Orange Level Changes

  • Change rooms and showers are closed. Washrooms are for toilet use and hand washing.

If you have any questions or concerns please don’t hesitate to email Check our facebook page or website often to stay up to date as the situation may change frequently.  

Level ORANGE Update to Fitness Centre Protocols

Dear Fitness Centre Members, 
Due to the announcement by GNB today we are moving to Level ORANGE. We can remain open at this time with some increased precautions. Once again, we ask that you have patience and understanding as this is difficult for all of us. We will not be able to offer extended hours if we cannot follow these precautions. 

  • When arriving at the fitness centre you MUST read the Screening Questions and answer NO to all. By swiping your key to enter, you are confirming that you have done so.
  • As usual, EVERY INDIVIDUAL MEMBER must scan their own key. You cannot bring anyone in who does not have a membership and their key with them.
  • It is MANDATORY that you wear your mask at all times.
  • The showers will be OUT OF SERVICE during the orange phase and the washrooms are for using the bathroom and handwashing only. 
  • We ask that you arrive in your exercise attire to avoid using the change rooms unless for the toilet and for hand washing.  
  • We ask that you be as prompt as possible with your workout and avoid any unnecessary time in the facility. We don’t want to set a time limit if we don’t have to.
  • You MUST thoroughly wipe down each piece of equipment as you finish using it.

 If you have any questions or concerns please don’t hesitate to email Check our facebook page or website often to stay up to date as the situation may change frequently.  

Questions or comments please Contact Us.

Fad Diets – do they work?

The number of fad diets you can find on the internet is endless. They range from the ridiculous to the extremely dangerous. Despite our better judgement, many of us are still lured by the appeal of a quick fix. There are plenty of self-proclaimed experts who want to convince us that they know the perfect diet for weight loss and better health. The result is a multi-billion dollar industry, that can end up causing people to gain more weight and feel worse about themselves. 

How Do You Know if it’s a Fad Diet?

Fad diets make claims that sound unrealistic or controversial. They use pseudo-science by throwing out impressive medical terms without actually applying the science correctly. Many of today’s fad diets are pushed by people with no education in health or science, who just want to create a following. A popular way to attract an audience is to promote conspiracy theories and dismiss the guidance of health professionals or researchers. Some of these diets are based on clinical diets that were at one time used for people with serious conditions, and could lead to health issues and nutrient deficiencies if followed without medical care. Fad diets tend to categorize foods as good and bad, which can create an unhealthy relationship with food and begin a cycle of yo-yo dieting.  

Pros and Cons of Fad Dieting

Chances are excellent that you will lose weight very quickly on most fad diets…but also temporarily. Over the short-term, if a person is in good health, a fad diet may not be dangerous; but if followed long-term, it can to lead to nutrient deficiencies. Examples of some possible consequences include: lack of energy, impaired mental and physical performance, gastrointestinal discomforts, eating disorders, decreased immune function, and osteoporosis. In other words, a fad diet that promises to improve your health and cure you of diseases can make you sick. Fortunately most people aren’t able to stick to this type of diet long enough to harm their health. For people who continuously try to follow diets and fail, it can damage their sense of self-worth. It’s important to realize it’s the diets that are failing them, not them failing at dieting. 

Orthorexia Nervosa

If someone succeeds in following a strict fad diet long enough to harm their health, they may be suffering form Orthorexia Nervosa. It’s a condition in which a person starts dieting, not for the purpose of weight loss, but to be healthier. They develop an unhealthy obsession with eating only “clean” foods and gradually eliminate more and more foods. They develop a fear of eating foods that aren’t permitted on their diet. This extreme focus on dieting negatively affects a person’s mental health as well as their physical health. They’re sometimes encouraged by people who admire their dedication to clean eating and who don’t realize that this level of restriction isn’t healthy. 

Healthy Eating

Healthy eating is not about dietary restrictions and weight loss. It involves making healthy food and beverage choices on a regular basis, following healthy eating habits, and limiting highly processed foods. Healthy eating over the long-term can reduce the risk of diabetes, cancer, overweight and obesity and cardiovascular disease. If you’re looking to make changes to your eating habits, some evidence-based recommendations include: eating more whole foods, including lots of vegetables and fruit; trying to include more plant-based proteins; replacing foods high in saturated fats with unsaturated fat alternatives; cutting back on foods and drinks high in sugar; and drinking plenty of water. If you feel like you really need to follow a “diet”, take a look at the Mediterranean Diet that incorporates all of these habits and has a lot of science to back it up.  

