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Archive for category: Sports and Leisure

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Dance for Parkinson’s Disease

April is Parkinson’s Awareness Month.  Learn about how Occupational Therapists assist those living with Parkinson’s Disease in our previous blog:  My Grandma vs. Parkinson’s.  Also, check out this wonderful program, based in Toronto, providing an opportunity for creative expression, physical activity and increased movement control for people with Parkinson’s Disease:  Dancing with Parkinson’s.

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Top Ways to Make Every Day Earth Day!

Saturday, April 22nd, is Earth Day! A day to celebrate the planet that facilitates our survival. With continuing climate change, extreme weather events and heavy pollution, becoming environmentally conscientious has never been more important. Remember that even small changes to your lifestyle and habits can make a difference in protecting our precious planet.  No alternative facts here!

Check out the following simple suggestions to make a positive impact each and every day:

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Spring Has Sprung – Get Active!

Studies show that kids across the globe are becoming less active “couch potatoes” as early as age 7.  In the following from CBC News learn more about this growing problem and the recommended guidelines for daily activity.

CBC News:  Children’s physical activity starts declining at age 7, U.K. study indicates

How can we put a stop to this growing problem?

We challenge you  to spend active time together as a family!  Now that Spring Has Sprung, try some of these fun family activities to boost the health of your children and yourself.    

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Give Your Brain a Workout

Our brains are made of billions of neurons, which interact with each other to complete specific tasks. Signals are sent from one neuron to another along neural pathways, and these determine our thoughts, emotions, insights, and so much more. Each task relies on a different neural pathway, so the pathway for reading a book is different than the pathway for putting on our shirt. The more we use a pathway, the stronger the connection becomes.

These neurons have the ability to physically change themselves when faced with new and difficult experiences. This ability is called neuroplasticity. As we are exposed to new areas, tasks, information or experiences, neural pathways are formed and existing ones are reshaped. This will continue throughout our entire lives as we learn. As we have experienced through practicing a musical instrument, memorizing our shopping list or recalling a friend’s phone number, if we consciously focus and train our brains in a certain area, they will become faster and more efficient at performing those tasks.

Just as we need to exercise the muscles in our body, we also need to exercise our brain.  But what exercises are best?

Take a look at the following from The New York Times that discusses studies on the aging brain and some advice to help you age well.

The New York Times:  How to Become a ‘Superager’

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Accessible Travel 101

Many travel companies, packages, hotels and airlines claim to be “accessible” which is often a blanket term for “we try”.  After all, nothing can be fully “accessible” as each disability is different, requiring varying levels of accommodation.

Travelling with a disability can be difficult, but with thorough planning it can be a wonderful experience.  Our free E-Book on Accessible Travel is full of helpful information, tips and checklists to help you plan, pack and prepare for a fantastic getaway.

Solutions for Living:  Accessible Travel E-Book

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Take A Hike– Your Brain will Thank You!

While studies show that walking in nature can boost mental health, researchers are delving deeper to study the actual effects on the brain.  Learn more about the ongoing studies in the following from the New York Times and be sure to take advantage of all the natural world has to offer this Spring.

The New York Times:  How Walking in Nature Changes the Brain

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Smart Solutions for Travelling with a Disability

Let’s be honest, as fun as vacations are, travelling is stressful. The planning, packing, confirming all the details, getting from A to B, preparing to be away from work or home, keeping paperwork organized…it takes a significant amount of time and effort to put a trip together.   Yet, if you have a disability, travelling becomes even more complicated.

March break is approaching and for months my clients have been asking me about travelling with a disability.  I enjoy these discussions because I do believe that anything is possible – take a look at our latest OT-V episode all about accessible travel including tips for travelling with a disability.

Bonus—download our free Accessible Travel booklet which includes helpful checklists and tips for your travel!

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Concussions and Football – Can New Technology Reduce the Impact?

Care of some amazing technology we’re now able to see the direct effect of a football concussion.  In this example, shared by the New York Times, a football player was wearing a mouth guard equipped with motion sensors that enabled researchers to see what was happening inside his brain at the time of impact.  Researchers are using this data to help create better safety equipment and helmets for players who risk a lifetime of head injuries and their damaging effects.

Be sure to watch the video of the effects on the player’s brain and learn more from the New York Times.

The New York Times:  What Happened Within This Player’s Skull

To learn more about the dangerous effects of head injury from football check out our previous post:  I Always Called it Dumb-Ball.

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This Year’s Healthiest Play List

It’s Canada’s 150th Birthday and Participaction is celebrating by encouraging Canadians to get healthy by taking part in the 150 Play List.   The 150 Play List is comprised of 150 fun and truly Canadian activities you are encouraged to try this year.  Visit the Participaction website to sign-up, track your activities, earn rewards and more.

Participaction 150 Play List

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Selfies and Your Self-Esteem

Selifies are everywhere!  In fact, they are now even in the Oxford Dictionary which defines the term ‘selfie’ as: “ a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and shared via social media.

Why are selfies so popular?  Why do we post them?  Some find them narcissistic, others simply a means of creative expression.  Many, especially young millennials, find them fun to do.  With their dominance on social media people are starting to wonder what motivates people to take a selfie and what impact posting one has on self-esteem?

The following from CNN discusses conflicting studies on whether posting selfies is good or harmful to your self-esteem.  Check it out here and let us know what you think– To selfie or not to selfie?

CNN:  Selfies hurt self-esteem. No, they help. Scientists can’t make up their minds