Monthly Archives: November 2012

Weight loss or getting into better shape may be at the top of your annual list of New Year’s resolutions, but why wait until the New Year to start. By putting your work-out plan into effect before the holidays, you can help reduce your stress and increase your energy, thereby enjoying the busy holiday season even more.

Here are a few reasons to get started early.

1.    Reduce your holiday season stress. Exercise is a great way to work off your stresses and regain a calm and relaxed state of mind.  Exercise can help to lower your heart rate, help you to sleep, and increase your overall energy.

2.     Keep seasonal illness at bay. Eating right and exercising will help boost your immune system, so that you can more easily fight off any cold or flu bugs that are common during this time of year.  Don’t allow yourself to become rundown. If you think you can’t afford the time needed to get fit, then think about the time you’ll lose if you get sick.  So … eat lots of fruits and veggies and get your heart healthy with a regular exercise program.

3.     Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today. Beginning an exercise routine now will get you started towards your goal before the holiday eating sets you back. Putting it off until later only builds pressure and makes it even harder to start after the holidays.  It’s a lot easier to stay on track once you start seeing results, rather than starting off in a worse place than you were before (perhaps five pounds heavier).

4.     Take some time for yourself. The holiday season can be pretty hectic for most of us.  With fitting entertaining and shopping into our already busy day-to-day lives, we add stress and often end up neglecting ourselves.  Instead of putting yourself last, make an effort to do something that is good for you every day – whether it is going to the gym or taking a walk around your neighborhood to look at the decorations. It’s a Wonderful Life when you’re getting fit and feeling good.

5.     Strive to improve yourself. There are many reasons to commit yourself in a fitness plan, but the best one is because you will be improving yourself.  Starting a fitness routine today is the best way to be the best you.

For the longest time, the words “martial arts”, “karate” and “black belt” conjured up images of Bruce Lee single handedly fighting off the bad guys, or Ninjas leaping out of the dark. Of course, Hollywood still promotes this image, but in reality, martial arts classes offer a much more family-oriented atmosphere.

These days, we see parents and their children participating together in martial arts – learning side-by-side in an environment that is empowering, motivating and positive. Classes tend to be structured to develop not only the fighting techniques, but also a fitness program that the whole family can enjoy. In addition, a holistic approach helps to build strong character, discipline, leadership skills and … good manners.

Family oriented dojos (martial arts schools) do not just teach self-defense, but are interested in the complete personal development of each student. Focus, patience, perseverance and physical condition are developed through the practice of various katas (movement exercises), Kumites (sparring routines) and kihon (basic techniques).

In a society where we often juggle complicated schedules, martial arts classes offer the opportunity to combine our family and fitness time in an activity where family values, respect and responsibility are promoted.

Karate and Martial Art in Montreal


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The holiday season is right around the corner! Are you planning some festive gatherings? Consider what you can do to make your home ready for entertaining your holiday guests.

You may not have time to undertake a larger remodelling project, but here are some suggestions for what you can do to spruce up your home in relatively little time.

Remodelling Ideas

  • Painting as a simple remodelling ideaPainting and wallpapering
  • Replacing plumbing fixtures, towel bars, bath accessories, etc.
  • Adding new or relocating current light fixtures to help brighten rooms
  • Replacing cabinet hardware
  • Replacing furniture, window treatments, decorations, etc.
  • New floor treatments – carpets, finishing, tiling
  • Replace trim, crown moulding and mantle
  • Fireplace renovation
  • Add or replace a kitchen backsplash
  • Rearrangement of living room
  • New bath towels, new bedding, organizational shelving, carpet cleaning, a new front door mat, etc.
  • Change your art or add new art.

Keep in mind how your home performs when filled with lots of guests and activities. Some things to think about:

  • Is there good flow from room to room?
  • How many people can comfortably be in the kitchen – dining room – living room at one time?
  • Is the kitchen layout efficient for preparing more food than usual?
  • The front entrance to your home is the first impression the guests will get of your house.
  • Don’t forget about the powder room and guest bedroom.
  • Is there enough space for the extra winter coats and boots?
  • De-clutter

Find – Save – Learn

I’ve got a cold and my NeoCitran ran out yesterday. I sent my wife to the pharmacy to buy some more, but she came back with a different cold medicine. Apparently, there is a shortage of NeoCitran these days. Novartis, the manufacturer of Buckley’s NeoCitran, has shut down its Nebraska plant for maintenance and improvements. This is the plant that supplies Canada, hence the shortage. It isn’t just a shortage of NeoCitran either. These other products are also affected: Buckley’s, Excedrin, Maalox, Otrivin, Triaminic, and SlowFe.

Fortunately, the pharmacist was very helpful in pointing out which cold medicines would be a good replacement. We have found that it is always worth your while to ask your pharmacist for help. I can’t say that I like the taste of the new medicine, but it sure does the trick: