Friday, 21 December 2012

Be successful with your New Year’s Resolutions

It’s almost that time of year again.  When the hustle of the holiday seasons starts to subside, people start to look forward to the New Year and what that might bring.  For many people, it’s a time to set New Years’ resolutions or goals for themselves which often include health goals.  People often make resolutions to lose weight, to quit smoking, to go to the gym, to eat broccoli, but what invariably happens? By the first week in January, those goals have been abandoned in frustration.  Why?

Before we talk about ways to properly set goals, let’s first talk about the reasons goals fail.

Goals are guaranteed to fail if:

• you set them to please or satisfy someone else
• you are too vague in describing the goal
• you try to accomplish too much
• you only feel successful once you reach the ultimate goal
• you only focus on the goals that you didn't complete

When people set those New Year’s Resolutions, they have the best intentions to succeed.  The goal itself may not be the problem; rather, how it is designed is the problem.  For example, if the resolution is “I want to lose weight this year”, you can almost guarantee that it won’t happen based on that resolution or goal.  Try this: replace the word “want” with “wish”.  It now becomes “I wish to lose weight this year”.  You may wish and wish all you like, but unless you DO something, the wish or want will never materialize and the New Year’s resolution will not happen.

So how do you make resolutions or goals that actually work?  There are some points that need to be considered when setting a goal:

• It has to be your idea.  Don’t set a goal just to please someone else.
• It has to be achievable.   This means that it is realistic.  You should have confidence that you have at least a 70% chance of accomplishing that goal.  If not, then maybe it’s too ambitious and you should scale the goal back a bit.
• There has to be an action involved.  Your goal has to describe something that you will actually do.  Losing weight is not a goal because this is not an activity; there is no action.  However, if you set goals to walk regularly, change to diet pop, eat breakfast, give up the latte coffees, these are all actions that will help you lose weight which is the ultimate outcome.
• Your goal should include specifics such as what it is you want to do, how much or how often, when and perhaps with whom.  Detail in goals are very important!  It’s like a road map that helps you move along in the right direction and also helps you know when you've achieved your goal!

Back to that New Year’s Resolution of “I want to lose weight this year”.  Let’s make this a more meaningful goal.  How about stating:

“I will walk around the block for 20 minutes 3 times per week on Monday, Wednesday and Friday afternoons at 4:30 pm.”

This goal now is very specific.  If this type of goal is set and followed, then this will contribute to that ultimate outcome of weight loss.

Don’t abandon those thoughts about healthy behaviours for the New Year!  Just spend some time rephrasing what you want to accomplish and put them into a proper goal format.  You will then be well on your way!

Christina Vesty is a Registered Nurse and is the Chronic Disease Management Coordinator at the Leduc Beaumont Devon Primary Care Network.

Check out Dr. Mike Evan's video called "What is the single best thing you can do to quit smoking?"

The LBD PCN has a FREE Smoking Cessation program at our Leduc office. Please call our office at 780-986-6624 or see your LBD PCN family physician for a referral.

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Cross Country Trails

Cross country skiing is an easy and inexpensive way to keep fit during the winter season. Our region offers an abundance of cross country trails for public use.

Outdoor Ice Surfaces

Our region is a winter wonderland and there are plenty of ice surfaces maintained in Leduc, Beaumont, Devon and Calmar, free for public use over the holidays and throughout the winter season.

Kinsmen Park Outdoor Rink - located beside the High School on Corinthia Drive
Alexandra Park Ponds
 - along 50 Street between Black Gold Drive and 47 Avenue
Coady Lake
 - along Coady Boulevard in Meadowview neighbourhood
Leduc Resevoir
 - along Highway 2 overpass just south of Highway 39
West Point Lake
 - along Black Gold Drive in Leduc Estates neighbourhood
Please contact the City of Leduc for details on each surface.

LBD PCN staff Andrea, Corinne and Penny at Alexandra Park Ponds

The Town of Beaumont maintains several outdoor ice surfaces during the winter months. 

Please contact the Town of Beaumont for details on each surface.

The Town of Devon has prepared 3 outdoor ice surfaces:

Centennial Park – located north of John Maland High School
Outdoor board rink – directly west of Dale Fisher Arena
The Ravines dry pond – located in the Ravines of Devon

Please contact the Town of Devon for details on each surface.

The Town of Calmar has two outdoor ice surfaces:

Please contact the Town of Calmar for details on each surface.

Monday, 3 December 2012

Reducing Holiday Stress

The holidays can be a joyful time, offering a chance to reconnect with friends and family, but they can also be stressful. You may feel pressure to buy and give gifts. Maybe you are worried about money. The holidays can also be hectic. There never seems to be enough time to get things done. Think about the kinds of events that trigger stress for you during the holidays. Then you can focus on one or two things you can do that will help the most to reduce stress. Here are some ideas:

Stress Reduction

Stress affects us all. You may notice symptoms of stress when disciplining your kids, during busy times at work, when managing your finances or when coping with a challenging relationship. Stress is everywhere. And while a little stress is okay - some stress is actually beneficial - too much stress can wear you down and make you sick, both mentally and physically. The first step to controlling stress is to know the symptoms of stress.


