Welcome to the New Year.
Most of us are trying to stick with the resolutions we set for this year. For many of us, health and fitness fall into this category.
To be clear, this is not a discussion on appearance and weight, this is about eating foods that are good for us and keeping active. Healthy bodies come in all shapes and sizes.
So, when we start this journey the first thing your doctor will tell you is eat right and exercise. It’s not that easy, with busy lives, time constraints and the lower cost and accessibility of foods that aren’t that good for us, we don’t always make the right choice.
The resolution to exercise more is difficult when the temperature is below zero and your couch, blanket and TV are so much more inviting after a long day at work.
I know you are wondering why the Fire Safety Corner is discussing health, but the truth is the West Fargo Fire Department does not only go to fires, we respond to a wide variety of medical calls.
Actually, the majority of our calls are medically related. This is why I would like to touch on the benefits of eating healthy and exercise. The number one call we respond to is heart related. Our heart is a muscle and we need to keep it strong by exercising it. Technology can replace a heart, we can undergo surgeries and take pills to fix the heart, but what if we make it a priority to keep our hearts healthy naturally.
The truth is the more sedentary you are the more your body loses muscle tone, which makes you feel more tired and want to sit more. It’s a vicious cycle and difficult for many of us with desk jobs to escape. As little as 30 minutes of continuous activity has shown to improve energy and muscle movement. This does not mean you have to become a marathon runner or body builder. The easiest is to get up and walk, it’s free and you can do it anywhere. You can swim, stretch or practice yoga, you need to find what works for you and your abilities.
Eating right is a little different. The options of foods that aren’t as healthy surround us, along with the ease of not having to cook and a cheaper price make it difficult to give up that fast food hamburger. In the long run, spending a little more time on meal preparation can provide you with healthier meals that include fresh produce and whole grains.
I know I couldn’t completely cut out sugar or other things I enjoy, the key is moderation. Life is too short to not enjoy some indulgences but instead of eating two cookies, take one. When you go out to eat either order a half order or eat half and take the other half home. It takes twenty minutes for your stomach sense of fullness to reach the brain. How about we chew our food, slow down and enjoy the meal? I say this, but anyone who knows me knows I eat fast in order to eat more. I realize I’m not saying anything new here but habits can be hard to break, because for a lot of us this is how we have eaten for years.
So maybe this year we (I) can stick to the resolution to make health more of a priority and make sure that vegetables show up on our plates more often than not. An easy thing to do is before you eat any meal or snack, drink a glass of water. In fact, try to drink more water all the time, your body needs water (we are 57-60 percent water) and it has a ridiculous amount of health benefits.
If it is difficult to motivate yourself, maybe think of it in how you behave affecting others. If you take care of yourself, this affects not only you but your partner, your children and grandchildren, they are watching you and making decisions about what habits they are going to form. Your loved ones want to see you have a long and healthy life and the West Fargo Fire Department would like to see you around town not as a recipient of a medical call.