Be kind to yourself by abandoning the dream of a quick fix. Learn about more positive approaches like mindful eating, intuitive eating, and health at any size. Focus on gradually incorporating more healthy eating habits, enjoying regular physical activity, and appreciating the body you have. Choose nutritious foods most of the time, and allow yourself to mindfully enjoy less healthy choices once in a while, without guilt. Maybe you’ll lose some extra weight and maybe you won’t, but you’ll be healthier and happier.

Aisha Khedheri , RD

Aisha Khedheri is a Registered Dietician at the Human Performance Center. You can contact her at 738-8299.

Will a sports (analgesic) cream fix my painful knee?

We get asked this question a lot in the clinic and the answer is not a simple yes or no.  Yearly sales of pain-relieving creams and gels are over a quarter of a billion dollars in North America.  The TV and social media advertisements will have you believe that they get help decrease pain brought on by arthritis, muscle and joint injuries and overuse.  Some feel hot, some feel cold, some smell bad and others “kinda “smell good (subject to individual preference of course).  I’m not sure if any of the companies have ever used the tag line “if it smells this bad it’s got to work” but I’m sure some of us have had that thought go through our minds as we are using it. 

The research remains inconclusive and there are no gold standard studies proving that they work.  Some suggest the feeling causes a counter irritant (you feel the burning or tingling instead of your normal pain) and others conclude that the relief is a placebo affect (you believe it works so you brain shuts the pain message off… at least for a while).  

Other than skin irritation and potential allergic reactions there does not seem to be any harm in using most products but it’s always a good idea to check with your GP or pharmacist to insure the ingredients do not negatively interact with a medication you are taking (some of the rubs have a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug  NSAID as an active ingredient).  Another active ingredient found in a lot of the “hot” rubs is capsaicin which is the chemical that makes chilli peppers hot.  

Analgesic creams/gels help with short term pain relief for some people but to truly fix the problem causing the pain you should consult a physiotherapist to help identify the source and determine a viable plan of care.  

Earle Burrows, PT

Earle is a physiotherapist and CEO at the Human Performance Centre. You can contact him at 738-8299.

My Return to Health – by Gina Spear-Burrows

                                    Edited by Eleanor Austin March 2019

I’m starting to feel like myself again. 

Since last summer, my life felt like it was stuck ‘on hold’. 

I’m sharing my story; in hope I can help another overcome a very difficult period. 

By October 2018, I confronted truth I’d been suspecting. I was no longer in control. I was unable to live the life I’ve always chosen.  

The problem? Torturous pain. 

A herniated disc pressing on a spinal nerve root caused never-ending pain shooting down my right leg. The simple tasks of daily life became extremely difficult, if not impossible. 

I’ve always enjoyed being independent, in control of my physical training, setting daily exercise goals to achieve what I cared to dream. But for the 1st time that freedom; to be in control of my day, of my life, was gone. Nerve pain is unlike any other I’ve experienced, even as a competitive athlete for more than 40 years. This pain was unyielding. It took control. It dictated everything I could or could not do. I could not work for 5 months. This was also difficult as I am someone who rarely uses sick days (5 in 15- 20 yrs).

Each day took tremendous focus and determination, just to pass the hours. Whenever I had an opportunity to move or walk, I grabbed it. Some days this meant being up for as little as 3-minutes/hour to move about in the house. On better days, I went outside, attempting to walk as far as the house next door. 

I lost muscle mass, my appetite, I fought back tears daily. I worked hard to prevent depression. 

I tried the nerve pain drug, Lyrica, prescribed by my doctor on two separate occasions, but for me, there wasn’t enough benefit to outweigh the negative side effects of constipation, dizziness, and inability to focus. 

I practiced deep breathing, meditation, any distraction to take my mind off the pain. I forced myself most days to get up when it was still dark, to go to the pool to swim during the early few hrs of the day when I could tolerate the pain after some sleep. It wasn’t a work out. It was for my mental wellbeing. I was beginning to get depressed. The pain was wearing me down. My athletic self’s inability to move was depleting all my inner resources. I remember telling my husband, “nerve pain: 10; Gina: 0”. Unrelenting torture is the only way I can describe it. Some days, I wanted to cut my leg off.

My functional ability was so limited. I couldn’t bend far enough to shave my legs or cut my toenails. My active life seemed so far away.

I was sinking yet had to dig even deeper to find strength I didn’t know I had.  Pushing my body and mind in an Ironman competition felt like a breeze compared to the energy required to keep my mind strong. I continually told myself, “you can do this, you can stay positive, you can get through this”. Yet, I kept finding a new rock bottom to hit. I wanted to give up.