Know your spending limit. Lack of money is one of the biggest causes of stress during the holiday season. This year, set a budget, and don't spend more than you've planned. It's okay to tell your child that a certain toy costs too much. Don't buy gifts that you'll spend the rest of the year trying to pay off. 
Give something personal. You can show love and caring with any gift that is meaningful and personal. It doesn't have to cost a lot. Or use words instead of an expensive gift to let people know how important they are to you. Make a phone call or write a note and share your feelings. 
Get organized. Make lists or use an appointment book to keep track of tasks to do and events to attend. 
Share the tasks. You don't have to do everything yourself. Share your "to do" list with others. Spend time with friends and family while you share tasks like decorating, wrapping gifts, and preparing the holiday meal.
Learn to say no. It's okay to say "no" to events that aren't important to you. This will give you more time to say "yes" to events that you do want to attend.
Be realistic. Try not to put pressure on yourself to create the perfect holiday for your family. Focus instead on the traditions that make holidays special for you. And remember that just because it's a holiday, family problems don't go away. If you have a hard time being around your relatives, it's okay to set limits on your time at events and visits. 

During the holidays 

You may not be able to avoid stressful situations during the holidays, but you can plan to respond to them in a healthy way. 

• Take breaks from group activities. Pay attention to your own needs and feelings. Spend a little time by yourself if you can. Meditate, or do some relaxation breathing. Go for a short walk.
• Keep a regular sleep, meal, and exercise schedule. Limit your alcohol. Taking care of yourself will help you deal with stressful situations during the holidays. 
• Get support if you need it. Holidays can sometimes trigger depression. They can be especially hard if you are already dealing with the death of a loved one or the breakup of a relationship. You may feel embarrassed to ask for help, or you may think that you'll get over "the blues" on your own. But most people need treatment to get better. Talk with your doctor about counseling and medicine for depression. 

Coping with grief and loss:

by Dr. Alan Wolfelft

Mayo Clinic

Ledise Mason is a Registered Nurse at the Leduc Beaumont Devon Primary Care Network.  

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Diabetes Myths and Facts - Medication

There is no such thing as "borderline diabetes" - myth or fact?

Fact - Either you have diabetes or you do not.  When you hear the word ‘borderline’, it is referring to a new term, called pre-diabetes.  This means that your blood sugars are higher than someone without diabetes but not as high as some one with diabetes.  You may not have any signs of high sugars, such as increased thirst and urination, but it is a warning sign. You can prevent the onset of diabetes by making lifestyle changes.

Starting insulin means you have failed to take care of your diabetes properly - myth or fact?

Myth - Needing insulin does not mean that you have failed to manage your diabetes.  If you have Type 2 diabetes and your blood sugars are slowly creeping up despite your best efforts, insulin may be the next step in treating your diabetes.

Since type 2 diabetes is a progressive disease, over time, your pancreas is just not able to keep up with your body's need for insulin—no matter what you've done to manage your diabetes. If you have done your best to make healthy lifestyle changes and you are taking all your medications correctly and your blood sugars continue to increase, insulin is often the next logical step for treating diabetes. Eating right and regular exercise will continue to be important, but medication needs change over time.

Many people with type 2 diabetes eventually need treatment with insulin. The longer a person has type 2 diabetes, the more likely they will have to start insulin treatment at some point.  Recent research shows that starting insulin early or in a timely manner means that you are less likely to experience some of the complications associated with uncontrolled blood sugars.

Taking herbal products from a Naturopath is okay since it is a natural product - myth or fact?

Myth - About 30% of people with diabetes will try some type of natural products to help manage their diabetes.  Natural does not mean that they are safe.  Many products have resulted in side effects and drug interactions.  This is because they have not been studied or have limited clinical trial data to support their safety.  Some that have been studied were found to contain contaminants.  If you are planning to take a herbal remedy, make sure you check with your pharmacist or your doctor to make sure it is safe for you to take in combination with your prescribed medications.

Nandini Desai is a Registered Pharmacist and Certified Diabetes Educator at the Leduc Beaumont Devon Primary Care Network.

For more information on diabetes, please visit the Canadian Diabetes Association website.

