The biggest challenge, in my humble opinion, is just doing it. Intention and potential are wonderful, but unless you make it happen it just won’t work. There is so much surrounding us that pushes us to make poor choices - super-sizing, tight schedules, peer pressure, or lack of will - to mention a few. So what actually may work to force you into a change? Forced medical concerns (like high cholesterol, heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes) lack of energy, new variety of healthy foods available, television advertising for organic foods and healthy choices can all prompt you to think twice.
Now that you’re here and I seem to have your attention, let’s think about a list of simple changes you can do. Before you know it, you’ll find you’re feeling better, doctor’s visits will be good news and you’ll find your energy level slowly increasing.
Walk. OK, that’s too simple, right? We all need to walk more and we all know it. So what stops us? Oh, I don’t know ... working on blogs? Dabbling in the kitchen? Petting the cat? Watching television? Reading? Shopping? Working? Going out to lunch/dinner? Tending to your family’s needs? I find walking to do any of those activities is still walking. So when you’re shopping, rather than scout the parking lot for the closest spot ... park in the boondocks and walk in. Working? Take a small break and walk around the building. It’s autumn ... it’s cooler ... you have no excuse! Working on a blog? On your way to the computer, suck in your stomach and stand up straight, stretch, and walk the long way to your chair. Cooking? What a great time to do deep knee bends, stretch, twist, bend, and flex all those muscles. Every considered baking your own bread? Kneading the bread is great exercise. While we’re at it, do you use kitchen convenience tools like food processors, meat slicers, etc.? Try doing those tasks by hand like our grandmothers did. I promise you’ll get a workout! Bottom line ... make yourself do things the long and hard way.
Breathe. Sounds simple enough but do you realize most of us rarely take deep cleansing breaths? If you pay close attention to your own breathing you may notice a few things that are quick and easy to change. First of all SIT UP STRAIGHT! I know you’re hunched over your computer reading this and your diaphragm is all scrunched up forcing you to take small, shallow breaths. Sit up and take a deep cleansing breath. Need the whole scoop on breathing correctly. Click BREATHE.
Stretch. As we age our muscles become weak and tight. Stretching is critical feel great. I love to stretch and stretch all the time. I don’t think you can stretch too much, do you? I love to stretch at my desk and do it often. It really releases some muscle stresses I didn’t even know were there!
Food. Switch from white rice to brown rice ... white pasta to whole grain pasta ... ground beef to ground turkey ... fruit instead of chips/cookies ... nuts and dried fruit instead of chips and dip.
Go ahead ... take the plunge ... one step at a time.