August 18th, 2014

Osteoporosis Screening Clinics 2014

Osteo-Clinic

Are you at risk for Osteoporosis?

Attend a London Drugs Osteoporosis Screening Clinic, and our pharmacists will identify your risk factors and provide information on how to minimize your risk. We will also test the strength of your bones, and develop a personalized action plan to fit with your wellness goals.

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*there is a small fee to attend this clinic; a tax-deductible receipt will be issued. 



August 17th, 2014

Stretch It! The importance of being flexible.

Yoga poses are very helpful for maintaining flexibility. Always warm up before stretching (a short walk will do) to prevent pulling a muscle.

We have all seen runners stretching before and after their run, and understand that warming up the muscles is important for preventing strains, but is being flexible important for all of us?

The answer is yes. Maintaining flexibility is important for wellbeing—even more so as we grow older.

Flexibility is a measure of the range of motion around a joint (such as the knee) or a number of joints, (such as in the lower back). While our muscles allow us to move and complete everyday tasks, flexibility or mobility allows us to twist, turn and bend without pulling muscles, ligaments and tendons. When we are young, we are very flexible (think of a baby chewing at her toes) but, as we age, we gradually become stiffer, setting the stage for strains, sprains and joint discomfort. Much of this inflexibility can be prevented by practising stretches, helping to prevent back pain and allowing for more independence in our older years.

Flexibility is primarily impacted by the actual structure of the joint itself—the bone/s, muscles and connective tissues. The form of these structures determines whether you are very flexible or not so much, meaning that someone whose joints are structured to not be flexible will likely never be able to fully do the splits.  However, you can improve flexibility or reduce it depending on whether you stretch often, or remain sedentary.

The hip flexors

The position of the hip flexor muscles, shown attached to the bones of the thighs (femurs), pelvis and spine.  © Springer Medizin / Science Source

The position of the hip flexor muscles, shown attached to the bones of the thighs (femurs), pelvis and spine.© Springer Medizin / Science Source

The hip flexors are important muscles that, when inflexible, can give rise to backache, achy hips, and sore knees. We use the hip flexors when running, climbing stairs, dancing and playing tennis as well as during a number of other activities. Properly knows as the iliopsoas, they allow the leg to move up and down and stabilize the spine. Among the strongest muscles in the body, the hip flexors are located in your abdomen, pelvis and upper thigh.

Long periods of sitting, in front of a computer, for example, can lead to shortening of the hip flexor muscles. Since many forms of exercise focus on stretching the thigh muscles (quadriceps) and hamstrings (the muscles at the back of the thigh), the hip flexors can be further compromised.

A variety of stretches can help strengthen the hip flexors and help you to remain flexible and free from back, hip or knee pain. These include gentle lunges, and the Peaceful Warrior pose in yoga (pictured here): Keeping your knee positioned over the ankle, your spine straight, and both feet facing forward with arms raised, push back with the rear leg.  Switch legs and repeat. Hold for 20 seconds.

Another helpful exercise is to lie on your back with toes pointing towards the ceiling. Bend one leg and raise it, then pull it gently towards your chest so that your thigh is parallel to your rib cage with your knee remaining bent. Hold for 20 seconds.

Shoulder mobility

Like the hip flexors, the muscles of the shoulders often shorten with age, causing discomfort or pain in the joints. The many shoulder muscles, bones and ligaments work together to facilitate a wide range of movements for the upper body and arms, enable proper posture, and assist other muscle groups to perform movements like pushing and pulling.

You can keep your shoulders flexible, and reduce the risk of shoulder injury by performing the standing shoulder stretch as follows:

Webber Naturals® Glucosamine Chondroitin MSM helps ease joint discomfort and maintains the structural integrity of joints and connective tissues.

Webber Naturals® Glucosamine Chondroitin MSM helps ease joint discomfort and maintains the structural integrity of joints and connective tissues.

Stand upright and bring your left arm across your chest while holding it at the elbow with the inside of the elbow of your right arm. Do not bend the left arm but simply stretch it until you feel the tension in the back of your left shoulder. You can also perform this exercise by pressing your left elbow with the palm of your right hand (as demonstrated by the senior man to the right). Switch arms and repeat.  Stretching both arms over your head, palms facing upward and inward will also help keep your shoulders flexible.

