Fall is the perfect time to start making healthy, smart choices. Here are ten tips to get you started on a path towards staying healthy!
1. Make a plan for cold weather workouts. I know when I have a plan laid out in front of me, I’m more likely to get a workout in. Even if I end up doing a different workout instead, I’m much more likely to do SOMETHING, rather than nothing, if I have “workout today at X o’clock” already on the brain. Think about what you’d like to do with your time this winter. Something new or trendy? A DVD or class you have committed to in ages? Maybe something simple and general, like running a total of 50 miles a month, or keeping track of the number of minutes spent working out. Set yourself up for success.
2. Commit to a nutrition based swap for a season. If it sounds scary and like something you’d never stick with, remind yourself of this: it doesn’t have to be MAJOR and it doesn’t have to last forever. Replace your daily soda habit with water. Swap to banana soft serve over ice cream for the winter. Choose skim for your coffee instead of cream, or even try drinking it black!
3. Schedule an appointment for whatever appointment you’ve been putting off for far too long. After all, you are an ADULT, right? I know I’m not the only one who has put off appointments of one kind or another for a whole list of excuses. Appointments with a specialist, a therapist, a dentist – the list could go on and on and I bet every one of us has at least one appointment they haven’t gotten around to just yet. If not, may I recommend you take my friend Alyssa’s advice and get yourself to the dermatologist.
4. Start a new savings account of some type. It doesn’t matter how much you have to start one or how much you can regularly contribute. One dollar a week or $1,000 – it matters not. Even if you only have a nickel, get an empty jar and drop it in! Commit to adding SOMETHING each pay day, and not taking any money out of the jar no matter what for a period of time.
Another option is to add all of your change to a container at the end of each day. It’s amazing how quickly it adds up!
5. Make a pumpkin-rific meal. Beloved pumpkin – the blog world is all a flutter, right? Well, pumpkin has some health benefits, too. For starters, pumpkins are rich with zinc and vitamins A and C – talk about a high five to your immune system! I was happy to learn recently that pumpkin is a good source of fiber, too. I’m trying to focus on getting my recommended daily dose of fiber from whole foods rather than products.
For those of you working towards weight loss, like myself, you’ll be happy to hear pumpkin packs a lot of flavor for what little calories it contains. A two tablespoon serving of pumpkin puree has approximately 10 calories. My all-time favorite pumpkin meal is Emily’s chili baked and served in pumpkin bowls. The pumpkin “meat” is so tender and becomes part of the chili itself and really adds a unique, rich flavor to each bite. Other pumpkin recipes catching my eye lately: Shrimp and Pumpkin Curry, Curried Pumpkin Tofu Hash [apparently I’m also digging curry lately], Perfect Pumpkin Risotto, and Baked Pumpkin Oatmeal Pancakes.
6. Join a group of likeminded people. A book club who reads your favorite genre, a dance or kickboxing class, a knitting club, a church small group or bible study, a cake decorating class, a run club – what do you like to do? who can you do it with? GET TO GOOGLING! Can’t find what you’re looking for? START what you’re looking for! You can do it!
7. Go through your medicine cabinets and first aid kits to remove and replace any expired products. Don’t think you can fit it into your busy schedule? Set a timer for 3 minutes each day to work on it until it’s completed! I find some daunting tasks are a lot easier handled if I break it up into really tiny segments.
8. Set up a holiday health guideline list for yourself before you find yourself face to face with a table full of pies. If you plan to enjoy each celebration 100% guilt free and not worry about the health factor, cool. But it’s better to know where you want to stand with your choices BEFORE you walk into your first party of the season and do something you’ll regret by Monday morning. Consider the choices you’ll make for eating, of course – but don’t forget to lay down some thoughts on your alcohol consumption, too. I think I may be setting some guidelines for fitness and mental health and wellness, too.
9. Get your cold weather wear ready for winter. Does your coat need dry cleaning? Don’t forget to round up your gloves, ear warmers, hats and the like – make sure none of your wind-protection needs replacing. Those of us in snowy climate areas need to check on our boots, too. Make sure you have your ice scraper and brush in the car and your shovel out of the shed so you don’t need to trudge down there in the frigid temps!
10. Justify a budget-friendly splurge to motivate yourself in whatever health goal you choose. A clearance running jacket to wear on cold weather runs or fancy multivitamins that you’ll actually take are two great examples [not that I know anything about either of those example purchases or anything] .
Here’s a fun new way to find those budget-friendly splurges if you’re a member of a participating Blue Company: Blue365®, a national program offered by the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association to members of participating Blue Cross and/or Blue Shield Companies.
Blue365 is a Groupon-type program encouraging healthy decisions by offering discounts and opportunities for members of participating Blue Companies; you know, basically my dream program. My life changed when I started living with a philosophy of making one healthy decision at a time. I removed all perception that going from where I was to where I wanted to be had to be difficult. Instead I focused on doing what I could do right now, in this moment of time, to make a healthy choice. Blue365 sets you up with savings in all topics of health and has some awesome deals going on across the board – discounts on Polar heart rate monitors, hand sanitizer, and vision products, and at the Reebok online store, too!
If Blue365 sounds good to you sign up for it by clicking here. Though I have health insurance through a Blue Company, mine doesn’t yet offer the Blue365 Program. [womp! womp!] But you bet your bippy I visited the website and signed up to be notified when my Blue Company joins the Blue365 movement.
There’s also this awesome sweepstakes, courtesy of BlogHer. To be entered for a chance to win one of two $500 Visa gift cards to use towards your health, answer this question in the comments section to enter: How are you planning to stay healthy through the Fall and holiday season?
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You may receive two (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:
a) Leave a comment in response to the sweepstakes prompt on this post
b) Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: #SweepstakesEntry; and leave the URL to that tweet in a comment on this post
c) Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and leave the URL to that post in a comment on this post
d) For those with no Twitter or blog, read the Official Rules to learn about an alternate form of entry.
Entries from all participating blogs will be pooled for winner selection; only two (2) entries per household. This giveaway is open to U.S. residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. You have 72 hours to respond, otherwise a new winner will be selected.
The Official Rules are available here.
This Blue365® Program Sweepstakes runs from 10/16/12-11/12/12.
Be sure to visit the Blue365® page on BlogHer.com where you can read other bloggers’ posts!
The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association is an association of independent, locally operated Blue Cross and/or Blue Shield Companies. BlogHer is an independent and/or separate company providing marketing/promotional services and does not provide Blue Cross and/or Blue Shield products or services.