25 Ways to Take Care of You and Lead a Long, Healthy Life

healthy living
Too many kids lose their mothers to heart disease and stroke, a leading cause of death for women in Canada. This breaks our heart.
According to a recent survey commissioned by Becel, the majority (60%) of Canadian mothers say they don’t have enough time to take care of themselves. 
YMC teamed up with Becel, founding sponsor of the Heart and Stroke Foundation's The Heart Truth campaign, to find out what moms are doing in their life to take care of themselves and their heart health. From exercising to eating better, sleeping more and eating less, and making time to get outside and get active, we hope these responses encourage you to take care of yourself too so that you can lead a long and healthy life.
Your kids will thank you.
  I've become heart healthy by dedicating an hour per day to exercise. Whether it's a light cardio/weight routine or some power yoga that gets my heart pumping, I ensure that I work that most important muscle in my body–my heart–every single day. I find that this also promotes relaxation and helps me de-stress, which we all know, is also good for our hearts and overall well-being.
Megan B. Frankford, ON
  I started menu planning in an effort to not only control my grocery bill, but to make sure that I was getting in healthy meals for all of us instead of relying on pre-made boxed foods. I also have a bike and a workout video that I do at home. While I've had some setbacks, I won't give up. I want to be healthy for my kids, especially since heart disease is a concern in my family.

Tracy M. Grafton, ON

  I take care of myself by staying educated about nutrition and challenging myself physically and mentally. I’ve removed all processed foods from my diet as well as all fructose/glucose sweetened foods, highly salted food and foods high in saturated fat. I eat organic as much as possible and drink mostly water. I change up my gym/swim/ice skating/yoga routine regularly to get the most out of my workouts and because it’s fun to change things up. To stay healthy mentally I read voraciously (both fiction and non-fiction) and, because it’s always been a passion, I write.
Anita J. Waterloo, ON

  I don't like to exercise, so recently I bought a family package of hula hoops and DVDs so the whole family could do it together. Now I take care of my heart by playing with my kids.
Debbie, T. Chalk River, ON

  My worst time for taking care of myself is in the winter. To assist me in the winter I have started using an elliptical machine for cardio. We bought a weights machine and will put it together as time permits. I cut down on sugar (no granola bar before work etc.) I take vitamin D3. We use the Becel with olive oil. And sometimes for peace I lock myself in the bathroom with a book!
Jay K. Redcliff, AB

  Morning is the most hectic time at our house. Just making it to school and work on time takes a herculean effort. So I get up 15 minutes earlier to make my favourite breakfast, a smoothie with lots of greens and lots of fruits. It starts me off right and I don't have to spend the rest of the day playing catch up.
Shell H. Edmonton, AB

  I take a multivitamin every day and try to get in at least 20 minutes of exercise daily. Most importantly, for my mental health, I spend time with my family and play with my kids as much as possible. Their carefree nature and innocence makes me feel 20 years younger!
Tara H. Bowmanville, ON

  I swim because it helps me relax and decompress and also gets my blood flowing. I always feel like a new person after an hour in the pool.
Erin H. Toronto, ON

  It's the little things, right? Like how, since my office moved onto two floors, I swore to ALWAYS take the stairs. Or how I try to walk home from daycare instead of streetcar as the weather's getting nicer. Or how I'm committed to getting more sleep (much easier now that the baby sleeps through the night!) I have to hope that these little things will add up to a decent step towards a healthier life. One small choice at a time.
Carla H. Toronto, ON

  As a mother, the challenge of balancing a healthy lifestyle while having quality family time is fine indeed. By enjoying the great outdoors each week with my husband and baby son, be it by pulling our little guy on a sled through the snow, biking along the Seawall in Vancouver, or walking through the woods, I am able to maintain a healthy life style while ensuring that not only I am taking care of myself but also my family. The rigorous exercise coupled with eating a well-balanced, mainly organic, diet of delicious home-cooked meals ensures definitely support heart healthy living
Karolin K. Vancouver, BC

  I always find it challenging to make time for a fitness routine so, for the past 27 years I have commuted to work by bicycle five days a week. Currently, my commute is about a half hour ride each way. Best of all; it's mostly along a beautiful pathway which was created along a disused railway line!
Susan A. Victoria, BC

