Posts for: December, 2012
As we move past the holidays of the winter season and towards the start of the new year, it's time to think about your goals for health and wellness in 2013. It is a great idea to set a goal for yourself, whether it's related to your diet, weight-loss, stopping or starting certain activities, or just a simple goal to be kind. Making New Year's resolutions are very common, but far too often they are not kept for much more than a few weeks at best due to lack of planning and support. As talked about in our bi-monthly newsletter To Your Health, there are a few things you can do to help keep your New Year's resolutions going throughout the year and thereby introduce positive change into your life.
1) First, when you set a goal, think about the actual steps that are necessary to achieve it and plan out what you will need to do and when. If your goal is excercise then think, "When will I work out?", "How long?", "What types of excercise would benefit me most?" Planning ahead helps keep you on track by fitting your goal into your daily schedule, which is where most problems arise.
2) Secondly, once you have thought out your plans, recruit people to help keep you on track. Often, on those days that you may become lazy, all it takes is the thought of others supporting you or encouraging you to get you off the couch or keep you from eating that extra desert. Telling friends or family about your goal not only helps you think things through, but it may motivate them to design a plan themselves! Teaming up with someone else with a similar or the same goal is a great way to keep each other on track.
3) Lastly, you need to choose something that is reasonable and take small steps toward a larger goal. Often people will bite off more then they can chew and become discouraged quickly when they don't see results or things get tough. If you want to lose weight, eat less sugar, improve your mental health, workout 5 times a week, cut out alcohol, learn a new language and stop smoking, its not smart to do all of these things simultaneously. It is a process to move into a new diet and workout regimen, and quitting an addiction can also be quite stressful. Often people that try to do too much too fast will crash and burn before they even get off the ground. Remember that you are not a star athlete and can't necessarily jump into the latest workout craze or strict dietary regimen without first working your body up to that point. If you want to work out 3-4 days a week start out with only 1-2 days at the gym and build up to your goal. This will prevent injury and stress, and prevent you from just simply giving up.
Take this time now between the holidays and the New Year to come up with your goals and begin to plan out your strategy with your friends and family. Remember that your chiropractor can help you with planning out appropriate for you. He or she can give you insight into specific excercises, dietary ideas, and help you set achievable goals. Seeing a chiropractor will help keep your body and mind ready and able to tackle whatever your New Years resolution might be! So dont let the little things in life prevent you from achieving your goal- now is the time to act and make that change to add further enlightenment and joy to your life!
It is common for people to feel tired and sluggish as fall fades and winter takes over. This increased fatigue is associated with a few factors that relate to the decreased amount of sunlight as well as the temperature of the season. Sunlight effects the body's production of certain chemicals in the brain, specifically serotonin, which is what regulates our mood and pleasure centers. When this hormone isn't being produced properly as a result of shorter days and less time outside people tend to feel more depressed. Sunlight on skin also stimulates the production of Vitamin D, which is involved in many bodily functions from energy production to increasing your ability to fight a cold. Getting proper amounts of vitamin D could be the difference between getting that cold or flu and staying healthy through the holidays.
The third factor contributing to the "winter blues" is lack of excercise/activity. When it gets cold outside people tend to not go outside and play sports or do activities that are normal during warmer seasons. Increasing your time outside during daylight hours doing physical activity such as playing catch or building a snowman will help prevent seasonal depression or fatigue. If you can't find the time to go outside or it's too cold to expose much of your skin to the sun you can try going to a tanning bed and getting UVB light that way (Always consult with your doctor for specifications and instructions before starting a tanning plan). You can also get special lights in your home that produce appropriate UV levels to stimulate neurotransmitters and vitamin D production if you are unable to travel or be outside. Whichever way you choose to, get some light this winter and if you're able- get outside and enjoy nature! Doing so will help you stay happy, healthy, and start your new year off in good spirits!
1. Vitamin D effects on energy production (Click Here)
2. Vitamin D effects on immune system (The Physicians Desk Reference. 2006 Thompson Healthcare and Click Here)