Let’s face it; the holidays are a time for family, joy, food, and unfortunately the ever-present unwanted stress. A new year brings new beginnings and new opportunities. Opportunities to start making time for yourself so you get your health back, or at least improve on it. Whether you want to shed a couple pounds, detox, find more energy, or just feel better these simple tips will help you get 2015 off on the right foot.
- Sleep – Everyone knows the importance of sleep. Let’s face it. You can’t start your day off on the right foot, if you wake up on the wrong side of the bed. Sleep deprivation has been shown to affect not only your immune system but also your cardiovascular system. Sleep deprivation has been linked to diabetes, obesity, and decreased mental health. Every night you should aim for 7-9 hours of sleep in a dark room. Cover any light producing objects as it has been shown to affect sleep patterns. A great tip for a better nights sleep is to hide the alarm clock. Don’t worry about how much sleep you have left by watching the clock and just enjoy your sweet dreams.
- Exercise – Regular exercise has many benefits. Exercising daily has been shown to improve sleep quality so long as you don’t workout too close to bedtime. Exercise, such as a brisk 30 minute walk stimulates various brain chemicals that may leave you feeling happier and more relaxed. A daily exercise routine is a great way to control weight, combat health conditions, and boost your energy. It is also a great way to battle the stress of your day.
- Diet – Diets are one of the keys to wellness. If we don’t give our bodies the proper nutrients, then it won’t be able to function properly. Eating a diverse diet that contains fruits, vegetables, carbohydrates, and fat is very important. In 2015, try cutting back on the sugars, reducing your intake of white bread and limiting those unnecessary processed foods. Instead, try to increase foods like avocado, artichokes, asparagus, kale and the many other foods that help support your natural detox pathways.
- Get outside – Being in nature is the way we are supposed to live our lives. There is a great deal of research being done on the benefits of being in a green environment, and no I am not talking about recycling and energy efficient environments. I am actually talking about being in nature or near green plants. One research article found children with ADD/ADHD had fewer symptoms when activities were carried out in a green or natural outdoor setting such as parks, woods, farms, etc. Another set of research showed that surgery patients in a hospital with rooms that had a view of a tree, had shorter visits, fewer negative evaluative comments from nurses, and even took fewer moderate to strong analgesic doses. In the New Year, try getting out of the cafeteria and eating your lunch outside. Take a walk in the park or near patches of green, and buy some plants to keep in the house.