In Need Of Rejuvenation? Try The Revive In Five Challenge

Revive in five

(HealthCastle.com) Spring has finally arrived in Southern Ontario and with spring comes a desire for new beginnings; just look to nature for proof. I think change is likely welcomed more so now, than it is at New Year's, yet there's so much pressure to 'clean house' on January 1; of course I don't have proof of this, but motivation to rejuvenate seems higher in the spring and summer.

Taking on new challenges can be difficult but not if you have a easy plan.

On that note, change can be overwhelming and it's easy to get bogged down with details and not knowing where to start. That's where the Revive in Five challenge can help. As a  healthy living challenge, which was developed by world champion skier Kristi Richards, registered dietitian Nanci Green and the Canadian Health Food Association, Revive in Five is a five-week guide to help Canadians(or anyone for that matter) revitalize their health with planned activities, healthy organic eating and the judicious use of natural health products (look for those with Natural Product Numbers, or NPN, to guarantee you're getting quality products).

This is an approach that is right up my alley!

Each week has a different focus and includes supporting fitness activities, organic foods and natural health products so that by the end of the five weeks, participants will be revitalized in five main areas of their health, from the inside out.

Week 1. Core

Start the challenge by 'getting centred'; head into spring with a strong foundation from the inside out with core exercises like core twists, 1/2 spinal twist stretch or plank. Support your digestive health by eating some fibre-rich and fermented foods such as chia, quinoa, authentic sauerkraut, kefir, or kimchi. Round this out with a good probiotic natural health product.

Week 2. Activate

Improve and protect your heart and blood vessels, also known as the cardiovascular system, with any activity that gets your heart rate up like brisk walking, cycling or a spinning class for example. For a change, try asparagus, fennel, or seasonal leafy greens; your heart will love them. Supporting heart-healthy natural health products include resveratrol, quercetin and CoQ10.

Week 3. Strengthen

Don't forget about your limbs (muscles),  joints and bones; improve and strengthen them with split squats, supine stretch and consider something like yoga; it's great for deep stretching and isometric contractions which are a great way to strengthen and tone. Arnica, the omega-3 fats EPA and DHA, vitamin D3 and the minerals calcium and magnesium are key supporting players in week 3.

Week 4. Focus

The brain is seldom on our radar when it comes to healthy living. We can easily make the connection between exercise and heart health, or the impact of what we eat has on our digestion but we often forget, or might not appreciate, that all of our lifestyle behaviours affects our brain, and therefore our mind and mood. Get focused with activities that demand our attention, and build coordination, such as clock hops, shuttle drills or meditation. Try some new brain-friendly foods like ginseng tea, legumes [chickpeas, lentils, dried peas and beans], or organic sourdough. Support your efforts with these gingko biloba, ginseng, and the omega-3 fats EPA and DHA; natural health products that help with cognition.

Week 5. Shine

Your outer health should reflect your inner health. Nutricosmetics is a term used to describe foods, and natural health products, with functional properties, that work  to enhance your outer beauty. Beauty boosting foods include dark green vegetables, and coconut oil; consider extra lutein and a good quality multivitamin/mineral to feed and nourish your skin.

Get involved!

Be sure to check out the Revive in Five Challenge on Facebook and Twitter where you'll be able to connect with Kristi, and support the success of others, by posting your own healthy living tips and favourite organic recipes.

Twitter: @cdnhealthfood

Facebook: Canadian Health Food Association

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