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Cold weather and your health

How cold weather can affect your body and
what you can do to protect yourself

Winter-time is celebrated by some and hated by others. For those who love winter activities like skiing, skating, sledding, snowshoeing or snowmen building it’s the best part of the year. Other people spend most of their time indoors in front of the fireplace with cup of hot tea and the luckier ones somewhere south escaping the frosty weather both looking forward to first sings of spring.cold weather, protecting your health in cold weather in Calgary

No matter which group you belong to the cold weather has an impact on our overall health in general. Let’s have a look at some of the areas that may be at risk.

Skin

In cold weather our skin loses moisture and becomes dry and tight and the heated air inside our homes or offices makes it even worse. You can experience irritation, flaking or even cracking of your skin. You should wear a sunscreen outdoors and keep covered as much as possible plus upgrade your lightweight summer cosmetics to heavier creams suitable for cold weather conditions.

For indoors consider using a humidifier and don’t overdo it with the heat. Soaking in hot bath is very comforting in wintertime but can lead to more dryness so don’t forget to moisturize with your favourite lotion.

Immune system

 Winter, beside cold weather, also bring flu and cold season. It’s almost some kind of tradition – as soon as the outside temperatures drop the world is suddenly full of coughing, sneezing and sniffling people and the sales of tissues soar.

If you want to stay healthy:

  • Focus on boosting your immune system with the help of antioxidants and vitamins preferably coming from fresh fruits and vegetables. And if you didn’t get a flu shot yet, it’s never too late.
  • Sleep at least 7 hours every night, our desire to sleep increases naturally with less light, so don’t fight it and get that much needed rest.
  • Stay active during the day though, even short walk every day will make a difference.
  • Using massage, especially with warm oil is also a good and pleasant way to strengthen our immunity in winter.

Heart

Cold weather is not the best for the heart. Low temperature can decrease the flow of oxygenated blood to your hear muscle and is one of the risk factors of heart attack. We can also over-strain ourselves easier in winter, walking in deep snow against the cold wind, shoveling the sidewalks and digging our cars out of snowdrifts. The rule is to always dress warm, don’t forget to cover your head and if you have heart condition avoid alcohol which might make you feel warm at the beginning but as it expands the blood vessels it takes the heat away from vital organs.

Eyesightwinter activities and protecting your health in Calgary

 Lovers of winter sports pay attention. You probably will not find riskier environment for your eyes than high snowy mountains. The most dangerous for your eyes is UV light that can cause “snow blindness” and contribute to development of cataract.  Good quality sunglasses with high UV filter are a must during all on-snow activities. Make sure that the eyes of your children are protected too since they are even more vulnerable.

Winter season is a busy one with all the holiday parties, family dinners and winter sports. It also brings more risk of injuries and sicknesses. Our health should always be our number one priority even though it’s harder to find the motivation at this time of the year. So listen to your body, move regularly, eat healthy balanced diet and keep the good spirits. Spring will be here sooner than you think. Until then stay warm!

Health benefits of exercise

Do you ever wonder when will be the best time for you to start exercising?

If you are not sick or recovering from an injury, the answer is simple. Today. It’s really never too late.

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There are many different ways of how to get your blood circulating now matter your age, sex or occupation. Exercise is not here only to help you become an owner of the perfect “beach body” it influences the quality of your sleep, energy levels, reduces risk of most diseases and of course increases strength and flexibility.

Physical activity has huge impact on your health in following areas as well.

  1. Mental health

Mental health is very important and we should give it the same or even better care as our physical health. It is difficult to handle the everyday pressures of the world, that gives us a lot of options and opportunities but also creates higher stress. Studies show that exercising has positive influence on our state of mind. It reduces stress, alleviates anxiety, improves brain performance, helps control addictions or increases creativity. Even as little as 20 minutes of exercise per week is supposed to have positive impact on our feeling of happiness.

  1. Diabetes

Physical activity is important for overall fitness but having diabetes might pose certain challenges. Exercise has a notable effect on diabetics. It increases the sensitivity of tissues to insulin so in many cases physically active diabetics can lower their insulin doses, of course under a supervision of a physician. To be on safe side diabetics should track blood sugar before, during and after the physical activity. If you have diabetes and want to start exercising get your doctor’s ok first, especially if you have not been active lately.

