Healthy Living in the North

Getting off the couch

We want to see more empty couches!

We want to see more empty couches! Remember, every move counts!

We are all living increasingly busier lives, with work and family commitments taking up more and more of our time. After a long day of work, veggin’ out in front of a TV screen is usually the most attractive option. Since September is the Healthy Living Challenge month, I thought that I would try to use some of the key principles found in the Sedentary and Physical Inactivity position paper, which outlines some important points to help people thinking about increasing their physical activity during the day. I want to share with you two important principles that the position outlines:

  • Consider how ready you are for activity right now. Starting with what is comfortable now, increase either how long you’re active or how hard you work, as long as you are comfortable.
  • Set incremental, SMART goals (SMART goals are Specific, Measureable, Attainable, Realistic, and are Time-bound); set a ultimate or long-term goal.

With this in mind, in September, I am going to use the gradual approach and engage in activities that interest me like golfing, fishing, and playing tennis. Over the course of the month I will gradually increase my activity levels.

It is important to note that getting active doesn’t necessarily mean buying a golf course membership, or purchasing expensive equipment – you just need to begin to replace inactive time with active time! I think if we all live under the principle that every move counts, we can find ways to increase activity and incorporate more movement throughout our day in a way that works for us and our individual lifestyles. When it comes to being active, there are many choices and in this case, being an individual is good; one size doesn’t fit all. Find what works best for you! Later this month, my colleagues will demonstrate in a blog post how you can incorporate movement in the office and during meetings.

Stay tuned this week when I post my progress increasing my activity levels by doing the things that interest me. I also encourage you to learn more about all of our guidelines for living a healthier life.

Brandon Grant

About Brandon Grant

As the NH men’s health coordinator, Brandon Grant travels across the Northern Health region speaking with community members about the health issues men face and what we can do to improve men’s health. He has worked with a variety of community-based organizations, including the Nawican Friendship Centre and the Northern Family Health Society, and holds two master’s degrees, one in social work and one in public administration. To stay active, Brandon enjoys playing golf and tennis, and whenever possible, visits tropical destinations to go snorkeling. (Brandon no longer works with Northern Health, we wish him all the best.)



  1. Kelsey Yarmish says:

    Good for you Brandon! Getting off the couch and becoming more active is well worth it. Down the road, you will be thankful for these investments in your health.

  2. I love the empty couch pic! Very motivating article.

  3. David Bowering says:

    Is that couch for sale?

  4. Great advice!

    For setting and getting SMART based goals, you may want to check out a goal setting app called, a very nicely built web app designed for tracking goals and todo lists, and supports time tracking too. It’s clear, focused, easy to navigate.