Healthy Living in the North

Biking to work between islands

Biking to work

Heather, on the ferry from Sandspit, during her daily bike ride to work.

When I was asked to contribute to the NH blog, I actually accepted the invitation before I knew what I was going to write. Encouraging health in the workplace? How can we add health in the workplace? How is  ‘health’ defined by each of us? Healthy eating? Exercise? How do I incorporate healthy in my workday?

Well, I work in Queen Charlotte City but live in Sandspit. That means my commute consists of 12km to the ferry terminal, a 30-minute ferry ride and another 5km to the hospital in Queen Charlotte. I could drive or bike. I made the choice to bike to work for two reasons. First, it would save me cash by walking onto the ferry versus driving and secondly, I could add some movement into my day before and after each work day.

Here’s a typical day, riding my bike to work:

I reach for my alarm, turn it off, roll over and open my eyes. September is  not quite as bright in the morning as in July, but there’s still light streaming into my bedroom from the rising sun. I put my biking outfit on, make some coffee, grab my pre-made lunch  and pack my backpack. I make my favorite breakfast smoothie and toss it too into my pack. It’s 7:15 am. I walk to the end of my driveway with my ride. My morning commute has started. I start to peddle the 12km. The road is quiet and to my right for 12km is the ocean. The water is Caribbean blue, calm and the beach is empty and peaceful. Throughout the summer I was fortunate to witness various berries changing colours, the day-old fawns playing, whales around Onward Point and river otters crossing the road before the other morning traffic. On the mighty Kwuna, I enjoy my coffee and morning chat with friends all while watching seagulls and porpoises pass by. The ferry docks at the Skidegate Terminal and I continue my ride into Queen Charlotte with sunshine warming my back and highlighting Sleeping Beauty Mountain in front of me. When I reach my destination I feel energized and happy to be there. I get to do the reverse at the end of the day.

Biking to work is just one way that I incorporate ‘health’ into my workday. How do you?

Heather Brule

About Heather Brule

Heather lives, works and plays on Haida Gwaii. She has worked for Northern Health since 2012 in the Rehabilitation department as a therapy aide. At work, she assists the physical therapist as well as works with the long-term care residents to provide various forms of recreation. She's active in the community and enjoys teaching various fitness classes over the past few years. In her spare time she can be found running, hiking, biking, crafting, reading, diving and enjoying the ocean via fishing, surfing and paddle boarding. (Heather no longer works with Northern Health, we wish her all the best.)