Posted on 01/12/2016 at 12:00 AM by Embria Health Sciences
By Dr. Lisa Metzgar, PhD:
It is the start of a new year and for most people that means looking at their health and wellness to make positive changes. Whether you want to lose weight or start eating healthier, there are some simple steps you can take to get on a healthy track in 2016. Most of these suggestions are common sense and we have all heard them before but healthy habits really are about keeping it simple and using common sense. Sometimes we just need a little reminder to get back to basics.
Many of us are very focused on the scale when it comes time to making those New Year Resolutions. We want the quick fix diet to lose weight but we can ultimately harm our bodies and immune system with crazy weight loss tactics. Instead of focusing on the number on the scale, let’s rethink what it means to be truly well. When your body is functioning properly, it will naturally slim down and you will feel amazing.
Here are some things to think about to develop healthy habits for your healthiest year ever:
Get the majority of your nutrients from whole foods. Clean eating is about eating foods that don’t come in a box. Try to incorporate a wide variety of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lean proteins, fish, nuts, seeds, and legumes in your diet. Resolve to try some new foods and expand what you eat. When we get bored with what we are eating, we can tend to look for other unhealthy alternatives. There is a huge variety of whole foods to choose from so don’t get stuck eating steamed broccoli every night.
Manage your stress. You certainly can’t eliminate stress from your life but you can take time out to fortify your soul so you can deal with the stress better. Doing things that calm your soul will help to balance hormones in your body. Last month I talked about how stress hormones can wreak havoc and sabotage your health. If you missed the post you can check it out here: http://www.epicorimmune.com/blog/how-holiday-stress--extra-weight-gain/
Take some time to do things that nurture. Take an Epsom salt and lavender bath, take a walk, play with your children, get a massage, or just sit with a friend and watch an uplifting movie. We get so busy with our lives that we forget to enjoy moments.
Be fit. You don’t have to spend hours in the gym to be fit. Incorporating a new workout regime into your schedule doesn’t have to be daunting. Try taking a 10 minute walk a few times a day. Get some hand weights, an exercise ball, and exercise bands to do a little muscle work while watching television. Try a stand up desk at work so you aren’t sitting all day. Join a fun class. As you can see, simple steps can make a big difference. Studies have shown that people who work out too hard can actually put a burden on their immune system1. So you don’t have to get crazy at the gym to be fit.
Get enough sleep. Sleep deprivation can lead to stress, unhealthy food choices, and lack of motivation to exercise. Try going to bed half hour earlier, don’t watch television in bed, and keep your room dark and cool for a more comfortable sleeping environment. Studies have shown that there is a link between sleep deprivation and type 2 diabetes. Our bodies seem to be less responsive to insulin when we don’t get enough sleep.2
Maintain a healthy body fat/lean body mass ratio. BMI or Body Mass Index is used to measure a weight category in the average person as a measure for health risk factors. A BMI of 18.5-25 is considered healthy.3 Research shows that being overweight or obese can put a burden on our immune systems and increase our vulnerability to infection4
Drink water. This is such a basic step but many of us forget to get enough water during the day. When we are dehydrated, our bodies are more toxic, more acidic, and don’t function optimally. If you can just focus on one thing, focus on getting enough water. Start your morning with at least 16oz. of purified water before you do anything else. Eat breakfast and then drink another 16oz of water. That is about half your daily requirements before you even leave the house. Water helps with removing toxins from the body, production of lymph, aids in digestion, and in production of hormones like serotonin and melatonin to help stave off depression and sleep deprivation.5
Incorporate supplements to support your body’s functions and most importantly, immune system. Our modern day diet doesn’t always provide enough nutrients to our bodies to optimize all it’s functions. It is always a great idea to incorporate a good multivitamin, omega 3 fatty acids, Vitamin D (check with your doctor to see if you are deficient), and a great daily immune support supplement like EpiCor that acts like a prebiotic6 to balance our gut health and helps keep you healthy everyday.
For more simple steps to help you have your healthiest year ever, I invite you to sign up for my free course A More Amazing YOU! Just go to my website http://www.biofunctionalhealth.com/ about to sign up.
Have a Happy and Healthy 2016!