Mental Health – Let’s Talk

Every January Bell Let’s Talk is a day devoted to ending the stigma around mental health issues and continuing an important conversation with those close to you.

This pandemic has created even more awareness around mental health issues and the importance of connection.

McMaster Optimal Aging has compiled a few evidence-based strategies to help you strengthen your mental well-being now, and long-after the pandemic has passed.

Of course I am a big fan of “Get Moving” and the benefits of exercise on our mental health as well as our physical health!

Participating in a group class has also been a great wait to stay socially connected, but unfortunately we are unable to come together in the gym. Believe it or not, connecting and participating through technology and a Zoom class can help you feel more connected to others and we do try and have some laughs along the way. So don’t be shy and give it a try!

Click here to read the full article and other strategies offered my McMaster Optimal Aging.

Top Foods to Fight Inflammation

Foods that fight inflammation - Harvard Health

Inflammation is a natural body function that protects us from injury and illness. If it goes on too long, it can become harmful, especially among “older” adults. Chronic inflammation is linked to a wide range of health issues, including cancer, heart disease, diabetes, arthritis, depression and Alzheimers’s.

Foods that flight inflammation include:

Olive Oil
Vegetables such as broccoli spinach, kale, collards
Almonds, walnuts and other nuts
Fatty Fish (salmon, tuna, sardines)
Fruit including berries, cherries, apples, and oranges
Green tea, possibly coffee
Turmeric, ginger, garlic, chia seeds

How much of the above list you can get into your daily and weekly dietary intake.

Exercise – It’s the Law!

Last week the province of Ontario entered a state of emergency and sent everyone the above Emergency Alert on their phones to ensure everyone got the message. A stay at home order is in effect and we are only to leave home for 4 essential purposes:

  1. Food
  2. Health Care
  3. Exercise
  4. Work

As a Fitness professional I love this message – we need to exercise, it is essential to our health and well being and it is being recognized as such in this message! Yes, we cannot exercise in the gym together, but we do need to exercise!!

The World Health Organization recently released a new set of exercises guidelines for keeping fit during quarantines and lockdowns.

Guideline For Adults

According to WHO stats, one in four adults are not getting enough physical activity. Adults between the age of 18-64 years old should do anywhere between two and a half hours to five hours of moderate-intensity physical activity. Alternatively, they can also do one and a half hour to two and a half hours of vigorous-intensity physical activity throughout the week.

The same advice applies to adults who are 65 years and older. Adults in both categories should also undertake muscle-strengthening activities at moderate or greater intensity two times a week. However, for adults older than 65 years, they should also do exercises that improves their balance and prevent falls. Walking alone is not enough.

Leading an unhealthy, sedentary lifestyle can cause all-cause mortality, cardiovascular disease mortality and cancer mortality and incidence of cardiovascular disease, cancer and type-2 diabetes and puts you at greater risk of death from COVID-19

The Journal of American Geriatrics recently released a Call for Action due to risk of increased inactivity during the COVID-19 outbreak in people over the age of 59.

Before the pandemic the average persons step count was 6,000 per day.

During a 14 day stay at home quarantine, the average step count dropped to just 1,500 steps per day. That is a 75% decrease! That resulted in 4% reduction in fat free body mass (i.e muscle tissue) and an 8% loss in muscular strength!

The truly frightening part of this is that a 2 week of post-rehabilitation training sessions failed to rebuild the lost muscle!

We all need to be taking this time to ensure that we are getting our daily exercise. Walking alone is not enough. Ensure that if you are walking that it is a brisk walk with a rate of perceived exertion of 6-7 out of 10. We also must include a minimum of 2 days/week of strength training and some balance.

Have you fallen out of your exercise routine and need to get going again? Here are some suggestions:

  1. Join one of our Zoom classes
  2. Check out my YouTube channel for some great workouts to do at home on your own
  3. Send me a message for some individualized help for things you can do while safely staying at home.

Remember to get your daily exercise in – it’s the law and it’s good for you too!