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Be Strong, Be Healthy — Be YOU!

By Executive Assistant Shannon Howlett

We’ve all been there – glancing through a magazine to see beautiful models, wearing the most glamorous clothes with perfect bodies.

But these days, it’s not so much about being thin; it’s about being healthy and strong. Small changes can result in amazing outcomes and a little education goes a long way, starting with four key numbers you should know that affect your health. Do you know them? They are BMI or Body Mass Index, Blood Pressure, Fasting Total Cholesterol and Fasting Blood Sugar.  Many times, bad numbers can be turned around by choosing to eat a well-balanced diet and regular exercise.

Start small.  Choose one thing to change such as to lower your cholesterol, to lose 10 lbs, to quit smoking, or to exercise more regularly.  You get the idea.  If you try to conquer too much at once, you set yourself up for failure.  Look for a buddy or a support system.  Encouragement is one of the best ways to keep yourself moving toward your goal.

One of the key benefits I’ve found to focusing on my health, and in particular, adding regular exercise, is the that the release of endorphins from exercise has positive effects on my overall outlook. It has affected my mood and self-esteem in many positive ways.

Endorphins interact with the receptors in your brain and that helps trigger positive feelings in the body.  Some people describe the feeling as “euphoric” or what I’ve often heard referred to as a “runner’s high”.  The feeling brings a positive and energizing outlook on life.  I’ve found that missing a day of exercise or the “endorphin release” often makes me feel more irritable or less focused on my day.  Regular exercise has also been proven to:

  • Reduce stress.
  • Ward off anxiety and feelings of depression.
  • Improve sleep.
  • It strengthens your heart.
  • It increases energy levels.
  • It lowers blood pressure.
  • It improves muscle tone and strength.
  • It strengthens and builds bones.
  • It helps reduce body fat.
  • It makes you look fit and healthy.

Wow!  That’s quite a list of undeniable and beneficial effects.  So, what are you waiting for?  Start now.  Start small.  Pick something — anything.  As you see positive results, you’ll gain momentum and then look out; there will be no stopping you.  Learn to love yourself because you are unique and that makes you beautiful inside and out.

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