Lacking culinary inspiration? Keep telling yourself that you will start going to the gym “next week?” Binge-watching TV rather than tackling a crossword puzzle?
We can often be our own biggest hurdle when it comes to making healthy decisions. But sometimes all it takes is a gentle nudge from a friend or a fun new idea to spark your motivation. Below, find three simple ideas to help you live your best life and boost your mental and physical health.
Staying active: Squats
Squats are one of the most important exercises we can do. And most of us do squats multiple times a day – think sitting down to dinner or standing up to get a drink of water. Squats will help ensure both your leg and stabilizing muscles stay strong and your range of motion stays wide, so those mindless daily activities, stay that way.
1. Stand tall and place your feet shoulder width apart.
2. Squeeze your glutes and lower yourself down and back toward the ground. Try to drive your knees out slightly as you squat down.
3. Straighten back up to standing and repeat.
Staying healthy: Sheet-pan roasted salmon with vegetable hash
Salmon is one of the best foods we can eat to keep our brain healthy. Enjoy this delicious recipe; best of all, there is only one pan to wash!
- 2 cups butternut squash, cubed (1/2 inch)
- 1/2 cup red onion, roughly chopped
- 2 tablespoons, plus 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 8 ounces Brussels sprouts, trimmed and roughly chopped
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 2 (6 ounces) salmon fillets
1. Heat oven to 450 F. Spray a large rimmed baking pan with cooking spray.
2. Arrange the butternut squash and onion in pan. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt and the pepper; toss to coat. Bake for 15 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine the Brussels sprouts, 1 tablespoon oil and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt.
4. Remove vegetables from the oven and add Brussels sprouts to the pan.
5. Stir to combine. Return to the oven and bake for 10 minutes.
6. In a small bowl, whisk together the mustard and brown sugar until smooth. Brush mustard mixture over both pieces of salmon.
7. Remove baking pan from oven. Move the vegetables over to one side of the pan and place the salmon (skin side down) on the other side. Bake for another 12 to 14 minutes, or until salmon is cooked to desired doneness and vegetables are browned.
Health facts: calories: 579; total fat: 31g; saturated fat: 4.5g; cholesterol: 105mg; sodium: 904mg; carbs: 39g; dietary fiber: 6g; sugar: 13g; protein: 45g
Staying mindful: Word scramble
Keeping your mind active and engaged is one of the best ways to help fend off memory loss. Brain games, like word scrambles, are fun ways to help keep your memory sharp.
Try unscrambling the words below.
Click here to reveal the answers.
Watch for more brain-boosting recipes, games and exercise moves coming your way. UnitedHealthcare Medicare Advantage members can access all the great benefits of Renew Active, a fitness program designed to help you live your best life. Benefits include standard membership access to participating fitness locations at no additional cost and brain exercises designed to help keep your mind active.
Plans are insured through UnitedHealthcare Insurance Company or one of its affiliated companies, a Medicare Advantage organization with a Medicare contract. Enrollment in these plans depends on the plan’s contract renewal with Medicare.
Participation in the Renew Active™ by UnitedHealthcare program is voluntary. Consult your doctor prior to beginning an exercise program or making changes to your lifestyle or health care routine. Equipment and classes may vary by location. Services, including equipment, classes, personalized fitness plans provided by fitness centers, and brain activities provided by BrainHQ, are provided by third parties not affiliated with AARP or UnitedHealthcare. AARP and UnitedHealthcare do not endorse and are not responsible for the services or information provided by this program. Availability of the Renew Active™ program varies by plan/area. Renew Active is not a standard benefit available on all plans. Some plans require the purchase of an additional fitness rider.