Health & Fitness – Developing Healthy Habits

7-4-2014 1-35-37 PMPeople always ask me how I stay so thin and fit. Many of the good and beneficial habits I have today were developed in my childhood.

Let’s start with our diet. Fast foods were not around so we pretty much had to eat healthy meals at home around the dinner table. When McDonald’s opened a restaurant, everything was small – no supersizes and no special sauces. The meals at home were simple, but healthy – meat, potatoes and a vegetable. Dessert was for special occasions – birthday, holiday, and a peach cobbler when peaches were in season. Snacks were rare. I remember having a Baby Ruth candy bar now and then (which was smaller than those today).

During the school year, we could bring a lunch or we could purchase a school lunch which did not involve choices. My mother chose the school lunch. School lunch did not offer hot dogs, pizza or even hamburgers. Lunch may not have been the home cooking, but it was healthy and we ate it. Midmorning and midafternoon we had recess, not snack time. During one of the recesses we were given a small carton of milk (coke and fruit juice were not available). Besides the milk, we played outdoors if the weather permitted. We jumped rope or hula hooped if someone brought rope or a hula hoop to school. Sometimes, we had organized games which involved kickball, dodge ball, red rover, or some kind of tag.

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After school, we played some more. We did not eat snacks and drink soda after school, we played. Since we only got 3 channels on the television, it never occurred to us to watch television. We ran, we jumped, we climbed, and we pedaled. In the summer, we chased lightning bugs.

During our summer, we were lucky enough to live near a small lake. At the lake, we played on inner tubes and taught ourselves how to swim so we could swim out to the dock in the lake and practice diving. Once in a blue moon, the concession stand would be open. We got popsicles that we broke in half and shared. After we moved, we had a swimming pool so we spent even more time in the water–swimming or looking for pennies we dropped to the bottom.

So if you have children, start now with healthy habits:
• Eat healthy meals at the table with the family
• Limit dessert to only special occasions
• Limit snacks to only healthy, low calorie snacks such as fruits or vegetables
• Skip sodas and fruit juices entirely
• Play outside – encourage active lifestyle
• Limit screen time (TV & video/computer) and time seated
• Avoid fast food and eat out only occasionally for special occasions
• Enjoy fresh fruits and vegetables when they are in season
I realize times have changed and our choices are amazing. Choose wisely and help your children grow into healthy adults.
By: Janet Hunt
Janet Hunt is a Certified Personal Trainer and can be reached at 256-614-3530 to schedule an appointment.

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