8 Winter Tips for Healthy Living
A better diet, a little more exercise - healthy living is easy if you take it one tip at a time.
4. De-Stress With Meditation
The bad weather, the seasonal pace, work: If this time of year has your stress meter spiking, it may be time to close your eyes, breathe ... and get a little repetitive.
Repetition is at the heart of meditation's soothing power. The act of banishing thoughts, focusing on your breathing, and repeating a single word or phrase, fires up your body's natural relaxation response.
And meditation can do more than soothe away stress. Research shows it may help lower blood pressure, boost immunity, reduce PMS symptoms, even aid in fertility and the delivery of a new mom's milk.
5. Start a Winter Tradition: Family Workouts
Grandparents are in town, a flurry of kids is underfoot, and you're wondering where you'll find time for a quick winter workout. Here's a thought: Why not get everyone involved with these simple workouts?
Walking: It's suitable for young or old, with a pace that's sedate or speedy. Try these ideas to get the gang on their feet:
- Do laps at the mall. If you shop, cart your own packages and then unload them in the car after every store.
- Disguise the walk as something else. Toss a ball as you stroll, fling a Frisbee, or take the dog to the park.
- Instead of driving, walk over to your favorite local restaurant.
- Take part in a holiday fund-raiser, like the Arthritis Foundation's Jingle Bell Run/Walk
Make the Living Room Your Gym
When everyone's on the couch chatting, or watching TV -- why not sneak in a little calorie burn, too?
- Do crunches: Sit on the edge of the couch, hands gripping the edge at your side, then bend knees, lifting them toward your chest.
- Leg lifts: Use the same position as above, but lift your legs straight up, instead of bending them.
- Trim those triceps by doing dips off the couch edge.
- Build your biceps: Grab a bottle of water or a can of soda and do curls.
6. Eat Locally
Organic may be today's healthy-eating watchword, but don't forget this phrase too: eat locally.
Some nutritionists think eating locally may be even more important than eating organically. That's because a vital factor in a food's nutrient profile is how long it took to get from farm to table: A head of locally grown lettuce, for example, may be more nutrient-dense than one shipped coast to coast.