My 5 Good Healthy Intentions to Start Off the New Year
By Cheryl Benton, aka the Head Tomato
Okay, I’ll admit it. I’ve never been big on making resolutions because I usually end up breaking them before January is over. Then I started to think, well maybe it’s not my lack of will power and discipline, but (in my typical type A personality mode) my over-zealous intentions, that usually go something like this: lose 10 pounds, exercise an hour every day, cut out carbs, sugars, meditate every day, clean out the basement and garage, finish my business plan, start my book – and all by the end of January!
So now you get the drift, and of course I have set myself up for failure, like many of you too I am sure. So this year I am embracing smaller changes, and fewer at a time. I have to give a lot of credit to this mind-shift to a book I actually reviewed right here at the 3Ts – Super Genes, by Deepak Chopra and Rudolph Tanzi. The big takeaway is you can make radical changes in your health and well-being with your lifestyle choices – diet, stress, exercise, meditation, sleep, and emotions. And the great news, is they offer great advice to make those changes simple. There are 3 levels of choices in each category – from easy to hard. They suggest you start with easy changes in ONE category, pick 3-5 and work on those for a month or so (until they became a habit) and then move on to others. So I have started working on a few changes, and here are the ones I am focused on right now. Wish me luck!
10,000 Steps a Day
Just walking is so beneficial to our health and well- being, but those 10,000 steps a day (about 5 miles) are often illusive. So I bought a Fitbit (there are other trackers on the market too) that really is a great motivator in getting you moving. If you’re competitive, you can invite friends on Fitbit and encourage each other to get those steps in.
Moving Every Hour
Like many of you, I spend hours sitting at my computer every day, and it wasn’t until I started setting a one-hour timer, that I realized I do not get up enough and just move. So now I set the timer, and get up, walk a little, and try to throw in a little exercise too – like a one- minute plank (great for abs and back problems), walking lunges, lifting weights for my arms. It’s amazing what you can do in a 5- minute break.
The benefits of meditation, long embraced for spiritual and emotional well-being, are now being embraced by the medical profession for the health benefits too – reducing stress, lowering blood pressure, being just a couple. Yet I was reluctant – I couldn’t clear my mind, I didn’t have enough time, blah, blah blah. Well then one of our wonderful experts here at the 3Ts, Kimberly Campbell wrote an article on how to meditate that makes it really simple. So for the past couple of months, my goal has been to meditate for 10 minutes a day. I am still working on this one and the discipline to schedule those 10 minutes every day. I just re-read the chapter in Super Genes on meditation, which as the authors say is a major lifestyle change. And they say the biggest challenge isn’t convincing people to start meditating, it’s getting them to continue, which is so important because the benefits are cumulative.
Warm Water and Lemon Juice
The wellness community has been touting the benefits of drinking a cup of warm water and lemon juice every morning. It aids in digestion, weight loss, provides vitamin c and can improve your skin. If you need any more reasons, Christy Brinkley who looks truly amazing, says this has been part of her health and beauty routine since she was in her twenties. We add a little cayenne (supposedly will boost the metabolism) and a teaspoon of raw honey which also has health benefits, like promoting body and digestive health, antioxidants to strengthen the immune system, and can help eliminate allergies. Hey, it tastes good and couldn’t hurt.
This is a biggy tomatoes. Last year I broke my leg skiing, and as I’ve recovered over many months, I realized my balance wasn’t as good as it had been. And in the past year, I have had several tomato friends who have fallen or tripped and broken bones. So our balance, especially as we get older, is critical. I love the advice from another one of our contributors, fitness expert Joan Pagano because it’s so simple. For example, when you brush your teeth in the morning, stand on one leg at a time! Read more of her balance tips.
So those are my 5 small’ish changes that I hope will become habits this year. Then I’ll move on to more.
What are your healthy resolutions and intentions this year?