Cristina Sutter, Registered Dietitian
| Oct 18, 2012
A. Be Active
No one has ever said “I wish I didn’t go to the gym today.” As hard as it is to find the time and energy to go for a walk or get t o the gym, we are always glad when we do. It is no secret that exercise makes us stronger, leaner and healthier. We also know that exercise fights the “blues”; it reduces stress, improves our mood and gives us more energy. Research has now proven how important exercise really is, and it turns out that when we break a sweat, we reduce our risk of chronic disease. Studies have shown that regular physical activity lowers high blood pressure, high blood sugar and high cholesterol and reduces our risk of developing osteoporosis, depression, colon cancer, heart disease, obesity and type II diabetes.
Canada’s Physical Activity Guide recommends at least 30 – 60 minutes of moderate physical activity every day, yet 51% of Canadians are inactive*. Take a step towards better health today, and walk, swim or cycle your way towards a fitter, healthier you!
* The Canadian Fitness and Lifestyle Research Institute
B. Eat Well
Eating better, does not mean having more willpower. It means accepting our lack of willpower. Let’s be honest, a bag of chips on the counter is sure to sabotage even the best intentions. Eating well simply takes planning. If you plan your meals ahead of time and buy all the right groceries, healthy eating becomes the easy choice.
These 10 simple steps will get your diet into shape, without Calorie counting, fad dieting, starving yourself or depriving yourself of your favorite foods.
- Make a weekly menu.
- Write a grocery list, and stick to it!
- Stock up on smart snacks.
- Eat breakfast every morning.
- Brown bag your lunch.
- Load up on fruits and veggies.
- Cut back on your portions.
- Carry water with you everywhere.
- Limit alcohol, pop or juice.
- Treat yourself once a week.
Start eating better today, without missing a bite. Stock up on healthy foods that you can grab on your way out the door. Don’t go down the junk food aisle at the grocery store, out of sight, out of mind! If you save your favorite treats for an occasional indulgence, you won’t gain weight, and you won’t get bored with your diet.
For most of us, stress has become a part of our everyday life. We are often racing against the clock, battling traffic, working longer hours and still struggling to pay the bills. Over time, stress can lead to trouble sleeping, headaches, colds, indigestion and fatigue. Eventually, chronic stress can put us at risk of heart disease, anxiety and depression.
We can better handle life’s hassles by understanding our needs, our own reactions and by developing strong coping skills. These 10 simple tips will help you to rest your mind, body and soul.
- Unplug and get away from it all. Turn off the computer, phone and TV and go for a walk, take a bath or read a book.
- Pursue a new hobby. Take a cooking class or start gardening.
- Sleep well. Aim for 7-10 hours every night.
- Slow down. Give yourself extra time to make your appointments and deadlines.
- Set priorities and delegate. Set goals and limits to what you can do and delegate some responsibilities.
- Just say No. Don’t feel guilty, it’s okay to turn down social invitations.
- Stay Organized. Put things where they belong, to avoid hunting for them later.
- Talk it out. State your feelings and request an appropriate change.
- Positive self-talk. Turn your negative self-talk around, so instead of thinking “I’m not…” tell yourself that “I know I can…”.
- Deep Breathing. Inhale slowly, expanding your stomach. As you exhale slowly, visualize all tension flowing out of your body.