Winter Preparedness - It's Not Too Late

Depending where you call home in this great country, you might already be headlong into winter. Whether you live on the West Coast or your postal code starts with M3C, it’s not too late to make sure you’re prepared.

Here’s a winter ready checklist that is worth reviewing now...before we get deep into the season.

Put On Snow Tires
If you’re going to be doing any driving in snow, this is one of the top safety preparedness steps you can take — in some places it’s even the law. You wouldn’t be spending any time outside this winter improperly dressed, so don’t drive your car without taking this important precaution.

Winter Emergency Kit
Just like with the tires, if you’re going to be doing any amount of driving this winter, it’s a good idea to be prepared for the worst. Make sure your car has an emergency kit. It should include water, a flashlight, a small shovel, and an emergency heat blanket for example. The Get Prepared website by the Canadian government has a great resource for preparing an emergency kit for your car — visit getprepared.gc.ca for details.

Insulate Your Windows
Check the windows in your home. Are they properly sealed to protect from cold drafts? Spending just a little money, and taking the time to insulate your windows can save money on the heating bill this winter.

Vitamin D Supplements
Lastly, be sure to take care of yourself. During the winter, our exposure to sunshine is not sufficient. Many Canadians get their daily vitamin D from being in sunlight. The Canadian Cancer Society recommends adults take 1000IU in the winter months. There is also mounting evidence that vitamin D supplements may lower the risk of colorectal and breast cancer.

Keep Moving

There is ample evidence and reams of studies that show the benefits of exercise. One of the secrets to realizing these benefits isn’t so much what you do for exercise, or how long you do it for, it’s about doing it regularly — making it a routine.

If you’re interested in getting back into exercising and you’re not sure where to start — start with walking. This is probably one of the easiest ways to start developing a healthy routine. The thing about walking is that you carry your own body weight when you walk. This is known as weight-bearing exercise.

Start with a daily 15-minute walk for the first week. After that, add 5 minutes for each week of walking until you’re up to 30 minutes a day. This can also be a great time to socialize and go for a walk with a neighbour or catch up on some reading by listening to an audio book.

Health Benefits of Walking

  • increases heart and lung fitness
  • reduces risk of heart disease and stroke
  • improves the management of conditions such as
    • high blood pressure
    • high cholesterol
    • joint & muscular pain (or stiffness)
    • diabetes
  • strengthens bones and improves balance
  • increases muscle strength and endurance
  • reduces body fat

Health & Wellness

In the September 2019 issue of balance we shared a smoothie ingredient matrix. This simple reference allows you to easily create delicious and nutritious smoothies — quickly.

Last issue we share a nutritious recipe for a power packed kale smoothie. This time we’d like to share a delicious fruit smoothie shared by Connie P. of Vancouver, BC.

CP’s Fruit Smoothie

  • ¼ cup strawberries, frozen
  • ¼ cup pineapple, frozen
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp of hemp hearts
  • 1 scoop of your favourite protein powder
  • 1 cup coconut water
  • 1 cup almond milk

“All the ingredients are easy to keep on hand,” says Connie. “All you need to do is blend them together, and you’re good to go!”

You can create your own by picking 2 fruits, 1 protein, and 1 liquid from our ingredient matrix (see the September issue).

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