How to prevent muscle cramps

The muscle spasms or cramps occur when a muscle contracts or involuntarily, which becomes rigid causing pain and discomfort. Often arise at night during sleep or during and after physical exercise. Its causes can be several, from muscle fatigue, lack of minerals and vitamins in the diet to bad postures. Besides knowing treat them properly, it is important to know some tips that can help prevent muscle cramps.

How to prevent muscle cramps

Leading a sedentary life and not doing any physical activity is one of the main causes for the occurrence of muscle cramps. In fact, people who do not exercise in your daily routine are prone to muscle spasms more frequently. That is why sport or follow a regular routine of exercise will help you prevent and also enjoy better health at all times.

Yet it is also true that muscle cramps occur regularly during or after physical exercise, which may be due to prolonged exercise or muscle overload. In this sense, there are certain practices that we can take to prevent muscle cramps in training sessions:

  • Prepare the muscles of our body doing a good warming before starting the exercise, and perform stretching exercises at the end, will help prevent muscle cramps or spasms.
  • Increase our exercise intensity progressively and gradually. It is also essential not to exercise the body to reach a state of maximum exhaustion. 
  • Avoid physical activity when temperatures are extremely high or low.

Another of the most common causes of muscle cramps is the loss of fluids and minerals from the body. Therefore, it is essential to stay well hydrated throughout the day. Do not forget to consume the recommended daily amount of water (2 liters) and, especially, hydrated with plenty of water and sports drinks to make sport and exercise.

How to prevent muscle crampsWatch your diet is also a key factor in preventing muscle cramps, as its recurrent appearance may be due to a lack of minerals such as potassium, magnesium or sodium in the diet. These minerals are essential to keep our muscles in good shape and regulate the distribution of water in the body.

Try to include in your daily diet foods rich in potassium such as bananas, legumes, green leafy vegetables and nuts, and rich in magnesium such as brown rice, soybeans, dry beans, wheat bran or oat, sunflower seeds, etc. It is also good to consume foods high in vitamins C, D and E.

At bedtime, try not to take bad posture. Remain long with poor posture may involve muscle contractions that lead to the occurrence of nocturnal muscle cramps. This condition also occurs in women who abuse the use of high heels in their day to day.

Finally, a good way to prevent muscle cramps or spasms is by performing massages muscle in those areas of the body in which we usually have. The result will be excellent if we go to a good therapist, but we can also try to make them ourselves if possible.

If we follow the above procedures we will be prevent muscle cramps or spasms problems from our daily life and enjoy a healthy life.
Damages for Intentional Tort Survive Bankruptcy

Damages for Intentional Tort Survive Bankruptcy

The Court of Appeal recently released a decision that looks at the interplay of tort law and bankruptcy.

In Dickerson v. 1610396 Ont. Inc. (c.o.b. Casey's Pub & Grill), 2013 ONCA 4955 (C.A.), a jury awarded the plaintiff damages against the defendant in excess of $1 million arising out of an assault.  The defendant punched the plaintiff once in the head, causing the plaintiff to lose consciousness, fall to the ground and sustain brain damage.  As a result of the judgment, the defendant declared bankruptcy.  The plaintiff brought a motion for an order that the award of damages survived bankruptcy, based on s. 178(1)(a.1) of the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act, which provides:

178(1) An order of discharge does not release the bankrupt from 
 (a.1) any award of damages by a court in civil proceedings in respect of 
(i) bodily harm intentionally inflicted, or sexual assault or 
(ii) wrongful death resulting therefrom.
The motions judge held that although the jury found the defendant "deliberately punched the plaintiff in the head", the verdict did not provide a framework to assess whether it was an "intentional infliction of bodily harm". She dismissed the motion and the plaintiff appealed.

The Court of Appeal allowed the appeal, holding that s. 178(1)(a.1) will apply where there is direct proof of intentional infliction of bodily harm or where it can be reasonably inferred.  As long as there is intent, the section will apply; there is no requirement to show the circumstances were sufficiently offensive to social mores to justify withholding the protection of bankruptcy.
We're looking for a Deputy Commissioner of Operations

We're looking for a Deputy Commissioner of Operations

We're currently recruiting for a Deputy Commissioner of Operations. This in an executive level exempt position that manages 35 employees in the following areas: Human resources, budget and fiscal, facilities and telecommunications, information technology and public records.

