When starting a new exercise program or upping the intensity of your current plan, don’t worry about what the scale says! – As your body adapts to the new demands placed on it, the volume of blood in your body can increase up to 1 1/2 litres — to carry more oxygen and nutrients to your muscles. Muscles that are being worked regularly respond by storing more glycogen and water, increasing their work capacity. If you are doing any work with weights, you will likely be adding lean muscle tissue — lean muscle is denser than body fat. Weight loss from decreasing body fat can be offset by these factors. Trust the tape, the mirror, and how your clothes fit. Slow and steady is the best way to get lasting results. Eating a balanced, clean and moderate diet, and exercising regularly (incorporating some form of strength training into your workouts) will yield the best results.
Todd Dennis, www.NorthStrongFitness.com
Did you know that regular use of castor oil might stimulate and increase hair growth, reduce and prevent breakage, and condition and moisturize the hair and scalp? Castor oil is a humectant, meaning it attracts and retains moisture to the skin and hair. The antibacterial and anti-fungicidal properties of ricinoleic acid in castor oil protects the scalp against hair loss, while making hair stronger, smoother, and less frizzy. To use, dilute the castor oil with another oil (think argan, coconut, or sweet almond). Castor oil is very thick, which can make it hard to apply. Warm the oils and start with damp, but not wet hair. Massage your head with your fingertips using small, circular motions. Use your fingers to comb your hair; this helps distribute the oil. For best results, treat yourself to castor oil twice a week.
As enjoyable as holiday planning may be, does it ever give you a headache? Between the shopping, the wrapping, the cooking, and the decorating, does holiday stress make your head throb? According to a survey by the National Headache Foundation, over half of those polled admitted that they have an increase or worsening of their headache symptoms during the holiday season. Three very common triggers of headaches are stress, changes in sleep patterns, and exposure to smoke and perfume. These triggers are widespread during the holidays. These tips may help you avoid holiday stress and a bad headache: Plan ahead. Avoid marathon mall shopping. Remember to eat. Get some fresh air.
Steinbach Arts Council, steinbachartscouncil.ca
With all of the demands on our time these days, being healthy is a conscious choice. Choices like what we eat, how much sleep we get, and how we move our bodies. As the year winds down, we find ourselves evaluating our choices and looking ahead to a fresh start in January. What choices are we making? Where do we put ourselves on our to-do list? How much time do we allow for ourselves? In a world which seems to move faster every day, yoga is a practice which helps us to slow down time and find presence as we build healthier bodies and minds. Creating this space for ourselves is even more important as our routines stretch to fit in holiday events. Make the commitment to yourself now, and not only will you feel less stressed over the holidays, but you’ll also get a head start on your goals for next year.
Susan Turner, www.YogaConnections.ca
There has been a lot of hype around “mindfulness” these days. It has seemed to taken the world by storm, and it’s showing up in all kinds of forms; yoga, Ayurveda, meditation, chanting, gong baths, singing bowls, drumming, essential oils, and the list goes on. One might ask what does it do? To tell you the truth the benefits are numerous, and we’d have to write a book to capture it all. For the sake of space let us capture a few: relaxation, self exploration, being present, increased energy, releases of “unbalanced” energies, relieving illness such as anxiety, depression, post traumatic stress, and insomnia. I’d have to say for me, the biggest benefit in my life has been that all of these practices of “mindfulness” bring me to a place of inner and outer peace. The only way you are going to know for sure if any of these benefits apply to your life is by experiencing it!
