Because of the global pandemic, 2020 has been a difficult year for all of us. We’re all in the comforts of our homes, all day, every day. With this, most people have fallen out of their healthy lifestyle and adapted to a sedentary one. But, not for long.
The new year has come upon us and has provided a new start. Most people are looking into getting back on their workout routine and eating clean again. To give you some tips on how to begin your fitness goals in 2021, we’ve collected some helpful suggestions from distinguished health experts.
Your decision to be healthier this 2021 is going to be life-changing. These expert tips will not only make you stronger but will also make you feel and look better. Furthermore, stay positive and believe that better days are coming.
- Jenny Berk
- Adriana Albritton
- Shraddha Shah
- Emma Oxley
- Lisa C Andrews
- Shelby Stover
- Mary-Ellen Sabat
- Maureen Scanlon
- Claudia Baillargeon
- Ajia Clancy
- Jennifer Mulder
- Karen Kelly
- Lisa Peranzo
- Jo Leon
- Kathleen Trotter
- Sabina Green
- Sandra Nicole Jolles
- Farrah Miller
- Kim DeGracia
- Jacqueline Vanderpuye
- Janet N Gathers
- Ashley Veenstra
- Veena Dhandhia
- Meena Azzollini
- Kayla Jacobson
- Regina King
- Roland Bal
- Joanna Chodorowska
- Kali Patrick
- Daka Karuna
- Justin Orr
- JoAnn Johnson
Specialist Advice on Managing Your Personal and Professional Life
First, make the best use of your planner or organizer that you can. When you are at work, then it's "work time;" conversely, when you're NOT working, it's YOUR time. Make sure you set aside time in your planner to take care of yourself and enjoy activities that you love, spend time with your partner, and have activities to do with the kids. Use time blocking techniques to keep those personal items sacred!
2020 was rough. No one was left completely unscathed after a brutal year of fighting a deadly pandemic. Chronic stress, lowered immunity and loneliness were the 3 biggest challenges for my clients last year. To make 2021 the healthiest (and happiest) year possible, finding solutions for chronic elevated stress chemistry in your body should be #1. That includes inviting in a mindfulness or meditation practice, doing yoga, finding connection and community and other self-care measures to help release and rebalance the hormones in your body.
Also, your microbiome and gut health is so essential to your immunity and overall health. To help strengthen the diversity of your gut flora and optimize them, focus on eating more pre-and pro-biotic foods to help strengthen the diversity of your gut flora.
2020 was a difficult year. The coronavirus brought in health challenges and even death. Since most Americans are overweight and have health conditions associated with their lifestyles, their immune system was overwhelmed and unable to function efficiently. Additionally, lockdowns were instituted and we saw an increase in adverse mental health conditions. Simultaneously, the economy was plunged into a downward spiral. Fortunately, a new year is here. Implement the following tips to make 2021 a healthier year.
- Eat Nutritiously: Have a daily dose of fruits and veggies, preferably organic, protein, and healthy fats.
- Exercise: Incorporate 150 minutes of cardio and 2 days of strength training a week. Stress Management: Implement relaxing activities and coping skills. Recognize that stress is subjective; what stresses one person doesn't stress another.
- Perspective: Life is easier when you see an opportunity in every challenging situation.
- Control: You can't control others, or outcomes sometimes, you only have control over your thoughts, attitudes, and actions.
- Be optimistic: Focus on the positives available and desired outcomes.
Incorporate the above tips to make 2021 a healthier year. Remember that proper nutrition and exercise are essential to the human condition and that a healthy state is not just about the body, you should cultivate a healthy mind and spirit too.
Health & Wellness both are very important factors for a healthy lifestyle. Health refers simply to a physical body being free from diseases, but wellness is an overall balance of your physical, social, spiritual, emotional, intellectual, environmental, and occupational well-being.
The World Health Organization (WHO) defines health as a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity, they define wellness as the optimal state of health of individuals and groups.
While health focuses more on diseases, genetics, and illness, the concept of wellness is focused on digging into all areas of your life to continuously seek balance. You can also have physical health without enjoying physical wellness.
Once we understand the difference between health and wellness, we can not only make the effort to be healthy but also aim to experience real wellness. This allows us to exploit our full potential and to lead magnificent lives.
For me, 2021 will be the year I no longer take anything for granted. 2020 made us stop, look inside ourselves and focus on what is really important. For me, that was spending time with others. When something that you take for granted is taken away from you it makes you learn to re-appreciate it.
I really missed human interaction and that's why, for me, 2021 will be spent with others. Whether that be enjoying a walk with a friend to catch up, or group exercise or cooking classes, meeting someone new at a fitness class or taking the family to the park to interact with others I know that I will be focussing on all those relationships that lost out last year. Having that connection to people is so important for mind, body and soul and is so important for health and wellness.
