10 Gifts to Get You Healthy & Keep You Healthy

Dec 22, 2018

By Barret Procyshyn

If you are doing some last-minute Christmas shopping and stumped on what to get, maybe think healthy lifestyle for some inspiration. Here are 10 gift ideas to help a friend or family member get healthy and stay healthy. Some of these items are available at the DCP and some you will have to find on your own with my help! Some of the ideas are even free. The best thing about these items as gifts is: they are useful!

  1. Blood Pressure Monitor

Monitoring your blood pressure is extremely important and measuring it in your home or in your own environment is often more useful than the physician testing it in their office. Hypertension or high blood pressure is the number one risk factor for stroke and a major risk factor for heart disease, which affects 1.3 million Canadians. The good news is the Heart and Stroke Foundation reports you can delay heart disease by as much as 14 years with healthy behaviors. This starts with tracking your blood pressure. The DCP carries various brands of fully automated blood pressure machines starting at only $70.

  1. Freestyle Libre Blood Glucose Monitoring

This is the blood glucose meter everyone has been talking about. Finally, Canadians have an option to test your blood sugar levels without poking your finger. A wireless meter reads your blood glucose levels from a sensor that adheres on your arm for 14 days at a time. It is especially useful for diabetics who use insulin and must test up to five times a day. If you have questions on the Freestyle Libre meter, please speak to a clinic pharmacist.

  1. Light Therapy Lamp - Happy Lights

Light therapy can be used to treat delayed sleep phase disorder and can also be used to treat seasonal affective disorder (SAD). The idea of using light therapy to treat SAD is the light therapy makes up for lost sunlight exposure and resets the body's internal clock. Although more evidence in this area is needed, some studies have shown light therapy helps reduce the depressive feelings associated with SAD, like fatigue or sleepiness. It is advised the best time to use light therapy is in the morning to help wake your body up and regulate your circadian rhythm. Light therapy is considered safe and it is easy to use. Light therapy systems start at around $80.

  1. Travel Supplies for Going South

If you or a loved one is travelling somewhere hot for the winter, remember often better weather means more risk for communicable diseases. You also may not be able to find proper over the counter medications needed in a pinch. We have a travel health checklist for you to create a nice package of travel items like sunscreen, antibiotic cream, acetaminophen, loperamide, travel patches and travel size cosmetics. Throw in a pair of travel socks for light compression during the plane ride and it's the perfect gift basket!

  1. Massage Therapy

Massage therapy not only can reduce pain, but it can also reduce risk of further injury. It may also lead to you have to use less pain medications. A massage is also great stress relief and is a great way to unwind after the holidays. We are lucky to have some great massage therapists in the Parkland. Look one up today and grab a gift card.

  1. Gym or Fitness Centre Membership

We are fortunate to have some great fitness centers and public recreational facilities in Dauphin to help keep you or a friend healthy. If the gym is not what you are looking for, Dauphin Rec Services has some great options available for swimming pool or Dauphin Clinic Pharmacy walking track passes. The evidence is simple when it comes to exercise: Mild to moderate exercise a few times a week on a regular basis will let you live longer and healthier. If you are buying a membership as a gift, get one for yourself too. You can join a friend and make a habit of going. The DCP sponsors FREE walking Wednesdays at the Dauphin Clinic Pharmacy Walking track at Credit Union Place if you want to try it out.

  1. Mobility Aids

We carry a variety of mobility aids which can work wonders for a loved one with limited mobility. A cane, walker or bath seat can greatly reduce the risk of a fall. With a gift like this you could be preventing a hip fracture or other devastating injury, especially with the slippery walkways we have in winter. For someone with chronic pain they can really make a difference in quality of life by increasing mobility. The Clinic Pharmacy has a good selection of these products with trained staff to help you select the appropriate product.

  1. Deep Nutrition by Dr. Cate Shannahan

You are going to have to purchase this book from Chapters or Indigo. If you know someone who spends long hours in the car, you can also get Deep Nutrition as an audio book from Amazon. I do not get a chance to get through many books, but this is a favorite. Dr. Shannahan, who practised family medicine in the USA and later worked for the Los Angeles Lakers, will flip everything you thought about nutrition upside down. As a summary, she has found evidence supporting we need to get back to a traditional diet of natural foods raised or grown from good sources. Being from the Parkland, I love this concept as we have many local farmers, growers and hunters to source good food from. For more information visit www.drcate.com

  1. Med Sync

This is the only gift on the list that costs absolutely nothing. If you are visiting a loved one of the holidays, suggest they line up their medications to all be filled on the same day. This reduces the risk of running out of or forgetting to take a specific medication. It also allows the family to keep track of a loved one's medication use. If you notice they are not taking their medication properly, PacMed strip packaging or bubble packing is available at the pharmacy for no extra charge.

  1. Convince Someone to Quit Smoking

Does someone you care about smoke? Try do something to help them quit! Smoking causes 1 in 5 deaths, so you can't give a better gift then helping them quit. While you can buy and wrap up some nicotine gum or patches, just convincing them to come talk to a pharmacist about the different ways to help quit smoking could save their life. You could also give them a money jar or piggy bank to hold the thousands of dollars annually they will save from not smoking.


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