Keep It Moving
The Many Benefits of an Active Lifestyle
In the interest of attempting a scandalous blog post, let me boldly declare that calendars are a scam. Nothing more than twelve stapled pages of puppies, or waterfalls, or quotes from The Office, each situated above a numbered grid. The reason for this unprovoked attack on stationery? The simple fact that while my calendar clearly says “February”, the truth outside my window more closely resembles mid-late April. Sure, there’s a residual chill in the air, but I’m afraid I must disagree with my calendar’s firm belief that we’re still knee-deep in winter. And you know what? I’m not alone. Like a cluster of animals slowly rousing from hibernation, more and more people are down-grading their coats, donning their sunglasses, and getting out and about. And not a moment too soon.
Numerous studies support the belief that the cold, dark winter months are associated with decreased physical activity, poorer dietary choices, and, consequently, increased risk of issues ranging from depression to weight gain. There also appears to be a link between these sub-optimal winter lifestyle choices and worsening blood sugar levels among diabetics, as well as increased risk of heart attack and stroke (with contributing factors including exposure to cold weather, shoveling heavy snow, etc.). So, now that the ice and snow has (hopefully) departed for the next nine or ten months (give or take), where does this leave us?
Thankfully, it leaves us with a nice, long stretch of road ahead of us, full of opportunities for establishing healthy new patterns that can carry us through next winter and beyond. Of course, not everyone has dusted off their old running shoes and charged their Fitbit. For many people, the missed workouts and abandoned diets over the busy holiday season are dragging on long after the Christmas lights were stuffed back into their boxes. Well, despite what your calendar may be telling you, the time for Spring (internal) cleaning is now. Restock your kitchen with fresh fruits and vegetables, and all the other nutrient-rich foods you know and love. And, of equal importance for optimal health and longevity, get moving. Lessen your back pain by strengthen your core through workout classes, sports, yoga and stretching exercises. Decrease risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, depression and many types of cancer by incorporating at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise, around 3-4 days each week, ideally combining both cardiovascular and resistance training. Find an activity you enjoy doing, assemble your team of like-minded enthusiasts (a little accountability goes a long way), and once you get the go-ahead from your doctor, the sky’s the limit.
And if you choose to keep track of your workouts, might I suggest recording them in your phone? (I just don’t trust those calendars).
If you would like to know more please give us a call: 604-888-8325.
You can thank me later!
Dr. Erik Boudreau ND
Integrated Health Clinic