Happy New Year! Are you going to make a resolution this year? Lose 10 pounds? Get it shape? This is one of my favorite times of year because change is in the air. People are excited to do something different and better for themselves. A time of renewal and dedication. For most that circle around health in some way. And why not, it is the most crucial part of your life. You might be thinking that this is your year. The year you really get serious and claim the health and life you deserve and desire. Sure it is going to take some work. But, [ttshare]be assured that there is no one thing that will make you healthy. – Dr. Jeremy Overholt[/ttshare] You can’t eat your way to health because sleep and exercise are just as vital. So you have to fill your bucket with habits and perspectives. Since there is no one thing, I give you 109 of them.
1. Start with “WHY”
Simon Sinek in Start with Why says that WHY you do something is wildly more impactful that what you are doing. Why do you want to be healthier this year? To facilitate your purpose? Is it so that you can be the example for your children? Having a strong WHY will inspire the change you want to see in your health
[ctt title=”Having a strong WHY will inspire the change you want to see in your health.” tweet=”Not 1 but 109 ways to increase your health in 2016 http://ctt.ec/PHiDz+ via @innervitalitych” coverup=”PHiDz”]
2. Take a nap
We can all use more sleep. This is when we recharge and rejuvenate our bodies. A twenty minute power nap in the middle of the day can go a long way.
3. Eat more Kale
This dark green leafy veggies is stuffed full of B vitamins and so much else. It will drive your energy through the roof
4. Take 5000 iu of vitamin D3
Vitamin D3 has been show to be that one vitamin we don’t get enough of and when we do we reduce our risks of nearly every common disease like heart disease cancer, the flu, seasonal affective disorder, depression, common colds, fatigue and the list goes on. Kids need this too but you can lessen the dosage to 2500 iu.
This is a bonus because for every huge you give you get one back. Studies show that compassionate physical touch releases a much needed vitality boosting hormone oxytocin. That’s right, oxytocin. It’s not just stuff for labor and delivery anymore.
6. Lose 10 lbs
We can all use a little less stress on our frame and your energy will increase with it.
7. Gain weight
Didn’t I say lose 10 pounds? Sure did, but if you gain a few pounds of muscle mass you will burn more energy, be stronger and store up health for the future when muscle mass is harder to gain. Some people have to gain muscle mass to lose the fatty weight they want to lose.
8. Electronics holiday
Take an electronics holiday and give your eyes a break, your neck a rest and focus on what is real and in front of you.
9. Lose the chair
Did you know that sitting will age you and chip away at your health just after about 20 minutes of sitting? So take micro-breaks or use a standing desk at work. Check out this article This Thing Can Kill You
10. Random Acts of Kindness
The surge of life-giving chemicals that course through your body and there can be addicting. Get the whole family involved by making random acts of kindness wreath for the twelve days of Christmas where each day has a different act to perform. For some more fun ideas check out Give Back Films
12. Tai chi
Another great exercise to reduce stress and bolster flexibility
13. Quality time with family and friends
[ttshare]Relationship are what really matter in life and deeper relationship yield greater health.[/ttshare]
14. Keep a financial budget
[ttshare]You’ve got to tell your money what to do or it will leave.[/ttshare] – Dave Ramsey
15. Save money
The average american has no savings.
Save yourself the added stress when a crisis hits and be prepared in advance.
I NEED A SPACE SAVER HERE
16. Get more Omega 3’s
These are called essential fatty acids because we have to get them from our foods. The typical american diet is lacking in this department. We need these omegas to reduce inflammation and optimize the function of our hormones and every cell in our body. Good sources are fish oil and flax seed oil.
17. Forgive someone
It’s been demonstrated that forgiveness can lower your blood pressure, increase your immune system and reduce stress.
18. Sleep naked
Everyone get’s excited to read about this one! There are numerous advantages, but the bottom line is that studies show you sleep better and your body better regulates human growth hormone and oxytocin for better body repair and anti-aging effects.
19. Get a new mattress
Bruce and Kelly of Urban Mattress Fort Collins says a mattress should provide support, relieve pressure, control temperature and respond to motion. Whoa! That sounds like a powerful index of a good night’s sleep, rejuvenation, getting well rested and alleviating the morning soreness. I think your body will smile about this one. They have an awesome BLOG.
