Well it's that time of year when hearts are everywhere with Valentine's Day fast approaching. It just seems fitting (cliche?) to have a quick article about heart health to go along with it.
So today I just wanted to bring renewed attention to The Canadian Heart Health Strategy and Action Plan. The plan has seemed to go under the radar and not really get much attention - although it's been around since 2009 it doesn't appear to have received sufficient funding and media exposure to be anything more than another list of recommendations that the public is unaware of. Since improving health and fitness is what we are all about in the YWCA Fitness Department, I thought it'd be helpful to try and help get the word out about this kind of initiative. The main thrust absolutely seems to be looking at the policy side of things by helping to change the entire landscape of health understanding and access to services on a large scale. Clearly improving the health of Canadians is a noble commitment, but the cynical side of me feels that waiting for favourable policy changes will take too long to make a real difference in the lives of those reading this and their families.
Where does this leave us?
The key part of the action plan that I get excited about is the idea of 20% of Canadians eating healthier, 20% getting sufficient physical activity, and 20% fewer adults and children with obesity. Of course these targets were stated as goals to achieve by 2015 - and here we are in 2016 with these steps not being taken on a mass scale to see these results. However, there is no reason that we can't individually make these improvements for ourselves. It's a basic matter of increasing physical activity to meet national guidelines and eating healthier.
We have implemented a new community area on this website to help health-seekers along the way. The community offers a space to discuss healthy eating and exercise with others who are also trying to improve their lives. It's a safe place to share your health journey and get support from others on the same path. If you feel like you'd benefit from a little extra accountability and group support drop by the community page and let us know what your health aspirations are. If you're too shy to share anything about your personal journey but love to help others on their way you're still welcome to drop by and cheer others on!