Striking a Balance

Wow, the end of the year is once again upon us. I know everyone is looking forward to the break at Christmas, and an opportunity to rejuvenate by reconnecting with family and friends.

Last year at this time, we talked about taking small steps to make changes towards your own health and wellness. Hopefully you have had the chance to do that throughout the year.

When you take care of yourself, it shows, and you then have more energy to take care of those around you. You only have one body, so it's important to put into place some checks to make sure you are taking care of you. Now is a good time to check your health and wellness action plan and get a jump-start on any 2011 resolutions.

Increase Physical Activity

Recent research shows that people who sit for long periods of time are prone to higher rates of diabetes, obesity, heart disease and mortality. Why not try the 'Get Fit at Work' program – a series of stretching and strengthening exercises designed specifically for you, to try throughout your day?

Incorporating small bouts of physical activity into your daily routine is another way of increasing physical activity. Simple things, like parking at the furthest end of the parking lot, taking the stairs instead of the elevator and turning a coffee break into a walking break by walking around campus instead of sitting for that coffee.

Healthy Choices

Treat your body well by limiting your intake of sugar, tobacco and alcohol. Eat lots of fruits, veggies and whole grains.

Mental Fitness

Keep challenging yourself to keep your mind sharp. Try different puzzles and games, or sign up for a course – something new to challenge your mind.

Positive Thinking

Try to remember the bright side. If you focus on your personal strengths, such as experience, sense of humour and unique abilities, your outlook will be much brighter.

Connect with Others

A network of supportive people helps to keep your heart happy. Are your family and friends far away? Try volunteering or giving some of your time – this keeps the focus off of you and gets you thinking of others. Practising random acts of kindness is another activity that can really enhance the way you feel.

Give yourself the gift of health and wellness this holiday season, one small step at a time. Check back in February for our Vascular Risk screening event, as well as Winter Walk Day. We also have a variety of interesting subjects lined up for our Spring Semester Lunch and Learn sessions, including: Laughter Fitness, Stress Busters and Beyond, Terrasol Body Talk (postponed from this fall) and Spice up your diet (with dietitian Diane Britton).

Suzanne McIntosh is the University's co-ordinator of Wellness Programs

For a look at the full issue of the December Legend in a flipbook format, follow this link.