Wednesday, October 19, 2011

More Small Steps to Wellness

Everyone has a lifestyle or manner of living, a set of habits they engage in every day. Some experts have estimated that up to 70% of visits to the doctor are lifestyle related. This is good news, because unlike genetics, lifestyle is something you can change. Here are some more of the small steps to wellness we started last week:

• Engage in physical activity four days out of five during the week and on at least one weekend day, for at least 30 minutes if possible. Exercise is essential to a long, healthy life, and with over 600 major muscle groups, you are designed for movement! Small steps: start with ten minutes a day. Walk the dog, weed the garden, or dance. Go swimming with the grandchildren, clean out your closet, or just stretch for ten minutes. Be sure to have fun and get moving.

• Set yourself up to succeed by having what you need in the house and handy. If it’s not in the house, you can’t eat it. That goes for fruit when you want it and ice cream when you’re trying to avoid it. Small steps: make a grocery list throughout the week. Shop once a week and prepare food ahead of time. Divide your snacks into individual servings for convenience during the week and to avoid overeating. Wash the grapes and cut up the melon. Hide the chips in the back of the pantry and keep the healthy snacks right up front. Keep a food scale and the measuring cups within easy reach, too.

• The holidays are coming, so plan ahead, beginning with Halloween. As you prepare for visits from little ghosts and goblins, be strategic at home and work. Small steps: buy candy you don’t like or can easily pass up. Use my “no eating food at work that you didn’t bring” rule and avoid all the bowls of candy located around the office. Bring your own healthy treat. Set a goal not to eat any Halloween candy and reward yourself with present such as a massage or new CD.

Remember to start small and build on each success for last results.

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