It’s that time again – New Year’s Resolution season. Let’s admit it: we always start off strong with motivation and enthusiasm to eat healthier, exercise more, get more sleep and take better care of ourselves, but come mid-January, that enthusiasm starts to wain. Sometimes we just need that little extra spark to keep the fires of motivation burning, and we’ve got some super-handy tech gadgets to add some fuel to your smart health and wellness fire.
Prep It: Of course preparing your own meals is far healthier than take-out or pre-packaged food, but cooking at home takes extra time and creativity that we don’t always have. Luckily, The Panasonic Steam Microwave will make your meal prep even easier with easy, oil-free dishes that taste great. The steam function can also be combined with microwave, grill, and convection cooking to give you limitless options for making “healthy” synonymous with “delicious.”
Kick Sugar: Everyone snacks. It’s inevitable—that yawning chasm of time between lunch and dinner will find you eventually. In fact, healthy snacking can actually be good for you, as it fends off swings in blood sugar and prevents binge eating when you’re reaaally hungry. Unfortunately, most store-bought snack foods have a shocking amount of sugar in them, so we’ve got some easy tips for cutting down on sugary snacks here.
Pump It: The perfect playlist can make or break an intense workout. If you’re addicted to the energy that music gives you, make sure you’re taking full advantage of your tunes with a great set of headphones. Skullcandy’s XTFree Wireless Sport Headphones eliminates the hassle of cords and and keeps you free to pump it up. The lightweight buds have a tight comfortable fit, and you’ll get up to six hours of battery life on a charge to keep you going longer.
Get Up: New studies have shown that there’s a direct relationship between time spent sitting and your risk of early mortality. Doctors suggest that for every 30 consecutive minutes of sitting, standing up and moving or walking for five minutes at brisk pace will reduce the health risks from sitting. If you work at a sedentary job, a standing desk is a great way to avoid sitting for long periods of time. Our Certified Data Standing Desk easily changes from sitting to standing position and has a large surface area to accommodate all of your work activities.
Get Down: Fitness is more fun when it’s a family affair! Get the whole gang grooving with Just Dance, available for Nintendo Switch, PS3 & PS4, Wii & Wii U, and Xbox One and 360.
Track It: Some people need a little bossing around to stay on track with their fitness. If you don’t want to hire an expensive personal trainer, go for some wearable tech to keep you accountable. London Drugs has a wide range of Fitbit fitness trackers in lots of different styles and price ranges that can help you reach your goals. With the Fitbit app, you can track your daily steps, caloric intake and output, heart rate, sleep habits–all while looking sleek and stylish.
Light It: Everyone knows that getting enough sleep is essential support for good health: it helps our bodies repair damage, clean out waste products, balance hormones, renew cells, and so much more. New studies have even shown that a good amount of sleep helps you form memories, solidify learning, reduces your risk of depression, increases fitness levels, and helps to avoid weight gain. If the thought of trying to get more sleep seems intimidating, there is some great technology available to help create optimal conditions for a good night’s rest, like the Sleepace Nox Music Smart Sleep Light. It can help you fall asleep easily with soothing light and sound and wakes you up naturally with a smart light alarm. It also collects data from your bedroom environment that impacts your sleep quality and makes smart suggestions on how to improve your sleeping experience.
Hear It: If you like to listen to music or podcasts as you fall asleep but wake up in a tangled mess of headphone wires, the Furo Bluetooth Sleeping Mask helps you rest in comfort while listening to whatever sounds are needed to take you to dreamland. A soft micro-fibre sleeping mask with built-in Bluetooth speakers and a 6-hour battery life will give you a comfortable, tangle-free sleeping experience.
De-Stress: Ideally, we’d all have a live-in massage therapist to help us work out the knots after a stressful day or a hard workout, but alas, most of us aren’t so lucky. The next best thing could be the Homedics Neck & Shoulder Massager with Heat. This invigorating vibration massager adds heat to soothe tense muscles, and the portable design flexes and shapes to your body, providing the perfect fit for the perfect massage. Makes you want to let out a big “ahhhhhhh” just reading that, doesn’t it?
