Ask Dr. Bernadette and Her Colleagues a Question About Health or Wellness

Basic knowledge is important when it comes to your health and wellness. Dr. Bernadette created the Ask the Experts forum to bring together experts from various disciplines to share their knowledge of your general health concerns and support a more integrative approach to healing.

We receive many questions everyday and it is impossible to respond to each one. If your question is selected, look for the response by checking back on this page.

Click here to Ask Your Question

Q: How can I relieve stress while at work?

A: Sometimes we feel stress at work is inevitable but rest assured, there is help. Relieving stress at work can actually begin before your arrival. Before going to work, think about your day – balance your schedule, maybe arrive a little earlier, do not over commit yourself and schedule small breaks.

While at work, here are techniques you can use when you feel stress:

  1. Take a few slow deep breaths and quietly say “I am” as you breathe in and “at peace” as you breathe out. Repeat this breathing technique a few more times until you feel relaxed.
  2. Inhale deeply and shrug your shoulders, lifting them high up to your ears. Hold. Release and drop. Repeat three times.
  3. Lastly, try changing your posture – sit up straight. “Your posture influences psychology and that influences behavior,” says Andy Yap, a post doctoral associate and lecturer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Yap conducted experiments and found that when we sit in tight, contracted positions — like squeezed into a too-small seat or hunched over our phone — we feel more stressed and less powerful. “Power buffers you from stress,” he says.

Q: I don’t like drinking water. Is there another way I can get my water requirements in?

A: Although 60% of our body weight is composed of water, we can easily become dehydrated. Because we lose water daily in our perspiration, breath, urine, and bowel movements it is important that we replace it. As a general rule the amount of water we drink daily should be half of our body weight in ounces. So if you weigh 150 pounds, you should be drinking 75 ounces of water a day! Wow! That’s a lot of water, especially if water is not one of your favorite drinks. Don’t be discouraged, you can still get your hydration from other sources. Sip on some soup made with high water content cucumbers, zucchini and lettuce. Soup can be a good mid afternoon snack to boost your energy while supplying your body with some well needed hydration. Make a smoothie with water infused fruit such as, blueberries, oranges, peaches, pineapples, plums, raspberries, cantaloupes and watermelon. Don’t forget about tea. Whether hot or cold, it is a good source of water. You may want to omit the sugar though. Other fruit and vegetables you may want to add to your daily diet are pears, grapefruit and broccoli which contain at least 89% water. For more suggestions, follow us on Facebook, Twitter and subscribe to our website.

Q: What is belly fat and how can I get rid of it?

A: Ugh. Belly fat. Nobody likes it, but for many of us it’s a daily struggle. As we reach middle age, we often see the proportion of fat to body weight increase — both sexes suffer from it women even more so… We have even come up with nicknames for it… spare tire, pot belly, beer gut…

It’s OK to make fun of it, but research has proven that it’s no joke. As our waistlines grow, so do our health risks. Belly fat is abdominal, or visceral fat and it lies deep within the abdominal cavity, where it pads the spaces between our abdominal organs. Visceral fat has been linked to metabolic disturbances and increased risk for cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and even blood clotting… In women, it is also associated with breast cancer and gallbladder problems.

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