Summer is OVER, people! At the risk of being a total downer/drama queen straight out of the gates, as of this week, it is officially fall. I've slowly started moving my cardio workouts indoors. So, in order to make my time on the stationary cardio equipment a little less dull, boring, and monotonous, I've come up with a few tricks to make the time go faster and get more bang for my (torturous) buck.
There have been complaints about the three Ottawa doctors who won't prescribe the birth control pill. They don't prescribe it partly out of religious conviction, but also because they believe it's bad medicine. Research shows plenty of evidence against the pill. If conscience is overturned and doctors who disagree are forced to prescribe it, this will ironically mean the provision of inferior care. Using hearts and minds together is what conscience protection allows for. Does anyone actually want anything less in their doctor?
Sex is good. Good sex is great. And great sex... well that's the dream right? While I can't promise that the next guy you bring home will be a God in sack, I can all but guarantee that sweating it out at the gym will help turn up the heat in the bedroom. Now that's what I call an effective incentive!
I realize that not everyone is going to look at exercising as the highlight of their day or the passion of their life. Although there are things about working out that some may never enjoy there are a few things that will make the experience a little easier to digest. Here are some small, easy changes we can all make to start enjoying the gym a just a little more.
"Mammograms save lives," read the headline from the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation. My heart sank. Not only is this headline unlikely to be true, it's possibly dangerous. Recent research is adding up to what I would call a wholesale re-questioning of the need for mammography based on the fact that the overall benefits seem to be vanishingly small and the harms -- including unnecessary cancer scares, biopsies and surgeries -- considerable.
Frustrated Canadians living with eating disorders, families and health practitioners also want to have a greater presence at government and the Mental Health Commission discussion tables. Anorexia nervosa has the highest mortality rate of all mental health disorders. Women with anorexia are 12 times more likely to die than women of the same age without the condition.
A young woman's recent decision to film her abortion and share it with the world has been making headlines lately and, over the course of the past few days, I've observed the puzzled, horrified, and downright hateful reactions of many on my social networks. But the more I saw the hate, the more I realized that what Emily Letts did was pretty ground-breaking and unbelievably brave. Letts isn't celebrating abortion. She's simply demystifying a procedure that most people have been conditioned to avoid talking about, and by doing so, removing all the shame and fear associated with it.
As consumers of an amazing medical system, I see the benefits of what we have to offer. At the same time I do see the shortfalls. I often wonder if we had a system which emphasized prevention, nutrition, meditation, breathing, routine exercise, living life from a heart based existence and more -- would we have such an expensive health care system?
This year's International Women's Day theme, "Equality for women is progress for all," spilled over into an impassioned conversation or all-out fight about male roles in feminism and women's health. In short, whether we like it or not, men hold considerable power over women and our sexual relationships.
Canadians may be shocked to learn that there are no long-term, publicly-funded residential care facilities in Canada. Wait times for treatment are so long that many Canadians with eating disorders are forced to go abroad for private health care, and return with little follow-up care. It is time that a national eating disorders awareness and education campaign be launched, and that Canada develop a national strategy to address these serious mental health conditions, including early diagnosis and access to the full range of necessary care, a national registry, and a robust research program.
Canadians should know that early and forced marriage is not just an issue of developing countries. For example, recently there were 100 documented cases in Ontario, involving young girls who left Canada and were forced to marry. We need real action, an area where this government often stumbles badly.
Like many women, I've been cycling through birth control methods like prophylactics, "the pill," "the shot," baby roulette -- which is exactly what it sounds like, and now NuvaRing for more than half my life. Women who delay having children could be on one form of birth control or another for up to 20 years or more. For those who opt out of motherhood altogether, birth control may only end when menopause begins. Really? These are our options?
Higher stress levels are linked to more disagreements with lovers, an erotic deterrent of the highest level. In fact, in order to engage with another person on any intimate level we need to perceive enough safety. This safety helps us feel sexual arousal and bonding with our partner due to the release of the hormones oxytocin and vasopressin.
As we gather with family and friends across our great country to celebrate the end of 2013, and as we look forward to a more hopeful 2014, let this be a New Year focused on Canadians, and not on political drama and scandal. And let parliamentarians work to ensure a brighter future for all women in Canada. Women's help and ideas are needed to see what Canada can do better to increase the participation of women in our economy, to ensure their health and safety and that of their children, and to build a better life for all Canadians.