The seventh 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 43 — Feb. 26 — Straighten those sheets: make your bed today. Making your bed creates a more restful, welcoming environment and makes your bedroom feel neater. This can help lower your stress level and create more calm when you turn in for the night. You may even sleep better, which can leave you more refreshed and happy the next day.
Day 44 — Feb. 27 — Eat one stress-busting food with omega-3 fatty acids, like tuna, salmon, walnuts or spinach. Research studies have shown that omega-3s help to lessen levels of cortisol and other stress hormones in the blood and can provide relief from stress and anxiety. Getting more omega-3s in your diet isn’t only tasty, but may help you better deal with daily tensions and stresses, too.
Day 45 — Feb. 28 — Do five bridge stretches. Do a “bridge” exercise. Lie on your back, with your arms by your sides, knees bent and feet on the floor. Flatten your lower back against the floor. Tighten your abdominal muscles. Raise your midsection by pressing the backs of your upper arms into the floor and lifting your tailbone up. Your body should make a straight line, from your shoulders to your knees. If you can, hold the stretch for two to five seconds. Rest a moment, then repeat four more times. Our lower abdominal muscles help hold us in alignment, and when they’re out of shape, it can cause lower back pain. Keeping these muscles strong helps to bolster the body’s core, which aids in maintaining good balance and posture.