10 Tips to Kick Off a ‘Healthy’ January

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From Your Health Journal…..”Once in a while, I contribute article to Yahoo! Shine or Yahoo! Voices. Yesterday, I posted an article there listing 10 tips to kick off a healthier new year. Please visit the Yahoo! site (link provided below) to read the complete article, as well as other interesting articles. Below is a little snip…..

From the article…..

Human nature is an interesting thing to study, yet very complex. For example, take our own personal health. Sometimes, we need motivation or complications to lead a healthier lifestyle. For example, there are some people who have to get ill to make an important life change, which forces them eat healthier or exercise in hopes it puts them on a quicker road to recovery. Others refer to the January 1st date, when we start a new year, and the number one resolution most people make is to lose weight. The question I have is….why wait? Do we really need to get ill or wait until New Year’s to make a change in our lifestyle? Did it just occur to you on New Year’s that you needed to lose weight or feel healthier, or has it be festering a while? What do we need to do to make every day count, and not just New Year’s day? Here are 10 messages from experts and non-experts with their top tip to lead a healthier lifestyle, not just starting on New Year’s Day, but every day.

Registered Dietician Kati Mora suggests we choose fruits, veggies, nuts, or low-fat dairy foods as snack options instead of snack bars, candy bars, chips, crackers, cookies, etc. Not only can this help keep your calories in check, but you’re able to better meet your daily nutrient requirements. This is important because when you get the nutrients your body needs, you feel your best. Often times those empty calorie foods do nothing for us other than make us feel tired and sluggish. By eating foods that nourish your body, you feel great and are more likely to engage in other healthy living opportunities.

Dr. Larry McCleary, author of “Feed Your Brain, Lose Your Belly” states the majority of Americans are deficient in Vitamin K. They should consider a daily dose of this healthy vitamin in the K2 form — specifically the MK-7 type. It enhances bone health by helping calcium bind and stick to bone and it prevents the calcification of blood vessels, thus diminishing a potent risk factor for heart disease, that of vascular calcification.

NOTE: People taking blood thinners such as Warfarin should not take Vitamin K because it interferes with the effectiveness of the drug. As with all supplements, please check with your health care provider before taking.

Lori L. Shemek, Ph.D., Health Expert for the ABC Show “Good Morning Texas'” states most people are walking around mildly dehydrated and are not even aware of it. They are suffering from joint pain, headaches, fatigue, lethargy, weight gain, hunger and much more – all due to a lack of hydration. Our bodies are mostly water, our brain is 80% water – so when the cells in the body are not adequately hydrated, cellular function slows down and so do our bodies. For example, without adequate water, our brain function slows resulting in headaches and/or foggy thinking, our metabolism slows resulting in weight gain and fatigue. Do not rely upon thirst as an indicator to drink water – by the time we are thirsty, our bodies are already 1-2% dehydrated. It is essential that we hydrate for optimal health and weight loss. Drink half your body weight in ounces of water each day. If you weigh 120 lbs, drink 60 ounces of water every day.

Dr. Jennifer Hanes, an emergency and integrative medicine physician recommends each time before you eat perform 90 seconds of an exercise to create muscle fatigue. Examples include, squats, lunges, holding a plank position, push-ups or a wall sit. It serves several functions. There is scientific data to suggest it blunts the insulin response, meaning you store fewer calories as fat. In addition, it causes thirst so you start your meal with water, filling your tummy with more water than food. Finally, it opens the capillary beds (blood vessels) in your muscles changing the physical feeling of your body as you sit down to enjoy your meal. Above all, it is an easy routine that ensures you get in at least five minutes of resistance training a day and it istruly those small changes that have big results.

To read the full article…..Click here