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Small Steps to Better Health

Adventures in Eldercare June 2018

Anyone who has attended or watched a video of a motivational speaker may have heard the well told story of the starfish. After a big storm there are thousands of starfish stranded along the beach. A young boy is walking the beach and as he is walking he picks up a starfish and throws it back into the ocean. A well-meaning gentleman walking along remarks to the boy, “There are way too many, you won’t make any difference” and as the boy throws the latest starfish back into the ocean surf he replies, “It mattered to that one!”

The moral of the story is that even a small intervention can have a huge impact, perhaps not on the entire population but certainly at an individual level. This simple lesson is profound in that it is a call to action. Even if I can not change the world, I can influence some small part of it and in doing this I affect the whole. It allows you to be part of the solution even if it is a small part.

I love a recent initiative suggesting that people who enjoy walking along the beach pick up three pieces of litter on their journey. Three pieces of litter is not much but multiply it by an army of caring individuals and you have a significant impact on the environment. The result, our beaches are cleaner.

The same principle can be applied to diet and exercise. We all know that we should be eating healthy nutritious food but for one reason or another our diet has devolved into french fries and beer. Pick one day a week and eat a salad and have water with lemon, a small step that will have an impact on your health. The one day of eating healthy will turn into two and then three and eventually through these small incremental steps you will have converted your diet from unhealthy to healthy. Exercise can be treated the exact same way. Introduce an activity you can handle (walk, bike, swim) and do it once a week, and stick with it, it will become habit and slowly you will naturally introduce more ‘health’ days to your life slowly and willingly.

Whether you are trying to lose weight, gain muscle, eat better, stop smoking or get more active the key to success is small regular steps in the direction of the goal. Work your plan and plan your work, even if that plan seems as useless as chucking stranded starfish into the ocean, it will matter. It will matter to you, it will matter to your family and it will change your future, one step at a time.

Dr. Bruce Veltri is the CEO and founder of Victoria Eldercare, a non-medical Personal Care service serving the people of Norfolk County and surrounding areas. Call 519-429-2644 or visit our web-site for more information,

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