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Simply Fit, by Cindy Haskin-Popp, will help you make physical activity a part of everyday life. The health benefits of regular exercise and overall daily physical activity will be discussed. Fun, practical and easy-to-follow tips on an exercise program will be shared, as will the most current research. Fitness tips for families and seniors, on fitness centers and on buying proper and affordable equipment will be regularly given. 

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Twelve Days of Health

Give yourself the gift of health this holiday season and schedule time for you. Nourishing your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual self will allow you to tackle the busy days ahead with ease. A sustained self can get more out of life and can readily give back to others, fostering social growth and community. Changes to make a better you do not have to be grandiose. Small steps in the right direction can add up and be of better benefit in the long run. Take it one day at a time.

Day 1: Schedule a physical exam with your physician.
  • Even if you are not feeling ill, visiting your doctor on an annual basis is a good idea. Some chronic diseases, such as hypertension and diabetes, can be present initially without symptoms. By the time symptoms do arise, damage to your body can have already occurred. Your doctor will perform tests, such as blood work, to detect any underlying health conditions that should be addressed.

Day 2: Replace one "bad" habit with one "good" habit.
  • If skipping breakfast is your norm, find a way to make it a part of your regular morning routine. Yogurt smoothies are a good option for busy individuals or those who are not hungry for a big breakfast first thing in the morning.
Day 3: Designate at least one meeting at work as an "active conference."
  • Tired of sitting through business meetings all day? Tell your co-workers and clients to take a hike - with you that is! Take your meetings to the outdoors or the hallways of your office building. Great ideas can arise from discussion during a brisk walk. Take a mini tape recorder along for the jaunt to dictate and record concepts and solutions discussed.
Day 4: Turn your television off for the day.
  • Engage your mind in a good novel or how-to book. Don't like to read? Take up a new hobby such as photography. Challenging your mind with new tasks helps to improve and maintain brain health.
Day 5: Volunteer.
  • Give yourself an emotional boost and lift your spirit by helping others. It can be a simple gesture, such as helping a neighbor take his trash to the curb. Or, you can touch more than one life at a time by helping to serve meals at a shelter.
Day 6: Schedule your biannual dental appointment.
Day 7: Buy local.
  • Support the community within which you live and buy locally grown, produced, and manufactured products. For example, Michigan-grown Honeycrisp apples are in abundance at the market now!
Day 8: Eat at least one meal that consists only of fruit, vegetables, whole grains, and nuts and seeds.
  • Breakfast suggestion: Bowl of cooked farina with 1 TBS. of honey, 2 TBS. of chopped dates, and 1 TBS. of chopped pecans.
  • Lunch suggestion: Tomato and cucumber salad with 2 TBS. of white balsamic vinegar, 1/2 TBS. of sesame seeds, and 1/4 cup of lentils on toasted whole wheat pita bread.
  • Dinner suggestion: Half of a baked acorn squash, filled with cooked wild rice, 1/8 cup of golden raisins, 1/8 cup of dried cherries, and 1/4 cup of chopped walnuts.
Day 9: Engage in at least one stress management technique.
  • Take a yoga or Pilates class. Not enough time for a session? Turn off the lights and take 15 minutes to perform deep breathing or visualization exercises at your desk.
Day 10: Hand deliver holiday gifts to your neighbors.
  • Load up the wagon, cart, or sled with hand-made or store bought sentiments and hit the road walking. Trekking through your neighborhood to personally bring well-wishes to your neighbors will do wonders for your heart - physically and emotionally.
Day 11: Designate a house cleaning day.
  • Get in some exercise while preparing your home for the holidays. Vacuuming and scrubbing the bathroom can challenge your cardiovascular system and help strengthen your muscles.
Day 12: Brighten your room with eco-friendly light bulbs.
  • Save money and help to create a better environment for yourself and future generations by replacing mercury-powered light bulbs with a more earth-friendly option - compact fluorescent bulbs.

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Anonymous Bonnie said...

One meal I love that has fruit, whole grains, nuts is steel cut oatmeal with nuts and some fruit. Just thought I would share that. I also have learned to puree frozen vegetables with a little broth (chicken or vegetable) and an onion.

December 26, 2009 at 6:49 PM 
Blogger Cindy Haskin-Popp said...

Thank you for your suggestions Bonnie. They sound good!

December 26, 2009 at 9:05 PM 

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