Healthy Abbotsford Blog

107 Answers to “what should we do today?”

Information from Tourism Abbotsford.

107 Days of Summer is an unique daily guide indentifying fun and intersting activities for the entire summer in Abbotsford. This is the perfect answer to ” what should we do today?” Check out 107 answers of how to spend a day in the beautiful Fraser Valley.

Printed guides are available at the Visitor’s Centre (34561 Delair Road) or download your copy here!

107 days of summer banner

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Sitting is Killing You

4hours

This information is from www.getbritanstanding.org. In recent years a variety of major international research has produced compelling evidence that sitting for more than 4 hours each day leads
to:

•Enzymes responsible for burning harmful blood fats shutting down
•Reduced calorie burning (Metabolic rate)
•Disrupted blood sugar levels
•Increased insulin and blood pressure levels
•Leg muscles switch off

We recommend you calculate the hours you spend sitting on an average “working day”. Make sure you include your sitting time when at work, commuting and at home.

Take frequent breaks from sitting. Stand while you are talking on the phone, have walking meetings, walk to a collegues desk instead of emailing, stand during meetings.

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Top 6 Outdoor Adventure and Camping Blogs

This information is from www.healthyfamiliesbc.ca.

Growing up I was fortunate that our family would go camping several times each summer. It was nothing fancy; we’d set-up camp at provincial parks and entertain ourselves with beach activities, berry picking, and some hiking. Sure, we got dirty and got one too many mosquito bites, but the memories of spending time together as a family and having lots of fun were worth it!

Packing suggestions: If the whole family is going camping, simple low cost items like a Frisbee™, beach or sports ball can get everyone off their lounge chairs and playing games together. A pail and shovel for playing in the sand and making sandcastles can provide hours of fun. For those heading out with a partner or a group of friends, pack your running shoes for jogs or hikes, and a swim suit for the beach (don’t forget the sunscreen!).

To read the rest of the article and see what the top 6 Outdoor Adventure and Camping Blogs are, click here.

Here in Abbotsford, you can also have fun outside with our Live 5210 Playboxes. Click here for more information.

Picture of a Playbox

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Cooking and Eating on $1.75 a Day

Many families struggle to afford healthy food. In this post there is a great resource that will help make this easier.

April 27 to May 1st is the annual Live Below the Line Challenge. The challenge is, for five days,  to eat and drink on only $1.75. To help the people participating in the challenge the organizers of the challenge have developed a cookbook of recipes that will result in 3 meals per day for no more than $1.75.

Click below to download the cookbook.

LBL_Cookbook_2015

picture of the live below the line cookbook

Click here to learn more about the challenge.

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Changing Physical Activity Habits

This article is from www.healthyfamiliesbc.ca

There are a lot of motivating reasons to be physically active. For me, it’s a time I spend with friends who share similar interests, the feeling of increasing my fitness level, and it allows me that mental break from the day.

Everyone is different in what motivates them; it’s about finding what works for you!

So how do you make a change to be more active? One tool that can help is a decision balance analysis. This is about writing down the benefits and costs of both changing and not changing your physical activity habits. Below is an example of a decision balance I wrote. Keep in mind that your reasons might be completely different.

 

To read the rest of the article click here.

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It’s better to eat calories, than to drink them.

This article is from Healthy Families BC.

Here are some great tips to help you and your family reduce sugary drinks.

Table of healthy drink options

Click here to read the rest of the tips.

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When it comes to playtime, it’s no risk, no reward

This article comes from Active for Life.

Picture of a young boy surfing

 

If you ever see that mother who appears to be deliberately not watching her child as the kid leaps and darts dangerously around the park, don’t judge her too harshly. She might be trying to encourage her daughter to take risks because she knows the benefits of those daredevil antics — but is also aware that in order for them to happen, said child needs to not be facing her mother’s worried eyes and panicked expression.

Ok, you got me. I’m that mother, and I’m given to, well, a little overprotection. But just because I would rather not view the riskiness, doesn’t mean I don’t get how important it is.

