Friday, July 3, 2009

Stealth Health: Get Healthy Without Really Trying

Living healthier doesn't have to be complicated or time-consuming.

Try the Stealth Health Approach

Pick any three of the following 12 changes and incorporate them into your life for four days. When you feel comfortable with those changes, pick three others. Once you've incorporate all dozen changes, you should start to feel a difference within a couple of weeks.

To Improve Nutrition:

1. Buy whole foods -- whether canned, frozen, or fresh from the farm -- and use them in place of processed foods whenever possible.
2. Reject foods and drinks made with corn syrup, a calorie-dense, nutritionally empty sweetener that many believe is worse for the body than sugar, says Katz.
3. Start each dinner with a mixed green salad. Not only will it help reduce your appetite for more caloric foods, but it also will automatically add veggies to your meal.

To Improve Physical Fitness:

1. Do a squat every time you pick something up. Instead of bending over in the usual way, which stresses the lower back, bend your knees and squat. This forces you to use your leg muscles and will build strength.
2. Every time you stop at a traffic light (or the bus does), tighten your thighs and butt muscles and release as many times as you can. (Don't worry, no one will see it!) This will firm leg and buttock muscles, improve blood flow -- and keep you mildly amused!
3. Whenever you're standing on a line, lift one foot a half-inch off the ground. The extra stress on your opposite foot, ankle, calf and thigh, plus your buttocks, will help firm and tone muscles. Switch feet every few minutes.

To Improve Stress Control:

1. Give your partner a hug every day before work. Studies show this simple act can help you remain calm when chaos ensues during your day, Katz says.
2. Have a good cry. It can boost your immune system, reduce levels of stress hormones, eliminate depression, and help you think more clearly.
3. Twice a day, breathe deeply for three to five minutes.

To Improve Sleep:

1. Sprinkle just-washed sheets and pillowcases with lavender water. The scent has been shown in studies to promote relaxation, which can lead to better sleep.
2. Buy a new pillow. Katz says that studies show that pillows with an indent in the center can enhance sleep quality and reduce neck pain. Also, try a "cool" pillow -- one containing either all-natural fibers or a combination of sodium sulfate and ceramic fibers that help keep your head cool.
3. Eat a handful of walnuts before bed. You'll be giving yourself a boost of fiber and essential fatty acids along with the amino acid tryptophan -- a natural sleep-inducer.


Kris said...

Coming by for VGNO--good ideas!

Anonymous said...

Huh, interesting about the walnuts! I love cool facts like that!

I'll have to try the lavendar mist too.

Thanks for the tips!

happy VGNO!

Mandala Michelle said...

I do the "squats" one already. I like the walnut tip and I've made some real efforts to incorporate more whole food into everyone's meals.

Opus #6 said...

Walnuts, huh? I'll try it! Thanks for the info. Happy VNGO.

I am Harriet said...

Cute blog!
Happy VGNO!

Kitten said...

Ooohhh, I love lavendar!

And I'll have to try the salad thing too, before a meal.

Happy VGNO!

pam said...

I have been meaning to get some lavendar mist.

Stopping in for the VNO!

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Great ideas, Gena. Another thing which helps me is to drink a glass of water before a meal. This helps me not to eat too much since I get full quicker.

Have a wonderful 4th.

Elizabeth said...

Those are some awesome ideas. I wonder where one buys lavender water - I could totally use some! Happy VGNO!

Rosie said...

Thanks for the tips! stoping by for VGNO. Happy 4th!

Drahdrah said...

Great tips. I'm going to try the squatting one. Happy VGNO and 4th of July !

Lola said...

Happy VGNO! Hope you have a happy and safe 4th of July.

Stop by Lin's Duck and Wheel With String to vote for me in her First Official Dork-Off Contest. Vote for my photo, because my kindergarten photo is THE dorkiest.


Anonymous said...

Very cool tips! Now to pick the three to do first...

Happy VGNO.

The Gonzo Mama said...

High fructose corn syrup is from the devil. UGH! We try not to give it to our toddlers, but it's in EVERYTHING! We also have red dye issues, and I'm a vegan, so we read labels like crazy.

That's a great list of tips that are really easy to implement into even a busy life.

Happy VGNO!

The Gonzo Mama said...

Oh! One more thing... you can put a couple of drops of lavender essential oil on a fabric softener sheet with your clothes (or linens) as they go through the dryer. The scent will stay on them and provide stress relief throughout the day.

Make sure you are using pure essential oils... "fragrance" oils do not produce the same neurochemical exchange that pure essential oils do. Our nose and brain can spot a fake, even if we can't!

Mommyof2girlz said...

Hopping by from the blog hop to say hello. Have a fun and safe Independents Day :)

Felicia said...

Thanks for stopping by and for praying for Kate and her family