Year 2009 in the Chinese astrological Zodiac Calendar is the Ox, this year’s inspirational animal for my healthy new lifestyle. As a New Year’s Resolution I decided to take my health onto a whole new level to add years onto my life and hopefully share with others my experiences to better their futures. See how it all went throughout the year.
The ox has for years been known in Chinese astrology as: “dependable, calm, methodical, born leader, patient, hardworking, ambitious, conventional, steady, modest, logical and rigid” states Wikipedia. These characteristics have been driving me throughout the year, thanks to the Chinese Zodiac Animal the Ox.
For many people, New Years’ Resolutions never precipitate into anything of substance. I like to consider these resolutions as a new beginner, similar to moving to a new school or even a country. As stated in my New Years’ Resolution my goal is to become healthier and lead a more productive life. Thankfully our state has been quite lucky with mild summer temperatures and lower organic produce prices.
The steps I took to a healthier lifestyle in my family:
1. Cut out sugary, processed foods. My family loves chocolate and other new types of sugary, processed foods. In our household, we have always kept to a minimum for these types of foods however no matter what I do; the foods seem to sneak in by themselves. This year we have tried to pay special attention to “hidden” sugar substitutes in products that are supposed to be sugar-free. We have noticed throughout this time that many of the products which were supposed to be “healthy” “sugar-free” and/or enriched with “fiber”.
2. Reduce television time during daylight hours. Television is not the creator of evil however time spent in front of the television distracts from time outdoors soaking in the suns’ rays. Too many children and adults are spending hours upon hours in front of the television daily and not getting enough vitamins from the sunshine outdoors. Without the proper amount of sunshine daily, humans can feel bouts of depression and catch viruses faster than others. Our latest rule in our household is that if the sun is up, the television is turned off.
3. Visit the local library and second-hand book stores. Reading is essential to increasing education and building brain power. Since we are limited on space, we chose to spend more time borrowing books from our local libraries. Not only does it safe space on our already filled bookshelves but helps the environment also. We also hit the second-hand bookstores to find higher level educational books that the libraries did not have in stock. This helped safe a little extra money and also prevents books from filling the landfills after just one read.
4. Purchase Organic as much as possible. After moving from Illinois to Ohio, we had a hard time finding quality organic products. It is very hard to find organic products still today but we are purchasing as much as possible. Organic products have no chemicals, pesticides, and et cetera that can be dangerous to the body. Thankfully in the last few months the prices have gone down slightly which has saved a little money at the grocery stores.
5. Research health journals and keep up on recent health studies. There is a wealth of information out on the internet, along with subscriptions that will education those interested in health research and development from around the world. Reading these journals have been a wonderful inspiration to persist on a healthy diet and keeping to a scheduled exercise routine. Each person needs to be educated so that he/she knows what is going on with their own bodies.
6. Increase exercise. Exercise is essential to a healthy lifestyle and must be done at least five times a week or more. In our household we have kept to exercising at least six times a week and most weeks we exercise seven. Even the smallest exercise, such as walking your dog for more than thirty minutes, gets the blood flowing and one’s heart rate up.
7. Increase time spent outdoors. Again, too many people in my opinion are staying indoors watching television or playing video games. Time spent outdoors is so important to a healthy body that we have increased our time outdoors this last year. This meant reading outdoors, grilling outdoors and even telephone chatting outdoors.
These seven steps have started to change my life for the better. I hope this next upcoming year you can make some changes also.