Sunday morning and, odds are you're having coffee, reading the paper and feeling pretty good about life in general.
Hopefully, you are in good health and if you are like many Canadian baby boomers, you're not thinking much about what the next 10 years will bring. But, according to Heart and Stroke's newest report, what you think about how you feel may not tell the whole tale. The online poll showed that while almost 80% of Canadian boomers think their doctors would rate them as healthy, the lifestyle choices they make would show otherwise.
* 85% reported not eating enough vegetables and fruit.
* More than 40% are not getting enough physical activity each week.
* One in five (21%) smoke.
* One in 10 (11%) are heavy drinkers.
* Almost 30% feel they are often or always stressed.
* At the same time, the survey showed about 61% feel the quality of the time they spend living is more important than the length of time. Half of boomers (54%) want to travel and be active around the house, 38% want to be involved grandparents, 36% want to take up a new hobby and a quarter (27%) would like to winter somewhere warm and sunny.
Does this matter? Yes!
As you move into later years, the lifestyle choices you are making now can significantly affect the quality of those later years. Healthy choices can reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke and other chronic illnesses so that the last ten years of your life can be lived in health, not sickness. Most people make financial plans for their retirement and all people should be making healthy lifestyle choices now in preparation for the years ahead.
There are many things you can do. Heart and Stroke Foundation's "Make Health Last" program can help motivate and support you to live the life you want in later years. Visit Makehealthlast.cafor lots of tips, tools and friendly advice.
In the meantime, here are five simple nutritional steps that you can start with:
* Add a piece of fresh fruit to breakfast. An orange, half a grapefruit, berries or dried fruit on your whole grain cereal or a banana and berries in a smoothie.
* Add extra vegetables such as spinach or Romaine lettuce, sliced tomatoes and cucumber, onions, shredded cabbage and/or grated carrots to your lunch sandwich.
* Take an apple, pear, a bag of cut up melon, a snack-sized can of unsweetened fruit, or a bag of dried fruits and nuts for a snack to work.
* Make roasted vegetables (peppers, zucchini, mushrooms, squash, broccoli, Brussels sprouts) for dinner. Leftovers can go in a sandwich or salad for the next day.
* Make a hearty vegetable soup. It can start a meal or be a meal and a recipe can usually make enough for several meals.
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