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Posts Tagged ‘Exercise’

As the beginning of the school year quickly approaches, I’m reminded of my family’s rushed mornings out the door where I lack patience and feel frazzled. As those days progressed, I found it difficult to keep myself motivated and to stay focused on tasks on my ever-growing to-do list. At the end of many days, I felt exhausted with very little completed from my list.

Journaling

In preparation to not repeat the rushed and frazzled mornings this coming school year, I’ve started doing some research about how to make the most of my mornings. Research shows that a productive morning routine can have a positive impact on a person’s day. There are lots of different ideas when it comes to creating an energizing morning routine including getting up early, exercising, drinking water, eating a healthy breakfast, and journaling to name a few. I quickly found all the options overwhelming and wanted to find something that made creating a morning routine a little easier.

That’s when I came across a book called The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod. Hal’s approach to a morning routine made it easier for me to implement. He suggests waking up earlier than you normally would and spending your time doing six personal development habits to transform your morning and your life. The six habits are an acronym SAVERS:

  1. Silence– As you sit in silence, you’re totally present in the now, in the moment. You calm your mind, relax your body, and allow all of your stress to melt away. You develop a deeper sense of peace, purpose, and direction.
  2. Affirmations– Reading over the reminders of how capable you really are, gives you a feeling of confidence. Looking over what you’re committed to, what your purpose is, and what your goals are re-energizes you to take the actions necessary to live the life you truly want, deserve, and now know is possible for you.
  3. Vision– Visualize the change you want to make in your life. Either by creating a vision board or closing your eyes and working through your visualization.
  4. Exercise– Stand up and spend some time getting your heart rate up. Getting energized, waking yourself up and increasing your ability to be alert and to focus.
  5. Reading– Grab a self-help book and read a couple of pages. Learn a new idea, something that you can implement into your day, or discover something new that you can use to be better.
  6. Scribing– Grab a piece of paper and take a minute to write down what you’re grateful for, what you’re proud, or the results you’re committed to creating for today. In doing so, you put yourself in an empowered, an inspired, and a confident state of mind
Quality Wins

The book gives you a base to apply the habits to make them work with your life and I love that I can customize these to fit with my goals. How would you feel if this is how you started your day? How would the quality of your day—your life—improve? I encourage you to wake up each day with more ENERGY, MOTIVATION, and FOCUS to take your day and your life to the next level. 

Author: Amanda Bohlen, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Washington County, bohlen.19@osu.edu

Reviewer: Misty Harmon, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Perry County, harmon.416@osu.edu

Sources:

Elrod, H. (2012). The Miracle Morning . Hal Elrod International, Inc.

Harvard Professional Development. (2016, September 21). 3 Ways to Boost Productivity with a Morning Ritual. Retrieved from https://professional.dce.harvard.edu/blog/3-ways-to-boost-productivity-with-a-morning-ritual/

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A person in a park practicing Tai Chi

Have you ever been at the beach, a park, or another open space and been mesmerized by people moving and swaying their body in a meditative effortless flow and wondered what they were doing? Chances are they were practicing the art of tai chi. The use of tai chi originated in ancient China and is one of the most effective exercises for health of the mind and body. Tai chi was created based on the Traditional Chinese Medicine, martial arts, and the law of nature known as the “Tao”. It incorporates knowledge going back for thousands of years in Chinese history. 

Tai chi offers overall health benefits and is intrinsically enjoyable. It is believed people are more likely to exercise if they enjoy it. Numerous research supports the health benefits of tai chi. In fact, there are over five hundred medical studies documenting the benefits of tai chi.  

  • Scientist from the University of Florida and Fudan University conducted a study with non-demented older adults from Shanghai, China and found the participants who practiced tai chi three times a week showed significant increases in brain volume and improvements in their memory and thinking test scores.
  • Researchers from Tufts University School of Medicine found patients with knee osteoarthritis, older than sixty-five showed a significant decrease in joint pain and stiffness, improved physical function and depression compared to those in the control group. 
  • A new study found people with elevated blood pressure significantly decreased it after practicing tai chi for just 3 months.
  • In a 1996 a study involving 126 post-heart attack patient’s researchers discovered improved cardiovascular fitness and lower blood pressure in the patients.
  • A study conducted at the Oregon Research Institute examined results of tai chi programs found a 49% reduction in the number of falls and improved performance.
  • According to Harvard Health Publishing Harvard Medical School, in 82% of studies, tai chi improved mood and lowered anxiety.  It was also an effective treatment for depression.

