Need to be motivated on a Monday for better health? To keep it simple, just pick from three things to start the week off on a healthy note.
1. Plan a brown-bag lunch to take to work.
WebMD recommends: cold cheese and fruit - like grapes and apple slices - and whole wheat crackers; pick up some ready-to-bake falafels in the vegetarian refrigerator section at supermarkets, bake ahead of time and insert in a whole wheat pita pocket with hummus; prepare cold pasta (or incorporate leftovers from the weekend) and add in cheese cubes or bite-size veggies with olive or canola oil or vinaigrette dressing.
Other options include preparing a salad the night before and adding dressing during lunchtime or creating a wrap with a whole grain flour tortilla (with a spread and lean meat or cheese, veggies and lettuce) and leaving it in the fridge overnight for a quick lunch pack the next day. A southwest wrap with black beans and avocado is also an option.
2. Prepare vegetables by sauteing or roasting them as a way to incorporate more veggies into meals. WebMD recommends cutting vegetables into bite-sized pieces so they cook quickly.
"Sautéing is a quick and easy way to cook vegetables with relatively little oil. Sautéed vegetables retain their vitamins and minerals, as well as taste and color. This method is best suited for tender vegetables, such as asparagus, baby artichokes, snow peas, sweet peppers, onions, and mushrooms. ... Heat the pan first over relatively high heat. Add oil. Wait until the oil begins to shimmer before adding the vegetables. Cooking time depends on the desired tenderness." But vegetables can be prepared many ways for nutritious meals and if sauteing doesn't appeal, perhaps roasting will. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, line a jellyroll pan with foil topped with cooking spray, put in single layer of small or bite-sized vegetables, drizzle with a little bit of oil and toss veggies on the pan to coat, sprinkle desired seasonings, coat tops of vegetables, and bake until lightly brown. May take 25-50 minutes, then turn them over and cook another 25 to 30 minutes until they are tender.
3. Exercise is important for older adults. Even 10 minutes at a time is good for exercise output. "As an older adult, regular physical activity is one of the most important things you can do for your health," the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report, recommending two hours and 30 minutes of moderate activity each week like brisk walking and muscle strengthening activities. Fall yard cleaning provides a way to be active and accomplish a task at the same time.
The CDC reports physical activity is essential to healthy aging. "It can prevent many of the health problems that seem to come with age. It also helps your muscles grow stronger so you can keep doing your day-to-day activities without becoming dependent on others.
Not doing any physical activity can be bad for you, no matter your age or health condition."