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Sunscreen

Taking care of our skin is important. No matter the type of weather, rays from the sun still affect our skin. As a result, it is important to use skin protection all year round. Damage from the sun can have lasting effects on our bodies and health. While non-melanoma (Basal cell carcinomas account for 80% Ref 1) skin cancer is one of the most common (Ref 2) and curable cancers, it  isn’t something to take lightly. Basal cell carcinomas as well as other damage to your skin can be easily prevented by applying sunscreen daily and wearing UV protective clothing. Here are some key tips on how you can better protect your skin moving forward.

How should sunscreens be applied? (Ref 3)

  • Apply the sunscreen at least 20 to 30 minutes before you go outdoors, whenever you will be exposed for 30 minutes or more.
  • Reapply sunscreen every 2 hours while you are outdoors, even if the product is labeled “all-day.” If you get wet or perspire heavily, reapply sunscreen more frequently.
  • Cover all exposed areas, including your ears, lips, face and back of your hands.
  • Don't skimp; apply a generous layer. Smooth it on rather than rub it in. A rule of thumb is that 45 ml (a shot glass) of sunscreen is needed to cover all exposed skin to attain the stated level of protection.
  • If wearing makeup, sunscreen should be applied underneath the makeup.
  • f you wait to apply sunscreen until you hit the beach, you may already be perspiring, and moisture makes sunscreens less effective.

The Best Sunscreen Ingredient to Look For (Ref 4)

Since UVA and UVB rays are both harmful, you need to find sunscreens that protect against both.
Ingredients to look for:

  • Stabilized a avobenzone
  • Escamsule (a.k.a. MexoryITM)
  • Oxybenzone
  • Titanium Dioxide
  • Zinc Oxide

What type of sunscreen should I use?  (Ref 5)

The sunscreen you choose is a matter of personal choice, and may vary depending on the area of the body to be protected. Available sunscreen options include lotions, creams, gels, ointments, wax sticks and sprays.

  • Creams are best for dry skin and the face.
  • Gels are good for hairy areas, such as the scalp or male chest.
  • Sticks are good to use around the eyes.

Regardless of which sunscreen you choose, be sure to apply it generously to achieve the UV protection indicated on the product label.  

Does Sunscreen expire? (Ref 6)

Sunscreens are designed to remain at original strength for up to three years. This means that you can use leftover sunscreen from one year to the next. Some sunscreens include an expiration date — a date indicating when they're no longer effective. Discard sunscreen that is past its expiration date. If you buy sunscreen that doesn't have an expiration date, write the date of purchase on the bottle and be sure to throw it out within three years. Also, discard sunscreen that has any obvious changes in color or consistency.

Other ways to protect your skin (Ref 7)

In addition to wearing sunscreen, dermatologists recommend taking the following steps to protect your skin and to find skin cancer early:

  • Seek shade when appropriate, remembering that the sun’s rays are strongest between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m (some suggest until 4pm). If your shadow is shorter than you are, seek shade.
  • Wear protective clothing, such as a long-sleeved shirt, pants, a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses, when possible.
  • Use extra caution near water, snow and sand as they reflect the damaging rays of the sun, which can increase your chance of sunburn.
  • Get vitamin D safely through a healthy diet that may include vitamin supplements. Don’t seek the sun.
  • Avoid tanning beds. Ultraviolet light from the sun and tanning beds can cause skin cancer and wrinkling. If you want to look tan, you may wish to use a self-tanning product, but continue to use sunscreen with it.
  • Check your birthday suit on your birthday. If you notice anything changing, itching or bleeding on your skin, see a board-certified dermatologist. Skin cancer is highly treatable when caught early.