In addition to the research information shared above, other benefits of tai chi include increased stamina, improved strength,  greater flexibility, enhanced immunity, pain relief, improved cardiorespiratory fitness, greater sense of self-control, feeling empowered, increased concentration, and tranquility.

There are other reasons tai chi is such an excellent choice when it comes to exercise. It is affordable, can practiced almost any place, no special equipment is needed, and it appeals to all ages and abilities. The Ohio State University Extension offers virtual tai chi classes throughout the year. If you would like to try a class or are interested in finding out more information, please contact your local extension office. A new sixteen class virtual series will begin again in September.

Written by: Lorrissa Dunfee, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, OSU Extension Belmont County

Reviewed by: Kenneth Stewart, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, OSU Extension Monroe County

Sources:

Chen, Nina. “Health Benefits of Tai Chi Exercise.” University of Missouri Extension, 18 Jan. 2018, https://extension.missouri.edu/news/health-benefits-of-tai-chi-exercise-3475.

Tai Chi for Health Institute, 8 Feb. 2022, https://taichiforhealthinstitute.org/.

“Tai Chi Boosts Heart Health!” Cleveland HeartLab, Inc., 24 July 2020, https://www.clevelandheartlab.com/blog/tai-chi-boosts-heart-health/.

Leonardi, Monica. “Photo by Monica Leonardi on Unsplash.” Beautiful Free Images & Pictures, 19 Jan. 2020, https://unsplash.com/photos/Bp8rssVTi-o.

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Based on the title of my blog, you might think it’s focused on yoga, tai chi, or some other form of gentle movement often associated with mindfulness. While all of these can be beneficial, mindful movement can include much more.

As a runner, I have struggled with an Achilles tendon injury for years. There have been times when I had to forego running altogether for several months at a time. After diligently doing things to heal, I have been able to resume running. When I have had to take breaks, I had to remind myself to start slowly and to gradually increase my distance. This is not and has not been easy. I have re-injured myself from going too far too soon and from not being mindful when moving my body. I have been back to running for a couple years with little trouble, though I must constantly remind myself to be mindful while running.

I recently started training for a marathon, a bucket list item before I reach the ½ century mark later this year. Even though I have a training plan/schedule, I also have to be flexible and listen to my body, particularly my left foot/heel as I am increasing my distance. I am keenly aware of how my usual state feels and when I notice it becoming altered, I must stop running and walk for a bit to give my muscles and my heel a rest from the repetitive running movement. I do this so I do not re-injure myself due to poor body mechanics. By being mindful of my stride length, of how and at what point my foot hits the ground, of the terrain, of my posture, and of my pace, I can continue running injury free.

Another part of mindful movement is paying attention to or noticing what’s happening around you at any given moment. Since I run primarily on the road, paying attention always, is imperative. By staying in the present moment, I am more aware of potential hazards, like holes in the road, icy patches, and speeding or distracted drivers. I also get to take in more of the scenery and beauty of the terrain. There is nothing better than running up a hill and then pausing to take in the view before heading down the other side. I notice different sounds, like cars in the distance or the wind picking up as it blows across the fields or through the trees and finally on me.

You may be thinking, yeah, yeah, yeah, so what does this have to do with mindful movement? Well, mindful movement can be practiced ANYTIME you are moving!

Here are three easy steps to practice moving mindfully:

1.            Notice what is happening in the body.

2.            Recognize what is on your mind – notice troublesome thoughts we cannot stop. Recognize habitual patterns.

3.            Accept that feelings and thoughts are impermanent and just passing through. Allow them to be in the space you are noticing. Allow yourself to feel what you feel.

If you find resistance – just notice how that feels with a sense of kindness to yourself. Breathe into the blockage or difficulty with a sense of softness.

If your mobility is limited, notice what movements you can do with ease. Try to capitalize on movements that are OK for you, even circling your arms, hands, or feet, or flexing the wrists. Allowing, acceptance and kindness are key to any mindfulness practice, still or moving, sitting, laying down or standing.

How do you move mindfully?