Friday, 16 November 2012

Exercise and Diabetes - Myths and Facts

Increased activity results in significant weight loss – myth or fact?
Myth - It takes a lot of energy to burn calories, a lot more than most people think.  If there are medical or chronic conditions (such as diabetes) that affect endurance, mobility and/or strength, it is not likely the activity will be done at a high intensity. 
There are 3500 calories in one pound of fat; in order to burn 3500 calories, it would take most people hours of activity at a high level of intensity to lose 1 pound. 
For the average person who is beginning a walking routine, changing your physical activity level without reducing or changing your caloric intake will not result in weight loss.  There will be health benefits gained through increased activity regardless of any weight loss. 
You have to do a significant amount of activity to achieve health benefits – myth or fact?
Myth - Achieving health benefits through increased activity can be done with as little as 150 minutes per week of moderate to vigorous intensity aerobic exercise. This can include anything from walking to cross country skiing to swimming.  That works out to 30 minutes a day, 5 days of the week.  These benefits can also be achieved with 10 minute bouts of activity, done three times throughout the day adding up to the 30 minutes.  We have many opportunities during the day to get that activity in! The next time you have coffee break at work, go for a quick 10 minute walk. 
Physical activity means participating in a structured exercise program at a fitness facility – myth or fact?
Myth - Being more active or increasing your physical activity does not mean having to go to a gym or doing a structured exercise routine.  It can be anything from walking to dancing in the living room to going for a bike ride. Even walking on the spot is activity and it all counts.
Walking is a great way to increase activity. It is free, easily accessible and most people can tolerate walking for even a short distance.  Of course if there are issues with the lower extremities that limit walking perhaps riding a stationary bike or water activities might be a better choice.  The trick is to find an activity that can be tolerated and is somewhat enjoyable to do. Many people find that a distraction while doing the activity is a good strategy to get through the activity. Try watching a favourite sitcom or listening to music while walking on the treadmill.  
Corinne Cutler is an Exercise Specialist at the Leduc Beaumont Devon Primary Care Network
For more information on diabetes, please see the Canadian Diabetes Association webpage.

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

World Diabetes Day

November 14 marks World Diabetes Day, the birthday of Sir Frederick Banting (November 14, 1891), a Canadian medical scientist, co-discoverer of insulin and co-founder of what is today known as the Canadian Diabetes Association.

Diabetes has reached epidemic proportions around the world and here in Canada. Today, more than nine million Canadians live with diabetes or prediabetes – a condition that, if left unchecked, puts them at risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Globally, more than 366 million people are affected by diabetes.

For more information, please see the Canadian Diabetes Website.

The Leduc Beaumont Devon Primary Care Network has a team of healthcare professionals that help people living with various chronic conditions such as diabetes, pre-diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and obesity. A smoking cessation program is also offered. Our team, which includes a Registered Nurse, Pharmacist, Dietitian and an Exercise Specialist, work with patients to help them learn strategies to improve their ability to manage their health. To access this program, please see your LBD PCN family physician.

Friday, 9 November 2012

Healthy Eating for Diabetes: Myths and Facts

1. People with diabetes should only eat a special “Diabetes Diet”. Myth or Fact?

Myth - For people with diabetes, healthy eating is no different than healthy eating for anyone else.  We do know that when we make healthy food choices (watching portion sizes, eating fruits and vegetables, limiting high fat and high added sugar foods) we can better manage diabetes.  We also know that engaging in an overall healthy lifestyle behaviour including physical activity, not smoking, limiting alcohol and managing stress also play a very important role in managing diabetes.

2. People with diabetes should not eat carbohydrates. Myth or Fact?

Myth- Carbohydrates are the main source of energy in food, providing us with many important nutrients to stay healthy.  People often think of carbohydrates as just bread or potatoes however, carbohydrates are found in all the food groups; milk, yogurt, fruit, vegetables, cereals, breads, rice, pasta, beans and lentils, which are all part of a balanced diet.  Because carbohydrates have the biggest effect on blood sugars, it is important to spread them out over the day and to be mindful of your portion sizes.

3. People with diabetes should not eat bananas or grapes. Myth or Fact?

Myth - Any foods in moderation can be part of a well-balanced diet.  Fruits and vegetables are a very important part of healthy eating and should not be eliminated.  Keep in mind that often once we hear “diabetes” we feel that we need to change everything in our diet.  However, while you may be motivated to make many changes all at once, we recommend starting with small changes to your lifestyle to result in big change in your health over time.

Please refer to these interactive web series on Small Changes for Healthy Living:

Healthy Living Series

Dietitians of Canada

Andrea Lewis is a Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator with the Leduc Beaumont Devon Primary Care Network.

Friday, 2 November 2012

Diabetes Myths and Facts

November is Diabetes Awareness Month. Check out these common diabetes myths and facts:

1. Diabetes is a chronic condition   - Myth or Fact

Fact – Diabetes is a chronic condition – meaning that you have it for a lifetime.  It can have serious complications or consequences if blood glucose is not controlled.  It requires regular monitoring, to ensure that blood glucose stays at target levels.  There is no cure for diabetes.  Talk to your doctor or your SMILE team for assistance, if you are unsure.

2. People with diabetes can “feel” when their blood sugar levels are high or low without testing – Myth or Fact

Myth - There  is no way to know what your blood sugar level is at any time unless you measure it with a blood glucose meter.  Often, there are no symptoms of high blood sugars at all.  Many people see their doctor for a routine checkup and find out that they have diabetes.  If you are concerned speak to your doctor to see if you are diabetic.

3. Stress causes diabetes – Myth or Fact

Myth - Diabetes is not caused by increased stress.  But we do know that stress can lead to an earlier onset of diabetes.  Stress can cause the body to release cortisol that may lead to increased weight gain – which may be a risk factor for diabetes.

For more information, please visit the Canadian Diabetes Association website.

Monday, 29 October 2012

Same-day, online appointment bookings for the Leduc After-Hours Clinic coming next week!

On November 5th, we will add a button to the top, right hand area of the website that will say "Leduc After-Hours Clinic". Clicking that button will take you to our online scheduler where you can book same-day appointments for the after-hours clinic.

