Blog

Hockey Tips – Stickhandling

February 23, 2012 • Written by

Like many other Winnipegers, I’m a die-hard hockey fan who enjoys playing “oldtimer” hockey and watching the Jets on the tube.  Since coming back to the sport after a 15 year hiatus, I decided to improve my game so I’d be more than just a pylon on the ice.

So if you’re playing or coaching hockey or are interested in seeing some practical stickhandling tips, here’s an interesting video from Planet Hockey.  There are many videos on the web to choose from, but I liked this one (despite some low production quality) as the drills are interesting and it’s fun to watch some stickhandling magic.

Submitted by Mike Krywy, Research and Planning

7 Habits of Mindful Eating

February 23, 2012 • Written by

7 Habits of Mindful Eating

Our own life is the instrument with which we experiment with the truth.
– Thich Nhat Hanh –

I don’t know if you are like me, but I eat in front of the computer quickly and then I go to the gym during my regular lunch hours.  I am not sure that this is the best and healthiest way for me to be. Here’s an interesting article from Daily Good News that Inspire that I receive every day in my personal e-mail.  I find that reading the Daily Good News is a nice way to start my day on a positive or inspiring note.

Seven Habits of Mindful Eating

“The rhythm of life is becoming faster and faster, so we really don’t have the same awareness and the same ability to check into ourselves.” These words are from an unexpected source: a Harvard nutritionist. Dr. Lilian Cheung, with Nobel Peace Prize nominee Thich Nhat Hanh, co-wrote ‘Savor: Mindful Eating, Mindful Life.’ “That’s why mindful eating is becoming more important. We need to be coming back to ourselves and saying: ‘Does my body need this? Why am I eating this? Is it just because I’m so sad and stressed out?'” In this 3-minute video, Dr. Cheung explains how honoring and being mindful of the food we eat makes us healthier. She offers seven practices for mindful eating — simple steps that we can take to maintain a healthier weight and live a happier life. We are what we eat — and how we eat it.

You can find a short video here.

Submitted by Margarita Natcheva Rowley, Diversity and Immigrant Student Support

Deep Breathing Exercises

February 21, 2012 • Written by

If you are one of those who has hard time slowing down and relaxing before going to sleep, you might want to give breathing exercises a chance. There are many benefits of deep breathing exercises, it can nourish your body and promote relaxation.  The article below by Andrew Weil outlines three deep breathing exercises to get you started:

Breathing: Three Exercises

three breathing exercises inside

Three Breathing Exercises

“Practicing regular, mindful breathing can be calming and energizing and can even help with stress-related health problems ranging from panic attacks to digestive disorders.” Andrew Weil, M.D.

Since breathing is something we can control and regulate, it is a useful tool for achieving a relaxed and clear state of mind. I recommend three breathing exercises to help relax and reduce stress: The Stimulating Breath, The 4-7-8 Breathing Exercise (also called the Relaxing Breath), and Breath Counting. Try each and see how they affect your stress and anxiety levels.

Exercise 1: The Stimulating Breath (also called the Bellows Breath) The Stimulating Breath is adapted from a yogic breathing technique. Its aim is to raise vital energy and increase alertness.

  • Inhale and exhale rapidly through your nose, keeping your mouth closed but relaxed. Your breaths in and out should be equal in duration, but as short as possible. This is a noisy breathing exercise.
  • Try for three in-and-out breath cycles per second. This produces a quick movement of the diaphragm, suggesting a bellows. Breathe normally after each cycle.
  • Do not do for more than 15 seconds on your first try. Each time you practice the Stimulating Breath, you can increase your time by five seconds or so, until you reach a full minute.

If done properly, you may feel invigorated, comparable to the heightened awareness you feel after a good workout. You should feel the effort at the back of the neck, the diaphragm, the chest and the abdomen. Try this breathing exercise the next time you need an energy boost and feel yourself reaching for a cup of coffee.

Exercise 2: The 4-7-8 (or Relaxing Breath) Exercise This exercise is utterly simple, takes almost no time, requires no equipment and can be done anywhere. Although you can do the exercise in any position, sit with your back straight while learning the exercise. Place the tip of your tongue against the ridge of tissue just behind your upper front teeth, and keep it there through the entire exercise. You will be exhaling through your mouth around your tongue; try pursing your lips slightly if this seems awkward.

  • Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound.
  • Close your mouth and inhale quietly through your nose to a mental count of four.
  • Hold your breath for a count of seven.
  • Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound to a count of eight.
  • This is one breath. Now inhale again and repeat the cycle three more times for a total of four breaths.

Note that you always inhale quietly through your nose and exhale audibly through your mouth. The tip of your tongue stays in position the whole time. Exhalation takes twice as long as inhalation. The absolute time you spend on each phase is not important; the ratio of 4:7:8 is important. If you have trouble holding your breath, speed the exercise up but keep to the ratio of 4:7:8 for the three phases. With practice you can slow it all down and get used to inhaling and exhaling more and more deeply.

This exercise is a natural tranquilizer for the nervous system. Unlike tranquilizing drugs, which are often effective when you first take them but then lose their power over time, this exercise is subtle when you first try it but gains in power with repetition and practice. Do it at least twice a day. You cannot do it too frequently. Do not do more than four breaths at one time for the first month of practice. Later, if you wish, you can extend it to eight breaths. If you feel a little lightheaded when you first breathe this way, do not be concerned; it will pass.

Once you develop this technique by practicing it every day, it will be a very useful tool that you will always have with you. Use it whenever anything upsetting happens – before you react. Use it whenever you are aware of internal tension. Use it to help you fall asleep. This exercise cannot be recommended too highly. Everyone can benefit from it.

Exercise 3: Breath Counting If you want to get a feel for this challenging work, try your hand at breath counting, a deceptively simple technique much used in Zen practice.

Sit in a comfortable position with the spine straight and head inclined slightly forward. Gently close your eyes and take a few deep breaths. Then let the breath come naturally without trying to influence it. Ideally it will be quiet and slow, but depth and rhythm may vary.

  • To begin the exercise, count “one” to yourself as you exhale.
  • The next time you exhale, count “two,” and so on up to “five.”
  • Then begin a new cycle, counting “one” on the next exhalation.

Never count higher than “five,” and count only when you exhale. You will know your attention has wandered when you find yourself up to “eight,” “12,” even “19.”

Try to do 10 minutes of this form of meditation.

Submitted by Margarita Natcheva Rowley, Diversity and Immigrant Student Support

Walking

February 16, 2012 • Written by

I love Walking. It’s such a healthy way to get around, and it doesn’t wreak havoc with my feet. I used to run a wee bit until plantar fasciitis came for a long, painful, visit. But walking has been beneficial; it’s kept me moving, it gets me outside and away from my computer.

Being a person who requires an external motivation, I’ve found that walking to a location is preferable to walking around a track or on a treadmill. Making a commitment to exercise can often be hard to keep up if it’s self-directed. If you live close to work or commute by bus, walking part of the way to work is a perfect motivator, particularly if you want to reach work in time. And at the end of the day, walking at least part way home from work is one of the best stress relievers available. Walking with a companion or two, either human or canine is a great incentive particularly if you can commit to regularly scheduled dates and times.  

At any time of year, Winnipeg is a perfect city to walk in and around. There are so many beautiful places to wander. At this time of year, walking in the city is a bit of an adventure. So far this winter it’s not snow drifts that get in the way, it’s the ice. A person has to stay alert and plot their course down a stretch of sidewalk, with lots of weaving from one side to the other, a bit of clambering over some piled snow, a couple of hops over icy bits, and one or two leaps of faith.   

If you are able to be mobile, walking is a convenient, easy-to-use method of staying healthy. It relieves stress, it can be meditative, or it can be exhilarating. Other than good shoes, no special equipment is needed. You can think, talk, sing if you want, and wander to your heart’s content, all while getting fit and healthy.

I’ll say it again, I love Walking … and Yoga and Zumba, but that’s another post, maybe.

Submitted by Nancy Ball, Research and Planning

 

Suffering from Keyboard-itis?

February 15, 2012 • Written by

Are you achy and stiff after a day on the keyboard? Wearing all kinds of wrist splints to fend off tendonitis and carpal tunnel syndrome? Your ergonomics are good, but you’re still suffering?

Consider the keyboard itself. Kinesis Corporation has a contoured keyboard that reduces strain by eliminating the excess stretching that traditional keyboards require. Research and years of commercial use have proven its worth.

   

The keys for each hand line a bowl to fit your relaxed fingers naturally. Keys are set at various depths that relate to the length of different fingers. The bowl shape means you do not have to reach as far. The layout is still QWERTY, but can be switched to Dvorak. The right bowl can also work as a number keypad (very easy if you use the optional foot pedal), which is much appreciated by those in accounting and finance.

