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Newsletter. Issue 2006-11. May 27, 2006
 
 
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Health & Welfare
 

Canadians Warned Not to Commit The Seven Deadly Sins of Sleep On Holiday Weekends

   TORONTO, May 18 /CNW/ - This holiday weekend will see Canadians traveling,  renovating, partying and possibly committing one or more of the Seven Deadly Sins of Sleep, according to the Better Sleep Council Canada.
    A Better Sleep Council Canada survey finds that most Canadians are planning an action-packed long weekend. One-third will travel (33 percent), one-quarter are planning renovations or work around the house (26 percent), and one-fifth will host or attend a party (19 per cent), among other activities. Yet, half (53 per cent) of Canadians still say they expect to feel more rested than usual come Tuesday morning. Perhaps more realistically, one-third (34 per cent) are expecting to feel less rested than usual.
   Good quality, restful sleep is essential to good health and well-being. When you sleep, your body renews and rejuvenates. The blood supply to increases during sleep, allowing the body to recover from the physical stresses of the day. A good night's sleep also helps to re-energize your body and to prepare for the day and week ahead.
    If Canadians truly expect to feel more rested after this weekend, it is important that they recognize the activities and behaviours that impede quality sleep. The Better Sleep Council Canada has identified the Seven Deadly Sins of Sleep.

Seven Deadly Sins of Sleep


1. OVEREATING/EATING LATE AT NIGHT: Ever feel sleepy after a big meal?
You're not alone. Your body is actually using all its energy to digest your meal. And while you may feel tired at first, you could be in for an uncomfortable night's sleep. Try not to eat within 2-3 hours before bed. If you are among the 34 per cent of Canadians planning parties and expecting to eat and drink more than usual this weekend, consider eating light and early to ensure a good night's sleep.

2. TOO MUCH DRINKING: Despite its initial relaxing qualities, over-consumption of alcohol has a negative impact on your quality of sleep. Too much alcohol before bedtime can prevent your body from falling into a deep, relaxing sleep - impacting the sleep you need to help recharge after a long day. When in doubt, sleep sober!

3. SLEEPING IN UNFAMILIAR, UNCOMFORTABLE OR OLD BED: Your bed at home may be comfy and cozy but what about the cottage, cabin or camper?
Don't torture yourself or guests by sleeping on an old mattress.
Cottages and cabins are prone to housing old hand-me-down mattresses.
The average mattress should be replaced every 8 to 10 years to ensure you're getting the support and comfort you need.

4. OVER-EXERTION: Got big plans this weekend? Like renovating, building a deck, gardening, playing extra rounds of golf or more physical games with your kids?
You're not alone. Half of Canadians (47 per cent) plan on either renovating, gardening or playing sports. Extra physical activity in one weekend can cause physical strain and pain. Don't over-book your schedule. Find time to relax and let your body rejuvenate.

5. TOO MUCH NOISE: Your sleep environment should be comfortable, dark and quiet. Try to avoid noisy neighbours by closing windows and turning down loud music. Turn off the distractions from work, including computers, cell phones and pagers.

6. IRREGULAR SLEEP HOURS: Keep regular sleep hours - even when you have a chance to become a night owl on the weekend. And resist the afternoon nap that could make it tough to sleep that night.
Fifty-eight per cent of Canadians confess that a poor night's sleep results in a less productive day; that translates into 48 million hours of lost Canadian productivity every week.

7. OVER-STIMULATION: Too much activity, fun and excitement can make it tough to wind down and turn your mind off before bed. Learn to relax and take the time to unwind before your head hits the pillow.
Whether reading, listening to music or taking a warm bath, reducing stress before bed will help you get the quality sleep you need.

More survey findings:
- 15 per cent plan to eat or drink more than usual this weekend
- Those aged 35-44 will do the most traveling; 37 per cent will
travel a long or short distance this weekend; Atlantic Canadians and those in BC will travel the most overall (over four in ten plan to hit the road)
- Typically, 18-24 year-olds are the biggest partiers: nearly ten (36 per cent) plan to host or attend a party and one-quarter also plan to visit a cottage/cabin or beach house - this coincides with over half (52 per cent) expecting to be less rested after the weekend)
- More singles expect to be less rested on Tuesday; 42 per cent
compared to less than one-third (31 per cent) of married people
- Nearly half of home-makers will visit family and friends (47 percent), a similar amount will garden (44 per cent), and one-quarter plan to attend community events.

