THE FIRST WEDNESDAY IN THE MONTH OF APRIL IS DESIGNATED AS NATIONAL WALKING DAY.
MY FAVORITE NON-COMPETITIVE SPORT! BUT ACCORDING TO THE C-D-C, EIGHTY PERCENT OF AMERICANS DO NOT GET THE RECOMMENDED TWO AND A HALF HOURS OF MODERATE-INTENSITY AEROBIC EXERCISE EACH WEEK.
ERICA STEPTEAU IS A HEALTH COACH AT CLEVELAND CLINIC. SHE SAYS THAT STARTING A WALKING ROUTINE IS THE FIRST STEP TOWARDS GETTING YOUR BODY MORE ACTIVE.
CG: Erica Stepteau, MPH/Cleveland Clinic “Get up every five to ten minutes. Put a timer on your phone and see that those are ways that can actually help you get up more instead of just sitting all day.”[00:08]
STEPTEAU SAYS WE TEND TO UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF WALKING.
SHE SAYS IT DOESN’T TAKE A GYM MEMBERSHIP OR A PERSONAL TRAINER TO GET YOURSELF UP AND MOVING.
WALKING IS SOMETHING THAT YOU CAN FIT INTO YOUR DAY ALMOST ANYWHERE. AND IT NOT ONLY HELPS YOUR HEALTH, BUT CAN ALSO BOOST YOUR MOOD.
STEPTEAU RECOMMENDS WALKING DURING YOUR LUNCH BREAK, TAKING THE STAIRS, AND WHEN YOU GET HOME, GET YOUR PETS OUT AND MOVING WITH YOU.
SHE ALSO SAID THAT SPRING IS A GREAT TIME TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE WEATHER CHANGING TO START WALKING OUTDOORS.
IF BRISK WALKING IS YOUR GOAL, SHE SAYS YOU WANT TO WORK YOUR WAY UP TO THE POINT WHERE IT’S A LITTLE CHALLENGING TO TALK WHILE WALKING.
AND LIKE ANY EXERCISE PLAN, STEPTEAU SAYS YOU’LL HAVE BETTER RESULTS IF YOU CAN FIND A BUDDY TO WALK WITH.
CG: Erica Stepteau/Cleveland Clinic “It can help you push you beyond your own limits because that person may be at a different level than you; higher or lower, depending; but it helps you either be the encouragement that that person needs to step it up, or it could be the encouragement for you to step it up for yourself.”[00:14]
IF GETTING YOURSELF MOVING IS A REAL CHALLENGE, STEPTEAU SAYS THAT IT’S IMPORTANT NOT TO BEAT YOURSELF UP ABOUT IT AND TO JUST START SLOW.
SHE SAYS IF YOU’VE BEEN INACTIVE FOR A LONG PERIOD OF TIME, IT’S A GOOD IDEA TO CHECK WITH YOUR DOCTOR BEFORE STARTING A NEW EXERCISE ROUTINE.
[MEDIA SEE Pathfire#:10752 FOR VT]
HAPPY NATIONAL WALKING DAY! Stay healthy. -Maria Dorfner
When 28-year-old Oncology Nurse, Lexi Timmons works with cancer patients, which she’s done for two years, she notices what helps most is humor to brighten their spirits.
She also observes they receive a lot of greeting cards from well-meaning loved ones, but most are downright depressing instead of what they need most during this time, which is cheer. She realizes it’s not their fault because the majority of Greeting cards for illness in major retailers are typically glum offering sympathy, along with a Get Well Soon salutation. She could see her patients get sad as they open and read them.
That’s how Lexi got the idea to create a line of Greeting cards that make cancer patients smile, laugh and feel good. She calls them LUMPY CARDS. Everyone knows stress has a negative impact on your mind and body. When people have cancer, they need their immune systems to stay strong and humor helps diffuse stress. When someone is laughing they’re not thinking of being sick, even if it’s only for a little while. It’s a step in the right direction. Laughter is always positive, which is why we love Lexi’s idea and spirit. Sometimes, her patients inspire the cards.
Lexi says, “I love to crack jokes and so do my patients. I realized that when people are going through the roughest of times, it actually brings out the best comedian in them. It helps them cope and it also releases feel good endorphins in them, which are healing.”
