With each new year, comes new resolutions. Of the many resolutions that people make, most are health related. If you’re looking to make a healthier version of yourself in 2018, here are 5 things you need to start implementing:
1. GET MORE SLEEP
It always seems like a good idea, in the moment, to continue watching that Netflix series. That feeling is rarely agreed upon in the morning. The amount and quality of sleep may be affecting you in more ways than you know. Two of the more studied aspects of sleep are on its effect on stress, and your weight; poor sleep has been shown to be one variable in weight gain, and it’s intuitive that those who sleep more have less stress.
Most people know they need more sleep more, but rarely take action to improve the amount or the quality. Be the minority and take action, make it a goal to get more sleep in 2018. You can start by having better “sleep hygiene” before bed. What’s sleep hygiene? Well essentially, it’s behaviours that you do before bedtime to help ensure a goodnights rest. Something that would be considered good hygiene would not be using your laptop, phone, or watching TV before bed. For some more tips on how to improve your sleep hygiene, read this.
2. MANAGE YOUR STRESS BETTER
Stress is often called the silent killer, as it can cause low levels of inflammation inside your body which over time wreaks havoc on your body. Stress is something we all face at some point in our lives, some more than others. How you deal with the stressors in your life is how you can take control of your health, and your life. There are few different ways to manage and minimize your stress, here are three ways:
- Remove the stressor
- Is it work that stresses you? Family? Whatever the cause, remove yourself from the environment – however short or permanent.
- Exercise promotes the release of serotonin in your brain, which is a feel-good molecule what will boost your mood. Also, exercise is good for you so you’ll feel better that you’re making healthy choices which will be reinforcing moving forwards
- Get adequate sleep
- I explained this earlier, and by sleep, I mean: amount and quality.
- Massage has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety. Consider massage as a part of your wellness and stress reduction regiment.
Curious how stress affects your ability to lose weight? Read this.
3. EXERCISE MORE.
Hey look, it’s exercise again. Yes, exercise is good for you. Go exercise, or be active in some way. As stated earlier: exercise promotes the release of serotonin in your brain, which is a feel-good molecule what will boost your mood. Also, exercise will help you get a better night’s sleep.
4. EAT BETTER.
This might be pretty obvious, but let’s address some specific areas that you should focus on:
- Fruit & Vegetable Intake. Fruits and vegetables are full of vitamins and minerals that are essential to keeping you healthy. On average, most people are under-consuming the proper amount of fruits and vegetables. You should aim to incorporate 6+ servings a day, and try to incorporate variety – a good rule of thumb is to have as many type of colors as you can. Here are what typical serving sizes look like: click here.
- Whole Food. By whole food I’m referring to eating the food as close to its natural state, the least processed form. The more “whole” it is, the more time and energy your body has to take to break it down – this is a good thing. This helps to slow digestion, which will increase your insulin sensitivity, leave you fuller for longer, and a myriad of other things. Also, because the food hasn’t been pre-processed its nutritional value will be higher – meaning there is a higher amount of the given nutrients in it. If you’re interested in how different cooking methods affect the nutritional value of the food you eat, read this.
- Less Sugar. In today’s society we are increasingly consuming more sugar and processed foods. This has had a negative effect on our waistlines and the increase in prevalence of type II diabetes. I won’t go into depth on this topic, read this if you’re interested, just understand that less sugar is beneficial.
- Fibre. Fibre is good for you, for quite a few reasons. First off, it slows the rate of sugar absorption into the bloodstream. Think of fibre as things like beans, whole grains, and the skins on vegetables and fruits. Secondly, the insoluble form of fibre makes food move through your intestines faster. This quick transit of food can help signal that you are full, faster. Thirdly, fibre can clean act like a scrub brush and clean your colon. This helps clean out bacteria and other buildup in your intestines; this also reduces your risk for colon cancer. Last but not least, fibre helps keep you regular. So that’s pretty neat. A high-fiber diet helps you have soft, regular bowel movements, reducing constipation.
- Vitamin D. Vitamin D consumption from food is important, especially for those who can’t make enough from UV exposure from the sun: above 37 degrees north. Vitamin D help maintain healthy bones and teeth. It also is protective again a range of other conditions, like cancer, type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis, and even depression. Vitamin D is also a precursor molecule that helps in supporting the health of the immune system, brain, and nervous system.
- Hydration. Stay more hydrated. Lee Bachand goes over hydration and how it relates your overall health in her massage minute.
Here are some related links that might interest you:
- Are you someone that finds it hard to eat healthy while “on-the-go”? If so, read this.
- Do you eat out at restaurants once a week, or more? If so, read this.
- A fun one to read: Could You Eat Pizza or Burgers While Trying to Lose Weight?