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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.
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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.

Does this mean you should forgo pesticide-free foods when they're available? No, but it's a great idea to make room on your plate for locally-grown goods too, even if they haven't been grown the organic way. Better yet: Eat locally and organic, when you can.

An easy way to get local -- and often organic -- food on the table: Join a CSA (community-supported agriculture). CSAs help you form a relationship with a local farm, which then provides you with fresh, local produce, even milk, eggs, or cheese. Some also function twelve months a year. Find a CSA near you at LocalHarvest.org.

7. Try These 3 Simple Diet & Exercise Tips

Go Slow: You don't need to do a diet slash-and-burn. If you cut just 200 calories a day you'll see slow (and easy) weight loss. Skip a pat of butter here, a cookie there and you're on your way!

Start Small: Banning junk food from the cupboards or boosting fiber may be your goal, but think baby steps. Switch from potato chips to low-fat popcorn, for example, or toss a carrot into your brown bag lunch.

Just Show Up: Don't feel like working out today? Don those exercise clothes anyway. Still not in the mood? Fine. But chances are good that once you're dressed, you're also motivated and ready to go!

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