Make 2014 Healthy in More Ways Than One
The New Year is a perfect time to rekindle your love affair with a happier, healthier you. While every other health site will suggest to you the best gyms and the lowest of the low-cal recipes, I like to give you something you can’t get everywhere else. Here are three healthy New Year’s resolutions that aren’t about losing weight — as well as some D.C. area vendors to help you on the right track!
Improve your sleep
Sleep improves our immune system, our mental health and reduces stress levels. If you are trying to lose weight, getting enough sleep is an important part of that. We tend to think of sleep as unnecessary and push it aside in favor of “nobler” pursuits like work or errands, but enough good sleep is as necessary to our health as the right food. Take one night each week and turn in early, give yourself eight good hours of uninterrupted sleep. Turn off your phone, your TV and your computer, and make sure you get to sleep without alcohol or caffeine in your system.
If you need a new designated napping zone, try taking some of your Christmas money to the Lovesac store in Tysons Corner. Their furniture is cuddly incarnate.
Eat your veggies
Let not a single meal pass without a mouthful of veggies. Throw a piece of fruit in with breakfast, a bag of carrot sticks with lunch and steamed broccoli with dinner. Eat your fruit or veggies at the beginning of your meal to fill you up and make sure you don’t fill up on other things first.
One great way to make sure you get your veggies in is to spend good money on the best ones around at the beginning of the week. Spend some time at a farmers’ markets. You can find several D.C. area farmers’ markets and stock up. Veggies and fruits that may bore you on the grocery shelves will blow your mind with flavor and freshness straight from the farm.
See your doctors
If you’ve been putting off a teeth cleaning, a mammogram or a skin cancer screening, now’s a great time to start making those appointments. Talk to your general practitioner about what someone in your age group needs on a once or twice yearly basis. Prevention and early detection are some of the best weapons against many of the scariest health issues, so be proactive. Take a friend or a family member with you to make your appointment and resolve to get them to care more about their health, too!
If you need to find a good doctor or your current providers aren’t doing it for you, you’re in luck, NBC 4’s 21st annual Health and Fitness Expo will be held at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in D.C., Jan. 11-12. Bring a friend and enjoy the free screenings and educational opportunities.
Have a safe, healthy and happy holiday. Make merry and let’s make 2014 feel and look great!
Health editor, Tini Howard is a writer, aerialist and foodie from the East Coast.