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Michaela Gagne: Simplify Your Health

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Sometimes we overwhelm ourselves.

Yes, I know. . . you’re saying, “Duh, Michaela. . .I do that every day.”

There are just so many things that we “should” do in our lives. Ladies especially, I know how it is . . . work your full-time job, do your tasks and upkeep around the house, take care of the kids, pay the bills, participate in a bunch of other stuff (PTO, youth soccer, Board meetings, volunteer work, fundraising, etc.} the list goes on.

Oh, and by the way, you are supposed to eat healthy (What do you mean on-the-go-food is unhealthy?!?!}, get to the gym every day (Does driving by and looking at it count?), not be stressed (Why would I be stressed? Oh, my God, I forgot to pick up Timmy from school!), and look good (or keep picking out that same black outfit that hides the extra pounds).

Is this even possible?!?! You know what you are supposed to do, but how does anyone really have time to do it?

Here’s one idea: Simplify.

Take that step back and realize that the smallest steps can make a difference, and that your health does need to be on that priority list.

Here’s some thoughts:

-Buy a nice huge water thermos and drink extra water all day at work.
-Take the stairs at work (no elevators!) and anywhere else possible.
-Make up that fun superheroes game with your kids (you know, that involves running around as a flying machine. . race your kids!).
-Do an exercise program with your kids. . .lots of kids think it’s fun to imitate the exercises on TV.
-Get rid of the soda and junk food!
-Walk on your work break.
-Stretch out your muscles during those couple of free minutes during the day, every chance you get to release a little tension.
-Learn some deep breathing and relaxation techniques.
-Pick out fresh fruits and vegetables whenever possible. . . and keep only healthy snacks on hand so you won’t be tempted when you are hungry or stressed.
-Reserve a baby-sitter for a couple of hours on at least one day per week to get in that sweat-drenching, uninterrupted, long workout you need (many gyms offer kid-sitting services too!)
-Instead of just going to little Katie’s practices and games, coach them if you can! Running around during a kids’ practice can be exhausting and great!
-Make a plan, but don’t beat yourself up if it doesn’t work. You planned for an hour at the gym this morning, but everything went wrong. You’re left with 20 minutes. Don’t give up on your workout: use those 20 minutes. . .it’s better than no minutes!

The important point is to do something. Moving forward with the smallest steps can equal huge results. Set a list of goals for yourself, and decide that your health is worth it!

At 17-years-old Michaela was diagnosed with LongQT Syndrome, one of the conditions responsible for causing Sudden Cardiac Arrest and claiming the lives of many young people unexpectedly. Michaela turned her obstacles into opportunities when she became Miss Massachusetts 2006 and began to speak nationally regarding SCA and heart disease.

To learn more about Michaela please visit:

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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