Ahh… It’s that time again when all of us are making new year’s resolutions, or updating our bucket lists. Some of us might
make relationship or family goals top priority. Some might put travelling more this year as their top goal. Or starting a business. But I
hear a lot of folks wanting to better their health, get fit, and lose weight. I have rounded up the top
seven health goals to start the year right. Let’s start with number 8…
8. Opt for natural foods
When planning your meals, go for healthy and organic. Try to keep away from foods that are full of artificial preservatives, or those that
we call processed food. The artificial additives are added to food in order for them to have longer shelf lives when stocked in the grocery
store and in your pantry. However, they do not, in any way, preserve our health, and have been proven to even put it at risk of getting
serious health conditions, such as heart problems, migraine, muscle spasms, brain diseases, liver and kidney problems, GIT and respiratory
infections, and cancer. The next time you do your grocery shopping, check the ingredients on the packaging for any additives that have been
included. Some of these preservatives are phosphoric acid, sodium nitrite, sodium benzoate, propyl gallate, aspartame, monosodium glutamate
or MSG, butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT), potassium nitrite, ammonium sulfate, and titanium dioxide. Don’t forget to check your pantry
for any processed or packaged food that you may need to throw out.
7. Start a new hobby
What better way to keep our minds healthy than starting a new hobby. I often mention the need to manage those stress levels and get life in
balance, so why not get back into a hobby that you love. Have you been wanting to lift a paint brush and start creating art on canvas? Or
learning how to crochet and start a collection of blankets and beanies? Or crafting different novelty items out of cardboard? These kinds of
activities keeps the mind active, improving focus, and giving a sense of accomplishment every time you’re done with one project.
Don’t worry about not getting them right on the first try. That’s the fun in starting a hobby. We all have to start somewhere.
6. Get stronger and fitter
It’s not about running a marathon or doing a gym class everyday. It is more about building YOUR strength and ability. Exercising helps
keep not only the body physically fit, but also improves its mental state. When we work out, our bodies release chemicals called endorphins
which trigger a feeling of positivity and reduces the perception of pain, much like how morphine affects the body, but without the addiction
or dependence to the drug. Furthermore, regular exercise helps reduce stress, keep anxiety and depression away,
improve sleep, and boost self esteem, and ward off memory loss. Exercising is especially important for those in their 40’s and above,
since it improves muscle mass, which starts to decline around those years.
5. Walk more in nature
It is said that taking 10,000 steps per day will keep a person healthy. It is a way of getting fitter, but in a milder pace, without the
strenuous routine of weightlifting or running. Walking helps lower blood pressure and the risk of getting a heart attack. It also improves
bone health. It’s a great plus if one can walk in nature, where the air is fresh, free from pollution, full of fresh oxygen emitted by
flora. A good place to start is walking for 30 minutes straight daily amongst nature.
4. Lose weight
This, I’ve heard from most people whenever a new year comes. And this should come easily as a habit of an active lifestyle is
maintained — regular workout, or taking those daily 10,000 steps. Not only will one become healthier, but will help shed off those
extra kilos. There are so many health benefits of getting off excess fat and moving back into the healthy
3. Eat better than now
No matter who you are, you can always do better. Maybe it means switching your white rice to brown rice. Maybe it means cutting your alcohol
intake from daily to just twice a week. Eat whole foods that are free from preservatives, and didn’t go through a processing plant.
Since it is not easy to give up all treats, you might allow a cheat day is allowed once every two weeks. Watch out for stress-eating
and a habit of eating late at night due to a stressful day. Try stress-exercise instead. Keeping a weekly meal diary will also help.
2. Be happy and laugh more
You might want to fake it until you make it if this one seems like a big challenge. Put a smile on your face and see what happens. We
don’t have to wait until we have ticked off every item on our bucket lists just to be happy. Being happy from within is important. It
is true that we can train ourselves to be more optimistic, and learn to find a way to smile, laugh, and be happy despite disappointments and
discouragements around us.
1. Prevent disease and injury
Keeping injury and illness away are the essential to stay in top shape. If we are free from disease and injuries, we can do all of the above
without any problems. Prevention is better than cure! Get in touch and schedule your appointment today to
make your health plan for 2018.