Living Healthier In 2014! – Live a Healthier Lifestyle

fitness-healthy-life-tips

“I want to lose weight!” “I want to eat healthier!” “I want to become more fit!”

Do you know what all of these New Year’s Resolutions have in common? They all have one ultimate goal: to live a healthier lifestyle. After all, who doesn’t want to live a healthier life? We all hear about the benefits of living healthy and want to experience it. The truth is that many of us don’t always know exactly how to achieve the often vague goal of living healthier. Surely it’s not quite as simple as exercising a few days out of the week, right? Don’t get me wrong, exercising is extremely vital. However, if we (and I include myself in this) don’t make proper lifestyle choices outside of the gym, then all of our hard work may come to naught.  So how can we live healthier in 2014 (and beyond)?

1.) Set up an exercise routine that you can follow through on. For example, if you live a busy life then setting a goal to exercise every day out of the week may not be possible. However, you should try to set aside some time each week (such as 3 days out of the week for 30 minutes to an hour each). If you haven’t already, it is critical that you at least start a routine and stick with it. There will inevitably come times when you may not feel like doing anything. That’s a natural feeling to have, but at least do something physically active on each day.

fruit-healthier2.) Watch what you eat. It would be very discouraging to become dedicated to a workout schedule just to realize you’re not losing as much weight as you would hope. The culprit can often be found in not eating right. Foods that are high in calories, fat, etc., work against your efforts. Foods that won’t work against your efforts, such as fruits and vegetables, should be an integral part of your diet. Also try baking more often than frying, and go for low-fat alternatives. And finally, always remember that eating healthier begins with shopping healthier. Shopping for healthier alternatives may take some getting used to at first but sticking with it will pay off in the long-term.

water-lose-weight3.) Watch what you drink and breathe in. We often know to watch what we eat, but how often do we really think about watching what we drink too? What about watching what we breathe in? Not much. The scary truth is this: with the amount of contaminants often found in water today, and the rise in air pollution, what we drink and breathe can do just as much damage to our bodies as eating the wrong foods can. Fortunately, this scary truth also has a simple solution: filtration. Water filters (for your refrigerator, faucet, whole home, etc.) and regularly replacing you’re A/C filter will go a long way in protecting you from harmful contaminants. Why not make a New Year’s Resolution to change your filters more often/regularly?

4.) Go green! We recently did a blog post on this very topic (check it out!). If you are anything like me, meaning that you are a novice at going green, then start off small. That can mean committing to recycling more regularly, or simply reducing waste in your home (I’m not just talking about trash, reducing water waste is important too!) Before you know it, you’ll be living green in no time.

In 2014, we can not only make ourselves healthier, but our planet can be healthier too. In what ways can you live a healthier lifestyle in 2014? We’d love to hear from you.

Water Detox Recipe for a Healthy Holiday Season

water detox recipe

Photo by Shutterstock.com

The holidays are nearly upon us!  With Halloween just past, Thanksgiving will be here before we know it. Then, more festivities arrive in December. This all means one thing for most of us…. the potential for overindulging from time to time!  Whether raiding your kid’s Halloween candy basket or  celebrating at your office holiday party, we all fall prey to consuming too much food and drink during the last quarter of the calendar year.  Though many of us do try to adhere to healthy eating habits during this time, it’s not always practical and certainly not always easy.  Eating and drinking too much is hardest on your liver, kidneys and intestines according to a report by FoxNews.com and usually leads to a general feeling of lethargy and discomfort.  Too many holiday cocktails can also lead to dehydration and the dreaded hangover.

Did you know that by drinking water, you can rid your body of many of the toxins left residing in your system and rehydrate at the same time?  So, when sticking to a healthy diet just isn’t an option, consider detoxing with good old fashioned H2O! As a bonus, drinking water can also restore moisture to overly parched winter skin.

It is not necessary to jump on the bandwagon with one of the many detox fad diets that are on the market today.  Although the phrase has gained much popularity in the recent years, the truth is that all you need is nature’s oldest and purest element, water!  The idea is to flush the system with an ample amount of water, usually the old adage 8 glasses per day.

Don’t care for the taste of plain water?  Not a problem.  There are a lot of simple ingredients that can be added to enhance the flavor, plus contribute to additional health benefits. An article on EverydayRoots.com, recommends the following:

  • Watermelon
  • Cucumber
  • Lemon and/ or Lime
  • Mint leaves

 

Start with a 2 liter pitcher of purified water; add one or a combination of any or all of the above ingredients.  Then refrigerate.   The longer you allow it to sit, the stronger the flavors will be.  Then, simply serve over ice with added lemon or lime if desired.  Drink the entire 2 liters throughout the day to receive the most benefits.  This water detox plan is safe to use on a daily basis, as it is completely natural with no harsh additives or chemicals.

Before you start this simple plan, make sure to invest in a quality water filtration system from FiltersFast.com.  You may choose from filtered pitchers and water bottles to under sink filtration and whole house filtration systems. Once you have decided on the best way to filter your drinking water, follow this regimen for a few days after overindulging and you should be back to normal in no time. So if you find yourself feeling out of sorts during the holidays this year, just drink up…water that is!

Keep Kids & Family Healthy this Holiday / Winter Season – Cold & Flu

prevent cold & flu

Photo Courtesy of TheTelegraph

Have you have ever been awakened early morning with a very sick child, only to realize that you have a house full of family members coming in a few hours for Thanksgiving dinner?  There is nothing worse than trying to comfort a sick, little one while trying to mash the potatoes, stuff the turkey and keep Grandpa’s coffee cup full. Trying to keep your family healthy during the holiday season is a challenge as it happens to occur right in the middle of cold and flu season.

It doesn’t have to be this way… there are good, proven strategies that we can use to help protect our children and families from dreaded cold and flu viruses.   According to a recent report on WebMD there are some easy to follow tips to help prevent the spread and contraction of those pesky viruses:

  1. Wash those hands!  If we’ve said it once, we’ve said it a million times.  Frequent hand washing with soap and warm water, for a minimum of 20 seconds is a proven, effective way to kill germs. In a crunch, hand sanitizer will work also.  I also find myself saying “keep your hands off of your face/ out of your mouth/nose and away from your eyes” at least once per day.  Children’s hands do not remain clean very long, so remind them…. wash often, hands off face.
  2. Get your flu shot (or the nasal spray vaccine)!  This goes for the entire family above 2 years of age.  Although this will not guarantee that your child won’t get the flu, the CDC says it is about 65% effective.  If the flu is still contracted after the shot, the symptoms should be much milder and last a shorter duration.
  3. Practice healthy habits! That’s right.  What we should all be doing year round anyways will go extra far during cold and flu season.  Eat right.  Get plenty of quality sleep.  Exercise every day.

 

In addition, research has been conducted and found that investing in a quality home humidifier can help fight the flu. “It seems that [the influenza virus’] ability to survive and be transmitted person-to-person is greatly affected by how dry or wet the air is,” says Jeffrey Shaman, PhD, of Oregon State University in Corvallis, whose study is published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.  The flu virus thrives in low moisture, dry environments, so by using a humidifier, you are able to control the indoor humidity level, thus reducing the potential spread of the virus.

Also, make sure you change your home’s HVAC air filters. By design, these filters are made to remove dust, mold, pollen, allergens and bacteria from the air.  By removing these airborne particulates, you will be breathing cleaner, healthier air.

Fight back this year against cold and flu season.  My Grandma always said, “An ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure.” So, enjoy the holidays this year… with a healthy family!