The successful candidate will be an active member of the Executive Management Team (EMT), setting the strategic direction of the agency, developing legislative priorities, ensuring fiscal responsibility and creating an inclusive, performance-based work environment.

Here's the full job announcement. Please share with anyone you think could be interested.

The job is open until Dec. 9, 2014.

7 Ways To Curb Weight Gain Over Thanksgiving

Here’s an unpleasant reality check: The traditional American Thanksgiving meal packs an average of 3000 calories. Considering that the recommended dailycaloric intake for women ranges from 2000 (over age 25) to 1850 (over age 50) this puts one meal at approximately a third more than a full day’s requirement. And that’s just one meal; most of us at least eat breakfast on Thanksgiving, not to mention that time-honored late-night turkey sandwich.
Then there are those scary statistics about the average weight gain over the holidays, which is often put at between 7 and 10 pounds, though one study found that that’s largely a myth.
According to the Calorie Control Council, the true average weight gain is 1 to 3 pounds, which doesn’t sound like that much until you realize that we’re talking about a four-week period, which means many people are packing on almost a pound a week. Also, research shows people who are already overweight gain considerably more, on average 5 pounds. The other problem, the CCC says, is that most people fail to get those pounds off after the holidays.
1. Plan in Advance or Set the Stage
Spontaneity is not your friend when it comes to weight loss. When we get hungry, we reach for whatever’s available. And around the holidays, the choices put in front of you are even more tempting than usual. Maybe your contribution to a holiday dinner could be a veggie dish or salad – which you could then eat a goodly portion of. Or if wine is your weakness, perhaps bring an alternative beverage, such as flavored fizzy water, so you have something else you like to drink available as well.
2. Eat to Savor, Not Gorge
Changing the way you eat, in addition to what you eat, is one of the best ways to make sure you don’t become another holiday weight gain statistic. One of the best ways to do this, experts say, is with conscious or mindful eating, which research shows aids weight loss. Mindful eating gives you permission to eat the foods you love, eating them slowly while tasting and enjoying every bite. 
3. Put Yourself in the Driver’s Seat
One of the stories we tell ourselves during the holidays is that we’re not in charge, therefore we’re not responsible. “I can’t help it if my family cooks a rich meal and expects everyone to stuff themselves” is an example of this kind of thinking. Of course, this is simply not true. No one has any say in what you put in your mouth but you. And if family expectations are an issue, there are lots of tricky ways around that. (And no, you don’t have to feed your leftovers to the dog under the table like you did as a kid.) Some people take a small portion and eat it slowly, so it looks like they have a full plate throughout the meal. Some people say they’ve “developed a food allergy” to explain why they’re skipping the bread and pie. After all, going gluten-free is such a trend nowadays, it barely raises eyebrows.
4. Eat Like a Kid
Ever looked up from your morning paper (or your ipad) and discovered your entire bowl of cereal is gone and you don’t remember eating it? For contrast, watch a child eat, and you’ll notice the difference. Maybe he plays with each type of food on the plate, mounding up peas, making faces in his mashed potatoes. Or maybe he’s just playful while he eats, sailing each spoonful through the air. Either way, he enjoys the experience minute by minute, and chances are when he’s done there’s still amount on his plate. So from now through Thanksgiving weekend, try these tricks. Do something visual or playful with your food while you eat. Take bites in a spiral, eating from the outside to the inside. Alternate one bite from each food on your plate so the portions decrease equally. Use these tricks to focus your attention on the process of eating. It’s pretty much certain you’ll eat slower, eat less, and notice that you’re full before all your food is gone. Voila – automatic portion control!
5. Earn Your Food
Upping your physical activity level during the holidays is the most straightforward and effective weight control strategy, according to the Calorie Control Council. After all, it’s truly a matter of calories in, calories out. A few suggestions: Before or after you sit down to a big meal, push yourself a little, then make the meal your reward. It doesn’t have to be exercise, per se, although a good vigorous hill walk is often the simplest option. If you’re really too busy hosting family to get to the gym or down to the track, then get physical while getting ready.  clearing the dead leaves from the garden, vaccuming the living room, and cleaning out the garage are all physically demanding and will keep you on your feet and moving. (And you’ll have a cleaner house and tidier garden for the holidays too.)
6. Don’t Punish Yourself

