This is my first blog post of the year. I hope it’s not too late to welcome you to 2018. I also hope that the new year has really started well for you and that you are feeling great.
If not, don’t worry, the new year is really one of the best times to renew your commitment to being healthy.
As you can see we are well into the new year. We are into the 4th week. By this time, many of us have long bid farewell to the holiday festive season and hopefully are going about our daily lives with renewed enthusiasm with all the goals and new year resolutions that you have set for yourself.
Did you set any new year health resolutions? Have you been successful in keeping them? Many of us like to kick start our health programs at the beginning of different periods, whether it is the beginning of the month, week or year. But being successful is more about long-term commitment irrespective of when you start. Believe it or not, research says that most people will have already fallen off from their new year resolutions that they committed to do within 3 weeks of setting them. If you are one of those, I would like to urge you not to feel discouraged but rather to change your attention from when you start to simply focus on starting (which should be at any time and not necessarily at a specific time) and then keeping your focus until you see results. So even if you have fallen off, you can still resume. You don’t have to wait till next year 😊.
For some of us, we like to wait for times when there are minimal obstacles to get started. Most of us have been waiting for the holiday season to pass on and I have even heard that the graduation weekend (which has just passed) is the official last day to have an excuse to indulge.
So, I believe we can all get down to committing to either getting back on track, to set new goals or even to maintaining what we have started.
And I would like to share with you my top 10 suggestions for health and wellness goals that you can aim to consider making as you go forward.
1. Eat the rainbow of fruits and vegetables
Fruits and vegetables get their colour from pigments. These pigments such as lycopene, (that gives watermelon its red colour) give these foods amazing health benefits. And every colour brings its own benefit. So, eat up lots of fruit and vegetables but aim to eat a variety of colours.
2. Integrate something uncooked at each meal
Always try to eat something uncooked with every meal. Fresh uncooked foods have enzymes and nutrients that may be lost during cooking. Having something raw at each meal makes it more likely to have more nutrients in your diet. Aim to have fruit at breakfast, nuts and fruit at breaks, and maybe some raw vegetables and avocado at lunch and dinner.
3. Eat meat only on the weekend
This is one of my personal favourite health tips. And this is a practice I have incorporated into my life. Because many of us love meat and animal foods, by the time a week is done, we may have consumed more than is recommended. Commit to wait for the weekend which for me begins Friday evening and ends at Sunday lunchtime.
4. Reduce sugar intake
I’m pretty sure by now you know that sugar isn’t good for you. But for many of us, we still take a considerable amount of sugar. Your ultimate goal should be to get off sugar. But in order to achieve this, it may be wise to start by reducing the amount you take. You could cut from 2 to 3 teaspoons per cup to 1 and also reduce the number of drinks you take that make you add sugar.
5. Make more vegetable juices and drink them regularly
Vegetables are the “#1” on the list of all healthy foods. We should be having 5 to 9 servings a day. This may not always be easy an easy target to achieve. But making a vegetable smoothie or drink means you can get more in your diet and in a form that is fresh, easily digested and with all the nutrients intact. I recommend you get a nutribullet (an amazing nutrient extractor which works both like a blender and juicer combined) if you want to make this a reality. Aim to have 500mls or 2 glasses of this every day. My favourite veggies to use are beetroot, carrot, cucumber, broccoli, celery and ginger. You can always add fruit to flavour it.
6. Drink more water
This is a simple but golden principle to health. Drink more water. In a hot climate like Uganda, we need even more than you may think. Use the colour of your urine as a gauge to figure out how hydrated you are. Your urine should be clear or almost clear most of the time. Divide your weight in Kg by 30 to get an average estimate of the amount of water you need daily in litres. For example, a 75kg person requires 2.5 litres per day.
7. Exercise at least 3 times weekly
If you exercise regularly, well done. But if you don’t yet do that, decide right now that nothing will stop you from getting in 3 times of exercise weekly. If this is new to you start small. Begin even with 5 to 7 minutes a day and gradually build it up. Surely you can get 5 minutes. Also, schedule exercise into your calendar to ensure your mind is expecting it.
8. Get more rest
Rest is very instrumental health. This goes beyond more than getting a good night’s sleep. Rest also means getting some time to just put away the technology and enjoy a quiet moment with nature, and your friends. Aim to get at least 20 minutes daily. Remember that the mind also needs rest. Silence is to the mind what sleep is to the body. Get some time daily to be still and silent. You can combine the quiet moment with silence.
9. Practice Gratitude
Gratitude is the most powerful magnetic force in the universe. When you express gratitude and appreciation, your brain secretes neuro-chemicals that reduce stress, boost immunity and even make you feel good. In this busy and hectic world, we cannot always avoid challenging situations, but we can always consciously decide to focus on what we can be grateful for. There is always lots to be grateful for example the fact u can read this. A good practice is taking 3 minutes when you wake and before you sleep to feel the gratitude for at least 20 things in your life. Try this. You will feel the difference.
10. Achieve your ideal weight
Are you at your ideal weight? Being even a few kgs above your recommended weight can increase your risk for health problems. And yet achieving your perfect weight is more achievable now than ever before. First, determine what your healthy weight range is. Then decide what your goal is. Write it down. And next, commit to doing all you can to attain it. If you are ready to achieve your ideal weight and need that extra help at Wellcare we have proven programs to help you achieve your target weight quickly and keep that weight off. To learn more about the programs click here. If you would like to sign up or ask any question click here. The testimonies of what seemed impossible can also inspire you. This is your year and if you set your mind to anything you can achieve it.
Whether you adopt some of my suggestions or make any of your own, it is important to keep whatever goals you set, simple and realistic.
Remember that no one is perfect, and most people will face some challenges and obstacles. So, if you do face any, know that you are like many other normal people and just get back up, continue and make a turn back to your health path immediately.
But also keep in mind that nothing happens until you move. So please bring on that fire right now that has driven you to other great achievements in the past. There is no better time than now to make the improvements you need to make.
If you have found this article useful, please share it with friends and family. Let’s join hands to spread the message of wellness to all.
Wishing you great health and happiness.
P.s don't forget to stay connected with me on twitter @paulkasenene or by clicking here