What do you think could age you faster? Poor nutrition, lack of exercise, or not enough sleep?
If you picked sleep, you would be right.
Sleep is such an important building block for our health yet in today's modern world it is often considered an inconvenience. How often do hear people get praised for "burning the midnight oil" or consider it a badge of honour to pull an "all-nighter"?
In Tom Rath's book, Eat Move Sleep, he likens the number of hours of sleep deprivation to the number of beers you might drink. Many people wouldn't want their child's teacher to have a few beers before coming to class, but missing a few hours sleep is not even considered, it might even be expected.
If you truly want excellent health, making sleep a priority is essential.
Here are some quick tips to take advantage of sleep as a potent anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, anti-aging, and cost effective (actually it's totally free!) tool for longevity:
- Best bedtime is 10 pm. Try to get as close to this as possible, even if it's in small 10 -15 min increments
- Best time to wake up is 6 - 8am.
- Set an alarm to go to bed.
- Expose your eyes to bright light as soon as you can
- Have protein for breakfast.
- Make mid-morning your last call for caffeine.
- Shut off all screens 30 -60 minutes before bed.
- Take melatonin if you are a shift-worker.
- Exercise regularly.
- Make early evening your last call for alcohol. The closer to bed you drink, the more likely your will have disturbed sleep.
- Keep your bedroom cool and dark.
- Have a bedtime routine.
- Dim the lights as evening falls.
- Try guided meditation to help you fall asleep.
- Check your blood sugar if you are having trouble staying asleep.
Originally Published: June 18, 2018
Dr. Michelle Durkin, BSC(H), ND, Contributor and Bowen Practitioner at Quinte Naturopathic Centre
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Dr. Michelle Durkin attended the University of Guelph and obtained a Bachelor of Science with honours in Biomedical Science. With this medical background, she went on to study at the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine in Toronto and graduated as a licensed doctor of naturopathic medicine in 2003. Dr. Durkin founded her clinic, the Quinte Naturopathic Centre. As a Naturopathic Doctor she is very committed to providing excellent individualized health care in a warm and professional environment. Michelle is also a professional Bowenwork® practitioner. In addition, Dr. Durkin holds professional memberships with the Ontario Association of Naturopathic Doctors (OAND), the Canadian Association of Naturopathic Doctors (CAND), and the Association of Perinatal Naturopathic Doctors (APND).
As our bodies change with age, there typically is a lot of strain placed on our joints. Not only do we have the aging process but we also go through changes such as pregnancy strain on our joints, weight loss and gain, daily lifestyle, plus our activity levels. These all play a part in how our joints progress and how much deterioration will happen.
We will start with our daily lifestyle effects on our joints. This encompasses our everyday activities such as how much we walk, sit and stand. Our work life accounts for many hours of our day, do you sit at a desk all day? Maybe you have a very strenuous job lifting repeatedly? Both are very harmful to our joints. If we sit most of our day there is constant pressure through our spine and hip joints. If you tend to have poor posture while at your desk, this will cause constant pressure through your Cervicle Spine which could develop into displaced discs between our vertebrae, and deterioration of the vertebral bodies. Make sure you have a postural assessment of your work space and be as ergonomic as possible to avoid these outcomes. If you have a more manual job and perform activities such as lifting, pushing, pulling, climbing, etc, this has more serious effects on the vertebral column if repeated and not performed properly. These activities could result in displaced discs, herniation of a disc, narrowing of a vertebral canal that is vital for nerve paths, and of course deterioration of discs and bones. You always want to make sure you are using proper and safe form while performing these duties. It will make a huge difference in your longevity of your health.
Your activity levels also play a role in how your joints will progress. This includes your workouts, running, walking, yoga, weight lifting, etc. Joint stability is very important when you have an active lifestyle. There are many activities that apply repeated strain to joints, such as running. Your knees and hips can take a lot of impact over time with this activity. As well as playing sports, think of professional athletes and how we often hear about them eventually having to retire due to injuries and wear-and-tear on their bodies. These athletes are pretty young, but have taken their bodies through the extreme strains and they deteriorate at a much quicker rate than the typical person with a typical activity level. Physical activity as we know, is great for our health, but we need to make sure our joints are well protected and we are performing activities within our abilities and safely. If you live an active lifestyle you want to maintain your joint health with regular care such as massage therapy, acupuncture, physiotherapy, and hydro-therapy. Keeping your soft tissue that surround the joints treated is going to make a large impact on how the joint functions and prevent injuries and deterioration.
