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Filed in Kim's Corner — September 12, 2016

The truth is that living a healthy lifestyle can be quite simple; we just have to realize that it’s a priority, and make some purposeful changes. Consider these steps:

1. Change the way you think about exercise and healthy eating. Look at exercise as stimulation, not annihilation. View eating as consuming delicious, high quality foods that are the resource needed to supply your body with the nutrients it needs and craves to perform at its very best.

As seen in the Fauquier Times.hi-res-kim-retouched-687x1024

Regular exercise and mindful eating may be our greatest hope for true health care reform, and for those of us in our 40s and beyond, this way of thinking is vital to our long-term wellness.

Hippocrates said, “If we could give every individual the right amount of nourishment and exercise, not too little, and not too much, we would have found the safest way to health.”

This notion sounds so simple in our complex world. For those of us who lead a sedentary lifestyle with high levels of stress, long workdays, and minimal sleep, with little or no focus on self preservation, whole health, and happiness, the thought of considering one more factor in an already jam-packed day can indeed seem not only complex, but overwhelming.

2. Come to terms with the importance of your health. Denying you are aging or that your health is declining is an avoidance measure. There is nothing more important than your health. Repeat. There is nothing more important than your health! For change to occur, action must take place.

3. Determine your “WHY”. Why is it important for you to begin to develop healthy habits? Why do you want to live longer? Why do you need to maintain control of your own life? Why do you want to prevent disease? Why is it important to improve the quality of your daily life? Who will benefit and why? Once you have determined your why, write and down and prominently display it.

4. Determine your “HOW”. Often we know we should make changes, but we don’t know how to go about it. In so many other aspects of everyday life, we enlist the advice and expertise from those we trust. Getting help with your health and fitness should be no different. Don’t be afraid to seek the advice from a health and fitness professional.

5. Let a health club help. Choose an environment that suits your needs and makes you feel accepted. Make sure the staff is qualified to help you with your “why” and “how”. You deserve to work towards your goals without judgment and where there are activities that fit your personality. Once you develop good relationships and you have established trust with those around you, you’re very likely to reach your goals and stay on track.

6. Get an evaluation. Quality health clubs should provide you with an evaluation to help determine your baseline, discuss your health history, and help you set a course of action based on your time availability, your fitness level, and your goals.

7. Set small goals and build upon them. The world was not built in a day, and neither are we!

8. Pace yourself. If you are just starting out, proceed with caution and progress over time.

9. Put it on paper. A well thought out, balanced, and organized plan will help you stay on track. This is where fitness professionals can really help.

10. Forgive yourself when you make a mistake. Accept that with change comes some struggle, so be kind to yourself as you forge this new path.

The key to embracing the importance of your health is envisioning the long term. What do you want your life to be like when you’re fifty, sixty, and seventy? Decide what actions will be necessary to realize that vision. There is no better time than right now to start plotting a course of action toward a healthier and happier you, whatever your age.

Theodore Roosevelt once wisely noted that “The best thing you can do is the right thing, the second best thing you can do is the wrong thing and the worst thing you can do is nothing.” Let’s get busy!

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