As a new year dawns, and the excesses of the festive season are curbed for another year, many of us begin to contemplate what lies ahead: will we achieve the goals this year that eluded us in the past? And what about that hopeful New Year’s resolution made minutes before the bells – will it lodge in our minds and refuse to budge, or will it be shelved away like a battered box of Christmas decorations?
New Year, Same Old Goals
Of course, not everyone bothers to set a New Year’s resolution, but for those that do, pledges generally fall into three categories: career, personal life, health. In simple terms, we want to succeed: win that promotion, strengthen ties with our loved ones, get fitter than ever before (or at least shed the poundage accrued from one too many mince pie binges).
When it Comes to Health, Knowledge is Power
At Water for Health, we’ve naturally been thinking of health-related New Year’s resolutions. What can you do in 2017 to change your health for the better? And not in general terms either, but what specifically will ensure the optimum functioning of your immune and digestive systems, your cardiovascular and neurological health?
We are, after all, in possession of the greatest sum of human knowledge in history. Every day we walk around with smartphones in our pockets, and browsing the web is akin to surfing a tidal wave of information. The take-home point is that we are now better informed about nutrition, exercise, water and medication than we’ve ever been. Making sensible, scientifically-backed decisions about our health has never been easier.
Our Top 5 Healthy New Year’s Resolutions
We’ve generated several healthy New Year’s resolutions that are sure to have a positive impact. Stick to these principles, or at least avoid straying too far from the track, and you’ll enjoy a prosperous 2017. Not only will you feel fresher and fitter, but your internal health will scale new heights. Are you ready? Then let’s do this.
1) Drink More and Better Water
Let’s face it, most of us could do with drinking more water. It seems that these days the favoured form of hydration is coffee, which is of course highly acidic. This year, make a point of cutting back caffeine and sipping water from morning till night. The common recommendation is eight to ten glasses per day, but there’s no drawbacks to drinking more. Every cell in the body needs water to function properly; adequate hydration improves mood, aids digestion, eliminates toxins, promotes healthy skin and even helps with weight loss.
Will any old tap water do? Well, it’ll certainly hydrate, but the presence of harmful hormones, heavy metals and other contaminants means it’s difficult to recommend. The best bet is to drink structured alkaline water, also known as hydrogen-rich water. Alkaline ionised water has a higher pH level than regular drinking water, thus helping to neutralise acids in the body and reduce the likelihood of contracting disease. Certain alkaline products, such as the Energy Plus Water Filter, can even remove contaminants like fluoride and lead, as well as bacteria and viruses, that crop up in regular tap water. Switching to alkaline water is one of the most healthy New Year's resolutions you could make.
2) Eat More Greens
It’s safe to say we’re in the middle of a Green Food Revolution, but if you’re late to the party, don’t worry: it’s not too late to start reaping the benefits. Greens are high in dietary fibre and folic acid, fantastic sources of vitamin C, potassium, iron and calcium, and they’ve even been shown to lower the risk of cardiovascular disease by 11%. What’s more, they are packed with powerful antioxidants which help to fight cancer.
If you struggle to hit your five-a-day, consider using a greens supplement such as Field of Greens: one scoop is equal to three to four servings of vegetables!
3) Prioritise a Good Night’s Sleep
This is an oldie but a goodie – more shuteye! Just how much sleep you need is open to debate, but the NHS recommend six to nine hours a night. Of more importance, perhaps, is maintaining a consistent schedule – going to bed and waking at the same time. If you’re accustomed to fighting lethargy throughout the working day, chances are your sleeping pattern is out of whack; and you should waste no time in rectifying it. After all, insufficient sleep is associated with a multitude of chronic diseases and conditions.
4) Cut Down on Sugar
It’s a fact – most of us eat too much sugar. Worse still, we westerners are partial to the kind of high-calorie, free-sugar foods that increase our risk of developing heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Do yourself a favour in 2017 and derive the majority of your calories from starchy foods and fruit and vegetables. Your dentist will be pleased, too.
5) Adopt a Positive Mindset
In a recent newsletter, we asked ‘Can positive thinking really improve your health?’ And though studies into the topic continue, we thought it worth pointing out that prolonged high levels of stress stimulate the production of biochemicals which can adversely affect the body’s pH balance. Of course, emotional health is inextricably linked with physical health. Our bodies react to how we think and feel. Consider crying as one example: the process is soothing because stress hormones leave the body in the form of tears.
Work on fostering a constructive attitude – count your blessings, keep your stress levels in check and make a conscious effort to purge negative emotions. Tuning your mind to a positive frequency will enhance the feel-good factor and put you in a better position to combat unexpected or unwanted changes, whether it be in a professional, personal or health capacity.
Add these healthy New Year’s resolutions to your list and keep them in mind as you set about making 2017 your best year yet. We wish you all the luck in the world, but remember: you’re in charge. You determine your destiny. You have the power.