The core muscles

Your core consists of the muscles within your abdomen, lower back and hips. These muscles support your spine and pelvic girdle, and facilitate movements of your hips and torso.  Stretching exercises that target the core muscles increase flexibility and help prevent injury.

One of the easiest ways of stretching the core muscles that extend your hips and spine is another yoga position known as the Child Pose. First, kneel with the upper part of your feet flat on the floor, toes facing backwards. Your knees should be slightly wider than your shoulders. Lean forward and place your forehead on the floor, then flex your hips and knees to sit back, moving your buttocks as far as possible toward your feet. Place
the back of your hands on the floor next to your feet. Hold this position for 20 seconds before extending your arms in front of your head, placing your palms flat on the floor to deepen the stretch. This pose will also stretch your shoulders.

To continue improving your flexibility, you might want to sign up for a stretch or yoga class with your local rec centre or fitness firm.  Preventing loss of flexibility will go a long way towards forestalling injury and the stiffness we associate with aging.



August 11th, 2014

Lip Service

Your lips: Along with your eyes, they express your emotions and,
through kissing, help you show affection for those close to your
heart.

Lip ServiceFor many women, the lips are the most fussed over feature, the average woman buying six lip-related products a year. There is even a “lipstick index” suggesting that women spend more on makeup during a recession than they do in better financial times. Although the jury’s out on the accuracy of the lipstick index, one thing remains certain: that we all want our lips to be as soft, moisturized, and appealing as possible.

Why do we have lips?

Human lips have a number of functions, including the facilitation of speech (try saying “pop” without using your lips) and eating. Lips also allow us to convey our emotions to others. When we are happy, we smile, and when we are angry or sad, our lips often turn down at the corners, or we press them together. Although many animals have lips, only humans have such a well-defined demarcation between the actual lip and the skin of the face, enhancing expression. This is known as the vermilion border.

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August 9th, 2014

Low Blood Glucose: the other side of the coin

When you have diabetes you are trying hard to keep your blood glucose levels from going too high. You watch what you eat, you exercise, and you take your medication. But do you ever think about low blood glucose?

Low blood glucose is “the other side of the coin” of diabetes management. Even though it is essential to keep glucose levels from getting too high, avoiding low blood glucose is very important too.

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August 4th, 2014

Summer Safe Guards – Part 2

Canadians love their summers, and spending time outdoors is one of the greatest warm-weather pleasures.  In part 1 we shared 4 tips to help make sure nothing disrupts the fun, here are 3 more tips:

#1 – Sunburn

Every year, and often despite the best intentions, people are burned by the sun. This year, like last, it appears that wet weather will be the norm until summer arrives, meaning it will be easier to sustain a sunburn during those first enthusiastic exposures to the sun. Why? because the sun will be higher in the sky and the UV rays more direct/intense.

Remember to use a broad spectrum sunscreen of SPF 15 or higher (see pages 12-13) and cover up with a long-sleeved shirt and sunhat—or stay in the shade—between the hours of 10 am and 4 pm.

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July 31st, 2014

Summer Safe Guards – Part 1

Summer SafeguardsCanadians love their summers, and spending time outdoors is one of the greatest warm-weather pleasures.  Please be sure to read these tips and make sure that nothing disrupts the fun!

#1 – Bites & stings

Bites and StingsMost of us have been stung or bitten by insects— usually bees, wasps, yellowjackets or mosquitos that love to share our picnic space. Recently, the European fire ant has made itself at home in Canada and the US, including BC and the Prairie provinces.

Bees and wasps are attracted to perfumes, including aromas lingering from shampoos and conditioners, so plan ahead and avoid highly scented products when eating outdoors.

Benadryl Itch Relief Stick

Should you sustain a bite or sting, Benadryl® triple action Bug Bite Relief will help relieve the discomfort fast and with minimal fuss.

Should a wasp or bee land on you, or one fly into your immediate vicinity, don’t wave your arms around. This will simply excite the insect and make it more likely to sting. Instead, back off slowly or, if the insect is attached to you, gently move it off with a piece of paper or clothing, or wait for it to fly away. Teach your child to stay very still if a stinging insect lands on him, and to let you handle removing it.

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July 26th, 2014

Berries are Summertime Gems

BerriesEven though we are fortunate to have a variety of fruit available all year ‘round there is something special about local summer fruit. Whether you have your own garden, or you visit the farmers’ markets or fields, the abundance of peaches, apricots, nectarines and jewel-toned berries is really a sight to behold. READ MORE



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