As we enter a new year, you may be creating (and hopefully maintaining) some new year’s resolutions. For many, these resolutions are often centered around losing weight, eating better, and taking steps toward a more stress-free lifestyle. However, after the whirlwind of a year that 2020 was for all of us, you may be adding “healing” to your 2021 to-do list. With COVID-19 still a growing concern for public health, these steps toward better health and healing are more important than ever before, and we are here to give you some tips and tricks to achieving that healing while establishing a healthy diet, lifestyle, and immune system!
A Well-Balanced Diet
Establish a stronger body and immune system this year by eating a well-balanced diet with plenty of whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and legumes. These foods are rich in nutrients that will decrease inflammation and keep your digestive tract healthy, which in turn will help boost your immune system as it relies heavily on a healthy gut. Making smart, healthy decisions in your diet can also help combat mood disorders such as depression. Pick colorful foods with plenty of antioxidants such as vibrant peppers, oranges, leafy greens, carrots, and strawberries.
Limit your intake of sugar and refined carbs as these can significantly contribute to the development of obesity, cardiovascular diseases, and diabetes which also suppresses your immune system. Read the labels of your food products to ensure you are eating real ingredients that contain less salt and sugar.
Consider upping your intake of probiotics; these are foods that contain healthy bacteria. Common probiotics include fermented foods such as yogurt and kimchi. If fermented foods don’t make your menu, you can also consider probiotic supplements as another option.
Relieve Stress and Boost Immune Support with Regular Exercise
Moderate daily exercise is not only a great way to improve your mood, but it is also a great way to reduce inflammation and promote healthy cell turnover, which improves your immune system’s response. It is also a great method of stress relief and can lower your risk for heart disease.
Aim for 30-60 minutes of exercise a day throughout the week. It doesn’t have to be intensive; the most important part is to move your body and stay active! Walking, swimming, biking, and hiking are all great options. Remember, the key to exercise in moderation. Listen to your body and adjust accordingly.
Want an extra dose of vitamin D to improve your mood? Take your workout outdoors for a change of scenery and some fresh air!
Get a Great Night’s Sleep
Sleep allows your body to rest and restore itself to prepare for the day ahead. Inadequate amounts of sleep can lead to a weakened immune system leaving you more susceptible to sickness, irritability, decreased functionality of many-body systems, and a decreased quality of life. Adults should aim for at least 7 hours of sleep every night, while teenagers need around 8-10 hours and younger children up to 14 hours. For better sleep, we recommend sticking to a regular sleep schedule and avoiding caffeine and electronics at least an hour before bed. Adding dark curtains to block out light and lowering the temperature can also help you achieve a good night’s rest.
Stress Management Exercises
Although you can’t avoid stress in life, you can adopt healthy strategies and methods to manage your stress levels better, which in turn can help you achieve that mental clarity and healing you seek. Stress, mental health, and your immune system are intricately linked as stress can overwhelm and weaken your body’s defenses. Exercising, meditation, breathing exercises, and yoga are great practices that can help you reduce your stress levels. Lower stress levels will help keep your immune system well balanced and functioning properly, and will also help you feel better overall. When you feel overwhelmed, it is best to take time to unwind.
As you continue to pursue a healthier lifestyle and healing this year, take these tips into consideration. Know that you are not alone in your journey to healing this year, and seek help if you are struggling with your physical, emotional, or mental health. For more information or assistance with maintaining your health goals, contact MetroWellness today.