Healthy Living in the Florida Keys (Part 1)


What’s so special about the Upper Florida Keys? Sunshine! It is sunny 99% percent of the time.
With that being said, many people flock here year after year for vacation, to be a snowbird (that’s a person who lives here in the winter and somewhere else in the summer) or to relocate here permanently to work, raise a family and/or play. Ocean Reef to Islamorada and everything in between has an abundance of healthy choices, more than there was over 15 plus years ago.

Nearly 22 years ago, when I relocated here ,there were no parks, bicycle/sidewalk paths, gyms (that I recall), organic or natural foods. I do remember a small health product store. In general healthy wasn’t really on anyone’s mind. It was all about work, bars/restaurants, snorkeling/diving and fishing. Not saying that’s a bad thing, but if you wanted something more, it just wasn’t really here.

Look at this place now!

There are parks, places to walk or bicycle, to run or play tennis, gyms, a variety of workout venues that hold classes or you can work personally with a trainer. The grocery stores have organic and natural foods. Some restaurants have started catering to those with dietary issues like gluten intolerances or vegetarians/vegans. There is something for everyone here and it will only increase as people continue to choose more healthy living in the Florida Keys. And yes, even healthy people like to fish, snorkel and dive. They also enjoy their local restaurants and libations, just a bit more moderately.

The lifestyle here in the Keys allows for diversity, even in the work place. Imagine being told, “Go outside, you need fresh Vitamin D (sunlight), go for a walk, you’ll feel refreshed and see you in 10 or 15 minutes, energized and happy for the rest of the day”. Think that sounds crazy? Try it, you’ll be surprised. If you are someone who is stuck indoors all day long and rarely see the outside between 8am and 5pm, use your lunch break time to get some fresh air and some much needed sunshine. Even the worst day will dwindle down to not such a bad day after all, maybe even a great day! Like many things in life, you won’t know until you try.

Why is healthy living such a huge topic these days?

Look around. Really look around the next time you are out somewhere. How many people do you notice or personally know that are or seem unhealthy. They are overweight, underweight, get consistently sick, are sedentary, depressed or stressed all the time. Non of these categories are healthy life styles. They are the result, the reasons of the complete opposite. There are some bona fide medical or mental conditions that can produce these effects. However, there are many more ways to combat them and develop them into more rich and fruitful healthy ways of being.

Surely this may appear a far fetched concept, perhaps even attempted once, twice or even three times in your life with less than acceptable results. Look at it this way, the average person lives to be in their 80’s and 90’s, and a few into the 100’s. You’re 30, 40, 50 or even 60 something and realize how many more years of living there is. So why stop at the third attempt? Three strikes, you’re out, may be a phrase but it’s not written in stone.
Here is the new phrase, “It’s a new day, with a new beginning”. That translates to, anything and everything can happen today, good, bad or indifferent. The end result is the option you choose, the good (my personal choice), the bad (boo) or the indifferent (on the fence kind of day).

Healthy living is a vague term.

What’s healthy to one person is not necessarily healthy to another. It truly depends on the person. When considering making changes for the better in your life, what your friend of family member has done may not be what you need for yourself. Educate yourself, ask questions, try different things, listen to what has worked for others with similar goals to yours. Learn from it all. If you see something is working for someone else it may just be the right thing for you. Whether it’s healthy eating habits, discovering a new and fun way to move your body (exercise/workout) or just turning your frown into a smile, whatever it may be, the first and probably the most difficult thing to do is to commit to yourself.

Forget about long term goals. Think in the present, a week from now or a month or two at the most. Short term goals are easier to achieve. It promotes a boost in self-esteem and a feeling of completion. Then repeat the process again, always remaining in the present. Healthy living isn’t a long or short term goal. It’s a way of life, it’s a way of thinking, a way of being every day. Healthy living can lead to not only good health of your body but of your mind as well.

When you step outside and see the bright yellow sun, remember you can live a Healthy Life in the Upper Florida Keys! Read Part 2 about healthy living in the Florida Keys!