Written by Misty Harmon, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, OSU Extension, Perry County

Reviewed by Jami Dellifield, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, OSU Extension, Hardin County

Sources

Calechman, S., Bradley, C., Graham, L., Staff, M., Pratt, M., & Lagunju, O. (2022, February 4). Getting started with Mindful Movement. Mindful. Retrieved February 18, 2022, from https://www.mindful.org/getting-started-with-mindful-movement

Calechman, S., Bradley, C., Graham, L., Staff, M., Pratt, M., & Lagunju, O. (2022, February 4). Getting started with Mindful Movement. Mindful. Retrieved February 18, 2022, from https://www.mindful.org/getting-started-with-mindful-movement/

Dreskin, M., Smith, S., & Kane, D. (Eds.). (n.d.). The benefits of Mindful Movement. What Is Mindful Movement and What Are Its Benefits? | Mental Health & Wellness | Kaiser Permanente. Retrieved February 18, 2022, from https://healthy.kaiserpermanente.org/health-wellness/mental-health/tools-resources/mind-body-wellness/movement-benefits

Renner, B. (2019, February 13). Mindfulness meditation too boring? try mindful movement to shed stress, anxiety. Study Finds. Retrieved February 18, 2022, from https://www.studyfinds.org/mindfulness-meditation-mindful-movement-stress-anxiety/

Seery, J. (2022, January 31). Mindful movement. Mindfulness Association. Retrieved February 18, 2022, from https://www.mindfulnessassociation.net/weekly-challenge/mindful-movement/

Work Well NYC. (n.d.). Improving Mind-Body Wellness Through Mindful Movement. https://www1.nyc.gov/site/olr/wellness/wellnesshome.page. Retrieved February 17, 2022, from https://www1.nyc.gov/assets/olr/downloads/pdf/wellness/improvingmindbodywellnessthroughmindfulmovement.pdf

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Celebrating the 4th of July reminds us that we are amid the middle of Summer.   The warm weather and sunny days are a perfect time to think about improving our self-care.  Take a little extra care of yourself and change up your routine to enjoy all this season has to offer.  Here are some suggestions to help you get started, get outside, and enjoy the sunshine:

  • Abandon the couch and relax outdoors.  Take a blanket or lawn chair and something to read and set up a retreat to enjoy being outdoors on a beautiful sunny day!
  • Take a walk. A walk is a great way to clear your head and enjoy a warm summer afternoon.  Invite a friend and get your exercise while catching up.
  • Visit your local farmer’s market. Take advantage of seasonal produce and local vendors. A trip to the farmer’s market can be a great opportunity to try new foods,  incorporate healthier options into your diet and enjoy local produce.
  • Gardening is a great way to meditate, enjoy the outdoors and get some sunshine.   It is an opportunity to spend time with your family and make new friends.
  • Tidy one small space in your home or office.    Organize a drawer or your desktop– even having one space clean and free of clutter helps you feel calmer.
  • Make a summer playlist. There are many great summer tunes to enjoy.   Music is an easy way to improve your mood and motivate you to get moving.
  • Have a picnic. Enjoying a meal outside is an easy way to get fresh air and sunshine. 
  • Try a new exercise.  Try a new outdoor activity.  Hiking, pickle ball or swimming are frequent outdoor activities.  Remember to use sunscreen and bug spray!   
  • Participate in community events.  Search online or in the newspaper for events going on around town. Consider outdoor movies, yard sales, festivals, farmer’s markets, or concerts.  Making fun plans is exciting and gives you something to look forward to.
  • Start a journal. Writing can be a great way to express how you feel and check-in with your emotions. Or create a drawing or doodle journal.  Document summer1
  • Reconnect with someone. Call an old friend – family member or grandparent.
  • Go exploring.  Look into areas you have not visited in your community.  Find a new part of town you have never visited and visit. 
  • Practice mindfulness. Try meditation or create a list of 10 things you are thankful for daily.
  • Complete a needs assessment.   How was last week?  How can you make next week better?  Do you need more sleep?  Prepare some healthy meals in advance and freeze.  Take a moment to reflect and decide what is needed to take better care of yourself. 

Use these ideas to complete your own self-care checklist this summer.  Small changes to your routine can improve your self-care practice and overall mood. Focus on new ways you can be active, get outside and get involved with your community. Have a great summer!