More survey results, including regional data, is available.

Do you Deserve a Better Night's Sleep?
To learn more about getting a better night's sleep, and to enter for a chance to win a new bed and home cleaning services for a year - one less thing to do on the weekend! (Valued at $10,000) - visit www.bettersleep.ca.

 

Historic Smoke-Free Ontario Act Is A Joint Effort
Tackling the number one preventable cause of death in Ontario takes teamwork

QUEEN'S PARK, ON, May 18 /CNW/ - Ontario Minister of Health Promotion Jim Watson today paid tribute to the invaluable contribution of community partners in the development of the Smoke-Free Ontario Act, 2005.
In a statement to the legislature, Watson said the Act, which takes effect on May 31, has been the product of three decades of grassroots work done by volunteers in the charitable, medical, business, public health and research communities.
"Rarely does a government have the privilege of passing a piece of legislation that will make such a positive and progressive difference in the health of Ontarians," said Watson. "On behalf of the McGuinty government, I want to thank and acknowledge the efforts of all our partners in helping us reach this historic milestone."
The Act is just one example of how the McGuinty government is working to protect the health and well-being of Ontario families. Other initiatives include:

- Preventing avoidable illness and death through a ban on smoking in enclosed public places and enclosed workplaces
- Supporting grassroots youth programs that make the most of peer-to-peer communications as the best way to discourage young people from starting to smoke
- Helping smokers to quit by boosting funding for the Smokers' Helpline.

To learn more about the Smoke-Free Ontario Act and the Smoke-Free Ontario Strategy, please call INFOline at 1-866-396-1760, TTY at 1-800-387-5559. Hours of operation: Monday to Friday, 8:30am - 5:00pm.

 

Health Canada warns that cords on curtains, blinds are hazardous
http://thechronicleherald.ca/Metro/503966.html
By PATRICIA LAUNT


The recent strangulation deaths of two children in Manitoba and Quebec have prompted Health Canada to warn the public about the dangers posed by cords on blinds, curtains and other window coverings. Health Canada recommends blind and curtain pull-cords and bead-chains be kept out of reach of young children and that the cord's continuous loop be cut to eliminate the potential for strangulation. Furniture such as cribs, children's beds and playpens should not be placed near windows or patio doors with corded window coverings to avoid the possibility of the cord dangling within the child's reach. Sofas, chairs and tables, which children can climb onto to reach pull-cords, should also not be placed near windows with blinds. A Health Canada video, which demonstrates ways people can keep cords out of the reach of children can be viewed online at www.healthcanada.gc.ca/blindcords.

Free safety kits with inner-cord stops, tassels and tie-down devices and a safety brochure with instructions can be ordered through the Window Covering Safety Council by visiting their website www.windowcoverings.org or calling 1-800-506-4636.

 

M.ental H.ealth- Staying physically fit prevents Alzheimer's disease
By Kathy Jones May 23, 2006, 13:48
From foodconsumer.org


May 23, (foodconsumer.org) - Keeping fighting fit as people approach old age may help them stave off the risk of developing dementia and Alzheimer's disease, a new study has found. Conversely being in poor physical shape is an open invitation to early declines in mental ability.

The study, reported in the May 22 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine, suggests said that Alzheimer’s disease actually can be predicted doing a test on how a person walks, his strength of grip and his standing balance.

The researchers of the study from Group Health Cooperative and the University of Washington said physical exercise can help avoid or delay the onset of dementia and or Alzheimer’s later in life.

The study tracked 2,288 Group Health members aged 65 and older for a period of six years. None of the participants had any signs of dementia or Alzheimer's disease at the start of the study. The researchers kept in touch with the participants once in every two years. Physical and mental functions of the subjects were assessed at these times.

At the end of six years, 319 participants had developed dementia. These included 221 with Alzheimer's disease. The researchers found that the participants who were in superior physical shape at the beginning of the study were three times less likely to develop dementia than were those whose physical condition was below par.