References:

  1. Harmful Effects of Ultraviolet Radiation http://enhs.umn.edu/current/5103/uv/harmful.html

  2. Cancer.net Skin Cancer (Non-Melanoma): Statistics https://www.cancer.net/cancer-types/skin-cancer-non-melanoma/statistics

  3. Cleveland Clinic - Sun Damage: Protecting Yourself - https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/5240-sun-damage-protecting-yourself

  4. Aynbinder, T. Do I really need to wear sunscreen every day? I work in an office, and I'm inside until at least 6–7pm during the week. https://www.quora.com/Do-I-really-need-to-wear-sunscreen-every-day-I-work-in-an-office-and-Im-inside-until-at-least-6–7pm-during-the-week

  5. SCHAUMBURG, Ill. Sunscreen 101: Dermatologists answer burning questions about sunscreens https://www.aad.org/media/news-releases/sunscreen-101-dermatologists-answer-burning-questions-about-sunscreens

  6. Gibson, L. Is sunscreen from last year still good? When does sunscreen expire? https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/adult-health/expert-answers/sunscreen-expire/faq-20057957

  7. Sunscreen FAQs https://www.aad.org/media/stats/prevention-and-care/sunscreen-faqs

  8. Epstein, J. et al UVA & UVB https://www.skincancer.org/prevention/uva-and-uvb

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6 Ways Exercise Makes Your Life Easier

It doesn’t matter how hard we try to fight it, but most of us have to move at some point in the day. There’s a store down the street to walk to or a neighbour’s house we want to visit, maybe even a dreaded flight of stairs. Participating in a well-designed fitness program makes all of these daily tasks easier, so let’s take a look at what you’re going to accomplish by pursuing an active lifestyle.

1. Feeling Smarter


The first day of an exercise program can be a tough one. We’re asking our bodies to change the way we’re used to using them. It can be hard to stay positive and motivated when we feel like what we’re hoping to accomplish is months or even years down the road. But as early as that very first workout, you’re going to experience the benefits. The increased blood flow throughout your body quickly reaches your brain and you’re more alert and awake. Your focus afterward is better, making decisions easier, choices quicker, and your overall thinking more clear.

2. Feeling Happier


That first workout makes you happier too! The body reacts to the new challenge by releasing endorphins, a chemical known to reduce pain and produce feelings of euphoria. Our moods lift after exercise, not just from taking that first step toward a healthier life, but on a real chemical level as well. As we mentioned in our post (Exercise and Mental Health, link), studies prove that exercise helps improve the symptoms of depression.

3. Feeling More Energetic


The first week of exercise has dramatic effects on the body as it becomes more efficient. It becomes better at producing energy and your workouts begin to feel easier. You’re going to start to find that your day to day tasks, climbing stairs or walking around the block, aren’t as tiring.

4. Feeling Lighter


You’re not just feeling lighter, you are lighter! After one month of participating in an exercise program your metabolism speeds up, meaning that it burns calories at a faster rate. Even during rest your body is going to be a calorie burning machine. If your goal is to lose weight and you’re eating well, this is when you’ll notice the pounds dropping. Gravity won’t be such a nag anymore while you’re more easily sauntering through your day’s activities.

5. Feeling Stronger


After as little as one month you muscle mass will begin to change as the fibres grow in response to the new workload. You’ll be able to manage your old workouts with ease, and day-to-day chores will start to become less taxing. You’ll be carrying the groceries or picking up your kids and grandchildren with ease. And speaking of chores, exercise itself won’t feel like one anymore as you will actually start looking forward to the challenge.

6. Feeling Confident


So you’ve been doing this exercise thing for a year now. It’s simply part of what you do when you happily start your day. And that’s the key: happily. The mental benefits of ongoing exercise are long-standing. You’ll have improved self-esteem and increased confidence and your body will be better equipped to deal with life’s daily stresses. Your activity will be just another healthy habit, something you barely even think about anymore.

The benefits of regular exercise are unmistakable. If you are unsure of where to begin contact your doctor or other qualified healthcare professional. By building a team of people to work with, your chances of success are stronger, and they can help monitor your progress and modify your plan accordingly as your heart grows stronger, your body becomes more efficient and your fitness grows.

Authored by: Kevin Dyck

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Embrace the suck...

There’s a t-shirt I saw once that read, “Running - Embrace the Suck.” Being a runner I laughed because, well, sometimes running does indeed suck! Whether because of simple inertia or more complicated motives, we humans are more given to sedentary lives than active ones. Activity takes effort and can be uncomfortable, while sitting on the couch can be done with little output at all, mental or physical.

But like so many things, this all works in a cycle. We’re told over and over that exercise is good for us. Physical fitness improves our lives through increased energy, weight loss, and longevity. And studies abound that prove - not just suggest - that exercise improves our mental well-being as well. When we start to feel good physically, we start to also feel good mentally. And when we feel good mentally we’re more likely to try new activities, feeling even more fit and energetic! We finally want to be good to ourselves. But how do we start?

