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Entry archive:

Bif Naked: Learning to love menopause after having my ovaries removed


My grandmother had a laugh that was so shrill, it was more like joyful shrieking. Nearly obnoxious, it surprised people when it burst from her mouth. I, on the other hand, loved her shriek so much I’ve tried to imitate it my whole life. The feeling, that is. That joyful recklessness, the joie de vivre of being not just happy, but delighted in one’s own shoes.

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How to ramp up your spring workouts, minus the injuries


Movement is a powerful medicine.

To escape the final grips of winter, my wife and I decided to take our three boys south to Arizona to see the Grand Canyon. While the destination was high on our family bucket list, winter cabin fever definitely pushed us south.

Being Canadian, we take pride in making the most of the cold weather. But this winter tested our commitment to the season. We often stayed indoors, choosing self-preservation over braving the extreme cold. Our outdoor Family Day weekend plans certainly changed when the backyard thermometer read -30.

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Even an Olympian can find it hard to squeeze in exercise


I’m at high risk of becoming inactive.

As an Olympian, I never thought I would be in this category, but at the same time I’m relieved.

Making the transition out of sport and taking on new roles – including motherhood – has made it hard to be sufficiently physically active on a consistent basis. According to the research, coupled with my own trials and tribulations, it turns out that being a new mom is a big hurdle in finding the time and energy to get regular exercise. Just knowing this has allowed me to make my expectations more realistic.

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Feeling underpaid? There are health consequences to that


When you think about the pay you get for your work, do you feel you are paid about right, underpaid or overpaid?

Over the past month we’ve posed that question to Canadian workers from a diverse cross-section of occupations and sectors. Here’s what our Canadian Work, Stress, and Health study (CANWSH) has discovered so far:

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Why music is key to your child’s development

Cathy Piedra-McKenzie

Music is an essential part of every child’s development. A great song can often light up their eyes, encourage them to move around and dance, and even help instill a sense of confidence. And it doesn’t end there.

Studies have shown that music can help with language skills, develop fine motor skills and improve one’s overall IQ. Here’s a look at six ways a child can benefit from growing up with music:

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Understanding what it means to be asexual


Sexual attraction is universal in humans. One of the hallmarks of puberty is the arrival of sexual libido, when we see a sharp increase in sexual fantasies and the desire for sex.

There is a prime evolutionary motive to have sex – to reproduce and to pass on our genetic makeup to our offspring. So feeling sexual attraction is a normal, and perhaps defining, feature of being human.

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Tired? Headaches? Iron deficiency could be to blame

Maria Ricupero

Do you feel tired and cold most of the time? Are you irritable? Looking pale? Finding it hard to concentrate?

You might think the winter blues are to blame, but it may be iron deficiency anemia, which is most common in young women. Iron deficiency in a man or post-menopausal woman usually indicates a more serious underlying problem. Knowing when to visit your doctor and ways to improve your diet can help you manage your risks.

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The 6 mistakes derailing your health and fitness goals


There is nothing worse than working hard and still not succeeding. It is one thing not to reach your health and wellness goals if you are eating fries every day and skipping workouts, but it is extremely frustrating to give it your all and strike out.

Believe me, I get it. I have broken down in tears when I thought I trained perfectly yet didn’t make my goal time in a race.

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Eight steps to better health after 40


It’s time to change society’s perception of what life after 40 can look and feel like.

Most research on aging paints a bleak picture of functional decline, decreased muscle mass and aerobic capacity and lower self-esteem.

This depressing view is combined with research findings that suggest feeling older is associated with greater negative mood in “youth-oriented” cultures such as Canada and the United States. This can lead to less favourable attitudes toward aging and the acceptance of self-limiting ageist stereotypes.

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McDonald’s is phasing out meat from chickens raised with antibiotics. Would you like a grain of salt with that?


This week, McDonald’s announced it would be phasing out chicken meat from animals raised with antibiotics important to human medicine. The news gained headlines in the United States, where the policy will be enacted, and worldwide.

For some, this move signalled a possible tipping point in efforts to curb the use of antibiotics in agriculture for growth promotion. For others, it’s simply a form of lip service as it does not cover all antibiotics, nor does it cover the meat most commonly ordered in restaurants – beef.

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What your handshake says about your health

Gilles Beaudin

In the world of business, a firm handshake gives a good first impression. It shows you are energetic and confident. But there’s more to it than a good impression. Your handshake says a lot about your health status.

Overall strength is important for long-term health. I’m not talking about world’s strongest man. That is performance-related strength. I’m talking about health-related strength.

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Physician’s heart-healthy prescription: Exercise addiction


From a young age, it has been my drug of choice. A daily self-prescription that I have spent the better part of my professional and personal life recommending. While I wouldn’t call myself a full-fledged addict, I do regularly attempt to up my dosage – to see how far I can go without going overboard.

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Clicking or pain in your shoulder? That’s a sign of trouble

Justin Vanderleest

Most people will hurt their shoulder at some point. In any given year, 20 to 30 per cent of the population will experience some shoulder pain. In my physiotherapy practice, shoulder pain and injury account for about 30 per cent of the caseload.

Excessive shoulder mobility is a common contributor to pain and injury. The ample mobility in our shoulders allows us to do some amazing things with our arms, but doing those things without injury requires a certain muscular control for stability. The mobility and stability requirements of the shoulder are forever at odds.

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