Monday, January 9, 2012

New Year Health Tips

Hi Everyone! I hope you are all having a spectacular New Year. I know many of you lead busy lives, and are constantly running from one thing to the next. We try to squeeze in workouts and work full-time and be good to our families and friends. We want time to ourselves and time for our hobbies. Quite honestly, it's exhausting. With the end of the holidays and a return to reality, we are bound to feel more and more busy.

To make matters worse, the temperatures are dropping and cold and flu season is upon us. Below are some tips to help you all stay healthy!

Get Lots of Rest.
I know, I know, your to-do list is longer than usual because you’re catching up on work during you missed or put off during the holidays. Take the time to let yourself rest. Relax for 20 minutes or so before turning off the light and heading to bed. Read, but don't try to tackle your to-do list. Allowing yourself a chance to relax and de-stress helps you sleep better. Sleep is our body’s chance to recover, both mentally and physically. You'll likely be more productive after a good night's sleep!

Stay Hydrated.
With so many cold and flu viruses going around this time of year, it's easy to get sick. Drinking water or tea will help your body function properly and will keep toxins moving out. If you're a runner, a yogi, or just hit the gym a few times a week, this is important for you. Our bodies lose significant amounts of water during workouts, and it is vital to replace and replenish it. Being even the slightest bit dehydrated will cause you to experience symptoms like headaches, tiredness and possibly nausea, and who needs that during the New Year?! For more detail on hydration, contact Dr. Cindy Dallow, Ph.D, RD.

It's Okay to Say No.
Don't increase the stress in your life by committing to too many projects or social events or training workouts. It's okay if you need to stay home for a night to catch up on rest or let your body recover if you're feeling down.

Wash Your Hands. Often.
We hear this one all the time, but it is important to staying healthy.
Think about all the things you touch throughout the day. Money, the bathroom door handle, the kitchen counter, counters at the checkout, handrails, your desk. All of those surfaces have germs, viruses and bacteria on them. Wash your hands often to kill the bacteria and germs you pick up. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and face with dirty hands. This gives the bacteria and virus a better chance of entering your body.

Keep Warm.
Don't head out in to the cold without being properly prepared. Cold feet and hands make it harder for our bodies to keep us warm. This, in turn, can weaken our immune system. A strong immune system is the key to staying well.

Working out regularly keeps our bodies healthy and our minds strong. Be sure to schedule time throughout each week to go for a run, get to yoga class or hit the gym. It will help your body de-stress, which will keep it strong. Keeping yourself moving will help you lose all that dreaded holiday weight. It is has been proven in studies that those who were exercising before they experienced illness often had fewer symptoms and were sick for fewer days than those who had not been exercising! Releasing those endorphins produced during exercise will help ease your stress and beat those post-holiday blues!

Eat Well.
This is vital to staying healthy. Our bodies need nutrients to keep us moving and healthy. While it was great to indulge here and there last month during the holiday season, you certainly cannot do it everyday. With Thanksgiving and Christmas over now, it's best to skip meals that are high in calories and fat. Stock your fridge with fresh fruit, vegetables and lean protein like chicken and fish and fill your cabinets with whole grain. These foods will keep your body strong, fight illness and give you the nutrients you need. For more detail on nutrition, contact Dr. Cindy Dallow, Ph.D, RD.

Take Your Vitamins.
Taking a multi-vitamin each day will ensure your body is getting what it needs. Most multi-vitamins have calcium, vitamin D, vitamin C, and iron, just to name a few. All of these will help to keep you healthy. When you are feeling the onset of a cold or flu, give your body some extra vitamin C to help boost your immune system help your body to rid itself of any illness much quicker. For more detail on vitamins, contact Dr. Cindy Dallow, Ph.D, RD.

Relax and Have Fun.
This is my favorite piece of advice. This New Year, try to relax each day. Enjoy your family, your friends, your home, your job, your training.

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