Wednesday, November 11th – Your Heart Health Workshop

Our November meeting will be facilitated by the Registered Dieticians from the Peterborough Family Health Team. In our September meeting, members identified Nutrition topics as an information area they wanted more information about. For November, we are delighted to offer you an opportunity to participate in a healthy-heart workshop.

‘Heart Health’ Workshop

This 2-hour workshop teaches you about lifestyle choices that can help you manage your cholesterol and blood pressure and reduce your heart disease risk. The Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada states that 8 in 10 cases of premature heart disease and stroke are preventable through healthy lifestyle choices and habits.

Topics include information about fat, fibre, sodium, meal balance, label reading, and physical activity.

This workshop may be for you if:

You have high cholesterol or high blood pressure

You have heart disease

Are are at increased risk of heart disease

Wednesday, November 11th – 2pm to 4pm

Registration is easy. You must call the PFHT office to reserve your spot.

705-740-8020 extension 315 or 335.

Due to Covid 19, this workshop will be held on Zoom.

October Meeting

Quick reminder to join us for our October Zoom Meeting. Use the link you receive from to log on between 1:15 and 1:25 on Wednesday October 14th.

Join Us On Zoom on Your Phone, Ipad or Computer

Reinvent your walking regimen

Switch the type of walking in your routine to stay motivated and active; by certified fitness instructor Michele Stanten

Putting one foot in front of the other is a simple way to trigger a cascade of health benefits. Regular brisk walks help lower LDL (bad) cholesterol; control blood sugar; and reduce the risk for high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. Brisk walks also strengthen muscles, burn calories, and lift mood.

Just one problem: some people find walking boring. Boredom may diminish your motivation and interest in exercising. Before that happens, mix up your regimen with different types of walking that maximize physical, mental, and emotional health benefits.

Exercise-focused walking

While all brisk walking is good aerobic activity, you’ll boost physical benefits even more if you incorporate other exercises in your regimen. Here are some options:

An interval-training walk. Adding brief bursts of speed during a brisk walk boosts cardio fitness. “You speed up, push your intensity, recover, and then pick up the pace again,” says Harvard fitness consultant and certified fitness instructor Michele Stanten. She recommends timing yourself for 15, 30, or 60 seconds at the heightened intensity and then doubling that amount of time to recover at your normal pace. “If you need longer to recover, that’s fine too. When you feel ready, pick up the intensity and go faster.” If you don’t want to time yourself, use landmarks: speed up as you walk past two houses, go slower for four houses, and repeat.

A strength-training walk. At least twice per week, take a resistance band on your walk. “Work your chest, arm, or shoulder muscles by stretching the band while holding it in front or above you, or loop it around your back and press it forward,” Stanten advises.

Sport walking

Some activities make walking feel more like a sport. Consider the following:

Nordic walking. Using Nordic poles (which have a special glove-like attachment) adds upper-body exercise to a traditional walk, engaging twice the muscles and increasing calorie burning. You can walk on level surfaces or on varied terrain, and you can even do it (with a doctor’s okay) if you have balance difficulty, since the poles help keep you stable.

Hiking. “Hiking with or without poles will you get out of the house so you can enjoy nature. If you use hiking poles, they’ll help take pressure off the joints,” Stanten notes.

Meditative walking

The repetitive nature of walking makes it a natural activity for meditation or self-reflection. Try one of these:

A breath-focused walk. The combination of breathing and stepping creates a rhythm that helps quiet the mind. “Breathing and counting are key,” Stanten says. “Match your footsteps to your inhalations and exhalations. Take four steps as you inhale, take four steps as you exhale. You can lengthen those counts as you relax.”

A mindful walk. Use walking as an opportunity to become more mindful. “Really be present in your walk. Pay attention to what’s going on around you, and feel the breeze and the sun on your body. Pay attention to what you’re hearing — the birds chirping, the rustle of leaves,” Stanten suggests.

