Healthy Albertans

Health Tips presented by Tellier Guardian Pharmacy: June 15th, 2017

Alberta Healthy Living Program 

The Alberta Healthy Living Program (AHLP) provides services to those with chronic conditions in communities throughout Alberta. These services include information, education, techniques, and support to help improve your health and quality of life with a chronic conditionThe program has been customized to meet local needs and may also include specialty care and targeted programming for diverse and vulnerable populations.

The services provided vary slightly from Zone to Zone but in general, the program is based on a model that includes:

  • patient education
  • disease specific and healthy lifestyle education
  • supervised exercise programs
  • self-management & Emotional Health workshops, typically offered as the Better Choices, Better Health® program

Do you have a long term health condition that affects your life physically, emotionally or socially?  Some examples might include: diabetes, fibromyalgia, cancer, heart disease, depression/anxiety, arthritis, HIV, high blood pressure, asthma, obesity, chronic pain.

Sign up for a free 6 week workshop to:

  • Learn to manage your symptoms better
  • Reach your goals by taking small steps
  • Discover tips to manage your day-to-day activities
  • Get support from others with long-term health concerns
  • Share your experiences and help others

Sign up for the FREE workshop today!


Taking Care of Test Anxiety

With final exams approaching It’s normal to for your teen to feel a little nervous or feel some anxiety before a test. Being a little nervous can help motivate you to study and do well. But for some people, their anxiety is so high it gets in the way and makes it hard to focus on the test and remember what they had studied. If it’s really intense, people blank out, panic, and cannot remember anything.


Anxiety is the way our body tells us that there is danger or something important to pay attention to. Anxiety is a reaction that helps you to cope with something stressful and can help protect you. When you are under stress, your body releases adrenaline, a hormone that triggers the “fight or flight” reaction. It’s the adrenaline that can make you feel miserable.  What can I do about it?  There are things you can do to make your test anxiety better.

The day before the test

Get a good night’s sleep. Aim for 8 to 10 hours of sleep the night before the test. A study showed that students who got 8 hours of sleep before taking a math test were almost 3 times more likely to figure out a problem than students who stayed awake studying all night (Wagner et al, 2003).  Remember to get enough to eat and drink. Your brain needs fuel. On the day of the test, eat healthy foods and drink plenty of water. Try not to drink caffeine such as coffee, tea, energy drinks, and cola drinks. Caffeine can make your anxiety worse.

Writing the test

Try some deep breathing. While you wait to get into the classroom, take a deep breath and then slowly breathe out. Repeat.

Watch what you think. If you find yourself thinking negative thoughts like, “I never do well on tests” or “I don’t think I studied enough”, change the way you think. Tell yourself things like, “I will do well on this test” or “I studied and I know this stuff.”

  • Chew gum if you can. Chewing can help cut down your anxiety.
  • Listen closely to the instructions. Sometimes the teacher will say something that will help answer the questions.
  • Look through the test through first. Figure out how you will pace yourself.
  • Write down formulas or definitions. If the teacher does not provide everything you need, write down the ones not provided before you start the test
  • Read the questions carefully. If you are not sure what a question means, ask the teacher to explain it.
  • Do the simple questions first. This will help you feel more confident. If you don’t know an answer to a question, skip over it and come back to it later. Spending too much time on a question cuts down the time you have to answer all the other questions.
  • While sitting in your chair, you can take a few deep breaths, wiggle your fingers and toes, or picture yourself in a quiet, peaceful place. This can be helpful if you find your mind wandering or you blank out.
  • Avoid watching the others in the room. Focus on your own test. If others finish before you, don’t let it bother you. Stick to your plan.

For more tips:

Less Screen Time More Play Time

With the end of school fast approaching and the warmer weather here, children are being encouraged to be active!  ​​​​​Canada is the first country in the world to have guidelines about limiting the time children and teens spend being inactive(sedentary) each day. The guidelines recommend limiting:

  • recreational screen time
  • sedentary transport (e.g., always travelling in a motor vehicle instead of walking)
  • sitting or spending time inside for long periods of time

Sedentary behaviours for children include:

  • not moving around or using much energy
  • sitting for long periods of time
  • using technology (e.g., computers, cell phones, tablets)
  • playing passive video games
  • always travelling in a motor vehicle and never walking
  • watching TV

The Canadian Sedentary Behaviour Guidelines for Children also show how important it is for children to move often, every day.

What’s the problem with being sedentary? Research shows that there’s a direct link between having more sedentary time and:

  • decreased level of fitness
  • low self-esteem
  • not doing well in school
  • obesity and other health problems (e.g., heart problems)
  • being more aggressive

In Canada, children and teens spend 62% of the hours they’re awake being sedentary. The average amount of screen time school-age children have in a day is 6 to 8 hours.  Activity guidelines in Canada recommend at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity everyday for children and teens.