Hello friends, and welcome to this month’s Joyinmovement newsletter.
Usually the first JIM letter of the new year talks about my tips for optimal health. But this year, well…….I’m inspired to offer you something different!
The 12 days of Christmas are over and we’ll get to hear the 12 days of Christmas song next year, but in the meantime, have you heard the First 12 Days of the Year song? It’s sung to the same tune but makes different GIFT recommendations!
It goes something like this:
1. On the first day of the new year my true love gave to me: 1 molasses cookie. Studies show that molasses may be helpful in weight loss. Worth a try!
2. On the second day of the new year my true love gave to me: 2 ounces of almonds. Don’t go nuts with nuts but a few ounces a day have all kinds of health benefits!
3. On the third day of the new year my true love gave to me: 3 ounces of salmon. Omega-3 fatty acids have natural anti-inflammatory factors.
4. On the fourth day of the new year my true love gave to me: 4 ounces of red wine. I’ve written about the health benefits of red wine and vowed last year to be more diligent in adding wine to my health practices. Let’s just say I have indeed learned how to taste the difference between Merlot and Pinot Noir!
5. On the fifth day of the new year my true love gave to me: 5 yoga poses. Whether you have a formal yoga practice or do simple stretching, it’s all good for you!
6. On the sixth day of the new year my true love gave to me: 6 ounces of Greek yogurt. Since my trip to Greece I’ve been loving my yogurt. While we can’t get the exact same Greek yogurt in the U.S., Greek style yogurt has more protein and less sugar than other styles and tastes better, too.
7. On the seventh day of the new year my true love gave to me: 7 servings of vegetables. One study I read said that people who eat 7 servings of fruit and vegetables a day have the highest levels of mental well-being and are the happiest. And I thought it was the 4 ounces of red wine with dinner that created those feelings in me!??
8. On the eighth day of the new year my true love gave to me: 8 hours of sleep. Since getting quality sleep is at the top of my list for optimal health practices, you had to guess that sleep would be included here as well. I know that some of us need less sleep and some more, so figure your needs and make your sleep of the highest quality.
9. On the ninth day of the new year my true love gave to me: 9 minutes of meditation. While it may be challenging to create time in your busy schedule for meditation, the trade-off is worth it. New studies show that meditation reduces stress and improves your memory.
10. On the tenth day of the new year my true love gave to me: 10 minutes of activity. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends that adults get 30 minutes of exercise a day. But guess what? Three 10-minute sessions work just as well!
11. On the eleventh day of the new year my true love gave to me: 11 minutes of sunlight. It doesn’t take much sun exposure for your body to produce its own vitamin D.
12. On the twelfth day of the new year my true love gave to me: 12 weeks of resistance training. Getting strong and staying strong creates such a wonderful cascade of health benefits. If you’re not already training for strength, this may be the number one of all of these gifts to start with. As I often say, “A lot of good things happen when you get strong.”
While the song does say “my true love gave to me”, to my way of thinking, YOU are the giver of these gifts. I hope these suggestions inspire you to GIFT to yourself your healthiest year ever.
May 2013 be a year of wonderful joy in movement!
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