Investing in Yourself for a Healthier Future


Often, when we think of investments, we think of RRSP’s, stocks, bonds or real estate.  Well, have you thought about the investments you can make for yourself  with regards to your health and well-being in the future?  Lifestyle choices you make everyday can impact your health now and later in life.
     Our province is known as one of the unhealthiest provinces in our country and St.John’s has been identified as the most obese city in Canada!  Congratulations…that’s quite a title to have earned! We can turn this around…Don’t wait until you have a heart attack, get diagnosed with diabetes or become so over weight that it interferes with your day to day routine before you decide to make a healthy lifestyle change!
     Making a lifestyle change that’s permanent is not an easy thing to do…there are ups and downs and struggles in between.   It involves challenging our own personal belief and value systems, letting go of old ideals and introducing new habits.  It’s amazing the deep down relationship and emotional connection we can sometimes have with food…breaking up with these ties is a hard thing to do.   Here are a few tips or small changes that can help improve your health now and in the future.
    Get organized when it comes to healthy eating. Plan your meals ahead of time. The first thing to do is to make a list of foods to pick up at the local grocery store…. being pre-prepared and having healthy foods on hand for meals and snacks makes it easier to choose healthier options throughout the day.  Go back to the basics, keep it simple …choose fresh natural foods as opposed to processed or boxed foods.  By making your own frozen entrees, you can help reduce the amount of preservatives, sodium, fat, and sugar while increasing the amount of fiber and protein.  Simply put, you’ll have healthy foods at your finger-tips that you can grab in a jiffy!
    Get that body moving!  Exercise helps to increase your energy level, decreases stress levels and helps to control your weight.  Take advantage of the seasons…perhaps it is the perfect time of year to get out for a walk on a nice day; go sliding, skiing or skating: visit a local fitness center; go for a bike ride; go for a roller skate or even go for a swim.  The key is to do something that you enjoy! Have fun with it!
   Reducing stress helps to prevent medical conditions, such as cardiovascular disease, insomnia, muscle tension and depression. Find a stress reliever that works for you.  Here’s a couple of idea’s…get out & go for a walk in a peaceful setting; relax, take a hot bath & don’t forget the candles…do something good for yourself; you deserve it!
   Following a healthy lifestyle does make a difference to your health.  I’ve seen it first hand in my own clients, right here in Newfoundland and Labrador.  Most have found that their energy levels have increased, attitudes have become positive, stress levels have decreased and they feel good about themselves.  Others have had their physicians reduce or eliminate their cholesterol, blood pressure and diabetes medications!  If they can do it, you can do it too!!
  Invest in yourself now for a healthier future!  It’s never too late to start…your life is worth it!  Have a happy and healthy day – everyday!
Tara K. Antle, BSc.AHN, RHN, RNCP
Nutrition & Wellness Consultant
Healthy Balance – St. John’s, NL