20. Get some sun
So there is a huge fear about too much sun exposure. I get the fear of skin cancer. Nobody wants that. But you need the sun for health. We all know that the sun make vitamin D in our skin. Studies are showing that [ctt title=”there are other biological benefits from different parts of the light spectrum” tweet=”There are more advantages to sunlight http://ctt.ec/r0JX9+ Not 1 but 109 ways to increase your health in 2016 @innervitalitych” coverup=”r0JX9″]. It’s just like having a super hero on your team, you just have to direct that power for good. Studies show that the harmful rays are mostly coming at you in the morning and late afternoon. The middle of the day is best for most benefit. Duration is dependent on your native skin tone but most information says limit direct exposure to 15 for optimal health and not do skin damage and accelerate aging.
21. Maintain your spine daily
Seriously? As serious as . You brush your teeth every day right? That is cosmetic and culinary experience. Your spine is your life line. It houses the electrical circuits for your body. (see #23) There are simple things you can do at home like cat/camels, Bruegger’s posture reset, cervical traction, Yoga, Denner rolls. This doesn’t replace a physician so consult with your chiropractor as to what you should be doing. And if you are starting at ground one, you probably need to work with a chiropractor to restore stability to your spine first before you see the real benefits of this one.
22. Get a Massage
Eleanor Duffy LMT of Under Pressure Therapeutics say “Because it is awesome. It helps with relaxation, increased circulation, exercise recovery, soft tissue injury and it makes you happy.”
23. Get Chiropractic
Your spine and nerve system are your life force. You are only as healthy as the connection your body has to your brain running the show. And athletes know you only move as well as your spine allows. [ttshare]Those pesky misalignments not only cause pain, but rob you of your abilities, energy and lifestyle[/ttshare]. We rock at taking care of you at Inner Vitality Chiropractic!
24. Get Acupuncture
This is life changing stuff. I’ll never forget the first time I received acupuncture; immediately I was able to run again after an injury put me on the sidelines with daily pain for more than three years. Scott Blunk of Fort Collins Acupuncture says: [ttshare]Acupuncture changes nervous system’s transmission and interpretation of pain signals. It blocks the urgent pain and keeps it from going up your spine.[/ttshare]
25. Get organized
It seems to me that organized people get things done and the more organized your schedule and environment the more opportunity you will likely have to focus on health and life.
26. Make a health plan
This should probably be #2 just after you state your WHY. if you don’t have a plan of attack you are likely to bounce around to what feels good at the time or what your friends are pulling you to. Make a plan. A week at a time or month at a time. Make sure you have your WHY (#1) and an accountability partner (#92).
27. Put the phone away while driving
Does this one need an explanation? Driving is tough enough with all the other people that don’t have a clue how to do it.
28. Eat some dark chocolate
[ttshare]Yes, I am that kind of doctor that tells you to eat chocolate![/ttshare] The darker the chocolate the more the antioxidants.
So much taste, so much healthy fat for your body. Do you do protein shakes in the morning? Add an avocado to give it a healthy boost and that creamy texture.
30. Do a cleanse
We are bombarded with chemicals from every direction nowadays. We need to do a little internal spring cleaning from time to time to get our liver, colon and fat cells cough that junk up. There are so many ways to do this. It can be done as a daily, weekly or monthly program. I would caution you to do your research and have professional support in doing this and never do a full cleanse more than maybe twice a year. Otherwise, you risk gut health and added stress on your body.
31. Get a nutritional evaluation
What if you could really know your nutritional blueprint to health? You could make sure that you get the right food for your body type and the proper supplements without the guess work. Bill and Tammy Jenkins at Natural Health Center of the Rockies do it right and get people well.
32. Take apple cider vinegar every day
I get made fun of for this one so much because of its one of my go-to solutions for a lot of common issues. The supposed benefits are recorded in volumes and books. Bottom line there is something to this and at least it will regulate your body’s pH which will alleviate a ton of problems.
33. Sleep in complete darkness
There are receptors in your skin that are a lot like Santa Claus. They know if you are sleeping. Well, actually they know if you are in darkness and will trigger the pineal gland to either up or down regulate your melatonin levels. You need melatonin to regulate your sleep duration and depth. When your levels are off you get cortisol. The same stuff you get with stress that creates all sorts of health havoc and belly fat.
