The Live Well, Work Well newsletter is an employee newsletter that is produced monthly and covers topics like health, wellness, fitness, nutrition and personal finance.

Getting Outside May Be the Key to Boosting Your Physical and Psychological Well-being

A recent study published in Scientific Reports revealed that spending 120 minutes a week outdoors can improve your health and psychological well-being. Remember, well-being refers to feeling good and living both safely and healthily. And, the concept of well-being can have implications on your overall quality of life, health and happiness.

What are the benefits of spending time outside?

Exercising in nature has been proven to improve one’s mental and physical health. Being outside also helps to promote higher vitamin D levels, a vitamin the body makes when skin is directly exposed to the sun. Many people are deficient in vitamin D, so exercising outside can be a great way to correct that.

In addition, outdoor activity can help you maintain a healthy weight, boost immunity and lower stress. Exercising outside can feel less routine than working out in a gym.

What counts as spending time outdoors?

Visiting town parks, green spaces, woodlands and beaches all count as spending time outdoors. Here are two simple activities that you can do outside:

  1. Walking or hiking—Hiking and walking have been proven to improve heart health and can help you maintain a healthy waistline.
  2. Riding your bike—Riding a bike helps improve balance and endurance, and it’s an exercise that’s easy on your joints.

Be Prepared

Before you head outside and start improving your health today, you need to make sure that you’re properly prepared. This means that you should pack water, first-aid supplies, sun protection and, if you’re spending a significant amount of time outside, a healthy snack to help you refuel. 


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Making Smart Food Choices at a Restaurant

Making Smart Food Choices at a Restaurant

Eating healthy doesn’t always mean sacrificing your favourite meals. Although it may not seem like it, you can still stay on track with your diet when enjoying a meal out with friends and family.

Since restaurants—especially fast food chains—tend to use more fat, salt and sugar than you would use for a home-cooked meal, you just need to be smart about what you order from the menu. To make it simple, here are some things to keep in mind next time you’re eating out:

  • Avoid fried and carb-heavy options, like fried chicken or macaroni and cheese.
  • Watch your portion size, as many restaurants give you more than one serving.
  • Be mindful of your beverage choice, since there are many hidden calories in sugary sodas and alcoholic drinks.

Health Canada’s Four Healthy Eating Habits

There’s more to eating healthy than simply what foods you eat. Health Canada, suggests the following four habits for healthy eating:

Be mindful of your eating habits—Notice when you’re hungry and when you’re full, and slow down and focus on your food while you’re eating.

Cook more often—Plan what you’re going to eat, and make it yourself so you know exactly what ingredients make up your meal.

Enjoy your food—Enjoy mealtime by focusing on flavours, socializing at mealtime, and integrating culture or traditions.

Eat meals with others—Eating with others can improve your mood and help you explore new healthy foods that you wouldn’t normally try.



Recipe of the Month – Potato and Ham Skillet With Eggs

  • 2 potatoes (peeled and diced)
  • 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 2 onions (small, chopped)
  • 1 green pepper (chopped)
  • 6 eggs (beaten)
  • ¼ tsp. black pepper
  • 6 ounces frozen ham (thawed and chopped, about 1 cup)
  • 1 cup reduced-fat cheddar cheese (shredded)Preparations
    1. In a medium-size skillet, cook potatoes in oil over medium heat until just soft, about 5 to 10 minutes.
    2. Stir in onion, green peppers and ham, and cook 5 minutes.
    3. Pour eggs and black pepper over potato mixture in pan, and sprinkle with cheese.
    4. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until eggs are firm and cheese is melted.

    Makes: 6 servings

    Nutritional Information (per serving)

    Total Calories 290
    Total Fat 15 g
    Protein 19 g
    Carbohydrates 19 g
    Dietary Fibre 3 g
    Saturated Fat 5 g
    Sodium 540 mg
    Total Sugars 4 g

    Source: Government of Canada


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For more health and wellness information connect with a Benefit Consultant at 1-800-661-1518 or fill out the form below and a Consultant will contact you.

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