Want to start the New Year off right? Start with breakfast. Did you know that men that skipped breakfast have a higher risk for heart disease than those that eat breakfast? Breakfast doesn't have to be time-consuming or fancy. Try cooking old fashioned oatmeal in the microwave for 2 minutes. You can add ground flaxseed, dried fruit, chopped nuts or a tablespoon of protein powder to boost protein content.
Another simple idea is Greek yogurt with frozen fruit and chopped nuts or peanut butter on whole wheat toast with fruit on the side. Leftovers from dinner can also be reheated for breakfast. Think outside of the cereal box!
Keep it simple! Focus on one basic habit a month and commit to it. Habits like drinking more water and less juice/lattes, adding an extra serving of veggies to your plate at lunch and dinner, moving your body daily, implementing a good sleep routine, and finding a system to de-stress all add up. There's no need to try anything fancy until you have the basics down. It's consistency to the basics that provide results. Thus, master the basics and you'll be well on your way to a healthier year!
Each year around this time I reach out to my clients to help them set some goals to achieve higher levels of wellness in the new year. I am a big believer in setting goals and health goals are one of the most important to achieve because without our health we don't have anything to look forward to.
This year is a bit different because we are coming off of a year that was full of change for just about everyone. These changes caused by the pandemic lead to changes in lifestyle for many people that were counterproductive to health. Many people found themselves not exercising, drinking more alcohol and not eating well. So when we look to how we can make 2021 a healthier year we first need to look at what happened in 2020.
The two major things that affected health in 2020 was lack of exercise and poor or excessive eating habits. The reason behind the lack of exercise might have been your gym closing or perhaps you had a home gym but with the kids working from home you just didn't find the time for yourself. As far as food, stress would probably be the number one reason we ate more and drank more alcohol but time again became a factor as well as working from home and having free access to the refrigerator. I can't tell you how many new clients I have this past few monthsthat gained tremendous amounts of weight during this time.
So, what can we do different in 2021 to make sure we have a healthier year? First, be prepared for the worst and always have a back up plan to workout at home. There are endless ways from Zoom classes, Online Personal Training to just getting outside for walks, jogs and bike rides. We must plan for the fact that everyone might be home and set the time for ourselves by getting to bed earlier and getting up with enough time to spend taking care of ourselves. Next, we need to look at what we are eating, return to a clean diet or consult with a Registered Dietitian to come up with a healthy plan for the entire family. Eating right starts with planning which means having the right foods in the house and not having the ones you might be tempted to grab during stressful times. My motto is always - plan and prepare - as eating out frequently is going to destroy not just your waistline but your health.
In conclusion, we lived through some tough times last year and we were not prepared for how to deal with it. This year as we look ahead, make a plan to continue exercise and healthy eating no matter what happens. Keeping our immune systems healthy, maintaining a normal weight and exercising daily has never been more important as it is right now in this pandemic.
I wish you the best of health in 2021. Please feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions or need help pursuing your health goals for 2021.
As a firm believer that we should not make New Year's resolutions, I do believe that setting intentions and visions for the year is important. Here are some tips to making 2021 YOUR YEAR!
1. This too shall pass- Remember to let go of negative past feelings and experiences, accept the now. Believing in what is to come and knowing everything serves a purpose will feel more empowering.
2. Look at the scale- No, not that one, the scales of balance! Keep each area of your life manageable- personal, professional, and spiritual to avoid feeling overwhelmed
3. Give Thanks- Gratitude is such a powerful tool! Embrace each moment and relationship in your life!
To have a healthier year in 2021, I recommend keeping it SIMPLE and focusing on KEY DAILY habits that are easy to integrate even in a busy, stressful life. When it comes to these healthy habits, the goal is to remain CONSISTENT with them so you can improve your health and feel the benefits in the long run.
I also recommend changing one habit at a time so that you don't feel overwhelmed and you actually invest time in incorporating some strategies to help with consistency (reminders, planning, accountability, goal setting, etc.).
Here are a few key daily habits that can have a positive impact on your health without taking up several hours of your day.
- Start your day with gratitude and positive affirmations
- Drink AT LEAST 2 liters of filtered water
- Go for a walk
- Move your body; workout, run, dance, yoga, play soccer...
- Meditate at least 5 minutes
- Be consistent with meal timing and frequency
- Eat whole, nutritious, as close to nature as possible foods AT LEAST 80% of the time
- Read, listen, watch only POSITIVE and INSPIRING content on social media, TV, internet
- Don't forget to have fun :)!
Wishing you a healthy awesome 2021!