The aging process is inevitable with joint health. There are many conditions that can develop such as osteoarthritis, degenerative disc disease (DDD), displacement of joints, formations, osteophytes, and bony growths. That being said, it doesn’t always mean the older you are the worse your joints are. If we performed diagnostic imaging on a 22 year old, a 35 year old, a 48 year old and a 70 year old, we would likely find degenerative disc disease in every single person. The level of severity will be the only aspect that is different. As we now know our lifestyle is a large component to how our joints age, so this is dependent on how each of these people lived their life. If the 22 year old plays sports and is in school sitting and studying often, there will be vertebral changes as we discussed. However if this 22 year old treats their body correctly, these changes will be minimal and not cause discomfort or dysfunctions. Joint health is up to how you treat your body through your lifestyle or how much you neglect it.
For conditions such as arthritis and DDD there are many ways you can manage the progression and pain. Therapies that treat the soft tissues again are going to be very beneficial. Many joint conditions can be maintained with a healthy diet as well. Make sure you are working with a Nutritionist or Naturopathic Doctor to discuss what foods and proper supplements are good and bad for your condition. These can make a very large impact of the progression of your joint health.
Make sure you have a team of health professionals you see on a regular basis to keep your body functioning properly and prevent serious conditions and dysfunctions. Prevention is the best medicine.
Originally Published: May 21, 2018
Dana Goodfellow, RMT, Contributor and D.Ac., Meditation Teacher, Owner – Quinte Mind & Body
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Dana is the owner of Quinte Mind & Body, and has been a practicing Registered Massage Therapist (RMT) for many years in the Belleville area. Through Dana’s love of learning and providing superior results for her patients, she has added modalities from her knowledge of the body and medical treatment. Two modalities are Contemporary Medical Acupuncture and becoming a Certified Meditation Teacher and Facilitator. As a graduate of an advanced course of Massage Therapy at Georgian College, Dana takes great pride in treating patients with many different manual techniques. After a year in practice, Dana received her certification from McMaster University for Contemporary Medical Acupuncture.
I like that. I believe in that. But let’s also get real.
In a culture preoccupied with youth and beauty, why has there been such an increase and acceptance in cosmetic procedures? We all want to look great as we age. And we all know that woman: She's on point from head to toe and carries herself like she means it, defying age with every step. So what's she doing?
Most of us strive to take care our skin, hair, and body, no matter how many birthday candles are on our cake. And yes, we want to have a beautiful soul, too. We especially want to have passion, and zest for life. Many of us want it all. The complete package.
I am not a fan of the term anti-aging. It is feels negative, regretful, chasing something that just doesn't exist. On the other hand, it’s never an easy decision to embrace aging whole heartedly. I’ve tried.
When I first realized I was “getting older” at 40 years of age, I had a moment. I was just getting into the groove of being “not old” and then that seemed to change overnight. I still felt really young in my mind, active and energetic with my young children, so what defined me as 40?
After a while, I realized I’d have to embrace the changes if I was to cope with older age. As we get older, we discover interesting, sometimes previously hidden, parts of ourselves. And because we no longer have the hang-ups of youth – school, college, new relationships, new careers – there is little to prevent us exploring these. It is easier, to seek out new adventures, and along the way, make new friends.
Most adults face predictable and challenging situations in later life. These situations usually involve change. Some life changes may be planned or expected (retirement) and some may come by surprise, and may be out of our control (separation and divorce, death of a loved one, disability).
When we embrace aging, we get to a stage where we throw unrealistic expectations out the window and look for situations that are suitable to our life. This doesn’t mean we drop the bar, though. I used to be a bit of a perfectionist, but I don’t want to spend an enormous amount of my energy on getting everything perfect. Instead, I want to enjoy my life with less striving to be perfect, and more focusing on the sometimes smaller gifts it brings.
