Walk it Off Welcomes Two New Staff Members

 left to right Jennifer McGowan, Taylor Huehn

left to right Jennifer McGowan, Taylor Huehn

Walk It Off is pleased to welcome two new staff members to our team! We are happy to introduce our new Spinal Cord Injury Facility Assistant, Jennifer, and our newest Spinal Cord Injury Recovery Trainer, Taylor. We have been getting to know them over the past month and we think you will enjoy working with them as much as we do! Continue reading

Walk It Off Clients Participate in 2015 Parapan Am & Pan Am Activities

click to enlarge

Kevin Mills
click to enlarge

With the beginning of fall we get ready for a new season and reflect on the summer we just had. One of the highlights of this past summer must be the excitement from Toronto hosting the 2015 Parapan Am and Pan Am Games. The Parapan Am games were a great stage to demonstrate the abilities and talents of paraplegic and quadriplegic athletes from around the world. The Parapan Am games are a fantastic example of how different impairments, skill sets and competencies can be the winning combination for podium-placing performance. I think it’s fair to say that seeing athletes of all different abilities competing in many different sports caused a bit of “panamania” here at Walk It Off. From Canada placing second in overall medal count and our very own Anita Kaiser in the PanAm torch relay to Kevin Mills being asked to participate in the Parapan Am torch relay and complete a handcycling demonstration at McMaster University, it’s hard to not get excited about it! Continue reading

ICARE – Intelligently Controlled Assistive Rehabilitation Elliptical

click to enlarge

click to enlarge

If you have been to or talked to anyone at Walk It Off in the past few months, you have probably heard about a new machine we are trying to purchase called the Madonna ICARE. But what is it? An Apple product sponsored by the ‘Like A Virgin’ singer? The Madonna ICARE actually stands for: Intelligently Controlled Assistive Rehabilitation Elliptical.

This piece of equipment differs from a typical gym elliptical machine by allowing individuals with varying disabilities the opportunity to stand and take strides safely. A harness is used to support the individual while increasing or decreasing the amount of weight that goes into the feet. The ICARE offers the option to exercise with different degrees of motor assistance. The ICARE can be used as a typical elliptical or set to move an individuals legs when the motor senses muscle fatigue. It can also be set in automatic mode for those with complete paralysis. Continue reading

Wheelchairs and Handcycle Racing – 7 Excellent Races

click to enlarge

click to enlarge

Hello Everyone.  My name is Kevin Mills and I am the Supreme Chancellor 🙂 at Walk It Off Spinal Cord Recovery and Wellness Centre. I thought it might be helpful to share with you 7 excellent races for those athletic individuals out there who are currently in wheelchairs. In February of 2009 I myself sustained a spinal cord injury when a wave drove me head-first into the sand while swimming in the ocean in Cuba.  I am a C 5/6 AIS A (quadriplegic).  I was a competitive middle distance runner in high school and I completed my first half marathon in October of 2008, a few months prior to my injury. Continue reading

Preventing Illness in those with Spinal Cord Injuries

preventing illness in spinal cord injury patientsDiet and nutrition play a large role in our body’s everyday functions and overall well being. We have heard sayings such as “healthy body, healthy mind” or “you are what you eat”. As cliché as those sayings may be, there is no denying the truth behind them. As is true with everyone, proper nutrition plays a large part in reducing the occurrence of health concerns or preventing illness particularly for those living with spinal cord injuries (SCI) and more specifically, for those that are commonly related to the injury.

Diet and Prevention of UTI’s

One of the most common secondary health concerns regarding clients/patients with spinal cord injuries (SCIs) are urinary tract infections (UTI’s). SCI clients/patients experience a heightened risk of developing UTI’s from the frequent need to perform intermittent catheterization to empty their bladders on a daily basis. The average incidence rate of UTI’s is 10.3 per 1000 catheterizations. Continue reading

Spinal Cord Recovery Program – Whole Body Vibration Therapy

click image to enlarge

click image to enlarge

As part of our spinal cord recovery program here at Walk It Off, we encourage our clients to get active and out of their chairs during their workout sessions. One of the components of a workout session is getting the clients standing with a trainer.  We are able to offer our clients the option to use vibrational therapy by way of the Vibe Plate during this standing session. Standing offers many health benefits to individuals with spinal cord injuries, some of which include increasing bone mass density, bowel and bladder function. The Vibe Plate uses Whole Body Vibration (WBV) technology, which offers additional health benefits to the individual standing on the equipment. It has been suggested that using the Vibe Plate for 10 minutes, three times a week will result in improved range of motion and flexibility, increased blood circulation and muscle strength, and increased bone density to help fight osteoporosis. Continue reading