Overweight and Inactive
If sale of Fitbits and other fitness trackers was an indicator, Canadians should rank among the most fit, slim people on the planet. Instead, we rate as one of the most overweight populations among OECD countries (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development which includes 18 European nations and Canada and the US.) when BMI (body mass indexes) are considered.
How does this make sense? Do we, as Canadians, have worse diets, poor nutrition, no opportunities for exercise or some combination of these things. According to the Stanford University Study, the answer is that we are lazy, couch potatoes.
Ten thousand steps is touted as a goal for walking fitness. The Study found that Hong Kong’s citizens were most active walking an average of 6,880 steps a day. Down the list of countries, Canadians take 4,819 on average, just beating out the Americans with 4,774.
On a local level, we have great opportunities to up our “steps.” Our small town has a network of walking paths that it has been adding to. If you walked them all, you’d be likely to double the 10,000 steps. If you want to go a bit afield, then at Mistahiya, there is a beautiful walking path along the Battle River. Alberta is a winter province but if the weather gets nasty, you can still walk. The Communiplex offers a free walking track that is open to the public most days. There is no charge.
My small town is not unique in offering walking trails. Other communities have the same amenity so people just aren’t taking advantage of these opportunities. It is hard for someone working to find time to “just go for a walk,” but the rewards are many. When you go outside, there is the fresh air, right now the geese fill the sky with their honking, and you always run into someone to say hello to. Nature, human contact, and wildlife. What more could you ask for? Give that Fitbit something to count.
Scruff on the walking path at Mistahiya.
Supervolcano in Yellowstone - Perfect. I often feel like I’m living my own terrifying speculative fiction reality. Watching the news isn’t helpful. When the lead story isn’t celebrity death, divorce, or scandal, it is doom, gloom, and global death. I must be living in the end times.
The president of the United States is no more statesmen than Bart Simpson but he is real. At first I thought that no such bozo could be a candidate for the leadership of the (hopefully) largest democracy and world power. Then the Donald was elected. So far it seems that his accomplishments and goals are to tear down and rescind legislation, trade deals, and American diplomacy. He fires White House Staff (and not the servants) or they quit. The atmosphere is one of fear when it isn’t astonishment at how circus-like the White House has become.
In a year when there have been a record 10 hurricanes, some of them exceedingly strong, climate change deniers exist and want to destroy attempts to undo the travesty wrought upon the planet. Floods have devastated areas of the world and right now California is threatened by wildfires that move so quickly, people haven’t had time to evacuate. The fire moves on leaving ash, and tombstone-like chimneys of homes that were in its path. In BC, fire consumed huge areas during the summer.
Kim Jong Un is frighteningly unstable and North Korea is developing missiles capable of reaching North America. The nuclear warheads to arm them are a reality. Two insane individuals playing with nuclear weapons.
Today scientists report that a Supervolcano under Yellowstone Park could be developing much more quickly than previously predicted. It could throw tons of ash and debris into the air, plunging the planet into a volcanic winter . We are threatened by wild weather, nuclear war and global political instability. Are we all doomed?
I sincerely hope not…not so much for myself, but for my grandchildren, my children and all those young people who must have the opportunity to live to their potential. Hoping for a happy, I want to say ending, but realize I want a happy future for all.
I've been writing on and off for years and this is where my more serious pieces will be.