Everyday Tips for a Healthy You – All Year Round!
Only 8% of people accomplish their goals their New Year’s goals – according to the science.
The good news about that? If you’re currently struggling, which many of us are, then you are in the large majority!
In fact, by the end of January – somewhere between the 17th and 19th of January to be specific – most goals fall flat.
While we are all about aiming high, you might find it more helpful to take a step back so that you can celebrate small, daily wins!
Instead of stressing about the end goal – say it’s a certain amount of weight loss – why not focus on the actionable items you are taking to get there?
Celebrating the small wins that are helping you achieve the bigger picture is an important factor for mood and motivation. Not to mention, these are the actionable items (aka the meaningful progress) that lead to the big results!
Here is a fresh take on Doable Daily Habits from our Functional Medicine and Clinical Nutrition Team.
If you are feeling stuck, start small and incorporate these on the regular to revolutionize your 2022 goal setting and truly transform your life:
1. Be Cautious When It Comes to Hidden Ingredients
When it comes to healthy eating, processed foods and hidden sugars can be our biggest roadblock in feeling energized. Yet, it’s easier than you think to avoid.
Processed foods often contain unhealthy additives that aim to improve taste. While they may bring a flavor boost, these additives are unnecessary and can lead to serious health issues like heart disease, high cholesterol and blood pressure, diabetes and obesity.
Doing the discovery work at the grocery store can help weed out the overly processed foods. Read product labels to check for additives, sugar content, and saturated fats.
Another way to easily clean up your daily diet is to lower inflammation by limiting your alcohol intake.
These drinks use herbs and other natural substances to help you relax, feel calm and even fall asleep. While they may help bring on the chill, these drinks shouldn’t be used as a replacement for licensed healthcare treatment. Be sure to check with your provider before adding these ingredients to your diet.
2. Drink Plenty of Water
Drinking enough water is essential to reaching your health goals and keeping you feeling energized.
Water is essential to flushing out toxins, promoting weight loss, and maintaining all cellular functions.
Making sure your body gets the hydration it needs sounds so simple but most people aren’t aware of the proper amount of water they should actually be drinking.
Our Functional Medicine and Clinical Nutrition team recommends that you drink half your body weight in ounces of water per day. Fresh water, herbal tea, or water infusions all count towards your daily water intake.
Drinks made from water are often a healthier choice than sodas and drinks with added sugars.
Flavored sparkling waters and teas are a nice option if you are looking for a flavorful sip during the day. However, these drinks don’t necessarily count towards your water intake.
While many of us rely on the caffeine-kick from coffee to get through the day, this water-based beverage can work against our hydration goals.
For each cup of coffee you drink, try matching it with an additional ounce of water to make sure you keep your water levels balanced.
3. Incorporate more Fruits and Veggies
An easy way to boost your health is by incorporating more fruits and vegetables into your diet.
A diet rich in mother nature’s staples can lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of heart disease, positively impact blood sugar, and add important vitamins and nutrients into your body.
Try your best to add a fruit or veggie into every meal – whether it’s eating them raw or mixing them into a dish.
These colorful foods not only make your meals taste better, but they make your body feel better too.
4. Eat a Diet High in Fiber
Fiber is a type of carbohydrate that can’t be completely broken down by the digestive system.
While most carbs are broken down into sugar molecules, fiber cannot be broken down into sugar and passes through the body undigested.
Since it can’t be broken down, fiber helps regulate the body’s processing of sugars and helps to regulate blood sugar and hunger levels.
Fiber also is an important regulator of bowel health, aids in achieving weight loss and, according to science, can help prevent a variety of diseases.
There are a variety of foods that help you add fiber to your diet. Beans, lentils and broccoli are high-fiber options that can be added into most dinner meals. Berries, avocados, apples and dried fruits are sweet options to boost the fiber in your diet. Even popcorn, everyone’s favorite movie snack, can add fiber into your routine.
5. Stay Active
Movement is an important part of any healthy lifestyle. Not only does it produce good-feeling endorphins, but it helps with weight loss, prevention against many chronic diseases, and strengthens bones and muscles.
Staying active doesn’t have to be complicated or intense. We recommend at least 150 minutes of exercise per week, which is only 20 minutes each day! Exercise as be as simple as taking a walk around your neighborhood or going on a bike ride with your friends.
Exercise is highly dependent on individual health and body type. Before beginning any new workout regimen, we recommend meeting with a provider to ensure it’s the right option for you and your body!
Our team of Physical Medicine doctors are available to help you make movement decisions that are complimentary to your individual physique.
6. Make Rest a Priority
When we are working towards a healthy lifestyle, we may feel the need to be go-go-go. We feel like we have to constantly be exercising or working on meal prep to stay on track.
People often forget that rest and adequate sleep are actually some of the most important factors to successful health. Major lifestyle changes can be hard on the body as it adapts to new circumstances.
It’s important to give the body time to recuperate and heal. You need at least 7 to 9 hours of quality sleep each night to keep yourself energized. Adequate sleep has endless health benefits such as reducing stress, staying at a healthy weight, keeping a strong immune system, and lower your risk for disease.
In addition to sleep, it’s best to give your body time each day to relax and rejuvenate. Whether this be sitting down to watch your favorite show or taking a hot shower, it’s important to have these simple moments to help your body stay strong.
7. Practice Deep Breathing and Meditation
Big lifestyle changes or health journeys can put stress on both the body and mind.
High stress-levels come with a variety of side effects such as body aches, chest pain, high blood pressure, exhaustion, and digestive problems. These issues can get in the way of your health success and make you feel like you’re back at square one.
It’s important to approach a lifestyle change that is right for you and feels natural. When you do choose to pursue a new diet, daily routine or workout program, it’s essential that you pair this with time to de-stress.
Practicing deep breathing and meditation can help you find a sense of calm and balance amid the business of daily life. This practice can also help you reflect on your journey and honor the work that you have put in.
Plus, meditation is your body’s new best friend. This mindful practice can improve mental health, manage side effects of certain medical conditions, and help with pain management.
There are several methods of meditation, so it’s important to find the one that works best for you and your routine.
Reaching health goals and sticking to lifestyle changes can be challenging, especially when we fixate on specific accomplishments. These tips can help you take your goals step by step and commit to a health journey that will last!
Looking for a Long-Term Lifestyle?
If you are looking to create a long-term healthy lifestyle plan, our team of Functional Medicine Providers and Registered Dietitians can help you find the best option for your body. We specialize in a data-driven, diagnostic approach that helps you understand exactly what your body needs to heal, thrive, and function at your optimal level! We’ll work with you to create an individualized health plan that will take you beyond New Year’s Resolutions. Fill out the form below to request an appointment or free consultation!