Appointments will be made available starting at 2:00pm each day that the after-hours clinic is open. To book an appointment, select an available time slot on the scheduler for that evening's clinic. 

No personal or identifying information will be collected.

Please arrive 10 minutes prior to your appointment and remember to bring your Alberta Health Care card with you. When you arrive at the clinic, proceed to the counter to check in with our receptionist.

A select number of appointment spaces will still be available for walk-in appointments.

#301, 4710 – 50th Street
JHF Professional Centre
Located north of Leduc Cinema, entrance on the north side of the building.

After Hour Clinic hours are:
Monday – Thursday
6:00pm – 9:30pm

The Leduc After-Hours Clinics is for basic medical services only. For more information on the Leduc After-Hours Clinic, please click here.

Waiting area of the Leduc After-Hours Clinic and LBD PCN office.

Friday, 19 October 2012

Prescription to Get Active

Last year, the Leduc Beaumont Devon Primary Care Network began a successful partnership with local municipalities in a unique venture where local family physicians prescribe physical activity to patients who they feel would benefit from increased activity. 

With each “Prescription to Get Active”, doctors are able to prescribe the intensity, duration and frequency of activity a patient is required to undertake to help in preventing future medical issues such as heart conditions, lung conditions and diabetes. 

Regular physical exercise has been shown to improve health and quality of life, as well as significantly reduces the risks of chronic disease, disability and premature death.

Ongoing promotion of this program includes distribution of  a series of posters, poster 1 (below) ran in this week's Leduc Representative, Beaumont News and Devon Dispatch newspapers. Look for them in all local family physician clinics. For more information about the program, please talk to your LBD PCN family physician, visit our website or the Prescription to Get Active blog.

Click on each poster to see larger.

Poster for Leduc:

Poster for Beaumont:

Poster for Devon and Calmar:

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

How important is regular physical activity to your health?

So many of us associate regular and structured physical activity and/or exercise with weight loss.  Why is this?  For so long now society has placed images into our brains by way of media.  “Workout to lose weight!”, “Lose weight in 21 days with this workout!”, “In just 10 days you can have abs of steel through this workout!” We have heard it all. 

The truth is, the focus of exercise or increased physical activity should be on the health benefits and living longer, better quality lives.  Not only is there strong evidence that regular physical activity can help to manage most chronic conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, heart disease,  high cholesterol, high blood pressure  and some cancers,  but it can also help prevent them as well. 

“People who are active and fit, live longer, healthier lives”       ~ Dr. Robert Sallis 

The time has come to change the focus on the importance of increasing our daily physical activity.  Let’s start with changing the idea of “if I work out more or walk more often I will lose weight.”  Instead, think “if I walk regularly at a brisk pace for 30 minutes, gradually working up to 5 days per week, then my heart will work more efficiently, my energy level will improve and I will start to feel better overall.”

Of course starting off with what you are able to tolerate is important. If walking for 5 or 10 minutes is your limit now, start there and set monthly goals to increase gradually over time.

When it comes to health, activity level is vital.  Yes, it would be a bonus if some weight loss was to occur, but let’s remember that these health benefits, just to name a few, will happen overtime with regular and consistent activity, regardless of weight loss:

- Improved circulation
- Improved cardiovascular fitness
- Increased insulin sensitivity
- Increased HDL (good cholesterol)
- Increased energy level
- Improved quality of life
- Reduced stress and anxiety
- Reduced blood pressure
- Reduced risk of chronic conditions
- Decreased cognitive decline

Just like prescribed medicine, physical activity should be thought of as a prescription to take in order to be effective.

Corinne Cutler BPE, CSEP 
Certified Exercise Physiologist
Leduc Beaumont Devon Primary Care Network 

Monday, 15 October 2012

October is Healthy Workplace Month

Here is a list of activities that might inspire you to “Take Action” on your Mental Health in the Workplace this week: 

Pay a compliment to a colleague
A quick and easy way to brighten someone’s day and hopefully your own
Send an e-card.

Participate in a Sudoku Challenge

Play a game with coworkers

Manage your work stressors
Understanding your stressors and how to manage them helps you cope and be prepared for future stressors.

Get some natural light and/or fresh air
Sometimes a change of focus is as good as a break. Enjoy the scenery just for one minute per hour daily and reflect on the good things in life.

Have a proper lunch break
Relax over lunch, for even just a short time, for a more energized afternoon. 

Work on self-awareness
Take time to reflect on your intentions and actions.

No work at home week
Make this the week you don’t take work home. Enjoy time with family or friends instead. It may be  helpful to do an activity to transition from work to home such as taking a short walk, doing a crossword puzzle or listening to music before beginning your evening routine.

Talk it out
If you have a rough day, talk it out with family or friends. Talking can help you feel better and resolve problems.

Family Meal Night
Designate at least one night a week as Family Meal Night. No television, cell phones or distractions-just a nice meal and catching up with everyone’s busy lives.

No screen night
Declare one evening a week as “No Screen Night”. Turn of the tv, video games, computers, PDA’s and Ipods. Read a good book or go for a walk with a family member, friend or neighbor.