As we get older, we tend to think more positively. We realize we’re not getting any younger, and want to live the best life we can in the time we have. We tend to recall positive memories and conveniently ditch the negative ones. There is no point in recounting the bad things in our past. We can’t do anything about them. Of course, this is easier said than done. But as we age, there are so many more memories to choose from, so we can choose to focus on the positive ones.
We also really get how important our work and social networks are. I’ve hit a tipping point with my networks and been lucky to enjoy all sorts of support from the relationships I’ve nurtured. I wouldn’t enjoy my work – both emotionally or financially – anywhere near as much if I hadn’t consciously developed my work and industry relationships over the years.
Age is just a number.
We can choose to embrace aging with an understanding that we have probably spent the first 40+ years in a hurry with no time, wisdom or awareness about what it all meant. My outlook now is to focus on the many positives associated with moving into a new, and very rich, phase of my life. Focusing on the people who surround me, who have supported me, the ones I love and care deeply for.
Growing older gracefully is an attitude, a mindfulness, with some simple attention to our body, our mind and our spirit. No one is going to do it for us, this is an inside job.
Here is to longevity.
LORI MITCHELL, DIGITAL PUBLISHER
Lori Mitchell, Digital Publisher of Healthy Living Now
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Lori currently works for the Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board as Community Use of Schools Liaison.
She loves to keep busy and embark on side projects that keep her engaged with the local health and wellness community. Lori is the Digital Publisher of healthylivingnow.ca, and Producer of the annual Healthy Living EXPO.
Previously, Lori held the position of Publisher for Kingston Life Magazine and prior to that, she held the position of Director of Sales for Watershed Magazine.
Before moving back to the area, Lori held two positions in broadcasting, first as Print Producer for Alliance Atlantis and later as Agency Production Manager for CanWest Media. Directly responsible for the production of print, online and radio for as many as 21 specialty channels and Global TV, Lori oversaw in house campaigns from concept to completion for each property. Prior to transitioning into broadcasting, Lori was the Director of Marketing for Fuel Advertising, with a client portfolio including The Bay.
Lori also has nearly a decade of experience client side as a former Director of Marketing for Dylex (Fairweather), and the same position she later held at Comark (cleo). Working with senior management and advertising agencies, Lori developed, planned and implemented strategies for both brands to ensure marketing elements were synergistic to overall business objectives.
Lori now lives in Old East Hill in Belleville, where she loves being a mom to two great kids, and one beautiful Sheltie, Bella.
As hardy Canadians, we should embrace winter and take advantage of the great outdoors. While many people recognize that shovelling snow is hard work, physiotherapists caution that shovelling can place severe stress on your heart, and cause stress and strain on your body. Every year, people sustain injuries such as pulled and strained muscles from repetitive twisting and improper lifting.
The Canadian Physiotherapy Association offers the following tips while shovelling:
Choose a shovel that’s right for you:
- a shovel with a curved handle and adjustable length will minimize painful bending
- a shovel blade made of plastic will be lighter than metal, putting less strain on your spine
- a smaller blade will not allow too much snow, and won’t be too heavy for your body to carry
Use proper techniques:
- whenever possible, push the snow rather than lift it
- always face forward, bend at the hips, squat with your legs shoulder- width apart, and keep your back straight
- lift with your legs and scoop small amounts of snow into the shovel
- keep the load close to your body to reduce the strain on your back
- step forward in the direction you are throwing the snow, in order to prevent twisting of the low back. This is the most common reason for back pain the next day
- if you have any concerns about your ability to shovel snow this winter, due to health concerns, injuries or inactivity, ask for help, hire a company to clear your snow or speak to a physiotherapist who can help prepare you for the winter ahead
- clear snow in two stages - skimming snow from the top, then removing the bottom layer
- take frequent breaks when shovelling-stand up straight, walk around periodically to bring your spine back to a neutral position
- do standing extension exercises by placing your hand in the small of your back, bending slightly backwards, hold the position for several seconds - repeating 5 to 10 times
Prevent slips and falls
- use a de-icing product on all stairs and walkways - it saves you shovelling and chipping ice unnecessarily
- wearing good winter footwear can avoid slips on the ice - boots with good traction or external grips can be very beneficial.
This winter, get outside and enjoy the fresh air and the fluffy white stuff. Canadians can still enjoy cardiovascular benefits from snow shovelling if they prepare themselves and listen to their bodies.
