Better health is a great goal for your New Year's resolution! This may be a resolution that is often forgotten a few months into the year, but that does not have to be the case. The key to better health in the new year lies in lifestyle changes that you can enjoy and maintain.
Eating better does not have to be a chore. Healthy foods can be delicious and new recipes allow you to get creative with your diet. Making a healthy, long-lasting change is about so much more than reducing caloric intake. By cutting a few things out, and adding a few things in, you can eat better without giving up all of the things you love.
One of the best things to cut out of your diet is soda. Many Americans drink soda daily, and have for years, so giving it up is often difficult. One 20 ounce bottle of soda contains upwards of 15 grams of sugar and around 250 calories, and has no nutritional value whatsoever. It's consumption contributes to obesity and diabetes. Because of the high calorie content, someone who typically drinks a 20 ounce bottle of soda a day will lose half a pound of body fat a week by cutting it out and making no other changes.
Now, some things can easily be added in to the diet to increase your health in the new year. Fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains and water are key to a healthy diet, you can boost your health beyond that. Adding probiotics to your diet can increase digestive health, helping you lose weight or just feel better. They are tiny, live organisms that aid in the digestion of food. Our gut flora, or the balance of bacteria in our systems, is easily thrown out of whack by bad diets, and adding the right bacteria can help bring back the balance. They are also thought to strengthen the immune system and aid in mental health and energy levels.
Exercise doesn't have to be grueling to be effective in improving your health. Whether you are interested in a big change, or you want to gradually increase your activity level, there is an exercise for you.
Some people prefer to undertake a regimented exercise program, in hopes of dramatic results. There is nothing wrong with this, of course, but it can be overwhelming for many. By simply adding 30 minutes of walking or yoga into your day, 3-5 days a weeks, you can lose weight, increase energy levels and reduce your risk of heart disease.
Regular exercise is not just good for your body, but for your mind too. Exercise helps increase dopamine and serotonin levels in the brain, making you feel happier and combating stress. Gentle exercise is even recommended for those with chronic pain, and tends to reduce pain after a few weeks.
Getting Your Vitamins and Minerals
Vitamin deficiencies can cause symptoms ranging from low energy to irregular heartbeat, so getting all of the nutrients your body needs is not to be taken lightly. The best way to ensure that you receive all of the necessary vitamins and minerals is to eat a well-balanced diet, low in empty calories. If each food has high nutritional value, and you only eat junk food in moderation, you probably get most of what you need.
Even the healthiest eaters may find that their diet is low in certain nutrients. If you find that you feel down, have low energy, or are just generally feeling unwell, you may want to look into supplements. Vitamin is helpful in elevating moods, especially in the winter when people are receiving as much from natural sunlight. Magnesium can help with trouble sleeping and headaches. These remedies can be surprisingly effective.
Having a healthier new year does not have to be difficult. Focusing on making small changes in the right direction can create a healthier lifestyle that you can enjoy and feel proud of.