Mind, Body and Spirit

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Lady backpacks and manly beer — the folly of gendered products

Products like backpacks, beer and Q-tips are marketed in a gender-specific way. (Jason Blackeye/Unsplash)

Samantha Brennan, University of Guelph

As women started counting steps and walking to work wearing running shoes and fitness trackers, there was one work-related item that had to change: the briefcase. It’s not suited to walking fast and gets in the way of drinking coffee en route to the office. Enter the working women’s backpack. It’s a trend.

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What, exactly, is mindfulness? As a family physician with a busy urban practice, I am lucky to meet people of all ages and from all walks of life. Yet, when confronted with the same question, many will provide different and often conflicting answers. Some may take a philosophical approach to finding an inner peace, some may focus on yoga and relaxation therapies to connect their body and mind. Some may refer to books or teachings from various religions and sects as guides to navigating their mindfulness goals. But, in truth, mindfulness is not a concept to conquer nor is it a single idea, feeling or experience. Rather, it’s a journey through which one can achieve control over their thoughts and outcomes.

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