Written by guest blogger Denise Deby, who generally tries to do the right thing if she can figure out what that is.

Ever notice how living more sustainably goes hand in hand with healthy living? What’s good for us human beings tends to be good for the planet, whether it’s biking rather than driving, getting out for a hike instead of playing video games, or growing more of our own food and buying less processed food.

We know this, but a recent study suggests we aren’t always making healthy choices. That’s why several health partners in Ontario’s Champlain Health Region, which includes Ottawa, have launched the Know More Do More campaign.

The campaign is focused on children and parents although has tips that everyone might be able to use. (According to the Heart and Stroke Foundation, Canadians of all ages are at increased risk for heart disease, half are at an unhealthy weight, and less than half of us are getting enough physical activity.)

Know more – some findings:

  • Children should be getting 90 minutes of physical activity every day. But 87% of children in the region are not getting this, even though 90% of parents consider their child to be active or very active;
  • 10% of youth in Canada are getting less than 2 hours of screen time per day;
  • Only 1 in 8 Ontario children eats the recommended 5 servings of fruit and vegetables a day.

Do more – suggestions include:

  • Make a list of physical activities you enjoy and pick one to do this week;
  • Pick out a new recipe this week to try as a family;
  • Organize a scavenger hunt with some other families;
  • Participate in a TV Turnoff Challenge for Screens Free Week April 19-25 and September 19-25;
  • Borrow a pedometer from the Ottawa Public Library (for individuals) or Ottawa Public Health (for business and community groups) and have fun counting steps.

The Know More Do More website has lots more tips and links. You can sign up there to participate (or just do it on your own). For inspiration and moral support, check out Ottawa resident Andrea Tomkins’ blog, a peek inside the fishbowl. Tomkins, along with Tracy Gorman in Petawawa, have signed up as “champion” families for the initiative.

I could say more, but the rest of my family is calling me to go fly a kite – guess I can’t say no to that now!

Advertisements