Let’s educate ourselves on eating cleaner. Let’s encourage our society to move more, for kids to play more, for families to interact with each other around activity-based games rather than in front of TV’s. Let’s connect over yoga and disconnect from our devices!
Let’s lead by example. Remind older adults that it’s never too late to start strength training to keep our joints more mobile. Rather than be a “senior”, be an “active ager”!
Let’s teach ourselves, our kids and our parents’ basic nutrition. Very little is taught at school nor by your health care practitioners. It is our responsibility to learn from registered holistic nutritionists, registered dieticians and to read and question. In the past 50 yrs, big cereal and bread companies have been brain washing us into thinking their products are healthy meanwhile they are pumped full of sugar and salt. Let’s educate ourselves a little more on this topic in fact and get our kids participating in meals from choosing healthy recipes to prepping them. These are life skills that set them up for a strong foundation of healthy eating as they move out and on.
Open the conversation as to why it’s so hard to stop at just 1 or 2 cookies and why sugar is addictive. Share with others how many forms of sugar there is and why it’s added in to so many foods. This is our responsibility to ensure the next generation has a longer life expectancy and doesn’t get sucked in to thinking that “whole wheat” is the same as “whole grain”. It is estimated that Canadians consume 145 lbs of sugar per yr and children only a little less than this – approximately 130 lbs of sugar per yr. We’re smarter than this! Read labels.
Excess sugar in foods that are high in the glycemic index (the rate at which the sugar enters our blood stream) for example like potatoes is stored as fat in our bodies and screws with our minds. While some cases are indeed hereditary, depression, anxiety and other mental diseases can be controlled and symptoms lessened through diet. Sugar sends our hormone levels haywire (both men and women) and is stored in the form of belly fat (cortisone is stored in abdominal fat). Foods like these can be eaten, however, in moderation and KNOW that in larger quantities, they will be converted to fat.
What about artificial sugar? Yuck! The word “artificial” should trigger us to know that our bodies do not know what to do with it and therefore, it will wreak havoc within our body especially our gut throwing off the natural flora. Once this delicate balance is off kilter, we’re more susceptible to disease, flus and colds.
It’s our responsibility as a nation to move ourselves up in the standings and be a healthier, more active Canada!
As we are celebrating Canada’s 150th, I would like to share the Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines. These have been recently revised. For the first time, the new 24-hour Movement Guidelines for Children & Youth also include sleep. Following the guidelines will help reduce the risk of chronic disease, lead to a more focused mind, a stronger, fitter body, and all in all, a more enjoyable life. For active agers, it doesn’t list vigorous activity, however, it still recommends 150 minutes of activity weekly. This breaks down to only 30 min’s 5 days per week. This is so doable for everyone!
These Canadian Activity Guidelines remind us that you don’t have to be an athlete to be active. And that sitting all day is bad for you, even if you’re active enough the rest of the time. The guidelines outline the amount and type of physical activity you need at every age and stage of life.
Below is a recap of the recommendations for adults aged 18-64. We encourage you to download the pdf version as well as take a look at those for all the 4 age categories.
Canadian Activity Guidelines – Adults Aged 18-64
To achieve health benefits, adults 18-64 yrs should accumulate at least 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity per week in bouts of 10 minutes or more
It is also beneficial to add muscle and bone strengthening activities using major muscle group at least 2 days per week.
More physical activity provides greater health benefits.
Being active for at least 150 minutes per week can help reduce the risk of:
And can lead to improved:
Let’s Talk Intensity! Moderate-intensity physical activities will cause adults to sweat a little and to breathe harder.
Vigorous-intensity physical activities will cause adults to sweat and be ‘out of breath’. Activities like:
Now is the time. Walk, run, or wheel, and embrace life.