If you are among the many who find family to be one of the biggest sources of stress this time of year, let’s take a different approach to the next family gathering. Let’s make moves, together.
Families that move together, bond together. Studies show that when individuals engage in exercise together, afterwards they naturally feel happier with their relationship. Endorphins > stress = happiness. Let’s not forget, exercise is also a good way for us all to ward off that Santa stomach.
So, your approach for this holiday season: less fighting, more moving. If you feel the urge to snap at Uncle Bill, at your mom or dad, or to snap within your own self from stress, make moves instead. We’ve got 5 ideas below for doing it together.
“Hey June, don’t make it bad.
Take a sad diet and make it better.
Remember to let produce into your bowl.
Then you can start to make it better.”
In honor of National Fruit & Vegetable Month, we’re calling on the Beatles for a little celebration. (If it’s sounding like we drank too much carrot juice and you have no idea what we’re referencing, you best take a few moments to watch the original Hey Jude.) The month’s farm-to-fork designation has officially made June our favorite time of year.
- A study released this past March suggests people who eat up to 7 servings of fruit & vegetables a day can cut their risk of premature death by 42%. Um, yes peas!
- The unfortunate news? Research shows most people are consuming less than half of what the government recommends. And when we do plate up on produce, the #1 items in America are potatoes and tomatoes — in the not-so-nutritious forms of french fries and pizza, according to a report from the U.S. Dpt. of Agriculture. With that comes a hefty side of fat and sodium.
- Are your readings showing high blood pressure? Filling up on produce lowers blood pressure and your risk for type 2 diabetes since fiber tempers blood-sugar swings by slowing the absorption of carbohydrates into your bloodstream after meals.
- They’re also packed with cancer-fighting antioxidants, and a recent study released by the American Heart Association suggests with every 200 grams per day, you could cut your risk of stroke by 1/3.
We could have a never-ending sing-off about the benefits of fruits and veggies. Instead, however, we’re going to move on and highlight some of this month’s prime produce.
- Strawberries: 8 medium-sized berries yield 150% daily value (DV) of vitamin C at just 50 calories. That sounds pretty sweet to us, as does this recipe for Fish Tacos with Strawberry Mango Salsa.
- Sugarsnap Peas: This hybrid of both a green pea and a snow pea is known for its high levels of B vitamins, which help your body convert food to energy. Pair them with shrimp and toss over brown rice in this light coconut curry recipe for a satisfying meal.
- Spinach: Spinach is a vitamin K superstar, a vitamin essential for bone health. One cup contains nearly 200% DV, and also contains twice the amount of iron as most other greens, which is important for keeping your energy levels up. Serve this Spinach and Pumpkin Seed Pesto over whole wheat pasta for a Popeye and LifeVest approved meal.
Run a holiday 5-K to shed stress and stoke good cheer.
By Jeff Galloway, First Posted on Runner’s World, November 12, 2012
The holidays can be a time of stress and high expectations. Fortunately, it’s also a great time for 5-Ks, with Turkey Trots and Jingle Bell Jogs held nearly every weekend. Training for and running a race might seem impossible when work and family obligations are colliding, but putting an event on your to-do list can help you stay focused and motivated. Short, purposeful training runs will invigorate you, clear your mind, and renew your enthusiasm for the challenges ahead. Here’s how to time a race with your current fitness—and get safely across the finish line.
You know what else it ’tis the season for? Good health and great gifts. Sponsor your friends and family on LifeVest Health so they have more incentive to get healthy and make more money for it!