If your body wears out, where will you live? | NevadaAppeal.com

If your body wears out, where will you live?

Laura Brownlee
Special to the Appeal

It’s spring time – the best time for a change. The snow has melted, the crocuses and daffodils are blooming, the trees are budding, and the grass is greener.

How will you grow this season? Do you feel you are at your highest, optimal physical wellness? Or like most of us, do you have a little room for improvement?

Physical wellness encourages the following:

• Cardiovascular flexibility, strength, and regular physical activity.

• Knowledge about food and nutrition.

• Consumption and activities that contribute to a high level of wellness, including medical self-care and appropriate use of the medical system.

You will be able to monitor your own vital signs and understand your body’s warning signs. It discourages the use of tobacco, drugs, and excessive alcohol consumption.

Being physically well, you will understand and appreciate the relationship between sound nutrition and how your body performs. The physical benefits of looking good and feeling terrific most often lead to the psychological benefits of enhanced self-esteem, self-control, determination, and a sense of direction.

Dr. Kenneth Cooper recommends 20 minutes of light exercise per day. This goal is to get sedentary Americans to do some kind of movement.

However, this – realistically – will not keep your waistline under control. On the other extreme side of the continuum, the National Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Medicine recommends 60 minutes or more exercise daily to prevent weight gain and achieving adequate fitness.

We all know the benefits of exercising: Increased vital capacity, better blood supply, healthier blood vessels, improved digestion, lower blood cholesterol, more energy, weight control, and better sleep. But the issues are the challenges. The biggest challenge of working to become physically fit is being ready to make the change and commitment to working out.

Many of the experts on physical fitness state that staying healthy and fit is a way of life. The discipline is fueled daily by enlightened self-interest, and they see it as self-responsibility. For some it is so easy, and for others it is a constant struggle.

So, here are some simple steps to increasing (or beginning) your physical wellness:

• Get moving – do anything.

• Strut your stuff – Try Carson’s 1.6 mile loop around Riverview Park.

• Is pedaling more your thing? Check out http://www.musclepowered.org. Tie in your physical and social wellness and help the environment, too -Bike to Work Week is coming up May 12-16.

• Join a local gym. Our area has many offerings, just do an Internet search for a complete list.

• Make a conscious effort to watch what you are eating.

• Watch your fat intake (red meat, whole milk, fried and processed foods).

• Fiber = Regularity… that’s right, check out a list of high fiber foods at http://www.mayoclinic.com.

• Hello asparagus, good-bye Snickers. Here are some foods at their finest in April: Artichokes, asparagus, green beans, beets, corn, fava beans, fiddlehead ferns, peas, peppers, bananas, berries, figs, kiwi, mangos, nectarines, peaches, pineapple, and plums.

Laura will be hosting a six-week “Wellness Immersion” class at the World Gym in Minden, 885 Mahogany Drive. The introductory course is free and will be held twice at 10:10 a.m. April 22 or 6:45 p.m. April 23, then the six-week program will follow. Email Laura.A.B.Brownlee@gmail.com to enroll.

• Laura Brownlee recently moved to Carson City and works with the National Wellness Institute. She can be reached at Laura.A.B.Brownlee@gmail.com.