We are so lucky, living in a place like Burlington, where the option to live a healthy lifestyle is available to us almost around every corner. Being where we are, close to the hustle and bustle of Toronto and yet far enough away to benefit from the fresh air and open spaces, our beautiful city has to offer, we really do have the best of all worlds right close to home.
When you’re thinking about how to live a healthy life, there are three core pillars to keep in mind, exercise, healthy food, and of course, rest and relaxation. Each of these plays a vital role in your overall well-being, and each of them needs to be balanced to live a truly healthy life.
We’re going to look at each of these three pillars of health, and just how easy it is to find each of them is right here in Burlington.
Living in Burlington, you won’t go very far before finding a trail. Our extensive ravine network and waterfront provide us with a fantastic opportunity to stay active and explore our community at no cost at all. Take the whole family and the dog and get out there exploring. It likely won’t even feel like exercise. If you’re looking to add an extra layer to your trail walk, we also have the Royal Botanical Gardens, right here in Burlington, and for a small entry fee, you can access 27 kilometres of stunning horticulture and incredible wildlife. It really is fresh air, exercise, and rejuvenation all rolled into one.
Of course, if you feel more at home in the water, our City has precisely what you need. Burlington has three outdoor public pools, four indoor, and that giant swimming spot we call Lake Ontario. If you’re looking for a pool, check the City’s recreation site for directions to the one closest to you. When it comes to the lake, the place you want to go to is The Beachway at 100 Lakeshore Road. It features nearly seven acres of park space running along two kilometres of lakeside trails, with an outdoor pavilion, a playground, and a seasonal concession shop.
With more than 100 parks, scattered throughout town, Burlington is also a great spot to join a team to stay active. If you’re looking for soccer for the kids, soccer for adults, or maybe a slow-pitch league to sign up for and meet other active folks in your area, it’s all available right here. And, while soccer and slow-pitch tend to be the favourites, if you’re looking for something a little different like Beach Volleyball, Ultimate frisbee, or even Cricket, you don’t have to go far.
If you’re thinking this all sounds great, but I don’t want to be playing Beach Volleyball or diving into a freezing cold lake in the winter, Burlington has an incredible network of indoor and outdoor skating rinks and some great hockey leagues for all ages. For a complete list of team-sports associations in Burlington check out this great listing provided by the City.
If you’re already living an active lifestyle, then the next thing to keep in mind is the food you put into your body to keep it moving. Fortunately, in Burlington, there are so many great ways to choose healthy food. From our farmer’s markets to our local restaurants, healthy eating is easy to come by in our city.
Starting with farm to table, Burlington has a vast network of farmer’s markets that bring locally grown produce to you. One of the most popular is the Burlington Centre Lions Farmers’ Market located in the Burlington Centre parking lot, on the Prospect Street side of the mall. This fantastic market has been providing residents with the freshest of local foods since 1959. Although, in a city the size of Burlington you can bet there is more than one place to get your locally grown produce. A list of local farmer’s markets is available through Burlington Green, all you have to do is find the one closest to you.
If you don’t mind a short excursion, Burlington is actually situated right in the middle of some of Ontario’s best farmland. Stonehaven Farms, just north of the City, is a great spot to pick your own strawberries or pick up some fresh corn, tomatoes, or garlic, grown right there. If you’re looking for more farmland adventures for the family here is a list of a few more options right in our own backyard.
However, a city that didn’t provide some marvellous, healthy, restaurants about town would have some serious explaining to do. Fortunately for us, Burlington has some incredible local eating establishments that provide healthy fare, that also happens to be incredibly delicious.
If you’re looking for nutrient-dense food that will inspire, the first place that comes to mind is Lettuce Love Café located on John Street, right in the heart of the downtown core. Every ingredient is sourced from sustainable, fair-trade, non-GMO sources, that are local and organically farmed when available. Moreover, their food tastes astounding, and no matter how many items you order, you won’t leave with that heavy feeling in your stomach that comes from overdoing it at most other restaurants.
