As I take a look at the family schedule for the week, most times is looks like the game Tetris with all white space filled with different colours for work, home, picking up here and dropping off there. Due to the advances of technology, much of the craziness that I see before me gets entered automatically from various teams and coaches. As an adult and parent with three children the schedule is busy sometimes crazy busy. Fortunately, due to my mastermind wife (a carpool champion), we have not need to clone ourselves in order be several places at the same time.
It’s easy to think that we can look at the scales and know if we are completely healthy or not. Lots of messages we get in the community would make you think that the number of kilograms on the bathroom scales can tell you everything about your health. It’s actually not that simple!
Last month, I wrote about Richard Louv’s Nature Deficit Disorder. In order to support this work, together with my colleagues at the University of Alberta and many community partners, we are starting the CHANGE Adventure Camp. Partnering with Metabolic Syndrome Canada, a charitable organization who mission is to improve the long-term health of Canadians through effective diet and exercise lifestyle interventions, The CHANGE Adventure Camp will work to support Alberta’s families especially those at higher risk.
This year, I came across the term ‘Nature Deficit Disorder’. Several years ago, Richard Louv coined the term to represent the affect of removing nature from our lives. In his book, Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children From Nature-Deficit Disorder, Louv suggests that there are many benefits to young people’s engaging in outdoor recreation, such as improved cognitive development, creativity, and cooperative play.
Many people I talk to say that would like to improve their lifestyles but they do not have the time. They want to exercise but run out of time. They say they want to do a better job at preparing meals for themselves but they're too busy.
This week, I had the great pleasure of listening to a talk by Dr. H. Gilbert Welch. Dr. Welch is a general internist and professor of Medicine at the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Research in the Geisel School of Medicine.
Physical activity is recommended for improving or maintaining your health. It is associated with a lower risk for chronic disease, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, depression, anxiety and some types of cancer. In addition, recent research has shown that physical inactivity or sedentary time is associated with higher risk for some of these same diseases, independent of physical activity levels. In the media, we have seen the idea that sitting is the new smoking.
In my work on helping people change behaviour, I have learned a couple other tips that may help you succeed on this year's commitment. The first tip is to pick something small and achievable that you actually can imagine yourself doing long term. Many resolutions included avoiding temptations like chocolate, ice cream or alcohol. Trying to commit to avoiding things completely is really hard and is unlikely to be achievable for longer than a few weeks.
About a year ago I read the book by John Ratey called Spark: the Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain. At the time I read the book because it described many of the benefits of exercise that I have seen in my clinic with patients but he describes some of the research that support these ideas. Among the list of items that exercise has a beneficial effect on are learning, depression, anxiety, concentration, attention, memory and dementia.
After the Grey Cup win by the Eskimos, Edmonton is the City of Champions once again. Bragging rights for a year. Although it has been a very mild autumn, now that it is December, snow is on the ground and winter is here. Here are a few health tips for this month.