The holidays are over and perhaps the New Year’s resolutions have faded. It is ‘ordinary time’—perfect for falling into healthier routines in our diet, exercise, and lifestyle. Here are three suggestions. Start small so it will stick. Here we go:
1. Reduce sugar intake: If the rising rates in diabetes among Americans are any indications, we are a nation that eats way too much sugar. A recent article in the New York Times allowed readers to calculate how much sugar one eats in a day. The bottom line was, no need for desserts, candy or soda. We get enough sugar in a regular diet without adding the extra in. When we do, we go way over the limit. Think about it.
2. Exercise: I am fortunate to have opportunities to teach qigong, the exercise rooted in Chinese Medicine that served as my inspiration for becoming an acupuncturist. (Yes, this is a not-so-subtle plug.) Last semester, I taught an “Introduction to Qigong” class to 1st and 2nd year acupuncture students at TSCA, the school I graduated from. I will teach there again this summer.. This semester, I am teaching “Qigong for Stress Reduction” at the University of Connecticut’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. This 8-week class starts on February 21 and meets each Tuesday from 9:30-11:00. Anyone may take the course: you need not be a UConn student. If you cannot take this class, you might consider trying a type of exercise like this that you can do up into your old age. Rooted in the theories of Chinese Medicine, qigong gets the circulation moving in ways that can help to prevent and sometimes even treat disease.
3. Lifestyle change – Volunteer: How about exploring a way you can volunteer a couple of hours a week of your time to help those who are less fortunate, hungry or suffering from injustice? You will help make the world a better place. You will benefit personally as well, because it feels good to help. As Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?”
We have a solid 8 weeks before spring to make subtle changes in our lives. These changes can make us healthier physically, and perhaps emotionally and spiritually as well. Go for it.