|Eleven million Canadians live with diabetes or prediabetes today – that’s one in three of us. And another is diagnosed with diabetes every three minutes. Canada is facing a diabetes epidemic that is taking a monumental toll on our health. It’s time to do more – much more.
To shine the light on the epidemic and rally Canadians, the Canadian Diabetes Association will become Diabetes Canada on February 13. As the need is enormous and growing by leaps and bounds – we urgently need to achieve greater impact. By speaking with a stronger, clearer voice, Diabetes Canada will raise the profile of diabetes and bring more Canadians to our cause.
To begin this work and inspire more Canadians to take action, Diabetes Canada is launching End Diabetes on February 13 in a campaign that focuses on the realities and emotional toll of living with diabetes.
End Diabetes is our rallying cry to end the terrible health impacts of diabetes as well as its shame, blame and misinformation. It’s also time to End Diabetes altogether with a cure. You will see Diabetes Canada and End Diabetes in everything we do. They are the two engines to drive awareness, action and impact.
|We invite you to have an advance look at EndDiabetes.ca, to watch our new video and join us.|
Myth: Weight lifting is only for people who want to “bulk up”
The truth: The Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines recommend that adults lift weights at least two days a week. Resistance training or weight lifting does not always result in “bulking up.” It will increase lean muscle mass, bone density and decrease body fat, which increases strength and endurance, improves balance and posture, and increases metabolism, which promotes healthy weight management (WHO, 2016).
Myth: No pain, no gain
The truth: The idea of no pain, no gain, originally made popular in the early 1980s, suggests that in order to see results you must perform hard and painful exercise. Thirty years later, we know this is not true. Exercising at a moderate to vigorous intensity has many health benefits such as reducing your risk for heart disease and diabetes. But exercising to the point of pain is your body’s way of telling you that something is wrong. It is normal to experience some soreness when you are just starting an exercise routine, but once your body gets used to it, exercise should not be painful. A good way to figure out if you are working hard enough, but not too hard, is to use the “Talk Test.” When performing cardiovascular exercises like walking, dancing or cross-country skiing – you should be able to talk, but not sing (WHO, 2016).
Myth: Exercise takes too much time
The truth: It doesn’t have to. Physical activity can fit into your day 10 minutes at a time. Make the most of coffee and lunch breaks by being active. A 10-minute brisk walk to a meeting, getting off the bus a few stops early or fitting in a 30-minute exercise class over your lunch break can all add up – helping you to meet Canada’s Physical Activity Guidelines of 150 minutes a week (WHO, 2016).
Myth: 600 sit-ups will give me a flat stomach
The truth: Performing exercises focused on a problem area is known as “spot toning” and unfortunately doesn’t work. Strengthening your abs by doing sit-ups is only one of many factors that will impact whether you have a flat stomach or not. Some factors are within your control, such as physical activity and healthy eating, while genetics, for example, are, unfortunately, out of your control (WHO, 2016).
Bottom line: By combining a full body exercise plan that includes cardiovascular and strength activities with healthy eating habits, you will start to see and feel all the physical, mental and emotional health benefits physical activity has to offer, which may include a flatter stomach.
Myth: I don’t need to lose weight so I don’t need to be physically active
The truth: Physical activity has benefits for everyone, regardless of your shape or size. A full-body workout that includes all of the major muscle groups, cardiovascular activity and flexibility will help you manage stress, give you more energy and improve blood pressure and cholesterol. Improvements to your overall health are likely to happen before you notice any significant changes to your physical appearance. Everyone can benefit from being physically active. Some of the biggest benefits, such as reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes or osteoarthritis, will not be reflected on a scale (WHO, 2016).
World Health Organization. (2016). Myths about Physical Activity. Retrieved from
Three key ways to prevent the development of Alzheimer’s Disease. A 45-second video (following a short ad about Lawrence Hospital).
Hello blog readers (and I hope you are out there!)
So, for a variety of reasons, I will admit to my personal skeptism about support groups. However, from the exploration of resources for people with Pain, I came to the understanding they can indeed have value.
Why do I say that? I very recently had my first experience as part of a support group (and I didn’t even know it was happening!). To make a long story short, to prepare for the possibility of being directly involved with a group on campus, I attended a facilitators workshop for group leaders and a conference for health care professionals. I am still trying to digest what I learned and the stories that I heard!! One thing stood out – it was a community effort. As the contributors were sharing, I could see a vision for a working support group unfold.
The support group leaders came from different backgrounds, experiences and geographic locations. Their individual and collective journeys of Chronic Pain filled with heartbreak and triumph, anger and frustration, gratitude and humor. This strong group of leaders talked of issues with treatments, wait times, sleep, injury, relationships, careers, quality of life, stigma and more. Some had great successes with their groups, some less so. But I personally felt overwhelming support, warmth and welcome in the most non-judgmental way. (Hmmm, maybe they are on to something here??)
After much careful thought and consideration and as a follow-up to the events taking place in November, we (Dalhousie HR) are launching a support group for Chronic Pain. The group will be shaped much like the one that’s on-campus for Caregivers (See Today@Dal: http://www.dal.ca/news/2016/05/25/dal-recognizes-caregivers-with-appreciation-day.html ). A portion of the group’s time together will be sharing for constructive support, with the remainder allotted to a guest speaker to present on a relevant topic. Much of how the sessions evolve will depend on the group’s interests. Confidentiality is expected by all – a support group is a safe space.
Learn more and register at: https://events-tm.dal.ca/workshop.php?id=1901.
PS Check out the Enviromental Health and Safety Expo https://www.dal.ca/news/today/2016/10/24/2nd_annual_environmental_health___safety_expo.html.
I’m super pleased to share the following learning event, being held on campus on November 2. It is in partnership with the Dalhousie Pain Group and the Action Atlantic Pain Society.
Human Resources is conducting a learning session for faculty and staff facing challenges with Pain on November 2 from 12:00pm – 1:30pm in the Student Union Building, Room 224. Participants in this session will be presented with information and resources to better understand what pain is, how it may manifest in the body and options available to address the physical effects. Approaches for self-care and methods of coping will be discussed, as well as improving communication with health care providers. Participants will have the opportunity to ask questions directly to the session leaders. The goal is to empower people with pain to make better decisions to better address obstacles.
For more information on the event and to register, please visit: https://events-tm.dal.ca/workshop.php?id=1825.
Keep watch for other events related to Pain Management, such as the Food-Pain connection, throughout the month of November.
Links: Dalhousie Pain Group: http://medicine.dal.ca/research/pain-group.html
Action Atllantic Pain Society: http://actionatlantic.blogspot.ca/