10 Healthy Movies to Watch on Netflix Canada

If you thought your Netflix account was just for binge-watching OITNB, you’re in for a surprise. These films and documentaries will inspire you to get off the couch (after the movie, of course) and start a healthy new life

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1. Happy

The link between health and happiness is a strong one. And what better way to boost your mood and gain some perspective than by watching a documentary all about what makes people happy?

In Happy, you’ll meet people all over the world that, despite their circumstances, have a lot of joy in their lives. Like a rickshaw driver who lives in the slums of Kolkata in a makeshift home protected by a tarp. You’ll also learn some surprising stats – like the fact that 40 percent of your happiness is in your hands.

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2. Vegucated

Three New Yorkers want to become healthier, so they agree to give up dairy and meat for six weeks and go on an all-vegan diet.

They struggle, feel deprived, and yes, miss cheese. But they also become educated about where the food in their fridges comes from and the negative impact it can have on their health.

After six weeks, they each come to their own decision about whether or not they’ll continue their vegan diets permanently.

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3. Project Wild Thing

A father remembers his own childhood spent running around outdoors and finds himself disturbed by his kids’ inactivity and lack of interest in nature. So he decides to do something about it (aka make this documentary).

If you’re worried about how much your kids rely on electronics, and want to get inspired – and inspire them – to get outside, this film will help you make nature a priority. Side note: According to national non-profit ParticipACTION’s annual physical activity report card, Canada’s children and youth score a D-. That’s a sad stat. One that can be changed with more independent outdoor play.

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4. Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead

If you’re skeptical when a friend tells you they’re on a juice cleanse, prepare to meet the man who went on one for 60 entire days. Think that sounds crazy?

You might just change your mind after watching Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead. In the film, you’ll see the transformative power cleansing has on the health of two men suffering from obesity and a serious autoimmune disease. You’ll also be inspired to take control of your health.

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5. Forks Over Knives

What if degenerative diseases like heart disease, obesity and cancer could be minimized – or even reversed – by saying adios to animal-based and processed foods?

According to the food scientists in Forks Over Knives, it’s as simple as taking charge of your health and eating more plant-based foods. After watching this, you’ll want to ditch the western diet for good in favour of Mediterranean-style meals.

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Labelling of genetically modified foods is mandatory is 64 countries. Canada isn’t one of them. Which means Canadians often consume foods containing GMO ingredients without realizing it. If you want to know more about GMOs and the potential risks to your health, this is the film for you.

In this eye-opening documentary, you’ll follow one father on his search to find out how GMOs affect our health, the health of our children and the health of the planet.

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7. 180 Degrees South

If it’s mountain climbing and surfing that inspire you, you might want to log in to your Netflix account right now and spend a couple of hours with this documentary. 180 Degrees South follows one man as he journeys to Patagonia to attempt his dream of climbing the Corcovado Volcano in Patagonia. Along the way there’s stunning scenery, big waves, tall peaks and a whole lot of adventure.

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8. Rising from Ashes

You might think of your bike as a tool to help you stay in shape, or a vehicle to get you from A to B. But for the group of Rwanda genocide survivors in the documentary Rising From Ashes, their bicycles represent something much more important: hope for the future. With the help of cycling star Jock Boyer, Rwanda’s first national cycling team works to put their devastating past behind them and make it to the 2012 Olympics.

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9. Jamie Oliver’s TED Talk: Teach Every Child About Food

Who doesn’t love Jamie Oliver? He’s kind of awesome. But that’s not the only reason to tune into his Ted Talk.

In his talk, Oliver makes his intentions pretty clear: he wants to save as many lives as possible by highlighting the importance of healthy eating habits. He shares some shocking stories from his anti-obesity project in West Virginia, using imagery that will make you think about what’s in your food (wheelbarrow of sugar, anyone?) to get his point across.

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10. The Mighty Ducks

Not in the mood for a documentary? Sometimes a Disney movie can be just as inspiring. The early ’90s cult classic The Mighty Ducks is the definition of a feel-good film. There’s team spirit, motivational quotes, and an adorable pint-sized Joshua Jackson. After the movie, you’ll want to lace up your skates and head to the arena. Plus, the tag line is “A hot shot attorney who’s never lost is forced to coach a hockey team that’s never won.” I rest my case.

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