Another inspiration was unexpected. In 2012, cancer hit home when her Mom was diagnosed with breast cancer.
“My Mom is at her best when she is laughing and not thinking about her cancer. I knew this would help her too.”
LUMPY CARDS sure did make her Mom smile.
Laughter really is the best medicine
Her Mom Sherry says, “I just love Lexi’s cards! She has a knack for finding just the right line to make people feel better. When I was going through cancer treatment, and I would read one of her cards, they would make me laugh or feel loved. Her cards captured what I needed to hear at each stage of my treatment, and were neither too sympathetic or mushy. So many of the cards out there make you feel like your life is over now that you have cancer or you’re dying.”
Lexi writes the humorous cards herself, but would love to partner with some professional comedians, who would like to volunteer for a good cause and get credit on them.
There are a range of cards uniquely tailored for men, women, friends, family and spouses dealing with cancer and they’re reasonably priced at $3.99 a card.
Healthy Within Network and NewsMD give these cards two healthy thumbs up.
And so does the Samuel Waxman Cancer Research Foundation, who has this to say:
“Now THIS is interesting! A company that makes unique and provocative greeting cards for cancer patients. Lumpy Cards certainly doesn’t tiptoe around the topic of cancer. The animal selection is particularly cute.”
Way to go, Lexi. An absolutely beautiful person inside and out, like her Mom.
Here’s a link to Lexi on-camera talking about her inspiration for Lumpy Cards:
Maria Dorfner is an award-winning health journalist, and the the founding CEO of Healthy Within Network and NewsMD Communications. This is her blog. She has been working in Media since 1983 and began specializing in Health in 1993, creating and sharing original and trusted health content for healthcare consumers. Her award-winning health series and segments have been seen on NBC, CBS, ABC, CNN, DISCOVERY HEALTH and more.
“Today, the floodgates are open to anyonereporting on health. Consumers are now well aware that physicians may have ties to pharmaceutical companies, health devices or hospitals, so they question everything. They are also now aware that food and beverage companies promoting products may not have their best interests in mind. When your Mom, Dad, sister, brother or loved one has a health issue, you want to know you’re getting trusted unbiased information. We maintain the experts need to be questioned to ensure not only transparency, but that profits aren’t placed before people. Additionally, we focus on prevention and maintaining good health. Virgil said it best when he said, “Health is your greatest wealth. Invest wisely.” ~Maria Dorfner
Add good nutrition and percentages for reducing your chances of illness skyrockets.
That one thought can help you when faced with unhealthy vs. healthy food choices. There is no need to obsess because no one wants to live like that. It’s all about healthy habits you maintain over a lifetime. Focus your tracking, measuring, comparing and weighing on how much you’re helping others, getting fresh air, getting sunshine, listening, caring, reading books, exploring, hiking, building, creating, sharing, praising, giving, inspiring, educating, laughing, walking, motivating, thinking, imagining, dreaming, dancing, singing, humming if you can’t sing, noticing nature more and the beauty surrounding you, turning off TV and electronics, spending time with positive, uplifting people with healthy habits who make you laugh, lifting someone up just because you can and not because you’re expecting something in return.
There are also people who have a healthy, calming presence. These are people you can be around and feel good even if you’re walking in silence.
No one has a perfect family, friendships or relationships. What they have is what they themselves bring to the equation. Allow your ship to be strong and calm, so that you can weather any storm without needing to yell,”Man (or woman) overboard!” or “Abandon ship!” I tend to see the good in everyone, but I’ve learned there are dark people with bad vibes. The best you can do is avoid them and delete them from your social media networks. If you can’t avoid them entirely, limit exposure as you would any toxin.
Being healthy allows you to navigate your ship better. It doesn’t get rid of any storms.
If you’re currently poor in a job that you hate think of yourself as an actor in a movie playing a role. Imagine you’re the owner or CEO of the establishment. How would you behave differently? How would you carry yourself? Would you smile more when customers entered? Would you want your place to look better and know what works and what doesn’t? Try it. You will not only smile more, but one day when you do run a place you’ll be an incredible leader because you took pride in doing the little things well and you know how to treat customers. Listen to them. Learn to be a good communicator by being a good listener and observer. Respond. Don’t react.
