As we enter the winter months, everything begins to slow down around us. Activities that used to take no time at all can become more of a chore. Even something as simple as going out requires you to put on multiple layers of clothing to keep yourself warm.

Although being outside can be tough, it isn’t all bad. It can actually be one of the best time’s of the year to go out and exercise. Activities like running in cold weather force the heart to work harder to distribute blood in the body, which can actually make heart muscles stronger. Saying that though, we only recommend running during the winter to already active people, not to those who are inactive or recovering from a heart attack or cardiac arrest.  Strenuous activity like running or snow shovelling during the winter can be very dangerous to individuals who are not used to regular physical activity.

To help distinguish what exercises you should do during the winter, we have compiled tips for active and inactive people.

Helpful tips for people with a heart illness or who are inactive

If you’re someone who has recently suffered from some sort of heart illness, first and foremost we recommend speaking with your doctor about an exercise plan. They know your health condition the best and will be able to recommend proper exercises for you as you transition back into a normal routine.

For inactive people or those who are recovering from a heart illness, we recommend beginning with some form of aerobic exercise to get your heart and lungs active again. Start slowly, and work your way up. Exercises such as swimming, light jogging or walking three to four times a week can be beneficial to you building up your heart muscles.

During the winter, we recommend walking to be your primary outdoor activity. It’s the easiest exercise to transition into and will allow you to slowly build up your aerobic activity.

As you adapt to exercising, begin trying more intensive forms of exercise.  This may require you to perform exercises indoors until you’re strong enough to do more outdoors.

Indoor exercises/sports to build up your strength

  • Curling
  • Chest stretches
  • Wall presses
  • Step-ups
  • Light-weight lifting
  • Swimming
  • Yoga

Tips for active people exercising outdoors

There are many benefits to working out outside during the winter. The main being, that you’ll strengthen your heart. You’ll also burn more calories, build a stronger tolerance to the cold and get a healthy dose of vitamin D.

There’s no shortage of activities/sports to do outdoors during the winter, but here are some of the most popular ones.

  • Hockey
  • Skiing
  • Cross-country skiing
  • Snowshoeing
  • Hiking

Although there are many benefits to exercising outdoors there are a number of factors that you should consider as well.

Factors to consider when exercising outdoors

Proper clothes

Dressing to workout in the winter can be difficult initially, but it’s all about finding the right materials that will help to keep you be comfortable. We recommend layering your clothes with moisture-wick fabrics that will help keep your body at a healthy temperature. The best items of clothing are the ones that will work to keep you warm but will also allow you to cool down. An example would be a jacket that has air flaps that can also be sealed back up with a zipper.

Staying hydrated

It’s one of the most important things to consider when exercising outdoors. Although it may seem like you’re not losing much sweat compared to when you workout in the summer, the sweat on your body evaporates at a very quick rate in the dry winter air. To prevent this make sure to drink water before, during and after cold-weather workouts to stay hydrated.

Warming up and cooling down

Properly warming up and cooling down should already be a part of your workout, but it’s even more important when it’s cold outside. You need to engage, warm up and energize your muscles before your workout. You want to make sure that you’re keeping your core body temperature elevated. Doing this also helps to prevent injuries from occurring like painful twists, sprains, and tears during your workout.

Do you have some tips that you’d like to share? Leave your suggestions in the comments or reach out to us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

November 13-19, 2017, is Digital Health Week in Canada. The week, which has been organized by Better Health Together, aims to celebrate and recognize how digital health is transforming the delivery of healthcare across the country as more and more of our systems adapt to digital landscapes.

The Mikey Network understands the importance of offering access to healthcare online, as it can help many of the people that we work with regularly. Digital health tools can help you perform CPR in emergency situations or keep track of your prescriptions.Here are some examples of technology that will help you to be more heart healthy:

Fitness Trackers

As wearable technology develops many people are now opting for fitness trackers to help monitor their health. In addition to being a watch and a way for you to keep track of your fitness workouts, many can keep an accurate reading of your heart rate. Fitness trackers can be highly beneficial to those of us who recently suffered a heart attack and want to make sure that they don’t overwork their heart.

