While the expression is “you get what you pay for,” you can access some excellent fitness resources for free: [Read more…]
Are you happy? That’s a difficult question to answer. You might feel happy right now, but perhaps later in the day you may feel less happy. Do you need to be happy every moment of every day? That would be difficult to achieve given the realities of life. Joyful celebrations and milestones, achievement of goals, daily interactions, disappointments in ourselves and others, illnesses and injuries, losses of loved ones and many other events big and small contribute to the wide range of human emotions that we experience.
One sure way to improve happiness, however, is with regular exercise. [Read more…]
‘My father prayed and recited the Ten Plagues. The next day, Russian soldiers told survivors they were free to go.’
My father, Arthur Schwartz, arrived in Canada 70 years ago as one of the 1,123 Jewish orphans that Canada admitted after the Holocaust.
Born in Kosice, Czechoslovakia, in 1923, he grew up in an Orthodox Jewish working-class family. [Read more…]
By the time this article goes to print, the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, will be over. What we can take away from these Games?
In the days leading up to the Olympics, I learned about some of the athletes and their journeys to the games. How do you become a world-class winter sports athlete when you’re from a hot climate? [Read more…]
Osteoarthritis is a common chronic condition. Ten per cent of Canadians age 15 and over have osteoarthritis. The average age of diagnosis is 50. https://tinyurl.com/y74lqhsg Osteoarthritis is more common in women than men.
Osteoarthritis “is caused by a breakdown of cartilage in joints causing bones to rub together resulting in pain, stiffness and eventual loss of use. There are some forms of osteoarthritis that appear to be genetically driven and others that are a result of injury, overuse or advanced age” (Joint Health, February 2008, https://tinyurl.com/y9ec9p6c). [Read more…]
A few weeks into the New Year and most people who made resolutions to lose weight have fallen off the bandwagon. Unwanted pounds are more easily gained in winter by decreased activity and overeating too much of the wrong things. Between the polar vortex and the bomb cyclone, we got hit hard in December and January with weeks of extremely cold weather. And we’re not done yet. What can beat a satisfying bowl of hot, healthy homemade soup on a cold winter’s night?
If the thought of making soup seems intimidating, fear not. If you can boil water, you can make the following recipe for lentil soup. I’m not the best cook and I made it. It’s delicious, nutritious and filling. [Read more…]
Mr. Freydick and Mr. Krekhtser (fictional characters) are acquaintances who bump into each other from time to time.
“How are you?” asks Mr. Krekhtser.
No matter how he’s feeling, Mr. Freydick typically smiles and replies, “I’m fine, thanks. How are you?”
Mr. Krekhtser never says he’s fine. This week it might be a sore back. Another time it might be a headache, a cold, a restless night or his allergies acting up. It’s always something. Mr. Krekhtser has an endless catalogue of ailments. He never fails to seize the moment and launch into a soliloquy that leaves Mr. Freydick wondering how to politely extricate himself from this mentally exhausting encounter. [Read more…]
‘Tis the season for gift giving. Forget the box of chocolates. We already tend to overeat during the holidays and there’s usually no shortage of sugary treats. The chachkas that you carefully select for your loved ones may end up gathering dust or being regifted. Gift cards sound like the ideal gift because they’re easy to buy and the recipient can select a gift of their choice. However, according to Consumers Reports one-third of gift cards are never used.
Whether the person you’re shopping for is fit as a fiddle and eats for optimal health or is just dreaming about self-improvement, you can express your love with practical gifts that promote health and fitness. [Read more…]
Back pain is a complex problem. To find out how to best prevent and eliminate it, I spoke with Stuart McGill, PhD, a world-renowned expert in low-back disorders and spine biomechanics with over 30 years of experience including research, training clinicians and seeing patients. He is a professor emeritus at the Department of Kinesiology, University of Waterloo. He’s written several books including Back Mechanic: The Step-by-step McGill Method to fix back pain.
The majority of adults will experience back pain at some point in their lives. McGill says poor posture and prolonged sitting contribute to this widespread problem, as does combining improper loading with unhealthy movements such as spine-flexing. Compression followed with bending the lumbar spine can lead to disc bulging and herniation which can press on a nerve and cause pain. Some exercises such as forward-bending yoga poses, sit-ups and crunches can result in injury with repeated use, though not everyone is as anatomically susceptible. McGill says crunches put the equivalent of 340 kilograms of compression force on the spine! [Read more…]
Did you know that you have approximately 20,000 genes? Genes are inherited from your biological parents. Science has made great inroads with respect to identifying the human genome and some of the genes associated with different diseases.
While genetic predisposition for diseases puts you at increased risk, it does not mean you are destined to get those diseases. “Genetic nihilism” is a term coined by Dr. Dean Ornish, a professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, to describe people who believe there’s nothing they can do if they have a genetic predisposition. [Read more…]