Healthy New Year 5 – Lifestyle
It is entirely possible that you are already engaged in everything I have written about so far: You already have a good nutritional intake, you look after yourself exercise-wise, you don’t have too much sugar or caffeine…
And of course, it is possible that you aren’t!
Either way, there are a few little things that can make a significant difference in tying all the different bit and pieces together to make your healthy new year a continuing success.
Does it really need explaining? Everybody knows many of the risks, some of them maybe not as much (like smoking shuts down circulation in hands and feet and the spine) so why not make the healthy new year lifestyle change in quitting smoking.
Just one example of a small change that can make a big difference, getting enough sleep is important for health. A case in point, seven hours (or more) sleep protects your heart. I could dig up lots of other research like Nedeltcheva, A. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, January 2009 which indicated that sleep depravation led to increased snacking on higher carbohydrate foods, Hogenkamp, P. Psychoneuroendocrinology, September 2013 who discovered that people ate larger portions if they were sleeping too little and Shlisky, J. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, November 2012 (literature review) which showed increased cravings for energy rich foods (carbohydrates) in participants suffering from lack of sleep.
Healthy weight and a healthy lifestyle are maintained by good quality, regular and sufficient sleep.
It may not be possible for everybody, it may not be feasible or financially viable for everyone, but if you can afford it, go organic.
Lifestyle may need to change if you are going organic, in fact if you are quitting smoking you’ll probably have the spare money to go organic so that will be a double benefit.
A while ago, to save money, my wife did a single shop just straight from the supermarket normal section of fruit and veg. A couple of days later while we were eating some salad one lunchtime, she exclaimed that “these tomatoes taste of nothing”, something I agreed with.
Despite my previous scepticism, I now, through personal experience, very much believe that organic genuinely does taste better. We returned to organic very quickly after that and are very fortunate to live very close to Unicorn Grocery, a totally Organic shop that tries to source as much possible locally. We are also very fortunate to live quite frugally generally and therefore can afford to buy our groceries there. I would rather save elsewhere (no sky TV, no smoking, very little alcohol, not going out etc.) and eat organic because I realise it is an investment in my own and my children’s future health.
It’s all about moderation. A little is ok, bingeing or excess or too much regularly is going to do you harm.
Use a bit of common sense.
Spend more time outdoors and less time in front of a screen. If you work at a desk, infant of a computer, take a break by getting up every 20 mins and walking round your chair. Get out of the office at lunch time. spend some time in the country at the weekend. Get the outside into your lungs and breathe deeply.
Even if you only pick one or two of the five points above, you’ll be on your way to cementing your healthy new year into a healthy whole year.
Go on, make a lifestyle change today, for your own good.