With rates of obesity and inactivity at alarming levels in Canada there has never been a more urgent time for our country's citizens to take control of their health. Members of the Canadian Physiotherapy Association (CPA) are calling on Canadians and their families to make 2010 the year they make meaningful and long lasting changes to their physical care and fitness habits. Here are 10 resolutions and rules for helping ensure a healthy, happy New Year and many more in the future.
1. Get yourself moving. Develop and practice an exercise regimen that
includes activities to improve cardiovascular health, strengthen
muscles, increase bone density, keep you mobile, and eliminate
2. Get your kids moving. Inactivity and obesity are among the greatest
threats to the health of today's youth and children. They need 90
minutes of physical activity a day. At least 30 minutes should be
continuous aerobic conditioning. Set an example and exercise with
3. Play safely and avoid injury. Ensure that you and your children have
the right equipment, and adequate nutrition and hydration before
participating in vigorous activity. Helmets are a must when biking,
skiing, and snowboarding or doing any other sport that carries a risk
of head injury. Warm up before exercising and cool down afterwards to
4. Work safely and avoid injury. Reduce your chances of a repetitive
strain injury from computer overuse by maintaining proper posture,
and ensuring your work station is ergonomically correct. Get up from
your chair regularly and take short walks around the office. If your
work involves heavy activity, use equipment such as a mechanical lift
or a dolly to help reduce the amount of force required to transport
or lift heavy items.
5. Be realistic when setting goals. Change one behaviour at a time. If
you expect to reach your goals too quickly you are setting yourself
up for failure.
6. Start slowly. If you haven't exercised for a long time pace yourself;
doing too much too soon could cause injury.
7. Choose an activity you enjoy. You'll be more likely to stick with it
8. Engage the support of family, friends, and health professionals. They
will give you the extra push you need to meet your goals.
9. Keep a record of your progress and achievements. This will help you
10. Reward yourself! Treat yourself to something special when you meet
your goals. You've earned it.
While many Canadians are capable of setting and attaining their health goals, others can't because of long sedentary periods and pre-existing health conditions. This is where physiotherapists can make a big difference. Physiotherapists are experts in aerobic conditioning and body mechanics and skilled in assessing and treating a wide range of physical conditions. They can help put together a personalized program that will take into account your limitations and safely help you improve your physical health. Physiotherapists are primary health care practitioners, readily accessible in private clinics and public practice to support Canadians seeking optimal mobility, physical health and wellness over the entire life span.
CANADIAN PHYSIOTHERAPY ASSOCIATION