Healthy Monday


 

  is part of "The Monday Campaigns" in association with Columbia University, Johns Hopkins University, and Syracuse University.

October 20 - Embrace Your Creative Side

Recent research shows that cultural activities, such as going to a museum exhibit or creating an art display, increase happiness and satisfaction in life while decreasing depression and anxiety. Activities that involve being active in the creative process are more beneficial than passive and receptive activities (i.e. watching television).

This week, experiment with a creative activity that interests you; it can be anything from photography or painting to arranging flowers or singing.


October 13 - Go the Whole Way


Nutrients are most heavily concentrated when foods are in their natural state. Though many processed foods have health claims on the box, whole foods usually offer more antioxidants, fiber and essential vitamins. Plus, processed foods pack unhealthy extras like sugar, fat, sodium and other additives.

Purify your diet this week by choosing whole foods over more processed options; replace applesauce with sliced apples, choose baked potato wedges with olive oil over French fries, or opt for whole grain oats over packaged granola bars.

October 6 - Beat Stress with Relaxing Methods

Indigestion, changes in appetite, muscle tension, problems sleeping, a racing heart, dizziness, a clenched jaw, headaches, and aches and pains are all signs of stress. Giving yourself time to pause and breathe deeply when you encounter these stress signals can help you discover their cause and reduce their impact in the future. If you begin to notice any of these symptoms this week, slow down! Pause for a moment and focus on 10 deep breaths. Remember that most stress triggers are manageable and there are plenty of tools at your disposal.  


September 29 - Do the best for your breasts

Breast cancer is the second most common type of cancer diagnosed in American women. And although it’s more rare, men can develop breast cancer, too. Fortunately, eating a healthy and balanced diet (especially high in fruits and vegetables), exercising regularly, maintaining a healthy weight, not smoking, and limiting alcohol consumption may all lower your risk of developing breast cancer.

This week, evaluate your current breast cancer prevention practices and check to see when your next screening should be. If you’re between the ages of 50 and 74, you should have a mammogram once every 2 years. If outside of this age range, talk with your physician about your risk factors and when you should get screened for breast cancer.

September 22 - Cook to Preserve Nutrients - Raw fruits and vegetables usually provide more vitamins than their cooked counterparts, but there are ways to prevent nutrient loss while still savoring prepared foods! Careful cooking with minimized heat and water may only result in a 5-15% nutrient loss (compared to processed foods, which can lose 50-80%.) This week, try steaming or quick sautéing vegetables and cooking meat over low heat to presserve as many nutrients as possible. You might even discover a new favorite recipe!

September 15 - Exercise Can Provide Energy
-  Ever feel “too tired to exercise” in the morning or after work? It’s more likely that you’re emotionally tired and unmotivated. Look past this initial reaction and follow through with your fitness plans; your body will appreciate the short-term energy boost and stamina that comes with physical activity! Challenge yourself to fight fatigue and stick to your exercise routine this week. Note how refreshed and energetic you feel after your workout.  

September 8 - Stay on Track When Eating Out - Don’t let your good habits disappear when eating out! There are plenty of healthful options available in restaurants like grilled entrees (instead of fried), simple salads with dressing on the side, and extras like broth-based soups and steamed veggies. Don’t be afraid to order exactly what you need to stay healthy, or take part of your food to go!

Look at your schedule this Monday and see if you’re eating out this week. Take some time to research the restaurant’s menu online, or to look up some healthy options in that culinary tradition.