Friday, February 22, 2008

Finishing School: Personal Presentation...

by Emma

Health

When I was a teenager, I became enamored with the idea or femininity. I loved the forties and fifties and happened upon a book entitled Emily Hunter's Christian Charm Course. It was full of sweet little line drawings and outdated information and I LOVED it! One of my favorite parts of the book was a chart of feminine attributes and masculine attributes. Many of the points on the list had to do with health... something that I really never thought of as having to do with femininity. Here are a few samples from the list: A Trim and Disciplined Body, Vitality, Abstention from Tobacco, Abstention from Alcohol, Self Control, and Sexual Purity.

Though the list in it's entirety was rather quaint, one cannot help but realize that the points on Hunter's list that deal with the health of one's body are right on the mark.

While I don't claim to be someone with vast stores of knowledge on the subject of health or someone who exercises daily, guzzles water, pops vitamins, and swears off fast food, I can tell you that making painless changes in your daily routines can give you better health both inside and out!

One of the easiest ways to improve your health is to move more. I don't know about you, but I hate the idea of traditional exercise routines (going to the gym, aerobics videos, classes, etc.). I much prefer taking a walk, jumping rope, going for a swim, using my pedometer to count the steps or miles I take throughout the day, and bike riding. There are hundreds of ways you can add more movement into your day without breaking a sweat. As Nike says, Just Do It!

Another simple thing to add to your life that will improve your health is to drink more water. You probably don't drink enough! Often we don't even realize that we are dehydrated. Here are a few tricks you can use to help make sure you are getting enough water during the day: Have an 8 oz glass with every meal, fill a pitcher with ice water and try to get through it by the end of the day, keep a water bottle with you when you head out the door, each time you go into the kitchen try to remember to pour yourself a glass... you get the picture!

While many of us try to eat healthfully, we may be falling short just a bit. Talk to your doctor and decide if a multi-vitamin is something that will help to give you all the nutrients you need to keep fit and strong.

Eating well is a more complicated step in the quest for better health but there are several simple ways to ease the burden. One of the things that I have found the most helpful is to limit the time that I spend in the center aisles of the supermarket. If I can stick to the outer rim, I know that I am going through the produce section, meats, and dairy. I can often eliminate the process foods I used to toss into my cart with glee. A second way eliminate the temptation of unhealthy foods in our home to to simply stick to the list you make and not bring them home.

One of my favorite authors on the subject of health and eating is Mireille Guiliano, author of French Women Don't Get Fat and French Woman For All Seasons. The author's perspective on food and life is one that I admire greatly. I gleaned a great deal of information from her books and was particularly impressed with the Fifty Percent Solution, which she talks about in her second book, French Woman For All Seasons.

Please remember that it is important to speak with your doctor before embarking on any changes you make with regard to your health.

Homework: What healthy habit have you formed recently? How did you go about this?

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