Breathe In: It’s amazing how scent can affect your mood and well-being. Just ask any of your friends who have jumped on the therapeutic essential oils bandwagon recently: lavender can help you sleep, pine can alleviate stress, citrus can help you feel more energized, and peppermint may boost concentration, just to name a few. An aromatherapy diffuser will help fill your home with whatever scent and mood you crave.
Hopefully, with a little help, we can all stick to our goals for the year (and stay off the road that they say is paved with good intentions), and make 2018 into twenty-GREAT-teen!
It can be discouraging setting your fitness New Year’s Resolutions and not being able to keep them by the time spring arrives. You feel motivated to start but somewhere along the way you lose energy, can’t keep up with your exercise routine and don’t have anyone to hold you accountable.
Here’s 4 ways to stay on a track with your fitness resolutions:
At the start, you’re motivated to make your health a priority but tend to overexert yourself. You’re willing to implement a new meal plan and exercise 4 times a week. Eating well and exercising multiple times a week are both realistic lifestyle changes, however, when you begin, it’s important to stay realistic.
Tip: Look at your current schedule and plan 1-2 fitness activities for the week. Once you feel comfortable and consistent with those days, add another class. This will allow you to ease into a new routine and make sustainable positive changes.
Doing an exercise routine that feels like a chore, limits your ability to achieve your goal. Exercise comes in many forms and can even include activities such as gardening, playing with your kids or going for a walk.
Tip: Brainstorm a list of activities that get you moving and you enjoy, or think you might enjoy, and schedule them in your calendar.
Not only should you set realistic goals and enjoy what you do, you should find the right support group or partner that will hold you accountable throughout the year. Kevin O’Connor, a competitive road runner and coach, relies on his support team to get through the rainy cooler months in Vancouver, BC. “Training through the colder months, I think it’s very important to find a group. If you can’t find a group then try and find a training partner so you know that when it’s cold, wet and miserable, someone’s going to be there and you’re accountable.”
Tip: Sign up for a weekly fitness group or pair up with a friend. Exercising with a group or friend will be more enjoyable and you can keep track of each other’s progress.
Increasing your physical activity may leave you feeling too sore to continue and increase your chances of giving up on your goals all together. Your recovery process is an important part of your fitness routine and should not be avoided. Stretching, hydrating, eating a balanced diet and supplementing with the right joint health product, allows you to regain your energy and support your joint health and mobility.
“As a running athlete, I find SierraSil Joint Formula14 and Pain Relief Topical Spray enables my recovery from the same hard workouts that I ran 17 years ago when I was at my peak. Taking SierraSil products has assisted greatly in my training with confidence after hard workouts and now I’m running almost as well as I was in 1994 and 1996.” – Kevin O’Connor
SierraSil, a clay-mineral that aids in easing joint and muscle aches, reduces delayed onset muscle soreness and calms inflammation. SierraSil has allowed many to get back to their regular physical activities without experiencing chronic pain and stiffness.
Tip: Pick up a bottle of Joint Formula14 at your nearest London Drugs to help you ease into your fitness routine.
For more advice on joint health products such as SierraSil, speak to a London Drugs pharmacist today.
Canadian summers are short, causing our great annual migration outdoors. Whether camping, canoeing, or chilling on patios and in parks, Canadians are incredibly active during summer. But there are many hazards to avoid. Luckily, LD takes care of that with solutions to carry you comfortably into September.
When exposing long-covered skin, most Canadians remember sunscreen. But are you wearing it right? The experts insist on broad-spectrum, SPF30 if spending all day in the sun. But also be sure to apply sunscreen 20 minutes before leaving shelter—allowing it time to take effect. And don’t forget to reapply periodically, especially after swimming. READ MORE
You can meet twelve-time UFC welterweight champion and three-time Sportsnet Canadian Athlete of the Year Georges St-Pierre (25-2 MMA) in person this Sunday, July 10. The event takes place inside London Drugs at 710 Granville Street in Vancouver from 3:00pm to 5:00pm. But it will be best to line up early.
“Rush” will be there to promote his GSP Series supplement line, which will soon be available at London Drugs stores. Because it’s from GSP, a longtime proponent of clean athletic performance, you know it will be good.
