ANR Health: September 2014

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

I Don’t Have Time!

Everyone wants a piece of my time: my kids need me to babysit the grandkids, my mother needs to be taken to the doctor, my husband expects food in the house, my friends want to meet for lunch. And I need to fit in a hair appointment, Book Club, volunteering, gardening, and maybe a load of laundry.   While I agree with yesterday’s post about health taking discipline, where do I find 30 minutes of exercise?

Every expert and article will say to schedule it.  Put it on the calendar just like a doctor’s appointment.  When I do this, it actually works. Just like nothing supersedes Book Club, nothing overwrites my time for a walk. And once the dog goes twice, he demands the schedule to be kept. Certain times of the year I am a morning person and like going out in the crisp air while it’s still quiet before the neighborhood wakes.  But when it’s still dark in the morning, forget it; I’m not going. Then I realize it’s time to switch to before or after dinner.  No matter when, if it is on the calendar equal to any other appointment, keep it just like any other appointment.  Your heart and health are equally as important as any other event scheduled in your life.

Another trick to getting those 30 minutes is to buddy up.  Once someone is counting on you to show up, it’s harder to sit on the couch with another cup of coffee. The dog is a great buddy and can give guilt, but it’s best to have a buddy who can use a phone, nag, and express disappointment in your native language. A spouse is a good choice as long as you cannot manipulate one another. Talking each other out of the walk because it looks like it might rain is not an effective buddy system. A great choice is a non-roommate.  Someone you must commit to, but who may not love you unconditionally.

A year ago a friend, who lives far enough away we have to drive to each other’s house, became my walking buddy.  One week I would go to her house to walk a 45 minute route in her area.  The next week we met at my house.  We always met outside so there was no temptation to sit down, shoot the breeze, and have a cup of coffee. I had to be ready and out the door when she drove up.  It was a great system.
Ok, so what happened?  Life!  Holidays, vacations, flu.  Then we were out of the habit. 
To be disciplined enough to be healthy and keep my heart strong for babysitting, doctor appointments and Book Club; I am scheduling my walk on the calendar.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Health Takes Discipline

One word you never hear used in health is discipline.  And yet that is what it takes – discipline.
Why should we be surprised when every success requires discipline of some sort?  Get to school on time, turn assignments in on time, raise our hands to speak, walk on the right side of the hall. Get to work on time, follow orders, and meet deadlines.  Relationships require a certain amount of discipline: don’t forget birthdays and anniversaries, listen carefully and follow orders.  As an adult we are expected to keep our homes clean, take out the trash, and raise our children to be respectful and disciplined.
And yet when it comes to our health some of us resist the required discipline.  Is it because it’s the one area we have complete control over? We may have control over our bodies, but without discipline we will have weak, sickly bodies. To age with grace and strength embrace body discipline, just like building a career, saving for retirement, not swearing in front of the grandchildren.

 Health Discipline

  1.  Floss teeth at least once daily, if not twice.  Studies show this actually protects the heart from rogue bacteria that can cause infections or stick in the valves. 
  2.  Move for 30-45 continuous minutes a day.  The heart is a muscle needing exercise.  Walk the dog, walk with a friend to help her develop discipline. 
  3. Eat 5 veggies a day.  The vitamins real veggies provide are like gold to our bodies.  Try to get all 5 as fresh, crunchy vegetables.  They won’t have the nutrients cooked out of them and the rawness will keep the intestines and colon in shape digesting them.  Now that’s a type of exercise you can do in front of the try it. 
  4. Take a daily multi-vitamin.  Even though you eat the 5 veggies, a multi-vitamin can provide nutrients t’s easy to overlook without getting crazy about food planning and tracking. 
  5.  Take Omega 3 fats.  Cold-water fish are the richest dietary source of omega 3 fats, yet due to so much contamination of waters cold and warm water fish are often not as safe as a supplement.  Omega 3 fats decrease inflammation which leads to heart disease, diabetes, arthritis and improves brain function, raises HDL cholesterol while lowering LDL cholesterol. 
  6.  Get a yearly physical.  In order to be healthy, you must know your critical numbers.  How is your blood sugar level? Cholesterol? Blood pressure? Resting heart rate? 
  7. Drink water. 6-8, 8 ounce glasses a day hydrate the skin, eyes, and inner body parts.  For every cup of coffee or soda, drink a full glass of water.  Take your vitamins and fish oil with a full glass of water.   

This list of chores would not take much time out of our day. Toss back some supplements, pack a few baggies of crunchy veggies, take a walk and floss while standing on one foot (it helps balance tremendously! )  So many of our inner organs would be healthier and in return we feel better and more energized.  

This blogger is going to take this challenge and follow health discipline for one week to see how hard it is.  It has to be easier than making the bed, doing the dishes after every meal, picking up the newspaper very day, putting the dirty clothes in the hamper,  feeding the dog, grocery shopping, laundry……