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Five ways the Year of the Horse will inspire you to have a healthy and happy New Year

2014-year-of-the-horseA very Happy Lunar New Year to all punters! What a fantastic opportunity to think and plan for the coming year, with inspiration from the Chinese zodiac animal that is the star over the next twelve months. Here are five ways to draw inspiration from the wonderful Horse:

1) Horses are strong.
Think strong and fit this year – add some strength training into your routine, work on your core muscles for less back pain and better posture, focus on incorporating aerobic fitness into your life. This is the year to get fit and healthy!

2) Horses are a mode of transportation.

Photo: Cruwys Morchard: horse and cart at Pennymoor for SS8611 About to pass by the Cruwys Arms inn   © Copyright Martin Bodman and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence
Photo: Cruwys Morchard: horse and cart at Pennymoor for SS8611
About to pass by the Cruwys Arms inn
© Copyright Martin Bodman and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

Why not incorporate incidental exercise into your daily commute? Walk or cycle to work, or take public transport and get off early to walk a few extra blocks. All this exercise, done daily and part of your usual routine, adds up to a lighter and fitter you! Have to pop out to the shops for milk? Get the granny trolley out and walk, or put the baby in the stroller and head out – on your feet.

3) Eat like a horse.

Photo: http://horse-uae.com/why-is-my-horse-losing-weight/
Photo: http://horse-uae.com/why-is-my-horse-losing-weight/

No, I don’t mean go and gorge yourself as in “I’m so hungry I could eat a horse!” But focus on lots of vegetables and fibre, and some wholegrains, and no processed foods. For such a strong animal, horses seem to survive on a diet of mainly grass and a bit of oats… So oil your machine with ample serves of nommy vegetables every day, for an energy boost, and lower risk of cancer and heart disease. Neiiiigh!!

4) Horses are swift animals.

Photo: http://davidwoodier.com/?p=278
Photo: http://davidwoodier.com/?p=278

Horses are swift, and they take you where you want to go. This could be a fantastic year for you – but only if you know where you are going! Is it time to think about the direction your life is heading in? Do you know what your goals are, your life purpose is, and are you happy with where you are heading? Stephen Covey talks about most people not living their life, but being lived. That is, most people are simply living out a life that they are being told to live – by the media and by advertising. They simply drift along and do what others (the TV, the ads at the bus stop) tell them to do (eat junk food, watch more TV, drink more alcohol, go shopping and get into credit card debt … you get the drift). Get started by thinking honestly about where you want to go, read inspiring books like How to Write your Personal Mission Statement, and sign up for great goal-setting apps and websites like Jutsu.

5) The Horse’s element is Fire – which is related to our hearts.

500px-Love_Heart_SVG.svgThis is a year to nurture relationships – the ones that matter, especially with your partner (and this is especially important if you are a parent, as time and time again the research indicates that a positive relationship between parents has a significant impact on children’s wellbeing). So take the time to invest in those closest to you, and have a truly happy Year of the Horse! :)

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