Physiotherapy Toronto Blog 

March is Nutrition Month

By Athlete's Care on March 07, 2018

Nutrition Month

Happy Nutrition Month!  Let's discover the potential of food!

  1. Food has the potential to FUEL! Sports dietitians work hard to ensure athletes are consistently nourished throughout their day and are getting their macro needs met to prepare for their next game/competition. In addition, food has the potential to fuel through snacking! Many Canadians are skipping meals due to being too busy. It’s important to include healthy snacks between meals (1 apple, 1 banana, carrots with hummus, nuts/seeds, etc).

  2. Food has the potential to DISCOVER! Dietitians can help children develop healthy eating habits by encouraging parents to bring their kids grocery shopping with them, and letting them join in on food preparation activities. Allowing kids to join in these food-related activities may prevent them from becoming picky eaters as well. Dietitians help with this discovery of food by working in nutrition programs for kids and parents.

  3. Food has the potential to PREVENT! Dietitians are heavily informed when it comes to preventing chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes. What we eat is a lifestyle factor that can help prevent illnesses. Dietitians prevent chronic diseases by promoting healthy and balanced diets (i.e. Mediterranean Diet). Dietitians look beyond fads and gimmicks in order to deliver reliable, and evidence-based information.

  4. Food has the potential to HEAL. Nutrition can be used to manage certain health conditions. Dietitians are part of a hospital's strong health care team to ensure that they deliver the best care to patients. They help reduce the severity of side effects from cancer treatments. They help patients who undergo dialysis, as well as those who have problems with eating and swallowing.

  5. Food has the potential to BRING US TOGETHER! Canadians aren’t eating enough with people and sharing meals with others due to busy schedules. It’s recommended by dietitians to take some time out of your busy week to gather with friends/family and have dinner/lunch. Cook with someone, or have a dinner party and cook for your friends and family.

For more information about nutrition month, visit

Find out more about the Athlete's Care team of Registered Dietitians 


A Look At Some Common Skiing Injuries

By Athlete's Care on March 02, 2018

Toronto Physiotherapy

Skiing is a wonderful way to stay in shape as you enjoy the snowy winter weather. Many of our clients ski – and some of them will find their way to our Toronto physiotherapy and sports medicine clinics with injuries and other conditions related to skiing. Here’s a look at some common skiing injuries and how to avoid them.

Leg Injuries

  • Sprains are the most common leg injuries found in skiers, with fractures coming in second. Fractures to the shin and thighbones are typically caused by falls and collisions with objects on the way down.

  • Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL) – this is the ligament that connects the shinbone and thighbone. MCL injuries are often caused when a skier falls down the hill while the skis are in the snow plough position. Making sure your weight is balanced in that position will help prevent falls. A sprain to the MCL is a very common injury that can be treated by a medical brace. Ask your Toronto physiotherapist or sports medicine specialist about what a brace can do for you.

  • Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL)- this ligament is found in the mid-knee, and it keeps your shinbone and thighbone in the right place. It can be torn or ruptured if you fall backward even as your lower leg keeps pushing forward, and often occurs when landing a jump. This is a serious injury that can require surgery and extensive rehab.

Arm & Hand Injuries

Injuries to the arms and shoulder are common when skiing. The hands are a vulnerable part of the body, particularly the thumb.

  • The Ulnar Collateral Ligament – this connects the thumb to the hand near the index finger. It can be sprained or damage when you put out your hand to break a fall. The second you feel yourself falling, do yourself a favour and let go of your ski poles. That move alone will help to prevent what is often called skier’s thumb.


There are two basic principles that will keep you safer on the slopes – education and physical conditioning.

  • Training – proper technique will help you to avoid undue strain on any body part, and help you both avoid falls, and minimize the effects if you do. The basic principles are: weight forward, hands forward, legs parallel. If you are a beginner or perhaps you only go skiing a few times a year or maybe you haven’t been skiing in some time, training by a professional will teach you the proper form.

  • Physical Conditioning – strengthening core, leg, and arm muscles will help you to avoid strain on ligaments and improve your balance on the slopes. Ask our Toronto sports medicine specialists about what kinds of exercises will benefit your training.

A few more quick tips:

  • Take breaks, and don’t push yourself too much. Fatigue can make you lose the correct form and you may fall more easily. It can also make you miss signs that you would otherwise catch to help avoid collisions.

  • Know your limits, and don’t push yourself beyond them. You’ll have to work your way up to the advanced slopes – be patient!

If you’re going skiing this winter or if you find yourself with a skiing injury, drop by one of our Toronto physiotherapy clinics or call us for an appointment. Our sports medicine specialists are highly trained and ready with advice along with any treatments you require.




What Olympic athletes eat to optimize their performance?

