Discover Ways to Health and Happiness!!!


There might not be anything new in the information or news on basics of staying healthy, but maybe there will be new thinking about the “how” to implement health in your life this New Year.

Recess or Play – Getting the exercise you want

Find an activity that you are passionate about…walking, swimming, hiking, yoga, SUP, or whatever.  We have so many options here on St. John or wherever you may live.   If you don’t have a passion, experiment, try a little of it all and see what sticks.

Maybe set a goal…if you are thinking about running, maybe it is too late for 2014’s 8 Tuff Miles, but you can start by getting involved this year with the event and plan to run or walk in it next year for 2015.  For 2014, we have the Beach to Beach swim over Memorial Day Weekend and the new SUP Competition (Stand Up Paddleboard) event with the Friends of the VI National Park.  You can even join the Friends to help as a volunteer. Through hands-on work, you’ll learn new skills, share your knowledge with others, gain a better understanding and appreciation for the Park and our community, and have fun.  You may fall in love with hiking.

Buddy up! Find a friend to join you on your journey for better health.  Studies show if you have a buddy, you will be more likely to keep the commitment to play.

Weight – Getting to comfortable

Instead of looking for a number on the scale, think about getting to a place where you feel comfortable in your skin and clothes.  Maintaining a weight where you feel freedom of movement, think moving is easy and walking is easy.  In this era of replacement, whether it be knee, hip or ankle, the additional weight on these significant joints can make a serious impact on their function and on your movement.

From a Yoga Journal article, a 2013 review of 17 clinical trials concluded that a regular yoga practice which includes asanas (poses), pranayama (breathing) and Savasana (deep relaxation) practiced for 60 minutes, three times a week, is an effective tool for maintaining a healthy weight.  Also, yoga helps with all these joint concerns too.

Here we go, you have already heard it…eating…you know it.

  • More veggies, less meat
  • More fresh and organic produce, less frozen, canned and processed foods
  • Less salt
  • Less alcohol…only one or two drinks a day for good health

So on our island, how to find good healthy options.

  • Josephine’s Organic Produce in Coral Bay.
  • Starfish and St. John Market both have organic options
  • Pickles in Paradise – almost everything on the menu plus their special nights including Vegetarian Dinners on Thursdays and Locally Sourced food on Saturdays.
  • Most restaurants have healthy options… so think salads (with dressing on the side) and baked fish…narrow your selection down so you are not tempted with the high fat selections.

Also have one or two large glasses of water before you eat.  Keep hydrated all day long.

If you are looking for something called a diet…think The Mediterranean diet.  This diet is a modern nutritional recommendation inspired by the traditional dietary patterns of Greece, Spain and Southern Italy. The principal aspects of this diet include proportionally high consumption of olive oil, legumes, unrefined cereals, fruits, and vegetables, moderate to high consumption of fish, moderate consumption of dairy products (mostly as cheese and yogurt), moderate wine consumption, and low consumption of meat and meat products. You can find details on the internet to help with this option.

Sleep – Getting the rest you need

Making sure you get at least seven or more hours of sleep every night.  Turn off the TV or the computer, and pick up a book or magazine instead.  Move away from the light…of the super stimulations of TVs and computers.

Use pranayama (breath control) to relax before sleep.  Many pranayamas cool down the nervous system making the transition into sleep easier.  One easy pranayama to remember is to inhale to a count of 5, double the number to 10, and exhale to the new number of 10.  You can pick any number for your inhale, just double it for your exhale.

Nap in the afternoon…take a 20 to 30 minute siesta in the afternoon.  Any longer, and it can impact your night sleep.  But at 20 – 30 minutes, the nap can re-energize you for the rest of the day.