7 Ways to Start 2015 Healthy

The beginning of a new year is a great time to start fresh in relationships, business, and of course, health. Let the start to 2015 be the start to a healthier you! Here are some tips to consider as you make your new year’s resolutions.


1. Eliminate Inflammation

Chronic inflammation can be triggered by cellular stress and dysfunction, such as that caused by excessive calorie consumption, elevated blood sugar levels, and oxidative stress. It is now clear that the destructive capacity of chronic inflammation is unprecedented among physiologic processes.

There are several factors that lead to chronic inflammation, but one of the most prominent is overeating.

General dietary over-consumption is a major contributor to inflammation and other detrimental age-related processes in the modern world. Therefore, eating a calorie-restricted diet is an effective means of relieving physiologic stressors. Indeed, several studies show that calorie restriction provides powerful protection against inflammation (Ahmadi 2011; González 2012). For more information about the metabolic benefits of eating fewer calories, readers should refer to the caloric restriction protocol.

2. Don’t Tempt Yourself

Don’t go to the grocery store hungry and you will avoid the urges to get appetizing but unhealthy processed foods. CHI Health Clinical Dietitian Theresa Link says, “Set yourself up for success by keeping processed junk foods out of the house completely.” If the chips are on sale at the grocery store, keep walking. If you have a coupon for candy bars, throw it away. “If the food does not nourish your body, it is never a good deal,” she said.

3. Knock Out Stress In Exercise

Angry? Try kickboxing, boxing or the martial arts, said Melanie Peltz, operations director of Wellness Services. Bored? Spinning class, step aerobics or a new fitness DVD can provide good mood-busting exercises. Lonely? She suggested any group fitness class. Depressed? Try outdoor walking, biking or running. Stressed? Turn to mind-body exercises like yoga, Pilates or tai chi.

4. Cut Cortisol

It’s a hormone we release when we’re stressed. “An elevated level can increase cravings for sweets and carbs, which can then lead to overeating and constant hunger,” said Clinical Dietitian Linda Wilhelm. An elevated level also can cause a larger percentage of fat to be stored in the abdominal area. Then that causes more cortisol production, which means even more abdominal fat, she explained.

“Caffeine increases cortisol. So lay off caffeine-laden drinks, coffee, tea and even chocolate. And get anough sleep! When we don’t get adequate rest, cortisol levels rise, making us feel hungry and less satisfied with the food we do eat.”

5. Mix Up Your Routine

If you do the same exercises at the gym every time, your body will get overused.

“Make sure you do a variety, that you use the machines one day, you try free weights another day, you use body weight another day. It keeps you more engaged and it’s more entertaining because you’re not doing the same thing, it’s not as boring,” says Wahl.

6. Get Some Sleep

One of the best health tips for 2015 is that you get adequate sleep each night to reduce stress and fight fat. Getting sufficient rest periods every night and occasional naps will improve focus, memory and learning.

7. Laugh a Little

Maureen Ennis says she thinks people often take themselves too seriously. She describes herself as a perfectionist, but has learned to relax.

“You need to be able to brush off a mistake and know that you need to make mistakes to get better. We’re not supposed to be perfect.”

I think everyone would agree perfection is a hard goal to reach, especially when it comes to healthy living.