Don’t we all wish we could have 10 more hours in a day? That’s impossible, of course, but by boosting your brainpower, you can increase your productivity, which will create the illusion of more time. While there exist quick fixes for sharpening your brain (like eating antioxidant-filled blueberries or going for a run to score some endorphins), these three tips work best as habits to develop and maintain over time.
Getting your minimum six hours isn’t even the most important aspect of sleep – what’s really important is getting high quality sleep. Try a sleep-tracking app like Sleepbot or a Fitbit to track your REM cycles. You can also use such apps to set an adjustable alarm that will wake you when your sleep is lightest to increase the quality of your sleep.
You can also unplug before bed to improve your sleep quality. The blue light found on tablets, smartphones, and eReaders actually signals your body to wake up, right before going to bed. Try reading a paper book before bed instead.
Lastly, cutting caffeine (at least in the afternoons, if you can’t live without your morning cuppa) will better the quality of your sleep, among other benefits. Still need a three o’clock pick-me-up? Try an iced herbal tea to give you a boost without the buzz.
Abandon your GPS and calculator in favour of using a map or doing calculations in your head. You can also sign up for a daily-word email to increase your vocabulary. Exercising your brain can also be accomplished by playing Scrabble (or Words with Friends!) instead of just talking or texting. Interestingly, socialization is also hugely beneficial to your brain. By inviting friends over, you reduce your chances of dementia. What better excuse is there to open a bottle of wine?
Another way to stimulate your brain is to do something new. This can be as simple as walking somewhere instead of driving, as intense as trying a new sport. Learning a new language or instrument also positively impacts the brain.
First, kick the habit. Cigarettes have been linked to memory deficits, so the sooner you quit, the better it is for your body and brain.
Exercise regularly, even if it’s just a longer walk to your car. Try parking further from work, or getting off the bus earlier than usual to increase your walking distance. Practicing yoga or meditating also works – just 30 minutes a day contributes greatly to mental capacity.
Eating right also has a big impact. That means loading up on superfoods like blueberries, almonds, dark chocolate, and greens to boost your brain, but also making a habit of staying hydrated and eating clean and balanced meals.
Our bones support us – literally – throughout our lives. It’s especially as we age – and when those bones start to creak a little – that we tend to become more aware of the importance of bone health, and of the risk of osteoporosis, a disease marked by low bone mass and deterioration of bone tissue (which often leads to increased bone fragility and breakage). But keeping our bones strong and healthy should be a priority at any age.
Visit londondrugs.com/osteoclinics to schedule an appointment to learn more about bone health.
We spoke to Tanya Long, Senior Manager of Education for Osteoporosis Canada, about ways that you can boost your bone health at any age. She offers these five tips.
A well-balanced diet, says Long, is one that features foods rich in calcium, adequate protein and plenty of fruits and vegetables. Foods like these not only ‘feed’ the bones, but provide other nutrients that are important for bone health, too.
Food, Long says, is the very best place to get your calcium. But if, for any reason, your food sources are not adequate in terms of providing the calcium your bones need, speak to your doctor. You may then consider taking a calcium supplement, on your doctor’s advice.
Osteoporosis Canada recommends routine daily Vitamin D supplementation all year round for adults. Vitamin D, Long explains, isn’t always easily found in food sources and she says sun is simply not a reliable enough source of Vitamin D. Seek medical supervision, however, if you’re thinking of taking more than 2,000 International Units of Vitamin D per day.
We know that exercise is crucial in building and maintaining strong bones. Long says your exercise routine should include strength training (such as wall push-ups or working with free weights), balance and posture training, as well as weight-bearing activity (weight-bearing means any activity requiring you to be on your feet, like dancing, walking, stair-stepping, etc.)
Over 50? Talk to your doctor about a fracture risk assessment, which will tell you your risk of breaking a bone in the next 10 years. Also, all women and men 65 years or older should have a bone mineral density test. If you are at high risk of fracture, Osteoporosis Canada recommends medication, on advice from your doctor. Find out more about the role of medication in treating osteoporosis here.
To find out more about osteoporosis and bone health in general, please visit the Osteoporosis Canada website.
And find out more about how to identify your osteoporosis risk factors – and how to minimize that risk – at one of London Drugs’ Osteoporosis Screening Clinics.