Ashton Kutcher talks about this extensively in an excellent Commencement Speech he gave. Google it if you haven’t heard it as it will change the way you think of ALL jobs from sweeping a floor to being the Chairwoman. I was thrilled when my Dad took me to the restaurant when I was a little kid. I begged him to let me work behind the counter even though I could barely reach it. Then, I begged him to let me make ices for customers. Customers were amused and SO nice saying, “Well, hello there young lady. I’ll have one Italian ice.” I stood on a chair and made the biggest ice in the world. I remember my Dad saying, “I’ll go out of business if you keep doing that.” I asked questions and got my first lesson in business. My Dad also told me to smile and say thank you, so I learned to treat customers well too.
Remember, everyone of every size has fears, doubts, anxieties and feelings of sadness. Notice singers of all shapes and sizes have a sad song. It’s part of life.
The best thing you can be is kind, compassionate, sincere, smart and imperfectly real.
Be sure to follow this blog for new posts. There is a follow button on the upper right hand corner. Thank you! My first book, “Healthy Within: A Story of Loss of Gain” is still available on-line on Barnes & Noble. They always have a coupon code you can use at checkout to get 30% or more off. Thanks!
Follow me on Twitter: @Maria_Dorfner
Stay healthy! ~Maria Dorfner
p.s. Red Robbins are singing outside my window, so Spring-like weather should be here soon.
They are not identical, but they’re born at the same time.
They are interchangeable. If you feel healthy you feel happy.
If you feel happy, you’re more likely to feel healthy.
So what’s the key to happiness? I can tell you that if you think it’s a destination as in, “I will be happy when I retire and move to Florida” or “I’ll be happy when I’m on vacation next week” –you will not be happy.
KEY #1: HAPPINESS IS WHERE YOU ARE RIGHT NOW. If you can be happy living in one room, you’ll be happy living in twenty. If you’re not happy in one room, that will not change once the novelty of the twenty rooms wears off.
KEY #2: FIND HUMOR IN TENSE SITUATIONS. Whenever you can’t control a situation, control how you react to it, which is essentially to not react to it. Respond with calmness, kindness, understanding, compassion or humor whenever you can.
KEY #3: DON’T BE TENSE UNLESS YOUR HOUSE IS ON FIRE. Even then, it’s the calm person more likely to get out safe.
KEY 4: HAVE AT LEAST 1 FRIEND YOU TRUST 10o%.
This isn’t someone who lies, betrays, cheats, gossips or ignores. This is the non-judgmental son you can text: I tossed the garbage out in my robe and now I’m locked out at 3 a.m. friend who laughs first and then helps you figure out what to do next. Ok, maybe you need 3 friends like this.
KEY 5: SURROUND YOURSELF WITH POSITIVE PEOPLE. Refer back to #4. These are people who know life is rarely a straight line. The journey is filled with hills and valleys. Positive people genuinely find the best in every situation and see the best in everyone. They are slow to judge others and they don’t gossip because the other person isn’t there to present their side, and if you’re over the age of nine you know there is another side.
KEY #6: MAKE HEALTHY CHOICES. Buy healthy, stock up on healthy food and water, walk daily, drink lots of water, get enough sleep and fresh air and you will feel better. Replace bad comfort foods with healthier ones. Remember perfect is the evil of good. Educate yourself on what is nutritious. There is a search button on this blog where you can type in nutrition or food to pull up prior blogs on that.
KEY7: KNOW THAT NO ONE FEELS HAPPY ALL THE TIME. Accept the ebb and flow as natural. You’re human and will feel different emotions each day. You manage your state of mind by managing all the above, so that your dominant state is one of calmness and contentment. Think of a pleasant thought right now. Smile to yourself. Hold that thought. Your brain just registered that you are happy. You’re the only one who owns your Happiness keys. Use all your senses to pick up on things to be happy and grateful for: birds chirping, quiet, music, time to be reading this blog, eyesight to be reading this.
Tony Robbins says, “Change your EXPECTATIONS for yourself or others to APPRECIATION.” Love that.
