The holiday season can be the most difficult season to stay on track with your health goals. Not only is your calendar packed full of events, dinners, and parties, which can make it difficult to stay active, but food temptation lies around every corner. Work, home, nowhere is safe from cookies, treats, and baked goods.
There has to be a way to not totally derail your health goals this holiday season. Below, we’ve compiled a few tips from trainers and nutritionists to help you stay on track while still enjoying your holidays.
Portions. No one wants to deprive themselves of all the yummy food our friends and families make. After all, what kind of holiday would that be? The best way to get through all of the yummy food this holiday season is to keep portions in mind. Smaller portions means you can try a little bit of everything, and you won’t leave feeling deprived.
Steps. While it can be difficult to get your workouts in when you have a packed schedule, there’s always time to get your steps in. Next time you go to work or go shopping, take the stairs instead of the elevator, and choose a farther parking spot. If you have the option of walking versus driving, take it. These steps will help you maintain an active lifestyle during the busy holiday season.
Choices. The most important thing you can do this holiday season to stay on track with your health goals is to make good choices. If you know you’re planning on having dessert later, don’t have any cookies in the break room at work. Choose to carve out some time for yourself to get your work out in. These choices will add up at the end of the season.
You’ve heard the rumors before – wine is good for you. But is this really true? New scientific research proves it is. Below we list some of our favorite benefits of the beverage of our ancestors.
Promotes longevity. When compared to drinkers of beer and liquor, wine drinkers have a significantly lower mortality rate of about 30%.
Promotes heart health. Those who indulge moderately and suffer from high blood pressure are significantly less likely to suffer a heart attack than their nondrinking counterparts. Additionally, wine contains procyanidins which protect the heart from disease.
Reduces risk of Type II diabetes. Wine drinkers have a significantly lower risk of developing diabetes than their nondrinking counterparts.
Reduces risk of stroke. Moderate drinkers have a 50% less chance of stroke than nondrinkers. The risk of suffering a blood-clot is reduced significantly.
Reduces risk of colon cancer. Red wine in particular has been shown to cut the risk of colon cancer by almost half.
Promotes brain health. As we age, decline in brain function is inevitable. But studies have shown that brain function declines faster in those who don’t indulge in a drink than those who do.
Reduces risk of cataracts. Those who drink wine are less likely to develop cataracts than other drinkers, and both groups are significantly less likely than nondrinkers.
If you are considering drinking wine to improve your health benefits, make sure you stick to 1-2 glasses at a time. The key to these health benefits is wine in moderation.
The science behind why wine has so many health benefits is not yet fully understood. Researchers are continuing their studies to try and discover the why behind the wine.
We’ve all heard of super foods, but do we know what ‘super food’ really is?
Super foods are nutrient dense foods that are especially beneficial for your overall health and well-being. Their targeted body systems may differ but overall, these super foods are good for you from your head to your toes.
Research has shown that indulging in super foods can increase the likelihood you maintain a healthy brain, well into old age.
Below is a list of our favorite brain-loving super foods that if included in your daily regimen regularly, are sure to keep you sharp year after year.
Blueberries. Delicious and smart! Blueberries have been shown to protect the brain from the effects of stress. Further, they have been shown to reduce the effects of brain diseases like Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Salmon. Salmon is rich in brain-loving omega-3’s. Omega-3’s are essential for brain function and monitoring inflammation.
Nuts and seeds. This super food is packed with vitamin E. Vitamin E has a range of health benefits, including maintain healthy hair, skin, and nails. When it comes to your brain, vitamin E corresponds with lowered cognitive decline.
Avocados. This healthy fat contributes to healthy blood flow. Healthy blood flow means healthy nutrients reaching every part of your body, brain included. Avocados help your brain get all the great nutrients you’re eating in that healthy balanced diet.
Whole grains. Our favorite whole grains are oatmeal and brown rice. These super foods reduce your risk for heart disease and maintain good blood flow to the brain. Bonus: these foods are packed with fiber and vitamin E.
Beans. This super food stabilizes blood sugar levels which keeps your brain happy. Your brain uses glucose for fuel, so it needs help regulating its glucose levels so it can maintain optimum functioning. And that’s where beans come in.
Did you know studies show sugar is more addictive than heroine? How can that be possible?
Sugar is one of the most widely consumed products in America. And it’s no wonder – it’s in everything! Don’t believe us? Check the nutrition labels of your favorite snacks and condiments.
To make matters worse, every time you consume a sugar-filled product, you feed the habit, making you crave sugar even more.
And you can thank your brain and gut for caving into those cravings. Over time, you become dependent on sugar. This means that if you try to refrain from it (like when you go on a diet) your body freaks out, sending cravings out of control and making you feel icky.
So how can you detox from sugar without feeling like you’re dying?
It starts in your gut. The bacteria in your gut is used to feeding and thriving on sugar. When you take this away from them they can get quite awry, making you feel bad and sending SOS craving signals to your brain.
To overcome this, you need to reset the bacteria in your gut and feed them healthy things. To do this, you should focus on 3 things: probiotics, high fiber-low carb-low sugar, and intermittent fasting.
Probiotics are a great way to reset your gut. They channel good, healthy bacteria in, pushing the bad ones out.
Eating foods high in fiber and low in sugar in carbs will ensure these newly replenished good bacteria stay nourished and feeling good. When your gut feels good, your brain feels good!
Lastly, intermittent fasting (eating all of your meals within an 8 hour window) will allow your gut to heal and reset. Good bacteria will be able to thrive and the bad bacteria will starve. Within 4 weeks, your sweet tooth should be cured!
Sleep is one of the most important body functions you experience. During sleep, your body restores, resets, and repairs.
Getting an adequate amount of sleep is a key factor in living a healthy lifestyle. Not only does it allow your body to conduct important functions, it helps your mind and mood as well.
With so many benefits, it’s hard to believe that most individuals don’t get enough sleep. After all, who doesn’t love a good snooze?
Unfortunately, due to busy lives, adults in general are not getting enough sleep. This habit could be causing your aches, pains, mood swings, and halting your body from conducting some of its most crucial functions.
Most doctors recommend getting 7-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep per night. While this task can be easier said than done, we’ve compiled a list of a few reasons why you should prioritize a good night’s sleep.
- Improves memory – during sleep your mind strengthens and practices memory skills.
- Helps you live a longer, happier life – research has shown that those who get adequate sleep live longer and are happier.
- Prevents inflammation – inflammation is linked to a plethora of diseases. Studies have found that those who get less than 6 hours of sleep a night have more inflammatory proteins in their body.
- Sparks creativity – want to bring more creativity to your job and life? Get more sleep. This benefit has to do with memory which helps spur the creative process.
- Improves stamina in the gym – studies have been conducted that evaluated athletes who got 8-10 hours of sleep versus those who got less and found that those with more sleep performed better on the field.
- Helps you keep your grades up – those who have trouble sleeping are more likely to struggle with learning. Keep your brain sharp by sleeping more.
- Allows you to sharpen your attention – lack of sleep can cause similar symptoms as ADHD. Keep your focus by focusing on sleep.
- Maintains a healthy weight – did you know your body burns fat while you’re sleeping? It’s true. Metabolism is processed during sleep. This means that not getting enough z’s can keep you from your weight goals.
- Lowers stress – it’s no secret stress contributes to illness. Keep yourself healthy by getting a good night’s sleep.
- Wards off depression – not only does sleep improve your mood, reduce anxiety, and curb irritability, it provides increased emotional stability as well.