Every NEW Year I have clients asking how to make it a Healthier Year. My answer: Make it less unhealthy. That usually generates a moment of confusion. However, I think as a society we have this preconceived notion of what 'Healthy' should mean and it can be overwhelming. So, seriously, make it less unhealthy. I tailor my programs to each individual client. The days of the cookie cutter approach are over. You are not a lemming in a herd of lemmings. You Are YOU. Yes some clients want a complete 'do over,' if you will. The 'do over' works for them. A majority need one thing at a time to focus on. For this person, I suggest that you log what you do or don't do; what you drink, yes that glass of wine that you're sipping on while you read this; what you eat, umm those left over Christmas chocolatescount!; what movement opportunities you have, Mea is standing by the front door crossing her paws - perhaps an opportunity for a walk? Once you have spent a day or two logging, read over everything. Now pick ONE thing. One thing to change. Embrace it and move forward, literally, take Mea for a walk. Once that becomes seamless, start the process again. It doesn't matter if it takes you a day, a week, a month or the entirety of 2021. Seriously. I'll remind you again - you are not a lemming, and you are not on everyone else's timeline.
2021 has only just begun, but we're already troubled by the ongoing pandemic, political unrest and societal disruptions. That's why, as a psychologist, my tip for a healthier year ahead is to mind your mental diet.
You see, most of us pay attention to what we put in our bodies every day. But have you ever stopped to think how the information you consume affects you, mentally and physically?
More than ever before in history, we are bombarded with information all day long. But the thoughts you have trigger neurochemical reactions in your body, preparing you to take action. For example, when you feel nervous about giving a presentation, you may feel your heart pound in your chest to narrow your focus.
Most of these physiological changes are temporary, but mental habits like constant worrying or practicing gratitude every day sculpt your brain in more permanent ways. What's more, feeling sad or stressed most of the time causes elevated cortisol levels, increased inflammation and insomnia, which all take a toll on your health.
That's why you should take a good look at how much and what kind of mental input you want to consume.
How does your regular information intake affect your thoughts and mood? Do you get agitated from reading heated online discussions in the comment section? Or does watching horror movies disturb a good night's rest more than you'd like to admit?
Also, what kinds of information and entertainment enrich your life? Do you feel inspired by educational podcasts or feel-good novels.
And finally, what's the optimal amount of mental input for you? If you're an introvert, your nervous system might get overstimulated by the same input that makes extraverts feel alive.
When you nourish your mind in healthy ways, you'll start to feel more positive, energized and peaceful.
I love using the New Year as a reset but I don't like to make lofty resolutions. Those can be hard to keep and then we just get discouraged. I start with simple ideas that are easy to manage. For example, keep a water bottle with me all day so it's easy to stay hydrated. I also like to do some simple meal prep on Sundays where I make salmon, roasted vegetables, and a batch of quinoa for the week. Even that can make healthy meals so much easier to prepare. I always keep a big bowl of fruit on the counter for easy snacking. So my advice is to keep it simple, forming small habits make a big difference in the long run.
The key to living a healthy lifestyle is not hard, even though it seems like a hard reality to create. Working out, eating well, and finding balance in all the aspects of your life is easy enough to accomplish in theory, but in practicality, can be extremely difficult to achieve.
Write your goals down and put them where you can see them. Write them on a Post-It Note and put that note on your bathroom mirror or the dashboard in your car. Instead of neglecting your goals, let them be front and center in your life so you are consistently reminded why you are working so hard.
Plan your schedule in a way that supports your healthy habits. Scheduling time into your calendar for workouts as well as even meal planning are easy ways to stay intentional with staying healthy or creating new healthy habits.
Remember to be patient with yourself. Finding a groove of what works the best in your life to be healthy can take time. When you get frustrated, or it seems impossible, do not get discouraged, keep going and it will get easier.
Easy Tips for Making 2021 a Healthier Year
- Sleep! It's an essential pillar of health and is necessary for our bodies to heal and repair. It's also extremely important for healthy brain function.
- Nutrition. Learn as much as you can about the foods you eat. It's an effective way to start making healthier food choices. Knowing what ingredients are in food is the first step to making conscious decisions surrounding your nutrition that your body will thank you for.
- Stress Management: Get in your body! Becoming more in tune with your body is a great way to learn habits that help you feel your best and let go of habits that do not. Yoga and meditation are great ways to 'get in your body', increase awareness and ground yourself.
- Exercise. Of course! But if you're short on time, a quick and easy way to fit in a wildly effective workout are 10-15-minute HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) workouts. What's more is you can do them from the comfort of your home. Many do not even require equipment. All you need is a bit of space to move!
Here's to a healthier, more connected 2021!
STOP "wishing" for better health. Stop talking about the workouts you plan to do. "Hope" is not a viable strategy. Start ACTING.
Start intentionally taking steps to ensure that the "future you" is healthy and happy!! Take actions today that "vote" for the future "you" that you desire! The actions you take today create the "you" of tomorrow!!
Make your workouts convenient. Pick workouts that are fun. Have realistic goals. Create a plan - health doesn't just "happen". Schedule in our workouts. Stock your fridge with healthy food. Set boundaries - learn to say "NO" to the things that don't serve you so you can say "YES" to the things that do! Think "done is better than perfect". Something is always better than nothing. Aim for CONSISTENT DAILY motion!! Consistency is what matters. The benefits of the "best" workout are moot if you can't make yourself do the workout. The two hour "perfect" workout you do once every month will NEVER elicit the results of daily small bouts of consistent motion.