The challenge is that without a positive attitude we are less likely to continue with an exercise plan, but positivity is hard to come by when you’re gasping with every step. By the same token, exercise helps produce a positive mental attitude, that same mindset that makes continued exercise more likely.

The Problem:

Exercise and a positive attitude are great methods to continue on a road to fitness, but neither provides an onramp.

The Solution:

A tried and tested approach is to establish a health plan with your doctor or a trusted physical trainer. These people have the knowledge to help you develop a plan that isn’t going to deter you by being too difficult, but will keep challenging you as you progress. There’s no need to sprint through every workout, but you don’t want to saunter either. A healthcare professional can help by monitoring your progress and altering the plan as necessary.

So often we want to get fit and jump from the couch into a pair of running shoes, and then we suffer and stop. Fitness, both mental and physical, takes time and patience. It makes a lot more sense to begin exercising with a gentler approach than it does to rush yourself to a point where you start thinking, “Ya, this does suck!”

Authored by: Kevin Dyck

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News Release: GoGet.Fit one of winners at competition.

GoGet.Fit was chosen as one of three winners at the City of Edmonton HealthHack competition on April 16th. Congratulations, I feel should go to you, our GoGet.Fit users, who took the time to provide feedback these past months. Thank you.

What we did?
The GoGet.Fit proposal provided a plausible solution on how to take the City of Edmonton to become a more active. At the core of the solution was targeting our two key communities on our platform: On one hand the healthcare professionals & community-based fitness partners and on the other hand, the individuals who use the mobile app.

For the mobile app users:
We created a prototype of a new Behavioral Support Tool (BCT). The new experience is called the “reflective exercise”. This feature identified by Sullivan and Lachman in 2017 as a foundational BCT that's missing from almost all fitness apps, and given we are a “habit” focused app we took it as our mandate to create it for our users.
Here’s how it works, when a GoGet.Fit member misses a workout, at the end of the week they will receive an email with a reflective exercise whose goal is to insure that a missed workout does not happen again for the same reason.
Here are the three questions we ask you to reflect on:
1st.                Reflect: Identify what the reason you missed that workout?
2nd.             Prepare: What could you do next time to avoid this outcome (2 ideas)?
3rd.              Take action. Choose which is the best idea to rescue your workout next time.

The new Industry Listing Page:
The other feature we worked on for the competition was a new fitness partner industry listing page. It was created to enhance the networking of the healthcare providers with community-based fitness partners.  This industry listing page of local searchable fitness partners removes the barrier of “where to send a patient” for healthcare providers (e.g. doctors) when counseling a patient to become more active. This means it’s just a click away-- a direct access to dedicated “community-based” local exercise experts who can provide guidance and support for patients in their pursuit to become active in their day-to-day life.  We feel that Networking these two communities is one of the keys to resolving the inactivity healthcare crisis that directly impacts almost 85% of Canadians.  
Did you know that most of these Canadians will try to become more active at some point in their adult life, clearly if left unsupported over 80% will continue to fall off the wagon within months and will continue to suffer the results of lifestyle modifiable disease burdens from inactivity. 

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When the Weather doesn't cooperate

What happens when the weather doesn’t want to cooperate? 

What is your back up plan?

Working out indoors can seem boring, but the thought of going outside and trying to brave the weather seems defeating at times. In Alberta, spring hasn’t found it way here yet. With the snow falling, melting and then freezing. Going outside for a skate/walk isn’t appealing and can be somewhat dangerous if you don’t have the proper footwear. 

So now what?

Here are a few ideas to help you.

Please consult your doctor or exercise specialist before proceeding with any exercise programs. And, know your limits

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Goals

You've made and chased goals before. If you were really motivated to achieve a specific goal likely you set some steps in  place in order to achieve that goal. We achieve many goals daily, but we don’t even realize it. Consider a quick clean of the kitchen. You know all the steps (dishes, clean the counter, quick sweep, dishes in cupboards- done!), you have a process in place to get it done. We also know what it takes to get a deep “spring” clean done, there is a lot more planning and steps that happen compared to a light clean, but the basics are the same. Whether you do the light clean or deep clean, when you finish you have a great sense of accomplishment and have a feeling of pride that you got it done. 

