I'm not big on official new year's resolutions. Even in terms of health, I don't smoke, I hardly drink (some of my friends would tell you that drinking *more* should be my resolution!) and I keep a healthy weight. However, there are some small, realistic tweaks that could enhance health for many of us. Maybe some of these will appeal to you!
If you're facing a "holiday hangover" (not the alcohol-related kind), part of the problem may be the germs you were exposed to when getting together with friends and family. Does anyone not have a cold? (Fortunately, my month-long cold symptoms seem to be subsiding, but the pleurisy I was diagnosed with before Christmas still won't go away. Yes, pleurisy. Look it up, I had to!) If you've got annoying nasal congestion, hydraSense® can help get rid of it, so you can breathe better...important for work, play and exercise!
Speaking of exercise, I am a huge proponent of walking...and while many experts out there insist that walking outside is the way to go, it's not happening for me in Canada in January - I can't even handle the 10 second dash in from the hot tub in this weather! I absolutely adore my treadmill - and, as regular readers know, the amazing treadmill desk my dad built for me. Again, there are experts who urge us not to multitask, but I find I am quite capable of walking and doing one other thing, like blogging, at the same time - I'm actually at my treadmill desk right now as I write this! On days when I'm not teaching, I get on the treadmill first thing after breakfast, otherwise I walk as soon as I get home from work. Either way, it gives me a boost of energy and makes me feel that I'm doing something positive for my health.
Now, while I'm not in the habit of publicly discussing my digestive, um, habits, it's safe to say that while holiday eating is fun, it may lack the fibre we need to keep things...moving. Keeping yourself hydrated can help, and for effective relief of occasional constipation without bloating, cramping, or gas, you may consider RestoraLAX® for a bit of assistance.
If you can tell me that you and your kids get all the recommended daily vitamins and minerals through your food, then good for you - I'm very impressed! I like to keep it real here on the blog and I will freely admit that I do not...and while my girls are certainly better eaters than I am, I know they can't tick every nutrient off the list. Therefore, since they started chewing they've been taking FLINTSTONES™ vitamins (the #1 brand choice of pediatricians) every night when I take my One-A-Day®. (It's wonderful being approached to work with brands that I already use and love.) Vitamins can help provide the nutritional support we need when we may not be getting dietary needs from food alone...but try to keep in mind the famous advice from Michael Pollan: "Eat food, not too much, mostly plants." (And yes, potatoes are a plant!)
There are tons of people out there who promote adding meditation to your daily routine, which is something else that just takes a few minutes and can apparently have huge benefits. While studies show that meditating can actually help the brain process information faster, it's just not something that has appealed to me enough to give it a serious try. I'd love to hear from others who do it - what do you feel are the benefits for you? And how do you manage to sit still and clear your thoughts for any amount of time at all? Sell me on it!
My final piece of advice relates to sleep - something I've written about many times here on the blog, since it's so important to me. One small tweak you can make is to pledge to power down an hour before bedtime. The light that emanates from your phone, computer or TV can actually activate the brain and make it more difficult to fall asleep. Go with an old school book or magazine right before bed to help your body prepare for sleep...and help you feel much more refreshed in the mornings!
Are there any other simple tweaks you're adding to your routine to better your health this year? Let me know!
Disclosure: This post was generously sponsored by Bayer. Opinions are, as always, my own. To make sure products are right for you, always read and follow the label.