1. Skip to navigation
  2. Skip to content
  3. Skip to sidebar


Rheumatoid Arthritis

Leah Sarich | posted Tuesday, Sep 30th, 2014


About three hundred thousand Canadians are living with Rheumatoid Arthritis, one of the leading causes of disability in Canada. For Arthritis Awareness month, specialists are hoping to help Canadians understand the early symptoms of RA so they can get a diagnosis and treatment plan as soon as possible.

RA often strikes between the ages of 25 and 50, right in the prime of most people’s lives. I spoke with RA patient Tashsa Guest who was diagnosed at just 36 years of age. She had three young children at the time and was completely sidelined by the disease. She had to teach her 9 year old son to start the car for her, her 7 year old daughter had to help groom and bathe her and her 3 year old would lie down with her every day for her series of naps. The only blessing was how quickly her symptoms came on. This speed helped Tashsa realize right away that something was very wrong. Within three months of her first symptoms she had a diagnosis and was on treatment that eventually put her into a drug induced remission.

Rheumatologist Dr. Diane Mosher, says the first symptoms of RA are usually swelling and stiffness in the small joints of the hands and feet. There can also be fatigue and general pain all over. Dr. Mosher says RA can come on quickly as in Tashsa’s case, or it can be a slower process.

Either way, it’s critical to get treatment as soon as possible. Dr. Mosher says patients need to get on disease-modifying medications quickly to prevent permanent damage to the joints. With permanent damage comes disability and pain, and this is what doctors are trying to avoid. For example, Tashsa currently has no permanent damage to her joints. That’s due to the fact she got on treatment very quickly.

So, talk to your doctor as soon as possible about any stiffness or swelling in your joints because treatment for RA is most effective if you can get started sooner rather than later.

For more information visit this website.


Tragically Hip to headline NHL launch event

Sportsnet | posted Tuesday, Sep 30th, 2014

TORONTO/NEW YORK – Canadian rock legends The Tragically Hip will get the party started ahead of the NHL season opener next Wednesday.

The Tragically Hip will perform a 45-minute set as part of the 2014 Molson Canadian NHL Face-Off event at Yonge-Dundas Square prior to puck drop between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Montreal Canadiens game on Oct. 8.

“For hockey fans, the first day of the NHL season is incredibly exciting. It’s a fresh start for all 30 teams and the anticipation, possibilities, and intense rivalries begin the moment the puck drops,” said Brian Jennings, NHL Executive Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer. “The 2014 Molson Canadian NHL Face-Off is a great way for the NHL and our partners to be a part of this excitement, celebrating with our fans in the heart of Toronto and all over the world.”

“Like fans from coast to coast, our team has spent the summer eager for the puck to drop on the new season,” said Stewart Glendinning, President & CEO of Molson Coors Canada. “With the NHL and Molson Canadian teaming up once again, fans in downtown Toronto are sure to score a memorable moment before the Maple Leafs and Canadiens renew Canada’s oldest rivalry.”

The celebration begins at 12:00 p.m. ET at Yonge-Dundas Square, rain or shine, with live musical performances, prizes and giveaways, NHL Alumni and special guest appearances, merchandise available for purchase and sponsored hockey activities. The day’s festivities will continue into the evening when fans are invited to watch the Montreal Canadiens renew their Original Six rivalry with the Toronto Maple Leafs on giant outdoor video screens. The 2014 Molson Canadian NHL Face-Off will be produced by Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment.

Across the League, the opening night’s four-game slate will feature teams from coast-to-coast. In Canada, fans can tune in to Sportsnet’s doubleheader featuring the Canadiens at Maple Leafs (7:00 p.m. ET) followed by Canucks at Flames (10:00 p.m. ET). Games also will be available on Rogers NHL GameCentre LIVE.

In Quebec, TVA Sports’ NHL coverage will debut with their French-language broadcast of Canadiens at Maple Leafs followed by a French-language broadcast of Canucks at Flames. In the U.S., NBCSN will also feature a doubleheader starting with Philadelphia Flyers at Boston Bruins (7:30 p.m. ET) for the network’s inaugural 2014-15 season Wednesday Night Rivalry, followed by San Jose Sharks at Los Angeles Kings (10:00 p.m. ET).

The evening will be highlighted by the raising of the Kings’ second championship banner in the past three seasons before facing their division rivals the Sharks.

Sportsnet unveils new Hockey Central studio

Sportsnet | posted Tuesday, Sep 30th, 2014

TORONTO — It’s big and it’s spectacular.

At 11,000 square feet with nine separate sets and 52 monitors, Sportsnet today introduced the largest, most innovative sports studio in the country, providing fans with a sports entertainment playground that places them in the heart of the action and brings the NHL experience to life.

