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Health Tips for a Great Start to the New Year

Happy New Year from the team at Physio Excellence! We hope you are enjoying a good start to a brand new year. What will 2015 bring? We are all so excited to find out.

We know New Year’s can be a time to set some health goals and so many of our patients are expressing a desire to learn more and do more to make sure they stay on track for wellness. Lose weight, get in shape, eat well and stress less are among some common ones we hear a lot around the clinic. And we are so inspired every day to help you be the best you can be: whether to recover from childbirth, all in one piece!, to return to the activities you love after pregnancy or an injury, or to eat better and sleep more, we have lots of helpful advice to share. We thought we’d round up our helpful suggestions, to keep you inspired toward wellness all year long. A few of our practitioners have shared pearls of wisdom:

Anita, Physiotherapist

"Avoid sits ups/crunches. They increase intra- abdominal pressure which:

- puts strain on your low back structures and can lead to low back pain;

- can worsen or create an abdominal separation (diastasis rectus abdominis);

- pushes your pelvic organs and pelvic floor muscles down and can cause pelvic organ prolapse or incontinence."

Nadia, Physiotherapist

"We all know that staying hydrated is important. Drinking too little (i.e. dehydration) can cause a significant decrease in alertness, concentration, and short-term memory. It also results in a decrease in muscle strength and endurance, and can contribute to symptoms of urinary urgency and constipation.

Drinking too much (i.e. overhydrating) is not ideal either, as it can cause headaches, fatigue, and confusion (in addition to making you run to the washroom frequently throughout the day).

So how much should we really be drinking? You might have heard that you should be drinking 6-8 glasses of water a day. For some, that amount might be ideal, and for others, it could be too much or too little.  Health Canada doesn't actually have recommendations on water intake since how much you need depends on a) the rest of your diet, b) what activities you're doing and in what climate.

Instead, you can judge how much liquid your body needs based on your urine colour. Aim for a pale yellow or a straw colour in the daytime. Clear means you might be drinking too much, and dark yellow means you need to drink more! A simple calculation is your body weight divided by 2. That gives you the amount in ounces. Divide this number by 8 and you will get a good baseline for how many glasses you should be drinking. But remember, this doesn’t account for nursing mothers, sweaty exercises and the climate you are in."

Zeynep and Alan, Naturopaths

"Considering banishing coffee as your New Year's resolution?

If you have either anxiety, tremors, insomnia, perhaps glaucoma, or a caffeine dependency, that might be a good thing.

However, if you don't, there's lots of research out there that says coffee can be quite healthy!

Studies have shown it can help in diabetes, cardiovascular disease, depression, cognitive function, liver disease, and even certain cancers.

Just remember the benefits come from coffee, not from any added sugar, cream, etc. :) If you do decide to give it up, remeber the caffeine can stay in your system for up to a week, so go easy on yourself if you don’t notice any changes right away.

Happy New Year!"

Shirley, Personal Training  

"Starting a physical activity program is a great New Year's resolution that can have many health benefits but turning that intention into action is often the hard part. While the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology recommends accumulating a minimum of 150 minutes of aerobic activity per week in adults, expecting yourself to go from 0 to 150 overnight is unrealistic. Start with something more manageable. Even bouts of exercise as short as 10-15 minutes per day can begin making a difference. Start there and gradually add on to your program. Some great activities to get you going include taking brisk walks, cycling, or combining your favourite body weight exercises into a circuit."

Happy New Year from all of us! What are your health goals for 2015? And how can we help?