For my husband, it was becoming extremely difficult to be my 24-hour physical therapist, so I sought counsel from one of Earle’s physiotherapy colleagues at the Human Performance Centre. I was taught how to use breathing to calm the pain, positions to help alleviate the pain when nothing else helped – not sitting, not standing, nor lying down. Mostly, these were methods to help me cope. I needed mental support as much as physio care. At this point, I had to accept that it was OK to ask for help. This was very difficult for me, and for Earle. We’re used to being caregivers not receivers. Only a few friends and family really knew what I was going through initially. Others just thought I had an unhappy back.  

Once I allowed my circle of support to grow, it took the pressure off Earle.  These friends and family became my rocks; checking in on me daily with visits, food, support and distraction. It was what I needed to get through my days.

In November I started some nerve training to get the nerve in my leg working properly. When a nerve is stuck, it’s not able to glide normally through the surrounding sheath, causing sharp pain.

I progressed through many exercises to get the nerve moving correctly again. 

I’ve learned that nerves do not like to be pushed too far. They become angry. 

Now as I’m nearing the end of my recovery, I’m discovering another hurdle. I finally feel stronger but what I’m able to do and what I want to do are two different things. I would love to be able to bike and run – but my body is not quite ready. My nerve dictates what I can do and how far I can push myself. 

I’m learning many things. Most of all, I’ve gained new respect for letting go of what I cannot control. Letting go and listening; listening to a body I used to control with such determination and sheer will, listening to a soul whose depth I never before knew or needed to plumb, not even during my MOST difficult moments competing against the best in the world: I was 45, racing in the hot sunshine; 38 degrees Celsius, in a continuous 10 hour, 52 minute and one second Ironman competition combining three sports: ocean swimming 3.8 kilometers, cycling 180 kilometers, and running 42.2 kilometers to successfully achieve my personal best, winning a place on the podium, 4th among all women 45-49  from around the planet, in the Hawaii Ironman World Championship. 

Incredibly, that was easy, by comparison. 

That day and the training preparing for that size of win were easier.


Throughout four decades of competing, I could depend on my strength. When I needed more, I did more, trained more, ran faster, cycled further, swam with more courage, refined my technique, built muscle, lung capacity, and endurance, to relentlessly pursue and achieve bigger, bolder goals. 

That demanded strength. 

But the strength required for this challenge is completely different, the polar opposite. This is about finding strength to let go. Strength to trust – trust my body will return one day in spite of muscle melting from my frame, trust people who will help me heal while I face my biggest challenge, the kind of challenge that can overwhelm, break, and drive a person to extremes – including the two things I resolved not to seek: surgery, given the risk of not recovering, and opiates – given the risk of addiction. 

Just as in training, I kept having to trust that I will eventually get past the pain so the long-term goal will be worth it. This kind of strength builds a new type of muscle. 

There’s a quote – that suffering produces perseverance, perseverance character, and character hope. I had to persevere like never before, the character that was being developed I had never seen, and the hope – I’m still holding onto. A stronger body is taking shape; my spine is beginning to bend and straighten at will, but not always. My right leg and foot are beginning to behave at will, but not always. 

In competition, I became more of who I am capable of being. 

While I never imagined this kind of personal trial, I am now becoming a person I’ve never been. 

As a mother, wife, sister, friend, oncology nurse, I have compassion for others. Giving compassion, I knew. Receiving, I now know. 

Throughout these past months, I continued to work on physical goals – they were just different than before – and I came to realize I needed to nourish my mental strength daily, too. Now I’m now feeling more like the Gina I knew. I’m also becoming and embracing this new Gina.

I developed a new Mission Statement, to guide the life I will lead. 

I’m sharing it here in case it offers strength for you, too. 

My Mission is: 

I am a focused and determined woman who leads a healthy, productive, and purposeful life. 

I am grateful for many things: family, friends, health, movement, the outdoors, fresh air, sunshine, travel, adventure, competition, exercise, riding my bike, endorphins, helping others achieve their goals, making people feel good and gifting heart-inspired compliments. 

Receiving is nice but giving is better. 

Simply being the best I can be.

Tendon problem – Is rest always helpful?

Have you been resting an injury, and your symptoms are worse or not improving? This can happen if you have an injury to a tendon. An injured tendon is typically a result of over-using the tendon or doing “too much, too soon”. The tendon can become irritated because it does not have the tolerance for the activity. The irritation to the tendon can be what is causing the symptoms.  

