April 20, 2010

10 Little Things that Lead to a Happier, Healthier You

Since we are getting closer and closer to summer (yay!) and I am always striving to be healthier and happier I wanted to share with you 10 little things that I am trying to do in my life to become healthier and happier.  TwitterMoms is sponsoring a contest along with Tropicana Trop50 so click here to see the rules and participate for yourself! You can win a $30 AmEx gift card!

On to my top 10 list:

1)  Drink plenty of water!  I am always aware of how much water I drink throughout the day for multiple reasons.  Water is necessary for our bodies to function correctly.  Our cells need water to regenerate and keep toxins from taking up residence.  Water also helps to keep cravings to a minimum by keeping your stomach full.  Water also helps keep your digestive and urinary tracts healthy.
2)  Take the stairs or park farther away!  This is something that I have always done to stay active.  I try to keep away from elevators and escalators at the malls and take the stairs, if I can.  I also try to park farther away from stores so that I can get a few extra steps in throughout the day.  Experts have shown that 10,000 steps per day is what most of us should be walking to stay healthy and active.  These tricks help me to reach my 10,000 steps per day.
3)  Shop local!  Do your best to purchase local products either at a local farmer's market or from a local farm.  Not only are you supporting your local businesses, you are also receiving the freshest produce!  Most of the time the produce will be less expensive, too!
4)  Smell the flowers!  I love flowers!  The look of them, the smell, the pretty colors, and the warmth needed for them to grow and bloom.  Flowers are a sign of hope for me that even though the winter is cold and long, there is an end and flowers signify the beautiful summer coming soon.  Smelling flowers make me happy!
5)  Chew gum!  Gum is always present in my purse, desk drawer, bedside table and car dash.  I chew gum to keep my teeth clean, my breath fresh, my appetite suppressed so I don't eat everything in sight, and just because I like the flavors.  Along with drinking lots of water, gum is my secret tip to losing weight and keeping it off!
6)  Wear sunscreen!  My skin is very fair and I can burn pretty easily.  I have had one bad burn in my life and I never want to live through that again!  Anytime I go outside for any extended length of time, I always wear sunscreen.  Not only does sunscreen keep the burning away, it also lowers your risk of skin cancer later in life.  Make sure to wear sunscreen even if you are a person who tans very easily!  Skin cancer can happen to anyone!
7)  Get outside!  Summer is my favorite time of year because I can get out of the house and get outside!  My husband and I are golfers and enjoy walking the golf course when we can.  Not only does it increase our activity levels (see #2!) but it also gives us some time in the sun soaking up the Vitamin D that we sorely miss in the winter in Oregon.  Take your kids to a park or the beach for the day!  Make sure you are following #6 with this one!
8)  Use your barbeque!  We love to grill our food (even in the winter) because it's so easy and healthy!  I have grilled everything from meats to vegetables to fruits to pizza!  That's right, pizza!  When grilling meats some of the fat drips off the meat rather than sitting in the bottom of the pan.  I think grilling imparts more flavor into the foods, too.  There are smoking chips you can place in your grill that will gives meats a smoky flavor!  Grilling fruits and veggies brings out the natural flavors and also requires less butter and oils.  We try to grill about 5 times per week during the summer months and love it!
9)  Learn something new!  I don't care if it's taking a class at a local college to learn how to balance your checkbook or taking a yoga class at a local fitness center or borrowing a new cookbook from a friend, just try something new!  I am hoping to take a cake decorating class this summer because I have always wanted to learn how to pipe icing roses and write on cakes for birthdays.  I would secretly love to have a cake decorating business out of my home!  Get out there and better yourself!
10)  Meet new people!  This can happen just about anywhere!  Think about what your passion is in life and find something that you can do to meet people who are also passionate about those things.  Look for a local group who needs volunteers and offer some time, if you can.  Find a local moms group or a church group that you would like to be a part of an join it!  This is one that I really need to work on.  I have a hard time making friends because I get so wrapped up in my life that I don't allow time to meet new people.  Put yourself out there and you will be rewarded with new friendships!

All of these things don't cost anything and are fairly simple to implement! 

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I wrote this blog post while participating in the TwitterMoms and Tropicana Trop50 blogging program to be eligible to win 6 free Juicy Rewards points and a $30 gift card. For more information on how you can participate, click here.
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