Those with a Dalhousie login can access the recording of this workshop, held December 10, 2019, and presented by Cathy Walsh, dietician at the IWK Health Centre.
In 2017, The Guardian ran an article on the value of sleep. Some of the key points include:
- The shorter you sleep on average, the shorter your life.
- Insufficient sleep is linked to cancer.
- Insufficient sleep is linked to Alzheimers Disease.
- Many children diagnosed as ADHD are actually under slept.
- A critical factor in the obesity epidemic is lack of sleep.
Read more here.
Did you know that registered dietitians are covered by our Health Spending Account at Dal? Dietitians can provide tailored advice and information to help you navigate the challenges you may face in living a healthy life.
I was recently diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and the food sensitivities that go along with it. I began looking for a dietitian to help me with meal planning when I discovered Simply For Life (SFL). I thought it was just a weight loss clinic, but SFL consultants are all registered dietitians who can help with food-related illness as well.
I have been meeting with an SFL dietitian once a week for three months. She is very knowledgeable about IBS and has lots of delicious recipes that work with my food sensitivities. She taught me how to pair foods to balance my blood sugar and get the nutrients I need to maintain energy throughout the day and sleep well.
For the first time in years, I have the energy to enjoy the activities I had given up when I was sick, like hiking, running, yoga and team sports. My mood has improved and I have a clear head. I am also slowly losing weight and people are telling me that my skin and hair look healthier. Most importantly, I’m happy and healthy again.
- Stefanie Adams, Human Resources
Got a health story to tell? Submit it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sometimes changing up a routine to include new, fun exercise activities can create a positive experience. These are all examples that could be tried:
- Dance fitness: Signing up for a class with high-energy music, such as Zumba, allows you to explore different styles of dance and aerobic exercise while having fun and making friends at the same time.
- Spin classes: A great cardio workout in a social, supportive environment with high energy music.
- Boxing fitness: A great way to blow off some steam after a stressful day at work or an argument with a friend!
- Boot camps: These usually involve combinations of resistance training, aerobic exercises, and creative weightlifting for people of all fitness levels that are a fun interpretation of classic military training and can be very powerful and motivational.
- Running/walking groups: These groups are often centered around a goal and meet regularly on different routes or trails. They are often free to join and easy to find peers at a similar fitness level.
Click here for more information on how you can put the fun back into fitness.
There is a well-known relationship between diet and emotional state, as improving what you eat can lead to: positive feelings, more energy, clearer thinking, and calmer moods. Here are five tips on food and mood.
How regularly do you eat?
If you don’t eat regularly, you blood sugar will drop, leading to feelings of fatigue, irritability, and depression. You need to eat regularly to keep your sugar level at a steady level, and choose foods that release energy slowly. Some slow-release energy foods include: protein rich foods, nuts and seeds, oats, and whole grains.
Some tips to eat regularly are: eating breakfast gets the day off to a good start, and instead of eating a large lunch and dinner, try eating smaller portions spaced out more regularly throughout the day (Mind, 2016).
Do you keep yourself hydrated?
Not drinking enough water can make it difficult for you to concentrate or think clearly. Dehydration can also make you feel constipated, which puts no one in a good mood. On top of drinking water, herbal or green tea, or diluted fruit juices are great ways of keeping you hydrated.
You need at least 4 cups of water, or other healthy beverages, to stay hydrated. Some water is in your food, but you need to drink the rest. Ordinary tea and coffee don’t count, because the caffeine in them takes water out of your body. Alcohol and sugary drinks don’t count either (Mind, 2016).
Are you having too much caffeine?
Caffeine may help you feel more alert in the morning, but having too much can make you feel anxious and depressed, and disturb your sleep. Caffeine is found within teas, coffees, chocolate, cola and other manufactured energy drinks. You may feel noticeably better if you reduce your caffeine intake or avoid it all together (Mind, 2016).
Do you get your 5 a day?
The minerals, vitamins, and fibre we need to keep us physically and mentally healthy are found in ample amounts in vegetables and fruits. Eating a variety of different coloured fruits and vegetables, remember to eat the rainbow, means that you’ll get your required range of nutrients. For example, tomatoes, mushrooms, and bananas all contain high levels of potassium, which is essential for your whole nervous system, including your brain (Mind, 2016).
Are you eating the right fats?
We always hear that we should avoid all fats, but some fatty oils (such as omega-3 and-6) help your brain work well. So instead of avoiding all fats, it’s important to eat the right ones. Healthy fats are found in: oily fats, poultry, nuts (especially walnuts and almonds), olive and sunflower oils, seeds, avocados, milk, yogurt, cheese, and eggs.
It’s important to avoid anything with ‘trans fats’ and ‘partially hydrogenated oils’ in them, which are usually found in things like store bought cookies or chips. They can be tempting in the short term, but bad for your mood and your physical health in the long run (Mind, 2016).
Mind. (2016). How can food affect mood? Retrieved from http://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/tips-for-everyday-living/food-and-mood/#.VwZ1FBMrIcg