The Hockey Central Studio, which debuts October 8 – opening night of the NHL season – features a rotating main anchor desk with a 360° open environment allowing cameras to shoot from any angle, an 11x38ft. ultra-high-resolution monitor – the largest ever in a Canadian television studio, and an LED floor that displays videos and graphics and leads into a giant video monitor wall. The studio also features up to 14 cameras that can shoot up to three live broadcasts for three different networks at any one time.

More NHL on Sportsnet:
Subscribe: Rogers GameCentre Live
Rogers Hometown Hockey | Broadcast Schedule

Sportsnet unveils its new state-of-the-art Hockey Central Studio, which debuts Wednesday, Oct. 8 and features nine separate sets and 52 monitors, including the largest in a Canadian television studio.”Our hosts and commentators gasped when they saw the studio in action for the first time, and we’re confident fans will as well,” said Gord Cutler, Senior Vice President of NHL Production, Rogers. “It’s cutting edge and allows us to showcase the game in ways never seen before that will keep fans on the edge of their seats.”

Designed by Jack Morton PDG, the company that designed the sets for Canada’s Olympic Broadcast Media Consortium at Vancouver 2010 & London 2012, the set was eight months in the making, beginning with the design phase and coming full circle with the construction in mid-June and finishing in late September.

The studio is complemented by a new graphics and animation package, designed in-house by the Rogers Creative Group. It includes 10 different custom opening animations, 250 player animations, and more than 1,000 support animations that enhance storytelling and game analysis for viewers.

Hockey fans will hear fresh musical packages during NHL on Sportsnet broadcasts, with renowned Canadian composer Stephan Moccio’s enhanced version of the current Hockey Night in Canada song and Sportsnet theme music – both of which are performed by an all-Canadian 50-piece orchestra.

This season, the NHL on Sportsnet will deliver more than 550 national and regional regular season NHL games across nine networks, including CBC, City, Sportsnet (East, Ontario, West, and Pacific), Sportsnet ONE, Sportsnet 360 and FX Canada. Sportsnet has exclusive Canadian broadcast coverage of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, Stanley Cup Final, NHL All-Star Game, NHL Draft Lottery, NHL Draft, and the NHL Awards.

Rogers NHL GameCentre LIVE will deliver more than 1,000 regular season games on tablet and smartphones for the upcoming season. Sportsnet is also the official regional television broadcast rights holder for the Vancouver Canucks, Edmonton Oilers, Montreal Canadiens, Toronto Maple Leafs (including radio rights on Sportsnet 590 The FAN) and Calgary Flames (including radio rights on Sportsnet 960 The FAN).

By The Numbers Sportsnet’s New Hockey Central Studio

40,000 Feet of electrical cable

15,000 Feet of pipe used for lighting grids

11,000 Square feet of space in Hockey Central studio

554 Number of games NHL on Sportsnet will broadcast this season

500 Studio lights

360 Degree shooting area in studio

170 Individual panels that make up Goliath, the largest ultra-high resolution monitor ever used in a Canadian television studio

80 Inch touch screen monitor equipped with live, interactive states in the Rogers Tech Zone

70 Per cent of the lighting in the studio that is low energy LED lighting

52 Total screens

38 Feet long by 11 feet high – the dimensions of Goliath, the new Hockey Central studio monitor, the largest ultra-high resolution monitor ever used in a Canadian television studio

(4 times the resolution of a high definition monitor)

24 Wireless microphones

14 Cameras capturing the latest breaking NHL news and analysis

9 Distinct sets:

– Main rotating anchor desk

– 3 different regional sets, 2 of which are stacked on top of each other. The 3rd regional set will also be used for Coach’s Corner on Hockey Night in Canada

– George Stroumboulopoulos’s interview corner, with his signature red chairs

– Puck Wall, featuring a vertical monitor & accompanying wall containing 30 pucks for all 30 NHL teams. When a puck is placed into the cradle at the bottom of the monitor, associated imagery for that respective team pops up on the screen

– Rogers Tech Zone including a 90-inch touch screen monitor & live, interactive stats

– Demo area featuring LED video floor and monitor wall

– Cat walk bridge in front of Goliath

8 Date in October when Hockey Central studio is unveiled in 1st national NHL broadcast

7 Kilometres of LED light tape in the new studio

3 Live broadcasts that can be shot in the studio simultaneously for 3 or more networks at any 1 time

1 Only studio of its kind in Canada

World Contraception Day

Leah Sarich | posted Wednesday, Sep 24th, 2014


Friday is World Contraception Day, a good time to explore the latest thinking on contraception in Canada.

I spoke with Dr. Rupinder Mangat, the Founder and Medical Director of the Northeast Calgary Women’s Clinic. She says women are being presented with all the birth control options as if they’re equal, when in fact they’re not. In fact, she’s seeing in her clinic a real mismatch between what women want in terms of pregnancy prevention and the form of birth control they’re using. Dr. Mangat says the birth control options all have very different effectiveness rates. For example, when used typically, the birth control pill has an 8 percent failure rate, condoms have a 15 percent failure rate and an IUD has a less than 1 percent failure rate.

