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Exercise helps with depression. Daily physical activity may be just what you need to feel better and improve your mood.

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  • TIME, TIME, TIME, TIME, – we all want more of it but we can't make more hours in a day. We can, however, find ways to use time wisely to make healthy and tasty food that you and your family will enjoy.  Read our tips below – you're sure to find solutions that work for you. This article comes from the Dietitians of Canada. MAKE ‘PLANNED EXTRAS'   Different from leftovers, ‘planned extras’ are made on purpose! Get the most out of your time by cooking more food than you need for one meal. Plan to use the extra food for another meal within the next couple of days. Below are some great 'planned extra' ideas.   USE CONVENIENCE FOODS TO YOUR ADVANTAGE   Try the new selections of washed and ready-to-eat produce items such as broccoli slaw, baby spinach or romaine lettuce; the salad will be ready in a flash! Canned legumes, such as chickpeas or black beans, drained and rinsed, make a super simple salad. Pre-shredded cheese can make quick work of pasta dishes, pizza toppings or for sprinkling on salads and using in wraps. Canned fruit in its own juice can jump start a fruit salad. Frozen, partially baked whole grain bread can be popped into the oven. Frozen vegetables are nutritious and ready to help round out your meal; steam them lightly to keep great crunch and flavour. Frozen fruits are great in a smoothie, on cereal or in a fruit crisp. GO FOR SLOW   A slow cooker is a great kitchen appliance that can help you have a hot dinner on the table without much fuss. Simply follow your slow cooker recipe and go about your busy day. The food cooks slowly and safely. BIG-BATCH IT! Weekends can be a great time to prepare big batches of food that can be refrigerated or frozen for later use. Get together with family, friends or neighbours and share the work. Foods such as soups, stews, chili, casseroles, muffins, loaves and pancakes are perfect foods to 'big-batch'. MAKE YOUR FREEZER YOUR FRIEND! Many standard recipes can be doubled or tripled and frozen in meal sized airtight containers or resealable freezer bags. Quickly defrost a meal on nights when time is tight. Click here for some menu ideas using these time saving techniques.
    08/15/2017
  • Here’s a way to put those ubiquitous fidget spinners to use that will get kids moving more than just their fingers and will relieve stress in a whole different way. This article comes from Active for Life . Here’s how it works: Take the fidget spinner and place it on the floor or flat part of the ground. If you have a group participating, each person gets to take a turn spinning and also chooses the movement that the group will do together for as long as the fidget spinner keeps spinning. As soon as it stops, everyone stops moving and the next person takes a turn. You can decide as a group how long you’ll keep it up for. Dai and his family chose to keep moving for 15 minutes and that worked great. The time flies by because everyone is having so much fun spinning and moving. List of movements to choose from: Hopping on your right foot Hopping on your left foot Balancing on your right foot Balancing on your left foot Skipping Jumping Running (on the spot if you don’t have a lot of space) Sprinting Throw a ball into a bucket or large bin (have a bunch of balls ready so you don’t have to retrieve the original) Bouncing a ball Crab walk Bear crawl Playing catch Keeping a volley going with tennis or badminton racquets Galloping Jump rope Tightrope walk Freestyle – make up your own movement for the group to try! This activity is perfect for classrooms, camp groups, playdates, and siblings looking for something fun to do at home.
    08/10/2017
  • Find a safe spot in a driveway, a schoolyard, or on a sidewalk, and prepare to chalk up the fun your kids will have. This article comes from Active for Life. 1. Hopscotch This is an oldie (as in kids have been playing it for over 300 years) but a definite goodie. The rules are simple and kids can either draw their own course with the chalk or have a parent help. Use your imagination and draw the boxes to be jumped in in various colours and shapes. Use the chalk as the marker or find stones, beanbags, buttons or small plastic toys. Once your children have conquered hopping the course, see if they can double hop on each box or use varying feet for hopping on the way up and the way back the course. Skills Developed: Hopping, throwing, balance, coordination 2. Avoid the Shark With different colours of chalk, draw “beaches” various distances apart. Use blue chalk to draw water and shark fins between the beaches and have kids jump from beach to beach to avoid the “sharks” in the “water.” Skills developed: Hopping 3. Chalk Bullseye Use various colours of chalk and draw concentric circles with a bullseye in the middle. Within each circle, write point values if kids want to brush up on their math skills or simply use markers to see who can throw an item closest to the bullseye. For markers, use chalk, stones or on hot summer days, wet sponges or water balloons. Skills developed: Throwing 4. 4 Square 4 Square is extremely popular in many schoolyards at recess. Draw your own 4 Square court with chalk, mark a number from 1 to 4 in each square, and use a bouncy ball to play this fun game. Each player stands in each of the squares, and the player in square 4 starts by bouncing the ball in their square and then hitting it towards one of the other squares. The receiving player then hits the ball to any other player. The ball must bounce in the receiving player’s square once and they must hit it to another player before it bounces a second time. If the player misses a square or the ball bounces a second time before they hit it, they are “out”. If there are more than 4 players, the player who is out goes to the end of the line of waiting players. If there are only 4 players, the player who is out would move to the next lowest position, 4 being the highest square. Skills developed: Striking 5. Chalk Maze Have kids design their own web of squiggly lines, circles, and other lines with chalk to design a maze through which others can walk, run, cycle, or scooter. The bigger, more colourful, and more intricate the maze, the more fun kids will have working their way through. Skills developed: Running 6. Alphabet Hop Use chalk to make 26 squares or circles fairly close to one another and write the letters of the alphabet in each. For kids just learning their alphabet, call out letters to hop from one to another. For kids who are able to spell, call out words to spell and have them hop using one or two feet from one letter to another. During the summer months, this is a not-so-subtle way to work on spelling skills while having fun. Skills developed: Hopping 7. Sidewalk Twister Find me a person who doesn’t like Twister and I will show you my best “what you takin’ about” face. Create your own chalk twister board with at least four colours and four shapes and have another child or parent call out instructions as to where children should place their right hands, right feet, left hands and left feet. Keep the traditional rules of Twister by having kids balance while moving each hand and foot to different coloured shapes without falling over, or make your own rules. Have kids roar like lions on blue squares or hop like bunnies on a green circle. Ask them to laugh like their moms on a yellow triangle or stand as tall as a tree on a red squiggle. Skills developed: Depends on activities chosen 8. Corners This game requires at least three players but can be played with many more. Draw a large square court with smaller squares drawn in each corner in different colours. Draw a circle in the middle of the court. One person is designated the “counter” and stands in the circle in the middle of the court. The counter closes their eyes and counts to ten. While their eyes are closed, the other players skip around the court and choose a corner to stand in (more than one person can stand in one of the corners). With their eyes still closed after counting to ten, the counter calls out one of the four corner colours. Whoever is standing in that colour is out. The game continues until all players are out. Skills developed: skipping Head to your nearest yard, driveway, or sidewalk and prepare for your kids to spend endless hours of active fun with one piece of “equipment.” And if they start telling you Simon-like stories of climbing into magical places with dragons and fairies, it will have been an even more super-fantastic day.  
    08/08/2017

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HEALTHY ABBOTSFORD?

Healthy Abbotsford is a city-wide initiative to engage the residents of the community in promoting, fostering and engaging in healthy lifestyle choices to encouratge the overall improvement in the health and well being of residents of abbotsford.