A Wholly Healthy You

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A New Year brings new opportunities. Time to say goodbye to 2014 and hello to a healthier you in 2015. The beginning of a new year is a great time to start new habits and break bad ones. Let 2015 be your year of whole health. Here are some great tips to get you started.

Nutrition

● Start slow. Don’t make too many changes at once or you might burn out.
● Drink lots of water. Hydration is key to your physical health.
● Eat more fruits and vegetables. Swap out a serving of carbs for a serving of vegetables.
● Stock your kitchen with healthy and convenient foods. Make it easy for yourself to succeed!
● Clear out unhealthy, processed or fatty foods. Especially foods containing saturated fats and trans saturated fats. If you don’t have it readily available, chances are you won’t eat it.
● Eat breakfast, with protein and fiber. Starting your day by feeling full is key to preventing yourself from making poor nutritional choices.
● Smaller portions. Many Americans don’t realize that they regularly overeat. Go by the FDA’s proportion recommendations and you will notice a difference right away.
● Don’t eat after dinner. If you snack when you are relaxing at the end of a long day, watching TV or using the computer, you are more likely to overeat or choose less healthy foods.
● Eat plenty of greens. Greens contain a huge variety of vitamins such as calcium, magnesium iron, potassium, zinc and the vitamins K, E, C, and A.
● Eat more fruit. Fruits satisfy sweetness craving but fill you up with their high water and fiber content.
● Eat whole grains. Start subbing out white flour, refined sugar and white rice with whole grains, beans and fruits and vegetables.

Exercise

● Be consistent. Exercise every day until it becomes a habit.
● Start Small. While your motivation to get fit may be high right now, an injury or burnout as a result of doing too much too soon can put those dreams on hold. Go slowly, and steadily increase as you feel more capable.
● Set realistic goals. Don’t expect to be marathon ready in two weeks. Start with a goal like exercising everyday for a month, or doubling your mileage at the end of 3 weeks.
● Do strength and cardio, not just one or the other. Both are necessary to improving your overall health.
● Do smaller amounts when you can. Walk on your lunch break, or park in the back when grocery shopping. Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
● Make it fun! Exercise doesn’t have to be all treadmill and no fresh air. Pick a sport that interests you. Go to a class with friends. Keep variety in your exercise plan and you’ll keep coming back for more.

Mental Health

● Think positive. Don’t let your inner voice become too negative. It only limits your perspective and your capabilities.
● Let go of old grudges. Don’t let experiences in the past poison your peace of mind. Let them go and move on to a better place.
● Don’t ignore your emotions, listen to them. Burying your emotions can create a dangerous time bomb. Instead of ignoring them, experience them for what they are and then move on.
● Protect your self-esteem. Make a point to be around people that lift you up, and avoid people who put you down.
● Accept yourself as you are. You aren’t perfect. You have flaws and make mistakes and that’s OK. Keep trying to be better, but don’t dwell on your shortcomings. Simply strive for small improvements each day.
● Be in the moment. Don’t let little things like that “ping” from your smartphone or the buzz of the dryer keep you from experiencing the small pleasures in life as they happen. Don’t just rush around from one to-do to the next, try to savor the little things and enjoy life as it happens.

Here’s to 2015! A new year, and wholly healthy you.

Photo credit: raganmd / iW / CC BY-SA

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