Research is indicating that rest can limit the tendons ability to heal. The tendon needs to be used to promote healing and for symptoms to improve; however, the activity needs to be modified to stay within the tendon’s tolerance. A tendon can typically handle an activity if it causes less than 3/10 pain during the activity, and the symptoms resolve quickly afterwards. For example, an Achilles tendinitis may develop when progressing a 5 km walking program too quickly.  The Achilles tendon doesn’t have a tolerance to 5km, so it creates heel pain. A 2 km program may be more appropriate until the tendon can tolerate a longer walk. 

So, if you are struggling with an injury that isn’t improving with rest, then you should try moving! If you’re unsure on how much you should be doing, then it may be worthwhile to have a conversation with a physiotherapist!  Need help with a tendon problem?  We can help with your specific exercise design. Contact us at 738-8299.

Mairi Simonds -Forster, PT

Mairi is a physiotherapist at the Human Performance Centre. You can contact her at 738-8299.

Physiotherapy in a World of Covid-19

In the November 2018 edition of the HPC Newsletter, Earle Burrows, PT, highlighted how the formation of the physiotherapy profession was in response to the need to improve the physical function of WWI soldiers (which interestingly, in 1918, was followed by the Spanish Flu Pandemic). This role extended into WWII, evolving again during the 1950’s polio epidemic in Canada, but serving a different population, children rather than soldiers. The profession continued to evolve through the changing needs of public health, from a solely disease driven mission, to one of prevention, research based practice and providing streamlined and timely services locally and remotely. 

Now, as in the youth of our profession, we are forced to evolve the physiotherapy profession to address our changing world, dealing with another pandemic, Covid-19.We are providing the same evidence-based services in a new, and streamlined environment, through tele-health (virtual appointments), with new procedures for the safety of all, during ‘face-to-face’ appointments. 

Through time and research, scientists and medical professionals are understanding more about Covid-19. Patients may be hospitalised for extended periods of time due to respiratory illness, resulting in a significant loss of muscle mass, and therefore loss of strength and balance. As well, their cardiac system may be compromised. These are the known short-term effects of this virus, for which physiotherapy has a role to again improve the physical function of Canadians. The long-term effects of Covid-19 are now being monitored through research, with which the physiotherapy profession will be involved. 

New Brunswick, fortunately, has had fewer cases of Covid-19 than the majority of Canada. Physiotherapists in the hospital system have been using their already well established skill-sets to treat patients, with rehabilitation continuing in the hospital and private sector, to soften the impact of Covid-19 on society. Yes, We Can Help.

Patricia Sennett, PT

Patricia is a physiotherapist at the Human Performance Centre.  She has an interest in female pelvic floor problems. You can contact her at 738-8299.


Get Those Hips Moving…We Can Help!

Often overlooked, but an important step in understanding how our bodies move is the ability to dissociate between lumbar spine and hip movement. For some this comes intuitively, but for others it requires practice.

Why is it important to dissociate between lumbar spine and hip movement?

  1. For a healthy individual, variety of movement is important. Dissociatingbetween lumbar spine and hip movement gives us another way to move our bodies. It can break up periods of repetitive bending from your spine, which will help reduce your likelihood of injury.
  2. For an individual with acute low back pain it provides a safer means to continue performing everyday tasks when recovering from an injury.

Oftentimes during a spell of acute low back pain, people are encouraged to stop lifting; to stop bending; to stop slouching, yet many of our essential daily tasks require us to do some form of the above. For example, how are we to pick up our house keys after dropping them on the floor, if we are not supposed to bend?

A quick and easy exercise to practice, for those with and without low back pain, is called a ‘hip-hinge’. Take a large stick (I often use a broomstick) and place it against your back. The stick should run the length of your spine. Hold the stick to your spine with one hand behind your head and the other below your tailbone. The stick should touch your body in 3 different places: 1) your pelvis 2) between your shoulder blades, and 3) the back of your head. Feet shoulder-width apart and allow for a soft bend in your knees. Maintain the three points of contact and try bending forwards from your hips. It should feel as though you are sticking your buttocks backwards, and you may feel a stretch in the back of your thighs. If you lose any point of contact, stop and try again. Repeat this up to 10-15 repetitions, 2-3 times a day. If you’re experiencing any discomfort, stop.

If you’re struggling with low back pain and eager to learn more about it and the things you could be doing to help, contact us at (506) 738-8299 to book an assessment.

Trevor Watson , PT

Trevor is a physiotherapist at the Human Performance Centre. You can contact him at 738-8299.

Fitness Centre to open June 8th, 8am

Dear Fitness Centre Members, 
We have exciting news that we will begin our phased re-opening of the fitness centre on Monday, June 8th. It has been challenging to orchestrate a plan that we feel will allow us to open our facility safely and efficiently for both you and our staff. There’s just one thing……we are going to need your help in order to make this work. Here are some details that you need to know. We ask that you have patience and understanding as this is difficult for all of us. If we can all follow these guidelines things should roll out smoothly. 

