#ExploreEverythingEpic – CanPrev Health Profile
Lowdown: As the #ExploreEverythingEpic has a large focus on promoting solid fueling habits and living an overall healthy lifestyle, I have been working with CanPrev Natural Health Products to prepare a health profile. The purpose is to benchmark my current physical state, so I can evaluate my progress as I undertake this adventure. My belief has always been if it can’t be measured, it can’t be managed. I believe every GMTM should be tracking their health in order to ensure we are all living, performing and executing to our maximum potential. After all, why won’t you want to be injury free, in the best shape of your life and extremely confident with your body?
About CanPrev: I am excited to partner with CanPrev Natural Health Product – one of the premier natural supplementation companies on the Canada / US market. With a focus on quality, innovation and variety, they truly meet and exceed my expectation when it comes to supplementation. Run by a great team and owned by a very dedicated couple, CanPrev is quickly becoming a leader in the industry due to their commitment to helping expand naturopathic medicine. For a full rundown of their products, check them out here. Full disclourse: I have been using CanPrev products long before I approached them about a partnership – I’ve loved their products since I started my journey to better health five years ago. I don’t receive monetary compensation for promoting them – I am simply a dedicated customer who is stoked to have become a brand ambassador.
Spence’s Stat Pack
|Blood pressure||105/70 mmHg LAS|
|Temp||36.2 degrees C|
|Heart Rate (rest)||60 bpm|
|Respiratory Rate||12 rpm|
|Body Fat %||10.8%|
|Total Body Water||62.2%|
|Body Cell Mass||132.2|
|Basal Metabolic Rate||1839 cal|
** As of 08/03/15 **
Dr. Deane Comment: “S. Madden is in exceptional health for a 25 year old male undergoing as much physical exertion as he is. His heart, lungs and HEENT (head, ears, eyes, nose and throat) are free of abnormalities. Nervous system appeared clear of dysfunction, though deep tendon reflexes were negative with stimuli. Initial concerns re. back and knee pain, as well as skin issues have improved significantly over the first month. General markers of health including sleep, energy, digestion and stress management are in an optimal state, largely due to improvements in the diet.”
Dr. Taryn Deane is part of the team I will be working with throughout the EEE along with Rory Gibbons and Norm Goh. Find out more about her naturopathic practice here.
One of my biggest concerns is my back. I threw it out in mid-2014 and it has never quite been the same. I have worked with Dr. MacDonald at Evolve Chiro to bring it back to a solid level, but it nags me when I get into longer hikes. Carrying a backpack full of camera gear is tough to begin with, so it gets exacerbated when I push hard. I can keep it at bay with regular strength training and lots of yoga. I have found that rabbit pose does wonders for my back and I try to do it 5 times a day – I have been forcing myself to create a habit of doing it. I also do some light back bends and folds every single time I take off my pack. Sleeping on hard ground seems to help it as well. I’ve found Pain-Pro can help relieve some of symptoms when I take it regularly.
Another concern is my right knee, which I pounded into oblivion a few summers ago. It hurt so bad that it kept me off of the mountain for three months – acupuncture seemed to have helped. However, the biggest help was switching to hiking barefoot, or in Merrell barefoot shoes. It took some time to work into them, but my knee is so much better and stronger than it use to be. Still, I manage it on long downhills with different foot techniques. Obviously, I switch to boots if it is a scree bash – I am that guy who usually has boots lashed to the outside of his pack while hiking up a trail. I do quite a bit of folded knee sitting, foam rolling and squats to keep it in shape. Finally, I pull the plug when it gets bad – I know when it is grinding and I have no problem turning around if I know it is on the point of sidelining me for a week or longer.
Another issue that hasn’t nagged me for awhile, but is always in the back of my mind is my left shoulder. I dislocated it on a 50 foot cliff jump years ago and it has the tendency to pop out at the worst times. I haven’t had it happen for six month now, so I am optimistic I have strengthened it enough. That said, you will never catch me wrenching my pack off and I am always doing shoulder swings. Anything to help keep it loose and supple. I try to nail a minimum of 100 push-ups a day to keep it strong.
One of my biggest health strength is my feet – ever since I have switched to barefooting, my feet have toughened right up. I rarely get blisters and when I do, they heal quickly. I can walk over rocks barefoot and have no issues – I am well on my way to having the feet of a wilderness warrior! They can take a lot of pounding and rarely hurt. I can trust my feet to see me through the adventure!
Another one of my strengths is my mind – I’ve been pretty diligent about training it to enjoy, or at least, endure suffering. I know I can push through heat with minimal water (not recommended) and I can battle the cold with the best of them. This is all in preparation for higher altitudes, which I haven’t really experienced, but will so down in South America. I am confident at this point – it will be awesome to test my mental willpower shortly!
Butt! Yes, I have butt muscles of steel and I am darn proud of them. It has taken awhile to build them up, but I can utilize my glutes to great effect especially when pushing up hills. I’ve trained them to fire as I walk to help lessen the load on the rest of my legs, which my knees love.