We’ve all heard the expression “smiling is contagious”, and it’s true! But while we usually want to avoid contagious things, this is one case where we encourage you to share, spread and pass along your infectious smile. Numerous studies have discovered mind and body benefits resulting from smiling. Even if you are having a terrible day and nothing is going right, hear us out on how smiling can vastly improve your attitude and happiness.
Smiling has a positive chemical effect on your mood.
Smiling, even when it’s forced, indicates to your mind that you’re happy. This in turn causes the brain to release endorphins, the body’s “feel-good” chemicals that combat depression and anxiety. Of course we all go through difficult life events where it’s impossible to muster a smile, but when you can, fake it ‘til you make it! Stretch those lips – the chemicals released will soon have you feeling better.
Smiling limits the negative effects of stress.
Your facial muscles have the power to impact your whole body’s reaction to stressful events. One experiment showed that people who smiled while performing stressful tasks had lower heart rates than those who did not smile. This even worked if the participants didn’t know they were “smiling”. A group was asked to hold chopsticks between their lips instead of being told to smile or frown. This simulation still lowered their heart rates compared with the group who held neutral mouths. Whether you are running a marathon or driving home in traffic after receiving bad news, keep your heart rate down by smiling. DrunkMode app team smiling
3. Smiling can make you appear confident, approachable and trustworthy.
It’s always nerve-wracking to approach someone who looks mad or upset, so putting a smile on your face makes it easier for someone to come up to you. You’ll see the benefits of this approachability in your career, at home and in your overall daily life. Researchers also found that people with the highest intensity smiles seemed more trustworthy to others. Additionally, the self-confidence you can establish through smiling goes a long way towards attracting more positivity to your life and helping your brain create a pattern of positive-thinking. Smile big!
4. Smiling and laughter go hand-in-hand.
Your silly forced smile may cause you (or those around you!) to erupt with laughter, and we all know the age-old adage – laughter is the best medicine. Laughter is great for your health because, similar to smiling, it releases endorphins, reduces stress and lowers blood pressure. There are also studies currently investigating a correlation between laughter and a boosted immune system.
5. Smiling has a domino effect and spreads happiness.
As we mentioned above, the saying “smiling is contagious” is actually true. But why? Due to our mirror neurons, it’s our natural reaction to mimic others’ expressions, like smiling. When you smile at someone and they return the smile, they receive the same mood-lifting benefits as you. This means you have the power to change someone’s bad day into a good one!
Smiling is one of our greatest forms of expression as humans, so take advantage of its many benefits! Share a smile every day.
Happiness is not something you postpone for future; it is something you design into present.
Happy people do a lot of things. They spend time expressing gratitude, cultivating optimism, practicing kindness, nurturing loving relationships, committing to meaningful goals, savoring life’s little pleasures, and so on and so forth.
But they NEVER…
1. Mind other people’s business.
Forget about what others are doing. Stop looking at where they are and what they have. Nobody is doing better than you because nobody can do better than you. YOU are walking your own path. Sometimes the reason we struggle with insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes circumstances with everyone else’s public highlight reel. We listen to the noise of the world, instead of ourselves. So stop the comparisons! Ignore the distractions. Listen to your own inner voice. Mind your own business.
Keep your best wishes and your biggest goals close to your heart and dedicate time to them every day. Don’t be scared to walk alone, and don’t be scared to enjoy it. Don’t let anyone’s ignorance, drama, or negativity stop you from being the best you can be. Keep doing what you know in your heart is right, for YOU. Because when you are focused on meaningful work and at peace within yourself, almost nothing can shake you. (Angel and I discuss this in more detail in the “Passion and Growth” chapter of 1,000 Little Things Happy, Successful People Do Differently.)
2. Seek validation of self-worth from others.
When you are content to simply be yourself, without comparing and competing to impress others, everyone worthwhile will respect you. And even more importantly, you will respect yourself.
How are you letting others define you? What would you do differently if you knew nobody would judge you?
Truth be told, no one has the right to judge you. People may have heard your stories, and they may think they know you, but they can’t feel what you are going through; they aren’t living YOUR life. So forget what they think and say about you. Focus on how you feel about yourself, and keep walking the path that feels best under your feet.
