When people find out what I do for a living, they often ask me to help them choose a certain style of yoga, recommend a DVD and/or teacher, or offer them a brief yoga practice that helps them with whatever they are suffering with. Over the years I've been enthusiastic to help and offer up suggestions, referrals, practices, etc. I'm sad to say that while some are appreciative, the great majority ask and then are unresponsive to the suggestions offered. If I had a dollar for every person who asked me for help and then failed to even try what I suggested, I'd be writing this from my very own private island.
Change Is Hard
I'll admit that it's frustrating. I've had people beg me for help and then fail to even respond to a follow-up email asking how they're doing with the practice I gave them. Am I a fan of asking for help and then failing to even try the suggestions offered? No. But I do understand that change is hard for many people. Adopting healthy habits and sticking with them can feel like a next to impossible task. Sometimes it's still frighteningly easy for me to start eating poorly. Well over a decade ago, it was hard for me to stick to an exercise regime. Yep, forming new, healthier habits is hard.
You Don't Know What You Have Until It's Gone
But do you know what's harder? Being unhealthy. Just ask anyone who struggles with his/her health. Remember a time when you were sick -- wouldn't you have given just about anything to feel better? Waiting until you're sick isn't the time to start adopting healthier habits. The time is now.
National Women's Health Week
May 9-15 is National Women's Health Week . This year's theme is “It’s Your Time,” and this nationwide initiative is encouraging women to take simple steps for a longer, healthier, and happier life. Important steps include:
Getting at least 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate physical activity, 1 hour and 15 minutes of vigorous physical activity, or a combination of both each week
Eating a nutritious diet
Visiting a health care professional to receive regular checkups and preventive screenings
Avoiding risky behaviors, such as smoking and not wearing a seatbelt
Paying attention to mental health, including getting enough sleep and managing stress
Making Your Health a Priority
We shouldn't need a week-long event to inspire us to get healthy, but it sure doesn't hurt. Think of it as New Year's Eve -- a fresh start and the perfect time to make a change. Today is the perfect day to make a healthy intention and stick to it not only from May 9-15 but for a lifetime.
Set an Intention to Make a Small Change
A great way to solidify your intention is to write it out. The folks over at GE are offering the perfect way in which to do this via their Pledge for Better Health Web site. It's simple -- go to Pledge for Better Health and write in your pledge along with your first name and your zip code. If you're looking for inspiration, check out the interactive map and see what women from all over the country are doing to improve their health.
Make a Pledge and Win a $20 Gift Card
I'd like to get as many people as possible the make a pledge for better health. As a little inspiration, I'm offering a $20 gift card to a random pledger. Make your Pledge for Better Health and then add your pledge link to the comments section of this post. On May 9th, I'll randomly choose one person to receive a $20 GE Healthymagination-themed gift card.
I need to drink more water during the day, so I just made a pledge to do so. And to help me achieve this pledge, I purchased fresh herbs to add flavor to my water as an incentive to get myself to drink more. What can you do for yourself to be healthier? Why not:
Add more greens to your diet
Cut out fast food/Soda/Sweets from your diet
Meditate for 15 minutes a day
Practice yoga for 20 minutes a day
Take the stairs instead of using the elevator
Do jumping jacks during commercial breaks while you're watching your favorite TV show
Do a cleanse
Walk during your lunch break
Get an extra half hour of sleep a night
Try a 40-Day Sadhana
Just yesterday I started another 40-day Kundalini sadhana. I love this concept of committing to an action for 40 days. Although I have a lot of healthy habits, it never hurts to add one more. Just think of how your life would change if you adopted a healthy habit and continued it for 40 days. At the end of the 40 days, you'd add another healthy habit. Imagine what would happen to the quality of your life if you did that for one year.
Resources to Help
In addition to the Pledge for Better Health site, there are a lot of resources out there to help you get healthier. Here are some of my favorites: