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Happy Mother's Day

Mothers and grandmothers are at times so busy taking care of others that some aspects of their own health care may be left off the "to do" list.

Mothers and grandmothers are at times so busy taking care of others that some aspects of their own health care may be left off the "to do" list. Daily physical activity is considered to be the single most beneficial pursuit that helps maintain normal weigh, healthy metabolism and strong bones over a lifetime. For many women, the responsibilities of motherhood can make it even more difficult to find the time to be physically active.

Lack of time is the reason mothers often give for not including physical activity in their daily routine. Saskatchewan has a high percentage of dual income families. For most mothers in our province, this means trying to balance childcare and home management with paid work. Physical activity is often the last item on the never-ending list of jobs that need to get done in a day. Integrating physical activity into the daily routine rather than finding extra time may be one way to get some exercise. Joining a local group or having an exercise buddy helps to build commitment as well. It can be an opportunity to get exercise and to socialize at the same time!

As women become grandmothers they become more concerned about the chronic diseases that they may develop. The top four reasons for poor health in older women are heart disease, diabetes, breast cancer and osteoporosis. Physical activity can prevent or modify all of these diseases. It can also affect other conditions such as depression, obesity, overweight, high blood pressure and cancer of the colon. It's never too late to begin daily walking or doing upper body weight lifting. Even small everyday increases in physical activity can provide a sense of wellbeing and a healthier appearance.

Here is a list of Mother's Day gifts that can help make exercise easier and more fun:

"time coupons" to help with babysitting, house cleaning or yard work.A safe exercise child stroller.A gift certificate for walking shoes.A set of weights.A bicycle.A portable media player to use when walking or running.Outdoor exercise clothing.Exercise accessories such as a water bottle, sun visor, sunglasses, exercise watch.Exercise video.Coupon or pass for a fitness centre, yoga studio, golf course or swimming pool.

This Mother's Day, remind the women around you - your grandmother, your mother, your daughter, your women friends as well as yourself, to renew attention to personal health. All mothers deserve time for self-care that includes physical activity. It is the basis for a long and healthy life.

For more information on the benefits of daily physical activity contact Public Health.Written by the Public Health Nutritionists of Saskatchewan and supported by Public Health, Sunrise Health Region.

If you have any comments or questions please contact: Heather Torrie, Public Health Nutritionist, Sunrise Health Region, 150 Independent Street, Yorkton, Sask. S3N 0S7 or phone: 786-0600.