Written by:  Beth Stefura, OSU Extension Educator, Mahoning County, stefura.2@osu.edu

Reviewed by:  Margaret Jenkins, OSU Extension Educator, Clermont County, jenkins.188@osu.edu

References

https://extension.illinois.edu/global/summer-self-care-series

Self-care: 4 ways to nourish body and soul – Harvard Health

Self Care 101 | Psychology Today

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Two years ago, I wrote an article about how I set a personal goal to return to a fitness routine after the birth of my son and subsequent return to work. I set a SMART goal for myself: I wanted to re-stablish a fitness routine by attending at least one group fitness class every week for a month. My previous fitness routine of attending two classes a week had been disrupted by my pregnancy, and I was eager to return to it.

In the summer and fall months of 2019, I met my initial goal and began to attend classes more frequently, returning to a routine similar to what had been my old normal. I kept that routine until mid-March of 2020 when the global coronavirus pandemic shut down my gym and I found my routine disrupted once again!

In the early months of the pandemic, I adapted by doing at-home workouts in place of group fitness classes, and I continued those for many months. However, I discovered that while those at-home workouts provided me with regular strength-training, my daily step count was depressingly low since I didn’t have much space at home to move around or engage in moderate- to vigorous-intensity activity. I knew this was problematic as the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommend adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise each week for substantial health benefits, though they do also state that any activity is better than none.

A treadmill desk
My Treadmill Desk

At that point in time, I set a goal for myself to reach at least 7,000 steps each day. My husband and I purchased a treadmill desk which helped tremendously! I began to reach my step goal regularly and increased it to 10,000 steps per day. But then, eventually, I had to start returning to my office for work and did not have the treadmill available for use during the workday. My husband is still working from home and making use of the treadmill desk, and while I tried to order one for my office, it was (and is still) on backorder!

So, what to do now? Despite the challenges and excuses I am tempted to claim, I know it is time once again to reclaim a “normal” fitness routine that meets my needs. My gym is open once again and I am fully vaccinated, so I believe it is time for me to rejoin and start attending group fitness classes to get strength-training AND moderate-intensity exercise on a regular basis. I called my gym to rejoin last week and my SMART goal is the same as it was two years ago: to reestablish a fitness routine by attending at least one group fitness class every week for a month. In some ways it may seem like I have regressed, but when I step back and look at the whole picture, I am reminded that we often grow in fits and spurts, even when we encounter setbacks in our life. The most important lesson is to not give up on our goals and to remember that it’s never too late to start again. We owe it to ourselves and to our health.

Sources:

Lobb, J. (2019). Reclaiming fitness. Live Healthy Live Well. https://livehealthyosu.com/2019/08/22/reclaiming-fitness

Stanford BeWell (2021). Achieving your SMART health goal. https://bewell.stanford.edu/achieving-your-smart-health-goal

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (2018). Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, 2nd edition. https://health.gov/paguidelines/second-edition/pdf/Physical_Activity_Guidelines_2nd_edition.pdf

Written by: Jenny Lobb, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, OSU Extension, Franklin County, lobb.3@osu.edu

Reviewed by: Laura Stanton, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, OSU Extension, Warren County, stanton.60@osu.edu

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Husband and wife family picture

My brother-in-law was born with neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1). One of the possible indications of NF1 is heart deformations. Specifically, for him, it resulted in his ascending aorta and left ventricle being deformed at birth. Originally his family was told this should not be an issue until his 50’s. Like many young men in their 20’s who are in great health (non-smoker, no alcohol or drug use, and an avid bodybuilder) he felt fine, so he did not schedule his routine cardiovascular checkups.

At the age of 26 he began to experience chest pains because of inflammation of the chest cavity. His deformed valve had weakened, and he would need a heart transplant in 5 years if he did not address it immediately. His first open heart surgery took a team of surgeons 8 hours to rebuild his ascending aorta, left ventricle and to implant a St. Jude mechanical valve.

Father and Daughter family picture

Just two years later he would undergo a second open heart surgery, after he developed dull chest pains, severe back pains, and a lack of energy. Scar tissue had created a 98% blockage in his left anterior descending artery – commonly known as the widow maker

It has been 14 years since his last surgery. With the use of medications, he is feeling great. He must be diligent with his diet to make sure he is not eating foods high in vitamin K (when taking a blood thinner such as Warfarin, Vitamin K should be limited) and that he is watching his LDL cholesterol level.

