as well, are the go-to supplement for bone health. These supplements help with bone growth and remodelling, which our bodies do throughout our entire lives.
If you’ve overdone it at the gym, arnica might be exactly what you’re looking for. This supplement helps to relieve sore muscles and is often used to treat strains and bruises. Also great for reducing inflammation, arnica is available as a creme, tincture, or oral supplement.