Posts Tagged "vitamin D"

11 Tips to Make the Most of Winter

Posted by on Nov 24, 2013 in Featured, Health, How-To's | Comments Off on 11 Tips to Make the Most of Winter

11 Tips to Make the Most of Winter

The cold weather and holiday season is fast approaching. Picturing yourself in front of the fireplace? Wrapping yourself in warm blankets while holding a mug of hot chocolate? Have you imagined yourself skating at the ice rink or putting on the skis? To make the most of winter, try these 11 tips to stay healthy, energetic and connected. 1. Moisturize – we all know to moisturize our hands and face in the colder drier weather, but did you know to moisturize the inside of your nose? Moisturizing your nose with vaseline or another non-absorbing moisturizer can protect your nasal membranes and keep you from catching a cold virus. 2. Take Vitamin D – Unless you live below the 50th parallel, you don’t get enough sunshine from October to April to keep your Vitamin D in a healthy range. It’s safe to take 2000 IU daily of Vitamin D. It’s an important vitamin that is good for a healthy immune system, healthy bones, energy, and more. Read more about the health benefits here. 3. Take Vitamin C – I’ve caught the cold virus a number of times this year and was able to fight it off with high doses of Vitamin C. I’ve taken as much at 2500mg with each meal, 3 times a day just when I started to notice symptoms and have been able to bounce back overnight. 4. See your chiropractor – As the temperature dips, it’s more likely for our joints and muscles to ache. Chances are your nervous system is under stress too. Regular visits to a Network Spinal Analysis Chiropractor can do wonders to teach your body-mind to release tension and experience greater vitality. 5. Learn something new – Spending time outdoors may be scarce these days, so why not use the extra time to learn a new activity or skill? This is your chance to exercise your mind and body and prepare yourself for the new year. 6. Be with friends and family – Health is more than mind and body. It’s the quality of your friendships and family ties. Spend time celebrating the season with your loved ones and notice how alive you feel when you’re surrounded by those you love and those who love you back. Bonus points for meeting new people, making new friends or starting a new relationship! 7. Practice your faith – Do you believe in something greater? Ever wondered if you had a life purpose? Spending time in meditation, prayer or worship can be rejuvenating and help you with gain focus, direction and certainty in life. 8. Break a sweat – The colder months make it easier to stay inside and away from the gym. This is your chance to practice Tip #5 Learn something new. Make this season your opportunity to have a new winter activity or sport. Maybe it’s living room yoga? Perhaps it’s your existing outdoor activity but with a twist… 9. Bundle up and Layer up – If this is your very first winter of outdoor physical activity, consider an investment in warm clothing. Modern day outdoor active wear has really made it possible to manage heat, cold and moisture while you move around! 10. Breathe – The holidays can be a stressful time of year. Somato Respiratory Integration is an effective way to breathe mindfully and get connected to the peace and strength within. It’s easy to learn and can quickly bring down tension and stress. 11. Enjoy the change – How monotonous would it be if we had no change in seasons? I don’t know about you, but I like bringing out the warmer sweaters,...

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Make the Best of the Outdoors – 5 Easy Tips

Posted by on Jun 13, 2013 in Featured, Health, How-To's | Comments Off on Make the Best of the Outdoors – 5 Easy Tips

Make the Best of the Outdoors – 5 Easy Tips

I think of myself as someone who takes good care of my health. I eat nearly 100% vegan and mostly whole foods. I ride my bike to and from Source Centre on a daily basis. I get adequate rest. And I have regular Network Spinal Care. What more could I do? I was in for a shock when I stood in front of the camera lighting for a video shoot to answer frequently asked questions about Network Spinal Analysis. I squinted as my eyes adjusted to the brightness. Partway through the filming, I was fanning myself because of all the heat and perspiration! Most shocking though was how I felt standing in front of the lights. Yes, I was nervous, but I was much more alert than usual. I felt energetic and ready to take on anything. How could I feel so much more alive standing in front of these bright lights? How could I, unless I’ve been missing something? Maybe sunshine? Like many of you, I spend a lot of time indoors. Between all the responsibilities of running Source Centre and caring for my patients and practice members, I have limited opportunities to get outside and enjoy the fresh air and sunshine. I look for easy ways to maximize the benefits of being outdoors. Here’s my advice: Any time outside is better than none. Get outside even if you can only spare 30 seconds. Getting off your chair and away from the computer will give your body a break from the strain of sitting. Look for some green space near your office and home. Being surrounded by green multiplies the benefit of being outside. Being on grass rather than a sidewalk makes a world of difference. Being surrounded by tree and plants is much more calming than being around buildings. Studies show that time spent in parks ease stress and frustration. If you live or work near Source Centre or the Toronto Entertainment District, there are quite a few options nearby for green space. My top picks include: David Pecaut Square behind Metro Hall and Roy Thompson hall. Consider coming for Wednesday morning yoga starting July 2013. St. Andrew’s Market and Playground on Adelaide and Brant. Grange Park on John north of Queen. Clarence Square on Spadina and Wellington. Bike to work. It’s a great way to get exercise, fresh air, sunshine, and to reduce the stress of your commute. Expose your skin. Roll up you sleeves and wear short or skirts. Skin that normally doesn’t see the sun will generate more vitamin D. Get out in the middle of the day. The sun is the brightest between 11am and 3pm. How do you get the most of the outdoors? Share your ideas by leaving a reply. If you found these tips useful please share this blog with your friends, family and co-workers.    Tweet...