If you do overindulge, let it go. Recent brain research shows that beating yourself up for a “slip” in healthy habit sets the stage for a full tumble off the wagon. Instead, focus on what you did right, and compliment yourself. (Creating a positive feedback loop is one of the best ways to insure a healthy habit sticks.) Saying “wow, you said no to that third glass of wine, good for you!” goes a lot further than “Geez I shouldn’t have eaten that second piece of pie.” Now, turn your focus to the healthy ways you’re going to take care of yourself tomorrow. Maybe an evening walk is in order?
7. Go to Bed on Time
There’s a natural tendency to let our sleep routines go haywire over the holidays. We talk into the night with old friends and family, or we hit the bar or sleep in just because we can. But recent research ties weight loss to keeping a regular sleep schedule, showing that those who go to sleep and wake up at regular hours have lower body fat than those who don’t.
Do you have a strategy to stay on a healthy track in the face of holiday temptation? Please share in the comments below so others can benefit. To calculate the recommended number of calories for your height, weight, and age, use the Calorie Control Council’s handy calculator.

Municipality Not Liable in Recreational Trail Case

Municipality Not Liable in Recreational Trail Case

Recently the Ontario Courts found a municipality not liable, under section 4(1) of the Occupier’s Liability Act, for the plaintiff’s fall off the edge of a ravine. In coming to this finding the court took an expansive view of when this section applied and indicated what is required to meet the lower standard of care under this section.

In Pierce v. Hamilton(City)2013 ONSC 6485 (S.C.J.), the plaintiff entered the park on a marked recreational trail near the edge of the Niagara Escarpment, he then left the trail and proceeded on an unmarked dirt path and fell off the edge of the ravine sustaining physical injuries. The City of Hamilton acknowledged that they were the occupier of the premises, but asserted they had met the standard of care.  The trail itself qualified as a recreational trail and was clearly marked as such, but the issue was whether the dirt path also qualified.  The Court held that the standard of care was the same as if the plaintiff was on a marked trail, stating:

“If that owner is given the benefit of the lower standard of care in return for allowing the public to enjoy the recreational trail on the land, it makes no sense to saddle the owner with the higher standard of care the moment a hiker or cyclist or skier moves off of the recreational trail. Further, it makes no sense for two different standards of care to alternately apply as a trail user hops on and off of the recreational trail.”

Given this, the plaintiff was deemed to have willingly assumed all risks associated with the premises and the lesser standard set out in section 4(1) of the Occupier’s Liability Act applied.

The Court accepted the evidence of the representative of the City that they had not received any previous complaints of people falling into the ravine and thus had no information that would suggest there was an unusual danger on any dirt path in the park area.   Justice Henderson rejected the plaintiff’s argument that the City failed to meet the standard of care for failing to conduct inspections of the park, for failing to have warning signs and for failing to construct a protective fence.  Justice Henderson held that it would be impossible for the City to conduct regular inspections of the 3,000 acres of natural areas. Regarding the signage and fencing, the Court held:

“As to signage, clearly a specific warning sign was not warranted if the City was not aware of any specific danger... I find that the failure of the City to erect a more general warning sign, such as "Caution. Uneven Ground in the Woods" does not constitute a breach of its duty. Such a warning sign would in fact be a sign stating the obvious; that is, that the terrain in the woods is uneven and unpredictable... I also reject the plaintiffs' submissions that the City ought to have built a barricade or a fence near the drop-off into the ravine. The danger of a sharp drop in elevation in a wooded area that was near the edge of an escarpment should be obvious to anyone who entered the woods.”

This case builds on the Ontario Court of Appeal decision in the Schneider v. St. Clair Region Conservation Authority case regarding when section 4(1) applies and highlights the lower standard of care under this section.
Why the commissioner decided against allowing canceled policies back into Washington

Why the commissioner decided against allowing canceled policies back into Washington

President Obama’s announcement this week that previously canceled individual health-insurance policies for 2014 could be reinstated – at the discretion of insurance commissioners – drew a lot of attention.

