It’s the new year, but instead of talking about eye roll-worthy topics such as dieting, dropping bad habits or joining the gym, what about exploring a few things in 2017 that make real sense for real life?
First step’s a doozy
Did you find a fancy step-tracking device under the tree this holiday season? Or are you just curious how the generally recommended 10,000 steps a day changes up things in your day? Are you thinking about starting at 3,000 steps a day and working up from there? No matter your motivations, just get moving. Healthcare professionals pretty much agree it’s good for you, whatever your age or body type.
And you don’t have to go all high tech. A $9 pedometer from the corner drug store works, too. Excuses are usually the only things stopping any of us. Check with your physician for the best advice on how many steps you should take on.
Back in the day, meditation got a bit of a bad rap as something only people “out there” did. Today, the practice is seeing a resurgence as a way to de-stress, re-focus and renew daily, in only five to twenty minutes. Start with free guided meditation apps from Headspace, Calm, or explore other options. It’s worth a look and could make a big difference in your day to day. You never know unless you try.
On the run in the morning? Eating lunch at your desk? Yeah. We all find ourselves in those situations—Every. Single. Day. It’s possible to turn it around and make those times the healthiest part of the day. Load up on greens and other good stuff at the grocery or farmer’s market and give it a whirl—in the blender or juicer—then drink up. Experiment with different combos and recipes that work for your taste buds and what your body needs. Make it a family affair and check “getting our greens” off your worry list.
Healthy eating doesn’t mean depriving yourself. Trade foods you love but are bad for you for foods you love that are good for you. There are a multitude of lists and tips online, but trust your gut (so to speak) and start by swapping that cinnamon roll at breakfast for a healthy whole grain breakfast burrito that satisfies and keeps away the mid-morning slump. You probably enjoy more “healthy” foods than you ever knew. It’s just a matter of changing up a few go-to snacks and meals.
Get your ZZZZ’s
From weight control, to focus, to immune health, studies show that getting enough sleep can make all the difference in how you look, feel and take on your day. It’s complicated, though, for many of us. Luckily, sleep experts, who can help you find your circadian rhythm, optimum length of sleep and teach you about sleep hygiene, are available in most cities in the Carolinas.
Raise a glass, in moderation
Studies continually show that coffee, tea, beer and wine, in moderation (think one cup, one glass a day), can have health benefits. So consult your physician and be prepared to cut back, if needed, but you may not have to cut out your favorite beverages all together. Of course, you can hardly ever go wrong with pure, clear water, and lots of it.