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Gulf & Main Magazine

Boost Your Body: how to get a healthy start in 2018 and maintain it for the whole year

Dec 30, 2017 10:53PM
Post-holiday pick-me-up is in full swing. Whether your New Year’s Resolution is to get fitter, lose weight or to stress less, which are the most common goals every year, it all comes down to becoming a healthier version of yourself. While the result we seek is the same—to lead a healthy lifestyle—the paths for getting there curve in many different directions.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the four pillars of a healthy lifestyle are to be physically active, eat a well-balanced diet, don’t smoke and maintain a normal body weight.

But how will you get there?

With countless fad diets, detox programs and fitness trends available, it’s easier to get confused amidst all the choices than to find one that actually works. With only a handful of minor adjustments, however, it is possible for you to pin down the solution that works best for you.

Here are four ways to boost your health without making drastic changes to your everyday life.

Avoid Detox Juices

Indulging and overeating go hand in hand with the festive season, and once it’s over, many of us have just one priority: get rid of all the junk we just consumed over the past few weeks. It’s at this time of year that proponents of juice cleanses go into overdrive. But there’s a better way. Let your body detox itself as it’s meant to, without withdrawing essential nutrients and cutting out entire food groups. The human body has a very good detoxifying system: the liver. It’s filled with enzymes that take real toxins, break them down and excrete them.

 

Eat Nutrient-filled Meals

What you consume makes a huge difference in how you feel. It’s important to eat balanced meals that include complex carbs (vegetables, fruits), protein (lean meat, fish or eggs) and healthy fats (olive oil, avocado or beans). A CDC report has shown that only one in 10 Americans consume the recommended daily amount of fruits (1.5-2 cup) and vegetables (2-3 cups). Eating more of these will add nutrients to diets and reduce the risk for stroke, heart disease and some cancers. It also helps manage body weight. Although fruits and vegetables don’t have many calories, because of their fiber they fill you up. Avoid snacking on chips, crackers and other comfort foods that contain only empty calories, meaning your body doesn’t benefit from them at all. They just get stored as fat, especially if you don’t exercise.

Exercise Regularly

Living in Southwest Florida gives us a great advantage during this time of year as the weather is just about perfect to spend some fitness time outdoors. Whether you like to get creative with exercises or just enjoy an afternoon walk, try the fitness equipment at Lakes Regional Park in Fort Myers or take a stroll along the beach on Sanibel. Several studies have shown that even moderate walking benefits the body in many ways, from blood-sugar control and improved mood to decreasing the chance of chronic diseases and lower-back pain. So, put your sneakers on and get moving at least 150 minutes a week, as recommended by the CDC.

Hydrate

The human body is 65 percent water on average, which means hydration is essential to keep it functioning properly. Drinking plenty of H2O has a long list of health benefits, from getting rid of headaches and increasing energy to improving your skin. It’s easy to forget about this small action of drinking water, but it’s what enables your cells to transport nutrients and minerals throughout your body more effectively. If you’re dehydrated, you can feel tired and irritable. And, remember, often when you think you’re hungry, you’re really just thirsty.

Quick at-home Recipe: Seafood Kale Salad

Whether you want to throw together a quick meal after work or need to prepare lunch on the go, this salad will take only five minutes of your time. It’s a great source of protein, fiber, healthy fats, potassium, iron, magnesium and lots of vitamins such as B, C, D and E.

What you need

  • 2 cups of kale
  • 1 medium tomato
  • 1/4 of a whole cucumber
  • 1 can of tuna or cooked shrimp
  • Feta cheese
  • Olive oil
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and pepper
  • Cashews (or nuts of your choice)

How to toss it

Wash and chop up the kale, tomato and cucumber. Put them all in a bowl, add your choice of seafood and one or two tablespoons of olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Add a pinch of Himalayan salt and pepper. Mix it all up and top it off with feta and your choice of nuts. Enjoy!

Written by Klaudia Balogh, the Health and Fitness Writer for TOTI Media.