Some of the most popular trackers are from Fitbit and Garmin, but hybrid fitness tracker/smart-watch options from Apple and Samsung are beginning to gain popularity.

Mikey Young at Heart App

Although our app is geared towards teaching teenagers who can fill their school’s volunteer hour requirements while learning CPR/AED, it is useful to anyone who wants to learn how to perform CPR and how to use an AED in an emergency situation.

Once you download the app, you can work through the different courses and exercises to prepare you for emergency situations you may face if you see someone suffering from a cardiac arrest or a heart attack. It’s available on the Google Play and Apple app store.

Have you ever found yourself asking your friends or family for a good doctor, or if they know of a specialist that could help you? can help you with that.. Simply type in your location and it will provide you with a full list of all of the doctors, hospitals and pharmacies that are in your area. The best part about it is that you can access the tool at any time; on your computer, or via the app on your phone.

Nike Running app

Are you looking to get back into working out, but don’t want to spend a bunch of money on a fitness tracker? Try out the Nike+Run app. It’s completely geared towards working with you on your fitness progress. You can develop a plan and it will record the distance, routes, and personal records that you achieve. It will also offer one-on-one coaching to get you to your fitness goals.

Do you have some digital health tools that you’d like to share? Leave your suggestions in the comments or reach out to us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.



During winter, it can be very easy to have an unhealthy diet. We tend to indulge ourselves with a variety of comfort foods; especially during holidays like Christmas and Thanksgiving. Although usually delicious, this type of diet isn’t particularly heart-healthy, leading many of us to gain weight and dread about ways that we can lose it.

Following the American Heart Association, we’re encouraging everyone to “eat smart” during the month of November. The aim is to get people to think about making small and simple changes to their diet that will have a lasting impact on their lives.

Eating smarter, adding colour to your meals and moving more is the mantra of the month.

To help you throughout your month, we have listed meals for each part of the day, providing you with a resource of some truly heart-healthy meals that will help you on your way.

Apple Cinnamon Baked Oatmeal
Breakfast Burrito
Apple Pancakes

Meal in a Bowl Soup
Zesty Squash Soup
Country Corn & Edamame Salad
Open – Faced Vegetable Sandwich

Garlicky Spaghetti Squash
Miso Chicken
Hearty Chicken Chili
Peachy Chicken Salad

Apple Cranberry Crisp
Warm Winter Fruit

Tart Apple Buttermilk Cake

Chocolate Cake


See all of our heart-healthy recipes here.

If you have some heart-healthy recipes that you would like to share, reach out to us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.


The Mikey Network has reached as far south as Haiti to help people who are in need of a defibrillator, and now we’ve placed a MIKEY near the top of the world.

Recently, Joamie School, a K-5 school of approximately 260 students and 30 staff, contacted us about their need for a defibrillator.  Located in  Iqaluit, Nunavut; it is one of the most northerly inhabited places in Canada.

The Joamie school’s need for an AED stems from it striving to provide a safer environment for not only the students of Iqaluit but also the residents of the community that often use the school for group meetings or sports activities.

Being so geographically remote and having such a harsh wintery climate make it very difficult for first responders to address health emergencies quickly in Iqaluit. So the school reached out to us for help. Having a MIKEY defibrillator on-site is the only way it could be used in time should a cardiac emergency occur.

Now that the Joamie School has their MIKEY, school staff and students are learning how to use and operate the AED, and staff are seeking out ways that they can promote a more heart-healthy lifestyle in the community.

After installing their MIKEY they were kind enough to send us this picture. “Nakurmiik” (also written in syllabics) means “Thank you” in Inuktitut. How amazing are these kids!? We hope they never have to use their MIKEY but we sure are glad they have one.




We have already received many entries for our #SHOWANAED promotion and we would like to thank everyone who has posted a photo.  Every submission has helped create awareness for these life-saving devices.

We encourage everyone to keep on posting photos! We still have one week remaining and with every entry you have a chance to win a $25 Itunes gift card.  

To enter, simply take a photo of any AED and post it to Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter with the hashtag #SHOWANAED. All posts must be public, so anyone can see them. More details on the promotion can be found here.

There have already been three winners and you may be next!

Here are some of the great photos that have been submitted so far.