Get enough rest – adults should aim for 7-9 hours of sleep per night.
Tip: go to bed and wake up at the same time every day to establish a regular sleep pattern.
Decrease screen time before bed – research suggests that screen time too close to bed time can delay your ability to fall asleep and prevent you from achieving quality sleep.
Tip: turn off tv’s, computers, and cell phones one hour before bed.
Cut the nightcap – studies have shown that alcohol can disturb sleep patterns leaving you with a low quality, restless sleep.
Tip: Avoid drinking alcoholic beverages at least one hour prior to bedtime.
Butt out – we all know the risks associated with smoking. Make your first smoke-free day…today!
Tip: Talk to your doctor about smoking cessation. Let friends and family know you’re butting out and create a supportive environment to help you live smoke-free.
Get checked – knowing simple health statistics like blood pressure, cholesterol, and PSA can establish your ‘norms’ and help you recognize concerns before they become problems.
Tip: plan for annual check-ups with your doctor.
Waist away – men with a waist circumference >100cm are at higher risk for cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.
Tip: keep track of your waist measurement – about the level of your belly button.
Relax – taking time to destress is important to overall health. Stress contributes to many chronic health conditions, so lowering your stress levels may protect your heart and your health.
Tip: Carve out 5-10 minutes per day away from phones, computers, tv, and other stressors. Meditate, read a book, take some time in nature, or just find a peaceful place to be quiet and clam.
Eat more vegetables – adults should aim for 7-10 servings of fruit and vegetables each day.
Tip: add one extra serving of non-starchy vegetables to your day. See the Canadian Food Guide for more.
Eat rich – nutrition-rich foods such as fruit, vegetables, lean proteins, and healthy fats contribute to healthy bones, lower body weight, and overall good health.
Tip: switch out white starches for whole grains; eat a vegetarian meal once/week; swap sugary snacks for fresh fruit.
Add some protein – proteins are the building blocks of our bodies, and help to keep our muscles strong, and our cells nourished. Eating healthy proteins can also help keep you fuller, longer, helping to prevent mindless snacking.
Tip: include a healthy protein at every meal, such as lean meat, fish, legumes or eggs.
Drink up – keeping hydrated can make life much easier on all of your body’s systems, including heart, kidneys, and brain function.
Tip: drink a glass of water upon waking each morning; keep hydrated regularly by drinking non-alcoholic beverages. Increase your water intake when you’re active or during hot weather.
Fats help too – unsaturated fats contribute to healthy hearts, skin, and bodies. Without them, our bodies cannot take-in certain vitamins.
Tip: include healthy fats in your daily meals. Just 2-3 Tbsp per day of unsaturated fats such as olive oil or vegetable oil added to a meal is enough for health benefits.
Fit it in – adults should achieve at minimum 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity each week.
Tip: go for a 30min walk in your neighbourhood. Build up to 5 days each week.
Build a foundation – our muscles contribute to increased strength, support healthy bones, mobility and function throughout the lifespan.
Tip: Include activities that challenge your muscles like resistance training, and sporting activities.
Lower your heart rate – a well-tuned heart will need fewer beats each minute to get its job done. Lowering your heart rate contributes to a more efficient heart, decreased risk of heart disease, and increased brain function throughout life.
Tip: include physical activities that challenge your heart such as swimming, brisk walking, cycling and hiking.
Strong bones matter – being physically active can increase muscle strength, which in turn increases bone health.
Tip: choose weight-bearing activities like walking, hiking, weight lifting, squash and other sports, to help build strong muscles and ultimately stronger bones.
Flex – range of motion is important for our joints and ensuring your joints get the most out of their abilities, maintaining your basic flexibility is key to keeping joints mobile, healthy, and strong.
Tip: add-in light stretches for your major joints: shoulders, neck/back, hips, knees, ankles. Gently hold each stretch for 30-60sec, allowing muscles to relax. Or, try yoga – great for increasing strength, flexibility, balance, and relaxation.
Find alternatives – traditional exercise is not for everyone. Be creative in finding ways you can add 30 minutes of physical activity to your day.
Tip: grab a Frisbee, soccer ball, or kite and head outdoors with family or friends. Discover nature or orienteering, and walk through urban parks. Join an outdoors or photography club and explore your neighbourhood on foot.