Exercise is also an important part of his heart healthy lifestyle. He can no longer complete body builder style workouts, but he does make sure to do aerobic exercise to improve his circulation which helps to lower his blood pressure and heart rate, this along with strength training helps increase his HDL (good) cholesterol and lower his LDL (bad) cholesterol. His motivation is his wife and daughters. He must take care of his heart so that he will be there to walk his daughters down the aisle and to be by his wife’s side as they grow older together.

His advice:

  • See your doctor regularly. Your routine appointments are important to maintain your heart health.
  • Take your medications as prescribed.
  • Inform your doctor of any changes, including your diet. Certain foods can impact the effectiveness of some medications, so they may not be working as prescribed.
  • Exercise. Aerobic exercise is a great way to work out your heart muscle.

Just as my brother-in-law is Strong @ Heart, I invite you join me as we introduce you to others who are Strong @ Heart during American Heart Month! We will explore what Strong @ Heart means in a fun, interactive, and lighthearted ways.

Sign up for the Ohio State University Extension’s award winning, Live Healthy Live Well 6-week email wellness challenge. I will send you two weekly emails from February 1 – March 15, 2021.

What is the cost? It is FREE!!

Who can participate? Any adult with an email account.

How do I sign up? You can register with this link: go.osu.edu/LHLWWest

Be Healthy, Be Well, and Be Strong @ Heart!

Written by: Roseanne Scammahorn, Ph.D., Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Darke County, scammahorn.5@osu.edu

Reviewed by: Michelle Treber, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Pickaway County, treber.1@osu.edu

Reviewed by: Misty Harmon, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Perry County, harmon.416@osu.edu

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stay at home

With so many aspects of our lives disrupted recently, a lot of people may be feeling anxious and overwhelmed over the current stay-at-home order.  Many are learning how to work from home, navigate through the home-schooling process, and balance the many changes in daily routines.

We all live busy lives.  This new “style” of life has altered our everyday routines and is likely impacting work life/home life balance.

Recently, at a conference I attended, the keynote speaker Theresa Glomb gave an inspiring talk on improving work life. This theme also relates to our overall daily lives and provides a relevant message with easy action steps. Consider using these four steps to improve your stay at home work life:

  • Work Hard
  • Have Fun
    • Create a positive home environment.
    • Use technology to stay connected to family, friends and neighbors. Video chat play trivia games or start a virtual book club. Remember to monitor children’s usage on any digital social app.
    • Use technology to learn something new. Take an online cooking class, watch a virtual concert or experience zoos, museums and aquariums online.
    • Choose a book to read a chapter out loud each night with your family.
    • Play board games, card games or do a jigsaw puzzle.
daffidols
  • Choose Kind
    • Text a co-worker and ask how their evening was last night.
    • Give a compliment for a job well done.
    • Express gratitude to essential workers (first responders, health care professionals, etc.) who are on the front lines.
    • Practice self-care. Exercise daily, using online physical activities if needed. Stick to your sleep routine and eat healthy meals.
  • Be Present     
    • Uni-task. Pay attention by focusing on the task at hand.
    • Engage in mindful practices daily.
    • Stay positive.
    • Reflect on one good thing that happened at the end of each day at dinner.

These changes are temporary and when things return to normal, we will all have learned valuable lessons to continue to use daily.

Written by:   Beth Stefura, OSU Extension Educator, Mahoning County. stefura.2@osu.edu

Reviewed by: Jenny Lobb, OSU Extension Educator, Franklin County.  lobb.3@osu.edu

References:

Theresa Glomb. https://www.theresaglomb.com/

Ohio Department of Health. Stay at Home Order FAQs. https://coronavirus.ohio.gov/wps/portal/gov/covid-19/home/stay-at-home-information/stay-at-home-order-frequently-asked-questions

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There are several ways that we can help our future self with better planning and preparation today.

A couple of years ago I started to hear and read what was a new phrase for me: Future Self. The older I get, the more I consider how the things I do today will affect who I am tomorrow. And that may just be the definition of maturity.

This is by no means a complete list of everything to consider for your future self. But as we enter full swing into a season when we are encouraged to immerse ourselves in indulgence, may this be an inspiration (and even permission) to be kind to your future self. Here are some themes that I am currently tackling or have on my list to accomplish in the coming year.

