CARDIO FITNESS: IS IT ENOUGH?

Image from worldskillsuk.org

Image from worldskillsuk.org

Everyone knows that cardio fitness is a great way to burn calories and whittle away the fat.  According to 2008 Canadian statistics, approximately 37% of adults were overweight and 25% were obese, which was an increase from 2005. In 2011, the stats for youth aged 12-17 weren’t great either. The BMI (body mass index which takes into account your weight and height) was recorded for boys and girls. The results revealed that 24% of boys were either overweight or obese with 17% of girls being either overweight or obese.1 With these rates continuing to rise, there’s been a lot of focus on cardio workouts being a great way to lose weight. Indeed, whether you’re walking or running outdoors, swimming, using a treadmill, an elliptical or taking in a Zumba class, cardio workouts help to burn calories, improve your cardiovascular health and decrease stress.  However, is cardio enough?  In this article I’m going to show you 3 other important aspects of fitness that you may be missing.   (more…)

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WEIGHT GAIN: IT’S MORE THAN JUST THE CALORIES

Image from fyi.uwex.edu

Image from fyi.uwex.edu

In my February, 2015, article “You Are How You Eat”, I shared that how you eat can impact your digestion as well as your overall health and well-being. This month I want to show you that where, when and why you eat can also affect your weight and contribute to weight gain. I’ll go over the surprising results of some recent studies plus give you a few simple steps to help improve your eating habits.  (more…)

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DOES PRAYER REALLY WORK?

Image from flickr.com

Image from flickr.com

What is one thing that all the world religions have in common? Prayer.  Whether you’re Christian, Jewish, Muslim, First Nations, Native American, Maori, Hindu, Buddhist, Taoist, Pagan, or New Age, to name a few, prayer is a key spiritual practice. Prayer can be done daily as well as at special times like at weddings, funerals or in times of illness. Prayer, in its wide variety of forms, has been used for millennia. But does it really work? Does one type of prayer work better than another? Can you pray for plants and animals?  What about praying for our planet?  In this article I’m going to reveal some astonishing research that has been done involving prayer and its impact on our health and well-being.  You may be surprised by the results.    (more…)

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CAN CANCER BE PREVENTED?

Image from irishviews.com

Image from irishviews.com

In Canada, April is Daffodil Month with a focus on raising awareness about cancer.  Considering that cancer is responsible for about 30% of all deaths, even ahead of heart disease at 20%, it’s difficult not to already be aware of this awful disease1.  We’ve all been affected, either directly or by knowing someone who is struggling with cancer. Although much research continues to go into treatment for the various types of cancer, as they say, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.  This raises the question, are we doomed by our genes and national statistics or are there really things that we can do to prevent cancer?  The International Agency for Research on Cancer is part of the World Health Organization.   Their focus is on conducting and collaborating on research around the world looking at environmental and lifestyle factors. “This emphasis reflects the understanding that most cancers are, directly or indirectly, linked to environmental factors and thus are preventable.”2 In this article I want to explore some of the nutrition and lifestyle research that has been done and share with you some positive action steps we can all take to, not only try to prevent cancer, but to live healthier and happier lives.  (more…)

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SUPER CLEAN: IS IT MAKING YOUR CHILDREN SICK?

Image from maid2clean.co.uk

Image from maid2clean.co.uk

A study was published recently in Occupational & Environmental Medicine which looked at the effects of exposure to bleach in the home among children in Finland, Spain and the Netherlands. Bleach, of course, is a widely used cleaning agent. We’ve all seen the ads for household products containing bleach “killing 99.9% of germs”. Previous studies had suggested that the use of various cleaning agents “may increase the risk of respiratory infections and wheezing during the first year of life and airway inflammation at school age.”1 This new study looked at 9,102 school aged children between the ages of 6 to 12.  Their parents were given a questionnaire asking them whether they used bleach once a week when cleaning their homes and the number of times their children developed various infections like the flu, bronchitis, sinusitis, tonsillitis, ear infections and pneumonia. Even after taking into account whether the children were exposed to other irritants like second hand smoke and mold, the study showed that the number and frequency of infections were highest among children living in homes where their parents used bleach as a cleaning agent. The researchers concluded that the “high frequency of use of disinfecting irritant cleaning products may be of public health concern, also when exposure occurs during childhood.”2 You might be thinking, “But, I thought it was good to kill germs!” Well, in this article I’m going to show you that most germs aren’t the enemy that we’ve be told they are, how our very existence depends on the presence of bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites on and inside our bodies, and ways that you can still live cleanly without endangering your or your family’s health.  (more…)

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OSTEOPOROSIS: ARE CALCIUM & VITAMIN D ENOUGH?

http://www.osteoporosis.ca/osteoporosis-and-you/what-is-osteoporosis/

http://www.osteoporosis.ca/osteoporosis-and-you/what-is-osteoporosis/

Osteoporosis is a bone disease that results in loss of bone density and therefore, bone strength. (Osteoporosis is not to be confused with osteoarthritis which is a condition that affects the joints in the body.) Osteoporosis can cause the bones to become weak and fragile, leading to fractures most commonly in the spine, hip, wrist and shoulder. In fact, fractures from osteoporosis are more common than heart attacks, stroke and breast cancer combined! One in three women and one in five men will suffer a fracture in their lifetime due to osteoporosis. Yes, men can suffer from osteoporosis, too! Studies show that 28% of women and 37% of men will die within a year of having a fracture. Pretty serious stuff. There are a variety of risk factors that can contribute to getting osteoporosis such as being over 50, being menopausal, excess alcohol and caffeine intake, smoking as well as having a family history of osteoporosis. Even certain medications such as aluminum-containing antacids, prescription medications for heartburn and some anti-depressants can cause osteoporosis. Everyone is aware that getting enough vitamin D and calcium is important for bone health. However, did you know that there are many other things you can do, starting in childhood, to help prevent this debilitating and potentially lethal disease from developing in the first place?  (more…)

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IS YOUR FITBIT HARMING YOUR HEALTH?

Image from www.macworld.com.au

Image from www.macworld.com.au

What do Fitbit, Jawbone, Misfit and Striiv have in common?  These pieces of “wearable technology” all use wireless radio frequencies to both transmit and receive information.  Although it seems like wireless devices have been overtaking our daily lives more and more in the past few years, wireless technology has actually been around since the late 1800s. In 1878, David Hughes was able to transmit a radio signal over a few hundred feet using a special device. In 1880, Alexander Graham Bell and Charles Sumner Tainter invented and patented the photophone and had the first wireless phone conversation. While fitness technology that you wear or the nutrition and fitness apps you use on your cell phone can be very useful in helping you achieve your health and fitness goals, what most people don’t realize is that there are potential health hazards from excessive exposure to certain frequencies of radio waves.  Did you know that your cell phone, tablet and other wireless devices including baby monitors come with warnings?  In this article I want to help raise your awareness about the possible health hazards related to using wireless technology.  I also want to provide some concrete suggestions on how you can minimize the risk for yourself and your family while still taking advantage of some of the benefits wireless devices have to offer.   (more…)

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