Friday, February 17, 2012

Healthy Habit Week 7

Go outside 10 - 30 minutes most days.

Yeah, yeah, I know... it's winter... and yucky... and cold.  But you know as well as I do that fresh air is good for you.  Getting out into God's great outdoors is healthy on many levels.  Just a few minutes can bring lungfuls (is that a word?) of cleansing air into your system.  THINK of all that oxygen entering your body and rejuvenating your blood cells!  (And then RUN back inside if it's too inclement for you!)

Seriously, regardless of the weather... a few minutes outside will give you the benefits of whatever sun is available (I hear you - but there is still MORE sun out there than INSIDE).  You also benefit spiritually by a new environment and a little mental clutter-busting.

THINK of all the germs that are cooped up INSIDE with you.... going outside is a great way to BLOW some of them away and strengthen your immune system.

As a society, we spend more and more time engaged in a SITTING position.... usually looking at an artificial light source under other artificial lights (computer, television, video game, smart phone, etc).  A few minutes of your day going back to the source light will help re-set your brain and your health.


I want to re-iterate the value of these little healthy habits.  We are conditioned to think that monumental efforts need to go into successful weight loss and health promotion.  Sometimes that is true.... but that monumental effort has more to do with SPEED than efficacy.  And with the speed..... may come success.... but you don't have the infra-structure to support it.  Your LIFE has not changed enough to KEEP the success.

Imagine going into an underdeveloped nation and building beautiful roads to get from village to village.  What a wonderful thing to do!  Now imagine what those roads will look like in a few years after you leave.... and the people go about their daily lives.  IF they do not know how to maintain the roads.... if regular maintenance habits do not become part of their daily life.... that quick success is doomed to failure.

Following the healthy habit routine is SLOW.... but it is achievable.  You can achieve success one habit at a time and can build a healthy life with a normal weight.  For me, I am finding that my spirit is happy with success.  Just a little weight loss this year - but a happier spirit.  Rather than the usual pattern of intense exercise and restricted diet, where I inevitably can't keep up (and, thus FAIL once again).... I am successful. 

7 weeks into this new concept, a daily mile walk with my dog is becoming a habit.  Coffee consumption is reduced by replacing with green tea.  A daily salad with beans ensures 2-3 vegetables and makes me think of adding others sometimes.  A daily fruit often becomes two.  Using my pedometer has taught me that I need THREE miles every day to get 10,000 steps, so I am working on other things I can do to increase my 'on my feet' time - BUT just adding the ONE mile brings me halfway to my daily goal :-)  Weights and measures every week usually brings me success in something!  Eating at the table... well, I have not had much success with that one BUT I do think about it - so perhaps am gaining some mindfulness?  And outside time has surely helped with both my attitude and my sickness this year.

More than that - as life goes on - and crises occur - I am still successful.  My 'whole program' does not fall apart because life happens.  I still have energy and I can still achieve the goals I set out for myself.

How about you?  How is it going for you?  What habit do YOU need to add to the Healthy Habit list?

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