Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Improve Your Health. Increase Your Success.

My friend Cami Checketts is visiting the blog today with a stellar guest post. I hope you'll read on and take her tips to heart, then check out her great books too!


Improve your health. Increase your success.
by Cami Checketts
Thanks Rachelle for having me on your blog and asking me to write about something I love.

I want to start by defining what good health is. It is not paying for the gym membership, tugging on the spandex, and vowing to never eat anything unless it’s leafy and green for the rest of our lives. Because nobody wants to be caught chomping leaves in spandex.
Good health is three basics: adequate sleep, healthy diet, and a moderate amount of physical activity. Good health should not cost a lot of money or require extreme changes to your lifestyle.
The basics of good health:
#1 – Adequate sleep – 7-9 hours per night. (Can be tough if you have little ones. Believe me, I haven’t slept well in over fourteen years.) 

#2 – Healthy diet – Moderation in all things. I love the 80/20 rule. 80% of your diet should be comprised of healthy, whole, unprocessed foods. 20% can be those extras that you really, truly enjoy. My 20% is all chocolate (I’m eating ice cream with hot fudge as I write this). I love chocolate. It keeps me sane. I try to choose wisely my 20% of “unhealthy foods”. I’m not going to waste calories on pumpkin pie, but offer me chocolate and we’ll be friends for life.

#3 – Moderate amount of physical activity – Try to fit in at least 30 minutes of activity most days of the week. The activity should be something you enjoy and something you can make a part of your life. Go on a bike ride with your family, lift weights or use exercise bands while you watch Duck Dynasty (that show seriously cracks me up), use a walk as a way to clear your mind, park farther from the grocery store, play tennis on your Saturday night date, run down the stairs to talk with your children instead of yelling down them (yelling never works for me anyway, my boys have trained their ears not to hear my voice). The list could go on, but you basically want to find something that fits with your lifestyle and that isn’t drudgery.

So how can being healthy make us more successful and able to reach our goals?  
#1 – Increased productivity – Exercise makes you more alert by increasing blood flow to the brain and helping you to accomplish any task easier. Good nutrition and getting enough sleep also boost your energy levels which helps when trying to accomplish a huge task.

#2 – Stress relief – Exercise releases serotonin which stimulates mood and emotion and helps you handle stress better (Maybe I just need more exercise to deal cheerfully with my 2yo).

#3 – Less illness – Being in good health will decrease not only your number of sick days but minimize the chances of getting diseases like type 2 diabetes, obesity, hypertension, heart disease, and dementia (hard to accomplish your goals if you’re dealing with something like this).

#4 - Optimizes your brain’s learning capacity – Being healthy really does make you smarter. I need all the help I can get on this one as my boys tease me about what an airhead I am!

#5 – You’re looking good, baby. A healthy lifestyle will not only improve your shape, it will improve your skin, hair, and posture. When you look and feel better, it helps you to succeed.  

#6 – Exercise makes you happy, improving mood and self-confidence.

#7 – No more fuzziness. When I eat crappy I get fuzzy in the head (am I a weirdo like that?) but a good meal helps me think more clearly. Exercise also helps me have a clear mind. I love going on a walk or run and having all kinds of ideas come for dialogue or action scenes. 

The bottom line is being healthy really will make you feel better and increase the amount of work you can accomplish. I know it’s hard to carve out time to exercise, cook healthy food, or get enough sleep (isn’t that sad?), but give it a try and you’ll be surprised how much better you feel. Take it a bit at a time. I recommend baby steps. Focus on one health improvement each month. Just one little goal like drinking more water or using some exercise bands. The next month make another goal and so on until you’ve gradually made lifestyle changes that will add up to huge results in good health and the other benefits that will result. Good luck!
References:
“Exercise: 7 benefits of regular physical activity.” Mayo Clinic, July 23, 2011, http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/exercise/HQ01676
“How does exercise improve work productivity?” by Julie Boehlke, April 17, 2011, http://livestrong.com

Cami has been busy writing and I'm excited to share some info about her new books!


Dead Running
Cassidy Christensen is running.
Running from the mercenaries who killed her parents.
Running from a scheming redhead intent on making her life miserable.
Running from painful memories that sabotage her dreams of happiness.
With two very tempting men competing for her attention, she hopes she'll finally have someone to run to, but can she trust either of them? When secrets from her past threaten her family, Cassidy decides to stop running and fight for her future.


A light-hearted and clean romantic suspense,
Dead Running will have you lacing up your running shoes and impatiently waiting for the sequel.

"Dead Running was everything I was hoping it would be, captivating, invigorating, and a page turner that I could not, would not, put down! Cami Checketts writes books that will make you think, and make you feel. She captivated me with The Sister Pact, and doesn't lose speed with her newest 'must read', Dead Running."
Sheila DeChantal
Book Reviewer - Book Journey

"Dead Running
can make a claim not many mystery/thrillers can, and that is that it is also really funny. I loved everything about the book. There was murder, romance, family bonds, 5K training, humor, good guys, bad guys, and an ending that left room for a sequel."
Vicki
Book Reviewer - I'd Rather Be Reading At The Beach
Dying to Run
Cassidy Christensen wants to run.
Captured by the traffickers who killed her mother, her only hope is Dr. Tattoo, a man she loves but nobody trusts. When she finally gets a chance to run, someone else she cares about is taken. Running might be her only chance at survival, but she won’t allow another family member to be killed in her place.
This must-read sequel to Dead Running will have you laughing, biting your nails, and hoping for more.



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