It pays big time to take stock
ith hindsight being 20-20, a lot of people look back and think how they’d do it if they had it to do over again. If only the same judgment could be applied to foresight - it would see Canadians living healthier lives, and likely longer.
According to the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, many Canadians know what’s good for them. But they don’t have the time to do those things.
The foundation released a survey of 2,000 adults this week that found most know about the lifestyle that can mean improved heart health - but time is a problem.
The irony is obvious. The researchers point this out too. Doing heart-healthy activities and eating better tend to result in a longer life - and a better quality of life to enjoy doing things we like.
Foundation CEO David Sculthorpe said the responses showed three-quarters of those surveyed would eat healthier meals if they could. But the feeling is preparation of quality meals takes more time and gets in the way of what people have on the go.
It’s not surprising that quick meals at home and fast-food restaurants pick up the slack. And we all know about the excess salt, fats and sugar involved there.
Similarly, many say they can’t find the time for physical activity in addition to their working day, family life and other obligations.
Much of what the researchers gleaned from the responses involved attitude: rather than seeking ways to improve lifestyle, many see barriers in the way.
It’s not what we’re led to expect. With shorter work weeks than our ancestors shouldered, more time for recreation should be a result.
The researchers suggest starting with small steps toward making a change, such as replacing sedentary spare-time activities with something more robust. The foundation has also started a new campaign, Make Death Wait, challenging Canadians together to log one million healthy actions by the end of February toward the goal.
It’s well worth keeping in mind that the payoff in the end can be big.