Meal planning: The stress of quickly coming up with dinner once I get home from work results in a not-so-fun-mom. I’m sure that once upon a time I was better at planning out meals for the week ahead. So a present for my future self is to make meal planning a routine habit. My goal is to sit down the last week of each month and plan for the next month. That may sound like a lot, but as a co-parent with tween kids, we always know about 90% of our schedule for the next month. Planning this way allows me to see which days should be a slow cooker meal, which evenings we can cook together in the kitchen, and which nights are going to be a creative use of leftovers. There are some great resources to give you a planning template, menu idea inspiration and some recipes to vary your protein, which could be just what you need for a change of pace.

Family meetings: We recently started doing this at our house. My oldest chairs the meeting and the youngest takes minutes. It keeps them engaged and gives us some great laughs. Our main goal is to discuss our calendar for the next month. It has significantly reduced the night before realization that there is a schedule conflict tomorrow. We also talk through expenses that are coming up and how are we are doing with our budget. Here are some other good tips for family meetings.

If not now, then when?: Planning is a theme here. I recently taught a money management class to a group of employees at a local manufacturing company. During the last lesson we discussed several of the things that we know are important, but since they don’t seem urgent, we don’t act on them. Having advance directives like a living will, identifying power of attorney, and understanding life insurance are examples of things that your future self and your family will appreciate.

Exercise: Since turning 40 I know that I am more physically fit than I have probably ever been in my life. I made the choice to make it a priority. I thought about the future self I wanted. Not to fit into a certain size clothing. My goal is have a healthy lifestyle that gives me the best opportunity to live long enough to be a part of my great-grandchildren’s lives.  It is never too late to increase your physical activity . It can be one of the best presents you give to your future self.  

Sources:

Galloway, A and Starnes, J. Advance Directives. University of Tennessee Extension at https://farmlandlegacy.utk.edu/pubs/AdvancedDirectivesSP743C_Gray.pdf

Iowa State University Extension (2016) 5-Day Meal Planning Worksheet. at https://iastate.app.box.com/s/nwecdndbm5ighioz3suu

Iowa State University Extension (2016) Meal Planning Calendar. at https://iastate.app.box.com/s/6a073s9g34gfia0thev88mu1bp4rzfw2

Kansas State University Research and Extension Department of Human Nutrition. Vary Your Protein Recipe Series. at https://www.ksre.k-state.edu/humannutrition/nutrition-topics/eatingwell-budget/meals-documents/VYPRecipeBook.pdf

McCoy, J. Family Meetings Foster Good Communications. University of Illinois Extension Parenting Again Newsletter Issue 29. at https://web.extension.illinois.edu/grandparents/article.cfm?ID=5171&IssueID=5213

Rapaport, L. (2019) Maintaining or starting exercise in middle life tied to longer life at https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-fitness-middle-age/maintaining-or-starting-exercise-in-middle-age-tied-to-longer-life-idUSKCN1UC2E9

Rivette, C. (2013, June 15) Planning ahead: Power of attorney – part 1. Michigan State University Extension at https://www.canr.msu.edu/news/planning_ahead_power_of_attorney_part_1

Photo credit: https://pixabay.com/photos/board-school-forward-front-2525247/

Written by: Emily Marrison, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, OSU Extension Coshocton County

Reviewed by: Lorrissa Dunfee, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, OSU Extension Belmont County

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Exercise has some amazing benefits. It can boost your mood, sharpen your focus, reduce your stress, and improve your sleep. So let’s get moving. Did you know that all activity counts? It all adds up. Adults need to shoot for 150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic activity and 2 muscle-strengthening activities each week. What is moderate intensity aerobic activity? Anything that gets your heart beating faster. Even short bursts of physical activity can add up to a healthy lifestyle. What’s your favorite way to move? Walk, clean, shop, arm circles, gardening, dance, hike… it all adds up.

Health.gov offers an activity planner to help you plan your physical activity for the week. If you’re just starting out, pick an activity you enjoy and take it slow and easy. Once you get the hang of it, you can build on it — or try something new. Find an activity you really enjoy — whether it’s soccer or swimming, biking or ballet. You can have fun, let off steam, and stay fit at the same time.

Do you have a disability, chronic condition, or injury?

Don’t let a limitation become a barrier to exercise. There are lots of ways you can adapt activities to work for you. Health.gov has compiled a page of exercise resources for people with special conditions.

picture of man and girl walking in woods

Parents: Get your kids moving too

Kids need exercise too. In fact, they need about 60 minutes of physical activity a day. They also need muscle-strengthening (climbing and swinging on monkey bars) and bone-strengthening activities (weight-bearing like running and jumping) during the week. Encourage your kids to play actively with friends. Give rewards for active chores. Or move together… go for a walk, dance, or play an active game with your kids.

