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HEALTHY LIVING: Good health doesn't happen in an instant; it takes work

I was talking with my doctor the other day and he made an interesting point. Everyone wants better health, but they want it yesterday. They want to be fixed, taken care of, and 100 percent immediately. The interesting point is no one wants to thi...

I was talking with my doctor the other day and he made an interesting point. Everyone wants better health, but they want it yesterday. They want to be fixed, taken care of, and 100 percent immediately. The interesting point is no one wants to think about how their choices today affect their health tomorrow yet they expect health no matter what.

Now I see many clients who want good health but they usually can claim their prior negative impact choices on today's condition, however many times they are not willing to make the changes which will give them the health they desire in the future.

You have the power to control your choices. It is true, genetics and luck play a part in disease and death, but the statistics show two-thirds of all cancers and nine out of 12 heart disease risk factors are lifestyle related choices. This means your choices have a huge impact on your health. What you do today may determine how you live tomorrow. Why not choose well?

I know change is hard but it is worth it. Playing with your grand kids, running with your dog, finishing a race with your daughter, passing your active lifestyle onto your children all seem worth a few months of discomfort. Now, I don't mean you deprive yourself of all your favorite treats, but take a honest look at your lifestyle and see how many times you give yourself those "good" treats. I bet it is not once in a while.

First, clean out your cupboards. Food that is around gets eaten. If it's not there to put in your mouth, it's not there to land on your hips.

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Next, decide what is lacking from your diet. Aim to eat six small meals a day. Are you eating enough fruits and vegetables? What do your grains look like? Where are the majority of your nutrients coming from? Try and make your food as whole as possible. Meaning short ingredient lists and foods which as close to the way they were made as possible. The farmer's market it just around the corner -- eating local helps ensure your food is as unprocessed as possible. For more information on the farmer's market start date visit www.superiorchamber.org for the community calendar.

Next, how are you moving? We tend to slow down as we age which increases bone density loss, weight gain and loss of balance. All these create a negative cycle of inactivity exaggerating themselves. How can you add activity into your day? Do you need to begin parking further and walking more? Can you bike to work? What about taking stairs instead of the elevator? Are you someone whose been doing the same routine for months or years? Is it time to add intensity? Is your workout well rounded? Do you do cardiovascular, strength, and flexibility to the appropriate levels? Consider hiring a personal trainer to help make sure you are on track or to begin your exercise program.

Third, what makes you happy? Does the whole bag of cookies really make you smile after you've eaten them? I didn't think so. So what makes you happy? What would you do if today was your last? Doing things which relieve our stress, make us happy, and keep us laughing are what we call wellness. Wellness looks at the whole person and creates a sense of balance. Find the things that make you happy and do them.

Lastly, take care of yourself. What my doctor meant was people show up in his office expecting a quick fix cure they got from the Internet or best friend and they want it now. Get regular check ups so you know when your health begins to slide. Even healthy bodies are subject to illness, however, for most conditions early detection makes all the difference.

Food is fuel and your body needs good nutrition to keep you well. Choose accordingly. Exercise often. You were made to move not sit on your hiney. Get off the couch, out of your chair and do something active. Practice wellness. Find those things which make you happy and do them daily.

You are what you choose. Last week I saw a column about how to save money. The author advocated dropping your gym membership. I beg to differ. I would rather pay now for a fitness membership, which we know works when it is used, than pay for medications, surgeries and hospital stays later. I want the peace of mind which comes from knowing I choose well in a world with no guarantees. And I don't mind the benefits of less stress and more energy.

Lifestyles challenge

Toss the junk food from your cupboards, add daily activity, and begin doing 10 minutes of something that makes you happy everyday.

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Stacy Reuille-Dupont is owner of Superior Balance Fitness Center and Personal Balance Consulting. She can be reached at stacy@superiorbalance.com and stacy@superiorworkout.com or 392-9860.

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