4 Ways to Stay Healthy Year-Round
If you’re trying to stick to a New Year’s resolution to eat healthier or gear up for beach season, you’re not alone. Millions of people pick the start of a new year or the end of winter as the time to start getting healthy, but it’s much easier if you dedicate yourself to health and fitness year-round. If you’d like to stop seesawing with your fitness and be consistent in working to achieve your health and fitness goals, our tips will help.
1. Drink More Water
While most of us know that we should be drinking more water, we may not know exactly why we should be doing so. Staying hydrated has countless health benefits because so much of our body is comprised of water. Being dehydrated causes headaches, fatigue, confusion, and crankiness, to name a few. Staying hydrated does not just solve these issues, though. Proper hydration can reduce joint pain and make it easier to work out. Drinking more water also flushes out waste and bacteria and helps us stay healthier. Some studies show that staying hydrated can reduce the risk of colon, bladder, and breast cancer.
For people who are trying to lose weight and get fit, drinking water increases athletic performance because water makes up 75% of muscle tissue. Hydration also reduces weakness and fatigue that impedes workouts. And, when you start eating better, water helps the nutrients get around the body more easily, improving your health.
2. Get More Sleep
You probably know that you feel better when you get enough sleep, but the health benefits of sleep go beyond feeling refreshed and ready for your day. Adequate amounts of sleep benefit your heart, mind, and weight. People who get six or fewer hours a night of sleep have more inflammation. Inflammation is associated with heart disease, stroke, diabetes, arthritis, and premature aging. And, one study shows that people who sleep six or fewer hours per night have a higher risk of heart attack than those who get more sleep.
If you’re not sure how to go about getting more sleep, there are a few steps you can take to make sure you are getting seven or more hours per night. First, schedule sleep like you schedule other important activities in your day. This will help you prioritize sleep and be sure that you hold yourself accountable for going to bed on time. You also will improve the quality of your sleep if you skip hitting snooze and set your alarm for the later time when you get out of bed.
3. Take a Different Approach to Working Out
If you’ve tried to get into a workout routine and have been unsuccessful, you may need to take a different approach. Stop looking at your workout as a chore and start looking at it as a chance to have fun and reduce stress. One of the best ways to take a different approach to working out is to include your dog. If you want to work out with your dog, try taking him for a daily walk or two. Walking your dog is an activity you can do any time of year. When the weather gets nice, you can take your dog on a hike through the mountains or on nature trails. Other healthy activities you can participate in with your dog include kayaking, paddle boarding, and rollerblading.
4. Pay Attention to What You Eat
You can devote countless hours to your fitness habits, but if you don’t make healthy choices when you eat, all that hard work is for nothing. Make fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, eggs, and lean meats part of your daily food intake. (If you have a nut allergy, consider eating Tigernuts, which are actually tiny root vegetables that pack a lot of fiber in a small package.)
Portion control is key, too, as overeating can contribute to weight gain. Your body is a machine that needs fuel, and healthy fuel is the best way to take care of yourself. That doesn’t mean you should deprive yourself, but do practice moderation. Avoid processed foods and anything with added sugar. Consider foods swaps to save calories. For example, you can use spiraled zucchini instead of pasta, or rather than using whole grain flour, try using almond or tigernutflour.
If you change a few of your habits and thoughts involving health and fitness, you’ll be more apt to dedicate yourself to your goals year-round and make it easier to reach them and maintain them.
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Article contributed by Paige Johnson