Goal setting for your health is very, very similar. Like cleaning your kitchen, getting a workout done feels great. You feel accomplished and proud of yourself (maybe a bit of a swagger, “I did it.”) for taking the time to complete a workout.

Now, taking a look at your week (like I do sometimes), it might feel super busy. When this realization of “busy” is your week, is when it’s time to schedule your workouts. When you set a goal for 15-20 minutes of exercise per weekday and maybe schedule a longer workout on the weekend, you’re setting yourself up for success. 

Let’s take this deeper. Here are a few realistic steps for incorporating exercise into your daily life.

1. Schedule all of your workouts in advance. (On the previous weekend)
2. Layout your exercise clothes (where they are waiting in anticipation to be used) or get them in your gym bag in advance. (make it a daily ritual)
3. Leave your running shoes or gym bag where it interferes with your day, for example, some people leave their running shoes in the middle of the entrance for when they return home to “greet them”… OR Other people leave their gym bag on their drivers seat to give them a nudge. (WE WANT to hear about your little tricks to get you out personally, please message me at kerri@goget.fit)
3. Tell someone. Support keeps you accountable. 
4. Once you’re done exercising, take a few seconds to log the workout and reflect on how you’re feeling.

The path to better health, may feel like a mountain. We want you to look at this journey one step at a time. When you do, exercise doesn’t feel so daunting. Being realistic is key. Even if you can only fit in a 10 minute walk at lunch that’s “exercise for your heart!”. You will feel better getting in some movement.

So, if you haven’t scheduled your workouts for this week, go to goget.fit and get them scheduled. It will feel good to know you’ve made a plan and it will feel even better when you’ve marked them as complete! 

You’ve got this, now GoGet.Fit!

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Talking test for how hard to workout

Getting started? How to know how hard your work out is.
There is a very simple way to pay attention to how physical activity affects your heart rate and breathing. Try talking! Whether you can talk and breathe at the same time is how you can measure how hard you are working out.

The talk test is a simple way to measure relative intensity. If you can speak comfortably, you are in the low intensity zone. As you head into the moderate intensity zone, Which is the minimum you want to work during a cardio workout, you should be able to talk but you won’t be able to sing. If you can only say a few words before stopping to take a breath, then you are in the vigorous zone. Which zone you are in depends on the amount of energy being used by the body whilst doing the activity. 
Which activities put you in the low intensity zone?
•    Walking slowly, for example to the mail box, to and from work or in a shopping mall
•    Carrying grocery bags
•    Stretching
Which activities put you in the moderate intensity zone?
•    Walking briskly ( but not race-walking)
•    Water aerobics
•    Bicycling slower than 16km per hour
•    Tennis (doubles)
•    Ballroom dancing
•    General gardening
•    Downhill skiing
Which activities put you in the vigorous intensity zone?
•    Race walking, jogging, or running
•    Swimming laps
•    Tennis (singles)
•    Aerobic dancing
•    Cross-country skiing
•    Bicycling 16km per hour or faster
•    Jumping rope
•    Heavy gardening (continuous digging or hoeing)
•    Hiking uphill or with a heavy backpack

Eventually you want to get to a level where you can someday do the following: The ultimate goal- time in the moderate zone 2-3 times per week and the vigorous zone 1-2 times per week with adequate rest in between. If you don’t make it, don’t be discouraged – build up to it. But the benefits are a stronger heart in just trying to get there. Any time spent in the moderate cardio zone is beneficial for your heart. In the end, breathing heavy and sweating for even 10 minutes (where you are still smiling) translates into a happy and healthier heart. Now just get out and start. Happy hearts and smiles!

Article by Haley O'Sullivan

References
1-https://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/basics/measuring/index.html
2-https://www.verywellfit.com/talk-test-fitness-term-1231121
3-American Council on Exercise. ACE Personal Trainer Manual, 5th Edition. San Diego: American Council on Exercise, 2014.
4-Foster, Carl Ph.D.; Porcari, John P. Ph.D.; Anderson, Jennifer MS.  "The Talk Test as a Marker of Exercise Training Intensity."  Journal of Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation & Prevention.January/February 2008 - Volume 28 - Issue 1 - p 24–30.  doi: 10.1097/01.HCR.0000311504.41775.78.

