Dental health is something we at ThirtyTwo Dental promote on a daily basis. But, we get so focused on teeth and gums that sometimes we forget to step back and look at the big picture. As health professionals, I feel it’s crucial that we also communicate and promote the importance of overall health, not just dental health. This week’s blog, written by Anna Morris, a trainer at Body By Bennett, shifts our focus from teeth to overall health and wellness.
The temperature is still cold, and there is snow on the ground that just won’t melt. It’s easy to see how winter blues can set in, especially when you’re ready for spring already! If you are feeling a little cooped up or run down, here are four simple ideas to add to your daily routine that can help to quickly turn things around and improve your mood.
1. Drink More Water.
As the most abundant compound on earth and within the body, water is the median in which all other nutrients reside. Water is the most important macronutrient for sustaining life. We are made up of at least 60% water, and it’s integral for proper circulation, healing, digestion, absorption, and elimination. Drinking adequate water is important for healthy weight maintenance, athletic performance, and youthful looking skin and hair. Recommendations for water consumption depend on your size, activity level, and the environmental temperature, but between 1.5-2L/day is what an average adult should strive for. Try to space your water consumption throughout the day, beginning the day with 1-2 cups upon waking up. Drinking a large amount of water with your meal isn’t ideal because it can dilute digestive enzymes and slow digestion, so it is preferable to drink one hour before and after a meal. The first change I make to most clients’ diets is to add more water daily. If you have access to clean drinking water, consider yourself lucky and drink up!
2. Start Resistance Training.
I cannot emphasize enough how life-changing this can be to people. There are so many benefits to resistance training, the most obvious of which are increased strength and functionality, improved posture, and better bone density (which is associated with decreased osteoporosis and fractures due to falls). Holding more lean tissue on your body also means a healthier body composition (more muscle, less fat) and faster basal metabolic rate (the ability to burn more calories at rest). I have also observed in my clients (and myself) a huge boost in confidence and independence. Regularly moving your body and breaking a sweat is also a great way to relieve stress.
3. Eat Your Vegetables.
I know it’s a struggle to eat nutritious foods. There are SO MANY different types of diets out there and a lot of conflicting information to sift through. One thing that pretty much all dieticians and nutritionists agree on is the importance of vegetables in a healthy diet. Vegetables are primarily made of carbohydrates, contain small amounts of protein and fat, and are packed with vitamins. They are a great source of fibre, which contributes to regularity and may protect against gastrointestinal disease and colon cancer. The way you prepare your veggies will affect the vitamin content. In order to get the most out of your veggies, eat them raw or lightly steamed. Since most vitamins are water-soluble, boiling veggies will result in a loss of vitamins into the water. Frozen veggies can also retain more vitamins than canned vegetables. A great way to get the best quality and variety of vegetables is to eat seasonable vegetables that are fresh and locally grown throughout the year.
4. Keep a gratitude journal.
Start taking stock of what you are grateful for in your life. Take 5 minutes of your day or week to list things /people you are thankful to have in your life. I know it sounds cheesy, but even listing 1-2 things about your day that “didn’t suck” can go a long towards improving a bad mood.
For more information on personal or group training, go to www.b3trainers.com or contact Anna directly for specific health/fitness questions at firstname.lastname@example.org.