Last year, about of third of us made health-related resolutions, according to the Marist Institute for Public Opinion. Being healthy feels great. But, how are you going to be healthier? Take a walk outside. Eat organic raw vegetables whenever possible. Try nuts and seeds as an energy-packed snack. Seek out supplements for a needed nutritional boost. Use greener cleaners and cosmetics without harmful chemicals.
Need a little motivation to be healthier? Here is what research says happens when you make small changes to live a little healthier:
• 13 essential vitamins are found in a multivitamin, which when taken daily, is associated with longer telomere length (a biomarker of health).
• 5 minutes outside can improve self-esteem and mood, while 15 minutes of sun exposure can boost vitamin D levels and reduce risk of disease.
• 6 percent more body fat is lost by people who used whey protein during a calorie-reduced diet, according to a study published in Nutrition Metabolism.
• -15°C exposure, at frequently intervals throughout the day, increases energy expenditure – getting outside this winter may counteract obesity reported the Journal of Clinical Investigation in 2013.
• 3000 chemicals are used to make fragrance mixtures, some of which are hormone disruptors or carcinogens.
• 100 years or older is the life expectancy in Okinawa, Japan where their diet rich in green vegetables, soy and fish is associated with low rates of age-related diseases.
Make It So You Won’t Break It!
Over 88% of us will not succeed with our New Year’s resolution, according to a 2007 survey conducted at the University of Hertfordshire. Here are research-backed strategies to help you succeed with a resolution this year.
Just Pick One
When your brain has to focus on a large number of things it has less energy to focus on willpower making it harder to resist temptations.
You’ll be more likely to succeed with changing a small habit, that can be done in less than two minutes a day, such as doing fifty sit-ups each morning or taking the stairs instead of the elevator, rather than a larger resolution like dropping a pant size.
Write it Down
Saying your resolution to a friend or writing it down makes you more accountable, and can motivate you.
The human brain is naturally programmed to succeed, according to psychologist and author Tory Higgins. But, if your internal motivation dwindles, seek out external inspiration, such as: join a fitness class or group, follow a helpful health blog, or set a reward for yourself to have once you reach your goal. Use your local health food store as a resource for helpful products and educational resources from books to seminars.
Wilcox, DC. et al. The Okinawan Diet: Health implications of a low-calorie, nutrient-dense, antioxidant-rich dietary pattern low in glycemic load. Journal of the American College of Nutrition. 2009; 28(4) 500-514S. http://www.okicent.org/docs/500s_willcox_okinawa_diet.pdf Xu Q, Parks CG, DeRoo LA, Cawthon RM, Sandler DP, Chen H. Multivitamin use and telomere length in women. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2009 Jun;89(6):1857-63. Epub 2009 Mar 11. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19279081 Frestedt, J. et al. A whey protein supplement increases fat loss and spares lean muscle in obese subjects: a randomized human clinical study. Nutr Metab (Lond) 2008;5:8. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2289832/ Anouk J, et al. Cold acclimation recruits human brown fat and increases nonshivering thermogenesis. J Clin Invest. 2013;123(8):3395–3403 http://www.jci.org/articles/view/68993 Prescription for Better Health – Harvard Health Letter, 2010. http://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletters/Harvard_Health_Letter/2010/July/a-prescription-for-better-health-go alfresco?utm_source=mental&utm_medium=pressrelease&utm_campaign=health0710