We're bringing a few local faces to the pages of YEG Fitness for a regular article answering your health and fitness related questions. Shara Vigeant - Global Woman of Vision and owner of SVPT Fitness and Robin Tharle-Oluk - Certified Athletic Therapist and owner of Elite Injury Management.

Here are this month's questions.

How important is stretching before exercising?

Stretching prior to training or exercise is important. What needs to be clarified is what type of stretching. Typically we see people doing static stretching both prior to and after training. Static stretching has a role but should be used at the end of a session as part of the cool down to increase flexibility. Prior to training incorporate dynamic stretching as part of your warm up. Dynamic stretching is controlled motion through the complete range. Do movements that mimic activities in your sport or training session. For more information check out our blog post Dynamic Stretching in Warm Up

Robin Tharle-Oluk, BPE, Adv. Cert AT, CAT(C)
Certified Athletic Therapist


What is the general time for Hamstring strain take to heal? - S. Welch

The average time for a hamstring strain to heal depends upon a five factors. Firstly the grade of the injury. Muscle strains are categorized into 3 grades. A grade 1 strain where there is not disability to a grade 3 which is a complete rupture, a grade 2 falls between these. Grade 1 strains typically resolve in around 1 week, grade 2 take 2-4 weeks and grade 3 beyond that. The second factor is if there is a prior hamstring strain. There is evidence showing that hamstring strains are a recurrent injury. Thirdly, the state of the body when the injury happened, fatigue and muscle imbalance can prolong the healing process. Fourth, the sport in which you participate. Any sport that involves running especially sprinting will take longer to get back to full competition. Finally, proper injury management. During the acute stage the principles of rest and ice are very important, followed by proper rehabiliation to increase range of motion, strength and functionality.

Robin Tharle-Oluk, BPE, Adv. Cert AT, CAT(C)
Certified Athletic Therapist

I'm hoping to apply to a career with a very strict commitment to fitness and need to get into shape fast (I have approx 3 months). I need to be completely well rounded - cardio, strength, speed. Thanks for your time (prefer to workout at home. Any video suggestions)? - T. Wilson

I assume because you refer to "cardio, strength, speed" for a new career, you are trying to get "in shape" for the physical testing component of police or fire. I take the stance that you can't get anywhere SAFELY fast. Anything done quickly puts you at risk for injury and burn out.

In 3 months can you IMPROVE your current physical fitness? Absolutely! But it will depend on many variables.

The ability to get ready for physical testing will always depend on your current physical fitness - how fit you are NOW, and how far you have to progress to meet the minimum requirements of the testing. Progress during these 3 months will depend on proper programming, adaptation to that programming, consistency, proper nutrition and rest/recovery.

The more you try to do to get "in shape" faster by training harder/more (not smarter), especially without a properly designed program, the higher the risk of injury. If you only have 3 months to get ready for a physical testing, then my first suggestion would be to hire someone to make you a "plan of attack", so you can make sure you are taking the most effective, efficient and SAFE path to your end goal.

Shara Vigeant, BA, NSCA-CPT, (IHP) MMA-CSCC
SVPT Fitness & Athletics

Submit your fitness questions to them and they will answer them in upcoming editions of YEG Fitness.