Originally Published: December 23, 2017
This winter issue of healthy living now magazine should grace distribution locations with little more than a month to go in 2017. It’s a great time to celebrate the year gone by, and to anticipate the year ahead!
Over the years, this publication has rebranded and streamlined. With it, we captured an audience that engaged with us each issue, and our contributor roster overflowed with local and national experts in their field.
For me, this past year felt like we were at a plateau. A smooth-sailing, financially-sound print publication with loyal advertisers - the backbone of any publication - with readers telling us that we crafted a beautifully-designed publication evoking excitement with each issue. Now is the perfect time to invest in our strengths.
After much consideration, we will be launching a sophisticated digital platform in 2018 with an increased social media presence. This winter edition will be our last printed issue.
If passion, fuelled by knowledge, is the heart of a great magazine, we know that our loyal readers will follow us by reading online at healthylivingnow.ca. We are choosing to move in this direction so we can continually strive to deliver relevant, timely, more frequent local and national health and wellness content.
For just over a decade, healthy living now has been independently owned. Our core mission was constant: connect local readers with local contributors who offer services in all aspects of living a healthy life, while featuring national and renowned contributors such as David Suzuki, Carson Arthur and Natasha Turner to complement.
We reach the end of our last printed publication with mixed feelings, but also a great deal of pride. Of course, none of this would have been possible without the people who were involved with the magazine, in particular past Publisher Amy Turcotte-Doyle and team who founded the publication.
Since taking on the magazine in 2013 as Publisher and Editor, I’ve loved every moment of the past five years, and twenty issues. It’s been a great run. I’d like to thank all of our contributors (who are all joining us on our digital platform) staff, and the teams who worked on the Healthy Living EXPO.
Lastly, thank you to our readers who enabled us to produce thousands of articles touching on all aspects of healthy living within the local environment.
We look forward to having the opportunity to grow our brand, offering you more frequent, relevant and timely content in the years ahead.
We will see you at our online launch in February 2018!
In the meantime, we encourage you to participate in our digital launch contest and sign up for our digital newsletter to be notified of the official launch date.
ENTER TO WIN HERE!
Wishing you all the best this holiday season!
LORI MITCHELL, PUBLISHER, EDITOR
Originally Published: November 27, 2017
Hot coffee from McDonald’s is again the subject matter of a legal case.
I’m sure everyone has heard of the case in the United States where McDonald’s served scalding hot coffee to an elderly lady. The coffee spilled on the lady’s legs, causing severe third-degree burns. Unfortunately, that case made headlines for the wrong reasons and was wrongly ridiculed as being frivolous. Nothing could have been further from the truth.
McDonald’s purposely served coffee at a temperature that it knew would cause severe burns – it made the conscious decision not to lower the temperature to save money. I urge everyone to see the documentary “Hot Coffee”.
Now we have our own “hot coffee” case in Ontario. In 2014, Erin Dittmann ordered a coffee from McDonald’s drive thru. She pulled over and was transferring the coffee to her cup holder when the lid came loose spilling hot coffee over her legs. She suffered severe burns.
Ms. Dittmann applied to her automobile insurance company, Aviva, for accident benefits. You might be thinking, why would her automobile insurance benefits cover her for burns caused by hot coffee when her car was parked and not moving?
As the judge ruled, the use and operation of the automobile was integral to her suffering the injuries. She used her automobile to purchase the coffee from the drive thru, she was in her automobile when the coffee spilled and importantly, as the judge found, her seatbelt likely prevented her from taking evasive action to avoid the coffee hitting her legs.
Keep this case in mind whenever you are injured and an automobile is involved. You may have coverage for accident benefits under your auto insurance policy. Other cases where accident benefits have been paid for atypical situations include:
- A person standing in the back of a pickup truck loading a piece of equipment is injured when the equipment is dropped on his arm
- A woman who walks into a pole sticking out the back of a vehicle
- A person who slips on ice while getting out of her parked car and is injured when she hits the ground
If you are injured and a vehicle was involved, even if there wasn’t an accident or collision, you should still apply for accident benefits. You may be covered.
Originally Published: November 23, 2017
Travelling is one of life’s many enjoyments. For many, it is what they work toward each year, and it brings them adventure and memories they will have for a lifetime. But travelling in a car or a ‘plane for long hours can make anyone sore and especially for those travelling with injuries, it can be a nightmare.
