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Get on track this New Year: top tips for a healthier 2014

SPRINGVILLE — This time of year, many people look back on the past and identify goals they want to achieve, in the year ahead. According to www.USA.gov, nearly half of the most popular New Year’s resolutions each year are health-related.

Here are a few wellness, eating and food shopping tips, to ease the transition to a healthier lifestyle in 2014 and beyond.

– Plan and prepare meals in advance. That will save time and help avoid grabbing takeout or snacking on unhealthy foods. Put aside a few hours per week to shop and prepare meals, for the upcoming week.

– Stock up on staples. Keep healthy essentials in the cupboards, like whole-wheat pasta, wraps or pitas, brown rice, canned beans and albacore tuna. Make sure to have nutritious snacks on hand, including vegetables, fruits, low-fat cheese and nuts.

– Avoid skipping breakfast. Breakfast kick-starts the body’s metabolism and provides the energy needed to tackle the day. Try healthy breakfast options like lean protein and high-fiber foods, including eggs or whole grains.

– Make a double batch. To save time, when cooking food items like chili, soup or sauce, make two batches and freeze the extra.

– Drink plenty of water. According to the Mayo Clinic, water flushes toxins out of vital organs, carries nutrients to cells and provides a moist environment for ear, nose and throat issues.

– Make sure to drink at least eight, 8-ounce glasses of fluid per day. Avoid carbonated, caffeinated or sugary drinks, whenever possible.

– Get up and get moving. Schedule at least 30 minutes of physical activity into each day. Use the stairs instead of the elevator, take walks during lunch breaks or try joining a gym.

– Take time out of each day to relax and de-stress. Read a book, take a bath or try a new healthy recipe. Making time to unwind decreases high blood pressure and fatigue, while improving energy levels and concentration.

– Be aware of health issues. Stroke is the third leading cause of death in the United States, and warning signs can go undetected.

Bertrand Chaffee Hospital has a number of programs to help with managing health issues, through diet, exercise and awareness. Find out more at www.betrandchaffeehospital.com.

The Mayo Clinic can be found at www.mayoclinic.com.


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