Sunday, November 14, 2010

Build a Lasting Healthy Legacy

Shelli Thompson


I know that people talk all the time about how we start looking like our pets or vice-a-versa and then we start to notice and think that is indeed true. It goes so much deeper than that, it's about building a healthy legacy.

I notice that families all seem to be similar. Whether they are short, tall, big, small, families, just like their pets start to look and act like each other in undeniable ways.

It is really up to the leader of the family to take control and set a healthy example and offer healthy choices for meals and in general. This may be a parent, a grandparent or a care taker but either way they are setting up a legacy and starting a pathway to a healthy legacy or an unhealthy legacy.

So much of the time people don't have a clue on what is right and that many times is due to the media, just plain old peer pressure, or the pressure from kids wanting to keep up with what everyone has or is doing.

First and foremost is that we are setting an example for the next generation, look at your self and decide if that is the legacy you would like to leave. Is it one of health or disease?

Keeping in mind that putting more in than is going out is a recipe for weight gain. We need to look at the different ways of burning off calories throughout the day, how to fit in regular exercise and how to eat healthier.

The most important thing I see repeatedly is that so many of us need to turn off the TV. Honestly 4 hours a day of TV watching by the average American is just a waste of time. Heck, that's more than we watch in a week.

Schedule in a work out and make it a priority in your life. Exercise burns calories, raises metabolism, burns fat, reduces cholesterol, increases bone and muscle density, improves circulation and flexibility and the list goes on and on.

Take regular breaks from the desk at work or at home, go outside, stretch, walk do anything but look at a computer screen. Speaking of eyes, look away outside preferably at a distance from your computer screen when ever you get a chance.

Stop watching the evening news; they get all of their information from the paper anyways. By choosing to read the paper, we decide on what news we let in, what we need to know and the best part is that we get to leave the useless, negative information out, we save time by not sitting through endless commercials and useless stories that don't concern us.

Make the kids go outside and play. That's what we all did when the diabetes and obesity levels were much lower. So many kids sit in front of computers, video games, TV sets it is just a crying shame. Get the kids involved in sports or an outside activity.

Read the labels on the food you serve your family, know what to look for and if you are not sure, ask someone who knows. Know the good fats from the bad and how much sodium is too much.

When you go to the grocery store shop around the perimeter of the grocery area where the fresh, healthy food items are typically located, always buy organic products but look at the label first.

Eat slower and don't drink too much with your meal. Fill stomach 1/2 full with food, 1/4 with fluid (warm or room temperature) and 1/4 empty for digestion, this will allow for proper processing and assimilation of the food we eat.

Last but certainly not least, make sure and BE what you want to SEE. If you set a healthy example for young ones, then they will most likely be more health conscious. Discontinue ingesting fast foods and see how fast health improves.

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