Family outing day

Board games night
Have a good ol’ fashioned board games night with family or friends

No PDA’s allowed
For one evening, turn off all PDA’s and cell phones from 6:00pm until the next morning

Meet a friend for supper

Girl’s/Boy’s night out

Writer a thank you letter
When is the last time you wrote a letter?? Take this time to send a letter of appreciation to someone who has been an important influence to you

Learn about Mental Health Issues

Shut off negative inner voices
Focus on the positives. Write a list of things that make you feel good and review them when you’re down. 

Access your accomplishments
Ask yourself , “what felt meaningful today?”. At the supper table maybe invite your family to share the best part about their day. 

Try something new
Try a new activity and see what happens!

Friendly photos
Keep loved ones close to you all day by taking a photo and posting it in your workspace. 

Any other activity you feel promotes your Mental Health 

Please remember that this is just a sample of activities you may want to try incorporating into your daily lives. If you already have activities you do, you’re way ahead of the game! And if you have other ideas of things you would like to try great! The hope is that starting in the month of October we will all participate in making a conscious effort to work towards creating a Healthy Workplace. This is something we want to continue with all year and hope it becomes a normal part of our workplace. 

Provided by: 

For more information, please visit the Healthy Workplace Month website.

Friday, 12 October 2012

October is Immunization Awareness Month

As the weather turns colder and thoughts of winter are not far from our minds, we also need to remember that it is time for our annual Influenza Immunization.  It only takes a few minutes to do and it is one of the best ways to protect you and your family from the influenza this winter.

The Alberta Health Services website has a great link to help answer any of your questions about the immunization or the “flu shot” as people often call it.

Below we've noted the locations and times of some upcoming immunization clinics that are located in and around Leduc County.  Please also refer to your local newspapers for listings.  Please note that the information below is provided by Alberta Health Services and could change without prior notice. Check their website for flu clinic locations and dates anywhere in Alberta: Immunization Clinic Schedule

Leduc Fellowship Church  
4401 Rollyview Road
Leduc, AB
T9E 7H4

 Clinic Date Hours Access
 Thu, Oct 18, 2012  09:30 AM - 04:00 PM Drop In
 Thu, Oct 25, 2012  12:30 PM - 08:00 PM Drop In
 Thu, Nov 01, 2012  09:30 AM - 04:00 PM Drop In
 Sat, Nov 03, 2012  09:30 AM - 04:00 PM Drop In
 Thu, Nov 08, 2012  12:30 PM - 08:00 PM Drop In
 Thu, Nov 15, 2012  09:30 AM - 04:00 PM Drop In
 Thu, Nov 22, 2012  12:30 PM - 08:00 PM Drop In

Devon Community Centre  
20 Haven Avenue
Devon, AB
T9G 1A1

 Clinic Date Hours Access
 Wed, Oct 17, 2012  09:30 AM - 04:00 PM Drop In
 Wed, Oct 24, 2012  12:30 PM - 08:00 PM Drop In
 Wed, Nov 14, 2012  09:30 AM - 04:00 PM Drop In
 Wed, Nov 21, 2012  12:30 PM - 08:00 PM Drop In
Beaumont Community Church  
5423 55 Street
Beaumont, AB
T4X 1A4

 Clinic Date Hours Access
 Tue, Oct 23, 2012  09:30 AM - 04:00 PM Drop In
 Tue, Oct 30, 2012  12:30 PM - 08:00 PM Drop In
 Tue, Nov 06, 2012  09:30 AM - 04:00 PM Drop In
 Tue, Nov 13, 2012  12:30 PM - 08:00 PM Drop In
 Tue, Nov 20, 2012  12:30 PM - 08:00 PM Drop In
Calmar and District Senior Citizens Club  
4916 50 Avenue
Calmar, AB
T0C 0V0

 Clinic Date Hours Access
 Thu, Nov 01, 2012  12:30 PM - 07:30 PM Drop In
Warburg Cloverleaf Manor Lodge  
5204 53 Avenue
Warburg, AB
T0C 2T0

 Clinic Date Hours Access
 Wed, Nov 07, 2012  01:00 PM - 04:00 PM Drop In
New Sarepta Agriplex  
5088 1 Street S
New Sarepta, AB
T0B 3M0

 Clinic Date Hours Access
 Wed, Oct 24, 2012  09:00 AM - 12:00 PM Drop In

Christina Vesty, RN
Chronic Disease Management Coordinator

Create a workplace physical activity challenge

The LBD PCN staff recently participated in an activity challenge at work. We did a 50-day activity challenge where we had to get at least 30 minutes of moderate to high activity each day. Each staff member was allowed to miss no more than 8 days total over the 50 days.  

To encourage and motivate the staff, we collected a $20 sign up fee from each participate and put each participating staff member’s name on a poster. Each day the completed the 30 minutes of activity, they got to put a sticker on the board. Everyone was very excited and motivated by the shiny stickers and looked forward to putting them on the board each morning!

Sixteen out of our 18 regular staff members took part in the challenge.  At the end of the 50 day challenge, each staff member who completed the challenge with no more than 8 days off had their name placed in a hat for a draw. The person who’s name was pulled won all of the money collected at the start. Our only caveat was that the money was to go towards something for themselves like a massage, new workout clothes, new runners, etc. The winner of our challenge put the money toward a year membership at her local gym.  