If 2020 taught me anything, it's that it is ok to not be okay!! Like so many Mums out there I try to be superwoman and be everything to everyone. I always put myself at the bottom of the pile and then I burn out or I have an accident because I'm rushing from A to B. Sound familiar?
2020 was the year I slowed down. I had to because it was impossible to homeschooling, keep a household clean and tidy and run a business. I learnt to pick my battles, I became better at saying 'No' to pointless requests in my business, I asked for help in the home and when I needed a break I took one. I read books, got a massage, went for a walk, sometimes I just laid on the bed and stared at the ceiling.
Guess what? The world didn't stop. My family were happy and learnt a valuable lesson about taking care of yourself. My business went from strength to strength and I felt better. If I can do it, you can too x
2020 was a year that challenged us in mind, body, and spirit. While it forced us to socially disconnect in an unprecedented way, it also put a wider focus on maximizing our own physical and mental wellness. I've outlined multiple tips below that aim to holistically enhance our own biochemistry and physiological in incremental steps. Please remember that bioindividuality is key, and what may work for one person, may be different for the next.
- Pay attention to your gut microbiome
I believe in the healing power of food. Research increasingly shows that health problems such as heart disease, type-2 diabetes, autoimmune conditions, digestive issues, cancer, skinconditions, mood disorders, and even developmental disorders begin in the gut microbiome (an ecosystem comprised of trillions of microbes). Many of these health conditions can be prevented, improved, or even reversed with proper nutrition.
- Mobility is Key
Most of us spend way too much time in a state of static malalignment when we sit for long durations of time. As a group fitness instructor, I constantly emphasize staying active. Not only is it important for our circulation and joints, but also for a healthy state of mind. Being chronically sedentary can slow down the circulation of glucose, cholesterol, and fat, which can lead to a litany of chronic metabolic and neurodegenerative diseases.
- Stay hydrated
A 2% loss in body water can lead to a 20% decline in mental and physical performance. Whether we're working diligently or active, we're relying on the power of our cognitive health to keep up afloat. Brain maintenance is vital when it comes to optimizing performance as well as our processing power. If you're working out for longer than 60 minutes, make sure to supplement your bottle with electrolytes and potassium. While drinking straight water is beneficial, we need to pay attention to hydrating WITHIN our cells and tissues.
- Load up on the vegetables
Green, cruciferous vegetables are loaded with phytochemicals, which aim to lower oxidative stress and inflammation. Additionally, these healthy bioactive compounds also assist in a lot of our detoxification pathways, assisting in our immune response and metabolic efficiency. For optimal bioavailability, pair some calcium-containing vegetables with a source of vitamin D.
REFLECT: Spend some time everyday journaling your thoughts for 5-15 minutes. Feel the emotions and release what no longer serves your highest good.
I tell my clients to let it all out on the paper so you can be free from the emotions which no longer serve you. These emotions are stuck energies and when you release them on the paper, they no longer hold the power. It's easier than you have been made to believe.
These Journal prompts can be used.
- How did 2020 served me. What did I learn?
- What was my priority then and what is important to me now?
- How can I thrive in 2021?
- How have I changed?
- What is that I want to experience this year?
Set Healthy Mini Goals: When you make too many resolutions, you can end up not keeping any and at the end feel like you are not capable of making progress.
Small goals are more likely to feel less overwhelming and more attainable.
Start with these:
- Healthy clean eating 5 days a week.
- Intermittent fasting 3 days to renew body
- Grocery's shopping once a week
- Learning to ski
Big Goals|: Write down your big goals and use "SMART" goals strategy.
Use 1-3 to focus on.
TRY SOMETHING NEW: This is so important to grow and expand your capacity to open new doors to your resilience and intelligence.
If you don't try something new you'll never know what you are capable of, for example you can start with something like this.
- Eat mostly greens and fruits
- Meditation twice a day
- yoga 4 times a week
- Flowers by your bed table
- Spend time in nature when possible
- Listen to uplifting music
- Try baking your fav dessert
Keeping things simple and having a child like curiosity can keep you on track and lessen your stresses, and "trying" to force things to happen.
When we take it slowly and allow the divine plan of our lives to lead up to our hearts desires, we concur great heights.
Care For Your Mental Health
Last year was a stressful, unexpected year for all. While our world is still going through a challenging time, this is a reminder to focus on your health in 2021.
You're a social being, so being in isolation can take a toll on your mental health. Here are 10 things you can do to care for your mental health:
- Journal about your thoughts and feelings
- Call a friend that you've been wanting to catch up with
- Go on a walk and spend time in nature
- Exercise regularly
- Eat whole, nutritious foods that make you feel good
- Take a day off from work to relax - My family and I do this together on Saturdays.
- Limit your time on social media and electronic devices
- Drink enough water - half of your body weight in ounces per day.
