To Your Health
April, 2007 (Vol. 01, Issue 04)
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My 90-second fitness routine during the 2006 contest depicted a bride-to-be preparing for her wedding day. Through her dance and gymnastic skills, she expressed her excitement to start her life with her beloved husband. She found new motivation to take care of herself. She found someone to live for!

My routine's music was a Michael Buble song. The lyrics said, "It's a new dawn; it's a new day; it's a new life. And I'm feeling good." In order to make the most of life, we need to feel good from the inside out.

Your Body is a Temple

Here are seven ways people can respect, communicate and love their bodies and their whole selves, courtesy of Sarah Harding-Traverso:

Respect your body's needs:

1. Ensure Proper Nutrition. Eat small portions, five or six times a day. Have breakfast. Avoid eating just before bed. Read food labels to understand what's in your food. Compare serving sizes. Make sure that what you think is healthy is healthy.

2. Eat Whole, Natural Foods. Eat foods on the low glycemic index diet. Avoid trans fats and sweeteners. Drink water. Consume enough protein, essential fatty acids and fiber.

3. Exercise Regularly. Set goals. Find a coach or trainer. Join a class or exercise with a partner. Stay motivated! Your workouts should include:

  • Stretching - to increase circulation and set a good mood for the entire day;
  • Multi-Joint Exercises - to maintain flexibility and optimal function; and
  • Interval Workouts - to naturally release human growth hormone.

4. Get Enough Sleep. Prioritize your rest, recuperation and sleep. Sleep helps manage stress.

5. See a Chiropractor. Start learning how to keep your body in alignment. Practice preventative medicine.

Communicate a positive self-image to yourself:

6. Keep a journal to stay focused on your goals. Remind yourself daily that you have a choice; it's up to you to determine how you want to lead your life. Communicate your goals to your friends and family. Let them help support you and be a part of your success.

Love your unique qualities:

7. Part of love is acceptance, appreciation and forgiveness. We are the toughest judge of ourselves; it's hard to forgive ourselves when we make a mistake. Recognize that a mistake is an opportunity to learn. Grow from conflict and appreciate your strengths. We are given the gift of life. Find the courage to take risks and develop your unique qualities.