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Coping with Daylight Savings

Daylight savings, well, we all know, it impacts us bi-annually, that is, there’s no getting away from it! So, what to do to minimize the negative impact (Did you know heart attacks have a spike at this time)?  That  “spring ahead” thing in spring, well, it directly cuts into our sleep, our well-being, and our general demeanor (decreased tolerance). The thought that spring is close is exciting. The thought of a 23 hour day that doesn’t cut our awake activities but takes a chunk off our sleep, is the issue.

A few things to keep in mind this week: 10 points on coping with Springing ahead and not feeling flat.

1.     Sleep hygiene: create calming rituals before bed to gradually relax yourself like taking a warm shower or bath,  putting in ear plugs to drown out unwanted noise or to wear an eye mask to block out the remaining daylight.

2.     Avoid taking naps. If you have to take them, take them early and for no longer than 20 minutes. An exception… you are allowed and should sleep as you want the day after the change.

3.     Avoid coffee and caffeinated beverages four to six hours before bedtime. (My boyfriend disagrees but this is solid advice)

4.     Alcohol also prohibits you from getting quality sleep, so avoid it late at night. Especially, the night before the change, really, avoid the ethanol!

5.     Staying consistent with the amount of sleep you get each night helps, too – that includes weekends.

6.     Keeping to your schedule, whether it’s fall or spring. Keep things as close to normal as possible. Have a good nighttime ritual and avoid screen time right before bed.

7.     Give yourself more time to adjust before the workweek begins, if possible, reset your clocks at the start of the weekend, like Friday night or Saturday morning. Allowing yourself and family more time to adjust to the time change.

8.     Exercise. Working out releases serotonin, a chemical in the brain that helps our bodies adjust. Exercise regularly, preferably outdoors, and early in the day. A brisk morning walk is perfect. Avoid exercising too late in the evening though, as this could interfere with the quality of your sleep.

9.     Digest. After the time changes, you may be hungry for meals earlier or later than before. Be sure to give yourself ample time to digest your dinner before heading off to bed.

10.   Try to spend time outside during the day, if possible. Dim the lights in the evening, so that your body understands that it’s time to wind down.

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Even Olympians struggle with workouts

Do you also sometimes struggle to just get out to workout? You too? Really?? Hey, a little secret. You know those Olympians, those international athletes, yes, those folks training to get ready for a World Championship, they share in that exact same human experience. Yes, they do. I know, I was one of them. There were times where the only point driving me was there were teammates that would be meeting me or there was a coach standing there waiting for me to workout. That got me out on those days. But when I got out there, man, man it was nice to be out exercising, freedom to sweat and push myself, there was freedom in that.

Something to learn here:

It is always better to have to plan to meet someone for a workout. You do not have to be the same level. You do not have to do the same things. Just agreeing to meet up makes an appointment and most people keep their appointments. Lesson: Organize to meet up with someone for each workout and you are more likely to not miss it.

A few other points:

·      Look at your workouts with playful enthusiasm. A “Fun Time.” Try taking that attitude. Still difficult, then try the following.

·      Warm up to that after-burner feeling. Experience the euphoria of when you have done it. I use to vocalize aloud, “Man that felt great. Time to relax now.” Try it. The mind follows where the voice leads. Attitudes change with what they hear you say.

·      My favorite, is embracing that “exhaustion feeling.” It is your little badge of honor. “I did it!” No one can take that away from you. They can do more. They can do less. But they did not do what you did, nor do they feel what you feel. Your personal Badge!

To close: You workout for you and because you want to be healthier. The key is to find the love in it: The friendships and meeting up (community), The excitement and enthusiasm to have a fun time (your own time), Embracing that after-burner feeling (…Feels good), or the badge of honor (I did it!). 

One final point compare and embrace the euphoria you feel when you are finished. Compare it to how you felt before hand. Sure feels great after emotionally doesn’t it?  That is reason enough for most to get out, even if it is alone on a trail walking, jogging, skiing, biking.

