In this edition of the Live Well, Work Well newsletter, you’ll learn about chronic sleep disorders and mindfulness. In addition, you’ll read about Lung Cancer Awareness Month.

Chronic Sleep Disorders

Sleep is essential for normal, healthy function. However, about 40 per cent of Canadians suffer from chronic sleep disorders.

Sleep disorders can result from a number of causes, including stress, illness, diet or medication. Other causes include genetics, night-shift work, blindness, mental illness, physical illness and aging. Follow these tips for a good night’s sleep:

  • Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day.
  • Exercise daily, but not within a few hours of going to bed.
  • Avoid caffeine, cigarettes and alcohol several hours before bedtime.
  • Make sure your bedroom is not too hot or cold before bed.

 

 

A Beginner’s Guide to Mindfulness and Meditation

Prolonged and chronic stress can wreak havoc on your overall health and wellness, so it’s important to find healthy ways to manage it. One effective way to do so is to practice mindfulness.

Mindfulness is the process of bringing your full attention to experiences in the present moment. Being mindful means being aware of where you are and what you’re doing, as well as not being reactive or overwhelmed with what’s going on around you.

Many people achieve mindfulness through meditation and yoga, which has been shown to improve attention and sleep as well as decrease job burnout. In addition, meditation can help reduce stress, anxiety and pain. Mastering meditation and mindfulness takes practice, but getting started can be easy. The following are some simple ways to practice mindfulness:

  • Pay attention—Take the time to experience your environment with all of your senses—touch, sound, sight and taste. It’s also important to live in the moment and bring open attention to everything you’re doing.
  • Focus on your breathing—When you have negative thoughts, sit down, take a deep breath and close your eyes. Sitting and breathing for even just a minute helps.
  • Don’t get discouraged—When you’re just starting out, it’s common for your mind to wander. When this happens, don’t get discouraged and try to refocus on your breathing and meditation.

November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month

November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month and a great time to educate yourself on the risk factors of this potentially deadly disease. While many think cigarette users are the only ones at risk, lung cancer affects smokers and non-smokers alike.

While a smoker’s risk of lung cancer is 30 times greater than it is for non-smokers, lung cancer can be caused by several factors, including exposure to radon, radiation, pollution, asbestos and second-hand smoke.

Detecting lung cancer early gives you the best chance of survival, and recognizing the symptoms is the first step. The most common symptom is a persistent cough that worsens over time. Other common symptoms associated with lung cancer include chest pain, blood-tinged spit, shortness of breath, wheezing and hoarseness.

If you believe you are at risk of developing lung cancer or are experiencing any of the above symptoms, it’s important to speak with a qualified medical professional.

 

Recipe of the Month – Broccoli and Cheese Muffins

Ingredients

  • 250 mL (1 cup) all-purpose flour with added bran or whole-wheat flour
  • 125 mL (½ cup) fine cornmeal
  • 75 mL (⅓ cup) wheat germ
  • 5 mL (1 tsp) baking powder
  • 5 mL (1 tsp) baking soda
  • 250 mL (1 cup) 0% fat plain Greek yogurt
  • 75 mL (⅓ cup) skim milk
  • 1 egg
  • 30 mL (2 tbsp) canola oil
  • 250 mL (1 cup) chopped broccoli florets
  • 175 mL (¾ cup) shredded light old cheddar cheese

PREPARATIONS

  1. In a large bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, wheat germ, baking powder and baking soda.
  2. In another bowl, whisk together yogurt, milk, egg and oil. Pour over flour mixture and stir to combine. Stir in broccoli and cheese.
  3. Lightly spray or paper-line 10 muffin cups. Scoop batter into each and bake in preheated 200° C (400° F) oven for about 12 minutes or until golden. Let cool slightly before removing from pan.

Makes: 10 muffins

Nutritional Information (per serving)

Total Calories 168
Total Fat 5 g
Protein 9 g
Carbohydrates 21 g
Dietary Fibre 3 g
Saturated Fat 1 g
Sodium 243 mg
Total Sugars 2 g

Source: Government of Canada


For more health and wellness information connect with a Benefit Consultant at 1-800-661-1518 or fill out the form below and a Consultant will contact you.

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