Let’s Share Healthy Inspiration!

Let’s Share Healthy Inspiration!

It takes a conscious effort to overcome the darkness & the difficult. It takes choosing to be optimistic, choosing to grow & learn from every experience, no matter how painful. It takes expanding your experiences, knowledge, & connections with others, to understand that you have more than you have ever acknowledged & you should be grateful for it all. It takes accepting that THIS is your life, so live it.

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Let’s Eat Well! (January 29, 2016)

Let’s Eat Well

Promoting healthy dietary choices.

           Each day we are all bombarded by recommendations for healthy eating choices.  We are told what we should eat, when we should eat, how we should eat, & even where we should eat.  Every day there are messages sent to us through the news, our television programming, on social media, & even the radio about what is or is not healthy eating.  We have advertised suggestions provided to us for everything from which food labels are safe, where to find the best food prep instructions, & what other activities combined together with our food choices will make us healthy.  Sometimes the advice we receive even comes as a package deal, with someone else making a majority of the healthy food choices & another person serving as a fitness coach.  

          No matter what choices we make for healthy living, the choices need to be tailored to our own needs.  Our genetic makeup is not our only difference, but rather we also have differing activity levels & routines, which change often.  The function of our bodies varies significantly, too, as certain foods are better tolerated or enjoyed by some compared to others.  The availability of food choices certainly warrants consideration as well.  Needless to say, the number of available healthy food choices is just as numerous as the amount of variables influencing our decisions.

          Sometimes it may be easier to have a simple & concise healthy eating recommendation to provide to many people, than it is to assist someone in their efforts to ensure that they are getting the proper nutrition.  With all the healthy lifestyle coaches, nutritionists, dieticians, & health professionals who specialize in optimizing our bodies’ ability to absorb the nutrients that we need, we should each consider what our own needs are in order to make healthy dietary choices.   Whether one person prefers using a coach, one person recommends using a book, or one person tries out a phone app is irrelevant, since they goal is figure out how you can make healthy choices for yourself.  So, how do you promote success in your dietary choices to be healthy?

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Let’s Be Active! (January 25, 2016)

Let’s Be Active

Promoting increased involvement within one’s family or community.

           Sometimes we take for granted the benefits of developing our community connectedness.  To feel like we are part of a community, there are so many different things that we can do.  As someone who has experienced moving many times as a child, as an individual, as well as a parent & spouse, I have learned a few things along the way.   Choosing to diversify one’s efforts to develop connections in the community provides for broader connectedness.

          Not only are there many things one can do to become connected to their community, there are different hopeful expectations for each of these things.  Meeting one’s neighbors who live close by is one of the most expected ways to become part of one’s community, but neighbors may or may not be the same people that we interact with when we attend school as a child, when we work as an adult, or when we attend events in the area that we live in.  Therefore, despite the likely commonalities for people to live in the same neighborhood, there may or may not be enough interactions that cause neighbors to meet.  This is why I intentionally try to meet my neighbors to introduce myself, to discover more about them & their interests, & to initiate an openness to connect with them.  Some community connections, such as building relationships with neighbors, have the potential to lead to other connections, such as establishing a walking group on local trails.  

          The hopeful expectations for joining an established group that has similar expectations from group members are different compared to an independently created group, such as a neighborhood community.  This is true when we join a faith-based group, a social club, or a fitness center.  Depending on the size of each of these established groups, there may be additional subgroup opportunities available that help us to find people who have very similar interests as us.  This is why I intentionally try to find more than one established group with which to connect, in order to meet people with varied interests.  Some community connections, such as building relationships with people who we have discovered have focused-interests similar to our own interests, have the potential to build strong connections.  In contrast, the diversity of community connections, such as is possible when relationships are built with multiple established groups &/or subgroups, has the potential to lead to a stronger overall connection to the community as a whole, rather than to the group itself.  

          Community connectedness can be developed in many different ways & hopefully incorporates many different levels of relationship building.  Although successful community connectedness may look different for all of us, we all have the potential to learn from each other & from each community that we join.  How are you connected to your community?  

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Let’s Socialize! (January 19, 2016)

Let’s Socialize

Promoting the benefits of social networking and healthy relationships.

            It’s the simple things in life that mean the most to us.  Being able to talk to others is not just something that we like to do, but we need to do it.   Socializing with others is part of our happiness.  However, this doesn’t mean that all of us are social butterflies though.  The need to socialize is different for each of us.  Some of us like to have companions to walk together with, while others enjoy having conversations over dinner.  Sometimes we are looking for families that we can interact with together with our family.  Whatever the activity, building relationships is an important part of each of us.  It is one way that we share our experience of the world with others.  