- Read an uplifting and motivating book
- Speak kind words to yourself and love yourself for who you are
Remember that a healthy mind is a health you! Caring for your mental health will not only help you have a healthier 2021 but also a healthier life.
After a very unsettling 2020, it's important to start 2021 with a focus on health and wellbeing. Start the year off by boosting your immune system with nutrient-rich, plant-based foods. Detox your body system from the negativity, fear, and disruption of 2020 with a juice fast. There are plenty of easy-to-access juicing apps out there to choose from that will allow you to select how many days you want to cleans for, ranging from 3 days up to 28 days. Even a short 3-day juice fast can improve sleep, help you drop some kilo's, improve your skin and hair, as well as increase your energy levels.
Treat yourself to a wellbeing retreat, whether it's silent meditation, a yoga retreat on a beach, or simply spending quiet time walking in nature. Give yourself the time and opportunity to reconnect to your true essence, through the quiet reflection of what's been, in preparation for what is yet to come.
Surround yourself with people that share your values, make you laugh, and who uplift you. Avoid people, situations, and information that bring you down or make you fearful. Be a discerning consumer by consuming only that which empowers you, nurtures your spirit, and gives you freedom.
Exercise is a great way to improve your mood, energy levels, and attitude towards life. Take the stress out of going to the gym by finding fun online classes you can join from the comfort of your home.
Lastly, laugh as much as you can! The best thing about laughter is that it's free and what's more, it's a wonderful tool with the power to cure all ills, connect you with others, and connect you to yourself.
Laugh your way to good health in 2021!
In these current times, now more than ever, we need to turn our attention inward. We can no longer look to social media, news and others to direct our steps or make us feel valid. We need to plug back into self and source to be guided on our path and with our choices. We have become so disconnected from self, that we can no longer find our bond to one another.
Here are some simple ways to reconnect to yourself and get regrounded:
1) focus on your single slow breath and really feel it enter and exit your body - what sensations or thoughts does this bring up
2) take your meal time more seriously - slow down, chew completely, savor and give thanks
3) self hypnosis or affirmations - pouring constant positivity into yourself in present tense thoughts
4) ground yourself - go put your feet in the sand or snow, lay on the warm pavement or make a snow angel - tap into nature
5) take a few moments each day (before bed or upon waking) to just be still and see what your subconscious and divine connection have to share. Also notice what your ego fights you on/about
Three Tricks for a Successful 2021
2021 is here and we have exciting new shifts coming this year. Not only is it a brand new year but a new era, the era of Aquarius. This brings new bright beginnings for all.
This is a year of new birth and new visions to take off. Have you thought about what vision you want to focus on working towards?
Here is a few things I want to recommend to make your 2021 the best year yet.
Keep things simple!It's so easy to complicate things but it's hard to simplify. Why is that?
We tend to get caught up in our everyday life and pull away from our metal and physical needs for us. It's time to prioritize your week. I am here to tell you to set 30-45 minutes aside every day, for YOU time. I suggest a physical activity you enjoy or mental stimulation that is away from technologies. This will not only reset your mind, but energize your physical body. Becoming more disciplined with letting yourself deserve that you time. Mark it in your calendar, but prioritize yourself and your personal needs first in 2021. Not only will this decrease anxious and depression, you feel absolutely feel brand new, after just one week of trying this. Try new hobbies, make new friends and discover new talents of expression.
Reconnecting with Mother Earth.Not only does she give you life, you are connected to her and we are all connected. Reconnecting with her daily, is a very Important to ones soul. I highly suggest to step outside and be with her. What you are doing is working on grounded, getting clear messages and she will heal you. If she gives you life, she also can help heal. We have made it the Acceptable to be so detached from her. Going for walks outside, embracing all she offers us and take an adventure with her. Have you ever hiked in mountains? Do you want to be more adventurous and courageous? Is there goals that pertain, to becoming more adventurous? I am challenging you, to take a leap of faith and start to reconnect with her today. Start small and work your way up to bigger adventures. She will reward you and teach you things about yourself, you would be surprised to know. I see adventures ahead in 2021.
Goals setting and following through. How is it year after year, I set goals for myself and I don't achieve them? Or set them and under achieve them? Ask yourself the opposite. What held me back from achieving all of them and what can I do to influence the change. We call this "an Addiction". Addictions can come in many shapes and forms, not just sustain. Emotional, physical and substance abuse.
If you are wanting to plan a adventurous expedition in the wild and have fears to over come; your addiction is fear. What is the root of that fear? When did it begin? Why is my ego mind always standing in the way of my goals.Well that is unfortunately how the brain works and unfortunately it does like to keep you in comfort mode. Taking risks is great!! Being in comfort is not. Mind will tell you the opposite but the heart longs for adventure, can we agree on that!? I think so.
