Wednesday, June 16, 2010

H is for Healthy

Success requires stamina. There is just no question about that. It is pretty difficult to imagine a sickly person finding real success in either their personal or professional life. You need to have a healthy body in order to put in the time and effort needed to become successful. Although I do not know who made the following statement, it makes a lot of sense: “Most people do only what they are required to do, but successful people do a little more.” You need to be in the best of health in order to do a little more.

I am not going to lecture you on getting in shape or help you design a complete health plan. There is an abundance of information available online and at your local library that you can easily access. Additionally you can join a local health club and/or start working with a personal trainer if you want to really get going on a complete physical (and mental) change in your life.

I am however going to touch on a couple simple things that every one of us can easily fit into our lives on a daily basis that will make a difference in our overall health.

The magic number 10,000. Buy yourself an inexpensive pedometer to track your daily step count. Make it a goal to reach 10,000 steps each and every day. Small changes in your routine can really add on steps. Use the stairs instead of the escalator. Park your car farther out in the parking lot at work and when running errands/shopping. If you are low on your step count take an evening walk around the neighborhood. I easily add 3500 steps just taking the dog for a walk.

The 5/9 rule. When speaking about the daily servings of fruits and vegetables five is the minimum but nine is the best. And yes, I can hear you already: “Paul, are you kidding me?” No I am not – and it is not that hard to do. Keep juice in the house and have a glass every morning. Take some V-8 or similar drink to work. Take a piece of fruit to the office. I try to take a banana every day. It’s the perfect portable snack for mid-afternoon. Skip the burger at lunch and get a salad or a sandwich loaded with vegetables. Dinner should include a salad and a vegetable. I always buy apples at the store. They are easy to keep and easy to grab when the evening “munchies” hit me about 9:00 PM. One last comment – iceberg lettuce has very little nutritive value; use romaine or other greens in your salad.

Will 10,000 steps and 5 to 9 servings of fruits/vegetable daily guarantee your success? Of course not. But they will both help improve your health and give you the overall stamina you need to do just “a little more.” You have dreams and you have plans for your future. Don’t shortchange yourself by not making these small and simple adjustments to your daily routine. You owe it to yourself and to all of the people whose lives you will impact in the future.

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