New Years Resolutions for a Healthier You
Written By: Davis Vertin
With the new year upon us, many of us have thought about what we could do to improve ourselves. An often-neglected goal may be to pay more attention to bettering yourself mentally and emotionally. Resolutions may include trying to be more understanding of other people and their situations or learning to be a better communicator. However, it seems that most people chose resolutions that physically impact them. Gyms seem to be so full during the first few weeks of January that it feels almost impossible to use the workout equipment that you want. Many people also try to eat healthier than they have in the past. Regardless of your personal goal, it is most important to set attainable goal(s) and to create a plan of action to be successful at achieving your goal(s).
DIET: A healthy diet starts with healthy food. Superfoods are some of the best foods to incorporate into your diet. They are chock-full of vitamins and minerals. To qualify as a superfood, it must be easily obtained, comprised of nutrients the promote life span, and have scientifically proven health benefits. Dr. Mercola has a phenomenal infographic to depict key superfoods and their qualities.
An example of a recommended obtainable goal is to make one dieting changed per month. Whether it be adding a superfood or taking a sugary food, dairy item, or gluten item out; twelve changes will be made by the end of 2017.
SUPPLEMENTATION FOR PREVENTION: Even with a healthy diet, ensuring we are getting essential nutrients is difficult due to many factors including quality of farming, organics, and diet dynamics. Supplementation is a great way to ensure you give your body all the essentials to keep your immunity up and prevent sickness or at the least ensure faster healing times.
The video below highlights Dr. Brie’s recommended supplements.
CHIROPRACTIC: A big key to achieving and prolonging optimal health are chiropractic adjustment on a maintenance basis. When a chiropractor adjusts you, they are making sure your spine is aligned; therefore, assisting in optimal nervous system function. Being aligned enables the nervous system to perform the best it can. Not only are adjustments beneficial when you are feeling healthy, but they are especially important when you feel under the weather. They can help to speed of the process of overcoming the sickness bothering you. Getting adjusted on a maintenance schedule holds that same importance as maintenance dental care, general check-ups, and even oil changes to your car.
KIDS AND CHIROPRACTIC: Getting your children adjusted creates a solid foundation for wellness. As chiropractic is a lifestyle, it is beneficial to be under care during pregnancy, birth, early childhood, and throughout life. There is a lot of research currently being collected. The ICPA is responsible for a large portion of this research and has reported three unexpected improvements with their child’s care:
- Improved sleeping
- Improved behavior
- Improved immune system function
EXERCISE: It goes without saying, but exercising on a regular basis is essential in living a healthy lifestyle. It seems straightforward; just go to the gym, right? Although that is a good start, it isn’t as simple as that. Just starting is one of the hardest steps. The excuses to push off a workout to another day are endless. According to Dr. Mercola, some of the most common excuses are:
- Inclement weather
- Being too overwhelmed by the thought of beginning an exercise routine
- Not being in shape
- Fearful of an injury
- Feeling lonely while exercising
- Not wanting to feel sore
- Being too tired
- Don’t know how to exercise properly and safely
- Costs of working out are high
- Embarrassed by having people see them exercise
Motivation is crucial to being able to overcome the countless excuses not to hit the gym. Most motivation is typically driven by extrinsic factors. For example, looking better. Dr. Mercola cites a study done by Dan Ariely that analyzed the effects of motivation and performance. He found that intrinsic factors produce more motivation. Being able to focus on the effects of exercise, such as improving mood, motivates better than focusing on the effects of exercise that may take months to see (i.e. toned muscles).
Below is a Ted Talk where Dan Ariely talks about the actual science of motivation.
There are specific things that can be done to help increase motivation that are discussed towards the ending of the video. Examples are as follows:
- Inspirational content
- This can be as simple as listening to uplifting songs or reading a motivational book.
- It is important to be able to hold yourself accountable. This can help ensure that excuses aren’t being created to put off exercising. A helpful way to hold yourself responsible is to find someone you can work out with.
- Thinking positive is so simple, yet so important. Negative thoughts will end up reducing any motivation you may have.
- Push Yourself Within Reason
- While working out, it can be dangerous and detrimental to your motivation to exercise above your capabilities.
- Make Changes to your Environment
- There are changes that you can make to help raise the chance of you exercising. For example, if you work out at home you can leave the equipment in plain sight. This way the excuse that you forgot is eliminated.
During this time of the year, the focus seems to be on adults migrating to a healthier lifestyle. However, this time of the year is a great chance for children to adopt a healthy lifestyle as well. Spending time being active helps burn off calories which is helpful for a child who may be overweight. Additionally, exercise helps to form new neuro networks or connections. Make it a family affair! Kids look up to their parents. If they see their mom or dad setting goals to be healthy, they will want to be active and eat well also.