The goal behind these types challenges is to create a habit that will continue past the 50 days and become a regular part of everyday routine. The majority of our staff continued on with 30 minutes of activity day after the challenge was over, the habit was formed.

Corinne Cutler
Exercise Specialist

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

World Mental Health Day - October 10, 2012

World Mental Health Day raises public awareness about mental health issues. The day promotes open discussion of mental disorders, and investments in prevention, promotion and treatment services. This year the theme for the day is “Depression: A Global Crisis”.

Depression affects more than 350 million people of all ages, in all communities, and is a significant contributor to the global burden of disease. Although there are known effective treatments for depression, access to treatment is a problem in most countries and in some countries fewer than 10% of those who need it receive such treatment.
For more information, visit the World Health Organization website.
For local resource, please contact: 
Leduc Mental Health: 780-986-2660  
The Support Network 24 hour Distress Line: 780-482-HELP (4357)

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

October is Healthy Workplace Month

Looking to add more activity to your workday? Here are some simple ideas:

• Walk to an employee’s desk instead of emailing or calling
• Use the washroom or water cooler on a different floor
• Set a timer every hour or two to get up and stretch and walk around
• Walk a flight of stairs or two whenever possible
• While waiting at the fax or photocopier machines due some heel raises or wall push-ups
• While filing do a few extra squats
• If there is the option to have adjustable desk heights to promote more standing
• Sit on stability balls while working at the computer
• Start a walking group at lunch or even set up a staff activity challenge

~ Corinne Cutler, LBD PCN Exercise Specialist

Don't overlook the benefits of stretching. It can increase circulation, balance and flexibility and improve your posture, all of which can be issues for those who sit at a desk for long periods of time. Click the poster to view larger or print for your workplace:

For more information:

Healthy Workplace Month

We are on Twitter!

@lbdpcn is on Twitter and today we celebrate our first 100 followers!

We tweet about local, health related events and issues and we promote healthy living with trusted, evidence-based health information. Wondering when the Leduc After-Hours Clinic operates? Where are flu clinics being held this year? Looking for a PCN family physician? Want information on our programs and services?  Follow us and find out about these and other health related subjects.

Tweets are provided by the multi-disciplinary health care team at the Leduc Beaumont Devon Primary Care Network including Registered Nurse and Chronic Disease Management Coordinator Christina Vesty, Registered Nurse Ledise Mason, Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Educator Andrea Lewis, Exercise Specialist Corinne Cutler, Registered Pharmacist and Certified Diabetes Educator Nandini Desai as well as Communications Coordinator Candra Tinis.

Monday, 1 October 2012

Mental Illness Awareness Week September 30th - October 6, 2012

The key to good mental health is balancing your life

Mental Health means striking a balance in all aspects of your life: social, physical, spiritual, economic and mental.  Reaching a balance is a learning process.  At times you might lean in too much in one direction and have to find your footing again.  Your personal balance will be unique, and your challenge will be to stay mentally healthy by keeping that balance.

Build healthy self-esteem

Self-esteem is more than just seeing your good qualities.  It is being able to see all your abilities and weaknesses together, accepting them, and doing your best with what you have.  For example, you may not play tennis enough to be a star, but that should not stop you from enjoying the game.
Build Confidence - Take a good look at your good points.  What do you do best?  Where are your skills and interest areas?  How would a friend describe you?  Now, look at your weak points.  What do you have difficulty doing?  What things make you feel frustrated? Remember that all of us have our positive and negative sides.  We let our strengths shine, and we build on our weak points to help us mature and grow.

Receive as well as give

Many of us confuse having a realistic view of our good points with conceit.  We have trouble accepting kindness from others.  We often shrug off a compliment with a “yes, but…” and put ourselves down.
Accept compliments – The next time someone compliments you, say “Thank You!  I’m glad you think so.”  Think about other compliments you have had, and how good they made you feel.

Create positive parenting and family relationships

Work on building good family relationships.  Learn to value each member’s skills and abilities.  Learn how to give and accept support.
Make time - Make time just to be a family.  Schedule time for both serious things and fun.  Listen respectfully without interruption to what each person has to say.  Do it frequently.

Make friends who count

Friends help you understand that you are not alone.  They help you by sharing your “ups” and “downs” and you in turn help them.  Together, you and your friends share life’s challenges and celebrate life’s joys.
Build a “friendship tree” – Keep in touch - invite a friend to lunch.  Encourage new friendships - ask your friend to bring someone you have never met.

Figure out your priorities

Advertisers try very hard to convince us that we “need” their products and services.  Our challenge is to know the difference between our real needs (food, shelter, clothing, transportation) and our “wants” (bigger TV, new CD player, the latest fashions, flashy car), and to find the right balance in our spending.  Financial problems cause stress, so it’s important to avoid over-spending.
Create a meaningful budget -  Write out a budget for yourself.  Is it realistic?  Have you planned what to do with the money left over for your “wants”?  Which “wants” are most important to you.