34. Join a karate studio
Actually, it is good exercise, confidence builder, and family relationship builder.
35. Do cross fit workouts
I dig this kind of exercise because if you work with a good trainer it will never be boring and it can enhance your other work out while carving up muscles you didn’t know you have.
36. Buy a juicer and use it every day
If there was one way to bottle health and drink it, this would be it. There are some amazing recipes online to make health delicious.
37. Take a vacation. Not just a trip
Aren’t you thankful I said it? We all need it so check out tip #15 and plan for it. Go to the beach, Disney or someplace historic. Some of the best vacations can be just a stone’s throw away from your house. Here is Colorado we have mountains aplenty, The Great Sand Dunes, Anasazi ruins, old west history and so much more. Colorado is a local vacation waiting to make you some memories.
38. Set a goal and do it!
And then post it everywhere because the more you see it the more you will believe you can do it. Maybe check out #39, #40 or #41.
39. Climb a 14’er
There are 58 of these in Colorado. Maybe you become part of the exclusive club of people who have summited all of them.
Mt. Elbert, Mt. Massive, Mt. Harvard, Blanca Peak, La Plata Peak, Uncompahgre Peak, Crestone Peak, Mt. Lincoln, Grays Peak, Mt. Antero, Torreys Peak, Castle Peak, Quandary Peak, Mt. Evans, Longs Peak, Mt. Wilson, Mt. Cameron, Mt. Shavano, Mt. Belford, Crestone Needle, Mt. Princeton, Mt. Yale, Mt. Bross, Kit Carson Peak, El Diente Peak, Maroon Peak, Tabeguache Peak, Mt. Oxford, Mt. Sneffels, Mt. Democrat, Capitol Peak, Pikes Peak, Snowmass Mountain, Mt. Eolus, Windom Peak, Challenger Point, Mt. Columbia, Missouri Mountain, Humboldt Peak, Mt. Bierstadt, Conundrum Peak, Sunlight Peak, Handies Peak, Culebra Peak, Ellingwood Point, Mt. Lindsey, North Eolus, Little Bear Peak, Mt. Sherman, Redcloud Peak, Pyramid Peak, Wilson Peak, Wetterhorn Peak, San Luis Peak, North Maroon Peak, Mt. of the Holy Cross, Huron Peak, Sunshine Peak
40. Run a 5k
YOU CAN DO IT!
41. Do the Tough Mudder
42. Exercise with your kids
This will get you an A+ for parenting. You and the kids get healthier. They get better grades in school. Their behavior improves. They can’t wait to go to bed at night!
43. Get a dog you have to walk
A pooch will keep you moving and active. They’ll even get you to smile too.
44. Buy a pair of athletic shoes and wear them
You can’t exercise in flip flops or slip-ons. [ttshare]If you have the right equipment, you might actually use it.[/ttshare] And you will prevent injury, excessive fatigue and even enjoy yourself.
45. Get foot orthotics
Your feet interact with the ground and transfer force upward. If your foundation is off (i.e. your arches) then the force is gonna stop somewhere. Knees? Hips? Lower spine? Check out Foot Levelers.
46. De-clutter your house
This is just an ease on the emotions and the stress center. Keep a calming place where you can unwind and let your thoughts flow.
This is something I do routinely. It wakes you up, restores your pH balance, helps boost your metabolism and is a daily cleanser
48. Volunteer in your kid’s PE class
[ctt title=”Your kids will give you a gold star for this one” tweet=”#48 on Not 1 but 109 ways to increase your health in 2016 http://ctt.ec/KfH16+ via @innervitalitych” coverup=”KfH16″] and you will have a ton of fun!
49. Oil pulling daily
Okay, I’ll admit, this one is a little strange. Swishing around in your mouth a tablespoon of coconut oil each morning is lauded to do a lot of things but it definitely cleans your teeth and gets rid of bad breath.
50. Purposely smile more
[ctt title=”Your mood will change and so will the chemical composition of your body” tweet=”#50 on Not 1 but 109 ways to increase your health in 2016 http://ctt.ec/sz6g4+ via @innervitalitych” coverup=”sz6g4″]Your mood will change and so will the chemical composition of your body.
