Jim and Rhenda of Heartiness Approach

My Secrets to Getting Healthy

Healthy Eating, Physical Fitness, and Stress Management

The following is from a class project I am doing. After creating the plan for my project I felt that the plan would be beneficial for others. This project will continue over the next four weeks and following the progress will help. We will also share how we measure our progress.

Using my existing momentum with lifestyle improvements, I am using 

  • promoting improved eating choices, 
  • increased physical activity,
  • additional stress reduction habits within our family 

as my Provident Living Project #2 overall objective. As a couple my wife and I have spent the last twelve years actively striving for improvements in all three of these aspects of our lives. Currently we are working to take our efforts toward higher levels of improvement. Although I initially considered a different project because we were already working on this project I decided to use this opportunity to enhance, with the help of this project, the changes we are working to produce. Through improving our eating choices, increasing our physical activity, and reducing our stress we will cause measurable changes in our health.

Food is medicine according to Hippocrates and many modern healthcare professionals. That principle guides most of our eating decisions. We intend to discover more food choice options to assist us as we select and prepare our foods. Using this understanding about the medicinal value of food we will learn how to avoid the situations when we make choices to eat what not only contains non-nutritional value but tends to harm our bodies. My wife is an RN BSN who currently works in an addiction recovery center where she is advising about healthy eating choices and conducting constant research about recent discoveries related to healthy food choices especially related to addiction recovery. She is also working on a Masters degree in nutrition. With our healthy eating momentum and her increasing knowledge we will be able to improve our healthy eating and decrease our unhealthy eating. To measure our progress we will use a combination of  techniques, including:

  • Waist to Hip ratio
  • Healthy Gut indicators 
    • Occurrence and degree of bloating, gas, or diarrhea
    • Sugar cravings
    • Bad breath
    • Food sensitivities
    • Moodiness, anxiety, or depression
    • Skin problems
    • Suppressed immunity

Our attempts to eat healthy have helped but we continue to have some of the issues listed. During this short project timeline we do expect to experience measurable improvement.

Our lifestyle tends to have lots of activity but we do not have enough. Both the level of our exercise exertion, its duration, and frequency need to increase. This goal will involve only me because we seldom get to combine our exercise time and my wife spends much of her exercise time leading her patients in a three time a week exercise routine. During this four week project I will increase my exercise routines to six times a week with routines that alternate between movement and stretching.

The daily routines will increase to forty five minutes each day.

My VO2 Max will decrease by 5%.

The weight and resistance I use for resistance movements will increase by more than 5%.

Achieving those goals will drastically improve my physical fitness profile.

Reducing stress promises the greatest health improvements because any good effects of eating and exercising are reduced when stress exists. Our understanding of stress and how to deal with need is sorely limited but we do have a few improvements we understand and can implement. These start with adequate sleep of eight hours nightly and at the same time each night. The second improvement encourages us to act mindfully while we slow down and decrease some of our ambitions. The slowing down will include taking time to actually relax and enjoy. Stress reduction’s biggest challenge is how to measure it. The best we can suggest requires reviewing our day or recent activity and describing how we felt in regard to our stress level. Consistent reflection about our feelings of stress will provide awareness and thoughtful suggestions about future handling of the stressful situations.

Our measurement tracking for all three areas will include a chart for each of the items. We will measure with notations for each item each day. Although simple, this method will allow a quick way to track and clearly indicate our progress.