  • We will begin with Phase 1 hours as Monday – Thursday 8am to 8pm and Friday 8am to 4pm. There will be no unstaffed hours and no hours on the weekend. 
  • It is MANDATORY that you have your own mask to wear as you pass through the hallway to enter into and exit out of the fitness centre. You will not be allowed in without one. We encourage you to wear it while exercising if you are able. We ask that you respect all members and physical distancing guidelines as you move around the facility (look for the markings on the floor).
  • We will be limiting the number of members at any one time to 10 on a first come first serve basis.  
  • The water fountain, lockers and showers will be out of service.  
  • We ask that you arrive in your exercise attire to avoid using the change rooms unless for the toilet and for hand washing.  
  • We ask that you be as prompt as possible with your workout and avoid any unnecessary time in the facility. We don’t want to set a time limit if we don’t have to.
  • We ask that you wash your hands for 20 seconds with either soap and water or hand sanitizer before and after your workout. 
  • You MUST thoroughly wipe down each piece of equipment as you finish using it. 
  • There will be some equipment removed that cannot be properly disinfected. 
  • There will be some equipment put out of service to assist with physical distancing measures. 

 It is unclear how long each phase of re-opening will last and may be changed or modified as we see fit. We are hopeful phase one won’t have to be too long and also that we won’t have to move back and forth through these phases. Together, we can all do our part to ensure everyone’s health, safety and wellness and move forward to a more normal Human Performance Centre.  If you have any questions or concerns please don’t hesitate to email Check our facebook page or website often to stay up to date as the situation may change frequently.  
We look forward to seeing everyone soon. 

Working from a home office? We can help!

When our work suddenly gets shifted from our workplace office to a home location not everyone has the space or equipment needed to ensure proper ergonomics. Here are a few important tips to remember no matter where you are completing your computer work.

We can decrease our risk of overuse injuries, especially if our temporary workstation conditions are not ideal, by sharing our time between sitting and standing workstations. The time at each does not have to be strict so long as you are not at either for too long. 60 minutes at one and 30 minutes at the other or any time frame close to this would be fine. The idea is to shift the pressures and stresses from one area of the body to another.

Also, taking adequate rest breaks from computer tasks is very important. Every 45 to 60 minutes take 30 seconds or a minute to take a short walk, use the washroom, get a drink, do a few stretches or anything that gives you a microbreak from the computer.

Vary your work tasks whenever possible so you are not spending too much time on any particular task. If your work requires you to spend some time typing or data entry, time internet researching, reading documents for review and time spent on the phone try to divide your time spent on these tasks to vary the activity you are doing. You can also vary the position you are in when completing the tasks (I.e. stand for telephone use or sustained reading and then sitting for typing and data entry tasks).

The last important key is to know that small changes are a good thing. If something doesn’t feel quite right then move it around slightly. Sometimes something will feel good one day but the next day feel a bit too low or a bit too high, then move it slightly. These recommendations are only guidelines and any position for too long is not good for us.

Sitting workstation

  • Ideal to have elbows and knees at 90-degree angles where the hip is level with the knee or slightly above and the forearms are level with the work surface or slightly above.
  • Ensure good support for the lower back with a proper chair and provide additional support with a pillow or rolled up towel if necessary.
  • Provide support for the feet so they are not hanging and placing pressure on the back of the thigh.
  • Monitor should be placed at arms length or further away so long as you can read the font without struggling. Try to estimate the 15-degree angle position (as indicated in the picture below). Also, angle the monitor away slightly.
  • If working from a laptop, use a wireless keyboard and mouse whenever possible and elevate the laptop to achieve a better monitor position. Angle the laptop screen away to better align the head and neck.

Standing workstation

  • If you have the option of alternating between a sitting workstation and standing workstation.
  • Try to mimic the same upper body positioning at your standing station; elbows level with work surface, wireless keyboard and mouse, laptop propped up and angled away slightly.
  • Try to avoid prolonged standing on a hard surface without support under your feet. Using a floor mat or wearing a pair of shoes or sneakers can help fight fatigue in the legs and back and take pressure off the feet.
  • Keep in mind that your monitor can be closer than arms length at your standing station if it feels more comfortable to be closer. It may also feel more comfortable for the monitor to be slightly higher than when in sitting.
Sarah Estabrooks, Kinesiologist

Sarah is a Kinesiologist and runs the Fitness Centre at the Human Performance Centre. You can contact her at 738-3554