Practice writing out three intentions you want to achieve for 2021 and I mean big ones. This year is going to be great, if you let it be. After that write one thing that is holding you back? What excuses are keeping me from achieving this? It's time to face that addiction and ego mind head on. Time to move forward.
We like to call this the opposite effect. If your mind is telling you fear, the opposite is courage. It takes time with shifting this type of mindset but if you are working on greatness; then you will be great and not give up. Be brave! If your working on change , then you will have change!
Take risk, face your truths and dream big. We have a beautiful year unfolding ahead with a lot of amazing opportunities surfacing, so take those risks. Get a journal and start to journal daily. Your daily intentions and how you did with overcoming old habits and starting nee patterns. Keep moving forward, is the trick. Don't look back.
2021 is a year for change, a year to stand in your true self and stand in your power. Let go of the old and embrace newness.
Plan ahead, adventure with Mother Earth and be brave! Take risks, this year it's the year to be brave and be on top of personal changes, for the a brilliant 2021.
2020 was the year of the question "WHY?" 2021 is the year of "HOW?" The time has come to leave behind the past chapters, adapt and progress into the new "NOW".
What would be more important in these times, than aiming towards a Healthier 2021? A healthier you... mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually.
Here are some tips that can be delved into, to become a charged battery of health for ourselves and those around us:
- Wearing a mask, physically distancing ourselves from people and frequent washing of hands, is mandatory to even begin working towards a healthier year.
- Eat healthy, exercise and sleep well.
- Quit smoking and reduce consumption of alcohol.
- Do not delay visits to doctors when required, as a step to immediate care
- Avoid habits that could lead to lifestyle diseases. Increase your activities only to the extent that they do not give you undue stress.
- Develop Positivity to the hilt, to bring inner strength to turn any negative behaviors/situations into something more positive as a mindset
- Practice Meditation to give you peace, inner calm, and more strength. Sincere affirmations can turn desires into manifestations and reality
- Serving others with a feeling of gratitude will do wonders for your mental and emotional health
- Practicing Self-Love will help your cup to overflow, thus enabling you to reach out to others with more love.
- Work on all areas to bring optimal health, for yourself, your society, and the environment around you.
Let's all work together for each other, to create the healthiest year possible! Do keep a warm smile on your face always...and live life to your fullest!
We all make New Year resolutions to be healthy, but we often give up on them. Instead, cultivate daily awareness of where your physical and mental health stands currently, where you want to be and what small steps you can take.
Last year taught us many tough lessons, stretching our mental health along with our physical health. We also cultivated habits to keep us healthy and positive during tough times.
Carry these forward into 2021. Make self-care a priority and take the time to look after your health needs. Pamper your body with things that make you feel good.
Stay on track with your exercise routine but don't beat yourself up over it. If you can't do high intensity exercises on some days, swap it with a 30 mins walk or yoga. Or add some fun and dance to some tunes. The idea is to keep moving.
Make mental health a priority. Many health problems stem from issues we have mentally and emotionally. Don't give up on mindfulness and meditation practices you started during quarantine. Keep going and build on it. Do things that relax you and make you happy.
And eat healthy!
New Year, new you right!? There are many other ways to improve yourself than "losing weight and eating healthier".
Nutritious food is good for our bodies of course, but if it becomes obsessive or restrictive it can have the opposite effect of our bodies. Healthy eating includes consuming a variety of food. So, yes, that means that all foods fit!
One of the best things you can do for your health this year is to heal your relationship with food. Have you ever thought that it is possible to have a relationship with food? It is! If you feel nervous about eating certain foods or believe that one particular food can make or break your health, you could work on improving your relationship with food. Let's talk about a few simple steps you can take now to do this.
1. Get rid of diet culture. Diet culture is a fun phrase created to explain the current world's view on health. Diet culture is anything or anyone that tells you to eat "x" amount of calories, exercise this particular way, and look like this particular person. It is restrictive and it is what causes you to feel guilt after enjoying a chocolate chip cookie. It's hard to feel healthy and fulfilled when someone is constantly telling you your body isn't right. One way to improve your health this year is to get rid of diet culture in your life and replace it with body positivity and food inclusivity.
2. Enjoy your favorite foods. Okay, not what you're expecting from a Nutrition professional? Hear me out. Nutrition is important and so is honoring your body's cravings! There is nothing wrong with allowing yourself to eat your favorite foods. In fact, the more you allow yourself to have them, the less they will seem to control your life. Restriction typically leads to "giving in" to your favorite food which usually ends up in you over-doing it and feeling sick after eating too much. By allowing your favorite foods more frequently, you can eat them without feeling out of control and in turn feel more balanced.
3. Add nutritious foods instead of taking away the fun food. Rather than saying "in 2021 I'm giving up sugar!" try "in 2021 I'm going to eat more vegetables". First off, giving up sugar is not sustainable or enjoyable. Will that really make you happy? Sugar is not the enemy and you can be healthy consuming it. A more realistic and happier change to make would be to add vegetables to your current diet. You can still enjoy your favorite foods and you're adding in nutritious food that is good for your body. It's sustainable, realistic, and an easier goal to accomplish.
