Tuesday, January 7, 2014
As we step into the New Year take a moment to think about what you want to achieve and experience in the upcoming year and determine how you are going to get there. Write it down. Now keep in mind staying healthy is a crucial part to achieving these goals; health in all facets-emotionally, socially and physically. When one is off the body senses stress and stress does a number on us. So instead of just focusing on weight loss for instance, focus more on health. View it as what can I add in; more in order to be healthy, more in order to lose, more in order to be fulfilled. Here are just a few things to consider adding in for 2014.
1. Drink more water. The key to human life, literally, and most of us do not drink nearly enough. Hydrate your cells and your outward appearance will glow, fine lines will fade and your energy will increase. The body runs best on all levels when properly hydrated which is one of the reasons drinking water assists with weight loss. And if you are drinking more water, naturally you will be drinking less sweetened or artificially sweetened beverages.
2. Get more sleep. Aim for 7-8 hours most days of the week. Those of us who do not get adequate sleep probably don’t realize how tired we actually are because our body has amazingly adapted out of pure necessity. Chronic sleep deprivation may alter hormones that play a role in regulating appetite and some studies have revealed metabolic changes that mimic aging possibly accelerating age-related health burdens and disease. Get the recommended 8 hours a couple days in a row and tell me how good you feel- It’s wonderful.
3. Eat more fruit, particularly those vibrant in color such as grapes, berries, cherries and citrus. Those rich in color equate to rich in antioxidants. Think of antioxidants as anti-aging, anti-disease, anti-harm to the body. Fresh, frozen, dried; snack on these and ditch the 100 calorie packs of pretzels, crackers, cookies, etc.
4. Eat more whole, plant based foods. Think as closest to how it is found in nature as possible. Add in more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts-almonds, walnuts, chia seeds, etc. If you are eating more of these types of foods then naturally you will be taking in more fiber, phytonutrients, antioxidants, heart healthy fats and less bad fats and sodium. Not saying you have to cut out everything else but plant based foods may provide more for us than we even realize so make these the bulk of your diet in 2014.
5. Spend more time with friends and family. Personally, this is my goal for the New Year. Too often I turn around to find months have gone by without talking to friends and family I don’t necessarily see on a daily basis. These relationships are too important to treat carelessly. So pick up the phone and get in touch with someone you haven’t talked to in months.
6. Get more sunshine. For the vitamin D and simply the stress lowering effects nature has on us. Vitamin D is found naturally in very few food sources so the body has this amazing ability to formulate it from sun exposure. The vitamin plays numerous roles in our body. It promotes calcium absorption essential for bone health, reduces inflammation- thought to be an underlying cause for many chronic diseases, directs cell growth and strengthens the immune system. More of us may be deficient than realize so getting your vitamin D levels checked may be a good idea.
7. Say yes more. Yes leads to more experiences and opportunity to learn from the unknown. More times than none we regret the times we said no rather than yes. “At the end of the day, let there be no excuses, no explanations, no regrets.”
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