Healthy Physical Activity . . . One of the 4 Foundations of Self-Care

WWYD sign

In celebration of Burnaby’s Move for Health Day this Wednesday, May 10th, join our family doctors and community members of every age for the Burnaby Division of Family Practice’s 2nd annual Walk With Your Doc.

I’ll be presenting a free talk, “We Were Made to Move” at 6:30 pm at the Confederation Community Centre. This will be followed at 7:15 pm with an easy Walk With Your Doc around the Confederation Park track. You’ll learn about the benefits of exercise, how it can improve your enjoyment of life and your ability to do everyday activities, and how you can make daily physical activity a new healthy habit. All members of the public of any age are welcome to join our team of Burnaby doctors as we walk the talk! Each participant at the walk will also get a free pedometer (while quantities last).

Burnaby WWYD 3

Most people – including patients and healthcare providers – may think of healthcare as what doctors, nurses and other allied health professionals do for you. Although it is our role to partner with you, giving you the support, knowledge and resources to make informed decisions and achieve your personal health goals, I believe the bulk of your healthcare is self-care: what you do for yourself – when we’re not watching.

The four foundations of healthy self-care are (1) healthy eating (or consumption) – what you put into your body, including alcohol, drugs and tobacco; (2) healthy physical activity, (3) emotional wellbeing and (4) healthy relationships. Think of your self-care as what you eat, what you do, how you feel and how you relate.

Regular physical activity is so essential to health that doctors will be walking the talk during the week of May 10th – the World Health Organization’s Move for Health Day.

The Doctors of BC is supporting doctors for the annual Walk With Your Doc events in communities across the province. Physicians are volunteering their time to walk and talk with their patients and other members of the community of any age.

The message is simple: physical activity is important to your health, and walking is one form of activity that most of us can do.

Over recent years, more doctors are literally writing prescriptions for exercise, and there’s even a global organization called Exercise is Medicine. A typical dose is 30 minutes of moderate exercise (such as walking) in single or divided doses 5 days a week. Of course, every prescription has to be tailored to individual preferences and conditions.

The key message is that regular exercise can be as potent as pills in preventing disease, maintaining your health, managing chronic conditions and extending your life. But some of my patients would rather pop a pill than start exercise to lower their blood pressures.

Yet you don’t have to wear running tights, cycling shorts or a swimsuit, and you don’t have to go to the gym. The variety and range of healthy physical activity is broader than formal exercise alone.

To many, exercise is a dirty word. They associate it with work, pain and the school gym classes of their childhoods.

You can reap the benefits of physical activity doing many of your regular household chores: mowing the lawn, doing the laundry, gardening, raking, mopping, sweeping and vacuuming.

All these activities get your feet moving and use big muscle groups. Watch out for marathon sessions of chores. Mowing the long grass for the first time in the spring, raking and composting can be a grueling triathlon. To avoid injuries warm up, stretch and pace yourself. Break up big jobs into smaller ones. Take breaks and stay well hydrated.

Walk whenever you can – up and down the stairs, around the block, to visit your neighbours, to run errands and get to the park. Dance to your favourite music.

To celebrate Move for Health Day in Burnaby on Wednesday, May 10th, Burnaby’s Healthy Community Partnerships Committee has organized a variety of health-related events. During the day, the school district has planned a community walk with some elementary school students and Moscrop school will have a health fair for its own students.

For all adults, we have a Community Wellness Fair from 2 to 4 pm at the Confederation Seniors Centre at 4585 Albert Street in North Burnaby. There will be great displays, people and resources to help you lead a healthy, active life.

Burnaby Parks and Recreation offers a variety of free activities at our pools and community centres throughout the day and evening. For more information check online at burnaby.ca.

I’ll be presenting a free talk, “We Were Made to Move” at 6:30 pm at the Confederation Community Centre. This will be followed at 7:15 pm with an easy Walk With Your Doc around the Confederation Park track. You’ll learn about the benefits of exercise, how it can improve your enjoyment of life and your ability to do everyday activities, and how you can make daily physical activity a new healthy habit. All members of the public of any age are welcome to join our team of Burnaby doctors as we walk the talk! Each participant at the walk will also get a free pedometer (while quantities last).

To register or learn more about the Doctors of BC’s Walk With Your Doc events in communities across the province, check walkwithyourdoc.ca.

Burnaby WWYD 1

Dr. Davidicus Wong is a Burnaby family physician.

 

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About Davidicus Wong

I am a family physician. I write a weekly newspaper column, Healthwise for the Vancouver Courier, Burnaby Now, Royal City Record and Richmond News.
This entry was posted in Burnaby Division of Family Practice, Empowering Healthcare, Exercise, Healthy Living, patient-doctor relationship, Physical Activity, Preventive Health and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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