And you will have a better sleep. Smile when your eyes close

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FREE SUGAR

Have you ever heard of the term sugar addict? I hadn’t until last year when I started to try and understand why I wasn’t where I wanted to be with my weight and body shape. I started journaling what I ate and drank. I became very disheartened when I realized how much sugar I actually was consuming in a day. Sugar is something that most of us don’t think about on a regular basis. For me, I was surprised to discover that a Vente caramel macchiato had – 350 calories and 42 grams of sugar.

Have a look

( https://globalassets.starbucks.com/assets/94fbcc2ab1e24359850fa1870fc988bc.pdf )

I really like speciality coffees. I like the flavor and that comfort food feeling I get when I drink them. For me, I went from rarely having these types of drinks to having 5 or more in a week. Not only is that a lot of extra calories to pack on in a week, but a lot of excess sugar.

How much sugar should you have in a day? The American Heart Association recommends most American women eat no more than 100 calories per day of sugar (six teaspoons or 20 grams) and no more than 150 calories per day for men (or about nine teaspoons or 36 grams).

If you go back and look at the Vente caramel macchiato, I have already more than doubled my recommended sugar intake for the day, in one sitting. I knew right then and there that I needed to significantly decrease sugar intake. In this process I discovered how much I truly craved sugar. I went for a month without any processed sugar, but I don’t think a month was long enough as I was still craving sugar. Meals didn’t feel complete without that something sweet to finish it off like a nice glass of wine and a few pieces of chocolate.

This may sound a bit ridiculous, but sugar seems to be everywhere. You think you’re eating healthy with things like granola bars, but if you read the label, for example a nature valley protein bar, has 8 grams of sugar, almost half of the sugar intake for the day (if you’re female).

Sugar can’t be avoided all together as naturally occurring sugars  are found in fruits and milk products. The demon to stay away from are FREE SUGARS – sugar added to food and drink, as well as sugar found naturally in honey, syrups, fruit juices and fruit juice concentrates. The free sugars!

So now what?

My challenge for this week is in 2 parts. First part of the week, I suggest to observe what FREE SUGARS you’re eating and then decide what one you want remove for the rest of the week. Cutting all free sugar out at once is very difficult. Like exercise, every little bit counts. 

So the day-to-day goal: Have a little less sugar than the day before.  Hit your  target in a comfortable way gradually making healthier choices. Small steps to get to the larger goal.

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Negative Self-Talk

What is negative self-talk and how do we combat it?

Negative self-talk is when we speak or think poorly of ourselves. Using “I can’t” phrases or “I’m no/not good enough” phrases. Even comparing ourselves to others is another form of negative self-thinking. Statements like “look what they can do”. Or,  “I will NEVER be able to do anything like that”, often stops us from giving trying or a true effort.

Some people suffer from wanting to be perfect or the best at something before even starting a sport or activity. We often see this in children, and we as adults take the time to talk to them, and remind them that they are just learning and everything takes time and practice before they will be able to master it. I’m not sure where we as adults forget this.

 

Negative self-talk is very prevalent when it comes to exercise and physical activity. The “I can’t” phrases are still there; they’re just said differently.  

“I’m not athletic”, “I’ve never been very good at sports” or “I’m not very coordinated”.

These statements may seem harmless, but when you take a hard look at them, the “I can’t” statement often stops people from going any further, especially with physical activity.

As children, our parents would often say, “there’s no such thing as I can’t”, but as adults our past experiences tell a different story. A negative attitude or perception towards you doing an activity, limits the possibilities of success. Taking a step back and checking in with yourself to try and understand why you feel a certain way is the first step towards changing negative self-talk.

Wanting to be healthy, but being intimated by the idea of going to a “gym” or facility with a bunch of strangers, makes it easy to talk yourself right out of going to the gym. “I’ll make a fool out of myself”, is very limiting thinking. But when you change your thought process to “I’ve never been before, but I’m going to have a friend to go with, makes me excited to try”. This statement is positive and keeps the opportunity open to try. Recognizing your insecurity is great and finding a solution to the insecurity is even better. You’re breaking down the barriers before you and puts you one step closer to achieving your goals.

Other comments like, “I’m not athletic”, or “I’ve never been an athlete”, closes a great deal of opportunities for yourself. We have an image of what an “athlete” looks like, people like hockey player Sydney Crosby or soccer player Christine Sinclair.