Need help getting motivated?

Feeling tired can be a barrier to starting exercise, but knowing that exercise can actually boost your energy is a great motivator. This two-minute video shares ideas for getting motivated and tips for getting started with exercise.

Move Your Way Logo with people doing various activities on top of MOVE

  1. Set yourself up for success. Get workout clothes out before you need them. Plan time in your schedule for your activity.
  2. Find an activity buddy. If you don’t feel motivated to exercise alone, friends can make it more fun.
  3. Make a pledge. Share your pledge with a friend or online, and you’re more likely to make it stick.
  4. Set small goals. Five minutes of exercise is a nice, small goal to start with. Something is better than nothing. Start small and work up from there

So what’s your move?

Sources:

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, 2nd edition. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; 2018. https://health.gov/paguidelines/second-edition/

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Move Your Way Campaign. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; 2019. https://health.gov/moveyourway/

Written by: Shannon Carter, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Fairfield County

Reviewed by: Misty Harmon, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Perry County

 

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Last year was a very difficult year for my family, and 2019 has not started any better. Everywhere I turn I am forced to think about the challenges my family is facing. I know I am not alone in the way I feel. I also know that some of you may be living in your worst fear every day. I have spent the last several months trying to keep my head high and not talk about what is going on behind the scenes. I am a very private person when it comes to my family and I do not plaster my every thought on social media. However, keeping all of that inside of me has not been good for my health. I know how to recognize and control my stress but no matter what I tried, I could not escape it.Think Positive motivation

My family is one of the many dairy families across the United States experiencing farm stress. Living in the unknown of the farm takes away all of my positive energy and can be emotionally exhausting and draining every day. I have had to make a conscience effort to focus on the positives in my life and to let the negatives go. I was able to find an extremely wonderful handout from North Dakota State University Extension called 12 Tools for Your Wellness Toolbox in Times of Farm Stress. I had the amazing opportunity to hear Sean, the author, speak at a conference about rural stress. This resource not only applies to farm stress but to ALL stress that EVERYONE faces. The list focuses on the following physical, mental, emotional, personal, work, and financial wellness strategies, which will help enhance your mood, renew your energy and help you stay focused:

  1. Exercise 20 minutes or more daily (walk, swim, ride a bike, etc.)
  2. Get an annual medical checkup with a local health-care provider.
  3. Spend 10 minutes planning your day and priorities.
  4. Take regular 5- to 10-minute breaks in your day to relax and recharge.
  5. Write down 3 things that you are grateful for daily.
  6. Share concerns with a counselor or other professional.
  7. Take 15 minutes each day for uninterrupted conversation with a spouse or family member.
  8. Get involved or stay connected with a friend or group of friends.
  9. Discuss needs of the farm operation but do not let them occupy all other aspects of life.
  10. Seek constructive feedback on your farm operation and ways to grow or improve.
  11. Create a family budget and seek to live within your means.
  12. Select three healthy habits you will try to practice daily. Start today!

Which three healthy habits could you begin doing today? So many times, we try to handle things on our own and in reality, we end up doing more damage than good. I strongly encourage you to figure out who is in your support network. Who do you feel comfortable sharing your personal struggle(s) with? I started focusing on the goodness in this world and the amazing people that surround me. My coworkers and friends have been wonderful! They’ve given me endless amounts of humor to lighten my mood, been a listening ear on tough days and have sent words of encouragement. Don’t feel like you have to hold your thoughts in any longer. Open up and focus on the positive outcomes in your bumpy ride.

 

Brotherson, S. (2017, September) 12 Tools for your wellness toolbox in times of farm stress. Retrieved from https://www.ag.ndsu.edu/publications/kids-family/12-tools-for-your-wellness-toolbox-in-times-of-farm-stress

Stefura, B. (2014, October 13). Don’t let stress get the best of you! Retrieved from https://livehealthyosu.com/2014/10/13/dont-let-stress-get-the-best-of-you/

 

Author: Amanda Bohlen, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Washington County, bohlen.19@osu.edu

Reviewer: Jenny Lobb, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Franklin County, lobb.3@osu.edu

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