Healthy Abbotsford Blog

Active Video Games Are NOT A Solution

With the frenzy of Christmas gift buying in full swing this post from ParticipACTION is timely:

two men playing video games

Active video games – also known as “exergames” – are often presented as a possible solution to getting kids to move more; however, following a rigorous scientific review, Active Healthy Kids Canada - and its strategic partners the Healthy Active Living and Obesity Research Group at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute (HALO-CHEO) and ParticipACTION – advises against them as a strategy to help kids be more physically active. So, this holiday season, you might want to think twice about buying an active gaming system for the purpose of helping your child exercise.

Click here to read the rest of the article.

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Do You Confuse How You Are Doing With What You Weigh?

This blog post from Weighty Matters is a great reminder of how to keep things in perspective.

If you’re trying to lose or maintain your weight the scale will tell you how you’re doing.

Bollocks.

The scale never tells you how you’re doing. The scale only tells you what you weigh.

How you’re doing is what you’re actually doing. Are you cooking healthful meals? Are you organizing your dietary timing, calories, and proteins? Are you minimizing meals out? Are you being thoughtful? Are you keeping track of your choices and intake? Are you exercising? Are you consistent in your efforts?

Boiling it down even further ask yourself,

“Am I living the healthiest life that I can honestly enjoy?”

If the answer’s yes, you’re doing great – scale be damned.

The fact is sometimes you weigh more than how you’re doing even when you’re doing great.

To access the original blog post click here.

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Healthy Apple Crisp

This recipe is from Snack Girl, a website dedicated to teaching people how to prepare simple, healthy and tasty snacks.

Mini Apple Crisp Recipe

(3 small servings)

1 medium apple
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon oats
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Heat oven to 350 F. Peel and core the apple and chop into 1/4 inch squares. Mix in a small bowl with sugar, oats, and cinnamon and put into a small baking dish or ramekins. Bake for 15 minutes. Enjoy hot, cold, or room temperature.

50 calories, 0.2 g fat, 12.8 g carbohydrates, 0.4 g protein, 1.8 g fiber, 280 mg sodium, 1 PointsPlus

Picture of a serving of apple crisp
To read to post that accompanied this recipe, click here.

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Physical Activity Can Help During The Cold and Flu Season

This article, from Healthy Families BC, has some really great practical information around why being active helps and what to do if you are already sick.

It’s getting colder; people are spending more time indoors in closer proximity and its flu season!

Aside from washing your hands, drinking hot fluids, taking immune system boosters and following other influenza avoidance practices (e.g. immunization), physical activity is a GREAT way to boost our immune system in an effort to prevent the flu and or speed up recovery

(note: people who are physically active on a regular basis generally have efficient immune systems; therefore, recovery times are usually faster).

How does physical activity improve our immune systems? This is not a simple question to answer; however, scientists are working very hard to properly outline the many pathways in which physical activity functions to improve our immune functionality.

Below are a few simple findings:

  • Individuals, who exercise regularly at a light to moderate intensity for 30 minutes on most days of the week, if not all, are at a significantly lower risk for respiratory infections.
  • Activity lovers who exercise for 30-60 minutes on most days of the week have a 40% reduction in sick days during the cold season.
  • Regular exercise helps the disease-fighting white blood cells in the body move from the organs into the bloodstream where they are able to combat and rid the invading pathogens.

To read the complete article and to find out if you should you be physically active when you are sick click here.

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Tips to Keep the Holidays in Check

This article, from fitness expert Sherri McMillan, has some really simple and effective tips for making sure you have a healthy and fun holiday season. Here is her tip on exercise during the holidays:

Exercise: Bet you guessed this would be at the top of my list. Exercise is the best de-stressor at any time of year and this still holds true during the holidays. But don’t get yourself worked up if you can’t keep up with your regular fitness regime. Instead, set some minimums. For example, instead of following your regular five workouts a week, over the holidays it’s OK to allow yourself to drop back to two to three workouts a week to maintain your fitness. Or, instead of your usual hour-plus routines, opt for a quick 30-minute express workout. This will keep your energy levels up and you won’t feel like you’ve got to start all over in the new year.

A quick workout is all you’ll need to help make you feel better when you’re feeling a little overwhelmed with everything you’ve got to get done. The endorphins that are released during the workout will give you the energy to tackle errands with a more positive attitude.

You’ll also find that committing to your workouts over the holidays helps to keep your nutrition in check. For one, when you’re exercising, you seem to have more self-control to pass on some of the holiday extras — and even if you do decide to indulge, it helps to know that you can afford a few extras because you didn’t skip your workout. In fact, on Thanksgiving morning, Christmas morning and New Year’s morning, I love to work out. It really sets the day up nicely. I feel great and I’m less likely to overeat at dinner.

woman tangled up in Christmas decorations

To read the rest of her holiday tips click here.

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Kids in the Kitchen – Waffles (video)

Better Together BC promotes a hands on approach to family, food and fun. In one of their recent blogs they wrote about the importance of getting kids into the kitchen:

In addition to quality time, kids who cook enjoy better health, improved academic and social skills, and greater confidence. Some studies show that kids who eat regularly with their families are less likely to struggle with drugs or alcohol later in life.

Not sure how to get your kids in the kitchen? Here is a great video showing how your kids can help you make fantastic waffles from scratch! The complete recipe is included at the end of the video.

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