The fifth week of the Healthy Appanoose Challenges are printed below. The free program can be joined anytime throughout the year. Log in at the Centerville-Rathbun Lake Area Chamber of Commerce at www.centerville-ia.com to record challenges completed. At the end of Phase 1 on April 18, the 50 participants who logged in the most will be entered into a drawing for $100 in chamber gift certificates.
Day 29 — Feb. 12 — Plan to add one new texture to a salad in the next week, such as sunflower seeds, beans or nuts. Salad can be super, but it’s easy to get bored with the same lettuce-and-veggies combo. Adding a crunchy, smooth, or chewy food to your salad can enhance the existing tastes and textures of the food, and may inspire you to try even more types of textures next time.
Day 30 — Feb. 13 — 10 Bicycle crunches: Lie on your back, bring your left knee to your chest while twisting your right elbow to your knee, then switch, repeat 10 times. The bicycle crunch is among the most effective exercises for working your abs and obliques. With proper technique, bicycle crunches can help you build a noticeable six-pack.
Day 31 — Feb. 14 — List two ways you can nurture yourself without spending money. When we are stressed, many of us have dreams of relaxing getaway vacations or spa visits, but our wallets have different ideas. Thinking of free ways you can nurture your mind or pamper your body will help you the next time you want to unwind and need (or want) to do so on a budget.
Day 32 — Feb. 15 — Eat 1one calcium-rich food today. Eat a food that’s high in calcium at one meal or snack today. Low-fat and fat-free dairy products (like milk, cheese, and yogurt) are chock full of calcium. Leafy green vegetables (such as kale, broccoli, and Chinese cabbage), nuts (especially almonds and pistachios), legumes and seeds are also super sources of calcium. No matter what your age, your body needs calcium for building and maintaining healthy bones! Without sufficient calcium, you can develop osteoporosis, a condition that causes bones to become brittle and break easily. Calcium also helps your blood clot and plays a role in maintaining your heartbeat.
Day 33 — Feb. 16 — Five towel reaches: Find a small towel, such as a dish towel or hand towel. Lie on the floor on your back. Hold the towel between both hands. Stretch your arms straight back so the insides of your elbows are near your ears. Engage your abdominal muscles and lift your shoulders up and off the ground until your arms are directly over your chest, all while holding the towel. Slowly return to the starting position. Repeat four times. Can you feel your abdominals working? This challenge calls on the muscles in your core in order to lift your upper body off the floor. Strong core muscles are an important part of good posture, balance and stability; they are also necessary for everyday activities like bending and lifting. Finally, a strong core contributes to a healthy, injury-free back.
Day 34 — Feb. 17 —Seek something new to praise in a person you’re close to. Most of us think to offer praise when something exceptional happens, but there’s no reason why we can’t offer kind words on a typical day! By offering a bit of unexpected praise, it shows that we’re paying attention to that person’s actions, which can help strengthen the relationship. Bonus: Making others feel good boosts our own mood, too.
Day 35 — Feb. 18 — List three healthy snacks you can reach for in the evening, such as fruit, nuts, or popcorn. Nighttime snacking is a very common habit, and while having a bit of a healthy food now and then can be okay, we typically eat unhealthy foods — and way too much of them! — as we watch TV or read in the evening. By deciding on a few different healthy snacks ahead of time, you may be more likely to reach for a more nutritious choice.