Wherever you are, whatever the weather, going outside is good for your health. Sunlight and fresh air help manage and prevent anxiety, improve sleep, boost immunity, and stimulate your thinking skills. Adding some physical activity to the mix will burn calories and lift your mood.
If it's cold, be sure to bundle up - wear warm socks and sturdy shoes while covering your head, face and hands. Warm or cold, wear sunscreen, sunglasses and a hat.
Just One Thing to do: Head outside after lunch to walk around the block and take deep breaths of fresh air.
My recent blog about self-care generated a lot of emails, and I’m so happy to know it was the reminder many of you needed to take care of yourselves. In this crazy time, we need to pay attention to our mental and physical health.
Along those lines, I want to continue to encourage nutrition self-care with intuitive eating. This is an approach to food and health that says do not diet, do not deprive yourself, and do not feel guilty about eating. An intuitive eating philosophy says you know your hunger and your fullness signals – or at least you can learn to. This makes it possible to honor your body without outside influences from others, from social media, from the scale, from diets.
Do you want to get started eating intuitively? Start by making peace with food – it is supposed to be nourishing, not the enemy. It is ok to eat a variety of foods, and if you stop thinking of a food as forbidden or off limits, you will be less likely to crave it and binge on it. So listen when your body says it is hungry, and just as importantly, listen when it says it is full. The more you practice paying attention to hunger and fullness, the more you will trust your body.
For additional steps to take, visit the experts’ 10 Principle of Intuitive Eating here.
Just One Thing to do: Use Intuitive Eating to trust your food choices.
The National Institutes of Health designates November as National Diabetes Month, and this year its focus is on the link between diabetes and cardiovascular disease (see information here and the image below) because individuals with diabetes are likely to have heart disease or stroke.
In addition to encouraging you to see your doctor for an updated exam and lab work, I like to highlight the good news: Did you know diabetes can be managed to prevent complications? Increasing your physical activity just a little bit, making just a few healthful food changes, and monitoring your blood sugar can make a huge difference. I know sometimes people get overwhelmed thinking about the “should’s” of diabetes management: I should exercise, I should go on a diet, I should skip holiday dinners. But it doesn’t have to be that hard.
If you have type 1 diabetes, talk to your doctor and dietitian about balancing your insulin, food and activity with your lifestyle to maintain your blood sugar.
If you have type 2 diabetes or prediabetes, determine if you need to lose weight. Just a 5% weight loss can reduce your blood sugar and your cardiovascular disease markers; that means losing 10 pounds if you weigh 200 pounds. To me, that is certainly more reasonable and realistic than thinking about needing to lose 20, 30 or even 40 pounds. If you do need to lose weight, add a 30 minute walk daily along with smaller portion sizes at every meal and snack. Those, too, are reasonable and realistic changes!
Just One Thing To Do: Instead of being overwhelmed, focus on small, reasonable lifestyle changes to feel better and prevent complications.