It pays big time to take stock

Sackville Tribune - - FRONT PAGE -

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.

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