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Fitness Friday

Canadian Ultra Runner Shanda Hill Fitness Guide For Staying Healthy

For a dose of inspiration to start exercising in the new year, and to get back on track after an injury, accomplished 

Canadian ultra runner Shanda Hill is back in this space in our Q&A, to reveal her fitness regime.

The Vernon, B.C. resident also shares her insights on the value of immersing herself in an ice cold lake to improve her recovery time.

Q: What were some of your best takeaways from 2022?

A. It was a very important learning curve for me, I had things go sideways at two races that have never happened before and I could be sad and beat myself up over it or I can learn from them and go into next year feeling more equipped with the painful lessons I’ve learned this year.

Q: What are some fitness goals you have set for yourself in the new year?

A. I don’t have a specific goal but I always strive to be functionally fit, to me that means maintaining muscle as I age and staying strong enough to do every activity I like without injuries.

Q: What tips/advice can you share for those wanting to start exercising from the Sun Run to a marathon and your event?

A. Start moving today, don’t wait till tomorrow.

Don’t put things off! I don’t always believe in starting small, sometimes biting off more than you can chew does work, I never knew when I did my first Iron distance triathlon that there were shorter distance races offered, it just was what it was and sure it hurt, but it still worked out okay.

Q: If someone is coming back from injury, what advice would you like to share?

A. I love this question! In my experience I have found ice water extremely beneficial to help heal most injuries, you can read my story here;

The Story behind it all…

I despise being cold. Yes, that sounds and looks confusing coming from me but hear me out.

Jan. 2014, I had a fracture of my Tibia, I was desperate to do anything I could to shorten my time out of commission.

I went to my massage therapist, told him of my plight and how I had less than 5 weeks before my next 10km running race.

He asked me if I was willing to try anything to heal faster?


His instructions were to walk waist deep, in the lake for 15 minutes a day.

The lake was frozen around the shore and it was so cold.

I put on my warmest jacket, smashed the ice most days and committed to walking in the frigid water.

Well guess what?

That March I ran the IRA (Interior Road Association BC) 10 km in Kamloops and finished close to 50 minutes with no pain in that leg to this day. So, do I despise being cold, yes!

But from cold I get the results I need, after a hard workout, shoveling snow for six hours, pulling a tire or pushing a sled.

I’ve found something that works for my body and so I don’t deviate, no matter how badly I don’t like it.

Q: What are the benefits for working out?

For me the benefits of working out are huge.

It helps my mental health because I’ve set aside time for myself, it increases blood flow and circulation, mostly though, working out to stay strong helps me to do activities everyday without injury and that is what I value the most.

Q: Do you have a favorite dish?

I love bread stuffing, mashed potatoes and just about any warm comfort food right now that changes with the seasons.

Q; Anything else you would like to add?

In the winter, I get a huge benefit from going to the lake, chipping or chopping up ice to warm my core up, then swimming with my fellow dipping friends. 

Our Fitness Friday feature is submitted and written by Christine Blanchette so please follow her on Twitter as well as her Run With It Youtube Channel.


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He was recognized by Ravi Kahlon, BC’s MLA Minister for Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation in September 11, 2017.
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