Seven intentions for better health in 2020
By Wendy M. Henrichs
Board Certified Chiropractic Pediatrician and Nutrition Counselor
I am not a fan of New Year’s Resolutions. You go gung-ho for a month or two with the resolutions made to exercise more, eat better, etc. and then something happens and your exercise drops off, you make more unhealthy choices and the strength gained and inches lost slowly disappear. Will 2020 be a different story for you? You can start today and transform your health and your life. The choices you make in what you eat, how much you move and how you think determine how your genes are expressed. Will your choices move you toward obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, IBS, fibromyalgia, or other inflammatory and degenerative conditions? Or, will you reclaim your health through the choices you make?
The formula for weight management, more energy, better mental focus and overall improved well being is not complicated. If your intention is better health in 2020, try these strategies for success.
Take one day at a time: If you want to exercise more regularly, it is easier for your brain to register “I will exercise today” versus “I want to exercise five days a week for the next month.” You can use this strategy for anything you want to achieve. When you wake up each day state what you will do today not what you want to do.
Move every day: The human body is designed to move. Movement does many things including increasing metabolism, decreasing stress hormones, improving immune function, improving mental focus by stimulating the brain, aiding concentration and memory, decreasing pain, providing better sleep and an improved mood. Daily movement does not have to be a 60-minute cardio and weight training workout. Movement can be a walk over lunch, taking 10 minutes to stretch and breathe at work, or 15 minutes of yoga before bed. You should still strive for 150 minutes or more of exercise each week that includes weight training. Decide to do some form of movement each day and use the “one day at a time” strategy.
Eat organic vegetables and fruit: Vegetables and fruit are high in antioxidants, phytonutrients and fiber. They fill you up and are low in calories. The nutrients in fruits and veggies will give you quick as well as sustained energy. Choose organic fruits and vegetables as much as possible to control the amount of toxins your body must handle. Toxins damage your gut and other tissues, rob you of energy and decrease your overall level of health over time. Visit www.ewg.org for the list of the Clean 15 and Dirty Dozen. Two-thirds to three-quarters of your plate at every meal should be vegetables. Include a fruit or vegetable with every snack. Work at eating all the colors every day. You can also add a whole food powder like Dynamic Fruits and Greens to get more organic fruit and veggie nutrients.
Eliminate added sugar: The average American consumes 160 pounds or more of sugar every year. Yikes!!! Sugar makes you fat. It is highly addictive. Sugar causes inflammation leading to pain, obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, neurodegenerative diseases, inflammatory bowel disease, brain fog and fatigue to name a few. Take one day at a time in eliminating added sugar. Eating whole, unprocessed foods is a good start. Anything in a box or a package likely has added sugar.
Hydrate: Water is essential for every cellular function. Drinking water increases your metabolism, increasing your energy and ability to burn fat. Drinking water will improve your mental focus, memory and concentration. Work at drinking half of your body weight in ounces of water every day.
Consume good fats every day: Omega 3 fats are essential for normal brain and nervous system function. Eating a wide variety of good fats such as olive oil, coconut oil, grass-fed organic butter and avocado oil provide the building blocks for our cell membranes and nervous system tissue. Omega 3 fats are anti-inflammatory. They are found in wild caught fish, grass fed and wild game, and free range (roaming the barnyard) poultry and leafy green vegetables. Consuming omega 3 fats daily will lead to improved memory, better concentration, decreased pain and inflammation. Consuming omega 3 fats will also decrease your risk for cardiovascular disease and neurodegenerative diseases. The recommend minimum amount of EPA and DHA to supplement is 1500 mg daily.
Turn off technology: Technology is a wonderful advantage for learning and communication. It can unfortunately also add stress to your life. Take a day off from technology once a week or put limits on your smart phone and tablet on the amount of time you and your children spend on devices.
In 2020 use these intentions to make a daily commitment to improve your health and wellbeing. Remember that every day is a new opportunity to reclaim your health.
Dr. Wendy Henrichs is a board certified chiropractor and nutrition counselor at Timber Land Chiropractic in Rhinelander. For a complimentary chiropractic, nutrition or lifestyle counseling consultation, visit TimberlandChiropractic.com, Facebook, or call 715-362-4852.