Here We Grow Canada!

Now before I continue, I want to clarify a couple of things. Here are a couple of hints. Numero uno, I’m not talking about the growth of our countries, land mass, economy or diverse population and number 2, this growth isn’t worthy of accolades and a sense of national pride.

Okay, (Insert one second timer here) what’s your guess?

Sorry, time’s up.

What I’m talking about is the ever expanding girth of Canadian’s. Yes…Here we grow.

Nearly one quarter of our fellow Canucks are considered to be obese.  Now compared to our neighbors south of the border this is peanuts to their staggering expansion. According to the OCED (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development) 70% of all Americans are considered to be obese or overweight, with that percentage expected to balloon to 75% by 2020. Yikes!

Now before we break out the champagne and break into a chorus of Go Canada Go!  Let’s get back to reality. There are still 25% of us in grave danger.

For those of us who confuse obesity to being overweight, there is a big difference, excuse the pun.

Being overweight is one step below obesity. Obesity is one step closer to the grave

Being obese increases the likelihood of various diseases, particularly heart diseasetype 2 diabetesbreathing difficulties during sleep, certain types of cancer, and osteoarthritis, to name just a few.

Now to figure out how some of us got that way, doesn’t take a brain surgeon or a million dollar scientific study funded by the people, all we need to do is look in a mirror.

Here’s the synopsis, we move less and consume more, aka, we lack exercise and consume way too many calories.

We have become a victim of our times. With the abundance of cheap, high calorie convenience foods and fast food outlets that seem to be located on every street corner, along with our lack of exercise, mostly due to the convenience of driving our gas guzzlers to the corner. Instead of those excess calories being burned through exercise they end up contributing to our ever expanding waistlines.

So how do we stop this epidemic that’s slowly killing us, or society and our planet?

Unfortunately we don’t react to, or consciously notice small gradual changes aesthetically in our own bodies, such as weight gain and degrading health. Usually of course not until it’s too late and it becomes a more serious health issue, or of course if someone points out the fact. I guess this is in part due to our lizard brain. We only seem to jump to task when the change is an immediate threat.

It kind of reminds me of a scene in the movie “Inconvenient Truth” where they show what happens with immediate and gradual changes in the environment. In the movie they use an animated frog, first they boil a pot of water and then put the frog in, the frog then immediately jumps out. In the second exercise they put the frog in the pot of cold water and then add gradual heat to it, the frog stays in the pot even as the water boils.

The point of the exercise is to show that we react to immediate changes but adapt to gradual slow change that is of course until we can no longer adapt.

We have a lot more in common with that animated frog than we think.  That’s our lizard brain at work.

Will we ever be able to dethrone our neighbor’s in the south? Realistically, probably not in our lifetimes

Then again this is one area where being last is the new first.

Eat less…Exercise more!

By: Master Tim Bell.


The Age of Instant

We live in an age of amazing breakthroughs in science and technology. We have progressed more in the last one hundred years than at any other time in recorded human history.

Take for example the cell phone.  15 years ago I purchased my first mobile phone, It was a state of the art Motorola analog bag phone from Down East Mobility. At the time there was very little network coverage in Nova Scotia, it came in a bag the size of a Mini Cooper.  Its only frill at the time was a genuine pleather strap to carry the humongous pleather bag. That’s it, a phone, a strap and a pleather bag.

Two days ago I picked up my new Apple iPhone 4, now this isn’t just a cell phone… it’s a “Smart Phone”. What are the frills? You ask, It’s chalked full of them, as a matter of fact I can’t seem to find one that it doesn’t have, except maybe for the kitchen sink,  and to boot, it fits nicely in your back pocket and weighs a whopping 4.8 ounces.

As the saying goes, when it comes to cell phones “We’ve come a long way baby!”

Now I’m not writing this post to talk about the incredible advancements in cell phones, I’m writing to talk about the only constant that hasn’t changed over the years. That constant is us, yes we’ve made huge advancements in other areas, but the human body has pretty much remained the same for thousands of years.

Technology  has made our lives so much easier in so many ways, we’ve become the Age of Instant… instant potatoes…instant tellers…instant messaging…and instant fitness…Yes, these are wondrous times my friend.

Wait…hold on for a sec, did you say…Instant Fitness?

This is one area that isn’t so “Instant”, yes, there are some charlatans and snake oil salesmen that claim otherwise, but the fact is, there are no easy shortcuts or magic elixirs.

Living in the age of instant has changed our perception of what fitness is and how to get fit, those late night infomercials showing gizmos like the “Electric Ab Stimulator” or “The Buttiizer” do nothing but pray on our perceived desire for easy, instant gratification.

The fact is there are no easy ways to get and stay fit. Investing your hard earned cash on those late night gizmos with their empty promises or spending thousands on the latest home gym or fitness center membership that you barely use, is not a guarantee to a better you.

Our bodies were built for moving on a consistent basis, lifting, pushing, pulling and running, and when we neglect that fact, bad things tend to happen,  such as obesity, heart disease, diabetes and cancer to name a few.

Yes technology is making our lives easier, and medical breakthroughs are extending our lives, but when it comes to taking care of our health nothing will replace consistent exercise and a healthy diet.

Someday, maybe not that long into the future we may find that magic elixir, but until that day comes.

We better get Moving.

By: Master Bell