Wednesday, 13 February 2013 05:39

Swift Current man works hard for Heart and Stroke Foundation and for himself

Written by  Jessi Gowan
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A recently released report from the Heart and Stroke Foundation reveals that more and more, Canadians are neglecting their heart health. In fact, the report indicated that while the boomer generation is planning for an active retirement, they may be facing more health problems than anticipated.

Local Heart and Stroke Foundation activist Mike Kehler, City of Swift Current Assessor, has seen some of these problems first hand. Last May, at only 44 years old, Kehler suffered a heart attack, and was faced with the reality of his unhealthy lifestyle.
“At the time, I wasn't very active, and I weighed about 290lbs,” Kehler admitted. “I had a lot of stress in my life, and my eating habits weren't good. I had a high content of fat in my diet, and stuff like that. My heart attack was kind of an awakening. I decided that I needed to change something to survive, that I wouldn't be able to live the same kind of life and have a different outcome.”
Through his work with the Heart and Stroke Foundation, Kehler has managed to gather a number of resources to help him find healthier options for his new lifestyle. His family has been an incredible source of support, and he has been able to closely monitor his nutrition with MyFitnessPal.
“When you're 44, you expect to live forever, and you feel invincible. The reality is, this is something I should have started doing years ago,” he said. “I just didn't believe it would ever happen to me. I mean, I still went out with my kids and played football on the weekends, but for the most part, I spent my time sitting at my desk at work. That's where the pounds, and the habits, happen.”
Since Kehler has started living a healthier lifestyle, he has noticed more and more people within Swift Current doing the same. He regularly sees people out walking and jogging when he is out, and sees others making healthier food choices when he goes out for dinner with his family.
“There are some local restaurants that I find I don't frequent as often, just because there aren't as many healthy alternatives,” noted Kehler. “It's pretty tough to find that variety in a town this size, because there are only a few options in terms of dining out. A lot is the same as it always has been, and it's pretty easy to slip back into an excessive lifestyle if you let it go.”
For Kehler, the support of his family and friends, and their positive feedback has been great motivation to continue on his journey to a healthier lifestyle. He encourages anyone looking to have a healthy new year to get a regular checkup, and just start walking.
“I think a lot of my health issues could have been found some time ago if I had gone in for checkups, so I think that's important,” he explained. “And if you can just get up and go for a walk to the corner and back, and do it often, you'll find that you'll want to do it more and more. It releases endorphins in your body, and being healthy can be just as addictive as anything else that's unhealthy.”

Read 31567 times Last modified on Wednesday, 13 February 2013 06:01