Sure, we all need some tender loving care, but what I’m actually referring to is Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes. Including these six lifestyle factors will help you feel better, improve your overall mood, and have a positive impact on your overall health. Total Strength Fitness is presenting this TLC class at the Rockford Community Center starting Tuesday, June 21, 2016. The class consists of 8 one hour sessions on Tuesday evenings from 7pm – 8pm. Participants in this class will learn about these six lifestyle factors and will receive a 6 week fitness plan to get summer fitness off to a great start! You, too, can benefit from these lifestyle factors. I know I have!
Do you know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it.
1 Corinthians 3:34
TLC 1 – Exercise
Did you know that as little as three 30 minute walks each week can improve your mood? Few solutions in life come this easy or low-cost. By including exercise into your weekly schedule you will experience these benefits: 1) A sharper memory and improved ability to concentrate, 2) Reduced insomnia, 3) Reduced depression and anxiety, and 4) Increased self-esteem. Exercise is my favorite lifestyle factor, because it has improved my health tremendously over the past six years. It also naturally led me to the remaining 5 lifestyle factors. When I started working out I gained a natural interest in eating quality, nutritious food; I connected with other people who ran and worked out; my friends and I spend a lot of time talking and laughing instead of complaining and focusing on negative things; I spend significant time outside allowing me to get some quality light in my day; and I am much more likely to get a good night’s sleep.
But He answered, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.
TLC 2 – Omega 3s & Good Nutrition
It’s true, no one food or type of food is the answer to all of our ailments; however, God has provided us with wonderful, healthy options to consume. One of these is the fatty acid known as Omega 3. Omega 3s are found in many types of food–a familiar one is salmon. Salmon can run a bit on the spendy side, so another option that is far more affordable is flax seed. Flax is a great addition to your morning oatmeal. According to Dr. Stephen Ilardi, author of The Depression Cure, “…when brain cells don’t have enough omega-3 fats, they have trouble understanding the message of serotonin, and they start to misfire. This leads to a massive loss of serotonin function throughout the brain, increasing a person’s vulnerability to the sort of out-of-control stress response that triggers the onset of depression.” (Ilardi, p.70) Omega 3s also help the body maintain proper levels of dopamine (helps with good mood and motivation), and they stimulate production of the body’s anti-inflammatory hormones. Some other sources of Omega 3s are other wild fish, kale, spinach, watercress, chia seeds and pumpkin seeds (another good reason to pick up a pumpkin this fall).
Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy – meditate on these things.
TLC 3 – Stop Ruminating
It’s so easy to dwell on negative thoughts and experiences, isn’t it? There’s no question, we experience things in life that are unfair and unexpected, and it’s difficult to avoid grouchy people at times. Avoid letting these negative things consume your time and attention. They have a way of sucking the energy and joy out of your day. Instead, shift your focus to potential positive outcomes of a situation. If you find yourself at a loss for something positive on which to think, remember the boundless love and grace of Jesus that is given to you each day, for “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You” (Isaiah26:3)
Then God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. And God saw that the light was good.
TLC 4 – Get Light
I have to believe that the first thing God created when He created the earth has to be good! In today’s society, it is so easy to go all day long and never step foot outside. Begin a new habit of having your morning coffee out on your deck or on your front stoop. Soak in the morning light as you prepare to start another day. Natural light is an excellent source of vitamin D which has the ability to unlock hundreds of genes that control day-to-day functioning of your brain, heart, immune cells, bones, skin, nerves and blood vessels. Wow! That’s sounds pretty essential. It’s time to get outside!
If you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.
TLC 5 – Healthy Sleep Habits
One of life’s lousiest experiences is the inability to sleep. It can be so frustrating! Good sleep, on the other hand, promotes healing, better weight control, and clearer thinking just to name a few benefits. There are numerous ideas to improve your sleep habits, so here’s just one (sorry, it’s going to be the toughest one): turn off your TV, phone, and laptop/tablet. That bedtime habit of taking one last look at your email or Facebook may be a key reason why you are having difficulty falling asleep or why you are waking up just a couple hours later. Replace that habit with reading a night time devotional. This will help calm your brain and prepare it for a restful night’s sleep. The next morning when you wake up, you are bound to be in a much better mood and ready to start the day!
And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing.
TLC 6 – Social Support/Connecting With Others
When people meet me, they tend to think I’m super social. The truth is connecting with others isn’t a natural tendency of mine. I greatly value my alone time, but I do recognize there can be some downfalls to that. For this reason, I make a point of connecting with others, even when I don’t necessarily feel like it. Far more often than not, I am so glad I connected with my friends or family. Social connections have a way of helping us see the good in our lives, making us laugh and remind us that we don’t have to face challenges alone. Has it been awhile since you’ve connected with friends simply to enjoy some good company? Pick up the phone. It’s time to connect.
Let us know how you practice these six healthy habits, or if you plan to give them a try! I hope they help you find your way to a happier, healthier you! Contact Colleen if you would like to participate in this class.