Get involved

Being involved in things that really matter to us provide a great feeling of purpose and satisfaction.  You should always remember that you make a difference, no matter how big or small your efforts.
Volunteer - Read to children at your local library: visit and elderly person at home or in hospital: serve on a committee or the board of your favorite charity, organize a clean-up of a local park or beach, help a neighbor clean out his/her garage.

Learn to manage stress effectively

Stress is a normal part of life.  How you deal with it will depend on your attitude.  You may become overwhelmed by  things that other people deal with easily.  Learning to keep a balance among work, family and leisure is difficult and needs skillful management of your time.  Planning helps, and so does staying calm.
Take a five- minute vacation – Each day, set aside five minutes for a mental health break.  Close your office door or go into another room, and day-dream about a place, person or idea, or think about nothing at all.

Cope with changes that affect you

It would be nice to “live happily ever after” but there will always be challenges in our lives.  Children have accidents, parents get ill, jobs disappear.  Dealing with these unexpected ( and often unwanted) changes can be stressful, so we need to be flexible and learn ways to cope.
Find strength in numbers - Search out a support group that deals  with the issues you are facing.  By teaming up with people who share your problems, you may find a fresh solution.  Try starting a group of your own by suing the public service announcements in your local newspaper, radio station or TV station.

Deal with you emotions

We are all challenged to find safe and constructive ways to express and share our  feelings of anger, sadness, joy and fear.  Your ways of experiencing and expressing emotions are unique because you are unique.
Identify and deal with your moods - Find out what makes you happy, sad, joyful, or angry.   How can you deal with your moods?  Share joyful news with a  friend; “cry on a friend’s shoulder” when you feel blue.  Physical exercise can help you deal with your anger.  Keep a stack of your favorite funny cartoons or a collection of humorous stories or video tapes for times when you feel the need to laugh.

Have a spirituality to call your own

Learn to be at peace with yourself.  Get to know who you are, what makes you really happy, what you are passionate about.  Learn to balance what you are able to change about yourself with what you cannot change.  Get to know and trust your inner self.
Spend quality time with yourself - Set aside time to be totally alone.  Do a breathing exercise- try counting your breaths from one to four, then start at one again.  Or do something you love to do, like dancing, going, to a baseball game or building a bird house- whatever works for you!

This information was provided by the Canadian Mental Health Association.

Thursday, 27 September 2012

World Heart Day – September 28, 2012

Inside your body is a very hard working organ that for the majority of people, they don’t really give it a second thought. What do you know about the heart?

• An adult heart only weighs about 11 ounces or about the size of a fist.
• Your heart beats about 100,000 times in one day and about 35 million times in a year. During an average lifetime, the human heart will beat more than 2.5 billion times.
• The heart pumps about 1 million barrels of blood during an average lifetime—that's enough to fill more than 3 super tankers.
• A kitchen faucet would need to be turned on all the way for at least 45 years to equal the amount of blood pumped by the heart in an average lifetime.
• The “thump-thump” of a heartbeat is the sound made by the four valves of the heart closing as it pumps blood all around your body.
• A woman’s heart typically beats faster than a man’s. The heart of an average man beats approximately 70 times a minute, whereas the average woman has a heart rate of 78 beats per minute.

Random Facts

Heart health is so important to keep this vital organ working properly.  Unfortunately, in Canada, every 7 minutes, someone dies from heart disease or stroke. Heart disease and stroke are two of the three leading causes of death in Canada.

Cardiovascular diseases are defined as diseases and injuries of the cardiovascular system: the heart, the blood vessels of the heart and the system of blood vessels (veins and arteries) throughout the body and within the brain. Stroke is the result of a blood flow problem in the brain. It is considered a form of cardiovascular disease.

Nine in 10 Canadians (90%) have at least one risk factor for heart disease or stroke (smoking, alcohol, physical inactivity, obesity, high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, diabetes).

Heart & Stroke Foundation

All of the above are risk factors that you can manage to keep your heart healthy.   Please take a look at some of our previous blogs for some great heart healthy suggestions.

The Leduc Beaumont Devon Primary Care Network offers a Heart Healthy class at our Leduc office. Heart Healthy is a two-hour class that addresses both hypertension and Dyslipidemia helping patients to understand the importance of managing both of these conditions.  Heart healthy food options are emphasized.  Patients learn how to read nutrition labels looking for sodium and fat content.  They learn how to minimize sodium and cholesterol intake and to make healthier food choices.

This class is accessed through referral from your LBD PCN family physician.

For more information, please call Christina Vesty, RN and LBD PCN Chronic Disease Management Coordinator at 780-986-6624.

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

Arthritis Awareness Month

September is Arthritis Awareness Month.

Hand with arthritis

Greek, meaning: arthro - joint and itis - inflammation 

Arthritis  is a form of joint disorder that involves inflammation of one or more joints.There are over 100 different forms of arthritis. To learn more about arthritis, please visit the Arthritis Society website.

For people with arthritis, regular exercise has may help decrease pain and increase flexibility,   Below are exercises as suggested by the Arthritis Society that can be done anywhere.

To view larger, click on the images:

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Women In Business Conference - Today!

