Jan
01

5 ways to stick to your workout plan

Wrapping your head around working out — and grabbing the gear that’ll help you do it — are crucial first steps. But how do you know you’ll keep it up? It’s hard for us all: Nearly half of those who intend to exercise don’t follow through, according to a meta-analysis of 10 studies that Ryan Rhodes, a professor at the University of Victoria who studies exercise psychology, co-authored. And for those new to the game, it’s even harder: Rhodes looked at two of his own previous studies and found that only about a third of beginners follow through. People who are consistent with their workouts self-identify as “active” — which then feeds their dedication. As Rhodes puts it, they go “from exercising to being an exerciser.” And if you’re an exerciser who starts becoming inactive again, he says, it causes stress, which turns into motivation. While there’s no magic formula for transforming the way you see yourself, Rhodes does have some handy tips to help you stick with your workout this time around. Don’t go too hard, and work in some fun If your exercise routine isn’t enjoyable to begin with, it’s less likely you’ll return to it, he says. Make it a ritual Tying exercise to another habit, like taking a walk after dinner, can help work it seamlessly into your routine. It’s much tougher to keep to an erratic exercise schedule. Make it social Invite a friend out to your post-dinner walk. It will help make it something to look forward to. Monitor your progress Keeping an eye on your progress can be a powerful strategy to stay on track, says Rhodes. While there are countless wearable devices that can help you do this, you can also just use a good old- fashioned notebook. Recognize barriers You might miss a workout because of a never-ending meeting, a sick kid or an exceptionally crazy day. Don’t sweat the unexpected, but try to figure out a way to sneak in some activity, even on hectic days. When you’re sad to miss your workout because of a crazy day, rather than relieved, you know you’re making progress!
Jan
01

15 copper (and super trendy) details for your home

Time to put gold on the back burner. As predicted by Pinterest’s trend report for 2017, copper is taking over the decor world. The metal is warm and elegant, pairing well with everything from marble countertops to dark, moody rooms. Plus, there’s no need to splurge — you can find plenty of everyday objects to bring copper accents into your space. We’ve rounded up 15 ideas below: [rdm-gallery id='103' slug='15-copper-decor-details']    
Jan
01

Lyme disease is on the rise: How to protect your kids from ticks

Last July, a day after a family outing to the zoo, Crystal Cochrane of Edmonton was pulling five-year-old Mikayla’s hair into a ponytail when she felt a small sesame-seed-sized bump at her daughter’s hairline, near the nape of her neck. When combing didn’t dislodge it, Crystal looked closer and discovered a tick had firmly attached itself to Mikayla’s head. “I panicked,” Crystal recalls. “We had heard about Lyme disease, and knew it was bad.” Wanting to know for certain whether the bite might make Mikayla sick, the Cochranes headed to the Stollery Children’s Hospital, with the tick (which they had carefully removed and placed in a sealed container) in hand. Lyme disease, an illness that’s transmitted via the bite of an infected deer tick, is relatively rare but has been on the rise in recent years in Canada (from 144 cases in 2009 to 917 in 2015), with children between five and nine years being more commonly affected than most other age groups. If not treated in its early stages, Lyme disease can cause problems, such as meningitis, temporary weakness of muscles in the face and arthritis. So what do you need to know to protect your kids? Learn where they lurk Do you live in an area where there’s an established population of western black-legged or black-legged ticks? The former is found in parts of BC, while the latter lives in certain (in some cases, expanding) areas of Ontario, Quebec, Manitoba, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. The proportion of ticks carrying the infection varies depending on location—it’s typically between 10 and 20 percent, rising to more than 50 percent in certain hot spots. “We have maps at Canada.ca, but if you want to know about your region, you’re better off to consult your provincial public health website or phone your local health unit,” says Robbin Lindsay, a Public Health Agency of Canada scientist in Winnipeg who specializes in zoonotic diseases. Tick season runs roughly from May to September. Reduce your risk of being bitten Black-legged ticks typically live in, and along the edges of, wooded areas, hanging out on vegetation while waiting for a host to brush up against them. If you’re headed to such a place, make sure your kids wear pants (tuck them into their socks for maximum protection), long sleeves, a hat, and closed-toed shoes. “You want to deny ticks access to your skin,” notes Lindsay. To help spot hangers-on before they can attach, opt for light-coloured clothing. Apply a repellent containing DEET or icaridin to clothing and any exposed skin according to package directions. And soon after coming in from outdoors, systematically check kids from head to toe, ideally before having them take a shower or bath. A Yale study found that showering cuts the rate of Lyme infection more than a tick check alone—perhaps because it requires removing clothing, where loose ticks can lurk. Tossing clothes and gear into the dryer on a hot cycle (after washing if needed) for 10 minutes will kill any ticks hidden within them, says Lindsay. Practise prompt removal If you do find a tick attached to your child, lie a pair of tweezers flat (parallel) against her body, and use the tips to firmly grab the tick as close to the skin as you can. Then, pull upward steadily and evenly, taking care not to twist or jerk the tweezers. Once the tick is removed, place it in a container. Cleanse the broken skin with a disinfectant, such as rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide. Because an infected tick has to be attached and feeding for some time to transmit the infection, “if you remove it within 24 hours, it’s highly unlikely the child will get Lyme disease,” explains Joan Robinson, the chair of the Canadian Paediatric Society’s Infectious Disease and Immunization Committee and a paediatrician at Edmonton’s Stollery Children’s Hospital. Seek help if necessary Robinson says there’s no need to take a child to the doctor following a tick bite unless they develop symptoms, such as a rash of any kind, fever, headaches, or muscle and joint pain after being bitten. “Then, it’s helpful to take the tick along,” she adds. If your physician suspects your child may be infected based on symptoms and exposure history, she will prescribe an antibiotic. Since blood tests can’t confirm the diagnosis until up to a month after a bite, when more serious complications can arise, kids can be treated without a formal diagnosis. Treating kids at this early stage almost always cures Lyme disease. In the small minority of cases that aren’t detected until complications such as arthritis have developed, a longer course of antibiotics (or two) is needed to get rid of the infection, and it can take time for symptoms to disappear afterward. Even if your child shows no worrisome symptoms, you can take the tick, in its container, to a local public health unit for identification. This helps authorities to track tick populations. As for Mikayla, it turned out she was bit by an American dog tick—a type that doesn’t carry Lyme—and the redness and swelling were symptoms of a mild allergic reaction. The experience hasn’t dampened the Cochranes’ enthusiasm for the outdoors, though. “My kids have the pleasure of long sleeves, repellent and tick checks,” says Crystal. “And I carry tweezers.” Just in case.
Jan
01