Social walking

Think about walking as a time for social interaction. Some possibilities:

A chatty walk. Instead of sitting and talking to catch up with loved ones, chat during a walk in the morning, afternoon, or evening. The more you walk and talk, the more exercise you’ll fit into your day.

A heart-to-heart walk. If you need to have a tough conversation with someone, walking can make it easier. “Walking relaxes your body, and you don’t need to make eye contact with the other person when you’re walking,” Stanten says.

Note: Texting is a form of communication, but avoid texting during a walk; the distraction can lead to a fall or keep you from seeing oncoming traffic.

October Meeting Reminder

A Presentation of the Alumni Program Available to SHN Grads

Our October Meeting will be an online Zoom meeting at 1:30 PM on October 14th. Our guest speaker will be Lara Bachmeier an ET with the SHN Cardiac Rehab Program. This will be an opportunity to learn about the resources, tools and assistance available to us as members of the graduate community.

Participate and be part of continuing to build this program for all graduates.

You will receive an invite from – you can join using your computer, laptop or phone, without downloading Zoom.

Attend a Webinar on Women and Heart Disease

The Scarborough Health Network is offering a presentation on line on the subject of Women and Heart Disease.

To attend go to the link below just before 6:00 PM this evening. You can watch on your browser even on your cell phone. You do not have to download anything and you can choose to attend anonymously.

Meal Planning Tool Kit

Our September meeting used the Heart & Stroke Risk Assessment Survey to get some discussion going on the most common opportunities we have as a group to further improve improve “heart healthy” living and add life to our years. We also agreed to use the results to develop programming for future meetings and content for the website.

Here are the top four areas identified;

  1. Diet
  2. Healthy Weight Management
  3. Physical Activity
  4. Stress Management

One of our grads said the biggest challenge with diet and weight management is meal planning. The Heart & Stroke website has an excellent tool for meal planning. We have put a link to this tool here and also posted it on the website on the Eating Well page.


Please join us on September 16th for our first meeting of the Fall-Winter-Spring semester.

It’ll be a Zoom meeting once again. Peter will send you an email on the 15th, perhaps earlier, with our session ID number and Password. Peter will open up our virtual meeting room about 1:15 pm for those that want to check in early and say ‘hello’. We’ll start the meeting at 1:30 pm, ending no later than 3:30 pm.

On the agenda are two interesting topics.

Mike will summarize the highlights of our group’s newly created Business Plan and Strategy document. A copy of this document arrived in your Inbox on Tuesday, September 8th. Please take time to read it. Mike will answer any questions and share how our group will use this document going forward with our partners and interested others in the community.

Unlike other years, we do not yet have the topics of our monthly Educational Program mapped out. We need your suggestions about heart-healthy topics that are of interest to you. To assist in our group discussion, I’m asking everyone to complete a Risk Assessment questionnaire from Heart/Stroke.

It will take about ten minutes and you will receive a printable risk profile and strategies targeting your personal risk factors. In our group meeting, I will facilitate an interactive discussion that will identify the most common Controllable Risk Factors shared among our group members. Out of our discussions, we will identify topics to include in our Education calendar.

The H/S Risk Assessment tool is available at:

Enter ‘‘ into your browser.

You will be on the Risk Assessment information page.

In the bottom right corner, click on the tab ‘Start The Questionnaire‘.

This will take you into the questionnaire itself.

Once you have completed the questionnaire, you will be automatically emailed your own confidential and personal Risk Assessment profile and a menu of heart-healthy strategies to attack your highest ‘controllable risk’ categories.

It’s a cool tool.

If you have difficulty in gaining access to the Risk Assessment tool, contact me at ‘’.

See you next week.

Don Herald

Chocolate Tied to Lower Coronary Artery Disease Risk

Now this is truly good news! I happen to love chocolate so when I potted this article I got really excited. But hang on you have to read the fine print, they are not suggesting daily consumption and you need to watch for high fat and sugar content on some processed chocolate. But the dark chocolates in moderation seem to reduce CAD risk. See the article at the link below.

Chocolate Benefits