Healthy Abbotsford Blog

Online Scavenger Hunt Starts Feb. 7th! Win an iPod Touch!

The new Healthy Abbotsford website is having a scavenger hunt and you could win an ipod Touch and other great prizes.

Starting on Monday February 7th a new healthy question will be posted at healthyabbotsford.ca every day for 14 days.  All of the answers can be found somewhere in the Healthy Abbotsford website.  Find the answers to just 5 of the 14 questions during the contest and you will be entered to win!

Contest ends on Sunday February 20th and prizes will be drawn on Friday February 25th.

Good Luck!

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Walk Indoors at the Abbotsford Entertainment and Sports Centre

The Abbotsford Entertainment and Sports Centre is offering the community a free place to walk indoors.  The centre’s new walking program allows the public to walk around the arena concourse in a safe and dry environment. 

For those who like to track their distance, 5 and a half laps of the concourse is equivelent to 1 mile or 1.6 km.   That’s equivalent to 4 laps of the track at Rotatry Stadium. 

For more details on the walking program and walking hours click here 

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New Physical Activity Guidelines For Canadians

Children need at least 60 minutes of physical activity per day and adults 150 minutes per week.

On January 24, 2011, The Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology (CSEP) announced new Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines. The new guidelines state that children (5-11 years) and youth (12-17 years) require at least 60 minutes of moderate- to vigorous-intensity activity per day while adults (18-64 years) and older adults (65 years and older) must get at least 150 minutes of moderate- to-vigorous-intensity physical activity per week. Achieving these minimum levels of physical activity will reduce your risk of diseases such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes. The guidelines encourage Canadians to exceed the minimum level of physical activity, as the greater the variety, intensity and duration of physical activity, the greater the health benefit.

“The new Physical Activity Guidelines provide a minimum target to gain substantial heath benefits. Currently, only 9 per cent of boys and 4 per cent of girls accumulate 60 minutes of moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity per day,” says Dr. Mark Tremblay, Chair of the Physical Activity Guidelines Committee of the CSEP. “Canadians must add more physical activity to their daily routines to promote and preserve their health and well-being.”

These guidelines are the result of over four years of research analysis funded by several groups including the Public Health Agency of Canada. They provide clear and concise instructions and tips for Canadians to achieve required levels of physical activity. (Press Release, Jan 24, 2011, Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology)

To download your copy of the guidelines click here to go to the CSEP website.

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No Time for Exercise? Fit it in throughout your day.

Do you every feel like you just don’t have enough time for exercise? You tell yourself that you will set aside 1 hour every day to go for a walk or go to the gym. You start off doing great, but then life gets in the way. The kids get sick; the car won’t start; you have to work overtime. Many things can pop up throughout the day that sideline our good intentions to be active.

Instead of fighting against life, work with it. There are many opportunities during the day to fit in some exercise and a little preparation goes a long way!

1 – Plan for your longer workouts earlier in the day. If you have ever made a to-do list, you know that the last few items on that list often go unfinished or pushed off until the next day. The same goes for planning your exercise. The lower down the list your workout gets the greater the chance that life will get in the way. Plan for exercise early, if life gets in the way, you will still have a few more chances to fit it in before the day ends.

2 – Take every opportunity to walk. Walking is a fantastic form of exercise. It is low impact and can be done anywhere, anytime. Throughout your day take advantage of opportunities to go for a stroll. Park further away from your destination, walk to work or school or take short breaks at work to stretch your legs.

3 – Be prepared for spontaneous workouts. Always have your emergency workout kit on hand. Pack a gym back with workout clothes, athletic shoes, a towel, deodorant and any other item you need to get cleaned up after your workout. Then when you have an unexpected break, seize the day and get active.

4 – Take advantage of the urban gym. Many simple items in our environment can be used to fit in a few exercises. Remember that stairs came before the stairmaster! Find every opportunity to take the stairs instead of elevators or escalators. Benches, railings and posts make great spots to stop and do a few push-ups, tricep dips or just to stretch out those tight muscles. This chart from ActNow BC will show you a few of the exercises you can fit in to your day.

