As a Chiropractor, I help people improve their health all year round.
And improving our health is always a hot topic in the new year, whether you’re stoked for joining the gym, quitting smoking or taking part in dry January. But for some, these big changes are too much and they end up slipping back into old habits by late January.
Your health is a product of lots of little things (diet, activity, mindset, genetics etc) that slowly add together, so don’t set yourself unattainable goals that won’t be sustainable.
Here are a few, small ways to improve your health that are easy to stick to in the long term.
1. Be more active
Pick something you enjoy! Exercise shouldn’t be a chore and now there is so much choice (yoga, boot camps, lifting weights, running, brisk walks with the dog – the list is endless!), you can find something that you’ll look forward to doing.
Don’t go from barely doing any exercise to going to the gym 5 times a week, especially if you don’t want to injure yourself. Think reasonably, doing two sessions a week works well to start with and then gradually increase this over time.
Keeping active in any way (not just pilates!) is a great way to prevent back pain or migraines, as well as a great stress buster.
2. Take a breath
This could be formal, such as a guided, breathing meditation or practising mindfulness during stressful times.
Or less formally, “take a breather” by going on walks on your lunch break to escape the busy office or a stroll around the neighbourhood if you’re at home.
By making these routine, although they feel small at the time, they will add up to fight stress in the long term
3. Laugh more often
Laughter, especially with others, is a great, natural way to quash anxiety and calm ourselves. This is because it shuts down the release of stress hormones and boots the production of feel-good chemicals, such as dopamine. It also gives you an immune boost, by activating our “killer cells” which natural attack diseases.
Scientists have even shown that laughter causes a change in the way your brain cells communicate with each which in turn improves recall and memory.
4. Eat Sensibly
Yes, you may have overdone it at Christmas, but don’t go over the top and restrict yourself from all the foods you love completely. Gradually phasing dietary changes will stop you from getting unwelcome cravings.
My personal goal for this year is to reduce my sugar and carb intake and cut meat from my diet 2 days a week. I know I couldn’t go full vegetarian or carb free as the cravings would be too much, so (fingers crossed!) this will work for me and perhaps you too?
Let me know your goals of 2018. And if you’re looking to improve your health, Chiropractic care may be the help you need. Get in touch to see if I can assist you to succeed.
Chiropractor & Owner of Symmetry Chiropractic