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Wellness and You

Sounds easy, right? Well, sometimes… maybe not so much.

Work gets in the way, family gets in the way, volunteer commitments get in the way, and occasionally the television and sofa get in the way too.

For the first few days, you might think about the activity you are not getting, the class you are missing, or the lagging gym membership. If you get through that period, the guilt may ease somewhat, and before you know it physical activity, eating right, and work-life balance all get put on the back burner.

And if you’ve ever been there, you’ve been here as well:

You truly want to change. You really do understand that you should be taking action to improve your health. You have the books…and the tapes…been to the motivational speakers…have the friends who are healthy and active….so WHY are you just sitting there?!?

The answer is, you haven’t changed your habits.

In order to be healthy, you have to create a healthy space, healthy habits, and a sacred time in your schedule that is devoted to your health improvement. Until you do that, there will always be things that get in the way.

So, how do you start creating that healthy space? Baby steps. Read on.


It takes at least 21-30 days to change a habit. Of course it may take less time to change them from good to bad...but, to go from bad to good habits, we stick by the 21-30 day rule. In the first 30 days, what you need is motivation. It’s the next 300-some days of the year that you will need to morph that motivation into habit. It is going to be tough in that first month. It does take work to get up off the couch, to make healthy choices at restaurants, to go to the gym or out for a walk, but you can do it, and the benefits you get from it will be worth the effort.


How do we know all the hard work will be worth the effort?

There are many advantages you get from physical activity and from following Canada’s Food Guide, some of which are listed below.

#1 Less Stress

That’s right, we said it. If you are too stressed to eat well and work out, you can solve that problem by, well, eating well and working out!

Physical activity releases toxins that build up in the body, making you feel calmer, more at ease, and happier.

#2 Preventing Disease

Research shows that physical activity helps reduce the chance of diseases such as cardiovascular disease (CVD), cancer, diabetes, osteoporosis, arthritis, and obesity.

#3 Improved Self-Esteem

If you think a healthy self-esteem isn’t important, think again.

Having strong self-esteem means feeling good about yourself, no matter what shape or size you are. It means being confident and understanding that, in leading a healthy lifestyle, there are no failures -- there are only ups and downs.


Here are some tips to help you lead that healthier lifestyle you have always wanted:

Be safe—don’t take on too much at once.

Enjoy what you do! If you don’t enjoy it, you are not going to be motivated to do it. There are hundreds of things you can do to be physically active and there are hundreds of different healthy foods and recipes to choose from. Explore what you like and go with it!

Use rewards to keep you going (new clothes, gym gear, day at the spa – again, choose something you really like to motivate you to keep going).

Have a schedule—and actually put it on paper. Planning ahead helps make it happen.

Have support. The best thing you can do for yourself is surround yourself with positive and like-minded people.


This is probably the most common reason heard for not being active enough (Note: “active enough” means at least 30 minutes of physical activity a day for a minimum of 4 days a week, with the ultimate goal being 60 minutes of physical activity each and every day).

Children. School. Work. Volunteer activities. Family commitments.

There are so many reasons why we may not be physically active enough. It’s not important why you are not active enough. What is important is to make the time to be active enough.

Making time depends on individual circumstances.

A single mother might find that she has too many family commitments after work. So instead, she decides to ask for an extra half hour at lunch a few days a week and goes to an aerobics class. On top of that, 2-3 times a week, she takes her children for a walk or bike ride.

Someone else might find that they are swamped with work during the day, and during the evening are taking classes to further their education. So they make a commitment to themselves to get up a half an hour earlier in the morning and go for a run. They discover that their next door neighbour runs at the same time and they agree to make it a regular routine to jog together in the mornings.

If you really want to make changes, you will find a way to take responsibility for your health and your actions. There is always a way to fit health into your life. You just need to look for it.