It’s easier to make a healthy start to the new year than you think! Dr. Coy’s, a great Irish healthfood brand has shared four key tips that will help you towards a heathier 2022:
1. Make your healthy lifestyle sustainable!
There’s no point forcing yourself to the gym if you find it boring or lack the motivation to be there. Do what you enjoy! So get outside to the park or hit the hills instead. Start with 30 minute walks and then a ‘couch to 5km’ program – you will eventually be able to jog 5km in or around 30 minutes.
Sign up! Declaring your intentions is a great motivator, so now is the time to sign up for a 5km run or a cycling sportif in the spring…
Equally, there is no point force-feeding yourself health foods that you don’t enjoy and a rigid nutrition plan is not sustainable. Be flexible and enjoy your nutrition or exercise plan or you risk demotivation!
2. Reduce sugar in your diet:
The biggest challenge for many attempting better nutrition is snacking, particularly around 11am and 3pm when we hit a low in the blood sugar cycle. Maintaining steadier blood sugar levels has massive health benefits including reduced fatigue, better energy levels, better skin and a better mood.
Avoid the blood sugar rollercoaster where high glycemic foods spike blood sugars, triggering insulin, a crash and a craving for more sugary food… and the cycle continues!
Dr. Coy researched how the body metabolises sugar at the German Cancer Research Centre. He ‘reinvented’ chocolate using a natural sugar, galactose, that delivers steady energy without raising blood sugar levels.
Top tip: cinnamon on porridge or oat based pancakes is a great source of sustainable energy that will carry you to lunchtime.
3. Get More Sleep:
We hear that ‘Sleep is good for you’ so often that we take it for granted. We all need to make more effort to get proper sleep and must not underestimate its benefits: it’s the body’s repair mode. This is why professional athletes often nap in the afternoon between training sessions. Sleep is also good for the skin which goes into repair mode too. Sleep assists with clearer thinking, better weight control, stronger immunity, and improved mood. Conversely poor sleep puts people at an increased risk of suffering from depression and anxiety. Be mindful of the latest research around ‘blue’ light electronics which can suppress melatonin, ‘the sleep hormone’, that controls sleep and wake cycles. Aim for routine and to go to bed one hour earlier at least two nights a week!
4. Get more Daylight:
The flipside of getting more sleep is getting more daylight, particularly in the winter when the working day eats up all the daylight. Light has a direct impact on our bodies’ internal clock, the circadian cycle, and light in the morning stops the production of melatonin enabling us to wake up. Conversely the lack of daylight in the evening allows melatonin production to kick in again. Vitamin D, unlike other essential vitamins which must be obtained from food, can be synthesized in the skin by exposure to sunlight. So make an effort to get outside at this time of year even if only for 20-30 minutes at lunchtime.
These tips will give you all work towards a better mood and energy levels and a more positive you.