Family Health, Nutrition and Fitness Lindsay Guinaugh | 6 years ago

Welcome to Your New Home! 5 Tips for Settling in Healthfully

Moving to a new area – whether one zip code over or three states away – stirs up a range of emotions. Helping everyone in the family cope with the stress, excitement and opportunity of making new friends, navigating new streets and adjusting to new surroundings is key.

“Moving can be a very stressful time no matter what your age, family make-up, employment status, housing situation or socio-economic status,” said Dr. Franny Goshtasbpour, a psychologist at Mint Hill Primary Care, part of Carolinas HealthCare System. “The transition can be made easier by getting to know the resources available to you in your new geographic location. Although we often think of resources as goods and services, you should not overlook the power of the ‘people factor’ in your new area. Once you are connected to the people in your new community, often times the rest falls into place.” Here are five strategies for settling in to your new surroundings: 1. Get moving Strolling the neighborhood briskly and often offers both social and physical benefits. In addition to meeting your neighbors and getting landscaping ideas from the house with the “Yard of the Month” sign in the front, walking will make you feel great. “Walking is hands-down one of the easiest ways to get your blood pumping,” said Matthew Thomas, MD, of Barnett Family Practice. “We know regular exercise like walking strengthens your heart, lowers your risk of disease and helps prevent osteoporosis.” Exposing yourself to a little sunshine each day will also boost your level of vitamin-D, which helps your body more easily absorb calcium. 2. Get lost Get in your car and turn off the GPS and take a ride around town. Putting yourself in “explore” mode can lead to all kinds of discoveries: a nursery overflowing with plants for your yard, a farmer’s market or even an out-of-the-way driving range. 3. Volunteer “There is research that indicates those who volunteer have lower mortality rates, greater functional ability and lower rates of depression later in life,” said Dr. Thomas. Whether you decide to read at a local school, visit with seniors at the local retirement community, volunteer at the hospital or coach a youth cross-country team, volunteering has real benefits. Some studies find those who volunteer more than 100 hours of their time in a year gain the most benefit. 4. Host a housewarming party Why wait for the neighbors to throw a party to welcome you? Hosting an open house is a great way to introduce yourself. Keep it light and healthy with a farm-fresh theme. This recipe is perfect summer fare for a small crowd:

Tangelo-Balsamic Grilled Chicken

Ingredients 1 cup fresh squeezed tangelo or orange juice 2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard 2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar 2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Directions • In a small bowl, whisk tangelo juice, mustard and vinegar; salt and pepper to taste. • Place chicken and marinade in a one-gallon re-sealable food storage bag. Toss to coat chicken. Refrigerate 30 minutes or up to two hours. • Prepare grill to medium heat. Remove chicken from marinade; discard marinade. Grill chicken, turning occasionally, 15 to 20 minutes, until juices run clear and internal temperature reaches 170 degrees. Source:

5. Say yes No one says you have to bungee jump. Or skydive. Or wing walk. But trying new things not only makes you inherently interesting; it keeps you alert. “As you get to know the people in your new area, opportunities to try unique things will present themselves,” said Dr. Goshtasbpour. “These activities may be things you had never thought of trying or always wanted to but had no one to accompany you on the adventure. Take the chance and try something new. Living out of your comfort zone can be an exhilarating and life-changing experience. Additionally, social activity is a fantastic way to make interpersonal connections in your community, helping you build your support system and offering you a sense of true belonging in your new home.”