When planning an evening out with friends, Wundeba Restaurant might be more what you’re looking for. Located in the Escarpment, near Mount Nemo Conservation Area, the scenery and the food is breathtaking. Taking its inspiration from German favourites, all their ingredients are locally sourced and organic, not to mention they have a pretty inspired drink list to complement.
No matter how healthy you are, it’s vital for any healthy lifestyle that you indulge a little. And, if you want to do that without going all the way to the dark side, Kelly’s Bake Shop is the perfect spot. Every delectable cupcake, cookie, and cake is plant-based, gluten-free, peanut-free, dairy-free, egg-free, and vegan. A mother and daughter team, Kelly and Erinn opened their bakery motivated by the desire to create mouth-watering baked goods but with healthy, guilt-free ingredients. Located on Brant Street, south of James Street, this spot has quickly become a Burlington favourite.
Of course, if you’re looking for something healthy and comforting, local and yet international, we would have to recommend Burro. Everything is 100% GLuten free, and they have a wide assortment of vegetarian and vegan options to satisfy all your friends. The other great thing is that they serve food right up until last call, which means just because you’re having a night out doesn’t mean you can’t finish it off with a healthy snack.
Rest and Relaxation
The final pillar in any healthy lifestyle is rest and relaxation. All of the active living and healthy eating are not going to help if you don’t give your body time to rest and recover. Fortunately, we here in Burlington have some great options to do just that.
First and foremost, you want to ensure that you are getting a full eight hours of sleep. It’s too common in our society to shortchange our time sleeping to be able to do all the activities we want. However, not getting enough sleep will eventually mean we are unable to perform at our best and enjoy the quality time we get with our families. If proper rest is evading you, we have a great sleep clinic in Burlington, the Sleep Medicine Group, that may be able to help. Speak to your family doctor to see if it’s worth a visit.
If on the other hand, you’re just looking for somewhere to relax with friends and family, our City has more options than you can imagine!
The simplest is probably to take the family for a picnic. The City of Burlington has three designated picnic areas that can be reserved in advance. Although with over 100 parks, there is no reason you can’t pack sandwiches in a basket and spread your picnic blanket on some grass anywhere in the city. While we’re not the sleep experts, we can confidently say that afternoon picnic naps are fantastic for your health.
Another great way to relax is to plan a trip to one of Burlington’s many local day spas. An hour spent on the massage table is a great way to recharge your batteries and recover from the workweek or your weekend sporting pursuits. The Be Pampered Spa on Guelph Line or the Water’s Edge Spa on Old Lakeshore Road are both great options to help get you rejuvenated.
For anyone interested in trying something a little different, Burlington has our own centre for Floatation therapy. The Still Water Float Centre allows you to disconnect and experience the restorative powers of sensory deprivation. Floating in a specially designed pod containing 10 inches of continuously heated water, mixed with a 1000 pounds of therapeutic grade Epsom salt, removes all distractions and leaves you in a peaceful state of weightlessness.
If you’re looking to do something productive, social, and restorative, a great choice is to get your own plot in one of Burlington’s community gardens. Central Park community garden got started in 2012 with 30 plots. Today there are five community gardens with 204 plots available to residents looking to grow their food and connect and learn from other green thumbs. Don’t worry if you’re new to gardening, the best way to learn is just to dig in.
One of the best ways to relax in Burlington, though maybe to take in one of the hundreds of cultural festivals, public art exhibitions, or heritage sites. Living in Burlington, there are almost too many options to choose from. Luckily, the City of Burlington has created the Spot Culture map, and an interactive listing of where to find great Arts and Culture activities all over the city.
For all of us in Burlington, we really do have access to so many options to exercise, eat healthily, and relax. Sometimes it can feel all a little overwhelming. However, the best approach is just to get out there and try as many things as you can. With so many options, you’re bound to find just the right way to live your best life.