The Leduc Chamber of Commerce hosts the first annual Women in Business 
September 19, 2012
11:00 am - 7:30 pm
Executive Royal Inn Leduc-Nisku

Inspiration for your business and life.
This conference includes six expert speakers in three workshops. 
Workshop topics include marketing, accounting and the Leduc Beaumont Devon Primary Care Networks' healthcare team will present a health workshop designed for today's business woman:

Keeping it Balanced – Priority 1 is YOU!
Life is hectic! Balancing work and home is difficult and time consuming; thinking of YOU is often pushed aside. This workshop will show you how to optimize what little time you have to ensure that nutrition, exercise and your well being is not reduced to the least of your priorities. These tips will save you time and keep you healthy, exactly what every business woman needs.

Introduction – Leduc Beaumont Devon Primary Care Network – Nandini Desai, LBD PCN Pharmacist

Beat the 2:00 pm Munchies: Understanding Your Food Cravings- Andrea Lewis, LBD PCN Registered Dietitian
1) Identify why we eat
2) 3 Types of Hunger

Movers and Shakers: Activity at Work – Corinne Cutler, LBD PCN Exercise Specialist
1) Making activity part of your everyday
2) Activity to do at your desk/office/during the workday - demo

Out, Damn Stress! OUT!  – Ledise Mason, LBD PCN Registered Nurse
1) Nurturing Ideas – what you can do today
2) Guided Imagery

To register, contact the Leduc Chamber of Commerce at:
Leduc Chamber of Commerce website

Monday, 17 September 2012

Back to School, Back to Work - Healthy Snacking

This post is part 3 of a 3 part series on back to back to school, back to work and healthy eating. 

Got the Munchies?

Snacking can be part of a healthy diet and is meant to help us for many different reasons.   Snacks ensure our bodies are getting the required nutrients and fuel from Canada’s Food Guide.  It is also used to help control our hunger and tie us over to the next meal.  Healthy snacking does take into account the foods we choose, the amount we choose and how often we are snacking.

1) Snacks should be made up of foods that are found on Canada’s Food Guide.  Most people are not meeting their daily dose of fruits and vegetables (7-10 servings a day).  Snacks are a great time to get them in!
2) Snacks can help prevent overeating at the next meal if done properly.  Eating 4-5 times a day (3 main meals plus 2 snacks) are part of a healthy diet.  Eating 3 or fewer or 6 or more times per day has been linked with increased obesity risk.  Remember snacks are not meant to full you up they are just to tie you over so you don’t overeat at the next meal. Being hungry is ok!  Grazing and snacking all day does not allow our body to experience hunger and fullness.
3) Aim for 2 snacks that are less than 150 calories for each. Read the label and pay attention to the calories!  An extra 100 calories a day could lead to a 10 pound weight gain in one year! Here are some examples of healthy snacks under 100 calories:

a. 1 whole fruit
b. ¾ cup (low fat yogurt)
c. 1 cup vegetables
d. 2 cups un-salted, un-buttered, air popped popcorn
e. 1/2 cup cottage cheese (to cut the salt in cottage cheese try a dry cottage cheese)
f. 4 melba toasts
g. ¼ cup granola

(These foods are approximately 100 calories.  Refer to the Nutrition Facts Table on the label for an accurate calorie amount)

4) Young kids often need snacks to help them get through the day.  Snacks for kids should also follow guidelines from Canada’s Food Guide.

a. Make sure to offer the snacks at least 2 hours before meals so your child will be hungry come meal time
b. Be a role model for your children by offering healthy snack choices
c. Turn off tv, phones and computer during snack time
d. Listen to your children when they say “I am full” or “no hungry”.  As a parent, it is your role to provide healthy snack but your child is responsible for how much they eat!

Why are we eating?

This is often a question that is missed when that morning, afternoon or evening craving comes around.  Most of the time we are not snacking out of “hunger , but using food as a way to comfort us and to change the way we are feeling in that moment ( boredom, stress, habit, tired, because someone else is doing it, peer pressure), therefore causing us to eat when we are not truly hungry.

Try to identify what is causing that craving and try to satisfy with it without food! Here are some suggestions to get through the moments of craving:

o Read a book
o Listen to music
o Get up and walk away from your desk
o Call a friend
o Go for a walk
o Avoid eating in front of computer, tv or while driving – a commercial or billboard about food might just cause you to become hungry
o Drink water with lemon
o Drink unsweetened herbal teas
o Brush your teeth after your meal or even when you are having a food craving

Does late night snacking cause weight gain?

Many people suggest not eating past 7, 8, or 9pm to help with weight loss.  Weight gain is not linked to the exact time you are eating but is more focused on the extra calories that are being added to the day.  This goes back to figuring out “why are we eating” and why that extra 100 calories a day might be something to reconsider!

The best way to determine how much you are eating and what food groups you need to focus on is by using a lifestyle journal.  Write down what you eat or even how you are feeling in that moment. This can really help you become aware of why you are eating!

If you nibble, scribble!
If you bite it, write it!


How to Keep a Food Diary
Healthy Snacks for Adults
Smart Snacks for Children
Packing Healthy School Lunches and Snacks
Canada's Food Guide

Andrea Lewis is a Registered Dietitian at the Leduc Beaumont Devon Primary Care Network.