Aside from relieving pain and strain, the contoured keyboard also improves productivity. While it might look awkward to new users, they soon find they can type more comfortably and even faster than before.

Learn more at: http://ergocanada.com/ec_home/products/alternative_layout_1.html
or see it in action (below) or at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hxH7Uith0tQ

Submitted by Stephanie Fraser

Be a Healthy Valentine

February 14, 2012 • Written by

Like Halloween and Easter, Valentine’s Day is a mecca of treats and chocolates. While a box of candy or truffles might make a nice gift for a sweetheart, they’re not necessarily the best choice for your heart – or your waistline. Valentine’s Day is typically a day where you show your love through traditional gifts of candy and sweets, but why not share the gift of a healthy heart with your loved one instead?

Cook a Healthy Meal at Home

There’s nothing that says “romance” like taking the time out to cook your significant others’ favorite meal at home. Valentine’s Day is typically one of the busiest days for restaurants, so skip the reservations and spend time alone without all the chaos of a crowded restaurant. Because you’re not paying for an expensive dinner date, splurge on finer ingredients to make fresh, healthy dishes like Pomegranate Duck, Mussels, Roasted Rack of Lamb, or Filet Mignon with Mushroom-Wine Sauce.

Get Active

Who says you have to go to dinner and a movie? Think outside the box and plan a Valentine’s Day date that’s both romantic, and active. What not try skating? Many community centers across Winnipeg have outdoor skating rinks, and The Forks offers both a skating rink and skating trails, as well as rentals. There’s also the Assiniboine Credit Union River Trail on the Assiniboine River.

Dance lessons at one of Winnipeg’s dance studios, bowling, or even a romantic walk with hot chocolate along the Assiniboine River in St. Boniface are all great active date ideas.

 Make Healthy Valentine’s Day Treats

Eating some sweets on Valentine’s Day is almost inevitable. It would be cruel to deny yourself a treat or two, but at least you can have some control over what you’re consuming if you make them yourself. Whether it’s for the office, around the house, or for your child’s elementary school Valentine’s Day party, try these simple tricks and recipes to make this year’s Valentine’s Day treats a little bit more health-conscious.

  • Dark Chocolate – Substitute milk or white chocolate for dark chocolate (choose 70% coco or higher) in your recipes to maximize your health benefits, while still retaining that chocolate-y flavor. Dark chocolate has been proven to help lower blood pressure, curb cravings for sweet and healthy foods, and even help lower cholesterol.
  • Fruits – Strawberries, raspberries, and cherries are all romantic fruits, so why not try and build a tasty dessert around them? Dip berries in (dark) chocolate for a fondue, use them to make a fruit sorbet instead of ice cream, or top vanilla frozen yoghurt with berries and chocolate sauce for a sundae.

Submitted by Hayley Brigg, Creative Communications Student

Roasted Lemon and Rosemary Potatoes

February 9, 2012 • Written by

In anticipation of the Heart Smart Potluck Challenge, here’s a an idea for adding some zest to your potatoes, with a Mediterraen styled roasted lemon and rosemary potatoe dish from the Manitoba Heart and Stroke Foundation website.  The site is loaded with recipes, so have a look and begin planning your February potluck.  

Roasted lemon and rosemary potatoes

Roasted lemon and rosemary potatoesMakes 4 servings (1 L/4 cups)

Lemon is a fresh flavour that goes well with potatoes. Which makes this side dish an easy addition to any meal time table. Adding a touch of oil near the end of cooking helps brown the potatoes and adds a touch more flavour.

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour

Ingredients

  • 750 g (1 1/2 lbs) mini red potatoes
  • 50 mL (1/4 cup) no salt added chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 15 mL (1 tbsp) chopped fresh rosemary or 5 mL (1 tsp) dried rosemary, crushed
  • 10 mL (2 tsp) grated lemon rind
  • 25 mL (2 tbsp) lemon juice
  • 2 mL (1/2 tsp) paprika
  • 1 mL (1/4 tsp) freshly ground black pepper
  • 10 mL (2 tsp) extra virgin olive oil

Directions

  1. Cut potatoes in half lengthwise and place in large bowl.
  2. Add broth, garlic, rosemary, lemon rind and juice, paprika and pepper; toss to coat well.
  3. Spread into parchment paper lined roasting pan and roast in 220 F (425 F) oven for 45 minutes.
  4. Stir in oil and roast for about 15 minutes or until golden brown and tender.

