Be Happy ~ Be Healthy

I requested this free book entitled 'Be Happy...Be Healthy' from United Health and it has some really great 'simple' tips for getting and staying Happy and Healthy, and I wanted to share them with you to give you some simple motivation for ways to lose weight, and become healthier and stronger!!

Apart from the sheer joy you'll bring to Bowser, consider this: The increased cardiovascular activity promotes healthy heart and lungs, and all that dodging and quick-start/quick-stop motion not only builds muscles, but it also sharpens our 'fast-twitch' muscles, which in turn influences reaction time. Furthermore, for years now studies have shown that simply petting an animal lowers blood pressure. But if you have a dog you know the best reason of all to play together: Time spent with something you love is always time well spent.

One 40-minute walk can dramatically lower levels of tension and anxiety, and if you're interested in losing weight or keeping weight off, try brisk walking. In one Colorado study a group of 800 people lost 30 pounds or more and have kept it off for a year through regular walking. Walking is also easy on the joints, and whether you do it alone or with a friend, it's a great way to take a long, appreciative look at the world around you.

Not only does it feel s-o-o-o good, but stretching also keeps your body flexible so it will do what you want. And studies show that regular stretching can also lead to weight loss. Here's how it works: When we stretch, we engage muscles that become more developed over time. Muscles take up less space in our bodies than fat, and they also burn a lot of calories to survive. So stretching effectively turns our bodies into fat-burning machines. Stretching is also a stress reliever. And did you know that regular stretching can actually increase your height?

Water is free. It has no calories. It keeps your joints working smoothly and your intestines doing what they're supposed to do. Water keeps you feeling full so you won't overeat. A continuous supply of fresh water can purge the system of impurities and keep your skin dewy and youthful and can also diminish or even eliminate monthly water retention. When you're drinking enough water (at least eight glasses a day), you'll notice something else, too - the return of real, appropriate thirst. So if you're interested in not looking or feeling your age, water is a good friend.

Before electric lights, a typical night's sleep lasted 10 hours. These days we barely average seven hours and, as a result, we are a sleep-deprived nation. Sleep-deprived brains make mistakes - studies show that if you shortchange your night's sleep by an hour and a half, you can lose as much as one third of your alertness the next day. And contrary to popular belief, lost sleep cannot be 'made up for'. A nap can improve your mood and your mental sharpness, so if at all possible institute your own 'siests' policy.

The advantages of regularly walking up several flights of stairs are considerable. Gluteus maximus and quadriceps muscles can become noticeably toned in a matter of days. (Bigger muscles burn more caloires.) Eventually, heart and lungs strengthen and resting heart rate lowers. (Your heart will beat longer.) You won't be using the elevator, so you won't be using electrical energy. (The environment will thank you.) Don't be afraid to get a little bit tired! It goes away faster with every flight.

Remember how much fun it used to be? It still is - and you're a grownup now, so there's nobody telling you not to do it! Technically speaking, that hopping motion is good for your leg muscles, and that laughing motion is great exercise for your facial muscles. So get wet and get exhilarated.

Touch is the first sense we develop and using it regularly does wonders for your health. Human touch can lower blood pressure, speed learning and ease emotional problems. Children use touch to communicate without a second thought. Reconnect with your childhood and give someone you care about a big squeeze. They're probably yearning for it, and you'll enjoy it too.

A smile can subtract years from your face and say more about you than hours of conversation. Smiling can also tone three groups of facial muscles, and firm, supple muscles make for a healthier complexion. Smiling can stimulate glands, hair follicles and blood, all of which nourish and revitalize your skin. And a smile is a wonderful thing to behold. So give somebody a gift - and get an instant facelift.

Skipping elevates your heart rate, gts your blood pumping and can do wonders for your metabolism. Plus it gets you where you're going faster than walking does. Athletes frequently build skipping into their aerobic exercise programs - it boosts muscle strength and endurance. If a 30-minute walk lowers tenion and anxiety, just think what a 30-minute skip can do.

Just sit and be alone. Turn off the television and the radio. Ignore the phone. Don't try to solve a work or family problem. Don't plan the rest of the day or the evening meal. Let your mind go blank and your body go limp. Become reaquainted with that still, silent place that is your essence. Visit this remarkable place as often as you like. Stay as long as you can. Few activities are more refreshing.

Whistling can be good for your heart and lungs and it's also a great tension reliever. A little music can lighten even the heaviest of moods, help lower your blood pressure and reduce the release of stress hormones. Whistling a familiar tune can take your mind off your troubles. And even the smallest shift toward positive thinking can change your body in powerful ways.

