How are you doing with Part 1 of YOUR personal health plan, you know the diet part?

Hope you’ve found lots of fresh fruit and veggies to fill your body with vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients and fiber.  Have you figured out how large your palm really is and matched your meat portions to match?  And how is it going with your new view on carbohydrates?  Hang in there, change takes time.  As long as you’re moving forward you’re making progress.

Today, let’s talk about MOVING.  You notice I didn’t use the big E word?  Too many people avoid moving because they just don’t want to work that hard.  Here are a few simple ways to improve your health without overwhelming yourself.  But beware, you may find that you like the way your body feels after you’ve gotten things moving and find yourself craving more.

Like it or not, we are animals and our bodies were built to be used, to walk, run, climb, squat, reach, grab, crawl…  God did not build a gym on every corner when he made us, he just gave us lives that kept us moving.  Let’s talk about a few ways you can use your body today, without spending money on a gym membership.

WALK – the easiest, cheapest, most widely available opportunity to move.  And in this day and age a great way to have a conversation with someone you care about.  Leave the electronics at home, pull on comfortable shoes and head on out.  Check out the neighbor’s yards, wave to people you know, share your feelings (for some reason easier to do when you’re walking side by side than face to face) and just plain unwind.  BTW – walking has been known to be a gateway to meditation, a habit that can lower blood pressure and increase your feeling of well-being.

Hidden opportunities to walk:  park in the far out parking lot, window shop the biggest mall in your area, walk the kids to school

Take the stairs – walking stairs strengthens your legs, especially knees.  Stairs can also firm your derrie’re.  Taking stairs two at a time can do wonders for those glutes. Stairs can also raise your heart beat and help you slip in a little cardio if you speed things up.  Walking up and walking down stairs uses those leg muscles differently, so be sure to walk both ways.

Crawl – for those of us with young grandchildren this opportunity for exercise can be a joy.  While you’re down there do a few bird dog moves – raise one leg and the opposite arm – great for core strengthening and balance.  Do a child’s pose and chill for awhile.  Besides, getting up and down can be great move in itself.

Swing – when’s the last time you were on a swing and really put your body into it?  When I rediscovered swinging I was surprised how much of my body I used, not just core, but arms too.  Check out a playground near you and let me know how it goes.

Roll like a pencil – here’s another opportunity to hang out with the grandkids. They will most likely want to roll down the side of a hill, but you can try the backyard to begin with.  I actually do this on the carpet in my TV room. The guy on the video likes to call it Superman/Banana.  I call it a great core workout.

And the most fun of all, DANCE!!!!  Turn on your favorite music and free form. Be joyful and remember all that you have to be thankful for.