As we approach the end of the year, a lot of people begin to think about their New Year’s resolutions. And most of these resolutions revolve around losing weight and getting healthy.
But many people struggle to reach their health goals. Getting healthy doesn’t have to be hard. In fact, it can be quite simple as long as you follow some science-backed and time-tested rules:
Get Plenty of Sleep
When it comes to getting healthy, people overlook one of the most important aspects of optimal health and that is getting plenty of restorative sleep. Each day your body must fight of stress and invading pathogens, while at the same time, rebuild your organs and systems to keep you alive. This requires SLEEP and plenty of it. So make a commitment to getting more each night.
Deal with Stress in Healthy Ways
Not many of us will get through life without facing our own fair share of stress. A little stress is okay and not very harmful to our health. But chronic stress is a root cause for many diseases.
Chronic stress causes our body to release “fight or flight” hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol over and over again. These hormones cause our blood vessels to constrict and our hearts to beat faster, as well as to keep our blood sugar levels elevated. All of this is in an effort to help our bodies fight an attack or flee from danger.
But when these hormones continue to be pumped into our bloodstream day in and day out for weeks, months and years, we can develop diseases such as hypertension, heart disease, type 2 diabetes and even cancer.
On top of havoc wreaked by the stress itself, most people deal with stress in unhealthy ways. We eat too much junk foods, we drink too much, smoke, etc. This only exacerbates the problem.
In the new year, it is really important that you try and handle your stress in healthy ways. Meditation has shown to be a powerful way to deal with stress. There are also adaptogens that can help your body deal with stress. And of course, exercise is also excellent. And speaking of exercise…
Without a doubt, exercise is one of the absolute best things you can do for your health. Not only does exercise help you to burn calories and lose weight, it helps keep your muscles firm and your joints loose. Exercise is also a mood booster as it naturally releases feel good endorphins in your brain.
The mistake most people make at the beginning of a new year is they commit to working out REALLY HARD at least 5 times a week. This simply isn’t necessary, or even healthy. Choose an exercise you actually enjoy. That could be walking, biking, swimming or dancing…anything and do it for half an hour three times a week.
Eventually you will become stronger and more energized and you will naturally WANT to move your body more. Always listen to your body and never push yourself too hard in the beginning.
Drink More Water
Chances are, as you read this, you are very dehydrated. Did you know dehydration can lead to various illnesses such as diabetes, kidney disease and even mood issues? There are no hard and fast rules as to the “exact” right amount of water a person needs to drink each day. What I can tell you is, if you feel yourself become thirsty, you are already dehydrated. Also, it’s a good idea in the new year to try and drink less sodas and fruit juices and replace those with water.
Stop Eating Garbage
Stop eating processed junk food. If it comes in packaging and was made in a factory, put it down. Start making your own meals focusing on quality meats, produce, dairy and eggs. You will easily lose weight and get healthier in the new year.
Eat More Protein
I mentioned a while ago that every single day your body must rebuild and repair itself. To do this, it needs an adequate amount of protein. On top of this, when you want to start an exercise regimen, especially one that focuses on resistance training, you also need enough protein so your body can build NEW muscle.
Most people simply aren’t getting enough protein. Women age 50+ should aim to eat at least 60 grams of protein a day – more if they are very active. Men 50+ should aim to eat 80 grams a day, more if they are active.
If you follow these tips, you can’t HELP but to lose weight and get healthier. We’d love to help you. We recognize it’s not easy for everyone to eat enough protein each day. A simple cheat is to add a protein shake to your meal plan each day.
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