Those who accept you are your friends. Those who don’t are your teachers. If someone calls you something and it’s true, it’s not your problem because it’s true. If someone calls you something and it’s not true, it’s not your problem because it’s not true. Either way, whatever they call you is not your problem. What other people call you is their problem…
What you call yourself, and who you decide to become, is your problem.
3. Rely on other people and external events for happiness.
Unhappiness lies in that gap between what we have now and what we think we need. But the truth is, we don’t need to acquire anything more to be content with what we already have. We don’t need anyone else’s permission to be happy. Your life is magnificent not because someone says it is, or because you have acquired something new, but because you choose to see it as such. Don’t let your happiness be held hostage. It is always yours to choose, to live and experience.
As soon as you stop making everyone and everything else responsible for your happiness, the happier you’ll be. If you’re unhappy now, it’s not someone else’s fault. Take full responsibility for your own unhappiness, and you will instantly gain the ability to be happier. Stop seeking in vain to arrange conditions that will make you happy. Simply choose to appreciate the greatness that is yours in this moment, and the right conditions will start to line up around the contentment you seek.
The greater part of your happiness or unhappiness depends upon your outlook, and not upon our situation. Even if things aren’t perfect right now, think of all the beauty still left around you. A good reason to smile is always one thought away; choose to tap into it any time you like. (Read The Gifts of Imperfection.)
4. Hold on to resentment.
Let today be the day you stop being haunted by the ghosts from your past. What happened in the past is just one chapter in your story; don’t close the book, just turn the page.
We’ve all been hurt by our own decisions and by others, and while the pain of these experiences is normal, sometimes it lingers for too long. Feelings of resentment urge us to relive the same pain over and over, and we have a hard time letting go.
Forgiveness is the remedy. It allows you to focus on the future without combating the past. To understand the infinite potential of everything going forward is to forgive everything already behind you. Without forgiveness, wounds can never be healed and personal growth can never be achieved. It doesn’t mean you’re erasing the past, or forgetting what happened. It means you’re letting go of the resentment and pain, and instead choosing to learn from the incident and move on with your life.
5. Spend prolonged periods of time in negative environments.
You can’t make positive choices for the rest of your life without an environment that makes those choices easy, natural, and enjoyable. So protect your spirit and potential from contamination by limiting your time with negative people and the environments they inhabit.
When other people invite you to act like victims, when they whine and moan about the unfairness of life, for example, and ask you to agree, to offer condolences, and to participate in their grievances, WALK AWAY. When you join in that game of negativity you always lose.
Even when you’re alone, create a positive mental space for yourself. Make it a point to give up all the thoughts that make you feel bad, or even just a few of them that have been troubling you, and see how doing that changes your life. You don’t need negative thoughts. They are all lies. They solve nothing. All they have ever given you is a false self that suffers for no reason. (Read Buddha’s Brain.)
6. Resist the truth.
It is a certain deathtrap when we spend our lives learning how to lie, because eventually these lies grow so strong in our minds that we become bad at seeing, telling and living our own truth. Lives come apart so easily when they have been held together with lies. If you resist the truth, you will live a lie every day as the truth haunts your thoughts every night. You simply can’t get away from your truth by moving dishonestly from one place to the next.
So don’t bend; don’t water it down; don’t try to hide the truth with deception; don’t edit your own soul according to the fashion of what’s popular. It is better to offer no explanation or excuse than a false one. It takes courage and strength to admit the truth, but it is the only way to truly live. Accept what is, embrace it fully, and live for the possibilities that lie ahead.
What would you add to the list? What’s something you should NOT do if you want to be happy? Leave a comment below and share your thoughts.
About Guest Author, Marc Chernoff
Marc and Angel Chernoff have been recognized by Forbes as having “one of the most popular personal development blogs.” Through their blog, book, course and coaching, they’ve spent the past decade writing about and teaching proven strategies for finding lasting happiness, success, love and peace.
Marc and Angel both share a great passion for inspiring others to live to their fullest potential, and they honestly feel best when they are inspiring others to be their best.
MARIA DORFNER, an award-winning health journalist, TV writer and producer, including original health programming, is the founder of NewsMD Communications, LLC promoting best in class health startups, hospitals, non-profits, health books, physicians & health stories to national media & consumers. She is the founder of Healthy Within Network, a health content production, programming & distribution company.