Little Changes but Not in Impact
Perhaps even before the ball drops, we might be thinking of what we want to do different in the new year for better health. We have such good intentions but within a month, a week or even a day, we fall off the wagon. So here are some small changes you might consider taking this year that can improve your health without making yourself go crazy.
Take a Stand
Do you know what is the greatest detriment to your gym workout session? Sitting! Even in healthy people who exercise regularly, it has been shown that those who sit the most during the day have larger waists and worse blood pressure and blood sugar profiles than those who sit less. The main reason for this is the more we sit the more we negatively impact our metabolism. For example, the molecule, lipoprotein lipase that plays an essential role in how our body processes fats is only produced when our muscles are in use. So when you sit a crucial part of your metabolism slows down. Make this year's goal to choose standing and walking when ever possible. Whether it is giving up your seat on the subway, walking to work, the store, or the theater, or living in a 4th floor walk-up, the list is endless.
Eat the rainbow
No this rainbow doesn't involve a red bag of fruit favored candy. What it means is getting a variety of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and violet fruits and vegetables everyday. Consuming different color foods (as Mother Nature intended) plays a role in insuring we are getting enough vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, fiber, and more. This can help to protect against many potential body ailments and chronic diseases such as illnesses like the flu, cancers, digestive issues, declining vision, loss of bone density, and can even help with weight management. So challenge yourself to get in every color more often than not using .
Drink water instead
The one thing that might be keeping you from your weight loss goal may not be what you're eating but what you're drinking. Sugary beverages such as sodas and sweetened teas can be packing on pounds without you even noticing. Even juice is a sugar bomb that won't satisfy your hunger or do anything for your teeth. As a rule we should be drinking a third of our body, in water. Water helps with weight maintenance by improving metabolism and increasing feeling of fullness. It also aids in digestion and prevents constipation. This year when we are thirsty or with meals, we should say yes to water and no to anything else.
Sending emails, checking Facebook or watching Youtube videos has become the preferred bedtime ritual. Unfortunately devices like tablets, smartphones and computers suppress melatonin production. Melatonin is a hormone produced exclusively at night in the dark and regulates our sleep-wake cycle. It is not only important for a good nights sleep but protects against cancers such as prostate and breast and is crucial for bone health. Studies have shown that melatonin slows down osteoclast activity (the cells that break down bone). Make your goal to power down all your gadgets at least one hour before bed and curl up to a book or your honey instead.