51. Wear a heart rate monitor
Now you are getting hardcore. You obviously have a plan and you are accenting your efforts with gadgets that will maximize your results.
52. Use a Fitbit
10,000 steps a day. Gotta get ’em in.
53. Attend wellness events at your work or community center
Learning should never cease. The more you learn the better equipped you will be. Take the opportunities in front of you
54. Make green cleaning products to use at home
Have you ever noticed the offense typical cleaning products wreak on your sinuses, lungs and even skin? [ttshare]You can avoid all of that toxic accumulation by making your own cleaning products and saving the chemical warfare for the crazy stuff.[/ttshare] There are a lot of recipes online but diluted vinegar works well as does baking soda. Lemon juice is an honorable mention.
55. Do planks daily
There are so many variations you can do. But these will stabilize your core and spine.
56. Park farther away from the door when shopping
Getting those steps in!
57. Floss your teeth
It will help keep that dentist’s drill put away.
58. Replace sugar with stevia
[ttshare]Sugar, Sugar, Sugar weeeeeeeee! It is everywhere and in everything. [/ttshare] To fight back consider using a healthy substitute. I say healthy because not all sugar substitutes are okay. Stevia and xylitol are two substitutes that you should consider. Stevia is a little too sweet for me but xylitol hits the spot.
59. Replace your oils with coconut and olive oils
Believe it or not, oils are not created equal. A lot of the oils on the shelf at the grocery store have food coloring and additives to mask the smell. And of course, the studies are replete with the benefits of olive and coconut oils over vegetable and canola oils. Since these are a good source of fat and your brain loves fat, feed it well.
60. Grow a garden and eat from it
How fun to cultivate and grow your own food. Enhance the beauty of your yard. Get a sense of accomplishment when you make your favorite dishes with food that you grew yourself.
61. Change your furnace filters
Do you think that is the air you are breathing? Actually, it is mostly sloughed off skin cells, pet dander and hair. Do your lungs a favor.
62. Install a water filter
The water looks clear but there can be a lot of other stuff in there. There is a debate about how water is processed in metropolitan areas and just how much fluoride is okay in your drinking water before it accumulates and does harm. A simple filter solves the dilemma and it will task better too. Remember we need at least half of your body weight in water each day.
63. Be persistent
You never accomplish anything unless you get proficient at getting back on the horse when you fall off. This is why I am a big fan of themes instead of resolutions and the notion that health is a journey instead of an event. You don’t have to cancel health if you eat a brownie because your theme is still intact but your resolution is blown. So if you fall off the health bandwagon, pick up where you left off and move forward.
64. Play more often
Have you ever seen a kid fully engaged in play without a smile? I rest my case.
65. Eat more colorfully
Connect the dots with #60. In a garden, color can mean nutrient density but it also means flavor! Red peppers, orange peppers, eggplants, radishes, and squash.
For reals. Prayer has been demonstrated to do a ton for your health and I am not talking about tv faith healers (that would be for a different blog site). I’m a huge advocate for prayer for many reasons. The scientific ones demonstrate offsetting the effects of stress and increasing one’s self-control.
68. Become ambidextrous
According to Josh of Balz Deep Structual Integration, becoming ambidextrous will [ctt title=”affect the body on an atomic, molecular, cellular, psychological and emotional plain.” tweet=”#68 on Not 1 but 109 ways to increase your health in 2016 http://ctt.ec/R6jxp+ via @innervitalitych” coverup=”R6jxp”]
69. Practice gratitude
It isn’t enough to say that you are grateful. To practice gratitude, you are choosing to adopt an attitude of gratitude especially in the challenging times where there doesn’t seem to be anything to be grateful for. There is always a different way to look at things. A red light on the way to work when you are late. Well, maybe that kept you from an accident down the road. Be grateful in the moment.
70. Laugh a lot more
71. Make a New Year’s theme instead of resolutions
Resolutions are tough. The statistics say that most people succeed in failing in their resolutions before January is out. But if you make a theme out of it maybe you will be more apt to keeping up. The way that I see it is that if you are trying to create a theme you are creating a culture. Otherwise, the resolution may come and go, but a theme can be more meaningful and lasting. Kind of like getting a whole scrap book rather than just a picture of a moment in time.
