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    Balancing  three balls

    Balance is the key to living a happy and healthy life.  Stress management, physical activity and proper nutrition are the major areas that we must keep in balance.  

    Every day has a new set of issues or concerns.  These issues are different for everyone, but are usually related to school, children, schedules, money, home and/or  work.   

    Hand touching health prompt on computer screen

    Tips for Reducing Stress:

     In order to achieve balance you first have to assess your life and decide what you need to do to achieve this balance.  Be honest with yourself and decide what changes you might need to make in order to reduce stress and improve your situation. Next, set goals that are achievable. Start with small changes and then build on these.   

    • Set aside 30 minutes at the end of the day to sit in silence.
    • Make it a point to not bring work home.
    • Do something that you consider fun and makes you relax:
      •   Watch your favorite show
      •   Read a book
      •   Take a walk
      •   Sit in a quiet room
      •   Talk to a friend on the phone
      •   Avoid Nicotine
      •   Get a proper amount of sleep for your age and activity level

     

    Different types of exercise machines

    Exercise Tips:

    • Find your motivation.  What do you like to do?  What will you continue to do?
    • Choose something that you like to do that requires cardiovascular activity, stretching and strengthening.
    • Find an exercise buddy; this can be a family member or friend who will exercise with you.
    • Set time aside to exercise.  You might need to add it to your schedule.  Start with 30 minutes at least three days per week.
    • Simple things you can do:
      •  Park as far as you can when you go to the store
      •  Take the stairs as often as possible
      •  Do chair exercises at work
      •  Get up and walk for five minutes every hour
      •  If you are 60 or older take a Falls Awareness class  
    MyPlate eating method

    Nutrition Tips:

    Make sure you eat at least five servings of fruit and vegetables each day and focus on foods containing Vitamins B and C, and Magnesium:

    • B Vitamins can help you feel more energetic after a stressful episode.  Bananas, leafy green vegetables, avocados, nuts, seeds and also meat, fish and dairy products are good sources of the various B vitamin.
    • Vitamin C – Eat citrus fruit such as oranges, tomatoes, peppers, kiwi fruit, leafy green vegetables, broccoli and other foods rich in Vitamin C.  This vitamin helps strengthen the immune system which can be weakened by stress.
    • Magnesium – Has been known to reduce tension by relaxing muscles.  Eating nuts, especially Brazil nuts, hazelnuts and peanuts help to increase your magnesium intake.  Leafy green vegetables, whole grains, especially oats, brown rice and beans are good sources of magnesium. Taking a relaxing bath with Epsom salts  allow the magnesium to be  absorbed through your skin.

     

    Other nutrition tips:

    • Eat breakfast
    • Try to eat three meals a day to avoid becoming excessively hungry 
    • Include high fiber foods
    • Make a habit of reading food labels
    • Drink water throughout the day
    • Incorporate fruits and vegetables into your diet
    • Use a smaller plate - portion control
    • Limit caffeine, this is usually found in coffee, tea, soft drinks and chocolates
    • Limit sugar, salt and alcohol
    Waking up to a balance of family, finances and food

    Bottom line, stress management, physical activity and proper nutrition, along with proper sleep, will help you to keep a good life balance..