There are creative ways to put health first in new year

It’s hard to focus on your health after weeks of holiday shopping, baking, eating and partying.
But before the clock runs out on 2007, there are creative ways to put your health first.

Now is a good time to invest in yourself before flexible spending accounts expire and health plan costs rise in 2008.
Here are some ways to boost your wellness ahead of the new year:
• Buy healthful take-out food to free up time for exercise or relaxation. If you’re having trouble getting enough fruits, vegetables and whole grains into your diet, buy them already prepared, said Ginger Patterson, a nutritionist at Fitness on the Move and a columnist for this section.

“Every grocery store offers cut-up fruit and veggies,” she said.
Also, there are many healthy frozen meals available, she said.

People with the means may want to hire a personal chef for a day or check out any of the more than 1,300 meal-assembly outfits across the United States.
My Dinner Factory and Super Suppers, both in Fort Myers, offer prepared meals.
Customers who choose their meals wisely may be able to find better choices at the meal centers than many typical quick meals, said nutritionist Joan Faris said.

• Invest in preventive care. If you’ve been putting off getting a flu vaccine or are overdue for a cholesterol check or dental checkup, now’s the time to squeeze it in before insurance deductibles reset.
• Take stock of your medicine cabinet. Refill any prescriptions that you’ve finished and need to replace. Drug coverage often changes in the new year, so why risk higher co-pays when you can lock in lower rates now? Examine your stash of over-the-counter drugs as well. If staples such as pain relievers or allergy remedies have expired or been used up, consider replacing them if you still have money left in your 2007 flexible spending account and the FSA covers such items.

• Outfit your wardrobe for workouts large and small. Splurge on a new bathing suit, or if a yoga outfit or a snappy sweat suit inspires you to get moving, enjoy a shopping trip before you take to the mat.
• Replace old, worn sneakers for optimal injury prevention and buy a pedometer. The inexpensive, step-counting devices help raise physical activity levels, contributing to modest weight loss and lower blood pressure, according to a study in the Nov. 21 edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association.
• Take advantage of free trial offers at gyms that appeal to you. With many people distracted by holiday activities, it’s a good time to test-drive a fitness center before the January crush of new members.

There are a lot of specials available in area gyms. Fitness On The Move is offering “12 Days of Christmas,” through Jan. 15.
“Anyone can come in for 12 days for free and work out,” Patterson said. The Omni Club in Fort Myers has offered visitors a free month for December. Fitness Advantage offers free day passes. Call your area gym and ask what incentives they offer.

Exercise is essential, Patterson said. “Aside from smoking, a sedentary lifestyle is the No. 1 health threat in the country today.”
• Take a fitness class. Try something different like zumba, where you move to Latin and international music.
“Try different classes,” said Patti Barre, aerobics and yoga instructor at Pelican Perserve in Fort Myers. “People get bored, so try a yoga class or a strength training class and find out what you enjoy.”

• Get a massage to ease muscle strain or manage stress. Before you make an appointment, visit your health plan’s Web site or call its customer service line to see if it has negotiated discounts with any massage providers in your area. Massage Envy recently opened seven days a week in Fort Myers and is offering $39 massage for first-time customers.

Read the article here:

Other Articles of Interest:

    None Found

Leave a Reply

Recent Comments
Add to Technorati Favorites Small Business Blogs - Blog Catalog Blog Directory Blogarama - The Blog Directory Blog Directory Blog Directory Business blogs Top Blogs Blog Directory Directory of Business Blogs Blog Directory