First, I promised to sum up this week’s exercise comments. Two things impressed: how you are all so different, and second, how you are so the same. The differences are expressed in the creative ways you work exercise into busy lives; what is the same is the earnest determination to take care of yourself despite all obstacles. You really are good people.
Some people like goals, like the daily 10,000 steps, or preparing for a 5K; others like music, using an iPod when walking or running; some have company, others grab the spare moment alone. Some have the luxury of a gym and babysitter, others workout at home with a DVD or NetFlix while the kids nap. There’s also Zumba, exercise with a Latin beat; the Couch to 5K plan; or the challenging P90X. A buddy helps, whether girlfriend(s), spouse, or the dog. Exercise is where you find it; you can park in the distant corner of parking lots (not at night, please), or you can do an upper body workout using the steering wheel of your car at stoplights. Whatever or wherever, you feel better when you exercise.
Second, did you see Oprah this week? Two guests with different takes on diet appeared on her show: one a “veganist” promoting her lifestyle (and a book), the other a serious student of nutrition and a journalist, Mike Pollan. I like Pollan, rather than vegetarian he is a flexitarian, someone who eats whole foods with just a little meat—as in “sparing”. Pollan’s book, In Defense of Food, was the first nutrition book this blog endorsed. One good advice came out of the program: Be sensible with lifestyle improvements, make change step-by-step, "lean in" was the phrase used.
Third, you likely noticed the USDA’s Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010 finally came out. These are reissued every five years. I was slow to see this, but the guidelines are actually government, scientists, and food lobbyists working as a committee to write their own Word of Wisdom. Remember the joke, that the giraffe is the horse designed by a committee? Same way with the Guidelines—the topics with strong lobbies, like fat and oils, are a mess. Topics without strong lobbies make sense—for example, the guidelines ask Americans to:
• Eat at least half of their grains “whole”,
• Double their intake of fruits, vegetables, and seafood,
• Get more vitamin D and fiber.
• Drink more water; avoid sugary drinks.
At the end of the 52 Healthy Changes, you all will have surpassed the USDA’s guidelines.