When people think about a healthy lifestyle, they immediately associate it with healthy eating and exercise. However, that's just the tip of the iceberg. Having a healthy lifestyle encompasses every positive action that leads to a high level of well-being. For that reason, if you want to make 2021 a healthier year, make sure that you:
Practice Meditation or Yoga: Imagine if the things that stress you and keep you awake no longer have that power over you. What if you could be happy for no reason that even the smallest things like feeling the fresh air on your face makes you feel excited and grateful? Those are things that meditation, yoga, or any other practice that helps you calm your thoughts and create a positive environment can do for you. Try to meditate or do yoga for at least 10 minutes daily, and you'll see results.
Step Out of Your Comfort Zone: I know, there's nothing as uncomfortable as stepping out of your comfort zone, especially, when uncertainty, stress, and fear hit you at the same time. But, the benefits you receive outweigh the discomfort you feel in the beginning. How else would you be able to grow then? Today, I dare to do things that make you uncomfortable for the rest of the year.
Make Sure All Aspects of Your Life Bring You Joy: Maintain a work-life balance. With this, I mean that you should enjoy your work, your family, your hobbies and passions, your friends, and yourself equally. Envision someone who's only joy are his friends, therefore, that person is only happy when his friends are around. Do you think that true happiness and well-being are about that? Exactly! Happiness is the product of several situations, not one. Please, don't make that mistake.
Eat Healthier: Yes, I said it's the tip of the iceberg, but that doesn't mean that healthy eating isn't important. Your organism absorbs all the nutrients of the food you eat, let's say, your meal schedule consists of eating fries, buffalo wings, and donuts every day. What nutrients do you think your body is absorbing? Instead, upgrade your game and smartly feed your body.
Move Your Body: Engage in any activity that makes you move your body. If you're not an exercise type of person, I assure you that there is a sport, dance, or activity that fits you. Ideally, do it five times per week and fall in love with it. One of the biggest mistakes people make is working out for the only reason of having ~the perfect body~. When you do that, you're minimizing all the other benefits that working out has for you, plus, you're attaching too much value to the activity, and the day you don't feel like working out, you are more likely to feel like a failure.
To make 2021 healthier, focus on improving your mental health, eating habits, psychical activity, and overall life satisfaction. That is also known as well-being or having a fulfilled life. Good luck!
The common sense recommendations apply: eat well, rest enough, do sports, and be outside in nature sufficiently. More importantly, however, is to see your level of resilience and containment on a day to day and moment to moment basis. If you stay aware of what your needs and capabilities are you will steer clear of feeling overwhelmed and getting burned-out.
Staying aware of what your needs and capabilities are does also demand that you can act upon them, which in turn means that you can set boundaries when the need arises. The ability to set boundaries for yourself and to others is an expression of having healthy self-worth and self-validation. If you feel you lack the ability to set boundaries because of an abusive past, you will need to address that past to be able to act efficiently upon your present. It is all connected. Willfully asserting yourself will only work as long as you have the energy for it, after that, you will default to your habitual patterns if you have not addressed your emotional residue sufficiently.
To make 2021 your healthiest year yet, I suggest to make it simple.
1. Make a list of all the things that you find bothersome about your health or how you feel.Then review this list and notice which one is the issue you feel most annoyed about.It is often easiest to work with the issue that bothers you most as you are now sick and tired of being overweight, not loving the way you look, not going to the gym or exercise, feeling tired or making time for self-care.
2. Once you choose either the top one, analyze what you have done in the past about it. What did you learn from what you did? Maybe you do best with structure, and the program you tried did not provide it. Maybe it was the opposite - the program was too rigid, so you could not make it consistent. These are all personal issues meaning, it has to suit you and your personality to be able to become a lifestyle modification.
Maybe you were hard on yourself as well because you have done this before. Realize that you learned something from the experience. Now you can choose differently based on what it is you learned and try to implement one small change. But master that before adding something new.
3. Consistency is the key to successfully tackling new changes in lifestyle, nutrition and life. Nothing happens overnight. Most changes take time. But you want to give yourself 'no other option' but to keep going towards your goal of being healthy.
When you fall off the plan because of stress, or emotional turmoil, be kind to yourself. You are not a bad person. You are not a failure.You are a human being who has emotions! Allow those emotions to surface, but review them to understand why they were such a trigger for you. Once you understand the trigger, you can breathe, reset and start again.
My suggestion is to also know that stress and triggers will come along. That is the time you actually have to do better with self care. You want to figure out 'What is(are) the minimum thing(s) I need to do so I can stay grounded? So I can feel like me in my best version?"
Do you need to get your movement therapy in before work? Do you need to do at least 30 minutes of yoga, walking or some other activity so you feel like yourself? This can alleviate your stress! Do you need to make a green smoothie or order ahead for dinner to be delivered or make more tonight because tomorrow is going to be just a mess of a day?