  1. Pregnancy

Exercising is beneficial for women before conception, during their pregnancy and also after they give birth. Stress, lack of movement or sedentary work may cause worsen functioning of reproductive organs and appropriately chosen exercises have significant effect on the removal of functional infertility.

Physical activity during pregnancy improves physical and mental shape, prepares the body for giving birth easier and faster and decreases occurrence of complications.

Few days after the birth you can start doing Kegel exercises that strengthen the pelvic floor and prevent incontinence. Listen to your body and slowly incorporate other activities such as yoga classes or long walks with the stroller. Don’t overdo it though, especially if you are breastfeeding.

  1. Weight control

Even though exercise is only a part of successful weight management, it is an important one. If you want to lose weight you should actually aim for fat loss. If you only cut on your calorie intake without exercising you will lose muscles as well. And since muscle is more metabolically active than fat that is something you want to avoid. Did you know that muscles burn calories even at rest? That’s why we want to build or at least keep our muscle mass. The trick is regular exercise and the right diet rich in protein and vegetables.

  1. Healthy heart

Being healthy is about everyday habits. The less time you spend sitting down the better. If you have sedentary work, set a reminder and get up every hour. Go to the kitchen to fetch a glass of water or cup of tea, stretch a few times or dance to your favorite song. If you need to make a phone call do it walking around the office. The ideal physical activity for your heart health is the old good walking. One hour of brisk walk everyday is a lifesaver. The best is to enjoy the great outdoors at the same time, but the treadmill will do the trick as well. If you have a heart condition talk to your doctor before starting any new activity.

Whatever your reason is for starting to exercise there is one key condition, you must like it. So choose a physical activity that you will enjoy doing. It will be easier for you to keep doing it and harder to give it up.

Every move counts so look for opportunities, have fun and feel better

3 Reasons Why You Should Get the Flu Shot

With the colder weather hand in hand comes the season of runny noses, colds and flu….and the usual debating on whether to get or not to get the flu shot this year. The truth is that even the healthiest and strongest of us are at risk of getting sick or even ending up at the hospital since every human body reacts to influenza differently.flu shot, Calgary flu season, why get a flu shot, Grande Prairie, Alberta

Of course, it’s up to each individual to decide if they are going to take the risk of not getting the flu shot in the hopes that they can avoid the flu this winter by chance or  actually take the preventive step and get immunized.

We should think about our family, friends and coworkers too. You don’t want to infect those closest to you. If you are still unsure about getting the flu shot this fall or not, here are a few reasons why you should go for it.

  1. New virus, new vaccine

Even though you might have had your vaccination done last year or few years ago, you should still get vaccinated this year as well. Why? Because the virus is changing, new strains keep constantly emerging and based on that new vaccines are developed to fight the most prevailing flu strains.

  1. Protect children and elderly

Thousands of children are hospitalized every year due to influenza. Children under 2 year are especially at risk. Even if you don’t have children on your own, there is still a chance you will spend time with someone else’s child this winter. Just like the children, the elderly people over 65 years are at greater risk of serious complications because the immune system becomes weaker with age.

  1. Even your phone can make you sick

Have you ever thought about how many times a day you touch your phone with your fingers? How many times does it touch your face? And the most important question – where is the phone in the meantime? How many counters, tables, objects in your bag or car has it touched? If you do not disinfect it daily, which most people don’t, it becomes a carrier for thousands of germs.

flu shot, influenza, Calgary, Grande Prairie, Carstairs, sick with the flu, germsIt’s true that the flu vaccine is not 100{b6e88ae49ccf12da45e74f711f1365e10853bfaff7856757db12eb61ca4e7f7b} effective in preventing flu, but it drastically decreases your chances of infection, and lessens the severity of symptoms if you get sick. Of course washing your hands and avoiding those with the flu is very important, too.

The 2017/18 Influenza Immunization Program began October 23, 2017. Influenza immunizations are offered, free of charge, to all Albertans six months of age. Flu shots are offered by many pharmacies and physicians in Calgary.

 

5 Reasons to Visit a Psychologist

There are those moments in life when you just feel unhappy, frustrated, unsatisfied with yourself, unloved or just plain miserable. Most of the time these feelings dissipate after a cup of coffee (or glass of wine), a talk with a good friend or a walk in the nature. But when it gets to the point where you feel like you can’t bear it anymore, you don’t know how to keep going and how to help yourself, it might be the moment to seek the advice of a psychologist. Here are some of the reasons why to visit a psychologist. psychologist Calgary, mental help, Calgary SE

1) Feeling overwhelmed

Your marriage is not as it used to be and maybe you take it as a personal failure and don’t know what to do? Maybe you think you are not even a good parent, you feel like a complete loser who does not know how to communicate with his/her own children. Communicating effectively might even be an issue with your co-workers and work is stressing you out in general. These are the problems that a psychologist is able to help you with.

