New Year, New You.
Bring Balance Back!
The dreaded month of January has finally hit.
The start of the New Year is always a sluggish one – bringing with the all-loving holiday hangover. After several months of celebrations, we tend to feel overly tired and full. With all the alcohol and food consumption, the stress of gift buying, late nights of partying and long periods of family socialization, all we really want to do is stay in bed and recover. Yet, January tends to be one of the busier months of the year when it comes to work! Why is this? Well, to start, the past few months seem to be filled with fun and play – so as soon as January 2nd hits, along with the looming guilt we’ve ignored all December, we try to make up for lost time by getting back into a routine as quickly as possible. It’s the classic case of bouncing back from a binge.
Often, we want to make our New Year comeback and be strong about it, but we’re still not feeling 100 percent in our ability to successfully do so. There’s nothing to fret about though, we do this every year and many of us usually manage to get back to where we want to be. However, the key to do this in the most effective and efficient manner, is by staying balanced. Below are several tips on how to bring balance back into your life and restore, rejuvenate, and reinvent your best self:
Getting the Best use out of your gym time:
The gym seems to be one of the most popularly visited destinations during the months of January to March. While any gym-goer will recognize the increase in local gym-foot-traffic, it is important that those heading to the gym after a long break understand that long-lasting benefits have to be attainable. If you return back to the gym in an intense manner, you’ll likely burn yourself out within the first month. Rather than creating intense regimens for yourself, such as two-a-day spin classes, try easing your way back into a steadily growing routine. Start by taking a yoga class or focusing on soft core exercises while incorporating a form of light cardio into your daily workout. Slowly, you can build up your stamina and increase these cardio workouts, but it is important to ease your way back into training. In fact, overexerting yourself in exercise at any time can cause a variety of health issues down the line. According to a Business Inside article published last year, women who participated in daily strenuous workouts were at increased risk for heart attack or stroke.
For those who have a hard time getting back into an exercise regimen, or if working out was never really your thing in the first place, try taking several long walks throughout the week. Whether it be outside, in a mall or on a treadmill, walking between 10,000 –14,000 steps a day can greatly enhance your mind, body and overall health and wellbeing. Even a brisk walk for a mile or two just a couple days a week will yield benefits.
Finding sustainability in a diet:
We can’t stress this enough: Do not crash diet! This form of dieting is never the right solution to losing weight and maintaining long-term results. Along with being unhealthy and sending your body into unexpected shock – it doesn’t last! We know that sometimes you need to see fast results and get in shape for a special event, but this method is rarely an effective one if you’re looking for lasting effects. After the holidays, many people want to lose the packed-on pounds instantaneously. However, one month of eating poorly will not set you so far behind that there is no comeback in sight. Start with simple and achievable dieting goals. Cut processed sugars and limit your starch intake. You should make sure you are still eating at least three meals a day. Some people prefer eating small meals throughout the day and see their best results when eating light portions in intervals of every few hours. Regardless, eating healthy, whole foods will get you back on track quicker than you think. One of biggest problems with crash dieting is the mental component. We all want to feel good, but we can’t feel good if our body is not getting the proper nutrients it needs. In order to perform our best, physically and mentally, our bodies need to be fed – and fed the right things. A few simple examples of healthy meals, and what we like to recommend after the holidays can include:
Steal cut oatmeal with fresh blueberries and a splash of almond milk or a tablespoon of peanut butter
Mixed green salad seasoned with balsamic vinegar and light olive oil and topped with two hardboiled eggs or a piece of grilled chicken.
Grilled salmon sautéed with cocoaminos with a baked yam and a boiled artichoke, roasted cauliflower for the side.
Be sure to incorporate regular light snacks in between. Nuts, fruits, or carrots with hummus are all great options.
Mental health first:
Along with the rush of getting back to work, and the various other pressures we put on ourselves this time of year, it’s important to remember that in order to reach our maximum potential in productivity, we must be in a sound state of mind. Make time in your day to practice meditation or destressing techniques. While we may have high energy in our eagerness to make our biggest and best comebacks, it is essential to slow down and take a breather in between efforts. All it takes is 5-10 minutes out of your day. Whether it’s waking up early to sit in a still, quiet space; taking a midday break to write down how you’re feeling; or clearing room in the evening to read a chapter of a book – peaceful contemplation and reflection will enhance the turnout of your day. You can find some more mental health balancing tricks here.
There are many small routines we can incorporate into our daily schedules which will offer long-lasting solutions to our overall health. Often, we put too much energy into one area of life and forget the benefits of having the presence of balance. As the saying goes, “Everything in moderation”. These words apply to both your labor and productivity as well, determining the quality of your results. Take your time getting back into your groove and make sure you are paying attention to all elements of your life. If you are feeling more down than usual at the start of this year, consider your nutritional health and whether you are receiving the proper treatment and support. It is important to consult with your doctor to make sure your daily vitamin regimen is up to date and to examine any other internal factors that may be causing fatigue or moodiness. Hormonal imbalances, lack of sleep, stress, diet, and underlying medical issues can all contribute to changes in your body. The Balanced Woman has specialists available to talk and help you with all your health needs. If you need assistance in balancing your health this New Year, call us today or schedule an appointment here.
With all the fad diets out there these days, it’s tricky for men and women to decipher what their bodies really do and don’t need.
The problem is, is that many of these diets are based off a set of health demands that only work for a portion of individuals who are using them. A diet’s success largely depends on a person’s specific body type and genetic makeup. In fact, it is almost impossible to find a universal diet that is effective, healthy and sustainable to all.
While there is a growing interest in the integrative health and organic food market, it is important to keep in mind that many of these publicized diets are not researched or backed by doctors and scientists. Nutritional guidelines may vary from program to program, but most diets should at least adhere to the general guide of suggestions that would come from a doctor.
- Having a variety of foods from the main food groups is essential – your daily diet should be well balanced and include some kind of starch – potato’s, rice, and other natural grains are best – along with protein, fruits and vegetables. In some cases, a dairy or dairy substitute is beneficial as well.
- Processed sugars and saturated fats are the worst thing for you and they can be found in just about everything. Read your labels!
- ‘Whole foods’, I.E. organic, raw and unrefined foods that are in their most natural state are key
- Five portions of fruits and veggies will not only help your metabolism function well but it will also help your body fight off various diseases while providing you with fundamental vitamins and minerals
- PROBIOTICS! These are a natural medicine. Sauerkraut, yogurt and kombucha are amongst some of the many sources that offer these beneficial supplements that are great for the body’s gut.
- Protein – your body needs this. You cannot eliminate protein from your diet and expect to feel good. Meats, fish beans, eggs, nuts, etc.
- Healthy fats like organic olive oil, raw almonds and nuts, or avocados are great to have in reasonable quantities. These fats fill you up and are beneficial to your health. Not only are they great for dieting purposes, but they help combat heart disease and strokes. They also contribute to lower cholesterol.
- Portion control: Regardless of how healthy you may think you’re being, it’s all about your intake. Downsizing your portions can be the biggest gateway to successfully losing those pounds.
- Exercise – duh. We all need it. Whether it’s just walking a mile a day or going to the gym for 30 minutes several times a week, you will feel better and your body will ultimately process your foods more effectively.