Happy New Year!
Have you made any New Year’s resolutions yet? Perhaps you’ve resolved to get fit, to eat better or to improve your overall well-being. Good for you. Having something to aspire to is important, but even the most committed among us can feel a little daunted at the prospect of changing our lives for the better.
We get it. Life is busy, our schedules are hectic and sometimes it feels like there simply aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done as it is, let alone enact our New Year’s resolutions. The good news, however, is that improving your well-being doesn’t have to be a giant leap; in fact, a few small changes can add up to make a big difference.
To help make your health and fitness resolutions a reality, we’ve put together a list of six small changes that will have a big impact on your well-being. These everyday adjustments are easy to achieve, which means you can start making baby steps towards a lifelong change. We hope it inspires you!
1. Be mindful, eat slowly
When you’re busy, it’s tempting to rush your food, but what you might not know is that it’s actually healthier to eat slowly. Research shows that when you eat slowly, you eat less, but feel fuller and happier than when you eat fast.
A top tip to help slow down your eating is to try putting down your fork in between bites. Not only does this enable you to take your time over your meal but it will also enable you to really savour what you’re eating. It’s also recommended that you avoid watching TV while you eat, as this can also make you eat faster.
Another way in which you can also slow your eating pace is by reducing your portion sizes. Eat from a smaller plate, serve yourself less than usual and you can then see if you really do need more before you get seconds.
2. Always choose wholegrain
According to the Canada Food Guide, when you have the option, you should always choose whole grain pasta, rice, bread and flour, instead of white. They’re right of course. Whole grains contain fiber, vitamins, minerals and sugars.
So what’s the difference?
White flour and rice has had everything removed except for those same sugars. When sugars are isolated in this way, our bodies digest them very quickly and this means that we don’t feel full. The end result is that we keep eating to compensate. However, when we eat sugars as part of a whole grain, the fiber slows down our digestion, so we feel satisfied sooner.
If it sounds simple that’s because it is. Choosing whole grains will make you feel fuller for longer, helping you to cut down on the overeating and in-between meal snacking that can have a detrimental impact on your health.
3. Drink a glass of water
This may seem like the smallest step you can take, but water really is essential to life, especially after a holiday season spent making merry. Water helps our brain function, lubricates our joints, regulates our temperature and helps us digest food alongside countless other benefits.
To stay hydrated, Health Canada advises making water our drink of choice. Whether you enjoy it cold, hot, or even better, room temperature – try spicing up your hydration by adding flavours like blackberries and mint or strawberries and fresh basil to give it a kick! Just be careful not to overdo it. Some studies suggest that drinking too much water with your meal can dilute the necessary enzymes your body needs to digest your food.
4. Go to bed early, sleep in late
We know it can be hard to drag yourself to bed early, or perhaps you don’t feel you have time to sleep in. But as adults, we’re supposed to sleep between seven and nine hours per night, so why not make 2020 the year you finally get enough shuteye?
By not getting enough sleep, we’re really short-changing ourselves. Lack of sleep can cause mood swings, irrationality, overeating, inability to focus and learn, loss of positive memories, anxiety and even the common cold.
Meanwhile, making sure we get enough sleep prevents all those negative effects and also helps our brains take on new knowledge, form and keep new memories, as well as clear waste out of our central nervous system.
5. Take the stairs, or go for a walk
Often, when we resolve to get fit, we end up resorting to gym memberships or personal trainers to kick us into gear. But workouts don’t have to cost a fortune; in fact, you’re surrounded by opportunities to get your heart rate up every day.
One simple way to inject some added exercise into your life is to simply take the stairs.
Take the stairs instead of the elevator everywhere you go and you’ll be amazed at how different you feel.
If you’ve got no stairs in your daily life (or even if you have), why not go for a walk instead? Any kind of walk will do, anywhere, even if it’s just for 15 minutes. Whether you’re walking around your office, the garden, or to the shops, it doesn’t matter. You’re walking and that’s the important thing.
Research shows that physical movement, like taking the stairs and going for a walk, helps prevent heart disease, lower your blood pressure, reduce anxiety, strengthen your muscles and bones and boosting your self-esteem. And best of all, there’s no gym membership needed!
6. Get a supplement boost
Another small change that could make a big difference to your health is adopting supplements, such as probiotics, multivitamins, calcium and magnesium.
Probiotics will help keep your digestive system healthy. Calcium will help keep your bones healthy and magnesium helps your body to maintain proper muscle function; including the heart.
There are nutraceuticals like pure wasabi that also help boost your health by helping to reduce the risk of heart disease. Thanks to high levels of glucosinolates in the wasabi plant, these phytonutrients release sulforaphane, which can lower your cholesterol (LDL), as well as reduce stress and inflammation in your cardiovascular system.
Wowsabi’s unique processing ensures that all key nutrients in the wasabi plant are preserved for your benefit. We use modern technology to transform the wasabi we grow at our family-run farm into supplements so that you can easily incorporate Wowsabi into your healthy life.
We know that every little bit helps. So whatever small steps you choose to take this year to improve your health, we wish you the best of luck!