Being prepared for your next trip is the key to a pain-free successful excursion.
Keeping your spine in good alignment is important when you travel. If you are in a ‘plane, the cabin pressure can cause your back to ache due to mild swelling in the lumbar discs.
Or if you are travelling in a car, the vibration alone can create some back soreness. A lumbar roll or extra pillow slipped behind your back can keep your spine in neutral and reduce the strain. Adjust your seat in the car so that you are close to the steering wheel and your knees are a little above your hips. If you are a passenger, feel free to adjust your seat frequently. A cervical pillow helps keep your neck in a good position as well, and stops that embarrassing head bobble when you drift off to sleep. Believe me, you can give yourself whiplash if you are not careful.
Give yourself time for breaks if you are driving. Getting out of the car for only a minute can make an enormous difference in your comfort over the long haul. Our bodies need to move in order to stay limber, and when we don’t, we begin to feel stiff. If driving, move your hands into different positions to reduce the muscle tightness in your neck. If travelling in a ‘plane, try to get an aisle seat, so you can get up and move around. Stand in the aisle and do some back extensions to help reverse the curve of sitting and lubricate those discs. Pump your ankles and feet to help your circulation and increase blood flow through your whole body.
Remember to wear comfortable clothing, so that you can do a few stretches when you are gassing your car up, or waiting for your ‘plane.
How many times do we over pack! Lugging all those extra clothes and shoes around from one venue to the next just puts extra strain on your joints and muscles. The new bags with four wheels are much better and reduce the amount of lifting required, but they still need to be put onto baggage carriages, dragged up and down stairs, and pulled up and down long ramps. If you are not used to these awkward positions, it can be extremely hard on the arms and back. Often the simple answer is to just pack less!
It is important to keep hydrated before, during and after long trips. Dehydration can cause muscle cramps and tightness, so be sure to have easy access to water at all times.
Travelling with an Injury
If you are travelling with a previous injury that you have been rehabilitating, ask your health care provider what specific exercises you can do while on your trip. If you require specific stretches, you can use your luggage strap to get the best mobility out of the muscle. A piece of Theraband can be tucked away in your bag and will keep you strong if you don’t have access to weights. Don’t put your injury on holiday, and try to be proactive while you are away.
Being prepared before your next trip will increase your enjoyment and help reduce travel soreness.
Originally Published: November 18, 2017
Concussions have become the new hot topic among the sporting world, and it’s an old problem that is now taking a front seat within the medical community. Concussions most commonly occur during or immediately following a sporting event, and they can happen at any age and with any kind of high-impact force to the head. They are also very common in car accidents, or with something as simple as a slip and fall where the head, face, neck, or other body parts make contact, resulting in an impulsive force being transmitted to the head.
A concussion is a brain injury and is defined as a complex pathophysiological process affecting the brain induced by traumatic biomechanical forces. It is estimated that 3.8 million concussions occur in the US each year during competitive sports and recreation activities, with as many as 50 percent going unreported. There has also been a disturbingly steep rise in the number of concussions occurring in younger children and adolescents.
Fortunately, 80 to 90 percent of those who experience a concussion will fully recover, with the majority of people recovering in seven to 10 days post injury. For the other 10 to 20 percent who have ongoing symptoms or post- concussion syndrome (symptoms lasting longer than three months), further treatment is often necessary.
Treatments for concussions are multifaceted and can include several professional disciplines including physicians, physiotherapists, massage therapists and occupational therapists, with each profession catering to specific parts of post- concussion rehabilitation.
As physiotherapists, we can assess and treat a variety of issues following a concussion, including muscle tightness and imbalances, headaches, dizziness and even balance disturbances in more severe cases.
Probably the most important part of our customized treatment programs for patients suffering from concussive symptoms is education for patients, parents, teachers, coaches and trainers. With various outcome measures and graduated return to play or school guidelines, we will work with you and your support team to get you through this difficult time, with the goal of successfully returning you to your sport, school or back to your everyday life, symptom-free.
Information for the article has been taken from lecture notes from concussion courses given by Jacquie van Ierssel and Shannon McGuire.
Originally Published: November 16, 2017