1. Reach your healthy weight. Okay, let’s get the most common/most ditched resolution out of the way. Most of us need to lose at least a few pounds. But before you figure out how you’re going to do it, understand why you need to lose weight. Being overweight impacts every part of your body, from your heart to your kidneys to your bones and joints. It puts you at higher risk for heart attack, stroke, diabetes and osteoarthritis. And your self-esteem is generally lower when you’re carrying too many pounds.
Losing weight doesn’t have to be hard. A good start is the Reliv Slimplicity Weight Loss System. It includes a delicious, protein-packed meal replacement shake, appetite-curbing Accelerator, a pedometer, a food and exercise journal and other tools to support your weight loss efforts.
Now that we’ve knocked out the most obvious resolution, let’s move on to some other healthy steps for 2011.
2. Eat more whole grains. A recent study showed eating whole-grain foods could be as effective as blood-pressure lowering drugs. Study subjects who ate three daily servings of whole-grain foods, which included wheat and oats, saw a significant drop in their systolic (the top number) blood pressure similar to what people see using medication. Lowering blood pressure this amount (between 3 and 6 mm Hg) could potentially decrease the incidence of heart attack and stroke by at least 15 to 25 percent, says the study leader.
3. Fill up on fiber. A high-fiber diet is linked to a 40 percent lower heart disease risk. It also reduces cholesterol and can reduce or even prevent high blood pressure. In addition, a high-fiber diet promotes the growth of the friendly bacteria called probiotics that aid in proper digestion and promote a stronger immune system. And of course, fiber fills you up so you feel fuller longer. That means you may eat less. And since fiber is digested more slowly, your blood sugar will stay steadier, too, preventing hunger pangs.
4. Go green. Studies show increasing antioxidant-rich green leafy vegetables in your diet may reduce your risk of developing type-2 diabetes by about 15 percent. And with reports issuing dire warnings predicting 52 percent of Americans will be diabetic or prediabetic by 2020, anything you can do to prevent becoming a statistic is smart.
Another way to keep your blood sugar under control is by incorporating Reliv GlucAffect® into your daily diet. It’s clinically proven to lower blood sugar and to help people lose weight.
5. Have a berry wonderful year. Work a variety of berries into as many meals as possible. Berries top the superfoods list and pack a multitude of health benefits with few calories. Black raspberries have been found to prevent colon cancer and reduce inflammation in the body overall. That means they also may protect against other diseases such as heart disease. Blueberries offer plenty of health perks, too, including helping to fight artery hardening — which can lead to heart attacks and strokes. Blueberry fiber also has been shown to ease and protect against as ulcerative colitis and colorectal cancer. Studies also show blueberries can reduce abdominal fat, lower triglycerides, lower cholesterol, and improve fasting glucose and insulin sensitivity.
6. Make sleep a priority. Sleep is a necessity, not a luxury. Without adequate sleep, your immune system weakens, and your body becomes more vulnerable to infection and disease. Sleep regulates your mood, concentration and ability to make decisions. Studies also have found that not getting enough sleep has a significant impact on your waistline by increasing hunger and changing the body’s metabolism. Lack of sleep decreases your body’s ability to regulate blood sugar levels and may increase your risk of type 2 diabetes. Make sure you get at least seven to eight hours of sleep every night.
7. Get addicted to exercise. No more excuses. Once you start making exercise a part of your daily life, you’ll wonder what you ever did without it. Really! Believe it when people say how good they feel after exercising. Exercise not only improves your body and helps you lose or maintain weight, but also improves your mental function and clarity. It also produces a relaxation response that releases stress, elevates your mood and reduces the risk of depression. So work in a daily walk, bike ride, treadmill trot, or join a gym, class or fitness club.
Joining a group committed to the same goals makes exercise more fun, offers support, and makes you more likely to stick with it. Team Reliv Fitness Club is one example of a helpful group to join. Check out Team Reliv on Facebook to jump in. No matter where you live, the online support and inspiration will keep you moving toward a healthier you throughout 2011!
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- Facts About Fitness. http://health.rutgers.edu/brochures/fitness.htm
- Top 10 Fitness Facts. By Barbara Russi Sarnataro. http://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/guide/exercise-benefits