          Our own needs for socialization drive the expectations that we have with our interactions with others.  Those of us who are introverts will very likely choose settings quite different from those of us who are extroverts.   Social networking groups often use activities as the focus for people to find common interests.  Whereas, other groups focus on facilitating people to meet each other, in order to provide opportunities for socializing with people in the area.  One could also consider the differing networking opportunities offered to individuals, as compared to couples, families, groups, or communities, which allows for a variety of experiences & relationships to be formulated.  

          We have many opportunities to enjoy the company of the people around us.  The next time you think about socializing, ask yourself one of the following questions.  Who would you like to social with or what activities would you like to do on your own, as a couple, as a family, as part of a neighborhood or community?  Do you have people who you socialize with who you can relate with as an individual, as a spouse, as a parent, & as a neighbor?  We all like to be around others who make us feel happy.  What opportunities to meet others or to experience doing something should you consider next?   

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Let’s Think Deeply! (January 18, 2016)

Let’s Think Deeply

Promoting exchange of inspiring, motivating, and empowering ideas.

            I would like to share with you this quote: “Ask yourself what is really important, and then have the wisdom and courage to build your life around your answer.”  In the last four years, I have applied this concept to my own life.  I decided that what was most important for me was to go back to school.  So, after working very hard to complete my first science degree & my second degree in a professional program, in order to work full-time promoting the health of others, I started my master’s degree.  What a fantastic experience to share the wisdom provided by others how to manage the efforts of promoting health, but within very different settings that I had never considered.  With newly gained knowledge, my curiosity was opened & I began to question how to best use my own skills to effectively promote healthy living.  

          Discovery of my new path led me to pursue my doctorate degree.  I can honestly say that I never expected to find so many people who were also on similar journeys in life.  The diversity of science backgrounds, experiences, & knowledge shared by my newest colleagues was so enlightening on so many levels, it was exciting!  It was exciting to learn & grow, not only from my educational program, but from long discussions with so many people who I could relate to & who also wanted to promote healthy living.  Throughout my time going back to school, I have learned to better value the time I spend on my efforts to promote health for myself, my family, & for others.  I have also learned to value the education pursued & the time spent by health professionals, friends, & loved ones in their efforts to promote healthy living for themselves & others.  

          Considering one’s own contributing role in collaboration with others to promote health, requires an understanding of what others bring to the table.  Not only are we all members of a team trying to help others, but we are also the resource for our team members.   Within our different roles in our lives, we are each contributing team members of several teams, as well.  As a professional, I am a team member of a greater health community of professionals who seek to maximize their health promotion efforts.  As a blogger, I have a team role to others in the community that I reach.  As a friend, I have a team role to others in my neighborhood & my social circle.  As a wife & mother, I have an important team role in my family’s health.  I have a responsible team role to others of who I advocate healthy living, but I am also a resource, just as we are all valuable resources to each other. 

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Let’s Get Moving! (January 12, 2016)

Let’s Get Moving!

Promoting increased physical exercise.

           Throughout life each of us has times that we engage in exercise goals.  Some of us are able to commit to having our lifestyle include exercise regularly.  Some of us don’t necessarily choose to include exercise into the lifestyle of our own making.  Each person’s definition of regular varies as well.  What many people focus on is their interest in a proposed exercise routine or the advertised results of a exercise program, or even the number on the scale that they hope to achieve with all their exercise efforts.  That is where many people stray from their own exercise goals & struggle with the commitment to include exercise into their lifestyle. 

          Consider how you time manage to achieve your goals for work, for socializing with others, & for accomplishing projects that you decide need to be done.  Now consider how you could time manage more physical activity into your daily & weekly routine.  I am always amazed at people who are able to multi-task their exercise into daily habits, such as biking to work.  I am amazed at this, since I have not been in areas that would provide for this opportunity.  Have you looked at what opportunities are available to you though?  Have you tried some of those & had any success, even a little?  Could you try it again?  

          Adding several short bursts of exercise throughout our days & weeks on a regular basis is an easy way of incorporating exercise into our lifestyle.  Success is a measure determined by the person.  Each of us not only decides our own goals, but how to measure those goals.  If you’re struggling to achieve your own goals, think about ways that you can measure your contributions toward those goals.  Some ideas include keeping a record & scheduling the activity.  Keeping a record could be writing down what you did during your exercise routine, the distance that you went, the  repetitions or sets or weights that you achieved, or even the number of times that you did the activity on your calendar that week.  Scheduling the activity could be putting it on your calendar, signing up for a recurring activity at a location, or coordinating the activity to occur with others.  

          The bottom line is not always the number represented on the scale, but our satisfaction with the pursuit of including physical routines into our chosen lifestyle.  So, if you like walking then walk.  If you like swimming then do it.  If you really want to bike to work, or something else, decide how you can try including it into your routine.  Deciding how to get moving is important in order to keep moving! Now, how are you planning to get moving within your lifestyle?  

 

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