"Everyone had expected the earliest signs of dementia would be subtle cognitive changes," said lead researcher Eric B. Larson, MD, MPH, director of Group Health Center for Health Studies. "We were surprised to find that physical changes can precede declines in thinking." He added that what was generally accepted to be a degenerative br ain disease seems to be directly linked with the physical fitness of people as they age.

Physical fitness was assessed through several standard tests like a timed, 10-foot walk; a "chair-stand test," a standing balance assessment; and a measurement of grip strength in the dominant hand of the participants. The chair stand test timed the subjects as they got up from a seated position five times.

The initial symptoms of dementia or Alzheimer’s as evidenced in the study were problems with walking and balance. In older people, a weak handgrip could be a sign of advanced disease. However, the best part of the study seemed to be the fact that getting into top shape could actually halt dementia in its stride.

"If you notice physical function declining, it's arguably a good idea to rehab yourself or have a strong physical exercise program early on," Larson said. "I'm very excited about this. Something as simple as regular walking may lessen the rate of dementia."

Dr. Gary Kennedy, a geriatric psychiatrist and chairman of the Geriatric Mental Health Foundation at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City, agreed with this statement, "Even the mildest degree of physical disability is going to predict a heightened risk for Alzheimer's," he said. "If you think the person has very subtle decrements in motor performance, it might be worthwhile to get them up and out and more physically active. It's never too late to start exercise."

A previous study published by the same researchers found that when people exercised regularly, they were less likely to develop dementia. It is unknown why exercise lowers the risk. But the current study lays the emphasis on regular exercise.

 

Endorsed by top Canadian soccer authority, new Backyard Drills put a fun spin on soccer development to engage the entire family

TORONTO, May 17 /CNW/ - Helen Stoumbos, former Canadian national soccer star, is encouraging parents to help their kids get the most out of this soccer season with new Backyard Drills featured on www.littlechipssoccer.com.

Flanked by the Dundee Little Chips Soccer Team, Stoumbos unveiled the new Backyard Drills Program at High Park today to kick-off the unique youth soccer outreach developed and funded by Dundee Wealth Management.

The Dundee Little Chips Backyard Drills Program contains activities that promote participation and fitness for the whole family and helps to develop soccer skills, confidence and teamwork.
The underlying goal of the Dundee Little Chips Soccer Program and the Backyard Drills is to enable parents to play a key role in the growth of their child's skills and overall fitness. Certified coaches from the Ontario Soccer Association (OSA) created the drills with soccer players aged 4-12 in mind.

Parents can easily set-up these drills, get involved, be outside and get active. The result is a healthier lifestyle for the family and a more confident child on the soccer pitch.
"Growing up, most of my training was in the backyard with my dad," says Stoumbos. "I would never have reached the national team level without that help from him. Having an organized practice routine that you can do in your backyard with your family will not only help with soccer skills, but also is a great way to spend time together."

The names of the Backyard Drills say it all...ranging from Foot Juggling to Soccer Golf. Each drill puts the focus on important fundamentals in a creative and fun way. For example, Soccer Golf involves setting up a simple course in the yard using targets such as a tree or a pail and counting how many kicks it takes to complete the course. For a complete description of the drills, visit www.littlechipssoccer.com. The activity-packed web site, with its video tips, soccer facts and games, was introduced to the youth soccer scene last year and it met rave reviews by the soccer community.

"Influencing fun, family and fitness with Little Chips Soccer is a priority for Dundee. We created the Backyard Drill e to further how parents share in the fun of the game," said James P. McClocklin, Co-Head, Retail Division, Dundee Securities Corporation.
The Little Chips web site, the new Backyard Drills and our Little Chips Soccer magazine reflect Dundee's mission to embrace youth soccer in Canada in a unique way and to enhance the soccer experience for all participants at the grass-roots level.
Parents can download the Backyard Drills on-line, as well as access dozens of articles covering everything from keeping your young athletes well- nourished on the field to fun drills you can teach them. Local Dundee advisors get involved by activating sponsorship in their community, organizing events and, often, by coaching.

 


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