Feature Articles: Food, Fitness and Body Image
Love and respect self first
Linda Rellergert, former Nutrition and Health Education Specialist, St. Charles County, University of Missouri Extension
February brings up love, hearts and caring for others. This month, we
are encouraging readers to show love and respect in a health-promoting
way — and to focus on yourself first. If we don't take care of ourselves,
we won't be able to help anyone else for very long.
Here are some ways you can begin to show care and love to yourself.
Add your own ideas to this list.
- Appreciate your body for all that it has done for you — legs
that help you get wherever you need to go, arms that hug and comfort
a friend, hands that offer a gentle touch, lips that smile and eyes
that see the beauty in the world.
- Just as a car needs regular maintenance like oil changes to keep
it running well, you need regular preventive health care visits with
your physician, dentist and eye care professional. A team of health
care providers can catch many problems at an early stage when treatment
is easier, more successful and often less expensive.
- Get enough sleep. Many of us are over-committed, over-worked
and over-scheduled and forget that we need rest. This is a true physiological
need, not a luxury. Lack of sleep makes us cranky and short-tempered,
and causes automobile and other accidents. Sleep deprivation puts
stress on the immune system making us more susceptible to viral infections
like colds and the flu.
- Wear comfortable, attractive clothes that fit well and look good
on you. Shop at stores that carry the sizes and styles of clothes
you enjoy wearing. Choose colors that are flattering for your hair
and skin coloring rather than for their 'slimming' qualities.
- Stand tall, be proud! You'll feel more energetic, look more confident
and suffer less from backaches.
- Eat well for pleasure and health. Eat consciously and attentively.
Savor the sight, aroma and flavor of food by engaging all your senses
as you eat. Respect your body by eating when hungry and stopping
- Put movement into every day. Stretch those muscles, and work out
the kinks that come with stress and tension. You'll feel more energized
- Take time for yourself every day, even if it's only 15 minutes. Try doing nothing, just sit with your eyes closed and relax. Or talk to a friend, read the funnies, paint your toenails — do whatever feels good to you.
Last update: Monday, February 13, 2017