5 Essential Steps to Becoming a Healthier You This Year!
Do you want to feel healthy but you're not sure where to even begin?
Do you feel overwhelmed every time you think about trying to make changes?
Most of the programs you see on social media and TV, completely miss the most important steps to actually becoming a healthier version of yourself. They just tell you to take this tea, or try this pill, and exercise more and eat less (*I am rolling my eyes*).
So, if you are someone just starting your health journey and need a place to start or you're someone that has been starting and stopping for years, these 5 essential steps will greatly impact your health in the best way possible!
Step#1 - Start Eating REAL Food
Ever hear the term, "you are what you eat"? Well, it's because this is true. Your cells are made up of all the nutrients you receive from your food. So when you eat real, whole foods you provide your body with bio-available quality nutrients. What does bio-available mean? This is when the nutrients are readily available for your body to use and absorb. Supplements are great, but often times they are not in a bioavailable form making your body work extra just to get these nutrients. And not to mention, supplements can be pricey, so if you're not absorbing them you're basically wasting your hard-earned cash. So therefore in my opinion whole food sources are the best first option to get all the nutrients you need to start supporting a healthy body! Don't overcomplicate it either... your food can be simple just focus on it being as natural as possible.
Step #2 - Limit your intake of FAKE Food
Further to the last point "you are what you eat"... when you eat ultra-processed foods (known as "junk food" in our culture) that lack nutrients what are your cells made up of? Might I say junk? Kraft singles, lucky charms, artificial colors, sweeteners, and flavors! These ultra-processed foods are stripped of nutrients and provide us with so many empty calories. Not to mention they are manufactured for you to want more. The taste, texture, packaging, etc. are all created so that you will buy more and eat more. This fake food does not serve your health and if you actually want to see a difference in your health, you need to make some swaps to products that have simple and REAL ingredients.
Step#3 - Stay Hydrated with Water
Water is what makes the world go round. Our metabolic processes, everything we do to stay alive requires water. All of your hormones, your neurotransmitters, your cells, and every single aspect of your health is operating in a water medium, that's how important it is. Yet there are so many people that barely drink it in a day and they wonder why they are so tired, are constipated, have a low sex drive, and have poor skin... Water is necessary for all our metabolic processes and if we want to feel better, we need to be well-hydrated! Try starting your day with a glass of lukewarm water to replenish your body after a good night's rest and then aim to get more water throughout the day! Everyone's water intake needs will differ as it is dependent on things like your environment, activity level, and diet.
Step #4 - Move Your Body
Our physical health isn't just for the outside. It's for the inside! Our body systems require regular movement to function properly like supporting normal digestion, circulation, and healthy bones and joint health. I know it can seem complex and very intimidating to start (been there!) but I promise you, it doesn't have to be! If you're not sure of what exercise you should do, choose the type you enjoy. That will make it much easier for you to commit to exercise on an ongoing basis. For example, you may enjoy team sports or you may prefer swimming, dancing, or biking. Find an activity you want to do and you look forward to doing it. I also highly recommend going for daily walks outside and aiming to get at least 10,000 steps in a day to reap some benefits.
Step#5 - Get Quality Sleep
If you do anything this year, let it be prioritizing your sleep! Sleep is integral to maintaining a healthy weight, energy levels, immune function, and overall health as it influences our hormones and metabolism. When we have disrupted sleep, it can lead to impairments in glucose metabolism and an increase in insulin levels, which can influence the increase of fat storage. Sleep deprivation is also associated with changes in the hunger hormones, leptin, and ghrelin. When your hunger hormones, are imbalanced it can lead to mindless snacking and urges for unhealthy food, making it hard to stay on track with your health and fitness goals. Aside from helping us maintain a healthy weight, sleep is really important for regulating our emotions and mental health too. One way to start prioritizing your sleep is to have a relaxing bedtime routine that starts 1 hour before your “lights out” time (that is 8 - 10 hours before your alarm is set to go off). This would include dimming your artificial lights, nixing screen time, and perhaps reading a book, or journaling.
There ya have it! With these essentials, you can be well on your way to becoming a healthier version of yourself this year!
These 5 essentials are steps that I cover with my 1:1 coaching clients as part of my Flourish Forward Method Program. Click here to apply or learn more!