Tuesday, 16 December 2014

6 Tips for Managing Holiday Stress

The holiday season can be very overwhelming for most. LBD PCN Registered Psychologist, Sheila Gothjelpsen offers these tips on managing holiday stress:

1. Evaluate expectations - whether they’re yours or someone else’s, unrealistic expectations can lead to stress. Remind yourself that you don’t have to do it all.

2. Ask for help - enlist the help of family and friends to share the load of entertaining. Reach out to others for support, advice and assistance when needed.

3. Review what you value about the holiday - ask yourself: “Am I focusing on what I truly value this holiday season?”

4. Look after yourself - self-care is important during the holiday season as increased stress can increase your risk for colds, flus and mental health issues.  Try to eat healthy and exercise as much as possible to help manage stress (we know this one is a challenge).

5. Relax - use deep breathing, meditation or any other relaxation technique to help lower overall levels of tension.

6. Make a List - not a Christmas or holiday present wish list, but rather a gratitude list.  Note all the things you’re thankful for this holiday season and review it every day.

Monday, 15 December 2014

Staying active over the holiday season

With the holidays coming up quickly, let’s remember the benefits of activity and try and reduce the amount of sitting time as much as possible.  

We all have plans and certain times set aside with family members but why not try to be creative and make the time together a little more active?  

Going for a walk in the milder weather is always a great idea and something most can take part in. Of course safety measures should be applied for walking on icy sidewalks, like using walking sticks and having good footwear or grips that give traction on the ice.  

Take the family to the local outdoor ice rink and go for a skate or maybe tobogganing on a local hill.  Play more active board games where more standing is involved or even hooking up to the Wii and play video games that involve movement. 

If you have some time off during the day, check out a local recreation centre and see what programs and classes they have to offer, maybe even try a few. 

These are just some ideas to get more activity into the holiday season as it can be so easy to relax and enjoy all the festivities and forget about keeping activity in the schedule.  Remember to aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate activity 5 days of the week and plan ahead and schedule the time in.  

Happy Holidays!

Corinne Cutler is an Exercise Specialist at the Leduc Beaumont Devon Primary Care Network.

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

How to keep lifestyle goals throughout this holiday season

Everywhere you look there are signs of holidays; snow, lights, decorations, Christmas trees all in preparation for the season.  Unfortunately holidays do pose challenges when it comes to watching our portions and choosing healthy options, given all the extra temptations and yummy goodies everywhere you turn. Just because it’s the holidays does not mean we can’t try to incorporate some healthy habits to keep us on track with our lifestyle and health goals.

Check out these two handouts called Healthy Holiday Eating and Eating Out the Healthy Way for some great tips!

These tips don’t just refer to the holiday season, any special occasion or time we are eating away from home still pose challenges to lifestyle goals and that these tips can also be used in those situations.

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

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Pelvic floor muscles and keeping them intact

Keeping your pelvic floor muscles strong and intact is an important factor in health for both men and women. 

Keeping these muscles intact and contracting properly allows for:

- providing better recovery from childbirth,
- improving control over bladder and bowel function, lessening the chances of urinary or stress incontinence,
- reducing the risk of prolapse,
- providing benefit to men for better recovery after prostate surgery.

The attached article provides some basic information and education for exercise professionals on how to assist with promoting good pelvic health.  This article also has some great information that can help promote how to increase public awareness s on the subject.  

A great form of exercise for maintaining and increasing pelvic floor muscle strength is Pilates, which the Exercise Specialist at the PCN is certified in.  Please see your family doctor for a referral to the Leduc Beaumont Devon Primary Care Network in order to access the Exercise Specialist or any of the SMILE team members.  

Corinne Cutler is an Exercise Specialist at the LBD PCN.