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New Year! New You!

In 2017, a survey revealed findings that in Canada, 33% stated that their New Year’s resolution was revolved around improving their fitness.

It is an amazing resolution to have! There are many ways to improve our fitness and health. You can eat healthier, exercise more, improve your sleeping habits and even strengthen healthy relationships! These are all great things but the number one thing that sticks out when improving healthy is going to the gym!

The gym is an excellent place to build muscle, improve cardio and relieve stress but it is also a place where injuries can occur. There are many machines and many ways to do workouts and one wrong more or a misuse of a machine can cause unnecessary injury!

As you venture into your new resolution of getting healthier and hitting the gym, consider these tips to keep you safe as you work out!

1) Ask for help! If there is a workout that you are unfamiliar with more often than not, there will be people around who may help you. Depending on the gym that you go to, there may be trainers and employees there who will be more than willing to help! 

2) Bring a friend! 

Bringing a friend to the gym not only makes it fun and bearable at times, but a friend can help spot you and assist you as you begin to lift heavier. Also, just like the last tipm your friend may have some experience and some tips to share.

3) Practice proper technique/mechanics!

This can also tie in with the first 2 tips as it is important to have feedback when practicing certain lifts such as the bench press, squat, deadlift to name a few. Always remember that form is way more important than how heavy the lift is. It is important that you stay aware of your form and body mechanics when going through workouts! Once again, feedback and help from others is important!

Body mechanics also helps when returning weights or moving equipment around. It is good gym etiquette to always return your weights and equipment so that the space is tidy and that the risk of injury is reduced. However, more often than not, we tend to move things around with bad body mechanics. We forget that we are still lifting things in the process and may injure ourselves when putting back weights or moving benches.

4) Have proper gym gear!

The right shoes and right clothes will definitely keep you safe in the gym. You wouldn’t wear high heels or steel toed boots to the gym right? Good shoes with support will help you maintain balance and even strength as you complete your workouts. Clothes that are not restricting/loose will help as well with lifts and reduce the risk of injury.

5) Stay hydrated!

If there is one tip that you do not forget, it is this. It is important to stay hydrated as you workout to reduce the risk of injury! Water helps fuel our bodies when working out and help remove the toxins in the process. Less water will make you feel tired and less energized to finish your workouts. No matter what you do, do NOT forget to hydrate!

3 Tips to Creating a Healthy Diet

As we age, having a well balanced diet is important to staying healthy. It can be overwhelming to many individuals because creating new habits in eating can be a tedious task. On top of that, certain factors can limit creating new eating habits such as, cognitive impairments, financial limits, current diagnosis’ etc. Moreover, as we age, the nutritional needs change and we have to adapt to what our bodies need and don’t need.

These are some benefits that eating healthy can promote:

– Maintaining healthy weight
– Increase in energy levels
– Improve cognition
– Reduce risk of developing heart chronic health conditions
– Getting all the vitamins and nutrients needed

Here are some starting tips to creating a healthy diet:

1) Choose nutrient rich foods:

– Fruits and vegetables
– Beans
– Nuts and seeds
– Whole grains
– Low fat or nonfat dairy
– Lean protein (Can be either chicken turkey, ground beef, fish tofu or other.)

2) Stay away from convenient and fast foods!

Even at a young age, convenient and fast foods were never the healthiest choice. However, they are called fast foods for a reason! It eliminates the tedious task of cooking and cleaning up. However, these foods may not always have the best nutritional value for our bodies especially as we age.

Here are some alternatives:

-Frozen vegetables
-Pre-cooked meats (turkey, chicken)
-Low sodium canned foods
-Pre made salads
-Oatmeal and Cereals

3) Eating alone as a senior can be a mundane task and many times discouraging. Find time to eat with friends or family to make eating more enjoyable as an activity!

Eating healthy can be a huge task to any individual, especially to those who are aging! It is important that individuals receive the right education in order to implement these strategies.

Fall Prevention in the Elderly Community

A fall can happen to anyone and can happen anywhere and anytime. There are different degrees of falls and while some may have minor consequences, they can be devastating to many individuals. In the older population, falls account for almost 95% of hip fractures and 85% of all injury related hospitalizations.

Unfortunately, as we age the risk of experiencing a fall increases. Fortunately, there are ways to prevent this from happening and here are a few tips for keeping you on your feet!

1) Exercise and stay active!

You are reduce the likelihood of a fall when you have strong muscles and good balance. You can ask your doctor, physiotherapist or a trainer what the best type of exercise program is for you!

- At least 30 minutes a day will benefit you greatly
- Work out different aspects of your physical health (strength training, cardio health, flexibility)
- Join a gym or contact your nearest senior center for programs and classes you could attend

2) Use Safety Aids

Do not be embarrassed by your safety aids! They are there to keep you safe and prevent you from having an injury!

- Do not forget to wear your glasses if you need them. Vision is very important in preventing future falls.
- Use your walker or cane if you need it. Make sure that it is set on the correct height and safe for you to use.
- Wear proper footwear! Use shoes that are comfortable to wear and provide stability for your feet.

3) Keep your home safe!

In the older population, 50% of all falls causing hospitalization occur in the home. Individuals may trip on loose rugs, wires or even their own pets! It is important to keep your living room space safe as you may spend most of your time at home.

- Have good lighting around the home. Being able to see obstacles and dangers risks reduce the chances of falling
- Get rid of some clutter and some extra wires around the home. Consider cordless phones or cordless devices.
- Use non slip mats in the bathroom as many falls can happen in the bathroom.
- Store kitchen supplies in easy to reach areas. Strategically place heavy items in lower cupboards to avoid reaching
- Ask for help if you need something to be done in the house that is difficult!

4) Nutrition

A balance nutrition will allow your body to stay strong and healthy. Therefore, reducing the likelihood a fall.

- Eat a healthy and balanced nutrition. Lots of fruits and veggies.
- Do not skip meals as they may cause dizziness and weakness.

These are a few tips that can help you or your loved one prevent any future falls from happening!