Saturday, December 16, 2017
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Healthy Intentions, Unhealthy Results

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by Michelle Sutton-Kerchner

As we approach year’s end, beware of healthy intentions gone bad …

Smart ideas and habits can go astray. Here’s a quick list of trouble resulting from deeds done with good intentions.

Exercise but Don’t Overeat

Exercise can stimulate appetite. Holiday treats can trigger cravings. A hectic lifestyle (and whose isn’t during December) can leave little time for workouts. Managing any time at the Center can seem like a huge accomplishment, one worthy of, say, a plate of cookies and cocoa. Hence, the problem.

Go the extra mile!

Instead of focusing on calories, try to determine your favorite treats’ exercise equivalents. Often, we mistakenly think a 20-minute treadmill run balances out a plate of creamy comfort food and a latte with whipped cream and syrup. And since it is the holidays, overeating can happen in the name of season’s spirit alone.

Stay committed to your fitness routine. Try to add an extra workout or two during the week. You have a whole week to juggle your schedule to accommodate.

Still no time? Add extra reps or duration to your workouts when in progress—more bang for your sweat. Circuit training is another time-saving option. It efficiently multitasks a variety of exercises. These methods will help counteract some of the splurges—because somehow we always have time for them.

Get Your Sleep

Skipping Zzzs will catch up with you.

With so many demands on your time, sleep is often the first skimped. It is one area of neglect that only affects us personally, unlike an unhealthy meal that impacts your family or an unbought gift that can slight a coworker.

Think you’re a nonstop powerhouse? Think again.

Studies consistently show the importance of seven solid hours of nightly sleep. Sleep deprivation does not only affect our performance and outlook the next day. It has long-term impact on our physical and mental health. Lack of sleep leaves one susceptible to cold/flu germs as well as chronic conditions like high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, and depression.

Like exercise, proper sleep fuels a busy day. In the long run, you can accomplish more in less time with a well-rested, well-exercised body.

Don’t Doctor Yourself

Exploring holistic approaches to health can be beneficial. Many welcome a natural path to help overcome an illness, imbalance, or deficiency. Health food and vitamin stores have grown in popularity as a result, and traditional medicine is growing to encompass this concept.

Research health topics. Then, follow up with a healthcare professional.

However, at the end of the Internet search or supplement aisle, it is still important to rely on a physician for your best treatment and care. Knowledge is powerful, but it also can be dangerous.

Make time to share what you learn with your healthcare provider. Get advice on your personal vitamin and supplement requirements. Do not self-prescribe or diagnose without valuable input from a healthcare practitioner.

If you haven’t had recent wellness visits, start the new year with them scheduled. When in good health, check-ups establish your body’s baseline. Blood count levels and other insights will be valuable in your future to create a better understanding of your body’s uniqueness. Find a trustworthy primary care physician and make your health a team effort.

Don’t Neglect Relationships

Prioritize people.

Individuals with strong social ties tend to be healthier and happier. Human connection is powerful. Loving relationships help us strive to be our best. They give us purpose, especially during challenging times when loved ones need us most.

Friends and family are easily neglected, usually in an effort to honor obligations and responsibilities. We know they will understand when we cancel plans or fall short because they are also under similar constraints. Try to carve out time for loved ones, especially during the holiday season. Multitask, if possible. Ask a friend to join you for a workout, shopping trip, or healthy recipe prep (then, split the meals). 

Let the season be a reminder to prioritize those who give us joy year-round.

 

 

Image Credits

Sleep deprived: www.flickr.com/photos/hiyori13/6196938171

Woman on laptop: pixabay.com/en/laptop-woman-coffee-breakfast-943558

Friends: pixabay.com/en/men-women-apparel-woman-man-2425121

 

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