Keep it Simple with Healthy Habits
Happy New Year!
Life changed for all of us in 2020. Times will remain challenging for a while longer, but a new year still means a fresh start and a chance to set a positive tone for 2021.
Many people see January as time to reset the health button and heath-oriented goals, and resolutions usually top the list for New Year challenges. Routines have changed for all of us and the pandemic has largely uprooted many of our daily habits. A large challenge for many is maintaining regular, daily physical activity. Between working from home and gyms and fitness centres intermittently closing, many people are sitting more and moving less. The benefits of regular physical activity are numerous and include more energy, improved posture, lower stress levels, improved metabolism, better sleep, and (what may count the most at times like these) a positive attitude!
As healthcare providers, we often get asked for health and wellness advice by patients, friends and family members. Questions like: Which diet is the best? What’s the quickest way to fix my back? What do you think of this new exercise? For the most part our answers usually lack the enthusiasm one may expect from the latest fad or trend.
New Year health resolutions are easy to make, but they are even easier to break. Times are challenging and all the more reason to set some goals for 2021! However, our advice is to start slow and keep it simple. There is no quick fix to great health, and believe it or not, the tried and tested healthy habits of last year will be just as effective this year. The biggest challenge will be getting used to a new way of making good health habits.
The healthiest habits assume preventive strategies. The science and research behind healthy habits that prevent disease is extensive and the good news is that most of these strategies are pretty straightforward and easy to start.
Commute time to and from work has disappeared for many of us. Don’t squander this time and plan movement time into your new daily schedule instead. Start the morning by taking the dog on a long walk. Online fitness classes are widely available and can be tailored to your schedule. Always look for ways to make your days harder– like keeping yourself socially distant and using the stairs in your building instead of the elevator. When running essential errands, park further away from a store and enjoy the extra steps and fresh air. Keeping the house clean is a task that requires more attention during isolation, but chores can also double as a workout.
When walking or running outside you have more control over your own pace. When people control their own pace, studies show they end up moving faster than they would have indoors on a treadmill. Not only do we move faster when exercising outside, but exercise is perceived as easier to complete and we are more likely to challenge ourselves. Successful challenges lead to a positive mood and increased joy with the activity. This in turn increases the frequency and amount of time devoted to the activity, and before you know it a new healthy habit has been created!
Proper office ergonomics have been challenged with a shift from office to home-work spaces. Regular chiropractic adjustments keep your spine aligned and joints moving so you stay balanced. They also keep your posture in check and decrease your risk of injury.
Get a good night’s rest
A regular sleep routine allows your body to regenerate and heal from life’s stress, is key to strong immune system and keeps you mentally prepped for challenges ahead.
Well-balanced meals include lots of colourful fruits and vegetables, complex grains, lean protein and of course dessert in moderation. With increased home isolation many people are paying more attention to what they eat and embracing this as a chance to learn how to cook.
End each day on a positive note and take the time to reflect on the good in your life. There is beauty and kindness all around even in these challenging times. Once you start this good habit, the world becomes a brighter place.
Make 2021 your healthiest year yet! The key to good health is good habits made simple and there are no short cuts. These suggestions may be underwhelming but they stand the test of time and when good habits make you feel so good, they are harder to break.
Be sure to also continue with your usual self-care routine be it regular chiropractic visits, massage therapy or physiotherapy appointments. If you haven’t been in in a while, give us a call, we’re here for you.