Regular physical activity, nutritious food are key to healthy living
With the hustle and bustle of the holidays behind us, it is a great time to take stock of ourselves and decide what we can do to improve our lives. Health-related goals, especially getting more physically active and eating right, are the most common resolutions, and for good reason.
It’s essential to stay active at any age. An active lifestyle not only keeps our bodies and minds in shape, it can prevent us from developing or help manage chronic illnesses, such as high blood pressure or diabetes.
It’s important to be active every day. Although it can be challenging during our cold winter months, there are lots of indoor opportunities to stay active. Many community centres and seniors centres offer indoor programs, including exercise and dance classes, walking clubs and other activities. Taking advantage of these programs is also a great way to stay connected to others in your community.
Good nutrition is also essential. When we eat right, we feel good. Healthy eating becomes increasingly important as we age. Our daily food choices play an important role in our overall well-being. Eating a healthy, balanced diet, with a variety of fruits and vegetables, provides nutrients that keep our bones, muscles and organs healthy. It can also reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, bone loss and many other illnesses.
Sometimes it can be difficult to come up with new and interesting meal ideas. Many seniors centres offer programs about planning and cooking nutritious meals for one or two. Dial-a-Dietitian is also a great resource, available to you if you’re finding eating well to be a challenge. Call Dial-a-Dietitian at 204-788-8248 in Winnipeg or toll free at 1-877-830-2892 for free nutrition information. A registered dietitian in Manitoba will take your call and offer advice and answers to your food and nutrition questions.
Another community resource is the Active Living Coalition for Older Adults in Manitoba, a provincial organization that works to promote healthy, active aging for older Manitobans. ALCOA-MB offers a number of resources to help you get started on a healthier lifestyle, including the information booklet, Explore the Possibilities: Your Guide to Active Aging in Manitoba. For more information, contact ALCOA-MB at 204-632-3947 or toll free, 1-866-202-6663; or visit their website at http://www.alcoamb.org.
I also encourage you to access our Manitoba Seniors Guide to learn about a wide range of supports and programs available to you. The guide is available online at www.gov.mb.ca/shas/publications/docs/seniors_guide.pdf. To request a paper copy, call the seniors’ information line at 204-945-6565 or 1-800-665-6565.
I would like to acknowledge the recipients of the 2016 Manitoba Council on Aging Awards, which were presented this past October. These awards recognize Manitobans age 65 and over who make extraordinary contributions to their communities. The 2016 recipients include Lois Abraham, Diana Ateah, Denise Balcaen, Florence Bourgouin, Muriel McPhail, Rosemary Shackel, Walter Siemens, and Diane Truderung. The Manitoba Council on Aging’s highest award, the Murray and Muriel Smith Award, was presented to Bernice Marmel. Congratulations to these very deserving Manitobans.
I also want to congratulate the communities of Franklin-Emerson, Stuartburn and Winkler, who received Age-Friendly Milestones Recognition Awards during Seniors and Elders Month in 2016. This award recognizes the dedication and determination of these communities to address the needs of older adults.
Hon. Kelvin Goertzen is the MLA for Steinbach and the Minister of Health, Seniors and Active Living.