A. Walking is an excellent and natural form of exercise that is a great start to a healthy lifestyle. Walking is great for increasing your body's demand for oxygen and for training your heart, lungs and muscles to work more efficiently. It’s also a great way to relieve stress throughout the day.
However, if walking is the only form of activity included in your routine, you may be missing out on other important, fun components of fitness. Strength activities that move your body against resistance are great for strengthening your muscles and bones, improving your posture and preventing conditions such as osteoporosis. The Physical Activity Guide recommends including strength activities in your routine 2 - 4 days per week.
Try these simple strength (and balance) activities:
You can also use balance boards, weight training equipment, free weights, resistance bands, and even your own body weight. Flexibility is another important component of a balanced activity program. The Physical Activity Guide recommends performing stretching, bending and reaching exercises 4 - 7 days per week to keep your muscles relaxed and joints mobile. Try these activities to keep you flexible:
A balanced activity program is vital to maintaining your overall fitness and health. It will keep your immune system healthy and help you maintain your independence as you get older.
It sounds like a lot, right? But it really isn’t. It only takes 60 minutes of physical activity per day to maintain your health, and you don’t have to do it all at once. Try doing short sessions of physical activity throughout your day – as little as 10 minutes at a time - and 60 minutes will add up in no time at all! Remember to start slow and build up your activity levels gradually. Listen to your body and choose activities that you enjoy.
My doctor told me that I have some health issues and that I need to eat healthier. I'm ready to make some changes, but I don't know where to start. Where can I find a dietitian? How can they help me? Do I have to pay for this service?
It's great that you're ready to make some changes to the foods you eat! A registered dietitian can help you do just that. Dietitians are nutrition experts who take a look at your current eating habits and what your body needs. Then they work with you to slowly make changes that help you eat healthier in a way that fits your lifestyle. After an initial assessment, they will meet with you regularly to provide the support and knowledge you need to make long term lifestlye changes.
Dietitians work in hospitals, community health centres, access centres and private practice. Your doctor may refer you to a dietitian for a specific health issue. You can also book an appointment to see a dietitian yourself at a Winnipeg Regional Health Authority Access Centre or a community health centre in your neighbourhood such as Centre de Sante or Mount Carmel Clinic. These services are free.
If you are a member of the Wellness Institute or the Reh-Fit Centre, you can make an appointment to see a dietitian at these centres. There is usually a fee for this service. Dietitians also work in private practice and have their own clinic or are part of a group medical clinic. You can find these dietitians through the Dietitians of Canada database of private practice dietitians. Some health insurance plans cover the cost of a dietitian.
If you're still not sure where to find a dietitian in your neighbourhood, call Manitoba's Dial-a-Dietitian hotline at (204) 788-8248 and a dietitian will help you find one in your community.