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Always be your best

be your own projectWhether you do charity work, love to garden, redecorate your home or use your time to help your family, there is something far more important. That’s taking care of your health. Your best project will always be you, or at least it should be. Too many people put aside fitness, because they feel they’re being selfish using their time to make their life better. The reverse is actually true. If you don’t do your best to have a healthy lifestyle, it’s actually a selfish act. Not only could it result in illness, where you can’t help others, it also could require other people taking their time to help you. While you’ll look and feel better, fitness isn’t all about vanity. It’s about good common sense.

Exercising on a regular basis stay healthier.

Exercise is extremely beneficial to keep your body functioning at its best. One study showed that for every minute of exercise, you gained seven minutes of a healthy life. While these are just statistics, there are so many studies that prove exercising helps you maintain good health and none that show it’s unhealthy that you can’t ignore them. Not only does exercise help prevent diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and yes, even some forms of cancer, it also has been shown to be as effective for slowing bone loss of osteoporosis as some medications. The only side effects are more energy, better weight control and a toned fit body.

Eating healthy is part of the program

Do you grab quick snacks on the run? Do you skip meals because you’re too busy to eat and then binge on sugary treats later? Is fast food the only food you have time to eat? If you answered yes to all of these questions, you’re like millions of people in this country. Either work, family or both take their time and there’s none left over to sit prepare and sit down to a healthy meal. Luckily, there’s a solution. Learning to eat healthy means you can eat almost anywhere, but need to make smart choices in the foods you select. It may take a little extra time at the end of the day to prepare healthy snacks, but it’s well worth the effort and if you’ve started a workout program, you’ll have the extra energy to do it. If you’re a mother, the people who often put their needs last, learning to cook healthy not only boosts the potential for your good health, but the health of your family, too.

Feeling good about yourself provides a good mental state for helping others.

When you take care of your own needs, it’s a step toward appreciating yourself. Loving yourself may sound foreign or narcissistic, but it’s not. Loving yourself is a positive thing. It’s not saying you’re better than anyone else, but saying you are important enough to be treated with respect and kindness. That kindness and respect should start with your own self treatment. The first thing that many people notice when they start a fitness program is that their self-image improves. That’s a start. Once you feel you’re worthy, others will show you the same respect.

Exercise burns off the hormones created by stress. As every busy person can attest, life is filled with stressors. A vigorous workout can burn off the hormones created by stress that can create health issues.

Getting a good night’s sleep is important too. If you lay awake at night worrying about everyone’s needs, exercise can help. Not only does exercise burn off stress hormones and replace them with ones that make you feel good, it helps you sleep better at night, too.

Studies show that people who smile a lot are healthier. Taking care of yourself is validation that you’re a good person and that’s something to smile about, plus when you workout regularly, your body sends “happy hormones” to your system that makes smiling easier.

Your posture improves when you workout and you’ll feel better. Both give you a boost of energy that you can use to help others.

So Called Healthy Foods To Avoid

If you’re trying to eat healthy by choosing foods that look like they’re beneficial, you may be in for a big surprise. There are foods that do have health benefits, but when they’re processed they disappear. Not only that, processed foods often have other ingredients added, which often include chemical preservatives to extend their shelf life. Here are some healthy foods to avoid and the reasons why.

Nut butters in a jar may not be healthy.

I included the words, “in a jar,” to indicate processed nut butters sold commercially. Nut butters are an important source of protein and healthy fats. They contain phytochemicals, vitamins, minerals and fiber. According to a report from Mayo Clinic, nuts provide aid in controlling cholesterol. Cashews and cashew butter, for instance helps reduce blood pressure, protects against cataracts, can aid in the prevention of diabetes, helps build blood cells and provides antioxidants. They also help prevent weight gain and aid in building strong bones. When you eat pre-processed nut butters, often “extra” ingredients are added. These ingredients include palm oil, hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oil, extra sodium, extra sugar and milk products. Find a whole food store that offers organic nuts in bulk and make your own with a food processor. Some stores even have one available, so you pay for the nut butter (same price per pound) at the check out as you would for the nuts.

