Monday, June 23, 2008

Five bad health habits to break

More than45,000 people will die this year in Canada due to smoking. But it's notonly death that smokers should fear: Chronic Obstructive PulmonaryDisease (COPD) and other breathing problems can seriously cramp yourlifestyle.
Health Canada provides free help for smokers wanting to quit at their website. One of the programmes they offer includes the E-Quit programme. Freedaily e-mail messages support individuals through their quittingprocess, one day at a time.
Accordingto the website, since E-Quit's launch in 2002, hundreds of people havewritten Health Canada to praise the program. People like thenon-judgmental and supportive tone of the messages. They enjoy theprogram's pace and the sense of accomplishment they achieve by reachingeach goal. For some, it was like having a personal coach to help themthrough the day.

Lack of exercise
In therush of other commitments, and the siren call of the television and theInternet, exercise can be something we all just put off. But asedentary lifestyle is a factor in many health problems, includingheart disease, stroke, diabetes, and arthritis. Moving now will helpkeep you moving in the future. 20 minutes of brisk walking a day can beall it takes to start.
Canada's 90-second inspirational team, the Body Break duo, has a great website at Lighthearted and quick tips can help inspire you to get up off the couch (or office chair).
Canada's Physical Activity Guidealso includes suggestions for adding fitness into your daily routine.Their section for older adults is helpful without being condescending.

Junk food
We've all heard the news reports about trans-fats, super-sizes, andother pitfalls of consuming junk food. An aging body needshigh-quality, low-fat foods. And being overweight or consuming foodshigh in fat and sugar contributes to heart disease, stroke, anddiabetes. But for many, the drive-through is just too convenient orit's what is available at lunchtime at work.
The Canadian Health Network offers a site full of tips, a virtual grocery store, a quiz, and a tour of the healthy lunchbox. The Canadian Heart and Stroke Foundation also offers a wealth of information about healthy eating as well as recipes.

Too much stress
It may sound a little new age,but it's true that reducing stress in your life can impact your healthdramatically – not only for the big diseases like heart disease andstroke, but also to keep things like insomnia and eczema at bay.
The Canadian Mental Health Association offers a very thorough look at stress and stress reduction. And if it's your workplace that's stressing you out, the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety has a collection of questions and answers about workplace stress.
Not flossing
Trouble biting or chewing, or trouble speaking can seriously impact on quality of life – definitely beyondjust the annoyance of having to turn down the nut brittle or toffeeduring the holidays. Not only that, but studies have shown that gumdisease can impact on heart health. So taking care of your teeth shouldbe high on your daily agenda – and that includes flossing.
If you need to refresh your technique, the Canadian Dental Association provides flossing tips and diagrams.


Lara Michelle Dias said...

Ok..the only thing I don't do here is smoke...hehehe...I won't give up chocolate though :p

Karinna B. said...

He he he - I know me too! I do everythng else!!!