Carole Tetreault, www.shineyourlight.ca
Growing Healthy Kids with Food Straight from Soil. In the tradition of Michael Pollan, Mark Hyman, and Andrew Weil, pioneering integrative pediatric neurologist Maya ShetreatKlein, MD, reveals the shocking contents of children’s food, how it’s seriously harming their bodies and brains, and what we can do about it. www.dirtcure.com
pureWash® Pro is a breakthrough in home laundry purification. As it turns out, your laundry has been keeping a dirty little secret, (It’s really not that clean at all!). Detergent may leave clothes smelling clean, but it does not eliminate the mold and bacteria that builds up from sports activities, pets, and everyday living. pureWash® Pro cleans clothes with the disinfecting power of oxygen, not detergent. This same technology is used in Hospitals and Hotels. It’s clinically proven to eliminate 99.9% of bacteria and mold, plus it’s both safe for the environment and for family members of all ages! If you have sensitive skin, you will not get skin irritations as you do from detergent. Detergent build-up promotes mold growth and does not kill bacteria. Independent, scientific studies have proven pureWash® Pro kills 99.9% of both with cold water. The power of naturally oxygenated water eliminates dirt, bacteria, and mold better than detergent!
Kevin Shale, Low Environmental Impact Technologies, Leit.ca
It’s officially cold and flu season. Here are five simple things you can do to improve your body’s natural immunity: 1. Drink a TON of Water: Ensuring you are hydrated is an important part of keeping your immune system strong. Try to drink at least 1.5 to 2 litres of water each day to keep your body in tiptop shape and ready to fight cold and flu bugs. 2. Get a Good Night’s Sleep: The body regenerates and repairs itself while you sleep. Getting a proper night’s rest – between six and eight hours – is important for keeping your body’s natural defenses at optimum efficiency. 3. Take a Hot/Cold Shower: The next time you take a shower try alternating hot and cold water. Research shows the body’s immune system is stimulated when it tries to warm itself up in between the extreme temperature changes. White blood cell production is increased and endorphins are released that help you relax and relieve pain.
Brett Scott, www.disabilitytaxcredit.webs.com
Fall’s a season of relaxation and change, the leaves turn red and the rhythm of nature slows down. It’s a time of preparation for winter. As humans, the rhythm of our bodies coincides with the one of nature, following its grooves throughout the year. Like a bear in its den, we must prepare ourselves for upcoming changes. A proven way to emerge your body into its natural flow is nourishing it according to seasons. Applying techniques such as yoga and meditation eases the mind and soul during this transition. An easy way to begin this life giving process is to take part in a retreat hosted by your local holistic practitioner. The practitioner will teach you methods to nurture your mind, body, and soul so that you are attuned to and flowing alongside nature. Fall’s a sloped season of transition for all living beings. Allow your soul to be nourished at a retreat near you.
Celine Sartoris, www.shineyourlight.ca
“The best things in life, aren’t things.” With Christmas approaching and thoughts of what gifts to buy it’s an opportunity to be mindful about what sort of ‘things’ we really value these days. Most of us have enough stuff but are lacking in time and energy. That makes gifts of time a wonderful, caring gift that we can be happy to give. Time away from the daily demands of work and family, time for experiences that promote self-care, health, and wellness. Whether it’s a weekly class or a one-time workshop, time for yoga is time for self and time for caring for our body and our mind. How do you give this? It’s easy! Most studios sell gift cards that can then be used towards services and/ or products. Available in any denomination, your gift becomes just the right ‘thing’ because the receiver gets to choose how they use it!
Susan Turner, www.YogaConnections.ca
A tabloid reads, “Grapefruit diet’s key to losing 20 lbs. quick!” Sure, eat only grapefruit and your body weight will likely drop. The decrease you see on your scale compromises lean muscle, smooth muscle, water, bone, and body fat. The muscle you lose is one of the best tools you have for burning body fat. When you get sick of the grapefruit and return to normal eating, your body weight will likely rebound higher because your energy requirements have lowered by decreased muscle mass. Crash diets don’t work. Beware of “lose weight quick” scams. The best way to decrease your body fat is with a combination of exercise and a balanced diet. Incorporate lean protein in your diet to maintain your muscle mass while decreasing body fat. Body composition is comprised of 75% from what you eat and 25% from your exercise regimen. You cannot out exercise a bad diet.
Todd Dennis, www.northstrongfitness.com