February is Health and Wellness Month

There are so many places to go for health advice I never know where to turn. Diet books, magazines, blogs, health food stores – you can get lost in it all. We all know it’s best to eat real food and move our bodies once in a while, but when it comes to overall health its best to talk to a pro. Luckily my dear friend Dr. Giselle Lefebvre, a Naturopathic Physician at Vancouver’s Sinclair Wellness Centre gave us a list of 5 simple things for us to do. First and foremost – •    Pay attention to how your body feels, how different foods effect your body, what happens when you stay hydrated all day. •    How are you sleeping? 7-9 hours waking rested? •    How are your bowel movements - ideally once a day. •    How is your cycle? Is your period regular? Future plans of having babies can be supported by doing the work now to ensure your body systems are healthy. •    How is your energy?


Breathe - Pay attention to your breathing, it helps us deal with stress, keep our body oxygenated, and helps with our energy flow

Eat - Office work doesn't always support a proper diet. Have healthy snacks on hand. Whole food like fruit - apples are great and in season and travel well or try figs, dates or nuts. Make your own trail mix. Make sure to have lunch every day and don't spend that time at your desk. Give yourself a break from the florescent lights and get your body moving.

Drink - Workplace is full of coffee and muffins so do your best to not  get sucked in to the unhealthy lifestyle. Coffee is okay for the mornings but try alternatives for the rest of the day. Drink herbal teas such as rooiboos (antioxidants), mints (good for digestion) cold or hot.  Have lots of water and keep it by your desk at all times. Take movement breaks to fill it up every other hour.

Exercise - Movement is important.  Stretch every morning. Break a sweat at least three times a week. Since most jobs involve sitting all day, this affects posture, circulation and begs for weight gain. Move to help your blood circulate and rid yourself of the toxins of the work place.

Breaks - Take a technology break. Many of us spend ALL DAY with computers and then go home and do the same. Find space for nature and give your eyes a break. This will reduce eyestrain, carpal tunnel and headaches.

Starting a new job or semester means lots of change and a new schedule. It is good to take stock of where you are and also to pay attention to what your benefits are with the job. If you are spending all day in an office or library you need to take advantage of the support your job offers. Get a health team together to make sure those occasional aches and pains don't turn in to chronic problems. Remember this is the time to get a good understanding of your health - go see a naturopath to help you get yourself organized and learn simple natural ways to take better care of yourself.

For more questions visit Giselle at the Sinclair Wellness Centre located downtown Vancouver or email her at doctorgiselle@gmail.com.