The keys to a healthier you are to move more, eat better.
Let’s do a quick recap of 2019.
Did you gain weight last year? Were you able to lose weight? Did you make a committed effort to change your eating habits?
Often, these are the questions we ask ourselves at the end of each year, while making New Year’s resolutions geared toward getting healthier. As we approach the new year, let’s increase our health awareness and look at some helpful tips.
Important Facts to Consider
• Sedentary lifestyles increase all causes of mortality, double the risk of cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and obesity, and increase the risks of colon cancer, high blood pressure, osteoporosis and lipid disorders.
• One study, with 10,381 participants, associated a sedentary lifestyle and lack of physical activity with a higher risk of developing a mental health disorder.
• A recent review, including data from 110,152 participants, found a link between sedentary behavior and an increased risk of depression.
As technology becomes more advanced, and those advances reduce physical effort and activity, we move less. This may be helpful for some people, but for others it can lead to obesity, and an unhealthy, unhappy and unfulfilled lifestyle. Medical advancements allow us to live longer, but at what quality of life? Food is highly processed, more easily accessible (think fast food), and significantly lacking in nutrients. Getting healthy is not easy. Our brains are wired to seek the easy path; the easier and more comfortable, the better.
Keep in mind, our bodies were designed to move. For thousands of years, we were an agricultural and hunting society. Up until the end of World War II, we had to farm our own food for the most part. Grocery stores and fast food chains were created in the late 1940s to early ’50s, and so began our journey into convenience.
Today, the answer isn’t always simple, but there are two main components to weight management.
1. Move more; at least 30 minutes a day.
2. Eat higher quality foods with fewer calories. (Women should consume about 1,200-1,500 calories per day, and men about 1,500-2,000 per day.)
How to Move More
• Stand instead of sitting on public transport.
• Walk, ride or run to work.
• Take walks or work out during lunch breaks.
• Set a reminder on your phone to stand up every 30 minutes and move when working at a desk.
• Invest in a standing desk or ask your workplace to provide one.
• Take walks during breaks.
• Spend more time doing chores around the house, especially DIY projects or gardening.
• Take phone calls outside and walk around while talking.
• Spend your free time being active rather than watching TV.
• Take the stairs instead of using the elevator.
Key Nutrition Tips
• Base meals on high fiber carbohydrates.
• Eat lots of fruits and veggies.
• Choose foods higher in protein over fat and carbs. You should have approximately 25-35 grams of protein per meal.
• Cut down on saturated animal fat.
• Reduce consumption of refined sugar and flour.
• Eat less salt.
• Stay hydrated by drinking 5-8 glasses of water per day.
• Replace junk food with real food.
Consuming just an additional 100 calories per day can cause a weight gain of 8-10 pounds of fat per year. The reverse is also true. If you reduce your calories by 100 per day, you should lose 8-10 pounds.
The weight didn’t go on overnight. That means it won’t come off overnight. It takes daily activity, effort and commitment to meet any goal. We simply have to view our health, wellness and fitness as a priority. Think of it as preventive medicine.
– Marcus J Shanahan, co-owner of R2 Total Fitness.