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Armour Insurance Blog

10 Ways to Manage Type 1 Diabetes

Posted by Rob Stevenson on Oct 30, 2013 9:56:00 AM

Formerly called juvenile-onset or insulin-dependent diabetes, 10 per cent of those diagnosed with diabetes suffer from Type 1. Its symptoms, and the resulting diagnoses, most often occur in childhood or early adolescence, but can strike adults as well.

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When a person is diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, it means that their pancreas does not generate insulin. Insulin is a hormone that helps move glucose, a type of sugar, from food into cells to generate energy. Without insulin, too much glucose stays in the blood. Over time, high blood sugar can lead to many serious complications, including:

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Topics: Healthy Lifestyle, health, diet

5 Ways to Get Your Kids to Eat Healthier Food

Posted by Rob Stevenson on Oct 23, 2013 9:52:00 AM

We all know that kids eat what is available. Because adults usually decide what food kids will eat, it’s important to help them form healthy habits now to maintain a healthy weight and avoid future health problems. Small changes in the following key areas can make a huge difference.

kids eat healthyFruits and Vegetables

Kids should eat five fruits and vegetables each day. Frozen and canned fruits and vegetables count too, so serve those if fresh ones aren’t available. Offer kids 100 per cent juice with no added sugar. For picky eaters, you can mix or hide them in other dishes, like putting peas in rice or cucumbers on sandwiches.

Reduce Fat and Sugar

  • Buy low- or non-fat dairy products like milk and yogourt
  • Choose lean cuts of meat like skinless chicken
  • Bake instead of fry
  • Substitute olive or vegetable oil for butter
  • Provide less soda and sugar-sweetened drinks
  • Serve fruit-based desserts instead of ice cream or cake
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Topics: Healthy Lifestyle, health, diet

12 Ways to Keep Your Cholesterol in Check

Posted by Rob Stevenson on Oct 16, 2013 9:49:00 AM

Cholesterol is a type of fat produced by the liver. Essential to proper body function, it aids in hormone production, supports nerve and brain development, helps the liver digest fats and is a key substance in every cell of the body.

While cholesterol is important to your health, it is possible you can have too much of a good thing. Cholesterol travels to your cells through your bloodstream. Because it is a fat, it does not mix well with water or blood, and must be wrapped in protein. This is called lipoprotein cholesterol, which is categorized into two forms:

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Topics: Healthy Lifestyle, health, diet

1 Minute Office Workout

Posted by Rob Stevenson on Oct 10, 2013 9:42:00 AM

Have you ever used the excuse “I just don’t have the time to exercise”? Well, that simply won’t work any longer. All you need is one minute to feel revived, refreshed and full of energy. Plus, you can do all of this in your cubicle or office.

  1. office workoutOpen and close your hands with your arms (a) extended in front of you (b) over your head and (c) to your side. Repeat each motion three times.
  2. Stand behind your desk chair and raise your heels for five seconds. Then, lower your feet and repeat this motion five times.
  3. Place your arm across your chest and press gently on your elbow. Hold this position for five seconds while turning your head to the opposite direction. Repeat on the other side.
  4. Shift your weight forward, keeping your knee over your ankle and your heels flat on the floor. Hold this lunge position for five seconds and then repeat this motion 10 times. Repeat with the other leg.
  5. Stand with your legs slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Slowly squat down and hold this position for five seconds. Then, bring your body back up to standing position. Repeat this position 10 times.
  6. Stand up straight and then bend down and touch your toes.
  7. March in place for 30 seconds while rolling your shoulders forward and backward.
  8. Do 10 jumping jacks.
  9. Make sure that your chair is stable and then place your hands next to hips.  Move your hips in front of the chair and bend your elbows while lowering your body until your elbows are at 90 degrees. Repeat this dipping motion 10 times.
  10. Hold a water bottle in your right hand with your elbow bent and your arm extended overhead. Repeat on the other side.
  11. Hold a water bottle in your right hand and with your abs in and spine straight. Slowly curl the bottle towards your shoulder.  Repeat with the other arm.

Now that you’re done with your mini workout, grab a refreshing glass of water. If you need to go to another floor to do so, take the stairs instead of the elevator to burn some additional calories.

Squeezing a workout into a busy schedule is easy. Simply incorporate three 10-minute workouts or one 30-minute workout into your day on most days of the week. This will get your heart pumping and your muscles working, and it will burn some calories too!

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Topics: Healthy Lifestyle, health

Relaxation Techniques: 15 minutes to Lessen Pain and Stress

Posted by Rob Stevenson on Oct 2, 2013 9:36:00 AM

Pain and stress can end up causing physical, mental or emotional issues. Often this physical or emotional pain significantly impacts our health, happiness and overall quality of life. Learning how to relax can lessen the impact that this pain has on your life.

The Pain Cycle

Perhaps the first step to healing ourselves is learning to understand how our bodies react to and deal with stress and pain. Once pain occurs, whether from an injury or other source, your psychological reaction to it can have a strong effect on its intensity and duration. For some people, pain can become a vicious cycle: pain causes anxiety and tension, and anxiety and tension cause more pain. Many common health disorders, such as migraines, involve tension as a contributing source of the initial pain. By using relaxation techniques, one can release tension, greatly reduce certain types of pain and sometimes actually prevent the pain from occurring. Relaxation techniques, such as meditation and breathing exercises, are simple methods you can use to relax and break your pain cycle.

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Topics: relaxation, Healthy Lifestyle, health

The Top 9 Flu Vaccine Myths

Posted by Rob Stevenson on Sep 25, 2013 9:20:00 AM

It's flu season again and time to start thinking about getting vaccinated. Health Canada recommends that everyone over the age of 6 months get a flu shot each year. Still, many people refrain because they wrongly believe one or more of the following myths.

should i get the flu vaccine?Myth #1: The flu isn’t so bad.

Fact: The flu can lead to serious illness, including hospitalization for pneumonia or other complications – even for healthy people. Plus, even without complications, a normal bout of the flu can keep a person out of work or school for several days.

Myth #2: The flu vaccine will make you sick.

Fact: The flu vaccine cannot give you the flu, although you may get side effects like a sore arm, low fever or achiness. Side effects are mild and short-lived, and definitely better than getting the flu.

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Topics: flu vaccine, Healthy Lifestyle, health

Break Poor Eating Habits One Step at a Time

Posted by Rob Stevenson on Sep 11, 2013 9:04:00 AM

If changing eating habits was easy, everyone would be fit and healthy. One key to making lasting improvements is to make changes in stages. Start with something simple and stick to it for a week. After your family has mastered one change, add another.

saladSome Ideas to Get You Started

  • Eat breakfast.
  • Substitute water for one sugary drink each day.
  • Eat one to two more fruits or vegetables each day.
  • Plan a healthy snack for each day of the week.
  • Switch to a low-fat version of a favourite food.
  • Plan three meals and two snacks every day.
  • Plan a home-cooked meal, which usually has fewer calories and more reasonable portions, and costs less than typical meals eaten at restaurants.

Set an Example

Parents play a big role in guiding their children’s eating habits by the examples they set, the foods they make available in the home and the mealtime experiences they create for their families.

Offer healthy snacks such as fruit, low-fat cottage cheese or yogourt, frozen juice bars, applesauce, celery or apples and peanut butter, raw vegetables, graham crackers, fig bars or whole wheat crackers and low-fat cheese. Large portions mean too many calories. A snack for a typical adult may be a container of yogourt, but for a preschooler, two or three tablespoons of yogourt are about right.
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Topics: Healthy Lifestyle, health, diet