Monday, January 13, 2014

Week 2: Five Simple Ways to Be Healthy

Week 2_Be HealthyIt’s that time of year again. You know the drill, ladies. In January, we vow to pull out our walking shoes and pound some pavement in hopes of shaving off those extra holiday pies, cakes and cookies that suddenly showed up on our thighs and tummy. Check the list of just about anyone who makes New Year’s resolutions and you are likely to find something regarding an improvement to their physical well-being. Exercise more… Eat better… Run a marathon… etc. etc.

I turned 40 almost two years ago. This rite of passage into REAL adulthood (because of course you’re not truly grown until you hit 40, right?) came with a few unexpected surprises. The main one is the seemingly intense opposition to any attempt to lose weight. Whereas only a few years ago all I had to do was cut out sweets and that alone would annihilate any extra pounds I may have gained. Not so today, my friends. It seems I received a new metabolism when I turned 40. I can’t prove it, but I think they traded me out for a used model. Hmmm…

So, although I don’t make New Year’s Resolutions, I did enter this year relieved the holiday eating season was over. I’m ready to get back to basics with the better health habits that have served me well in the past. I realize not everyone has a need to resolve to lose a few pounds, but we all should have an ongoing resolve to be healthy. With that in mind, here’s a short list of five things everyone should do in an effort to be healthy.

  1. Eat right: Over the years I’ve successfully cut out many foods that I know aren’t good for me, but I still have a few to go. Fruits, veggies, whole grains and protein are always winners. Make sure you’re eating enough servings of them all.
  2. Get moving: I’ll admit this is the area that challenges me the most. It’s important to find some form of physical activity you enjoy. Actually enjoying it will increase the likelihood that you will continue to do it. Having an exercise partner helps, as well. I’m still working on finding something I truly enjoy. In the meantime, good old fashioned walking always helps.
  3. Drink water: The recommendations on daily water intake vary. I have always tried to stick to the 8-8 oz glasses a day. When I am actually able to meet that goal on a regular basis I can see and feel the difference.
  4. Get check-ups: Do you get regular check-ups from a primary care physician and/or gynecologist? If not, you should. Now is as good a time as any to start. My annual check-ups from both are coming up soon.
  5. Laugh often: Proverbs 17:22a says, “A joyful heart is good medicine.”(emphasis added) One thing that brings me great joy is any cause to belt out a hearty laugh. I can actually feel the difference, and I’ll bet you can, too. Try it. Find reasons to laugh a little more and let the joyful heart that comes with a good laugh work in you like medicine.

In closing, I’ve learned that good health is not just about skinny jeans and dress sizes. We all know how healthy one is cannot be completely determined by whether or not she’s a skinny mini or a plus size pretty. Likewise, there are some things about this life that will forever remain outside our control. However, the one thing we can do is simply resolve to do our part to take care of the bodies we’ve been given. I hope you’ll join me this week and forever and commit to be a healthier you.

What are some of your favorite “be healthy” routines?