Over the past decade the Canadian health budget has doubled and currently stands at $120 billion per year. 46% of the Ontario budget goes to healthcare while Canadians are currently spending more than 20 billion dollars a year on medicine and drugs, which could be better applied to the social factors that result in poor health. |
In a report called "Stepping It Up" released in December, by Health Council of Canada's CEO John Abbott, Abbott indicates that there needs to be a whole-of-government approach to health, where transportation, environment, economic development and agriculture departments need to take steps to ensure that National health is an objective and a top priority.
Unfortunately we're off to a bad start. This past month... "Toronto Bike lanes were supposed to be cleared within 24 to 48 hours of a snowfall. But it wasn't till Wednesday, five days after Friday's first blast of winter that plows got to bike lanes." - Now Magazine, Issue 1512
As the government refocuses from healthcare in Canada to a healthier Canada and modifications of government policy are made we should stay focused on our own personal health. With January having come to an end so may our new-year resolutions. For those getting tired of the gym, there are a number of other options to dead lifts, bench pressing and curls. This February you may want to try walking, running, biking or checking out the local community centre's swim schedule. Swimming is a great activity that exercises all muscles within the body and strengthens your core.
There are a number of options throughout the city to getting fit and staying active. The PATH system is 28 kilometres long and heated. By running up the Casa Loma staircase the twenty minute rush can burn approximately 500 calories. There are a number of big hills in Toronto; you may enjoy the workout and exhilaration of riding up them in the winter. The ride up to Forest Hill, north of DuPont is especially difficult and will burn 90 calories in seven minutes. Toronto.ca provides a bike trail map of the city. You can use the city's information to help plan bike journeys or a new route to and from work. A free Toronto Bike Map Iphone app is available through the Itunes store.
If you are willing to brave the cold you may be interested in an hour of sledding in Riverdale park, which will burn around 500 calories or try skating the Sam Smith Ice Trail, a 250 metre track through the grounds of Colonel Sam Smith Park. "The ice is pristine even on mild days" - Eye Weekly, Volume 20 Issue 5
For those looking to get active in a more social and heated environment, dancing, spinning or yoga may be a healthy alternative. High energy hip hop classes are available with Dance Kraze Productions on Georgebrown campus, 160 Kendal Ave. Weekly jive classes are offered 7:30 pm on Wednesdays at the Walmer Centre, 188 Lowther Ave at Bloor and Spadina where there is no need to bring a partner or experience. You may want to head down to 580 King Street West or 672 Queen Street East Toronto to Quadspin (quadspin.com) and enjoy a spin class or Spynga (spynga.com) which combines yoga and cycling at their clinic.