Category: Staff Categories

mental health tips

mental health tips

By Sandra Chu | Corporate Health Manager | INmotivation | CORPORATE HEALTH

The first week of May is mental health week and a time to reflect on a few questions and life lessons:

Do you ever feel that there are too many demands on your time, and you can’t keep up?
Have you ever answered the question “How are you?” with the response “stressed”
Do you ever feel unproductive, anxious or overloaded at work?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you are not alone! Mental health issues are a growing concern in our society. The Mental Health Commission of Canada reports that in any given year, one in five people experience a mental health illness or problem. While recommendations to improve physical health and prevent disease are well presented and discussed, mental health has not been provided the same exposure. The good news is that many of the lifestyle behaviours that contribute to good physical health will also lead to good mental health with physical activity front and centre!

Regardless of age or fitness level, studies show that making time for exercise provides some significant mental benefits. So head to the pathways, hop on your bike, roll out your yoga mat or pick up those weights and be sound in both mind and body!

1. Manage stress – One of the most common mental benefits of exercise is stress relief. Managing mental stress is high on everyone’s list. Physical activity increases concentrations of a chemical that can moderate the brain’s response to stress and improve your ability to deal with mental tension. So go sweat it off!

2. Maintain an active, agile brain – Ongoing studies are still looking into how much effect exercise will have in lowering the risk for the development of diseases such as Alzheimers. Early studies are promising and relate to the increased oxygen and blood flow to the brain. Exercise can’t hurt and will benefit your body in many other ways to keep you healthy overall.

3. Feel happy, be happy – Feel good endorphins are released when we exercise and are responsible for the ‘runners (exercise) high’ that occurs with exercise. You don’t have to be a marathoner though; 30 minutes of physical activity 2-3 times a week can enhance mood. Studies also show that symptoms of anxiety and depression can be minimized and managed through exercise.

4. Be more productive and work smarter – The midday work slump is legendary, but studies have shown that employees who engage in a short burst of activity (think a short walk) feel more energized for the rest of the day. Regular exercise can increase the development of brain cells responsible for memory, learning, decision making and critical thinking so you can get back to work and finish off a task that has been taking up more time than it should!

5. Relax! – When we are relaxed we feel calmer, less anxious and more at peace; all keys to good mental health. Exercise can provide an appropriate release of built up tension, enhance sleep and allow you to engage in an activity you enjoy leading to greater relaxed feelings.

Want to learn more?

  • Get loud for Mental Health Week! Motivate your friends, family, and yourself to speak and reflect about mental health. Just use the #getloud hashtag on social media and learn more about ways to get involved in Mental Health Week.
  • Find out about INLIV’s fitness and exercise programs – after all, fitness is one of the best ways to reduce stress! Start off by booking a consultation with a personal trainer. INLIV even offers e-fitness programs for those busy and on the go!
  • See how we can help with your total health management
  • Visit our Website to sign up for our newsletter and to stay up-to-date on our latest news, services, and tips. You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Sandra graduated from Queen’s University before moving to Calgary to study and work in Athletic Therapy. She completed a Master’s degree in Exercise and Movement Science at University of Oregon, and has worked extensively in areas of exercise rehabilitation, including both sports and work disability medicine. Sandra reminds her clients that every step is important; no matter how small it all adds up to big change. In her spare time Sandra loves to travel the world to engage in new adventures and explore different cultures.

May 2, 2017

By Ryan Hamilton | Fitness Program Director | INenergy | FITNESS

Greg, 54, is a busy executive who used to think he had no time, energy, or ability to work on his fitness. Thanks to his years with INLIV, he’s in better health now than he’s ever been.

Greg’s Goals: A 2008 shoulder injury had reduced his range of motion, and he didn’t like feeling lethargic after work – especially with valuable family time being wasted every evening. Faced with weight gain and the problems that came with it, such as high blood pressure and lost muscle mass, Greg wanted to slim down, manage his stress levels, and spend more time being active with his family.

“I started running and I went on a ‘couch-to-5k’ program…In the summer of 2015, I ran my first 5k. Now I am running 10, 12, 15k three times a week, and working out 3 times a week at INLIV….the first thing I noticed is all the weight that came off – I was 205, now I am at 165 pounds. The first six month changes were dramatic. What happened to me was quality of life.”

