GFM Network News

Be mindful of how you breathe

Improper breathing can cause stiffness, headaches and decreased energy

The way we breathe dramatically influences our total body function and health. Breathing improperly will not only cause stiffness in the upper back, shoulders, hips, and neck, it can also decrease energy levels. The most common manifestation I see of poor breathing is neck pain and headaches. Many breathe with the muscles in the upper […] Read more

Weight loss is only one aspect of health

We tend to focus on the number on the scale but that’s only one part of a healthier life

This is a phrase I hear almost daily as a health-care professional in the fitness industry: “My doctor said I needed to lose 20 pounds in three months to get healthier.” Yes, the number on a scale is one indicator of health, but it is just one aspect of how we measure health. Usually, improving your health (blood […] Read more

Mental health is a farm safety issue

Farming is stressful, for farmers and their families. Make mental health a priority

Farmers had to be tough or we wouldn’t have started farming the Prairies. This toughness is mental as well as physical. It is also lonely. And with 60 per cent of us experiencing anxiety, 36 per cent suffering from depression and over 45 per cent living with high stress it is a farm safety issue […] Read more

Relieve those winter aches and pains

Here’s some suggestions to help you feel better through the cold months

As we get through winter, it’s not uncommon to see an increase in certain injuries. While the cold weather and lack of sunshine play their part in how we feel and function, there’s a few things we can do to keep our bodies moving during the snowy, dark months. A common complaint during the winter […] Read more

Lessons from the hospital

When my husband was in a serious accident I learned many things while helping to care for him

My new year is in September when harvest is in full swing. On October 2, 2017 our farm family entered a new season of caring for my husband Wes, who collided at an uncontrolled intersection in his 2015 pickup with a heavy-duty trailer which flipped. Multiple rib fractures, concussion and a separated shoulder put Wes […] Read more

Mental health on the farm: understanding stress

According to a 2005 report, almost two-thirds of Canadian farmers are feeling stressed on their farms. One in five farmers describe themselves as being “very stressed” while almost half (45 per cent) describe themselves as being “somewhat stressed.” Stress is all around us. Understanding it and managing it are essential in having healthy minds and […] Read more

The neck is a common area 
that tightens up.

Help for those tight muscles

Here’s some techniques to try to help loosen up that tense tissue

Ever have a tight neck after a stressful day with no one to rub it for you? Good news! You can release those tense tissues on your own — not quite as relaxing — but it will make you feel better. Soft Tissue Release is a form of massage that involves finding pressure points in […] Read more

Using wild edibles on our farm

Plants that are often regarded as ‘weeds’ can actually be beneficial

A few years ago we started to learn how to use more herbs and “weeds” around the farm. The one that totally surprised our family was purslane (Portulaca oleracea), or as we call it, wild portulaca. It is very invasive, so if left to grow it needs boundaries with border edging. It’s worth keeping around […] Read more

Ground flaxseed.

Control blood pressure with flax

Reporter's Notebook: New research shows that eating ground flaxseed can lower your blood pressure

One of the interesting side effects of covering agriculture is that influences my eating habits. I get to hear about the research into food uses and health claims of the crops grown in Western Canada. I eat pulses for the fibre and protein. I use canola oil several times a week. I’m not shy about […] Read more

Low back pain common in farmers

High incidences due to the mix of manual labour and seated positions in most ag jobs

Low back pain — one of the world’s most prevalent musculoskeletal complaints. A study done in 2010 estimated that 21.7 billion people are affected globally per year from some form of low back pain, usually attributed to a work-related cause. The highest relative risk factor, according to the study, was agriculture-related work. Not surprising, given […] Read more