Your Health in Canadaadmin2019-04-03T23:51:25+00:00
HOW TO STAY HEALTHY IN CANADA
Check your answers below.
1. Easy Question:
Most new immigrants are:
a) more healthy than Canadians b) as healthy as Canadians c) less healthy than Canadians
2. Easy Question:
The real reason people feel sick in winter is:
a) cold b) no sun c) snow
3. More Difficult:
The best way to dress in winter is:
a) dress in layers b) wear a thick sweater under your jacket c) wear a parka
4. More Difficult:
The 2nd stage of the Culture Shock:
a) feels like depression b) is not a depression c) both a) and b)
Most typical diseases in Canada, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, kidney disease, etc. are caused by:
a) lack of exercise b) eating processed foods c) long wait times to see a doctor d) long winters without sun
The biggest problem with Canadian healthcare system is:
a) long waiting times b) cost of medication c) not enough doctors d) dentist services are not covered
Check your answers:
Most immigrants come to Canada relatively healthy. Compared to Canadians, newcomers are usually more healthy. Unfortunately, the situation changes after 8-10 years – the statistics shows that immigrants develop the same health issues as Canadians: diabetes, weight gain, allergies, heart problems, etc.
Oftentimes, after a new immigrant arrives in Canada, they soon start feeling sad and homesick. These feelings are normal. They are part of immigration. Almost every immigrant will feel this way. This is the 2nd stage of ‘Culture Shock’. Culture shock is NOT a depression – this is a normal phase on an immigrant’s journey of adaptation. However, because it feels like a depression, many new immigrants are unnecessarily prescribed antidepressants in this situation. These medications do not help with culture shock. A new immigrant needs time and an action plan.
Another reason many immigrants do not feel well in Canada is the long, cold Canadian winters. New immigrants need to learn how to dress for winter in Canada to feel comfortable. Dressing in layers is the best way to protect yourself from the cold and the wind. Winter also means not enough sun – that’s why people must take vitamin D in winter and not use sunscreen in summer.
Food is another big change in a new immigrant’s life. Learning how to choose healthier foods at the supermarket is necessary if you are planning to keep your good health. Eating processed foods and drinking pop (soda/soft drinks) is the reason many people in Canada develop such health problems as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, kidney disease, polycystic ovarian syndrome, etc. It is important to learn to read the food labels and be especially aware of the amount of sugar you and your kids are eating in Canada. Some people choose to buy organic and non-GMO foods, while others try to eat local and in season.
Many immigrants come to this country because they heard that the health care system here is good. It is good but it’s not the best! The biggest problem with Canadian healthcare system is the long waiting times in emergency rooms, as well as long wait times to see a specialist and have a surgery. You need to be smart and know how to use this system to your benefit. Preparing for a visit to a doctor is a skill new immigrants need to develop. It is also important to know to ask for a second opinion and make use of alternative medicine.
Every year more and more healthy products are coming to the stores in Canada. Unfortunately, these products are often not very cheap. The cheapest products are often filled with dangerous chemicals. Immigrants, especially women, need to learn how to choose safer cosmetics and cleaning products for home, so that they don’t develop allergies, headaches and other health issues.
Another thing that often changes in immigrants lives is their level of physical activity. For example, many immigrants who used to walk and bike a lot in their first country stop doing it in Canada because of the winter cold or other transportation being available. If in your first country you rode a bicycle or walked everywhere, you need to find an alternative activity in Canada – sing up for a gym, take an exercise class or go for a walk every day. Visit a local park regularly – walking and fresh air will help you feel good.
Your emotional health and your physical health are closely connected. In Canada, your family will become bi-cultural, especially if you have children. Keep your family happy, healthy and strong by communicating with each other. Keeping the channels of communication open will help you protect your children from possible problems such as drug use, alcohol and early unprotected sex.
Remember to take care of your health in Canada and you will enjoy a better, happier life in this country.