Send your teeth into a crips, juicy apple and you're getting much more than a tasty snack. Apples are an excellent source of carbohydrate energy, and they contain antioxidants that may help protect against cancer, heart disease and strokes. One medium apple gives you five grams of fiber in the form of pectin, a great cholesterol reducer. Eating one after a meal can eliminate 95% of the bacteria that causes tooth decay.

Share your thoughts and feelings with a friend, and you've forged an intimate connection to better health. The simple act of writing can be inspiring and uplifting, plus it helps you organize your thoughts, which leads to action. What better way to reconnect with someone you care about. So boost your spirits - and give a loved one the joy of finding something handwritten in the mailbox for a change.

Swing the ball back, and you stretch your biceps and contract your triceps. Bend forward, knee almost to the ground, and let it roll. Your heart rate's up, your blood's circulating faster and you just did a fantastic deep-knee bend. Bowling is a fun way to get a little exercise...while at the same time enjoying the healthful benefits of laughter and good company.

You'll feel great; she'll feel even better. Mom is porbably still the one who knows you best and has the smartest advice. And in the cycle of life there will come a day when you want to call her and cannot. So look around - do you see a phone? You know what to do.

Indoors on a stationary bike or outdoors on a mountain bike - cycling can be one of the best aerobic exercises there is. A 30-minute ride helps condition heart muscles, lower blood pressure and boost levels of healthy HDL cholesterol. Make your outing fun by cycling with friends or picking a scenic spot. And don't forget to warm up and cool down by stretching, walking with your bike or pedaling slowly.

*My favorite and didn't even realize it was good for you!!*
Laughter triggers the release of endorphins, those chemicals in the brain that induce feelings of euphoria. A good giggle can also suppress the production of cortisol, a hormone released when you're under stress nad one that can influence blood pressure, causing your body to retain salt. Laughter is legal, moral and nonfattening. It's also contagious, and engaging in it frequently will contribute to a nicer world.

Fresh air can be one of the best health tonics available, plus it's free. Breathing revitalizes every part of your body. Do it the right way - inhaling and exhaling fully from your diaphragm - and you'll send oxygen zipping through your bloodstream. And the relaxed, rhythmic sensations of correct breathing can reduce tension and anxiety.

Draw a picture, redecorate a room, make a flower arrangement, write a poem, cook a special meal - the genuine feeling of accomplishment you get from creating something can be a great secret of health and longevity. Plus the act of creation is inherently empowering. Transfer that take-charge feeling to other areas of your life and you've got a great recipe for vim, vigor and success.

Sharing somebody else's success brings us back to a feeling of community, and celebrating as a community is one of life's finest pleasures. Take a moment to call and say congratulations. Stand up and let it all out the next time somebody wins a game, whether it's your team or not. We're pack animals after all, and the more of the pack members who are happy, the better off the whole pack will be.

Besides the wonderful things they do for pizza, tomatoes have been linked to a 40 percent lower incidence of stomach, colon and bladder cancer. And tomato eaters often have higher blood levels of lycopene, an antioxident that protects cells from damage. Although these red beauties are wonderful fresh off the vine, cooking tomatoes with fat, such as olive oil and cheese, seems to release lycopene in a form more easily absorbed by the body. And by the way, did you know tomatoes are actually a fruit?

This simple activity incorporates so many excellent elements. First, you cannot create and assemble these giant snowballs without elevating your heart rate and sustaining it for a decent length of time, which is good for your heart and lungs. You're building it either with somebody or for somebody, so it's rewarding on an emotional level. You're outside, breathing fresh, clean air. The many decisions about facial characteristics put your creative juices into play. Best of all, you're having fun. Live in a sunny climate? Build a sandcastle!

Never underestimate the value of a different visual perspective. Maybe putting the couch over there affords you a magnificent view of the neighbor's willow tree or lets you read the paper while basking in the morning sun. the simple act of rearranging furniture can actually get you out of a rut - you're greeted with a different sight when you enter the room and you might even fall in love with your house all over again. Or maybe you'll decide you liked the living room better the way it was, in which case all you get is a good cardiovascular workout.

Drop a seed in dirt and you can experience the profound and fundamental connection with the earth that has been present since the dawn of mankind. One seed represents the miracle of birth, the cycle of life and even a lesson in responsibility. One seed can bring flowers to please the eye or herbs to please the palate. No matter what comes from the one seed, you made it. You created life and - with help from a little sun and water - you will sustain it. Give yourself this simple, powerful gift.

I know this is alot of reading, but they all make perfect sense, and what simple ways to get yourself healthy again. Hope you enjoyed these!!!

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