Dr. Mangat says if you were undergoing cancer treatment and the doctor said this treatment is 20 times more effective than this other drug, everyone would choose the most effective treatment. And Dr. Mangat says we need to start thinking about birth control in the same way. She says one in four pregnancies in Canada is still ending up in abortion, which shows that women are not using the best birth control options for their lifestyle. And an unwanted pregnancy is a life-changing event, whatever a woman decides to do.

Therefore, the medical community is really focusing now on LARCs or long-acting reversible contraception options. In Canada, this refers to IUDs, which depending on the kind you choose, can stay in place anywhere from 3 to 10 years and can then be removed when you want to start a family.

For more information about all forms of birth control visit this website.

The 5 best ab exercises. And the ones that are wasting your time

Alex Savva, B.P.H.E | posted Tuesday, Sep 23rd, 2014

A flatter stomach is one of the most common fitness goals, so it’s no surprise that there are more abdominal exercises and contraptions for achieving a tighter stomach than there are excuses to skip your workout. But not all ab exercises are created equal. In fact, many are simply a waste of workout time. A study conducted at the San Diego State University Biomechanics Lab examined the electromyography (EMG) activity results garnered by popular core exercises. Here’s how they stacked up:

Don’t waste your time with:

1. The basic crunch
Why: The basic crunch is just that – basic. Don’t waste countless hours on a less-than-stellar exercise that does little to fully engage your abdominal muscles and core.

2. The ab rocker
Why: The ab rocker was proven to be no more effective than the traditional crunch. Actually, it was shown to be up to 80 percent less effective! Yes, it’s super easy to do, and that’s why it doesn’t work. By supporting your head, this tool actually deactivates the muscles in the neck that would normally support it. This can lead to neck pain as your supporting muscles weaken. There’s a reason these machines are collecting dust in the corner of your gym.

3. The straight-leg sit-up
Why: This old-school exercise is responsible for many back issues. It puts a huge strain on the lower back by provoking you to hurl your upper body forward in an attempt to touch your toes. No thanks.

4. The standing dumbbell side bend
Why: Isolating the obliques in this way is not natural and can add unnecessary strain to your back. (How often do you bend straight to the side to pick something up?) Also, many people use the momentum that the dumbbells create and rock side-to-side instead of properly engaging their muscles. Avoid these unless you want to look you’re rocking to the oldies.

5. The seated twist
Why: Seated twisting machines are a waste of money and space in fitness facilities. They don’t train your muscles in a functional way and the path of motion is fixed and unnatural. They can also lead to injury if you don’t know what weight to use and how to control the movement. I’ve seen many people snap from right to left with some wicked momentum – ouch!

Opt for these five exercises to maximize your workout time instead:

1. The plank
Why: It stimulates more abdominal activity than a regular crunch and works the muscles in your back as well.
How: Supporting yourself on your forearms and the balls of your feet, bridge up and position your body in one straight line. Pull your abs in tight and hold for 30-60 seconds.
Kick it up a notch: From the plank position, reach forward with your right hand, hold for a count and slowly return to the starting position. Do the same with your left hand and repeat.

2. The bicycle crunch
Why: In the San Diego study, this exercise was the second highest in terms of EMG activity in participants. It also stimulates more abdominal activity than the traditional crunch including your lower stomach and obliques.
How: Lying on your back, bring your knees up to form a 90 degree angle and keep your hands by your temples. Crunch up and twist across the body while simultaneously performing a bicycle motion with your legs. For example, if you crunch up and to the right you should draw your right knee in and vice versa. Repeat for 20-30 reps total.

3. Side plank
Why: Side planks not only torch your obliques, they also stimulate and tone your glutes, quads, hamstrings, inner/outer thighs and your upper body.
How: Lie on your side with your forearm perpendicular to your body and one foot stacked over the other. Bridge your hip up and hold for 30-60 seconds while maintaining a straight line with your body.
Kick it up a notch: Raise your top leg so that it’s parallel to the ground (this full version of this is called Vasisthasana in yoga).

4. Vertical chair knee raise
Why: It stimulated 210 percent more abdominal activity in the study’s participants than the traditional crunch.
How: Use your upper body to hold yourself up tall while drawing your knees up and past your waist. Squeeze at the top and slowly lower your legs back down. Repeat for a total of 12-15 reps.
Kick it up a notch: Do a straight-leg raise.

5. Reverse crunch
Why: Engage your lower abdomen and obliques with this move.
How: Lie on your back with your hands tucked under your bum and your knees bent. Bring your legs up until they form a 90 degree angle from your torso. Do a pelvic tilt and pull your knees in towards your chest, squeeze and slowly lower to starting position. Aim for 15-20 reps.
Kick it up a notch: Hold a weight over your head.