Washington state Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler acted quickly, deciding against allowing the previously discontinued policies to be put back into effect. The reasons are straightforward: The proposal does not make sense for Washington because of the overall negative effect on the stability of the health-insurance market.

To learn more about Commissioner Kreidler’s decision, please check his statement.

You can also see what is really happening with those canceled policies and how many consumers can qualify for more comprehensive coverage at less cost.
Leave Required for Refusals Motion After Set Down – Part II

Leave Required for Refusals Motion After Set Down – Part II

We previously posted on the decision of Jetport v. Jones Brown, 2013 ONSC 2470 (S.C.J.), which held that leave is required for a refusals motion that is commenced after the action has been set down.  The Jetport decision has been followed in Hamilton v. Ontario(Minister of Transport), 2013 ONSC 4536 (S.C.J.).

In Hamilton, a representative of the defendant was examined for discovery on March 30, 2012.  In response to a status notice, the plaintiffs delivered a trial record and set the matter down for trial on January 22, 2013.  The plaintiff then brought a motion seeking answers to refusals on March 7, 2013.  The motion was dismissed by Master Haberman on the basis that the plaintiff had not sought leave for as required by rule 48.04 and the plaintiff appealed.
On appeal Firestone J. held that although there was disagreement in the case law on the issue of whether leave is required, Master Haberman was not in error when she chose the line of authority that appeared most persuasive.  The line of authority followed by Master Haberman and approved of on appeal was that of Jetport v. Jones Brown.     

Because leave was not sought, the Master was correct in not considering the issue of refusals. 
It may have been that the Master’s decision was meant to be a procedural slap on the wrist to the plaintiff.  The decision notes that the requirement for leave was neither sought nor addressed by the plaintiff in their original motion material.  The Master’s decision did not preclude the plaintiff from bringing a motion for leave to have their refusals motion heard.  Counsel should be cautious about setting a matter down if they wish to pursue refusals.  They should also seek leave of the court, and address this in motion materials when in doubt.  

Foods for Healthy and Strong Bones

Having healthy and strong bones is essential at every stage of our life and to achieve this and prevent, to the extent possible, diseases such as osteoporosis, it is important to take care of food and include two essential nutrients, calcium and Vitamin D. Both help to keep the bones in optimum condition and ensure good growth. If you want to know what ingredients you can find, in this article we suggest you through a selection of the best foods for healthy and strong bones.

Foods for Healthy and Strong Bones

The milk and other dairy products like yogurt and cheese are, as we know, one of the main sources of calcium and are essential to healthy and strong bones. Are preferred low-fat dairy products, they are healthier and offer the same or greater calcium intake than the rest. It's recommended daily consumption of 3-4 servings of dairy products, so you can complement or supplement the milk with yogurt and a few ounces of cheese. A highly recommended product today, for lactose intolerant, is soy milk, although it does not contain much calcium, is very rich in vitamin D, essential for the body to absorb calcium and growth bones.

Among the blue fish, find some like salmon, sardines and tuna are excellent for strengthening bones. Its rich content of vitamin D and omega 3 makes it especially good for increasing bone mass, since they increase the absorption of calcium in our body. They are very tasty and healthy food, so do not hesitate to include them in your diet, you can take them in different ways, either grilled, marinated or with salad, pasta, etc.

Another food that helps maintains strong bones are the spinach. In fact, this vegetable dish contributes approximately 25% of the recommended amount of calcium, and also allows us to benefit from their content rich in fiber, iron and vitamin A. Similarly, other vegetables that are good for the care of our bones are broccoli, chard, turnip and cabbage.

Foods for Healthy and Strong BonesNuts such as hazelnuts and almonds are also a rich source of calcium. Besides being great for the strength of our bones, provide an important contribution of vitamin E, iron and protein to our body, so take them without overdoing it a good choice for our health.

The egg yolk contains enough amount of vitamin D and, being one of the more easily incorporate foods in our diet, turns out to be an ingredient that we can use to promote bone density and strengthen bones.

Other ingredients that can be taken daily and that will help us to have healthy and stronger bones are cereals such as oats and wheat. They are ideal to take with milk, yogurt or as a component of salads or other dishes.
Limitation Periods in Insurance Contracts

Limitation Periods in Insurance Contracts

Can a one year limitation period in an insurance contract override the two year limitation period?

