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GET INTOUCH THIS MONTH

Perhaps it's Time to Get Back to Basics


For many of us, the start of the new year is a time to assess our habits and lifestyle choices and then set big, audacious goals to lose weight, exercise more, eat healthier and take more time for ourselves.

 

These lofty ambitions to become better versions of ourselves may feel extra-challenging this year after nearly 12 months of altered lifestyles and habits brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.


But it doesn’t have to be, with health and fitness experts stating that the trick is to take our thinking back to basics by incorporating a healthy diet, regular exercise, not smoking, eliminating or limiting alcohol consumption and getting sufficient sleep into our daily routine – all the proven cornerstones of a healthy lifestyle.


The reasoning is that starting small and addressing the most basic health habits and practices enables us to better establish a long-lasting foundation for ourselves on which those bigger goals can eventually be set.


To get our physical health back on track, we can start by committing (or re-committing) to a simple exercise regime that happens a few days each week. A good example is doing 30 minutes of cardio for three days every week. Moderate to vigorous exercise such as brisk walking and cycling, for instance, can bring about several positive changes in our immune system.


Once we are regularly exercising a few days every week, we can then add another day or extend the timeframe from 30 minutes to one hour. The point is to master the small things before we move on to extreme workouts.


Food is another area that is easy to complicate with overly lofty goals or unrealistic expectations. The temptation here is to reach for the nearest diet - keto, paleo, vegan, etc. - and let that guide us through our weight-loss goals.


Unfortunately, there are enough studies to indicate that popular diets just don’t work for most of the population. Instead, we should try to address our eating habits by removing certain foods that we would be better off without anyway – these include heavily processed meals, added sugars, unhealthy fats, caffeine, and artificial ingredients.


Consider snacking on raw veggies instead of potato chips. At meals, our plate should be made up of half vegetables, one-quarter protein, and one-quarter of another item, such as grains or potatoes.


There are endless choices nowadays when it comes to making our meals and snacks far healthier while still enjoying the foods we like – and without the need to go paleo.


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