Thursday, October 19, 2017

Random Acts of Healthiness

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by Michelle Sutton-Kerchner

It’s a new year and everyone is hyped up on healthy behavior. The advice on how to eat healthier, get fitter, lose weight, and gain fortunes can overwhelm. Here’s the secret you really need …

Keep it simple.

This year, get back to basics. Focus less on calorie counts, waist measurements, and the latest super foods. Instead, follow your instincts. Often, we know what is best for ourselves. How else would we hear the little voice that scolds us when we make bad choices?

Basically delicious.
Basically delicious.

Eat Well

You know sugary foods and refined carbs don’t help your skinny-jean cause. And obviously, fruits and veggies deliver plenty of vitamins and weight-losing power. Make eating well easy. Stock up on the healthful choices. Eliminate junk foods from your kitchen, office, and car (you know you have a secret stash). Remove the temptation. Keep healthful choices within reach.

Let the media worry about the pros and cons of detox juices and this week’s touted superfood. Our grandparents did not have the extensive information on nutrition available to us today. They also did not have an obesity epidemic. Eat smart foods created from simple ingredients. In other words, eat outside of the box (literally)– the old-fashioned, unprocessed way of our ancestors.

If you are confused about proper nutrition (with good reason these days), speak with a nutritionist. Sometimes, initial guidance is all we need to understand good fats versus bad and how to get enough protein.

Quality workouts over quantity.
Quality workouts over quantity.

Exercise Well

Find an exercise method you enjoy and use it to customize an effective program for yourself. Discuss your needs with a personal trainer or fitness instructor. Let him/her know your fitness goals, for example, lower cholesterol, better abs, and less stress. With target areas and personal preferences clearly defined, you can exercise well.

It is better to exercise well three times a week than poorly perform a daily workout. Why? You will be more motivated and get better results, which leads to a stronger commitment. You even may find yourself exercising well daily as momentum increases. Whereas a lacking daily workout may be abandoned after a month.

Worry less about the calculations– hours exercised, time spent at various heart rates, odd days upper body/even days lower. Those are important when training for events or advancing fitness levels. For now, make it a goal to work out (and work out well) 10 times this month. Simplify.

Healthy relationships are worth the investment.
Healthy relationships are worth the investment.

Socialize Often

We don’t usually think of our relationships as factors in our health. However, recent studies reveal a strong link between the quality of a person’s relationships and health measures like obesity and hypertension.

A study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences emphasized the importance of social ties in improving a person’s physical health, from teens to those over 90 years.  The researchers suggest relationships can mitigate health risks before they develop into disease.

Cultivate supporting, loving connections with others. Let go of obligations to relationships that cause grief or strain. It is not easy, but your health could depend upon it. Perhaps this is the year you redefine “family” to include those healthy relationships that bring you joy.

Sources

“Your Relationships Are Just as Important to Your Health as Diet and Exercise,” by Elahe Izadi at washingtonpost.com.

Image Credits

Pot and ingredients: pixabay.com/en/soup-vegetables-pot-cooking-food-1006694/

Bands workout: pixabay.com/en/fitness-female-model-strength-956647/

Healthy relationships: pixabay.com/en/diversity-happy-people-young-smile-1034160/

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