 The Ontario Court of Appeal says it can. In Boyce v.The Co-Operators General Insurance Company, 2013 ONCA 298, the Boyces owned and operated a boutique insured by the Co-Operators. A foul odour was discovered on October 30, 2010 and the Co-Operators took an off coverage position on the basis the smell was caused by a skunk.

The Boyces claimed that the business had been vandalized, a peril covered by the policy, and they filed a proof of loss claim in December 2010 and commenced an action in February 2012, more than one year, but less than two years after the incident. The Co-Operators moved for summary judgment, claiming that the action was time barred by a one year limitation period set out in the insurance contract.

The motion judge held that the one year limitation period in the contract did not override the statutory two year limitation period set out in s. 4 of the Limitations Act, 2002. The Co-Operators appealed.

A term in a contract purporting to vary an otherwise applicable limitation period under the Limitations Act has to comply with s. 22 of the Limitations Act. That section allows parties to vary or exclude, by agreement, the otherwise applicable statutory limitation period. The Co-Operators relied on s. 22(5) which applies only to business agreements.

The Court of Appeal stated at paragraph 20:

A court faced with a contractual term that purports to shorten a statutory limitation period must consider whether that provision in ‘clear language’ describes a limitation period, identifies the scope of the application of that limitation period, and excludes the operation of other limitation periods. A term in a contract which meets those requirements will be sufficient for s. 22 purposes, assuming, of course, it meets any of the other requirements specifically identified in s. 22.

In order for s. 22(5) to apply the contract must be a “business agreement” defined by the Limitations Act as “an agreement made by parties none of whom is a consumer”. The Court of Appeal found that the Boyces contracted with the Co-Operatos for insurance covering various risks related to the operations of their business and the contract was not for personal, family or household purposes. As such the contract was a “business agreement”. The appeal was allowed. 
Canceled health plans? What's really happening.

Canceled health plans? What's really happening.

There's been a lot of news lately about insurers cancelling some health plans and changing others. Consumers have been getting the word through  'discontinuation' notices.

So what's really going on? This is happening in the individual market - where people who don't get coverage from their employer - buy their own health plans.   Most likely, the existing plans being canceled or changed, failed to meet new federal standards for benefits.  The reality about most of these previous plans is that they provided extremely limited benefits - no maternity care or coverage for prescription drugs, for example.

Beginning Jan. 1, 2014, plans must provide everyone basic essential benefits, such as maternity care, prescription drug coverage and mental health services.  And no longer can insurance companies ask you about previous illnesses you may have had. They must accept everyone.

Premiums will change for some plans. But if you received a notice from your insurance company, it does not mean you have to stay with whatever they offer. You can shop around for plans, either in the new Exchange - or from insurers selling outside of the Exchange.

Here's a map of all individual plans available by county.

For more details about insurers cancelling policies, check out this piece by Kaiser Health News.
"Where do I get a detailed review of my auto and homeowners premiums?"

"Where do I get a detailed review of my auto and homeowners premiums?"

We recommend that you get a policy-specific premium breakdown directly from your agent (or insurer, if you buy direct). Specifically, you might want to ask for a rate worksheet comparison between your last year's premium and your current annual premium. That's a good way to get an apples-to-apples comparison of what your rates are doing.

While you're at it, it's a good idea to make sure that the type and level of coverage is what you want. If you're driving a new car, you'll likely want comprehensive and collision coverage as well as liability (the latter is required by law.) If you're driving a $1,000 car, on the other hand, maybe liability coverage is enough. These are good things to discuss with your agent or company, particularly if you have changes in your life (new car, change in household members, moving, etc.)

Our home was damaged by a windstorm. We're worried. What's next?

Our home was damaged by a windstorm. We're worried. What's next?

We get this question a lot. It's very important that you try to safeguard your home from further damage. Depending on the type of damage, you may be able to safely do this yourself or you may need to hire someone - especially if you need to get a tarp on the roof if you're dealing with utilities or damaged and unstable structures.
You'll also want to contact your insurance agent or your insurer directly to let them know what’s going on, and to get any necessary instructions from them. They can also tell you how your coverage will apply. Most importantly, stay safe!