Wednesday, January 20, 2010

50 Steps

to becoming better, healthier, and __________ (you fill in the blank).

Tomorrow I'll have a video that continues this subject and includes some of my own story. Until then, read this from DLM:

50 Ideas for a Healthy Lifestyle that take 10 Minutes or Less

Posted: 16 Jan 2010 06:51 AM PST

What is a Healthy Lifestyle?

According to a study by Michigan State University, a healthy lifestyle is defined by four basic criteria:
  • Not smoking

  • Holding weight down

  • Eating right

  • Exercising
Of the 153,000 respondents, only 3% participated in all four of what are termed healthy lifestyle characteristics.

“We have millions of people now going through adult life leading unhealthy lifestyles and a medical system that can treat illnesses and keep you alive longer than ever before,” said Mathew Reeves, a Michigan State University epidemiologist. “If we don’t turn this around, the costs to society are going to be crippling.”

What can be done to help people change?

Everyone talks about achieving it, but most people have plenty of excuses as to why they can’t, won’t, or don’t want to change their current status. The most common excuse people make for not trying to have a healthy lifestyle is “a lack of time.” Have you ever said to yourself, “Oh, I’m tired, I don’t have time to exercise?” or “I don’t feel like cooking dinner tonight; let’s just get some fast food.

Yes Dorothy, excuses are real and they are contagious.

Time and health always seem to be at odds with each other. We have time to work, time to commute, time for our business associates, but very little time to spend on ourselves, people we love, or even random people who deserve our attention.

What can you do in 10 minutes or less?

More than you think. In a brief 10 minute window you can release tension, prevent future frustrations, get your blood flowing, etc. In fact, here are 50 things you can do. With time out as an excuse, what are you going to begin doing differently tomorrow? I don't care what it is, the point is, just do something!

Here are some ideas. If you have other thoughts, leave them in the comments!
  1. Brush your teeth

  2. Do 15 sit-ups

  3. Read the health news headlines of the day

  4. Straighten your posture

  5. Eat an apple

  6. Stand up and stretch

  7. Send a friendly email to a friend

  8. Resist the impulse purchase of a candy bar

  9. Post an inspirational quote on Twitter

  10. Do 10 lunges

  11. Drink a glass of water

  12. Smile

  13. Put a package of oatmeal in your pocket or purse for a healthy breakfast or snack

  14. Throw a bottle of water in there as well

  15. Plug your cell phone into the charger

  16. Pay a bill online

  17. Ask to have your salad dressing on the side

  18. Start a dollar jar to be added to once per day

  19. Open a window

  20. Say thank you to someone who deserves it

  21. Take a deep breath

  22. Put on your seat belt

  23. Wake up 10 minutes earlier

  24. Post a comment on a blog

  25. Turn off the lights when you’re the last one out

  26. Put on your make-up (this usually pertains to the ladies, but hey, whatever makes you happy)

  27. Share a healthy recipe

  28. Give your mother a call

  29. Wash your hands

  30. Put on hand lotion

  31. Check your blood pressure

  32. Jog in place for 9 minutes

  33. Throw away that pen that doesn’t work

  34. Take a canvas tote bag to the grocery store

  35. Ask a friend to join you for a healthy dinner

  36. Put down the remote control and get up to change the TV channel

  37. Hug your kids

  38. Replace your next cup of coffee with a cup of tea

  39. Lay out your clothes for the next day

  40. Put your car keys in the same place everyday

  41. Take a 10 minute break

  42. Suck on a breath mint

  43. Add a little pepper to your salad

  44. Load the dishwasher

  45. Play FreeRice for 5 minutes

  46. Take a quick walk

  47. Prepare your coffee maker the night before

  48. Skip your late evening grocery store run

  49. While watching TV, do 5 push-ups during the commercial

  50. Read this list over again and count how many things pertain to you
These things take no time at all but they all could ensure a positive day and a healthier lifestyle. How many of these do you or can you do in a day? What other things can you add to the list?

Whatever you choose to do, make your day healthier and happier. If you can, do the same for someone else too, because, after all, it’s about a healthy lifestyle!

Written on 4/09/2008 by Lisa Newton, founder of Iowa Avenue, a healthy-living social community. Republished 1/16/2010.

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