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Reflecting on Slim Down and moving forward

Editor's note: This column is one in a series as three RiverTown Multimedia reporters take part in the Slim Down with RiverTown weightloss challenge.

We're coming up on the end of Slim Down with Rivertown and kudos to you for keeping up with it to the best of your ability.

The final weigh-in is on May 8 at Kilkarney Hills Golf Course in River Falls and it will be exciting for the prizes awarded and the general celebration of the last 13 weeks. Over the course of the challenge, we've covered a wide breadth of topics — from wellness tips, workout tips and some mental health tips, too.

David ClareyFor my last column I wanted to recap some of these things we've covered as a reminder for post-Slim Down weeks. There's so much more than I can note here, too, so please do look back on your own if you ever need a reminder.

Let's start at the top. Fellow reporter and Slim Down columnist Brian Mozey started us off with some tips on creating daily workouts. He detailed the "30-day challenge" a set of workouts that focus on whatever body part you want.

READ MORE: Slim Down With RiverTown

He wrote, "These 30-day challenegs are a great tool to start working out on a daily basis. Most of these daily workouts last 20 to 30 minutes."

Mozey's challenge tip reminded me of a column I wrote a few weeks ago, where I asked my friend who is a physical therapist some tips on building habits.

He outlined how intentional working out should be — make sure you plan it and have attainable goals. This will make it easier to recognize your progress and stay on task throughout your plan.

We've had plenty of other tips too — I really urge your to cook at home more often. It's usually healthier, and a lot cheaper too. That's a win-win.

Mozey also asked us all to find ways to incorporate the changing seasons into our wellness. He even advocated for some winter workouts. It was things like snowshoeing or winter runs. These are all ways to stay active in our colder months, and he recently threw out some tips on spring and summer workouts as well.

Maybe the most important tips from this challenge came from Katie Davidson. She shared some extremely raw personal experiences with us, detailing some of her eating struggles.

Recently, Davidson told us to avoid self-punishment for overeating, and I think that extends to any facet of health. If you miss a workout, you don't need to get in a rut.

Davidson wrote about holiday feasting warmly, "Have an extra piece of pie as a bedtime snack? Let it go. Your diet will be there to return to the next day," she said. "Eating your favorite foods should not come with stress or anxiety any day but especially not over the holidays."

I really hope you found the challenge stimulating and found it as a stellar way of building a strong and healthy lifestyle habits. Best of luck in the final week of the challenge and beyond.

Tip of the week from Vibrant Health

Sleep affects weight

By Debra Sanders, RD, CD

Sleep is like nutrition for the brain.

Most adults need seven to eight hours of good quality sleep each night.

Falling short on sleep can affect your hunger hormones.

Along with eating right and exercising, getting quality sleep is an important part of weight control.