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Turn New Years Resolutions into S.M.A.R.T Goals

We all have such great intentions in January.   Even after a busy holiday session we somehow feel recharged with a new found energy to make this year the best year ever!   We make our goals, we tell our friends and we go for it!  Unfortunately many New Years Resolutions seem to be flashbacks from the previous year as many goals go unreached.   Why is this?  Why is it so hard to achieve our goals?  Let’s look at least years goals to discover where we went wrong.

In order to increase your chances of achieving a goal you need to make it SMART!  SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely.   Keeping your goal in mind lets see how SMART it really is and what you need to do to make it SMARTer for 2011.

Specific:  Many goals are just too general.   It’s one thing to want to lose weight, but weight loss involves a number of different lifestyle changes to be successful.  Tackling all of these at once can be overwhelming and lead to frustration and abandoning your goal all together.   The trick is to make your goal more specific.  For instance if you want to lose weight instead set you goal based on a behaviour you want to change.    What has caused you to gain weight in the first place?  Let’s say you spend too much time watching TV instead of preparing a healthy dinner.   So instead of focusing your goal on weight loss, focus on watching less TV. 

Measurable:  Measuring your goal let’s you know how you are doing and when you have reached your goal.   If we carry on the previous example your measurable goal could be:  Watch no more than 2 hours of TV per day.  You can use a calendar to track the days you watched less than 2 hours of TV.   While you have a daily goal you can also set weekly and monthly goals.  

Attainable:  Is your goal attainable?  Once you have created your goal ask yourself on a scale of 1-10 (10 being extremely confident) “how confident am I that I can achieve this goal”?  If you answer less than 7 revise your goal to make it more attainable.   For example, if you don’t feel you can watch less then 2 hours of TV a day change it to less than 3 hours a day.   Remember achieving a goal is exciting and can give you more motivation.   Revise your goal again once you have achieved it.   

Realistic:  Goals need to be realistic.  Remember that nobody is super human!   When it comes to exercise and healthy eating too much too soon can lead to illness and injury.   If you are trying to lose weight, healthy weight loss should be no more than 1.5 – 2 lbs per week.  Slow weight loss is healthier and stays off longer.   If you need help determining if your goal is realistic talk to an expert.  

Timely:   All goals should have a timeline.  Keeping a timeline helps to keep you focused.   Let’s say you set a goal to jog 5 km.  Without a timeline there is no sense of urgency or commitment.   Based on your currently level of fitness, let’s say you determine that a realistic time frame is 10 weeks.  Better yet you register for a local 5 K running event 10 weeks down the road.  Now you are committed!    

Have fun making your goals SMARTer and remember to reward yourself for a job well done!

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Avoid the slow fall off the wagon

January is the month of resolutions. With the start of the New Year lots of people make resolutions to be more active. Our intentions are good; we truly want to achieve our resolutions. One of the challenges is that as we pursue these goals life continues to happen and it can be easy for us to slowly let go of the changes we resolved to make. It starts by putting off physical activity until the next day, which then turns into next week, and before we know it months have passed.

Avoid the slow fall off the wagon; track your daily physical activity so you can see if the fall is happening and stop it. When we are not aware of how much time has passed it is a lot easier to keep putting things off. But, when you see a visual summary of what you have (or haven’t) been doing, it is a lot harder to ignore. The Alberta Centre for Active Living has a free, online Personal Activity Tracker tool to help you keep track of your progress. Use this Personal Activity Tracker to set personal physical activity goals and track how physically active you are every day. This year, avoid the slow fall.

To create your free account click here (http://www.centre4activeliving.ca/workplace/trr/tools/trackerlogin.html).

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Welcome to the New HealthyAbbotsford.ca

Your community portal to all things healthy! 

The world of healthy living can be confusing and at times overwhelming. This website aims to cut through all the clutter and bring you the tools you need to eat well, be active and live tobacco free in Abbotsford.

  • Visit the Healthy living section to find local events, community programs, trusted websites and online tools.
  • Take a trip through the Get involved section to learn the many small things you can do to contribute to a healthy community.   
  • Enter Your community to see the latest local success stories, enter contests and participate in your community  
  • Go to Our Partners to see how each of our Healthy Abbotsford partners contributes to healthy living.

New and exciting events, contests, info and tools will be added regularly so come back often and stay on top of all things healthy in Abbotsford! 

Abbotsford, let’s make it Healthy!

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