Fitness Goals for the EEE:
I have a number of fitness goals for the EEE – I have always been a believer in posting one’s goals in order to have them out there. I fully believe that by telling someone, it helps keep you accountable, which is very important – this is one of the Mountain Obsession Manifesto tenants. I will be working hard everyday to make sure I achieve them. My ultimate goal is to undertake the EEE without getting injured, or hurt causing a delay, or the end of the adventure. The secondary goal is to get into the best shape of my life! These micro-goals will get me there:
1) Get to the point where I can do 500 push-ups in a day
2) Be able to do 100 clean push-ups in a row
3) Be able to do 50 solid burpees in a row
4) Be able to do 200 burpees a day
5) Be able to do my age in proper overhand chin-ups
6) Practice yoga X2 a day for a minimum of 15 minutes
Note: Once these have been obtained, I will retool the goals to make them harder. One goal is to get my trail running up to par, but due to constant injury while running, this is on hold for the time being.
Routine / Maintenance:
Establishing a proper fitness routine will be of the utmost priority for me. I have always had the type of body that breaks down with physical stress and my biggest, most consistent successes have come when I have established a maintenance routine. This is how I keep the muscles loose and the legs firing:
Upon waking, I have a quick 30-45 minute routine that I have developed with the help of CanPrev’s student rep at the Boucher Institute of Naturopathic Medicine, Rory Gibbons. It involves foam rolling (it comes with me everywhere), moving into some basic workout moves and lateral movements. Then some stretching and cool down. Some yoga is also mixed in there. I also like to use bands for squats and other leg strengthening exercises. This all happens before I hit the trail.
On the trail includes back bends and folds when my pack is off. I like to do some leg loosening swings when I can. Push-ups of course! I also bring a small, spiny ball to work out my glutes and any tender areas. I use 2XU Canada calf sleeves if I am really hurting on the trail and on any extend stops – they help push lactic acid out.
After camp is set-up, or the day wraps up, if I am at my car I do a long foam rolling session with yoga. I also slip into 2XU Recovery Tights for the night. I utilize Sore No More under the tights to get some natural relief into my muscles. Pounding water is another huge part of my routine – I try to take down 6-8 liters a day.
Finally, some push-ups before bed is always a great idea to get the blood flowing and to prepare me for a great sleep.
This is an area that I have spent a lot of time dialing in – I wholeheartedly think of food as fuel. Once I made this distinction, my eating habits changes completely. For the most part, I strive to be gluten-free – not because of the fad, but because I genuinely feel better and my skin stays much cleaner. When I can, I strive for non-GMO (duh!) and shun processed foods. I don’t normally eat diary and sugar – I occasionally make an exception, but I usually end up paying for it later that night. I try for lean proteins, healthy fats and carbs from non-gluten sources. I absolutely love rice and crush it all the time (with coconut oil to help avoid spiking my blood sugar too much). I don’t drink casually, but when it is time to celebrate, I enjoy a few Jacks and ciders – again, I pay for it the next day. I don’t believe in full-out eliminating everything, as this makes it hard to enjoy life – I live by the 95/5 rule when it comes to less than healthy fuel choices. I consume a lot of protein powder including Sunwarrior and CanPrev’s CORE. Finally, I try to mix in as many fresh veggies as I can when I am not on the trail. My absolute guilty pleasure is Avocado Oil Potato chips – after a super long multi-day hike, I grab some spring water, drop a NUUN hydration tab in it and munch on a bag of the previously mentioned – always with a great view. There will be a whole host of fuel related posts forthcoming, so stay glued to the EEE page!
I like to keep my fuel simple on the trail – my set-up doesn’t change much between a one day hike and a 20 day adventure. The following is my standard fueling system:
Kicking Horse Coffee in a baggie
Several Stash Tea bags
Nuun Hydration Tabs
Snacks / Supplements:
Taste of Nature Bars
Nuts (usually Cashews)
Sunwarrior Protein Powder
Omega Nutrition’s Coconut Pills / Oil in small container
CanPrev Pain-Pro, Adrenal-Pro, Curcumin-Pro
CanPrev CORE (hitting the market in Sept!)
Sunwarrior Peppermint Greens
Rice, Amaranth, Buckwheat – in baggies
Mustard in small bottle
Add in nuts / canned tuna etc to mix it up
Current CanPrev Health Products:
I am a big believer in supplementation – when it is done right. I’ve experimented over the years with many supplements and I have finally dialed it back to the following list. It has taken a lot of work, some poor results and a lot of tracking to figure out what works for me. I’ve viewed my body as a lab for sometime now and I am always making tweaks. I recommend getting in touch with a Naturopath before doing serious experimentation, as you don’t want to throw your body out of whack!
It should be noted that CanPrev has an amazing line-up of products for all kinds of conditions and issues – be sure to research their site and talk to a Naturopath to determine what is right for you. I may be tweaking my supplementation as the EEE unfolds, but for now the above are what I am using to maximize my trail time.
I am extremely excited to be a CanPrev ambassador – I always strive to represent the brand in the best possible light. They are doing so much for the Explore Everything Epic and helping me reach my outdoor potential. I can’t stress enough that the people working for CanPrev is what makes the brand top-notch – they are fully committed to helping you reach your full potential. I look forward to visiting their Ontario office in December and making more friends. Go check out your local natural health foods store and start your journey to better health with the help of CanPrev!
The Explore Everything Epic is an 18+ month adventure that started in July 2015 that is being undertaken by Mountain Obsession Founder, Spencer Raymond Madden. After much thought, he left his corporate job in order to break the mold and showcase what getting outside and Exploring Everything can do for a person. Going hand in hand with this will be showcasing the necessity and benefits of taking care of one’s body and mind in order to live an amazingly full life. Read all about the EEE right here!
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The Explore Everything Epic is an 18+ month adventure that started in July 2015 that is being undertaken by Mountain Obsession