Nutrition information per serving (250 mL/1 cup)

  • Calories: 165
  • Protein: 4 g
  • Total Fat: 3 g
    • Saturated Fat: 0 g
    • Cholesterol: 0 mg
  • Carbohydrate: 33 g
    • Fibre: 3 g      
    • Sugar: 2 g
  • Sodium: 12 mg
  • Potassium: 642 mg

Recipe developed by Emily Richards, PH Ec. ©Heart and Stroke Foundation 2011.

Posted: August 2011.

Automated External Defibrillator (AED)

February 6, 2012 • Written by

Did you know….?

On June 16, 2011, Bill 20, The Defibrillation Public Access Act, became law in Manitoba. This requires all public places to have a publicly accessible AED on site.

RRC has 7 AEDs throughout our Campuses. We have two AEDs each at the Notre Dame, Roblin Centre, and Stevenson Aviation Winnipeg and one at Stevenson Aviation Southport.

AED’s are a proven method to improve the chance of survival in a cardiac event. Knowing the warning signs and acting immediately can save a life – even your own.

Check out this video:

Click here for locations of our AEDs, or contact your Enviromental Health and Safety Dept at safety@rrc.mb.ca or 204 632-2395

 To learn the signs of a heart attack go to:  Heart Attack Warning Signs

 Submitted by the Environmental Health and Safety Department

Orange Glazed Salmon

February 3, 2012 • Written by

In anticipation of the Heart Smart Potluck Challenge, here’s a tasty and “heart smart” orange glazed salmon recipe from the Manitoba Heart and Stroke Foundation website.  The site is loaded with recipes, so have a look and begin planning your February potluck.  

Orange Glazed Salmon

Makes 4 servings

Cutting down salt by using simple ingredient of orange zest and orange juice to enhance flavour, heart healthy salmon has never tasted this good. Enjoy the benefit of omega-3 without giving up on taste.

Ingredients:

  • 12 oz (360 g) salmon fillet (without skin)
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) orange zest
  • 1 whole (4.5 oz/131 g) fresh orange (juiced)
  • 1 tsp (5 mL) honey
  • ½ tsp (2 mL) salt
  • ½ tsp (2 mL) pepper
  • 2 tsp (10 mL) olive oil

Directions:

  1. Thoroughly wash and dry orange before zesting.
  2. Use a medium-fine grater, grate the orange until only the white pith remains over the fruit. The orange zest will be used to flavour the salmon. Be careful not to use any white pith as it is bitter in taste.
  3. Cut orange in half and squeeze out all the juice.
  4. Mix orange juice, honey, salt, pepper and orange zest together to make marinade for the salmon.
  5. Pour marinade over salmon and marinate salmon for 15 minutes.
  6. Remove salmon from marinade. Save marinade to make the glaze for the salmon later on.
  7. Brush salmon with olive oil before placing them on the heated grill. Cook until fish turn opaque and turn the salmon over once during cooking. It will take approximately 7-9 minutes altogether pending on the thickness of the salmon.
  8. In a small pot using high heat, reduce the leftover marinade to a glaze.
  9. Drizzle the glaze over salmon before serving.

Nutritional information per serving
(3 oz/85 g)

  • Calories: 194
  • Protein: 17 g
  • Fat: 12 g
    • Saturated Fat: 2 g
    • Dietary cholesterol: 48 mg
  • Carbohydrate: 4 g
    • Dietary fibre: 0 g
  • Sodium: 339 mg
  • Potassium: 312 mg

Developed by Sosan Hua, RD. ©The Heart & Stroke Foundation.

Heart-Smart Potluck Challenge

February 3, 2012 • Written by

February is Heart and Stroke Awareness Month, and the Wellness Committee is excited to launch our Heart-Smart Potluck Challenge.  The Wellness Committee challenges our college community to host a Heart -Smart Pot Luck between February 13th and February 24th.  Get together with your colleagues or challenge another department  to a “Potluck Throw Down” to see who can make the tastiest Heart-Smart dish.

If you’re not sure what to make, head over to the Heart and Stroke Foundation website and browse their extensive set of Heart-Smart recipes. While there, you can also check out their 10 simple suggestions for healthy eating.

We are also looking for delicious Heart-Smart recipes to put on the Wellness Blog, so please send your recipes and photos of your pot luck to Isabel Bright (ibright@rrc.mb.ca).

Eat Well and Have Fun!