I often suggest to have a rolling 3-day calendar. Look ahead to see what your schedule looks like and see where you need to have your meals all ready to go, when you can prepare them and if you need to get groceries to do so. When you can stay grounded, emotional triggers are not as big of a derailment issue.
It is a process, but it can be quicker progress as you master it :)
Working with a nutrition coach can help you work through these easier as it can be challenging to find the answer when you are the one in your own story!
It seems that almost daily, some new research comes out that links sleep deprivation to a day-time inconvenience (e.g., lack of focus, overeating, etc.). But more importantly, studies continue to show that poor sleep underlies, if not aggravates, many physical and mental health conditions including pain, high blood pressure, anxiety, and depression. The effective functioning of our immune system--our ability to fight viruses and even to reap effects of vaccines--is tightly coupled to our sleep. Finally, given the connection between conditions like Alzheimer's--our very longevity is dependent on our sleep.
Our short term well-being, as well as our future, long-term health is dependent on getting consistently refreshing sleep.
Regardless of the health & wellness goals one may have set for 2021, sleep is a requirement. If you want to lose weight, for example, you can eat well, exercise, and remain stuck if you're not sleeping well. If you want to exercise more, you may need energy at the end of a long busy day to feel motivated to move. Learning to sleep is the single best ally in meeting your goals and can be a goal in and of itself.
Making 2021 a Healthier Year: Dāka’s Basic Trio
The truth is that most people made the transition from 2020 to 2021 on the calendar only; not in their hearts and minds. They’re still carrying 2020 baggage plus 2021 challenges. So what’s my advice?
I can sum it up in three yogic concepts: ahiṃsā (अहिंसा), viveka (विवेक), and vairāgya (वैराग्य). The bottom line is RELAX, BREATHE, LET GO.
Ahiṃsā is the ethical principle of doing no harm, beneficence. Do no harm to yourself nor to others. Stop using others as a means to your ends. Always act with charity, kindness, and compassion. See yourself in others. You’ll find that you’ll be more relaxed, less stressed, and happier.
Viveka means discernment, clear thinking about what is going on. Simply put: You need to learn to separate the gems from the junk. My personal slogan is, “Take the best; leave the rest,” and that seems to work in most situations, provided you take the time to think clearly.
Finally, vairāgya (वैराग्य), letting go, delivers the coup de grâce, means to let it go. Learn to avoid attachment to sensory objects, events, situations, thoughts, etc. Applying ahiṃsā (अहिंसा) and viveka (विवेक) will facilitate vairāgya (वैराग्य).
This trio I propose is just a drop in the bucket of a whole science and philosophy of yogic Tantra (तन्त्र) but can be practiced and used to great advantage by the anyone. Nothing happens overnight but nothing happens unless you begin. These are skills like any other, and will require commitment, time, and energy. Something we all have enough of, when you really think about it.
A critical segment of being sound is having a wellness schedule that works for you and sets you up for progress. Following a time of surprising difficulties, my expectation for you is that 2021 is loaded up with satisfaction and great wellbeing.
Eat a solid eating routine. Eat a mix of various nutrition types, including natural products, vegetables, vegetables, nuts, and entire grains.
Zero in on great fats like nuts, fish, coconut oil, avocado, cream and cheddar, and cutoff trans (awful) fats are found in prepared and seared nourishments, prepackaged tidbits, food sources, spreads, and cooking oils.
An uplifting mentality is a vital element for achievement in your life. So, get going with basic things from having an appreciation diary, discovering things that bring you bliss, talking with friends and family that bring you satisfaction, and in-particular, truly practice self-certain discussion.
Yes, it is true, the food we eat is intertwined with our emotions, there be it, our mental health.
What we eat can change our behavior, mood, and change our moral outlook.
Preventing Food Cravings:
There is a reason why folks who put themselves on food restrictions, aka dieting, are less likely to succeed.
By depriving themselves of food, it causes them to think about food all the time, which leads to fantasizing about food…which leads to cravings.
Understanding Your Sense of Taste:
Depriving yourself of food, whether it be for a diet, fasting, or restrictive eating can make sensors in your tongue and digestive system hypersensitive, influencing your mental reaction during consumption of food.
Ironically, research shows, if you only eat a bite or two, instead of the whole meal, your mental association will be suppressed.
Try an experiment: avoid one of your most cherished favorite foods for a month.
After the month has passed, try the food, but only allow yourself, one or two bites.
Cooking at Home is Healthier:
With my blog, I try to encourage you to cook at home as much as possible, not only for eating more healthy, but it is also better for your mental health.
Cooking at home makes eating more ritualistic.
Rituals increase food pleasure because we are more personally involved with our food.
It makes us more mindful of what we are eating.
In France, where obesity rates are low, food consumption is highly ritualized.
Eating on the run is virtually non-existent.
Food preparation gives us a sense of pride and pleasure.