When we think about "getting healthy" we often think about diet and exercise. But to improve your overall health outlook... you have to look beyond food and walking.
"You do have the power to make small changes in your life," said Gausman. That's the basis of the Power 9 plan. Make consistent small changes that amount to a larger overall life change long-term. The pyramid of 9 ideas is broken into four categories... at the top... move naturally. This doesn't mean hitting the gym for an hour. "Just taking work environments and encouraging people over their lunch hour to move. Face to face communication as opposed to this all electronic communication," said Gausman. An inexpensive pedometer can help you count the steps. Try for 10,000 a day. As you move more naturally... you'll see another benefit. "Your musculature as a whole will improve, just because you're using your strength as opposed to just simply sitting and doing what is very important work, but doesn't get you up and moving," said Gausman.
In the middle of the pyramid... eating wisely. That means choosing more plant type foods... your fruits and veggies. And downsizing portions. One way to do that... use 10" plates instead of 14". "And stopping when you're 80% full," said Gausman.
But getting healthy isn't just about exercise and eating right. You also need a healthy support structure. That's the idea behind the other two steps on the pyramid. Second from the top... the right outlook. That means finding purpose in your life. "You have something to offer the world when you wake up in the morning," said Gausman. And the base to this pyramid... connecting; creating a group of friends that support you in healthy choices, and help make those choices the easy ones. "We as parents tell our kids, 'hang around the people you wanna be like.' Same kind of deal with our health and with our welfare, and with our emotional health, as well," said Gausman.
Simple steps that could add years to your life. And you don't have to wait for a Blue Zone designation in your community to put the Power 9 to work. Suzi Gausman says start small, but start now! "It's absolutely possible," said Gausman.
Several Siouxland communities are putting together applications to apply to become one of 10 Iowa cities designated as Blue Zones. To win that designation... your community needs your help. You can pledge your support and push them forward in the process by going to the Blue Zone website.
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