All Posts in Category: Lifestyle

5 Apps that can Improve your health in Summer 2016

Apps are always changing and improving – so here are my favourite 5 for the summer of 2016 to help you optimize your wellness. Swing by in the Fall for another 5 to make taking care of yourself easy!

For the anxious and stressed:download

Head Space – meditation made simple, quick and focused on areas of health that matter specifically to you. The app also includes a “guided recovery process” to help regroup from any “mini meltdown” experienced. I can’t think of anyone who wouldn’t benefit from this app – download it!

 

For overall health promotion:

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Waterlogged- You’re not drinking enough water? Keep hydrated this summer. To calculate your minimum water intake use the following equation.

Your weight in LBS x 2/3 = oz of water to drink per day (divide by 8 to get the number of cups)

For decreasing chemical load:

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Think Dirty- allows you to check the chemical toxicity level of any cosmetics, shampoos and other products by scanning their barcode – great to double check your sunscreen choice! Chemicals load has been shown to contribute to infertility, increased wrinkles, brain fog and fatigue along with other common ailments.

For better sleep:

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Long Deep Breathing – is a simple, no frills app that promotes the practice of deep breathing for better health and battling insomnia.

Using what’s essentially a breath gauge, you simply follow the visual cues for inhaling and exhaling. You can adjust the length of each breath and eventually increase the duration. According to the app, the average person breathes about 12-16 times each minute. By practicing and working that number down, you will reap the benefits and calm the mind. Good information about the benefits of breathing is also included in the app – this includes weight loss!

For the mommies-to-be:

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What to Expect – an app that is a personalized daily tracker which allows parents to be to track development of their baby day-by-day and week-by-week based on their due date. This includes fruit size equivalents to add excitement even before being able to feel any kicks!

Originally posted on DrKateMcLaird.com.

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Sleeping Positions

Not a week goes by that I am not advising or someone is asking about the correct sleeping position. Sleeping position is broken down into 3 categories: side, back or front. The goal of a good sleeping position is to keep a neutral spine and reduce pressure points on the body. When we explore these three positions only side and back make the grade of good positions, and here’s why:

  1. Back sleeping is great with a well supported mattress, as the body is spread out and can be kept in a neutral position. If you are having low back pain and regularly sleep on your back, just get a pillow under your knees; that will let your back rest more comfortably. Under-the-head pillow selection is very important here. For most people one pillow that is low profile works best. We don’t want the head pressed forward with an oversized pillow. For people who have that forward head posture, then a larger pillow will make it comfortable for back sleeping, but again make sure your head is not being pressed forward.
  2. Side sleeping can also be a great sleeping posture but it is important that you support the whole body. A pillow between your legs is crucial for keeping the knees and hips in good alignment. This sleeping posture will also benefit from a foam pad on the mattress to help reduce the pressure on the point of the hip and the shoulder. Properly fitting pillows are crucial for the neck when side sleeping. The width of your shoulders will dictate the size of the pillow(s) needed. If you were to draw a line from the top of your head through your nose to the middle of your chin, that line should go straight down your body.
  3. Front sleeping – This is the big no-no for sleeping. Unless you can breathe through the back of your head, that is! There is no way you can sleep on your belly without having you neck cranked to one side to breathe. This puts a lot of pressure on you neck and upper thoracic area. These are unfortunately the two areas that we put a lot of postural strain on when we work at a computer or desk or drive for long periods. In order to change this, your best bet is to aim for side sleeping. Get a body pillow and hug it. This will keep your shoulders up from rolling onto your front, and help reduce the neck pressure. Perseverance is key to changing your sleeping position. It will take months to change, but stick with it. It’s worth it.
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