Top 5 Ways to Improve Your Health in 2016

  1. Set realistic expectations: Set some realistic expectations for yourself instead of setting yourself up for failure and disappointment. This refers to both your professional and personal life. You are only one person. Start the year off by better prioritizing your tasks and being kind to yourself if things do not get done as planned.
  2. Make sleep a priority: Seriously- get your 8 hours in! Sleep should not be considered a “waste of time”. It is essential for your health. Specifically your mood, your energy and your immune system depend on it! Keep in mind that the hours before 12am are where the best quality sleep can be attained. Sleeping-in does not make up for the hours you did not get before mid-night. Make sleep part of your priority list and stick to it. Your family members and co-workers will thank you for it.
  3. Drink water: The “8 glasses of water per day” goal is there for a reason. Just do it already! Get yourself a stainless steel or glass water bottle and make it your new best friend. Bring it to work and carry it around with you. Your body is made up of 70% water. How concentrated is yours? Are your cells plump grapes or wrinkled raisins? Your hydration level ultimately reflects your body’s acidity level and tendency to inflammation. Doing something as simple as drinking more water will improve your energy, reduce pain and…..reduce blood pressure. I know! Water is amazing!
  4. Be active, one step at a time: The most common thing people talk about in the New Year is getting in shape and losing weight. Instead of signing up for a boot-camp that after going to one class and not be able to walk the next day you stop going; or instead of adopting a “carb-free” diet that makes you moody and unbearable to be around, why not just take it slow? Focus on making meaningful lifestyle changes. For example try to increase activity in your daily routine- taking the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator and going for periodic walks at work. For your diet, focus on one thing at a time. You could start by focusing on vegetables. Increasing vegetables in your diet will naturally eliminate other high calorie, low nutrient dense foods.
  5. Listen to your body: Your body is trying to give you signals throughout the day but are you listening to them? Something as simple as paying attention to your hunger and digestive signals can contribute to healthy weight management and bowel health. Are you eating even though you are not hungry? Or are you ignoring your body when you are hungry? Both of these contribute to weight gain and poor blood sugar control. Is your body wanting to eliminate waste but unable to because you are in a public place? The more you ignore, the less the signals will happen. Start the year off by just listening.

By Dr. Deanna Gallo at Sage Naturopathic Clinic

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