INLIV’s Strategy: Because of Greg’s specific conditions, he met with and used many of INLIV’s programs in order to fully realize his goals. Greg was originally a Corporate Health INLIV client (as part of the Executive Medical Assessment program). In 2008 he transitioned himself and his family to INLV’s Total Health Management program.

When Greg signed up for INLIV Fitness services, the team did an assessment of Greg’s athletic needs, in consideration of his shoulder injury. The INLIV Fitness team specifically looked at Greg’s abilities and considered ways to improve his healing going forward, ultimately implementing a weekly fitness schedule that can even be done on the road while traveling.

Healthier eating, scheduled workouts, proper motivation, and a personalized touch have all contributed to a better life for Greg – years after he had resigned himself to poor joints and poor habits, he has a fresh and positive outlook at his future!

“I attribute it all to INLIV. The trainers I work with knew about the shoulder…the trainers are very creative about finding ways around it. Since university, I have ignored my body and my fitness – at age 52, you decide you are going to do something, and it’s amazing to see how your body responds…Now I feel better than ever. Before, I worked, then I came home – I was tired, and I was overweight and I felt lazy. I am now more conscious of what I am eating…I drink a lot of water. I pack more of my lunches. I don’t crave sugar as much.”

The Outcomes:
Greg self-reports that the biggest improvements in his life since working with INLIV are:

  • Weight loss: Nearly 40 pounds since June of 2015.
  • Overall health: Better range of motion in his injured shoulder, less knee and back pain, better cardiovascular readings.
  • More energy: He can do more with his family, especially his kids, and is no longer trapped in a constant cycle of stressful work all day and lethargic couch surfing at night.

Greg has more self-confidence, and especially loves the improvement to his quality of life when it comes to the activities he can enjoy when he’s not working – activities that, ten years ago, he never thought he would be able to do.

“The personal touch makes a big difference…I don’t want to go anywhere else – I just want to go here.”

Want more information about how you can impact your life in a positive way?
Take a look through our website and see some of our many offered services. There, you can:

  • Find out about our customized fitness programs and how INLIV can help. Did you know we offer Saturday morning circuit training, drop-in personal training, and an e-fitness program that will help you stay on track, even if you can’t make it to us in person?
  • Learn about our Comprehensive Medical Assessments, so you can get a full and long-term measure of your health over time.
  • Learn about how we can serve your family’s medical needs with our Total Health Management program.
  • Visit our Website to sign up for our newsletter and to stay up-to-date on our latest news, services, and tips. You can also follow us on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn.

 

Ryan Hamilton completed his Master’s in Sport and Exercise Science in New Zealand before working in the UK for 2 years. Ryan is a Level II Certified Exercise Physiologist and registered personal trainer, with extensive experience and knowledge in the fields of physiology, research and musculoskeletal rehabilitation, as well as in teaching and training others.

April 16, 2017

By Kelly Blackshaw | Business Development Director | INvalue | CORPORATE HEALTH

When you’re one of the people in charge of the daily operations of a large company – be it a provincial heavyweight or a multinational corporation – it can be simple to lose track of good health habits. Over time, you may find yourself cutting corners a little bit, here and there: easy meals, instead of healthy ones; missed exercise classes; or less work-life balance. Before you know it, the stress and pressure of your career can take its toll on your health. 

March 8, 2017

By Stefanie Copple | Registered Dietitian | INmoderation | Health

Healthy eating habits in childhood are the cornerstone to establishing good nutrition later on in life. However, many parents often find that their children are “picky eaters”, and that it’s seemingly hopeless to convince them to eat healthy diets – a variety of fruits, vegetables, grains, and other foods that deliver the nutrients they need. 

March 7, 2017

Heart health

Heart health

By Aileen Kent | Personal Trainer | INenergy | FITNESS

Valentine’s Day has come and gone, along with all the piles of candy and chocolate that come with it. Since February is also Heart Month, here at INLIV we want to focus on the muscle that keeps all of us moving! If you really want to show your sweetheart how much you care, commit to a healthier and more proactive lifestyle together – one that keeps you active, supportive, and dedicated to keeping each other on track. 

February 15, 2017

By Ryan Hamilton | Fitness Program Director | INenergy | FITNESS

It seems like such a good idea: this year, your resolution is to get fit and stick to it! You’re determined, you’re ready, and you head to the gym in January with a playlist full of upbeat tunes and a new stick of deodorant. But before you know it, your gym bag and fitness goals are gathering dust under the couch. 

February 14, 2017