2) Psychosomatic problems

Headaches, insomnia, fatigue, ulcers, high blood pressure etc. are examples of long term stress caused symptoms. When we feel tired, but still keep going, when we live in a mode of “I have to”, when we swallow our feelings instead of expressing them, the body starts to react and show us that something is not right. A psychologist can help us understand the roots of our situation and find out what steps we need to take in order to feel better.

3) Better understanding yourself and the others

Therapy helps you to not only understand yourself better but the other people as well. We often make assumptions on what the others think or intend, but when we ask them what they meant by saying this or that, we usually get surprised. Too many times we assume and take personally things that in reality have nothing to do with us.

4) Anxiety and fears

People experience fear and anxiety more often than we think. What anxiety and fear have in common is the unpleasant feeling of tension and inner disquiet. The difference is that fear has a definite reason and it is connected with the real threat. Anxiety, on the other hand, is more general and the definable reason is missing. It is ok to be scared or anxious once in a while, but when you get to the point where you feel paralyzed by fear or anxiety, it’s time to seek professional help.

5) Helping the next generations

By discovering your own suppressed feelings and emotions and talking about them openly helps you to teach your children a better way. The kids need to know that it is ok to express their feelings and talk about their emotions without being judged, that even the anger can be dealt with in a heatlhy way. The more work you do on yourself, the less work you leave for your children and their children too.

It is important to know that you don’t have to be “crazy” if you want to visit a psychologist. The stigma is slowly fading, mental health is becoming more and more a main stream topic that is ok to talk about. And there is nothing to be afraid of.

Psychologists are trained to work with people like you and are able to analyze your feelings and show you ways how to improve your life and career.

Call our Douglasglen location in Calgary SE to book an appointment.

587-318-0740

Tips to Staying Cool on Hot Summer Nights in Calgary

What a wonderful summer we’ve been having this year in Calgary; the sun and its heat has been out in full force.  Many of us are having a hard time sleeping in the heat and don’t have the luxury of air conditioning. It’s unusual for Calgary to have such long stretches of warm weather and our sleep quality suffers.  Sleep is crucial for our mental and physical health and it is important we try to beat the heat as best we can.  Tips from our health clinic and walk in clinic in Calgary

We read up on sleep hacks and tricks for getting through these hot summer nights and picked our  6 favorite tips.  Some seem like common sense and others are pretty wacky.  However, when it’s 30 degrees inside our bedroom and we have to get to sleep anything is worth a try.

Use Cotton Sheets

Save the satin, silk, or polyester sheets for cooler nights. Light-colored bed linens made of lightweight cotton are breathable and excellent for promoting ventilation and airflow in the bedroom.

Freeze the Sheets

Stick sheets in the freezer for a few minutes before bed. We recommend placing them in a plastic bag first. Granted, this won’t keep you cool all night, but it will provide a brief respite from heat, hopefully long enough for you to fall asleep and for the cooler night air to make its way into your bedroom.

Use a Hot (Cold) Water Bottle

Buy a  hot water bottle In winter, fill it with boiling water for toasty toes without cranking the thermostat. During summer, stick it in the freezer to create a bed-friendly ice pack.

Turn the Fan Around

If you thought fans are just for blowing hot air around, think again! Point fans out the windows so they push hot air out, and adjust ceiling fan settings so the blades run counter-clockwise, pulling hot air up and out instead of just twirling it around the room.

Make your own A/C

Make a DIY air conditioner by positioning a shallow pan or bowl (a roasting pan works nicely) full of ice in front of a fan. The breeze will pick up cold water from the ice’s surface as it melts, creating a cooling mist.

Hydrate

Get a leg up on hydration by drinking a glass of water before bed. Tossing and turning and sweating at night can result in dehydration, so get some H20 in the tank beforehand. (Pro tip: Just eight ounces will do the trick, unless you’re really into those 3 a.m. bathroom runs.)

For more great tips and hacks on how to beat the summer heat check out the full article

24 Tricks to Survive Hot Summer Nights (Without AC).

If you think you got too much sun exposure,  suffered a heat stroke or require medical attention please come in see one of our family doctors at our health clinic in Douglasglen, Calgary SE or at our health clinic at the Calgary Airport. Walk-ins are welcome, and the wait time is usually very short or none at all.

Is improving your health part of your New Year resolution this year?

Chances are you or somebody you know has a new year resolution and is looking forward to start the new year on a new path. The main reason most of us embark on such journey every year is self improvement. health clinic, family doctors, Calgary, health resolutions, improve my health
Stats show us that about about 75{b6e88ae49ccf12da45e74f711f1365e10853bfaff7856757db12eb61ca4e7f7b} of people stick to their goals for at least a week, less than half are still on target six months later.

While it is difficult to keep to your resolution it is not impossible.

Here are the top 10 most common resolutions, there are a few variations depending on who does the survey.

health resolution, health clinic Calgary

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As you can see many resolutions relate to improve health, physical or mental.

  • Improve physical well-being: eat healthy food, lose weight, exercise more, eat better, drink less alcohol, quit smoking, stop biting nails, get rid of old bad habits, commit to have your own family doctor, book an annual physical consultation, etc…
  • Improve mental well-being: think positive, laugh more often, enjoy life, etc.

Here are a few tips on how to help improve the odds of succeeding with your new year resolution:

  1. Keep a journal
  2. Have a support system so when you hit a low you have someone to help you through it
  3. Reward yourself throughout the process

Wish you great success in achieving your new year resolution,no matter what it is.

To your health!

Happy New Year!

Take Control of Your Health – 7 Tips

Did you know PrimeCARE Health Medical Clinic has a location at the Calgary Airport, departure level?

Take Control of Your Health

No matter how famous you are or how much money you have health is something that concerns everybody.  You are in control of your health for the most part. You might wonder why or how but the reality is it is up to us individuals to pay attention to our bodies and to take care of our bodies. Taking control of your health doesn’t really depend on whether or not you have medical conditions. Having a medical issue might mean you have more challenges that’s all.  By the way, if you have been diagnosed with a medical condition don’t be shy to get a second opinion. The perfect place is to simply go to a walk-in clinic and talk to a physician there. health tips calgary

Taking control of your health means developing healthy habits.

1. Educate yourself. The most important thing you can do is to educate yourself. Learn about your health problems and how you can take care of your body. Take time to read up on whatever health issues you are experiencing or simply how to live a healthy lifestyle. Talk to your family doctor or specialist and ask them for advice.

2. Set goals. Take the time to decide what will your health goals be for the next 6 months or even the next year. Before you set goals KNOW YOUR REASON. It is proven that if you are clear on WHY you are doing something your success rate will be much higher.

healthy foods, healthy living Calgary3. Stop yo-yo dieting and focus on get healthier. When your body functions optimally your weight will adjust and get rid of access fat. List specific ways you can accomplish this. For instance, try a new healthy dinner recipe once a week or research nutrition on the Internet 10 minutes a day. We have some great healthy recipes on our Facebook page once in a while, check them out.

4. Start exercising regularly. You don’t need to join a gym or hire an expensive personal trainer, simply make it a point to walk more or go swimming, etc. Incorporate a regular exercise that you enjoy that way you will stick with it.

5. Work on your mindset and thought patterns. You have to believe that you can become healthy before you will be able to do so. Learning to accept what you can’t change, but striving to change what you can, is key. A large part of succeeding in health improvement is being comfortable with yourself to begin with.
medical health clinic Calgary - health tips
6. Drink lots of water. Our bodies need a lot of water to properly function. I am sure by now you are aware of the importance of drinking water and keeping hydrated. This is especially important in the morning. During our sleep time we lose a lot of water so it is imperative to drink one or two glasses of water as soon as we get up. This is the number one common advice all diets and health practitioners suggest.

7. Find an accountability partner. It helps to have a partner for accountability. We work harder when we know someone is holding us accountable and watching our progress. A good partner also helps you stay realistic in our goals and might challenge you to grow.Find someone who will encourage you in the down times and celebrate your successes with you as you accomplish your goals.

Consider rewarding yourself for making this commitment to improve your health. Celebrating your accomplishments is a great way to motivate yourself.

Don’t forget paying attention to your body, to signs of being unwell and don’t procrastinate in making an appointment with your family doctor to discuss the issue. Prevention and early detection saves lives.