Tuesday, 17 January 2017

National No-Smoking Week & Weedless Wednesday

National No-Smoking Week & Weedless Wednesday

January 15 - 21st is National No-Smoking Week in Canada!

The purpose of this themed week is to educate the public on the dangers of smoking, prevent those who do not smoke from starting, encourage and support those who do smoke to quit, educate the public on the dangers of secondhand smoke and to denormalize the tobacco industry, their marketing practices, tobacco products and usage.

January 19th is Weedless Wednesday!

The purpose of this day is to encourage those who smoke to abstain for just one day. The goal is that by not smoking for one day, it will kickstart the quitting process.

If you smoke and would like to quit, our PCN can help with education and one on one support. Please contact our office at 780-986-6624 for more information or visit our website at:

Quick Facts:

  • Tobacco use is one of the leading risk factors for chronic disease and is responsible for more than 37,000 premature deaths in Canada each year.
  • 3,400 Albertans die each year as a result of tobacco-related diseases.
  • Smoking is still responsible for more deaths each year than drug and alcohol abuse, car crashes, AIDS, murder and suicide combined. According to the World Health Organization, every eight seconds someone dies from a tobacco-related illness. It's clear that nicotine has a firm grip on those who consume it.
  • Smoking is the leading cause of preventable illness, disability and death in Alberta and Canada.
  • Half of all regular smokers will eventually die from their habit. Most of these deaths are premature.
  • Researchers estimate that, on average, smokers lose about 15 years of their lives.
  • On average, people who quit smoking before they turn 50 cut their risk of death in half.

For more information, please visit the Canadian Cancer Society website and Alberta Health Services website.

Thursday, 5 January 2017

New Year's Resolutions - Be Specific!

When it comes to New Year’s resolutions, try to keep in mind that making those plans and goals as specific as possible will help with following through.  So many of us come up with general wants and wishes such as:

I want to lose weight.
I wish to be more active.
I want to eat better.

It is a common mistake to make the resolutions too big and too much to change at one time:

I am going to go to the gym every day.
I am going to start eating healthier.

These goals are too broad and too much to change all at once.  Gyms and fitness centres are jam packed with people in January and February and then look like a deserted wasteland by March.  When it comes to eating healthier, we tend to go with the all or nothing mindset so one setback can often send everything off the rails. Sound familiar? 

Instead of setting such lofty general goals that are setting us up for failure, think about making your goals specific. This will give you a better chance of success and sustainability. A good example is:

I will go for a walk on my lunch hour for 15 minutes three days per week. 

In the winter months, dress properly for walking outdoors. Walk in the stairwells or hallways if the weather does not permit, that is better than nothing! When meeting a friend at the mall, plan to walk for 15 minutes at a brisk pace before you do your shopping.  There are multiple ways to get those 15 minutes in, even in our harsh Canadian winters.

Another specific goal is to join an exercise class one or two days a week. Signing up for a registered class for a pre-determined number of weeks is often a good way to stay motivated.  Knowing there is an end date and having paid for the class upfront can is often enough motivation to keep you going.  Schedule your day around this class and plan ahead.

Almost all of us want to be healthier, be more active and lose weight but those are all end results of what may come from making lifestyle changes with setting more specific goals and sticking with those changes.  

Corinne Cutler is the Exercise Specialist at the LBD PCN.