My opinion an athlete is one who is dedicated to their effort of improving themselves in whatever sport/activity they’re focused on. Whether it’s walking for heart health or playing a sport professionally, both make you an athlete.

Creating positive self-talk is no easy feat. We’ve spent many years developing this negative attitude or self-perception and falling back into old habits is easy. When you hear yourself saying negative words, try to catch yourself and interrupt what you’re saying immediately. For example, if you’re talking about swimming and you say that you aren’t very good at it. STOP, change your phrase to, “I’m improving” or “I’m getting better”.

Work on a positive mantra while you’re doing the activity, especially if you’re starting something new. For example, if your goal is to walk up a set of stairs at your favourite park without stopping, every time you go, have your mantra, “I’m getting stronger and healthier, every stair I climb is a stair closer to my goal”.

A favourite of mine is for every negative comment you say or think about yourself; you have to say 7 positives about yourself. This may seem very challenging, but trust me, there are more good, great, amazing things about you than there are negative.

A challenge for the week, try to catch yourself saying something negative and change it to a positive affirmation.

You’ve got this; the inner athlete is in there and is ready to shine.

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The Cost of Inactivity

You’re active and getting more active with time. You are either hitting  the 150 minutes weekly to maintain health, or working toward that goal or you are are active to whatever level suits your health. That said, what is the responsibility we have for others? Think about it:

Being inactive…  it’s expensive.                          

“Total health expenditures in Canada reached an estimated $228.1 billion, or $6,299 per Canadian, in 2016 (representing 11.1 percent of total gross domestic product).”  (1)

Wow! Stats Canada and others have  been reporting about the cost of inactivity for almost two decades, and for society, well, what have we done to curb this sickening trend? More important what can you do about this? But you are active, so you are doing your part, right? Ever consider to put aside one workout weekly as an “invite someone for a walk day?”  Yes, just ask a  friend or family member who are not active to join you once a week? Psst.. just tell them you could use their help to accompany  you for a walk. When finished, thank them for being a team member and ask them if they will come out again?

Is that imposing? Let me ask you: If a friend was poisoning themselves gradually over time would you say anything? Of course you would. Inactivity is a poison of sorts. It is not due to intent but rather due to lack of intent. A good friend, a little light caring,  one who cares will ask ever so gently for another to come out..encourage them to just  get started. But baby steps.

Remember the GoGet.Fit three steps to success for newbies:

  1. Schedule the week ahead. Have them do this after a while. Ask them to organize a time for your next walk.
  2. Small steps. Start with 10 minutes a walking workout. Remember, habit first.
  3. Most important part: When you or they schedule it, the minimum is to put the exercise shoes on ones feet. The cardinal rule is one MUST do that.

A small note. You may have a younger sibling in grade school or high school, or it may be your own children, or grandchildren, or a friends children...

Lifestyle modifiable diseases, there is a problem here for children: childhood obesity rates have increased 230%, now it affects one in every 8 children (2) and type 2 diabetes has risen from 6% in 2000 to 10% in 2011, (3) not to mention “ being overweight, not yet obeses in children approach 50%. Preventable?  Reversible? Sit less and play more (not electronics). More physical activity? Folks, look at it seriously. We have to do something.

Now the above stats presented here all seems doom and gloom but if we collectively got 10% of the population to become active, that would be a big step to taking a big bite out of healthcare costs, and making children live as adults disease free. It’s not a sitting matter.

We don’t want you to see exercise as an impossible task, we want you to see it as an opportunity to stay or to become healthier.

References

  1. Stonebridge, Carole, Jessica brichta, and thy Dinh. A Road Map to Health System Sustainability: CASHC Compendium Report, 2011–16. ottawa: the Conference board of Canada, 2017.
  2. Stats Canada  http://www.statcan.gc.ca/daily-quotidien/150826/dq150826a-eng.pdf

  3. Macridis, S., PhD, Johnston, N., MA & Vallance, J., PhD -2017 ALBERTA SURVEY ON PHYSICAL ACTIVITY
    https://www.centre4activeliving.ca/media/filer_public/32/ba/32ba7851-ce7e-49b7-a02b-4bfd8b419853/2017-ab-survey-physical-activity.pdf

  4. Statistics Canada. Retrieved from http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/82-625-x/2013001/article/11807-eng.htm

 

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