By Athlete's Care on February 19, 2018

Toronto Sports Medicine


To celebrate the winter Olympics, this week’s nutrition tip will be about what Olympic athletes eat to optimize their performance. According to Belluz (2018), having very specific nutrition habits can help give athletes “an edge.” This means that “the art of feeding athletes has become extraordinarily fine-tuned, calibrated daily to their workouts and competitions” (Belluz, 2018, para. 5).

Sports dietitians work hard to make sure athletes have sufficient energy to compete in their events. Different sports have different energy needs. In a recent Vox article, Belluz (2018) showed that figure skaters need between 1800 to 3000 calories, whereas hockey players must eat between 2800 to 4000 calories per day. Sports dietitians need to measure how much energy athletes consume while training (i.e. how hard they train), and how heavy or light they need to be for the competition. For example, figure skaters need to ensure they are light enough to jump across the ice, so they may weigh a couple pounds lighter prior to competition (Belluz, 2018). On the other hand, athletes who participate in sports with very high energy expenditure (i.e. cross-country skiers) will need to consume more calories per day compared to figure skaters.

Despite the differences in the amount of calories consumed, it’s important to remember that athletes’ diets are composed of clean and nutrient-dense foods - lots of protein, fruits, and vegetables. The type of calories athletes consume depends on the kind of sport they specialize in. If athletes need to do a lot of strength training such as weightlifting, they will need to increase their protein needs. Meanwhile, “athletes who need a lot of cardiovascular work such as cross-country skiers will need a lot of carbohydrates in order to maximize the glycogen and energy stores leading into their event” (Belluz, 2018, para. 18).

This gives you a glimpse on what it’s like to be a sports dietitian and how many factors sports dietitians have to consider when creating nutrition plans for athletes. You can talk to a sports dietitian if you think you need this specialized help to improve your sports performance.


Nutrition tip provided by Registered Dietitian and Sports Dietitian, Ben Sit.  On top of being a Sports Dietitian, Ben previously worked as a Personal Trainer, which allows him to practically understand exercise and nutrition in combination. This combination of the world of Nutrition and Dietetics along with Physical Activity and Exercise is what makes Ben's interventions truly unique and customized.

Contact Athlete's Care at Yonge & Sheppard to book an appointment with Ben or click the here to find a Registered Dietitian near you!


Tips for Safe Snow Shoveling

By Athlete's Care on February 09, 2018

Toronto Physiotherapist

Every winter, our Toronto physiotherapy and sports medicine specialists treat clients with injuries and conditions that have been caused by that most Canadian of chores – shoveling snow. Here in the GTA, we all expect to get a dose of snow and other bad weather during the winter months, and keeping the sidewalks and walkways clear isn’t just a chore – it’s a health and safety issue.

However mundane and necessary, it’s a task that can result in injuries and other health issues, some of them serious. Here’s a look at how to stay safe when shoveling snow.


  • Dress warmly in layers. You will begin to warm up after several minutes of shoveling, so you will want to be able to adjust the layers to suit. The goal is to avoid sweating, since that will chill your skin even underneath all those layers.
  • Wear good boots – that means water-resistant snow boots with a non-slip sole.
  • Keep your mobile phone in your pocket in so that it’s handy.

The Physical Side

  • Shoveling snow exerts as much energy as a brisk workout. That means you should be sure you are medically fit for the exercise. If you do not workout on a regular basis, have existing cardiac issues, high blood pressure or other debilitation condition, and/or are middle-aged or older, you should consult with your primary health practitioner at one of our Toronto physiotherapy clinics.
  • Stretch before you go out. Shoveling snow involves muscles and ligaments you may not use in an office, retail or other work environment. Stretching also helps warm up your muscles in the cold weather. Your Toronto physiotherapist or chiropractor can give you advice on good stretching exercises for a bout of snow shoveling.
  • Be sure to stay hydrated. We’re more aware of water loss in the hot summer months, but you need as much water as if you were working out.
  • Take frequent breaks. Yes, it means it will take longer, but you can’t just keep pushing beyond your usual capabilities without consequences.


The right technique will help prevent injury and strain to back, arms, and other areas. 

  • Wherever possible, you want to push the snow to the side rather than lift a heavy shovel full of the white, fluffy stuff.
  • During heavy snowfalls, don’t wait until the barrage is over. Shovel every time a few inches or so has accumulated. It will keep the snow and ice from sticking to the paved surface, as well as lightening your load.
  • Invest in an ergonomically designed shovel made of lightweight plastic rather than metal that will reduce the load.
  • Use your legs to lift if you must, rather than placing the strain on your lower back.
  • Straighten by straightening the legs.

If you need advice on shoveling snow or any other activity, drop by or call one of our Toronto physiotherapy clinics to make an appointment today.

Sources: shoveling-tips safety/safety-tips/safe- snow-shoveling Health-
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emergency-department- visits-nearly- 100-deaths- related-to- snow-shoveling- each-