  I am starting out with something simple - going for a walk every day. Whether it's a quick walk around the block or a more adventurous hike through the forest, I feel so alive when my body is moving, and I can feel the day's stress just melt away. The best part is that my kids enjoy it too, so I don't have to squeeze time out of my already hectic schedule. Healthy living is definitely easier when it's a family affair!
Alina R. Kitchener, ON

  In July 2012 my dad went to see his doctor because of a stomach ache, he came out with a diagnosis of colon/liver cancer–it changed our life and we decided to make changes. We cut out processed foods, started making our own bread, cookies, and school snacks. My husband started jogging on the treadmill and me and my 6 year old do workout videos almost daily together.
Jessica M. Stouffvile, ON

  I stay healthy by working out with a neighbour three times a week. I also go for walks with my sons in our neighbourhood and try to take the time to smell the roses, so to speak.
Paquette S. Surrey, BC

  I didn't take care of myself for years, then finally it hit me that I need to be well so the whole family is well.  I started walking, eating healthier and splurged on a new pair of running shoes. It made a huge difference, not only do I feel more energetic and healthier, I am way happier! The mental "cleansing" that exercising does is so valuable for a busy mom. I am no longer anxious, worried and short tempered. Walking every day helps me put things into perspective and I often solve problems along the way.  
Shell S. Creston, BC

  Last year I needed a big change. I started yoga. I quit smoking and I cut way back on drinking. That success encouraged me to pursue my goal of running a half marathon. These changes have made me happier, healthier and a much nicer person. Best of all, my kids and husband have embraced this and are getting more active.
Laural A. Burlington, ON

  I now park farthest away from the grocery store. I avoid the middle aisles where all the processed foods are and have started a journal again. It helps to write out my thoughts and what I am eating.
Danielle C. Langley, BC

  I've made my fridge the "health zone" and promised to load it up with only healthy options. I take the stairs instead of escalators and try and fit in 20 to 30 minutes of walking each day. And the most important thing – I laugh and smile as much as possible.
Sue P. Toronto, ON

  I am embarrassed yet proud to say that I enjoy being a little selfish. I'll tell my family, "If you wash the dishes, then I'll have time to make you dessert" or "If you let me work out, I'll have time to watch TV/movie with you.” Compromise is key to a healthier life.
Rose G. Woodbridge, ON

  I try to take care of myself by doing things as a family. We go to a family swim every Sunday morning and family skate every Friday night. I do it because I have five children and I want to see them grow and blossom into wonderful and loving adults.
Laurie C. Mississauga, ON

  Over the past two years, I've lost twenty five pounds through exercise and re-learning portion sizes and making better food choices. By incorporating a regular Pilates routine and speed walking, I've also increased muscle tone and lost three sizes.
Susan W. Morinville, AB

  I recently lost my mom to cancer and have been sitting here wishing that she took better care of herself and that made me realize I need to do the same for my kids. I can't change the past but I can change my future. So today I am walking with my kids to the park and doing yoga with my son. I’m tired of being overweight and having no energy to play. I need to change for myself and to be around for my kids for now and in the future too.
Caryn S. Calgary, AB

  In the last year I feel as if I am coming out of the "mist" of neglecting me. First to go is the guilt that shows up for nearly every decision for me to take "me" time. Letting the house be a little dirty and taking a walk.
Kelly S. Surrey, BC

  I go to an aqua fit class every Monday and run with a group on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday. I do yoga once or twice a week and eat healthy almost every day. I go out with girlfriends for dinner after yoga and we enjoy a good, healthy meal, laugh and give each other helpful advice to get through some of the challenges we come across.
Karen H. Newmarket, ON

  I have decided to take time for me for once, no more putting everyone else first. Each day I set aside time for exercise. This is my me-time and my family knows there are no interruptions from anyone. As a family we are also taking time to go for a nice brisk walk every night which gives us time to bond while everyone active.
Angela G. Milverton, ON


Encourage a Mom to take care of herself today! 

In its role as founding sponsor of the Heart and Stroke Foundation's The Heart Truth™ campaign, Becel wants to empower moms and encourage them to prioritize their own health and well-being as much as they do for others.

To help spread this important message, Becel made this amazing video:

You can go to the Becel website to easily personalize and send the video to moms in your life to remind them to take care of themselves too!

Encourage a Mom today!

She’ll thank you for it. And so do we!