Maximizing physical health in the new year

It’s officially 2021 and everyone is wishing this year will be better than the last. Treating your body with the respect it needs is one way to ensure a happy lifestyle that can continue throughout the upcoming year. Four of the most noticeable changes you can make to increase your health include making changes to your diet, exercise, hydration, and sun exposure.

Diet

Empty calories can easily make a body feel lacking in energy or feelings of being full. Photo by Lisa Fotios from Pexels

Diet is a scary word that makes an appearance around this time every year. However, it is best not to think of dieting as way to completely reinvent your lifestyle, but as a way to make subtle changes to improve the lifestyle you already have.

  • Losing weight

The best way to start making changes begin with understanding that only ever eating complicated low calorie meals will not help you lose weight. Restricting the amount of food you need and the foods you love will only lead to burning out your goals.

Instead, set a very reasonable calorie intake goal. Consuming 500 calories less than needed for daily functions will result in the recommended amount of weight loss of 1 pound per week.

Moderately ActiveActive
Men2,100 calories2,300-2,500 calories
Women1,500 calories 1,700 calories
Recommended calorie intake for weight loss [Source: Healthline]

It is extremely important to be aware that your current BMI (body mass index), BMR (basal metabolic rate), activity level, and age can result in a different recommended calorie intake than the more broad spectrum listed in the table above. Remember that these numbers are calculated through averages and does not take into consideration activity differences (athlete vs someone stationary) or other physical differences.

  • Maintaining Weight

When your body is already healthy, gaining or losing weight may not be necessary. However, it is important to make sure you eat the suggested amount of calories to maintain your weight.

Moderately ActiveActive
Men2,500 calories2,700-3,000 calories
Women2,000 calories2,200 calories
Recommended calorie intake for weight maintenance [Source: Healthline]

Once again calorie counts may vary due to your personal statistics.

  • Gaining Weight

Most people don’t realize how dangerous being underweight can be. Extremely thin body types are normalized by society and often encouraged.

Side effects may include hair loss, anemia, tooth decay, and lowered immune systems. Whether caused by high metabolism, mental illness, or family genetic history gaining weight may be difficult, but could be the difference between life and death.

Moderately ActiveActive
Men3,000 calories3,200 calories
Women2,400 calories2,600 calories
Recommended calorie intake for weight gain [Source: MedicalNewsToday]

In the new year commit to larger portions, daily snacks, and avoid empty calorie foods.

If you’re interested in learning the exact number of calories you need to consume to gain, maintain, or lose weight visit calorie calculator.


Exercise

Just like dieting exercise can be a scary thought. Especially during the new year, many people make goals that they will never follow through with. To break this seemingly endless cycle attempt to start small, and fit designated times into your schedule.

A little exercise is better than nothing. In fact, adding just modest amounts of physical activity to your weekly routine can have a profound effect on your mental and emotional health.

[Quote Source: Helpguide.org]
Free workout routine from YouTuber Koboko Fitness

There are numerous free workout programs on the internet containing beginning, intermediate, and challenging routines. Creators on sites like YouTube upload new and exciting videos every week that can cater to your schedule and dedication.

Lastly, stay open minded. Tremendous results are not going to happen in a week. Getting discouraged will only cause self doubt and desire to quit.


Hydration

Hydration is essential since it functions your heart, clears out waste, and protects the body from illness. Dehydration is a common issue caused from insufficient water intake and excessive sweating. Side effects may include fatigue, severe kidney damage, cardiovascular disease, skin abnormalities, and increased wrinkling.

[Photo Source: Waterlogic]

Keeping in mind that the body acquires 20 percent of needed water through food. The female body needs 2.7 liters (91.30 ounces) daily to operate healthily and the average man needs 3.7 liters (125.11 ounces.)

Drinking water can even aide weight loss.

It is 100% calorie-free, helps you burn more calories and may even suppress your appetite if consumed before meals.

[Quote Source: Healthline]

Sun Exposure

Your body needs sunlight to maintain strong bones, strengthen immune systems, and prevent cancers including: colon and pancreatic.

A moderate amount of sunlight actually has preventive benefits when it comes to cancer.

[Quote Source: Healthline]

Without sun exposer your body can become vitamin D deficient which results in many fatal health conditions including: heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes.

[Photo Source: Harvard Health]

While it is crucial to receive sun exposure too much sunlight can cause skin cancer, wrinkles, and blotched skin. This is why dermatologists recommend you to wear sunscreens of at least SPF 30 when going out in the sun.


2021 is officially here and what better time to start improving your physical health than the first month of the new year? Consider making these helpful changes for an overall healthy lifestyle.

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