The top causes of death in Canada straight from Stats Canada January 2014:

# Condition %
1 Cancer 30
2 Heart Disease 20
3 Stroke 6
4 Chronic lower respiratory diseases 5
5 Accidents 4
6 Diabetes 3

 

All of these conditions can be impacted by lifestyle…meaning YOU have the power in your day to day life to minimize your risk. How seriously do you take this power?? We all know we have to brush our teeth to stop cavities and most of us comply, but for some reason exercise, stress management, and good nutrition take a backseat even though you will likely never die of a cavity (at least it isn’t a risk I am aware of). Why is that???

Do we need someone we love to have a close or fatal call or even a close call ourselves to wake us up? I remember my dad always saying he was happy living the way he did (sorta like the poster boy for lifestyle risk factors for all of the above) and okay to die when ever. Cancer claimed him; it was a long battle with the quality of his life decreasing each year. I miss him. I know from his last speechless months that if he had the power to turn back time and change things he would. He had the power to impact his quality and quantity of life. He likely could have enjoyed a full, long and well deserved retirement and see his grandchildren born and spoil them like only a grandpa can if he made different choices.

We each have the power to make choices for ourselves each day. Individually those choices are small but add them up over the weeks, months and years and they dictate our future. You can’t make the choices for the ones you love, but you can certainly live by example. What a legacy to give your children!

This is one of the many reasons I love doing what I do; it can literally change lives and save lives. It is never too late to step forward with courage, baby steps I call them, to make changes that make a difference. As we get older the fear of change can be overwhelming, but we are never too old to make a change and make a difference. I was thrilled to get this testimonial from one of my long term clients….who happens to be 65 years old.

“…Forgot to tell you, annual checkup: blood pressure-down; cholesterol-down; bone density improved to normal from low normal-I think those are great results…”

Prior to this she was on medication for high cholesterol and high blood pressure. My reports from her are filled with travel, building a deck at her lake cabin and taking part in family festivities. That’s the ticket!

Are you ready for a change? Are you keen to approach lifestyle changes from a point of inspiration instead of desperation? The luxury of doing things on your own terms without doctor’s orders can make it so much easier. It can be hard, scary and confusing but anything worth having usually takes some work. Reach out to the resources you have, friends that are in a place you want to be, read articles or do searches on the net, talk to your family Doctor, a nutrition expert or trainer. The resources are there to guide you with as little or as much help as you need or want. Take the baby steps you need to get where you want to be. Because something has always been to date doesn’t mean it has to be for a lifetime.

Below are five baby steps, my challenge to you is to pick one (great if you are already doing some of them) and make it a part of your routine for the next 30 days. Pick the baby step you believe that you have a 90% chance or better of actually doing.

  1. Before you do anything else in the morning drink a glass of room temperature water.
  2. If you are inactive start walking. Go out for ten minutes or even five (remember the 90% rule above) just get moving; set your goal as once a week to start, and increase when you are ready.
  3. Take a break for you, at least once a week for an hour do something that is entirely about you. This could be a family time out for you to read that book you have been wanting, a yoga class, quality time with friends you haven’t seen in a while….whatever your heart really wants but you just haven’t seemed to have found the time for. Schedule your month of breaks now so they actually happen.
  4. Once a week try a new “health” food or recipe. Some suggestions for foods:
    1. Vegetables like jicama, tomatillos, daikon, kohlorabi, or garlic scapes;
    2. Toppings or add-ons like hemp seeds, or chia seeds (great sprinkled on salads or in smoothies). If these things are uncommon to you trust that you can find them in your local health food store, and likely in the natural food section of your grocery store.
    3.  Replace your usual breads or pastas with legumes once a week at dinner or lunch
    4. Try a green smoothie (http://simplegreensmoothies.com/green-smoothie-101)
    5. Have sustainable, wild fish once a week.
    6. At night refrain from all electrical stimuli (computers, phones, TVs, video games) for at least an hour prior to going to sleep.

I would love to hear on my facebook page  how your challenge is going, post your experience and I will respond. Keen to learn more? Sign up for my regular newsletters. Yours in Health & Wellness,

Zoë

Here is to Strength & Balance for Body & Mind…for a loooong lifetime.