Califonia Bountiful

A new year, a healthier you

Jan./Feb. 2009 California Country magazine

Small steps can lead to big improvements in your health.

Small steps lead to big changes

A fresh start. A new beginning. Welcome to 2009. This year, instead of must-do resolutions, start with small changes that are easier to make part of your everyday life. You can always do more!

Fast fitness

Regular exercise helps you get and stay fit. Fitting activity into your daily routine can be easy. To reach a 30-minute goal for the day, you can break it up into three 10-minute increments. Less than 10 minutes of activity will not have the same health benefits.

At work:

  • Take a brisk 10-minute walk to and from the parking lot, bus stop or train station or get off the bus or train one stop earlier and walk or skate the rest of the way.
  • Replace your coffee break with a brisk 10-minute walk around your office building.

At home:

  • Join a walking group in your neighborhood or local mall.
  • Walk up and down the soccer or softball field sidelines while watching your kids play.
  • Walk the dog.
  • Do stretches, exercises or pedal a stationary bike while watching television.

Snack attack

Smart snacking keeps you going so sugary and high-fat foods are less tempting. Good snacks to pack: fruit, whole-grain crackers, baby carrots, rice cakes, whole wheat pretzels and raisins.

These tips are brought to you by the California Farm Bureau Members’ Health Insurance Plan underwritten by Health Net Life Insurance Co. For more information about our health insurance products, visit the Health Net Web site at, click on “See Our Plans,” then “California,” then “Individual & Family Plans,” or call 800-909-3447, opt. 2.

Sam Cole is a regional vice president for Health Net of California Inc. He can be reached at 916-935-1215 or

Portion patrol

Did you know that one large bagel is equal to four mini bagels? To help you understand food portions, here are a few examples:

  • 1 cup of fruit: one 8-inch banana or two large plums
  • 1 ounce of whole grain: 1/2 cup oatmeal or one slice of whole wheat bread
  • 1 cup of milk: 2 slices (3/4 oz. each) of Swiss cheese or 1/3 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 2 ounces meat/beans: 6 thin slices of ham or 1/2 cup cooked black beans

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