The 13 Days of “Healthierness”

Hope you’ve been having a truly wonderful holiday season! With all the feasting and good cheer- I have a little present to help bring you into the NEW YEAR!

The 13 Days of “Healthierness”TM

Sung to the tune of “The 12 Days of [Whatever Holiday You Celebrate]”

On the first day of healthierness my trainer said to me:

Do some pushups every single day

Pushups are the single most comprehensive exercise that you can do because they affect just about every major muscle group. Approach it at your own level! If that means starting with your knees on the floor, so be it-you’ll feel totally empowered when you work up to raising your entire body weight. The value of this exercise is a solid “10”!

On the second day of healthierness my trainer said to me:

Get two dumbbells so you can build lean muscle

Resistance training helps to maintain and combat the loss of muscle mass by increasing muscular strength. Lifting, curling and pulling and pressing weights will put lean muscles on your skeletal system. Plus, dumbbells work the glamour muscles when lifted to the front, back, or side, or straight up-start pumping!

On the third day of healthierness my trainer said to me:

Three’s a crowd, and that can really help

It’s not always easy to motivate yourself to get all the exercise that’s good for you. Surrounding yourself with motivated people by attending fitness classes, or by inviting friends to do active things biking, hiking, or shooting hoops, are surefire ways to inspire yourself!

On the fourth day of healthierness my trainer said to me:

Eat four times a day for better health

The old idea of eating three meals a day was never based on any real scientific evidence, yet many people still stick with that routine. Four times a day is most likely healthier…about every three hours…and it’s probably best to eat “while the sun is shining.” (There is growing evidence that it’s healthier to eat only during daylight hours.)

On the fifth day of healthierness my trainer said to me:

Take five steps for every minute of sitting

A lot of us do a lot of sitting, whether it’s at a desk or behind a steering wheel…and that’s not healthy. Take as many breaks from the routine as you can, and make a point of walking during those times. If you sit for two hours, during your break try to take at least 600 steps before you sit down again. (If there isn’t enough time, try to make up for it later.)

On the sixth day of healthierness my trainer said to me:

Pick six times a day to work on your breathing

Deeper breathing that fills your abdomen first and then fills your chest is the way to go! Most people only take shallow breaths all day long that only use about a third of their lung capacity, don’t give their diaphragm any exercise, and miss out on a really easy way to add valuable oxygen to their blood cells. So slow it down and breathe deeply!

On the seventh day of healthierness my trainer said to me:

Exercise on every day of the week

Our bodies need exercise to stay at peak health, and we evolved in a way that relies on getting that exercise every single day. That doesn’t mean that you have to take a class everyday (even though that would be great for you), just that some real physical exertion in an intentional way everyday — even for just 15 minutes — will do wonders for your health and longevity.

On the eighth day of healthierness my trainer said to me:

Eight glasses of water is just too much!

Staying hydrated is really important for health, but the common misconception that you need to drink eight glasses of water a day is not based on reliable scientific research. Not everyone is the same;most of us get a lot of water from the foods we eat; and, outside temperature and how much we sweat make a difference, too. The best rule of thumb is to “drink when you’re thirsty until you’re not thirsty.”

On the ninth day of healthierness my trainer said to me:

Say nine nice things to people you know

We sometimes take the people we’re closest to for granted. Showing appreciation for even small things can do a lot for another person’s mood, and can leave us with a feeling of connection and warmth for another person. “Thanks for making the coffee, it’s great” or “Great job getting ready for school so quickly,” go a long way.

On The tenth day of healthierness my trainer said to me:

Workout smarter not longer

Extensive research shows that just 10 minutes of high intensity interval training (HIIT) can do wonders for your body and mind, and efficiently help you change your physical condition for the better. Done properly, HIIT can significantly increase aerobic and anaerobic fitness, decrease fasting insulin levels and increase insulin sensitivity, and reduce both subcutaneous fat (under the skin) and dangerous abdominal (“visceral”) fat that can build up around internal organs. So push “smarter!”

On the eleventh day of healthierness my trainer said to me:

Connect with eleven friends

Reaching out to a friend or acquaintance with whom you haven’t spoken in awhile will bring both of you a sense of belonging. By building a community we feel more connected and life can become more fulfilling.

On the twelfth day of healthierness my trainer said to me:

Eat foods with 1/12 the ingredients as usual

We all know that eating “real” food is important to our health, and the more ingredients a particular food contains, the more likely a lot of those ingredients are artificial. Try to prepare all natural meals as often as possible — which means avoiding heavily processed “factory foods” — and aim for dishes with 5 or fewer ingredients.

On the thirteenth day of healthierness my trainer said to me:

Write down thirteen good experiences from the past year

For some people 13 is lucky…for everyone else, it’s easy to make it so! Think of 13 experiences you had over the past year that brought you good feelings or happy memories and write them down. The simple act of writing down these experiences on paper helps our memory as well as recreates those good moments…and can even ignite your dopamine receptors!

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