January 2012

 January 2012  –       “All The Best In 2012!”

Want to keep warm while enjoying the great outdoors?  Certain types of foods that you consume can help maintain your “core temperature.”  Your body temperature should be between 96 and 101 degrees. If it decreases too much you could be at risk of hypothermia. Along with bundling up with layers of warm clothing, there are a variety of foods that can help warm your body temperature. Foods such as sea salts, Japanese plum, pickled foods, natural soy sauce, cheese, fish, brown rice, garlic, onion, leeks, ginger, roots, black beans, black sesame, goji, wolfberry and meats all have natural elements in their composition that help maintain a comfortable body temperature. It is also claimed that red meat can be especially efficient. Some drinks that raise your temperature include red wine and red tea. Before hitting the slopes or the snow covered trails, indulge in some warming foods that can make your adventure more “cozy”.

A Weighty Issue:

Understanding the Impact of Excess Weight on your Health

In our appearance-obsessed society, we’re always on a quest to shed pounds and be our best. Losing weight isn’t simply about looking better or fitting into your “skinny” jeans. Carrying excess weight is linked to a whole range of dangerous health problems. It also makes your body work harder to do simple, everyday things like breathe, pump blood and move around. If you’re struggling with your weight, you’re not alone. According to a Statistics Canada study about a quarter of Canadian adults is clinically obese, while in the United States, roughly a third of the population is.

Regardless of your current weight you need to understand how excess fat affects your body and what you can to do to prevent or reverse the damage.

If you’re overweight or obese you’re at an increased risk for type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and stroke. Obesity has also been linked to high rates of uterine, ovarian, breast, colon, rectum and prostate cancer.  Other serious diseases and health problems associated with obesity include:

  • Osteoarthritis
  • Depression and other mental health concerns
  • Skin problems like intertrigo
  • Asthma
  • Gynaecological problems including infertility
  • Sleep apnoea and other breathing problems
  • Gallbladder disease
  • Fatty liver disease
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Blood lipid abnormalities


Where you carry your body fat is as important as how many extra pounds you have. If it’s concentrated around the midsection rather than the hips, you’re more likely to experience related health issues. Also, if you have a family history of chronic disease or are a drinker or smoker, you increase your risks significantly by being overweight.

What Can You Do?

Whether you’re at a healthy weight, overweight or approaching obesity, you can take action to prevent dangerous weight gain and all the health problems that come with it. The steps to preventing obesity are pretty much identical to those for losing weight. To be successful you need to first make a commitment to your new, healthy lifestyle. To help you either reach or maintain your ideal weight  make sure you:


Get active – One of the single most effective ways to prevent weight gain is to commit to an exercise plan. Regular physical activity will burn calories and build muscle, which will help you look and feel good and keep the weight off. Start slowly but work yourself up to at least 30 minutes of physical activity everyday. To get the best results make sure you alternate between endurance, flexibility and strength exercises. Find ways to include physical activity in your daily life like choosing the stairs instead of the elevator, parking farther away from the mall entrance or walking your kids to school. Just make sure you always check with a health professional before starting a new fitness program.


Fix Your Diet – In the case of finding your healthy weight, you truly are what you eat. Stay away from fad diets and instead commit to healthy eating. Although some diets may help you lose weight quickly, they usually involve avoiding certain foods and the weight will just pack back on once you return to your normal eating habits. Focus on low-calorie, nutrient-rich foods like fruits, vegetables, fish, nuts and whole grains. Eat consistent meals throughout the day but look out for potions sizes—we typically eat way more than we actually need. Avoid processed foods that are high in saturated and trans fats, salt and sugar, which are a major cause of weight gain.

Keep Tabs – You should regularly monitor your progress by weighing yourself. Don’t get obsessed with numbers but this will help you know where you came from and where you want to be. Paying attention to your weight will also help you know whether your efforts are working, allow you to feel good about your progress and can point out small gains before they become big problems.

Set and Reach Goals – Make specific and realistic goals to keep you motivated along the way. Instead of vowing to exercise more, say, “I will walk for 20 minutes, three days a week for a week.” Celebrate your successes with non-food rewards like buying yourself a fresh bouquet of flowers or enjoying a day at the beach—then set more goals! Just realize that there will be times where you fall off track and fall short. You may find it helpful to enlist a friend or family member—who is also trying to lose weight or maintaining weight loss—to help you stay focused and healthy. Luckily, many of the health problems caused by extra weight can be reversed or substantially decreased by getting to an ideal weight. This will not only leave you looking and feeling great, but will be the best thing you can do for your overall health, wellbeing and happiness. Just take it slow, commit wholeheartedly and enjoy all the positive benefits it will bring.

Learning To Speak “Gen Y”–

Employers looking to attract and retain the best gen Y talent can start by learning to speak their language—and this doesn’t have to mean signing off emails with “g2g-ttyl.”


“Benefits” Have a New Meaning –
The first step in learning to speak gen Y is acknowledging a simple fact: baby boomers may appreciate traditional benefits (such as health and dental coverage), but gen Ys have different priorities. As such, it’s not enough simply to repackage traditional benefits to enhance their gen Y appeal. A web-based self-service delivery program won’t hurt; but it doesn’t go far enough.

It’s not that gen Ys are not attracted to workplaces that offer traditional benefits; it’s just that they are more attracted to workplaces that offer benefits that appeal to their generation. They have a tendency to see their futures as such a distant part of their lives that they’ll begin to shut down at the mere mention of pensions, long-term disability and dependent health coverage.

Think Global, Even if you Work Locally –
Raising money at work to donate a cow to a family in Uganda may not seem like a “benefit” to baby boomers, but gen Ys want to feel that they are actively involved in the global community. In fact, support for volunteer work is one of the benefits they value most. Adopting environmentally sound practices and supporting socially responsible causes are an essential part of attracting and keeping gen Ys engaged.

Get Connected –
Having grown up with the Internet, gen Ys are impatient, techno-savvy and, above all, connected. Giving them the opportunity to stay connected while at work is another benefit that will earn you high points. Social media is the gen Y equivalent of a smoke break and disallowing it is a recipe for disengagement.

Having close friends in the workplace is also an important motivator and benefit for gen Ys. In fact, many choose their workplaces just to be with their friends. Facilitating social activities and encouraging your gen Ys to forge friendships with coworkers is another way to keep them around longer.

Emphasize Bridges As Well As Ladders –
Gen Ys have high expectations for personal growth, even in entry-level positions. Although pay is important, development opportunities often rank higher on their list of priorities. Many would prefer to stay at one company to grow, but if they don’t think they can do that, they won’t hesitate to move on. One way to curtail job-hopping in environments with longer timelines for upward mobility is to promote opportunities for lateral development. Helping young employees understand how their contribution affects the organization, allowing them to participate in setting directions or establishing team goals, or giving them increased cross-functional exposure will give you more mileage than many more costly benefits.

Appealing to the values of gen Ys involves not only thinking creatively about how your organization can adapt its programs, but also refocusing your messaging around these programs.

Excerpts provided by: Shepell fgi – December 2011; Benefits Canada November 2011  

MC&A “A Thought to Ponder” –

As the clock ticks away the last few hours of the year, you wonder what the New Year has in store. Perhaps this year will change your destiny. Or perhaps, you will be meandering through the path of life, seeking answers to your deepest issues. Whatever be your future, you must welcome the New Year with an open heart. Make the best of today, so that your tomorrow can be better.” author-unknown


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