4 Easy, Healthy Ways To Take Care of Your Body In 2014

Eating better and exercising more are on most people’s lists of New Year’s resolutions. However, setting such broad goals often leads to failed “diets” and abandoned exercise plans. You’re much more likely to succeed if you take small steps to improve your health. Try these simple changes to take care of your body and enjoy better wellness in 2014.

Eat More Plants

Research shows that people who eat diets high in whole, fresh plant foods—including leafy green vegetables, starchy vegetables and fruits—are healthier than those who don’t. Plants provide a wide spectrum of vitamins and minerals as well as fiber and important health-promoting compounds known as phytonutrients that aren’t found in animal-based foods. Phytonutrients protect the body against everything from heart disease to cancer and work best when consumed in whole food forms.

Try High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

One of the most effective forms of exercise for increasing muscle and reducing fat, high intensity interval training involves working out at your peak heart rate for at least a minute followed by a lower intensity “recovery” period. These cardio bursts improve your body’s ability to utilize carbohydrates for energy as you exercise and burn fat when your workout is over. HIIT also stimulates the release of “feel good” chemicals calls endorphins, so you experience a positive boost in mood that makes your workout feel all the more worth the effort.

Keep Your Mouth Clean

You already know that regular brushing and flossing keeps your teeth healthy. Did you know that it can also lower your risk for other diseases such as heart disease and diabetes? The prevailing theory surrounding this phenomenon hinges on inflammation. When you don’t take care of your mouth, bacteria can build up, causing painful swelling in the gums. This inflammation can inhibit blood flow, potentially raising blood pressure and increasing the likelihood of arterial plaques detaching from blood vessel walls. The same inflammation also interferes with the body’s ability to adequately use insulin which may lead to higher blood sugar and increased resistance to insulin action at a cellular level. If you have more questions about your teeth, you can ask Southridge Dental, or find your local dentist.

Get More Sleep

Your body needs adequate sleep every night in order to rest and repair from the rigors of the day. More sleep means fewer stress hormones, so you’ll be calmer and more focused in the morning. Getting enough sleep also lowers your risk of both obesity and diabetes, since being well-rested ensures proper levels of the hormones that control hunger and satiety.