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Here’s to your health in 2009!

Well, its the beginning of a new year and I’m psyched…I’m always excited in the beginning of anything. Its trying to keep it going and actually finishing something that’s hard to do, for me, anyway.

It seems by all indications that the coming year will be one of the most challenging in a generation. Even more troubling, so many events seem so far beyond our influence that we get overwhelmed and give up before even starting. When it feels like we have no control over our own lives, that’s the time to really focus on the things that we can influence.

Where do we start?
That’s easy…ourselves, and in particular, our health.

Since it is the beginning of a new year, one of our most powerful opportunities is starting over, and after years of setting and failing to keep our resolutions, even tho’ you may think you’ve got problems with disciplining yourself, its much more likely that your aren’t completely clear on what means the most to you.

So grab a pen and make a list of those things that mean the most to you, if they need changing or not, and get a plan going. Make it clear, concise, and simply detailed so nothing can stop you from reaching your goals. Try not to set them too high or you might be setting yourself up for disaster. Just start small, and increase by tiny increments so it won’t be that difficult to keep going.

I found some really great health tips that will help you feel fit and boost your confidence in keeping to your goals.

1. Help boost your fitness with ‘good foods’.
By now, we’ve all heard about “good cholesterol” and “bad cholesterol”. HDL being the “good” that helps reduce the risk of heart disease and limits damage of LDL “bad cholesterol”. To help boost your HDL try a diet high in monounsaturated fats like: olive oil, nuts, avocados and olives. Try pine bark extract also known as pycnogenol as it can lower blood glucose levels, and blood pressure and LDL cholesterol, its also an antioxidant. Don’t forget to add 2/3 cup of fresh berries daily, try it for at least two months ( a Finnish study showed that this help raise HDL and reduces high blood pressure). Also add some grape juice to your diet and it can improve blood flow and lower blood pressure. Grapeseed extract can help to lower cholesterol too. For more energy, try adding whole grains to your diet and how about some chia seeds…Oprah says they’re great! (www.jorgecruise.com, suggested by Dr. Oz)

2. Keep on Moving!
Even if you have to sit at a desk all day, try little exercises that keep you moving when you have a minute. Try neck rolls, arm rotations, leg lifts (also help abs), and foot and ankle rolls. Anything to keep your blood flowing and body pumping! Regular exercise, even if its non-strenuous, can help get you out of a rut and increase metabolism and energy levels. Exercising acts directly on the central nervous system to increase energy and reduce fatigue, while benefiting almost all parts of you, physically, emotionally and spiritually.

3. Try Swimming!
Its been studied and found that low-impact water exercises can ease pain and improve overall health, especially people with hip, knee or joint problems, people with osteoarthritis or back pain. Exercising in water can strengthen and stretch while lightening the body-weight load on joints. Plus, anything in water is more fun!

4. Boost your Metabolism by Sweating!
It’s been said that over 24% of Americans are dealing with metabolic problems that can increase their risk for coronary heart disease and many others. Fast & quick bursts of high intensity exercises, as opposed to longer, moderate exercise, can help reverse metabolic syndrome (per a recent Norwegian study). But before you go for it please consult your doctor before changing your workout and the American Heart Association recommends 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise most days of the week for metabaolic syndrome sufferers.

5. Feeling Depressed?
It’s also been said that low levels of vitamin D (the “sunshine vitamin”) can make you feel down or depressed. Plus, adequate levels of vitamin D are also absolutely vital for calcium absorption and bone health. You can add these foods to your diet to help as well: Omega-3 fatty acids from foods like, salmon, walnuts, flaxseed, scallpos and cod liver oil too. So, don’t forget your vitamin D, your omega-3’s and believe it or not join a social network like Facebook or Linked-In or something of the like. A new study shows that people we don’t even know can make us happier. Happiness is “catching” and most people are influenced by the moods of those around us, we can spread happiness to everyone………like a virus!!! (Only a really good one 🙂

Thanks for reading and I hope you all have a wonderful, peaceful and prosperous new year!

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