In Psychology Today is a fascinating article explaining the relationship between the way children play and their emotional development. The article cites studies in which young rats were exposed to all forms of social experience, excluding play time and the rats subsequently starting to “overact with fear and fail to adapt and explore as a normal rat would”, as well as similar studies with monkeys. These studies, among others, give credence to the “emotion regulation theory of play, the theory that one of play’s major functions is to teach young mammals how to regulate fear and anger so they can encounter real-life dangers, and interact in close quarters with others, without succumbing to negative emotions.”

As applied to children, then, its not just about Billy climbing a fence to prove to his friends he’s no scaredy-cat, it’s his opportunity to show himself that he can overcome his fears, so the next time he encounters a new experience, he is much more confident to take it on. Naturally, this doesn’t happen on the first try, and it isn’t something the child will understand, but with each instance that Billy takes on a new challenge in his playtime activities, he’s slowly preparing himself for more of life’s obstacles.

Click here to read the rest of the article.

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MEND – FREE Healthy Living Program for Families

What is it?

MEND is a fun, FREE 10 week program for families with 7-13 year olds who want to learn more about healthy behaviours. The program supports families to live a healthy lifestyle. Groups of up to 15 children, accompanied by at least one parent or caregiver meet with program leaders twice a week for 8 weeks. The first hour is an interactive family session on nutrition and behaviour topics, followed by one hour of fun exercise for the children, while parents and caregivers meet for support and discussion on topics such as goals and rewards, label reading and problem solving.

This program is open to all families with a priority given to families who have a child who is above a healthy weight.

When is it?

Our current program just started and we can accept new registrations until Feb. 10. Sessions take place Tuesdays (6-8pm) and Saturdays (9:30-11:30am) at Eugene Reimer Middle School.

Families that attend at least 80% of the sessions will also receive a FREE 3 month pass to Abbotsford recreation centres at the end of the 8-week program!

Where do I get more information?

For more information, or to register, please contact Brenda Adams at mend@abbotsford.ca. You can also put your name down on the waitlist for our session starting in April.

flyer showing kids having fun

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Build your child’s brain by giving them lots of experiences to explore

This article is from Active for Life.

Our child’s brain is a most amazing organ. Its structure is established in the early years of life, so how can you ensure that your children’s brains are healthy, well developed, and will last a lifetime?

Building your child’s brain is like building a house. The first five years of a child’s life is a crucial period of time where the foundation of the brain is laid down. The four walls of a house are the four walls of development: cognitive, emotional, social, and physical. All four walls need to be developed equally for the house to be strong and well balanced.

Houses can be built of many materials – wood, brick, stone, even mud or straw. Some materials are more durable and long-lasting than others. What are the building materials of our children’s brains? The simple answer is: experiences.

Children learn by actively using their five senses

Young children learn by doing. They need to be actively involved in seeing, touching, smelling, hearing, tasting; in other words, using all five senses to learn. Each experience that a young child has builds a synapsis or neural connection in their brain. The more experiences, the more synapses. The more meaningful an experience, the more often a child will want to do it again and again. Each time an experience is repeated, the connection becomes stronger and more permanent and the child begins to build confidence and competence.

Check out this 2 minute video from the Centre on the Developing Child at Harvard University for a great, plain-language summary of this process.

The goal of becoming physically literate (the fourth wall of the house) is to develop the motivation, confidence, and competence to move – for a lifetime. This requires that preschool children have experiences with many kinds of activities: on the ground, on snow and ice, in water, and in the air. These experiences should be positive and fun so that children want to do them over and over again (motivation), begin to challenge themselves (confidence), and develop skills that enable them to participate actively (competence). This builds strong permanent brain connections.

Click here to read the rest of the article.

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Why This Holiday Season Should be All-You-Can-Eat

This article is from Weighty Matters.

Ok, so the headline’s a bit clickbait-y as there’s a qualifying word missing.

Thoughtfully.

This holiday season should be all-you-can-thoughtfully-eat, where thoughtfully means asking just two questions before each and every indulgence.

1. Is it worth it?
2. How much do I need to be happily satisfied?

As I’ve said many times before, food isn’t just fuel. As a species we use food for comfort and for celebration and no doubt for most of us, the answers to those two prior questions will be different in December than in January.

And here’s a promise. If you don’t ask those questions every indulgence will be worth it and you’ll have far more of each than you need to be happily satisfied.

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