72. Choose healthy recipes and cook as a family
This has so much potential. Seek out something that you all can work together to create. Teaches you and the kids valuable lessons. Try sweet potato chili, yum!
73. Remove teeth amalgam filings
Did you know that these contain mercury? Mercury is the second most toxic substance on the planet. You may still have some fillings from back in the day and mercury can still be leaching into your system. There is a laundry list of things that mercury can do to your body so it is best not to have any of it. Talk to your dentist about this.
74. Drink a cup of coffee
If you know me at all you knew this would make the list. I love
coffee good coffee. It is so debated if coffee is actually healthy for you or not, but in my opinion, coffee is a feel good brew with seemingly greater potential to be good for you that bad. I do imagine however that drinking a ton of this a day is going to wreck your kidneys and more. Moderation!
75. Buy experiences instead of things
We have stuff “itis” here in America. Buying experiences are sure to make some memories and bonding experiences. [ttshare]Rent a cabin in the woods.[/ttshare] Go indoor skydiving. Have fun.
76. Eat sprouts
Sprouts pretty much have more of everything in this state of development. [ctt title=”More nutrients, proteins, fats, fiber and enzymes.” tweet=”#76 on Not 1 but 109 ways to increase your health in 2016 http://ctt.ec/aQ12K+ via @innervitalitych” coverup=”aQ12K”]
77. Eat fermented foods
The GAPS Diet goes in depth about how fermented food will revolutionize your health. Fermented food will help restore digestive track health and restore pH balance. #82 addresses the many testimonials about GAPS and eating fermented foods.
78. Walk barefoot on the earth
This one is fun and easy. Take your shoes off and walk on grass or dirt. It feels good and it is a natural antioxidant for your body. Google it!
[ctt title=”Take your shoes off and walk in the dirt” tweet=”#78 Take your shoes off and walk in the dirt http://ctt.ec/ECV0i+ Not 1 but 109 ways to increase your health in 2016 @innervitalitych” coverup=”ECV0i”]
79. Do an intermittent fast
80. Choose natural remedies
There are so many natural remedies that work just as good if not better than their synthetic pharmaceutical counterparts. The good news is that they usually come with less side effects. Sometimes the best natural remedy is time. Giving your amazing body and immune system the necessary time to process and deal with sickness will create a stronger body resistant to more sickness.
81. Wear sun glasses
Your skin needs sun but your eyes don’t
82. Probiotic supplements
There is so much new information coming out about the necessity of a healthy gut for optimal health. Taking probiotics is the least you can do to try to create a healthy intestinal tract. There are specific diets to address digestive tract healing like the GAPS diet. Restoring a healthy balance in your gut has been shown to reduce or eliminate autoimmune responses, allergies and more.
83. Use aluminum-free products
Aluminum is another toxic chemical that is found in a lot of hygiene products like lotions and deodorants.
84. Eat raw foods
People ask me all the time what are the best foods or diets. I tell them to eat more food from the earth. This one is the cousin to #76.
Your body loves routines and you might even get to work on time.
86. Be honest with yourself
There are a lot (hand raised) that won’t see what is really going on until the buttons on your pants are popping off. Take inventory of your health. Where you were and where you are now. Get a good pulse on where you are at. That may take consulting with a professional. But by truly looking in the mirror can put you on the best starting line to restore your health and taking it to where you want it.
87. Bigger meal at lunch instead of dinner
This has a lot of street cred with other cultures. Germans are big on this. Essentially you are still active in the afternoon so you stand to metabolize into energy the meal you just ate. Save that until the evening when you are heading to bed and you will metabolize that into fat storage and poor sleep.
88. Move around (walk) after a meal
This will drive up your metabolism and use some of that “fuel” instead of storing it as fat. [ctt title=”The bonus is that you won\’t get that after meal crash.” tweet=”#88 on Not 1 but 109 ways to increase your health in 2016 http://ctt.ec/K446d+ via @innervitalitych” coverup=”K446d”]
89. More protein and fats, less carbs.
We have a carb crazy food culture in America. All sorts of diets proclaim different optimal levels, but one thing is for sure, we could use a ton less carbs in our daily diet. Protein builds us up and revs that metabolism and fat feed our brains and nerves.
