4 Healthy Habits and Rituals for the New Year

by Dr. Melissa Carr, Dr. TCM

January 7, 2016

The small things you do regularly and frequently will have a greater impact on your life than most of those big things you do rarely. That’s why exercising at least a few times a week for even a short amount of time at a moderate level of activity will better impact your fitness and your health than a once a month guilt-ridden gladiator-style mad workout. Plus, the latter is more likely to leave you injured or at least in pain.

With the start of a new year, it’s a great time to add some fresh healthy habits to your regular routine. Whether you want to eat healthier, lose weight, start a new exercise program, read more, or watch less television, sticking to your resolutions can be a challenge. Before you get discouraged and throw in the towel, here are some small, healthy changes you can implement into to your daily rituals that will help make a big difference down the road.

1) Move more

Move moreMoving from couch potato to gym rat is not a realistic goal for most people. But that shouldn’t discourage you from adding a little more movement to your day. For example, ditch your computer during lunch and take a brisk walk outside. If the weather is not cooperating, walk around inside, climbing up and down the stairs. Beautiful sunny day? Leave the car at home and bike to work. The key to success is to increase the amount of movement you do, slowly and gradually.

2) Eat more fruits and vegetables

Eat more fruits and vegetablesIncluding more fruits and vegetables into your diet will not only save calories, but also add plenty of vitamins, minerals, fibre, and phytonutrients. There are literally thousands of delicious and healthy recipes you can find online, but here are some simple ways you can up your veg and fruit intake. Try adding blueberries to your morning oatmeal, include a yummy side salad with lunch, pack carrots or celery sticks for a healthy snack, choose vegetable soups more often, grab or make a smoothie or juice (no sugar added, freshly juiced), and roast some veggies for a tasty addition to any dinner (roasting them makes them taste sweeter).

3) Practice yoga or meditation

Practice yoga or meditationStress is linked to almost every major disease, so it’s important to take regular mental breaks. One way to see to that is by doing some yoga or meditation. Yoga and meditation can be intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. Join a friend to attend local classes or courses—new challenges are easier to face when you have a partner at your side. There are also tons of helpful books and websites explaining how to practice yoga poses and meditation techniques, and these can easily be done in your home or even at the office.

4) Take Japanese Red Reishi

Take Japanese Red ReishiLooking for a superfood that will help usher in a healthier new year? You might be surprised to know the answer comes from a 2000 year-old multivitamin. Known as "The Great Protector," Japanese red reishi mushroom has been used for centuries to promote health and wellbeing. This unique mushroom is one of the most scientifically studied supplements, offering a host of health benefits. Japanese red reishi has been shown to help support the immune system, promote better sleep, heal the liver, reduce allergies, calm the nervous system, and even treat cancer.
Plus, taking a daily capsule of high quality Japanese red reishi will help you feel more energized with fewer sick days, allowing you to actually make some ground on those other goals you have for your year.
Incorporating these healthy habits will not only make this year’s resolutions stick, but also help you embrace a positive change that will last a lifetime..

Dr. Melissa Carr is a registered Doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine with a B.Sc. in Kinesiology. In practice since 2001, Dr. Carr has a passion for sharing health information. She has been a nutrition instructor and a health consultant, lecturer, and writer for 24 Hours Vancouver newspaper, Fraser Health Authority, UBC, and the David Suzuki Foundation, amongst others. www.activetcm.com

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