Ripped abs plan:
One of the best ways to work the abs is to perform a series of core moves in one continuous circuit. Circuits are efficient and effective, allowing you to get the most out of your efforts. For optimum results, perform this core circuit at the end of your intense training sessions. You want your core strong and ready to back you up when you’re in the thick of a tough workout.

Plank tri-set (regular and sides): 30-60 seconds
Reverse crunch: 15-20 reps
Bicycle crunch: 10-15 reps per side
Vertical chair knee raise: 12-15 reps
Notes: Perform 2-4 total sets or circuits with now rest between exercises and a 1 minute rest between circuits.

Alex Savva is a sought-after strength and conditioning expert whose founded two supplement brands and the Toronto fitness studio CircuitFIT. Alex has a degree in physical and health education and is a professional member of the Ontario Kinesiology Association. He has more than 10 years experience in the fitness and nutrition industry, working with clients ranging from elderly beginners to professional athletes to transform their lifestyles, not just their bodies.


Leah Sarich | posted Monday, Sep 22nd, 2014


We’ve been hearing the word narcissism a lot lately in popular culture. Just last week, Kayne West was accused of narcissism after demanding his audience stand up before he continued his performance.

But what does this term really mean? I spoke with Psychiatrist Dr. Scott Patten who says there’s the general sense of the word narcissism which refers to someone who’s arrogant, self-centred, lacking empathy in others and these can be personality traits. But when these traits become a pattern of dysfunction that affects all areas of one’s life, then you’re looking at a personality disorder or mental illness.

Narcissistic personality disorder is, to me, shockingly prevalent. About one percent of the population has the disorder. So that’s 10 thousand people right here in Calgary. And these are people who have the actual mental illness, not just those who have some of the narcissistic personality traits.

The sad thing is there is very little that can be done for these people. Dr. Patten says a person with narcissistic personality disorder would not seek treatment for themselves. They wouldn’t recognize their own part in their dysfunctional life, they’d blame everyone else. Dr. Patten says there is evidence that psychotherapy is often used to help those with the disorder, but there’s little research to show it actually works.

And even more tragically, this personality disorder is very persistent. Dr. Patten says it often starts in early adolescence with problems with peer relationships, teachers and schooling and then extends long into adult life.

For an extensive list of the symptoms of narcissistic personality disorder visit this website.


Early Onset Alzheimers

Leah Sarich | posted Thursday, Sep 18th, 2014


World Alzheimer’s Day is Sunday September 21st. In recognition of this day, we’re talking about early onset Alzheimer’s. This form of Alzheimer’s has been in the news lately with John Mann, lead singer of Spirit of the West announcing his diagnosis last week. Also, there’s the upcoming film called Still Alice starring Julianne Moore about a woman with early onset Alzheimer’s that just screened at TIFF.

Alzheimer’s is the most common cause of dementia in Canada. Early onset Alzheimer’s is quite rare, but not uncommon. One in 20 Alzheimer patients will have this form of the disease. This kind of Alzheimer’s is defined as being diagnosed before the age of 65.

Dementia specialist Dr. David Hogan, who holds the Brenda Strafford Chair in Geriatric Medicine, says Alzheimer’s disease is a tragedy at any age, but with early onset, it’s particularly challenging. He explains, these patients are often still working and trying to put away for their retirement, and this opportunity is taken away from them. He says they also often have children still at home. Further, most of the support groups for dementia patients are geared at those in the 70s and 80s and may not be appropriate or suitable for this subset of patients.

So just what are the symptoms of early onset Alzheimer’s? It’s not a question of you forgetting your keys one day, the memory loss becomes a concern when it’s a pattern of behaviour that negatively affects your life. Dr. Hogan says it’s not forgetting the date, it’s forgetting the month or the year, it’s losing skills you were once able to do and it’s showing poor judgement when you never used to.

Dr. Hogan suggests if you have any concerns about your forgetfulness or the memory loss of a loved one talk to your health care provider. The earlier the diagnosis the more doctors can do. Currently there are only 4 medications in Canada for Alzheimer’s. And Dr. Hogan says these medicines provide only some benefit and are certainly not a cure. This lack of options is why we need more research in this area.

That said, we seem to be heading in that direction. The federal government just announced 31.5 million dollars for a national research initiative. Dementia is also a recognized priority for the G8 nations.

Let’s be clear, dementia is a problem that will only get worse as our population ages. In twenty years it’s expected there will be over one million people in Canada with dementia.

For more information about Alzheimer’s visit Alzheimer Calgary’s website. You can also come out to the Thanksgiving Walk and Run on October 12th. All the funds raised stay in Calgary.



Page 1 of 3123