Do you wish you could feel better, live a healthier lifestyle, and reduce your stress but have trouble making the changes you know you should make to get there? Get Healthy Philly is here to support your personal journey by providing ideas and resources to use physical activity and nutrition as well as tobacco-free living to get you there. Starting on Valentine’s Day, give yourself the gift of health and share your steps forward with the Healthy 3 For Me Challenge. Winners of this challenge will receive a Fitbit.
The goal of the #Healthy3ForMe challenge is to choose from the menu of small steps toward a healthier, less stressed way of life and to share your successes with others to help inspire them. Choose one or more of the options below and send a picture of yourself completing the task between February 14 and March 14. Each photo counts as one submission and will enter you into a drawing for a Fitbit. Try to choose one simple step from each category to meet the challenge.
Photo submission options:
- Upload a photo to Instagram using the hashtag #Healthy3ForMe
- Upload a photo to Twitter using the hasthag #Healthy3ForMe
- Email your photo to email@example.com
If you’re not a regular exerciser, think back to a time when you moved for fun, even if it was when you were very young. What did you like to do? How did you feel when you did it? Do you remember skipping rope? Playing basketball? Dancing? Whatever it was, we want you to re-create that feeling of play and joy. Imagine movement as the vacation in your day, the time you do something that’s just plain fun. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Add a few minutes of walking to your day. Figure out a time that works, even if you only have 5 minutes. Come on, we know you have 5 minutes. Breathe in, look around, and take a minute to enjoy the day.
- Stretch break: pick a time that works for you and stretch gently, slowly breathing in and out. Enjoy the stretch and the moment to yourself.
- While you watch TV, try walking in place for a few minutes during each commercial break.
- Put on some music and dance! Get your kids, partner, or the dog to dance with you. Ok, the dog might not be a great dancer, but you get the idea.
- Take the stairs whenever you get the chance. Go slow if you need to, take breaks on the landings, but keep taking them.
Reduce your sugar
Added sugars not only put on the pounds, they also make many people feel tired or sleepy after they eat. Try cutting back on sugar and we bet you’ll notice your energy level improve. Here are a few ways to start:
- Replace one sweetened drink with an unsweetened option: water, flavored seltzer, or seltzer with a few slices of fruit or an ounce of juice. Keep tap water cold in your fridge with a few slices of lemon for a satisfying thirst quencher without the sugar
- Reconsider breakfast. Steer clear of high sugar cereals and bakery items and choose whole grain toast with peanut butter, low sugar cereals, and fresh fruit to help fill you up.
- When you feel like a sweet treat, choose fresh fruit.
- Try a simple meditation exercise: think of someone, something, or some place that makes you happy. Now sit quietly for 2 minutes with your eyes closed and try to focus on that person/place/thing. Or, if you prefer, just spend your 2 minutes focused on your breathing, slowly in and out. Try to relax your muscles as you breathe.
- Going out into nature is one of the best means of relieving stress. Is there a park or another green space near where you work or live? Find a few minutes each day to spend outside there. Look at the trees, watch the birds play, and feel yourself relax.
- Do something kind for someone else, whether it’s someone you are close to or someone you don’t even know. Acts of kindness help us to focus outside ourselves and to release our own stress, if only just for a moment. So hold a door open for someone who needs help, let someone ahead of you in line, or just smile at someone who looks like they’re having a hard day. You’ll feel better and so will they.