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Let’s Get Outside

Posted by on Jun 2, 2013 in Featured, Health | Comments Off on Let’s Get Outside

Let’s Get Outside

Heading into June finds us in the longest days of the year. This is it: the time to get outside and enjoy as many drops of sunlight and warm weather as possible. We wait through many months of darkness to get to here so what are you doing to make the most of it? I was inspired by the David Suzuki Foundation challenge this past May to spend 30 minutes in nature for 30 days. Sounds simple enough. However, according to the D S F website, the average Canadian spends more than 90% of their time indoors! Unless we make a deliberate and conscientious effort, it can be easy to miss the summer.  Do you find yourself saying “Where’s all the time gone?”I hear this from people quite frequently and especially so this past May. Perhaps you tell yourself that you’ll make it out to something eventually but never somehow quite seem to manage to. It’s so easy to lose track of time and let these days of light and sun slip through our fingers. Don’t let it happen! In the spirit of these beautiful long days of light leading up to the summer solstice, and inspired by the David Suzuki Foundation, I encourage you to commit to spending at least 30 minutes outdoors for 30 days in June. (Then, maybe continue it through to July, August – you get the picture.) There are many health benefits to being outdoors, including increased vitamin D which has a host of benefits (see Dr. Tara Andresen’s blog earlier this winter on the importance of Vitamin D http://www.sourcecentre.ca/vitamin-d-to-the-rescue-your-secret-weapon-during-the-cold-flu-season/ ) We experience greater peace and healing in nature; our stress levels lower, we are restored and feeling happier. We’re also more likely to experience greater fitness levels the more time we spend outdoors.  So are you ready to commit to more time outdoors this June (and beyond)?   Let’s walk, run, play, swim. The options are endless. Or why not take indoor activities and bring them outside? This could be office meetings…or eating lunch…or brushing teeth! Check out the great suggestions on the David Suzuki website and drop by and pick up a journal at Source Centre where you can track your outdoor adventures. Take on the great outdoors this summer, so that when it draws to an end and the days become perceptibly shorter, you can feel satisfied and satiated by all that you did. Enjoy this sublime season. See you outside. (photo by Lana, who got outside)  ...

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Vitamin D to the Rescue! Your Secret Weapon During the Cold & Flu Season

Posted by on Jan 8, 2013 in Featured, Health, How-To's | Comments Off on Vitamin D to the Rescue! Your Secret Weapon During the Cold & Flu Season

Vitamin D to the Rescue! Your Secret Weapon During the Cold & Flu Season

(Image: “sunflowers” by Exsodus / FreeDigitalPhotos.net) We have been hearing more and more about the impressive benefits of Vitamin D intake. In particular, we are now finding out that Vitamin D can help boost your immune system to better ward off colds and flu, especially important for Canadians during the winter months. Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that is actually more like a precursor to steroid hormones. It is made by our skin from exposure to UV light from the sun. Decreased exposure to sunlight in the fall and winter months in Toronto means that our bodies are producing less Vitamin D naturally. There are multiple forms of Vitamin D, but the one that is best used in the body is Vitamin D3. Recent research supports the theory that low sunlight exposure and secondary deficiencies of vitamin D underlie susceptibility to colds and influenza. It turns out that the anti-microbial cells that line the respiratory tract are dependent on Vitamin D. As a result, by acting on these immune cells, Vitamin D prevents lung infections associated with influenza. So how to do you make sure that you’re getting enough Vitamin D? Individual Vitamin D requirements can vary considerably so it’s best to have your Vitamin D levels tested through a simple blood test done by either your Naturopathic or Medical Doctor. The best lab test is 25-hydroxy-Vitamin D. Based on your blood testing and medical history, your Naturopathic Doctor can assess and make recommendations to meet your individual Vitamin D needs. Once you have determined your Vitamin D status, there are several options to increase your levels. These include sunshine exposure, food sources and supplementation. Most people meet at least some of their Vitamin D needs through sunlight exposure. UV radiation penetrates the skin and is converted to Vitamin D. The amount of Vitamin D made by your body can depend on the level of cloud cover, sunscreen use, time of day and season. It has been suggested that for the average person, without an existing Vitamin D deficiency, 30 minutes, 2-3 times per week of sun exposure between 10am and 3pm leads to adequate vitamin D synthesis. In addition to sunshine, fortified foods tend to provide most of the Vitamin D in the Canadian diet (milk and margarine are fortified by), but the best natural food sources are fatty fish (salmon, tuna, mackerel) and fish liver oils. Small amounts can also be obtained from beef liver, cheese, egg yolks and mushrooms. In some cases, food sources and sunshine are not adequate and supplementation with Vitamin D3 may be required. There a number of good Vitamin D3 supplements available. The dose can range from 2000IU to 5000IU per day. Drop form is more convenient and slightly better absorbed than capsules or...

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Sunshine Breaks

Posted by on Dec 28, 2012 in Featured, Quotes & Thoughts, Short Entries | Comments Off on Sunshine Breaks

Sunshine Breaks

Winter is upon us and as the evening dusk descends earlier, it is imperative that we take what I like to call ‘sunshine breaks.’  On the smallest scale, my daily sunshine break is taking a midday walk outside, enjoying a warm dose of afternoon sun as it warms the earth.  It is very important to have exposure to sunlight as it affects the production of vitamin D and its role of helping to absorb calcium in the body.  The combination of fresh air, break from work, and daylight sun (even if it’s just for ten to fifteen minutes) can help provide our bodies with a subtle boost!    Mid-winter mini sunshine breaks are good too, especially post-holiday season.  Going away for a weekend and getting a hit of sun can be very refreshing and good for the soul.  Of course if you can take a fuller, longer vacation away, that’s even better!  Being immersed in sunshine can lift spirits, cause feelings of rejuvenation and allow us to get away from the everyday routine.  It can provide us with a sunny escape to feel like we’ve been gone away for a long time, only to be welcomed back happily to our daily lives.   So go ahead, take your Sunshine Break!   [Image...

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