If you’re like most people, the change to a new year has you thinking about making changes in your life to improve your health, but with so many options, what steps should you take? To help you keep that New Year’s resolution to get healthier, here are three simple steps to a healthier new year, courtesy of Dr. Mercola:
1. Give up soda. – Soda is terrible for your body. The high sugar (and corn syrup) levels in soda have been linked to weight gain and such diseases as diabetes. And high levels of sugar can have similar addictive properties to heroin. If you can stop cold turkey, do so, but, even if you have to ween yourself off of them over time, do it. If you “need” the caffeine, drink organic coffee. But give up the soda.
2. Get eight hours of sleep each night. – You may think that you can get by with less sleep, but the difference in your focus and productivity with adequate sleep more than makes up for those few less hours working. Additionally, Dr. Mercola warns:
“Sleeping less than six hours per night more than triples your risk of high blood pressure, and women who get less than four hours of shut-eye per night double their chances of dying from heart disease.
“Sleep is also intricately tied to important hormone levels, including melatonin, production of which is disturbed by lack of sleep.
“This is extremely problematic, as melatonin inhibits the proliferation of a wide range of cancer cell types, as well as triggers cancer cell apoptosis (self-destruction). Lack of sleep also decreases levels of your fat-regulating hormone leptin, while increasing the hunger hormone ghrelin.
“The resulting increase in hunger and appetite can easily lead to overeating and weight gain. Not to mention, poor or insufficient sleep is actually thestrongest predictor for pain in adults over 50.“
Translations: the amount of sleep you get has a huge impact on your life and health. Get eight hours of sleep.
3. Sit less and walk more. – Dr. Mercola notes:
“On average, a U.S. adult spends nine to 10 hours each day sitting, which is so much inactivity that even a 30- or 60-minute workout can’t counteract its effects.”
Sitting too much shortens your life span and also makes the time that you have left here on earth more difficult and less pleasant due to the health problems associated with sitting too much. Get up and move.
In a nutshell, if you stop drinking sodas, get enough sleep, and move more, you’ll be pleasantly surprised how much better you both look and feel, and these are simple steps that you can start taking now.