Doctors Talk: 5 Easy Steps to Start a Healthier, Happier New Year By Dr. Korakod Panich (M.D.), Herbalife Nutrition Advisory Board (NAB) Member

Food and Healthcare Press Releases Friday February 1, 2019 15:23
Bangkok--1 Feb--Francom Asia

We welcome 2019 with joy, after having celebrated the long holidays having fun, relaxing and recovering from cumulative stress from the past year. However, we must keep in mind that the best New Year gift we can give ourselves is good health. Here are some easy tips that could help you achieve your well-being goals.

When we feel no aches and pains, do not suffer from any ailments, or are physically able to perform our daily tasks efficiently, we tend to take our health for granted. With our busy lives and demanding daily schedules, we end up with inadequate sleep, unbalanced nutrition, insufficient hydration, irregular elimination, no time to work out, etc.

I would like to emphasize the importance of a healthy and active lifestyle to become healthier and happier for the years to come. Start with these five basic steps to start the year right:
1. Get enough rest

Getting enough rest is the first important thing for you to keep in mind. It is needed to help you recover from fatigue, relieve pains, balance body systems, relieve stress and fight free radicals that can reduce the risk factors of non-communicable diseases (NCD) and cancer. Rest can also strengthen your immunity system to maximize your body's efficiency. Getting 6 to 8 hours of good quality sleep is really essential. According to a study on insomnia , difficulties initiating and maintaining sleep and having a feeling of nonrestorative sleep are associated with a moderate increase in risk of Acute Myocardial Infarction (AMI). The ratio for AMI was 1.30 (1.01-1.68) for those with difficulties maintaining sleep almost every night. Insomnia affects not only the heart, but also the muscles and bones. Research on poor quality sleep and sleeping late shows that sleep deprivation has detrimental metabolic consequences. Osteopenia (low bone density), and sarcopenia (degenerative loss of skeletal muscle mass) usually occur together and increase the risk of fractures and diseases. Those who exercise to build muscles should also be aware of their sleep conditions too.

2. Choose a healthy and balanced diet

According to Herbalife Global Nutrition philosophy, a healthy, balanced diet should consist of 40% carbohydrates, 30% protein and 30% healthy fats to fuel your body. It is highly recommended to consume a reasonable amount of balanced-nutrition foods and to follow the recommended daily intake (RDI) for the right balance. This can help prevent excessive fat accumulation which can lead to obesity. If it becomes too challenging for you to have healthy balanced meals all the time or to meet the RDI, a good option would be to take some supplements and high quality protein shakes containing the right nutrition for your body. Be sure to get enough of the different food groups you need to stay healthy in order to help avoid pesticide residue.

3. Work out and exercise

Working out and exercising bring many benefits, such as improving your strength, burning calories and fat, and boosting your immune system. You can start a workout and exercise routine with push-ups, sit-ups and squats in your bedroom. Or if you love the outdoors, you can go for a run in the morning, which is also good for your heart. If you have the discipline and determination to work out regularly and eat healthy food, a six-pack ab can come as a wonderful gift! I also recommend a 360-degree core strength workout to achieve a stronger, more balanced core that can lower back pain, help in recovery from injury and increase over-all fitness.

*It is highly recommended that you consult your physician before you start any exercise program.
4. Drink lots of water

To be healthy, drinking a minimum of 6 to 8 glasses of water a day can help improve the circulation of blood in your body. Over 70% of the human body is water needed to transport nutrients, help eliminate waste, keep blood circulating, keep cells healthy and nourish the skin. Health enthusiasts who exercise more than 1 hour a day can consume an enhanced hydration drink during and after a workout to replace lost fluids and minerals.

5. Eliminate

Removing waste products from your body is a very important step. When we digest food, waste products are constantly being produced by the body and must therefore be excreted. And my recommendation is to train yourself to have regular bowel movements, consume high-fiber foods or supplements containing fiber, exercise daily and drink lots of water all throughout the day. You will feel the benefits of a healthy stomach and develop a flatter tummy!

If you can strictly follow these 5 steps, I believe that you will find yourself healthier and happier, maybe soon, you can appreciate your six-pack which would make a great present to yourself this year.
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