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  • Hip, Hop to Health in 2012!

    Annet KingIf you are like the majority of the global population, one of your resolutions is to be healthier in 2012. You can’t escape the “get healthy” message with governments encouraging us to take more responsibility, and now with over 38 hospitals in the U.S offering complimentary alternative medicine programs like massage and acupuncture to patients, even the medical community has woken up to the notion that “wellbeing” can’t be found in a pill! So whether it’s rock climber strength, a hip hop dancer’s moves, or, like a third of resolvers, overall weight loss that you seek, now is the time to establish a new mindset and some healthful habits.

    Here are a few basic tips:

    • Drink: Water flushes toxins out of vital organs and carries nutrients to your cells. Even mild dehydration can drain your energy and make you tired. The Institute of Medicine determined that adequate intake for men is roughly 3 liters (about 13 cups) a day. For women it’s 2.2 liters (about 9 cups) a day. If you’re in humid environments, you exercise, breastfeed, or drink caffeinated beverages, your water intake needs be increased.

    • Keep it clean: The most successful diets are those that are not too restrictive and complicated. Maintain a balance between calorie intake and calorie expenditure. I’m a big fan of the “eat clean” rule of no pre-packaged, sodium or sugar packed, reconstituted food – if it doesn’t come from nature, don’t eat or drink it!

    • Eat: To optimize metabolism and energy do NOT skip meals, and your mom was right about breakfast being the most important! Fruit, vegetables, grains, and legumes (foods high in complex carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins and minerals, low in fat, and free of cholesterol) should make up the bulk of the calories you consume. The rest should come from low-fat dairy products, lean meat, poultry, and fish.

    • Unwind: The stress, sleep and weight relationship is strongly connected. Build in stress relieving treatments, exercise and stress reduction techniques into your daily routine. Taking even just five minutes a day to focus on your breathing and clear your mind really helps!

    • Move: Find what exercise discipline works for you, from hiking with Fido to joining a roller derby team to tap dancing your way to the top – you won’t do it unless you like it! Fun and enjoyment can be found together while breaking a sweat.