The “Stealth Health” movement is dedicated to sneaking healthy habits into our daily living. It is easier than you might think.
“You can infuse your life with the power of prevention incrementally and fairly painlessly, and yes, doing something, no matter how small, is infinitely better for you than doing nothing,” says David Katz, MD, MPH, director of Yale University’s Prevention Research Center and of the Yale Preventive Medicine Center. Katz is also co-author of the book Stealth Health: How to Sneak Age-Defying, Disease-Fighting Habits into Your Life without Really Trying.
From your morning shower to the evening news, from your work commute to your household chores, Katz says, there are at least 2,400 ways to sneak healthy activities into daily living.
“If you let yourself make small changes, they will add up to meaningful changes in the quality of your diet, your physical activity pattern, your capacity to deal with stress, and in your sleep quality — and those four things comprise an enormously powerful health promotion that can change your life,” says Katz.
And yes, he says, a nap on the couch can be a health-giving opportunity — particularly if you aren’t getting enough sleep at night. Sleep is so important that being rested gives you energy to do so much more.
Nutritionist and diabetes educator Fran Grossman, RD, CDE, agrees. “You don’t have to belong to a gym or live on wheat grass just to be healthy,” says Grossman, a nutrition counselor at the Mt. Sinai School of Medicine in New York. “There are dozens of small things you can do every day that make a difference, and you don’t always have to do a lot to gain a lot.”
7 Sneaky Ideas. Here are some from my personal list:
1 While brushing my teeth: I put one leg on the toilet and stretch,.
2. Shaving: Stand on toes.
3. Watching TV: I do 500-800 steps while watching the first half of “The Biggest Loser" and rest during the 2nd half of the show.
4. At the Mall: do 1 or 2 laps without stopping before entering any stores..
5. I alternate sitting and standing activities so I can keep working longer longer without stopping. ex: 1. Do a 800 step exercise. 2. Answer e-mails, pay bills. 3. Go to Mall: do two laps and then shop. 4.return home: Study, grade papers….etc.
6. Take the stairs whenever possible. Park in the parking garage and take the stairs to the level I want.
7. Walk up escalators instead of riding them.