Healthy Living Made Easy | YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka
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Healthy Living Made Easy

Written by Joel Seymour, YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka Healthy Hearts Specialist

I often hear people reminisce about the ‘good old days’.  Often times, they remember those days through rose-colored glasses.  When you speak to them, you become convinced that everything today is on a downward spiral. Well, maybe that’s not quite true.  Are there some things that are better today that can help us lead a healthier and happier life? I believe there are! Here is my top 8 list of things that are better today than in the past:

  1. Restaurant Variety – I was at the mall the other day and found myself in the food court wondering what I could eat that was quick and healthy! Among the types of restaurants available were Greek, Thai, Mexican and Japanese – all offering healthy, heart-wise choices! Eating healthy doesn’t have to be difficult when you’re in a pinch!
  2. Dental Work – New research proves that good oral health is directly related to a healthy heart. Many of us have dental phobias due to the pain we endured in our youth. Thanks to new freezing methods and innovative products, going to the dentist is no longer the torture that it was in the past!
  3. Technology Can Reduce Stress – How many times have you thought to yourself that you “sort of” know how to get somewhere, only to get lost? Gone are the days of having to stop and ask a stranger for directions! Simply by inputting the address of your destination into your Smartphone, you will have the most direct route within seconds – rather than winging it and risking the extra stress of getting lost!
  4. Skype – Research shows that feeling isolated and lonely can greatly affect your overall health and wellbeing. Years ago the only way to communicate with someone who lived far away was by making an expensive long distance phone call or sending a letter in the mail. Today, chatting with friends and family has never been easier! Just set up the camera on your computer or phone and you’re good to go!
  5. Food Labeling – Whenever you went to a restaurant in the past, it was challenging to understand the impact that the meal would have on your diet. What was the total calorie count? How much salt and sugar am I eating?  Now restaurants are much more transparent with food labeling. It’s easier than ever to understand what you put into your body and make healthy food choices.
  6. Charitable Giving – Despite what we see on TV and what the media reports, global hunger has dropped 39% since 1990. Research shows that giving to others not only makes us happier, but can help lower our blood pressure. Giving is not just heartwarming, it may be quite literally good for our hearts!
  7. Food Costs – Despite the feeling that food costs are out of control, in the 1950’s Canadians spent twice as much of their income on food than we do today. When you consider the rate of inflation, food has never been cheaper!
  8. Community Programs – Being part of a supportive community is good for your mental health and wellbeing. Feeling like you belong can lead to a greater sense of happiness. Organizations like the YMCA offer programs that connect people and families together and provide support for better health, such as the Healthy Hearts Program. Take advantage of all the amazing programs located in your community!

About the YMCA Healthy Hearts Program

The YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka is now offering the Healthy Hearts Program, in partnership with the Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre (RVH). Located at the Barrie and Innisfil YMCAs, the program provides supervised rehabilitation services that are structured based on each individuals needs and goals. The program is designed to provide a smooth transition from the RVH Cardiac Rehab program and help people regain their strength, reduce the risk of future cardiac episodes and improve their health and quality of life. For more information, please contact the YMCA Healthy Hearts Team at 705-726-6421 ext. 231 or

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