Most of us used to do this and many therapists encourage people to do more of it. Get all that stuff out of your head. It may not be bad, it may be great ideas that you need to get out so that you can create some plans around. One tip that I have heard a few times around is that if you have some very negative feelings about something or something. You should journal it and then burn it. Weird, I know, but it comes from the experts.
Give a helping hand and feel great about it. It is amazing how you feel with you truly serve others from a place of just helping out. The chemicals released in your body will grow health like crazy.
92. Have an accountability partner
You can have all of the best intentions in the world and make the best plans but if you never do anything about it, so what. An accountability partner can make the difference. They call you on your laziness and congratulate you on your achievement. Everyone needs a cheerleader in their life.
93. Add more living plants to your living and work space
A whole lot better than white walls. Which would you rather look at?
94. Get outside
Just try it. I recommend every season of the year.
95. Drink more water
Most people walk around dehydrated. If you can get half of your body weight in ounces, you are doing yourself a favor. Brendan Bruchard, found of High Performance Academy, says advocates for 6 liters a day to help optimize your energy.
96. Practice deep breathing
Lump this one in with yoga before bedtime and you will sleep like a back.
97. Put butter or coconut oil in your coffee
Weird but I kinda like this one. Putting fat in your coffee is not a new thing. They have been putting it in tea in India forever. This is the ultimate mental boost and cravings buster around. Give it a try. Check out Bullet Proof Coffee. p.s. don’t use salted butter, yuck.
98. Learn something new
Keep your brain sharp and feel energized.
99. Get Frisky!
That is, with your spouse. It will relax you, connect you, help you sleep better, burn calories, release oxytocin into your body and soooo much more. I’m pretty sure most of you don’t need encouragement here!
100. Bike to work
Wear your helmet and burn some extra calories
101. DO HIIT exercise
A guy named Tabata did all of the studies that support all sorts of types of exercise like P90X or Insanity. Essentially HIIT stands for High-Intensity Interval Training. They did the studies over 4 minutes and tested measurable physiologic effects. It is good news because there are programs like the ones mentioned that will put you in the best shape of your life without a ton of excruciating cardio hours. Do some investigation.
102. Use a cervical orthotic daily
Your neck is arguably the most important part of your spine. It is closest to the brain and its alignment is vital to the proper function of the nerves exiting each side. [ttshare]A normal cervical spine has a 41 – 45-degree curve in it.[/ttshare] Using a simple foam cervical roll or orthotic device can help keep and restore that vital cure. Not a substitute for needed chiropractic and rehabilitative care, but an “in addition to.”
103. Do cat camel exercises for spine health
In my opinion, this is the best spinal care exercise that you can do. Hands down. Check out this video. I give this exercise to every one of my patients and tell them to do it every day for the rest of their lives. Build that habit this year. It should take about 21 – 30 days and your body will thank you.
104. Take stretch breaks
Staying in the same position too long is never good. Movement is life!
105. Do walking meetings
You have got to get up and move from that desk and chair. Movement is life and sitting for too long robs you off if. Instead of emailing, phone calls, or sitting in a stuffy conference room. Get outside and walk while you meet. Not practical? Neither is obesity, pain, and energy slumps. I think your employer will get it.
106. Eat mostly food that spoils
Kind of makes you wonder why it doesn’t spoil and should you be putting that level of preservatives in your body.
“But doc, I can just watch the movie.” This is true but when you read you engage more parts of your brain. This is necessary to limit aging. You also get away from a screen that can cause a lot of eye and posture strain.
108. Read a perspective changing book
I didn’t want to call these self-help books because I think they are more about looking at life differently. Another great avenue is to read biographies. There are so many good ones. Here is a few Start with WHY – Simon Sinek, Greater – Steven Furtick, Daring Greatly -Brene Brown and there are so many more.
109. Eat grass fed beef
Lots of benefits here but one you may not have heard about is glutathione. This is an amazing antioxidant that actually does it’s work inside the cells rather than the outside. Sorry, the supplements are not nearly as effective as getting it the natural way.