Every day can be a ‘Healthy Game Day’


Contributing Columnist

Rather than making another unfulfilled promise for 2014, here is your Healthy New Resolution with a guaranteed much higher success-rate than the usual dismal 8%:    Make one with someone else. Anything that was once tedious to do on your own turns into a more enjoyable and cooperative effort. Even that positive change, which is usually uncomfortable to reach, becomes now a welcoming break from the norm without realizing the effort it takes because you do it together.                                                                                         One of my favorite couples on the Key take their Saturday morning walk over the Ringling bridge and reward themselves with a stylish authentic cappuccino served in china ( not the styrofoam cup) on Main street. He has Parkinson’s but his lovely wife knows how to motivate him to exercise and to keep the healthy resolutions they both can enjoy. Even taking an exercise or tennis class together is a solid but obvious move to follow through with your New Years intentions. Here are some others to consider for a healthier and more efficient New Year:

1. Do something epic every month. Whether it’s a hike or a tandem bike ride. The bigger the undertaking, the more memories that you’ll create while giving you both a story to chime in on. These could be as large as hiking the Appalachian Trail or as everyday as playing touch football with your (grand)kids. Also, when the endeavor is majestic—and done with someone—it’s not such a grind, but more an experience. Remember It’s easier to suffer with someone.

2. Chop vegetables on Sunday. Any salad or stir fry is much easier to make when a good chunk of the preparation has already been done. While you work, you can talk about the upcoming week and plan out the menu. Both of you have to buy-in to the meals. Think of something fun and new such as : a salad in a mason jar ! (http://www.thekitchn.com/salad-in-a-jar-make-a-week-of-lunches-173014)

3. Create a competition. Get the fitbit (www.fitbit.com) and see who can do more steps per week. The winner can choose the reward!

4. Focus on essential chores. Look at the ones that impact exercise and split them up for each day or week—doing laundry, making smoothies or protein shakes, having tomorrow’s workout clothes at the door. You’re sharing the load, supporting each other and removing excuses.

5. Do morning yoga at home. Start the day together with 15 minutes of a DVD or TV (PBS/Veria) workout. Don’t worry that the time may be short. “Five minutes a day is much better than 50 minutes once a week,”  Wake up before the kids and it’ll just be your time when you don’t have to be parents. With no one else in a class to bother, you can talk, encourage, and, if earned, high five each other at the end.

6. Celebrate together. Having long-term goals is great, but don’t gloss over short-term achievements. Plan an occasion every two weeks. You not only have something to look forward to, but you also establish the mindset that you’re expecting success and building self-fulfilling momentum.

7. Publicize your consistency. Send texts to each other during the day, announcing that you just hit the gym or asking what he had for lunch. You’re holding yourself accountable, but you’re also putting out a little friendly, productive pressure to make your partner keep up with your intended goals.

8. Have a glass of water on each bed stand. And then drink it. You’re starting the day together and water is an easily overlooked element. Downing a morning glass helps stave off dehydration that can limit performance. Do the same thing at the end of the day. The ritual not only helps physically, but also with your head. “The routine quiets the noise. You can then take in new information.

9. Make Sundays electronic-free. No internet. No checking of e-mail. You’ve detached from outside demands and stimuli that usually can wait until Monday. With the silence, you’ll end up talking more with your partner. Your stress will go down and you now have more time for other pursuits.

10. Sign up for a race together. With a specific goal, training takes on more focus. There’s also the accountability factor—you need to show up or the penalty is receiving a hard time for the day for example through social media.

I love to hear what your 2014 Partner/ Buddy resolutions are! I bet you can come up with some real exotic ones that can turn into real nice and healthy habits. Let me know!

Please submit any questions, comments or future topic suggestions to dkohlenberger@lbknews.com. Dominique Kohlenberger has a masters degree in Physical Therapy; she is a certified Health Coach, Board member of the Stroke Association of Florida and owner of Healthy Longevity on Longboat Key.




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