2012 is upon us and for many of us that means New Year’s resolutions.
And since the majority of resolutions involve some type of health and fitness goals, here are 12 simple tips to help get your new year off to a good start.
1. Get Adjusted
You knew this was on this list, so let’s get to it right off the bat! Remember, chiropractic adjustments are all about total body health. Pain relief is simply a positive benefit of a freely functioning nervous system. Get on a corrective schedule of chiropractic care to maximize the power of your nervous system, and then maintain your health with regular wellness adjustments.
There are virtually infinite benefits to regular exercise. In addition to the obvious physical perks, exercise helps to strengthen your immune system, boost your mood, increase your self-esteem, eliminate toxins from your body, and enhance your overall health. All this can be accomplished with a simple program of moderate exercise 4-6 days per week.
3. Increase Your Water Intake
Most people are far too deficient in their water consumption. Dehydration doesn’t always show up as thirst. You may see it in the form of headaches, joint stiffness, mental fogginess, fatigue, constipation, etc.
There’s a lot of debate about how much water is the right amount. Some say eight 8oz. glasses a day. Others recommend drinking your bodyweight per day in ounces. You are doing well if you are coming close to either. Keep a water bottle close to you at all times and make it a habit to drink throughout the day. A good rule of thumb is that if you are waiting until you are thirsty to take a drink, then you are not getting enough water.
4. Go Heavy on the Fresh Veggies
Fresh vegetables are not only high in essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, but are also a great source of fiber. Fiber is excellent at binding toxins for elimination. It also acts as a natural cleansing brush for the colon and has been shown to reduce the incidence of colon cancer.
Vary your selection of vegetables. Be sure to include several different colors of veggies, as each contains its own healthful blend of bioflavanoids. There’s a whole world of veggies out there besides your usual diet of peas, corn, and carrots. Try some kale, bok choy, or swiss chard. They’re great for your health, and chock full of flavor!
5. Eliminate Processed Foods
You’ve heard me say this before, but a good practice to get into when grocery shopping is to shop the perimeter of the store. This is where all the “perishable” food is kept, such as fresh produce, meats, seafood, and dairy.
The middle of the store (with the exception of fresh frozen veggies) is mostly boxed and canned chemical imposters designed to resemble real food. There is little of actual value to be found in the inner aisles of a grocery store, so your best bet is to steer clear. After all, if something has a 3 year shelf life, how much good is it actually doing your body?
6. Cut Back on Grains and Dairy
Dairy and processed grains have both been shown to create an inflammatory response in the body. Many conditions such as arthritis, inflammatory bowel, and autoimmune diseases are aggravated by consumption of grains and dairy products.
In addition, most of the grains and dairy that we consume are refined and loaded with sugar. They have been implicated in many of our chronic “lifestyle” afflictions such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.
7. Get Outside
Fresh air is not only good for the soul, but it’s great for the body, too. Too many of us are stuck inside an office building, school, or factory all day.
Sunshine is your best source for vitamin D, and exposing yourself to natural bacteria in the environment is an excellent way to help boost the strength of your immune system. Are you the type to bathe yourself in hand sanitizer before leaving the house? Step out of your comfort zone and get your hands into some dirt. It will do you some good.
8. Get Some Sleep!
We are a sleep deprived society. Not only does lack of sleep zap your productivity, but it also weakens your immune response, leads to weight gain, and deprives your body of the vital rebuilding and replenishing process that takes place during a deep, restful sleep.
Get into the habit of going to bed at the same time each night. Clear your mind before you go to bed by jotting down all your thoughts and ideas in a notebook. And above all else, don’t fall asleep to the TV!
Did you know that when your body harbors too much acid you are more prone to developing diseases such as arthritis, diabetes, heart disease, etc?
When you break down foods they either create an alkaline or acid ash in the body. Foods high in acidity such as processed foods, meats, dairy, alcohol, and sugars are notorious for creating acidity in the body. On the other hand, foods like fresh vegetables and most fruits create alkalinity in the body and can counteract the negative effects of acidic foods.
There are several lists of acid/alkaline foods that you can find online. Here is one to get you started: Here is an exmaple of an acid/alkaline food chart.
Double your intake of alkaline foods to neutralize the acidic foods, or add a daily alkalizing green drink to your diet. Here is the Amazing Grass green drink we carry at the office:
It is easy to go overboard when it comes to dietary supplements. Remember that supplements are meant to add to a healthy diet. They are not to be used as a substitute for healthy eating. Here is a good baseline for most people:
Multivitamin/mineral. A good quality multivitamin can make up for what is lacking in even a good diet. Today’s foods don’t pack the same nutritional punch that they did just a few generations ago.
Fish Oil. Among the benefits of supplementing with healthy omega-3 fatty acids are reducing inflammation and joint pain, decreasing the incidence of cardiovascular disease, and promoting healthy skin.
Vitamin C. In addition to its beneficial effects on the immune system, vitamin C acts as a natural anti-inflammatory and can help fend off many chronic ailments to the cardiovascular system.
We live in a toxic world. We are exposed to chemical toxins every single day that over time can have a negative cummulative effect on the body. A good habit to start this year is to do a body detox once a quarter. There are several bodily cleanses that bind heavy metals and other toxins for elimination from the body. These are easier than you think and are not a big disruption to your daily routine.
In addition to detoxing your body, you might want to think about cleaning up your home environment as well. Eliminate caustic chemical cleansers, artificial air fresheners, toxic soaps and detergents, etc. There are so many natural alternatives now that it is easy to kick your toxic products to the curb.
12. Lighten Up!
Stress will hunt you down. It is a fact of life. With that being a given, there is no need to pile more on to what you already have. But that is exactly what you do when you constantly worry, fear, and fret about everything under the sun.
Learn to let go of the things that are out of your control. Find an outlet for your stress, such as meditation or physical exercise. Practice being more flexible when things don’t go your way. Laugh more.
Take notice of life’s little blessings. They are all around you if you take the time to look!
There you have it. 12 simple tips that you can begin incorporating into your life today. Implement 1 a week over the next 12 weeks and in just 3 month’s time you’ll be well on your way to creating a new, healthy life!