5 sporty chic everyday outfits for spring

  [bc_video video_id="5422057937001" account_id="2226196965001" player_id="rkljM4WDEg"] Add a touch of rocker chic, or a hint of ladylike floral for the perfect sporty everyday look this spring. Stylist, Lisa Rogers shows simple ways to layer items for an endlessly cool and fashionable look. [rdm-gallery id='99' slug='5-ever-new-looks']
Jan
01

8 time-saving apps for parents that make life easier

Somewhere between dropping the kids off at school, picking them up from daycare, getting one to soccer practice and the other to dance class (not to mention dinner, bath time and homework), it becomes clear: There aren’t enough hours in the day. Maybe you need to let some things go—or maybe all you need is a little help. Here are eight apps that will help keep you organized and, with any luck, give you some extra time to sit back and enjoy all those activities you’re so busy with in the first place. 1. Waze Waze is a cut above other navigation apps because it allows travellers to report traffic, collisions and construction in real time and then uses that info to reroute fellow drivers. It alerts you if a police cruiser is stationed up ahead, and syncs with your calendar and Facebook events (no more fumbling for an address on your way out the door!). 2. Chatbooks We all intend to organize, edit and print the photos on our smartphones, but who has the time? Enter Chatbooks. The app lets you order hard copies of your pics by generating prints or photo books from images you post to Facebook or Instagram (or those you favourite on your phone). Prices are in USD and shipping to Canada can take a while—but it’s worth it if it means never falling behind on prints again. 3. FamilyWall A hub for all of your family’s various commitments, FamilyWall is a replacement for those big calendars and corkboards that so many of us had in our kitchens growing up. Family members can sync calendars, share photos, engage in group chats and check in to various locations so everyone can keep track of one another. Your core family is your “circle,” but you can add additional wider circles to share information with grandparents, other extended family, and friends. 4. Flipp We all like to save a few bucks, but who has time to comb through flyers and clip coupons? Flipp does the searching for you by scanning store flyers in your area for deals and coupons that can be “clipped” and easily printed out. Flipp comes in especially handy at retailers that offer on-the-spot price matching, and the app has just added a function that matches savings with the items on your grocery list. (For ideas on how to save tons of money on disposable diapers, click here.) 5. Stocard Retail reward cards can be lucrative…if you happen to have the right one on you at the right time. Stocard eliminates the need to physically carry reward cards by keeping digital versions of all your plastic in one place. Simply launch the app at the checkout and let the cashier scan a bar code to collect or redeem points. 6. TeamSnap Having kids who play sports adds another layer of complexity to family life. TeamSnap is specifically for parents who need to manage team life (especially those who have been roped into coaching or organizing). Use the app to distribute roster contact info, post game and practice schedules, track attendance and payments, and share photos and location details. 7. ChoreMonster This app makes it easy for parents to assign chores and offer a point value for each one. Kids can then view the list online or in the app, checking off their duties as they go to unlock rewards of your choosing, like a pizza night or an hour of Xbox play. The interface is bright and fun, and it makes a game out of making the bed and taking out the garbage. 8. Baby Feed Timer Feeding a newborn can be an exhausting, seemingly endless job, made all the more frustrating when you’re trying to document feeding sessions while half-asleep, with one hand and in the dark. Baby Feed Timer reminds you of which breast to start on, times how long baby has been eating, anticipates when she might be hungry again and tracks diaper changes and sleep schedules.
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