Trail mix is deceptive.

When you hear trail mix, you automatically envision a picture of snacking on it while climbing a mountain or following a path in the woods. That’s the quintessential picture of health. Today’s commercial trail mix contains almost as much candy as it does healthy food. Again, homemade is best if you want to control ingredients—such as using small amounts of dark chocolate with nuts and homemade dried fruit. Note the ingredients of commercial dried fruit. If it has sweeteners, sulfites or any other ingredient besides the fruit, don’t include it. It has become far less healthy.

Soy foods that imitate other foods.

I always say, “Never eat a food that’s pretending to be something else.” That may sound strange, but it actually is a healthy rule to follow. Soy products or other imitation foods that profess to be meat substitutes, such as soy burgers, veggy burgers made with beans or rice, soy bars, soy protein powder and soy yogurt and milk are all processed. Not only does it affect the nutritional quality, it adds extra ingredients that aren’t necessarily healthy. By now you should realize my finger pointing to unhealthy foods is pointing to processed foods that were healthy before processing.

Diet “TV dinners” are stripped of their nutrients and often contain extra sodium. You may be getting fewer calories, but also shorting yourself on nutrients.

Those yummy health food bars are really candy bars in disguise or close to it. Opt for other quick snacks or make them yourself, allowing you to control the ingredients.

Fat free sugary treats or those with artificial sweeteners. Fat free treats often contain more sugar or sweeteners to enhance the flavor. If that sweetener is artifical, it’s probably bad for you or at least suspicious. There are a number of different studies and a great deal of controversy. It’s best to keep consumption at a minimum.

Be wary of energy drinks and stick to water.

Exercises You Can Do At The Office

There are many reasons to find exercises you can do at the office,, however, replacing a program of regular exercise is not one of them. Breaking the monotony of the day, getting your blood circulating to think clearer and preventing aches and pains that come from sitting in the same position too long are three good ones, however. Even with a program of regular exercise, doing some simple “office exercises” can increase the amount of activity you get daily and be a boon to your health.

Keep it simple with these three exercises.

If you have a cubical or office that protects you from view, Others might avoid entering the elevator with you if they see you doing some of these exercises without knowing why. For instance, walking and running in place, lifting your knees as high as possible for a 30 seconds to a minute will look rather odd, but it does do wonders. Standing up and sitting down repeatedly to mimic squats could be another eyebrow raiser that also is excellent. Using the edge of your desk to do push ups as a modification, or even getting on the floor to do them, as long as you can’t be seen.

Raise yourself up with tricep dips.

To help avoid bat wings and tone the back of the arm, tricep dips are a good exercise. Don’t use the floor to do the dip, particularly when dressed in good clothing. Instead, sit on the edge of your desk, put your hands on the desk behind you with your fingers pointing toward your body and lift yourself up off the desk, then slowly lower yourself down.

Be the office kook and lunge everywhere you go.

To do a lunge, you take a step forward about two to three feet, with one foot, let’s say the right foot, leaving the other foot in place. Bend both knees until you’re down in lunge position with both knees at a 90 degree angle. (The back knee will touch the floor). Stand back up, bring your left foot forward to meet the right foot, then step forward with the left foot and repeat. It will take you quite a bit of time to get very far, so make sure you’re not on a mission that needs to be completed quickly.

  • Lean against a wall and slowly lower yourself down to sitting position. Don’t do this against a cubical wall, unless you thrive on the excitement of things crashing.
  • Take a quick break and stand when you can. You don’t have to sit down to read a correspondence, so don’t. Just standing is helpful.
  • Go up on tip toes while waiting for technology or people. Place your feet shoulder width apart and go up on your tip toes and lower until the papers are all collated at the printer or your takeout is ready.
  • Squeeze your glutes. No one will ever know you’re squeezing your buttocks but you. It’s the perfect under cover exercise for the office.