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The importance of moving!

Photo courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Articles in several newspapers this week all have the same theme:  Sitting is damaging to our health!   The articles refer to recent studies published by the British medical journal “The Lancet” on the health consequences of physical inactivity.  According to these studies, physical inactivity is responsible for as much as 10% of the “burden of disease” (years of life lost to mortality or disability) from illnesses as diverse as colon cancer, Type 2 diabetes, and coronary heart disease.  All can be prevented or lessened if we got up and moved more.

The article by Andrew Coyne in the National Post points out that it isn’t just inactivity that is the problem but the specific activity of sitting – which is how most of us spend our day.  Even if you exercise, it is of little consequence if you sit all day. Read more

Read about the high cost of inactivity in the Globe and Mail.

Get up and move – for your life!  Read more

 

Your best exercise plan

Photo courtesy Stuart Miles/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Regular exercise is essential for healthy living. It can improve your health in endless ways by improving mood, decreasing the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, increasing cardiovascular health and boosting bone density. You know it’s important, but it might not be so easy to fit into your day.

In this Canadian Living article,  learn how to beat exercise excuses,  maintain motivation to keep your fitness program going strong, and how to sneak physical activity into your daily routine.  The article also discusses exercises you can do at home to keep your bones strong.    Read more

 

Sitting all day is hazardous to your health – or- the importance of moving often.

graur razvan ionut / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Research says that even if you work out religiously, if you also have a sedentary job and spend a lot of time in a chair, your regular workouts may not undo some of the negative consequences of long periods of sitting. Read more

Adding simple activities such as standing to answer the phone, taking the stairs, and walking to a colleague’s office instead of sending an email can help increase daily physical activity. Read more

Get moving at work!

Photo by Francesco Marino/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Photo by Francesco Marino/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

There are many ways you can incorporate physical activity into your work day, both on the way to work and at the office. Read more

Are you getting your 30 minutes?

Photo by Carlos Porto/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Photo by Carlos Porto/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

It often seems daunting to fit the recommended 30 to 60 minutes of physical activity into one’s day. The key is to start small and work toward building more physical activity into your day. … Happily, one does not need to do it all at once or join a gym. You can split up your activities during the day and still reap the benefits of moving more. Read more or listen to this video for ideas.

Everybody’s Talking ‘bout a New Way of Walking . .

Photo courtesy of photostock/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The phrase “Walking is man’s best medicine,” allegedly spoken by Hippocrates two millennia  ago, is even more timely today. This fact is particularly true in industrialized societies where new technologies have not only changed the way we work but, even more profoundly, have also affected our life styles by reducing the physical effort of most of our daily activities.

Regular walking has a direct impact on the cardiovascular and musculoskeletal systems, by:
•    reducing the risk of coronary disease and stroke,
•    lowering blood pressure,
•    reducing cholesterol levels in blood,
•    increasing bone density, hence preventing osteoporosis,
•    managing the negative effects of osteoarthritis, and
•    easing back pain.

Regular walking also improves general health and longevity. According to the US Report of the Surgeon General, not only do walkers live longer but also the quality of their lives improves dramatically.
For more information about other benefits of regular walking, go to the website of the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health & Safety

The Public Health Agency of Canada also provides motivation with their “Stairway to Health” Challenge. For example, they note that:
•    Even two flights of stairs climbed per day can lead to 2.7 kg weight loss over one year (Brownell, Stunkard, and Albaum, 1980).
•    There is a strong association between stair climbing and bone density, in post-menopausal women (Coupland et al. 1999).
•    Stair climbing programs can improve the amount of ‘good cholesterol’ in the blood – HDL concentrations (Wallace and Neill, 2000).

Feeling competitive?  Try challenging your unit to climb 19,541 ft. to the top of Canada’s highest peak, Mount Logan – the equivalent of about 1,950 flights of stairs!

 

 

Active aging – taking a proactive approach

We are all familiar with the saying “Use it or lose it”.  There is a lot we can do to stay healthy as we grow older.  Sue Kelly of “We Care Home Health Services ” in Toronto recommends we take a proactive approach to slow down the progression of chronic health problems.  In fact, her group has published a boolket entitled “Get Going to Keep Going” offering  8 proactive steps to active aging.  The booklet is free and is available online at www.wecare.ca/getgoing or by calling 1-877-853-1195.

 

The Fountain of Youth

Photo by Daniel Cooper

It is not a pill, a cream or exotic fruit!  A study by McMaster University researchers in Hamilton indicates that the best anti-aging treatment is good old exercise.  In fact, their study found that  signs of premature aging may be halted (or even reversed!) by exercise.  Read more in the Montreal Gazette.

Walk for the heart of it!

Photo by Yaroslav B

 Walking is one of the easiest and most profitable forms of exercise. All you need is a good pair of shoes, comfortable clothing, and desire. Be sure to drink plenty of water before, during, and after walking. You can incorporate a warm up, cool down and stretches into your routine. Just head out the door!   Read more

Dance to better health

Courtesy of Filomena Scalise

Tangos, waltzes, ballet or the newest form of zumba (to name a few) work not only your muscles and improve your balance, but give your brain a workout too! While dancing, you cannot think about the stresses of your day because you are too busy remembering the movements. Dance decreases loneliness because of the social aspect, and has been found to to reduce the risk of dementia. With the music playing, dance can make one feel happy, vibrant and energized. Read more

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