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Peak Physical Therapy
Helping you every step of the way


We have added over 15 new articles on our Peak Physical Therapywebsite in the past month which includes some of these:

Keep an eye out for some great new features on our website in the coming months.

Featured Article - Creating a Healthy Diet to Match Your Energy Needs

We know we need to “eat right” in order to be healthy. But what exactly does this mean? There are many definitions, but basically “eating right” can be broken into two main parts: eating a variety of foods and consuming the same amount of energy (calories) as you use in a day. 

Energy Needs
Even while you sleep, your body still uses energy—to breathe, to pump blood around your body and to keep your body temperature stable. All of these unconscious activities contribute to what is called your basal energy needs. This is the absolute minimum amount of energy a person needs in order to live.

But people don’t simply sleep all day. So after these basal needs are met, additional energy is required to fuel your muscles so you can go about your daily routine. And even more energy is needed if you exercise or train for a sport. As you would expect, the intensity, duration and frequency of your exercise will affect how much energy you use. Therefore, people with different exercise routines will have different energy and nutritional requirements.

In general, though, the average adult male should consume between 2,200 and 2,400 calories and the average adult female between 1,800 and 2,000.  These calorie requirements will increase, however, with increasing physical activity.

Nutrition for the Active Person
If you do the 30 to 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise a day recommended by both the United States Department of Agriculture and Health Canada, you are considered an active person. Moderate physical activities include walking briskly (about 3.5 miles per hour), hiking, gardening, cutting the lawn, shoveling snow, dancing or bicycling (less than 10 miles per hour). Vigorous physical activities include running/jogging (5 miles per hour), bicycling (more than 10 miles per hour), swimming or playing a sport like basketball.

Based on this amount of exercise, your average daily calorie needs will moderately increase. Active adult females need approximately 2,000 to 2,200 calories per day, while active adult males needs approximately 2,400 to 3,000. The best way to get these calories is not by eating three Big Mac’s per day, but by following the recommendations found in the US Food Guide Pyramid and the Canadian Food Guide.

Food Guide Pyramid (link to pyramid)
•    1.5 cups of fruit or juice per day, which is approximately two pieces of fresh fruit
•    2.5 cups (about 400 g) of vegetables per day including a variety of colors
•    6 ounces (175 g) of grains per day, of which at least half should be whole grains. 1 ounce = one slice of bread or half a cup of cooked pasta or rice
•    3 cups (720 ml) of dairy products per day. 1 cup of dairy = 1 cup of low-fat or fat-free milk or yogurt; 1.5 ounces (60 g) of natural cheese or 2 ounces of processed cheese
•    5 ounces of protein per day. This generally translates into a small portion of protein (eggs, meat, beans, etc.) at two meals per day

Canadian Food Guide (link to guide)
•    7-10 servings of fruits and vegetables
•    6-8 servings of grains
•    2-3 servings of milk and milk alternatives
•    2-3 servings of meat and meat alternatives

These guidelines are fairly straightforward. The trick, however, is assembling them into wholesome meals and snacks. The best advice is to try to choose foods from at least three out of the five food groups for each meal.

Extremely Active People
Fitness enthusiasts who run, lift weights or play sports regularly and competitive athletes who train for hours each day have energy requirements that are much higher than the average person. This means that they often need to consume between 2,000 and 5,000 calories per day (depending on their age, level of activity, body size and gender). It is recommended that rather than eating two or three big meals, they should eat small meals and snacks every 2 to 3 hours, preferably timed around their workout schedule. These meals should be varied and combine protein, carbohydrate and fat.

Carbohydrate should make up the foundation of any athlete’s diet because it is the primary fuel for the muscles. If you eat a low-carbohydrate diet your muscles will feel chronically fatigued. The recommended carbohydrate intake for the all athletes is 3.5 to 5 g/lb body weight, specifically:
•    For 1 hour of training per day – 3 to 3.5 g/lb body weight
•    For 2 hours of training per day – 4 g/lb body weight
•    For 3 hours of training per day – 5 g/lb body weight
•    For 4 or more hours of training per day – 6 to 6.5 g/lb body weight

Protein is also important because it helps build muscle and repair tissue. However, most people, including athletes, either eat too much or too little protein. To get an adequate amount of protein, you should eat about 5 to 7 ounces (150 to 200 g) of protein-rich food plus two to three servings of milk, yogurt or cheese.4 However, this amount varies on your training goals:
•    If your primary goal is to maintain muscle, you need 1.2 g of protein per kilogram of body weight. (That's about 70 grams for a 125-pound person.)
•    If your goal is to build muscle, you need 1.4 to 1.5 g of protein per kilogram of body weight.
•    If your goal is to maintain muscle and lose fat, you need 1.8 to 2.0 g of protein per kilogram of body weight.

Timing of Meals
A general guide is to have a high-carbohydrate, low-fat meal about 3 to 4 hours before exercising or a light, high-carbohydrate snack about 1 to 2 hours before. You will need to experiment to discover the timing, amount and make up that works best for you. After exercising, the food you eat within the first 30 minutes to 2 hours can make a huge difference on your performance the next time you work out. Eat foods high in carbohydrate to immediately replace the carbohydrate burned while exercising and, more importantly, to build up glycogen levels (the storage fuel for muscles). You should also eat sufficient amounts of protein to provide your body with the raw materials it needs to build new muscles.


(1).    Maughan RJ, Burke LM. Sports Nutrition: Handbook of Sports Medicine and Science. Malden, MA: Blackwell Science; 2002.
(2).    United States Department of Agriculture. The Food Guide Pyramid. Updated July 21, 2009. Accessed August 10, 2009.
(3).    Health Canada. Canada’s Food Guide. Updated December 20, 2007. Accessed August 22, 2009.
(4).    Clark N. Nancy Clark’s Sports Nutrition Guidebook. 4th ed. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics; 2008.
(5).    Kleiner S, Greenwood-Robinson M. Power Eating. 3rd ed. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics; 2007.
(6).    Australian Institute of Sport. Eating Before Exercise. Updated July 2009. Accessed August 10, 2009.
(7).    Brown University. Sports Nutrition. Updated December 15, 2008. Accessed August

Right Weigh Exercise and Weight Loss Program

Introducing the "Right Weigh" to lose weight and live a healthy lifestyle.  Here at Peak we are dedicated to brining you the best lifestyle we can.  We want yo uto learn how to shed those extra pounds and be confident that you won't ever go back to that lifestyle again.  We teach appropriate diet and exercise to help you maintain a healthy, active lifestyle.  Let our kinesiologist devise and implement an appropriate exercise and weight loss program tha twill fit your goals, needs, abilities and time constraints.








 10, 2009.

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