Tag: obesity

What will YOU do in 2016?

What will YOU do in 2016?

It is normal to set new goals and milestones at the beginning of the new year. ¬†You may want to lose weight, eat more fruits and veggies, go to church, save more money, write more on your blog (ME!) ūüėČ and so on. ¬†It can include anything you want to accomplish and do throughout the year. For me, one of my biggest goals is to publish a book I have been working on for almost two years. When it comes to health and well-being, there are many areas that you can focus on – social, emotional, environmental, spiritual, physical, and mental health.

Will you focus on your social health?  This comprises your friends, family, and interactions with others.  Will you sign up to be involved in new groups or events such as community development? Will you volunteer with local charity organizations?  Will you be planning a wedding or other special event?  Will you give selflessly to others through random acts of kindness?  All of these things make you active in ensuring you have a happy, healthy, and successful social component within your life.

Will you focus on your emotional health? ¬†Do you handle stress and excitement appropriately? ¬†Do you balance the spectrum of all emotions in a healthy way? ¬†You may choose to work on emotional health by taking deep breaths when stressed, not “closeting” your feelings, listening to your heart and mind, and making decisions for yourself and how you feel rather than to please others.

Will you focus on your environmental health?  This means that you foster a positive work and personal environment.  Further, this includes preserving the water, air, and the land around you. Will you begin to recycle more this year?  That includes less waste such as paper products including paper plates, napkins, and printing unnecessary documents.  Will you reuse paper to prevent further waste in landfills?  Will you reduce water bottle usage by using reusable plastic bottles to decrease landfill wastes?  When you discuss land and air safety, this means you reduce harmful chemicals such as burning toxic wastes and disposing of chemicals in landfills.

Will you focus on your spiritual health? ¬†This requires that you “talk the talk and also walk the walk.” ¬†In other words, you have morals, values, and ethics that you follow to lead an honest life. Additionally, it means you encourage peace and harmonious relationships between yourself and others. ¬†You may mediate, read about your belief system, pray, or attend a religious organization.

Will you focus on your physical health?  Will you exercise more this year?  Will you join a gym or participate in group exercise classes?  Are you training for a 5k, half marathon, or full marathon? This is probably one of my strengths when it comes to the six components of health.  I regularly exercise, take walks, and go outside to be active.  It helps me lower my stress level and makes me feel great.  This is particularly important to reduce health diseases such as heart problems, obesity, diabetes, and other health concerns that can be created from being overweight.

Will you focus on your mental (aka intellectual) health?  Will you improve your mood or attitude in 2016?  Will you work to cope better with your stress, anxiety, depression, or self-confidence and self-image?  Part of mental health is finding solutions to cope with your daily struggles.  It may mean reaching out for help, recognizing that those around you care, or changing the demands of your life to reduce the mental stress you are facing.

It is very important to find a balance of the six components of health and well-being. ¬†Like me, you may find that you are strong in two to three of the six components. ¬† If that is the case, that’s fantastic! ¬†It means you can use 2016 as a way to focus on the ones that you are not as strong in. As for my book, it focuses on my mental/intellectual health, social health, and emotional health. Consider finding projects, activities, and events that will allow you to work on several components. For example, participating in group fitness classes will focus on your physical, social, and possibly spiritual and emotional well-being. ¬†Spiritual well-being through mediation or yoga, and emotional well-being to reduce stress. ¬†You can work to improve components that you struggle with to find a better balance to lead a healthier and happier 2016!




Stay-cation or vacation, just make it an active one!

Stay-cation or vacation, just make it an active one!

Sorry for the almost-a-month long hiatus.¬† I took a short break to spend time with family over the holidays, enjoy some relaxation, and go on vacation with my boyfriend to Europe.¬† Our time in Europe was quite lovely and what I liked most about it was that it was an active vacation!¬† After walking mile after magnificent mile going from place to place in Europe I realized how much I absolutely love it there.¬† I have always dreamed of having a job where I can either walk, bike, or bike/walk to work.¬† That is something that was a majority in Europe (biking and walking everywhere and by everywhere I literally do mean everywhere, everywhere, everywhere ūüėČ ) and is probably one reason why you don’t see many, if any, obese people there.¬† I would say Americans could learn a thing or two from them!¬† I found it to be refreshing and fun, and a little exhausting, too!¬† My point is that whether you go on a vacation like me or enjoy a stay-cation at home remember that you can always make it an active vacation, which is my favorite kind!¬† You can go to Europe where staying active will not only be easy, but also unavoidable ūüėČ You can go on a beach vacation and take walks or jogs along the beach or you can go on a mountain vacation and go skiing.¬† Just remember that when you go on vacation, don’t just throw your workout out the window.¬† Consider small workouts, walks, and exercise routines that will keep you moving.¬† If you’re enjoying a stay-cation, consider hikes, organizing and cleaning to keep you busy, or other small routines that keep you active.

Once I got home and gave myself a few days to recover from the vacation and get back into the correct time zone after the jet lag, I got myself right back into my workout routine.¬† The week I would be starting back my workouts just happened to be Christmas week, but after taking 9 days off it was important to get myself back into the groove of life.¬† I got up Christmas morning and decided to hit the workout room before any Christmas festivities got under way.¬† Plus, all my Christmas fun is typically on Christmas Eve.¬† Anyway, back to this Christmas workout when my mom decides to semi-jokingly and semi-sarcastically say, “You just have to workout, don’t you?”¬† As if somewhat sickened, yet proud that I hold the will and motivation to workout on Christmas Day when many people do not hold the same discipline or expectations.¬† I know she knew in her mind that either way no matter what that I was going to workout because we had no plans or restrictions that would prevent me from fitting in a quick 30 to 40 minute workout.¬† Not to mention, for me, it is important to stay true to myself and my health, meaning I make it a priority even during the holiday season.¬† As I expressed to my mom, it’s the time of year when we all tend to eat a little more, eat a little less healthy, and eat until we feel like we might pop because we are so full.

My point?¬† Remember that you should try to keep the promises you make to yourself and goals you have for yourself, even during the holiday season.¬† That means sticking to your workouts, taking walks, and doing short exercise routines in-between holiday parties, festivities, etc so your friends and family understand that health is very important to you.¬† This keeps you in your normal routine and rhythm so that come January you are already in your same workout routine and schedule rather than taking a long hiatus from Thanksgiving through the New Year when you eat more calories and can easily slip into the winter slumber of not working out.¬† If you take a hiatus be prepared for a difficult time when you start back up again.¬† It makes it that much harder to get back into the swing of things, get your body and routine back in sync, and fulfill new resolutions that you should have never given up or done away with for a month to begin with.¬†¬† Don’t feel guilty if this is what you did, but consider making changes next year¬† to keep your healthy lifestyle routine all year round!

So whether you are going on vacation, enjoying a stay-cation, or intertwining the two as I did during my holiday season, make it an active one that keeps you moving, gets you going, and helps you maintain a healthy lifestyle in the process!

Happy New Year, may 2015 be the year for exercising, good eating, and healthy lifestyle choices for you and yours!


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