As the Independence Day holiday draws near, here’s a small celebration of our history with thoughts on how it can inspire us.

In the early 1800’s, Johnny Appleseed planted thousands of apple trees in the American East.  He was certainly onto something – during a time when the average male life expectancy was around 35 years, he lived to be 70.  An apple a day really does keep the doctor away.  This is the perfect time of year to appreciate the apple – carry one around with you always to prevent that low blood sugar crash which can lead to a junk food attack, at the 4th of July BBQ, enjoy an apple as a side to that sensible portion of ribs instead of Aunt Paula’s 500-calerie-a-fork-full macaroni salad, and swap out a raw apple for that apple pie and ice cream (yes, that’s hard one, but you can do it!)

In 1969, American Astronaut Neil Armstrong took that famous first step onto the moon.  Your first step into a new healthier lifestyle may not have such an impact on the world, but to your life, the benefits are likely to be astronomical.  Take that first step now.

On a cold December night in 1776, George Washington and his army crossed the ice-filled Delaware River.  His troops burned around 55 calories for each five minutes of rowing.  It was the turning point in the war for independence.  And hitting the rowing machine at the gym can be the turning point in your war for independence from fat, bad health, bad cholesterol numbers, cardiovascular illness, and more.  Get on that rower and reenact this great moment from our history – do it for America!

In his 1961 inaugural address, John F. Kennedy famously said, “Ask not what your country can do for you — ask what you can do for your country.”  Choosing to live healthily and at a sensible weight is something you can definitely do for your country.  And by doing the patriotic thing and being lean and healthy, you are also doing something for yourself.