Share The Health

Take the LiveWell Frederick Winter Challenge

01-24-2020

One of the most common New Year’s resolutions is weight loss. While intentions are good, few of us have the discipline and knowledge to make lasting changes and set realistic goals or expectations when it comes to our health. Unfortunately, that’s why it’s hard to follow through with a healthier year.

Instead of making a grand New Year’s resolution to lose weight or try some extreme diet fad, try making smaller, more achievable goals that lead to better health and well-being. LiveWell Frederick can help.

LiveWell Frederick is a partnership of local groups and organizations dedicated to helping Frederick County residents improve their health. LiveWell Frederick encourages all residents to join them on a journey to better health by eating better, being active, and taking better care of themselves. One of their steps for getting there is with 5-2-1-0.

The 5-2-1-0 program is designed to help you and your family grow stronger, smarter, and healthier together. The most effective way to make changes that you’ll stick with is by focusing on a few positive steps at a time. That’s the beauty of 5-2-1-0.

Beat the winter blues and take small steps toward a healthier new year with this fun challenge, inspired by the 5-2-1-0 program. For the next week, try to follow the simple rules of the 5-2-1-0 program each day. We’ve provided a few tips to inspire you and get you started.

5 – Eat 5 or more fruits and vegetables every day.

Tip: Just because it’s winter doesn’t mean all fruits and vegetables are out of season. Try brussels sprouts, beets, broccoli, carrots, cabbage, winter squash, collard greens, dates, grapefruit, kale, oranges, pears, pomegranates, potatoes, tangerines, and turnips. It’s easy to meet this goal when delicious fruits and vegetables like these are in season. When you shop in season, you’ll find maximum flavor and a lower cost. Check your local supermarket specials for the best buys or visit your local farmers market. Find winter recipes you’ll enjoy, too—think hearty soups and crockpot family recipes.

Bonus Tip: Struggling with the same recipes and want some fresh new flavors? Try a new preparation style on a classic vegetable. Try something new like a stir-fry of broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, or green beans. Cook fresh or frozen vegetables in the microwave for a quick and easy dish to add to any meal. Steam veggies with a small amount of water for a quick side dish. If you’re not sure how to prepare something, ask for tips. Find ideas online, from friends, or from farmers’ market vendors. Farmers know delicious ways to use their products and are a great resource for food prep tips and recipes.

2 – Limit screen time to 2 hours or less every day.

Tip: Did you know you can make your phone limit your screen time for you? Most popular models like iPhone and Google’s Android come with tools to help you limit how much time you’re staring at your screen. If you struggle to meet the recommended 2 hours or less per day of screen time, consider giving one of these tools a try. You can also track and control your phone addiction. Set limits to nudge—not control—your time spent in front of your screen. If you tend to waste too much time scrolling through Facebook or Instagram, for example, you can set a daily time limit within the app that allows you to use the app until you pass that limit. Reference your phone’s user support for more details.

Bonus Tip: Do you “need” your TV or tablet to be on to fall asleep every night? Do you find yourself unwinding from a long day with an hour or so in front of the TV? Why not swap out your TV with a noise machine or read a book before bedtime instead. Studies show that watching TV before bed is one of the biggest impediments to a good night’s rest. Your TV’s blue light has a similar effect as daylight, preventing your body from shifting into sleep mode. But reading before bed (not on a Kindle but with an actual book) is a calming activity without disruption by the blue light. If you need a gentle distraction before bed to calm your mind and soothe you to sleep, reach for a noise machine. It will produce steady background noise without the blue light from the TV hindering melatonin in your brain, which controls when we sleep.

1 – Play for or get 1 hour or more of physical activity every day.

Tip: Believe it or not, staying fit and active in winter is easier than you think. There are several ways to get 1 hour or more of physical activity every day, including around the house. Invest in some hand weights or give an online exercise video or app a try. Do active housework like putting away laundry and vacuuming. If you’d prefer to get exercise outside of your home, there are cost-effective ways to do that too. Take the stairs instead of the elevator at work. You don’t need to spend a lot of money at the gym, but should you choose to go the gym route, there are plenty of ways to save. Become a Frederick Health Rewards member—it’s free to sign up, and you’ll receive special discounted services at area vendors, including Maximum Fitness, CycleFit Frederick, Orangetheory Fitness, Sproing Fitness, Club Pilates, Soldierfit, Onelife Fitness, Pure Yoga, Luna Yoga, and more.

Bonus Tip: If you don’t mind the chilly air, there are plenty of physical activities to do outside. But make sure you’re taking special precautions before exposing yourself to the cold. Always let others know where you’ll be, especially if you’re venturing off for a hike or snowshoeing adventure. Dress in proper-fitting clothes that will keep you warm and dry. Discuss any new physical activity with your doctor before you begin, especially if you have medical conditions that could be impacted by extraneous activity. Plan your activities when it’s light outside and watch for icy or slippery ground. Take the dog for a walk or shovel some snow. And don’t forget to drink water. Just because it’s cold and you’re not sweaty doesn’t mean you’re hydrated!

0 – Drink 0 sugary drinks; choose water and low-fat milk instead.

Tip: A healthy eating style includes all foods and beverages. Many drinks contain added sugars and no nutrients. This week, opt for only water or low-fat milk instead. Plus, water is a thrifty option. It’s easy on the wallet, and you can save money by drinking water from the tap at home or when eating out. Make water the easy, more appealing choice this week by carrying a refillable water bottle and filling it throughout the day. Add just a splash of 100% fruit juice or slices of citrus, berries, and even cucumbers for a boost of flavor. Or try seltzer, club soda, or sparkling water if you crave the fizz.

Bonus Tip: If you’re struggling to ditch the sugar 100% this week, consider sipping smarter instead. You can quench your thirst with fewer added sugars by making some of your favorites at home instead of buying at stores. Lemonade, smoothies, chocolate milk, and coffee drinks can easily be made at home with less added sugars. Start with unsweetened beverages, then flavor just enough to taste with additions like fruit, low-fat or fat-free milk, and herbs and spices. Visit heart.org/recipes for great recipes for drinks and more.

Did you crush this 7-day challenge? Why not live 5-2-1-0 all month long? Visit LiveWellFrederick.com for more resources, including nutrition tips, fitness apps, and more.