New -New Years Resolution: Make Daily Gaines
March is upon us and spring is almost here. As mother nature begins to awaken from her long winter’s nap, our 2017 New Year’s resolutions may seem like a distant memory. But hope springs eternal. Just like that new diet that we all intend to start on Monday, it’s not too late for a do-over…a brand new new-year’s resolution: Make Daily Gaines towards a healthier and happier in 2017.
So until scientists finally discover the mythical fountain of youth or a true magic pill, the key to health & wellness lies in our genetics and our lifestyle choices. Only the latter is within our control, that being our daily habits. Procrastination is the enemy of progress and ALL progress comes down to “Daily Gaines”. With that in mind, allow me to prescribe the following:
- Excercise – Athletic Gaines/Daily Gaines is predicated on the tremendous benefits of regular focused exercise. Exercise is perhaps the most powerful “drug” known to man. It’s benefits include improved energy, strength, stamina, mood, self-esteem, decreased stress & risk of fractures, lowered risk of obesity, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, heart disease, stroke, and diabetes…I could go on.
With the permission of your doctor, we favor weight training & high-intensity interval training as presented in Daily Gaines. Numerous studies show this to be more beneficial than endurance training. But a daily, 20-minute brisk walk is a great start.
- Eat…cleaner: Which vegetable is healthier?…kale or watercress?….it matters little if you don’t eat vegetables anyway. (watercress for you “type As”)
Low-fat diets are so 1980s…the new mantra is low carb emphasizing vegetables, protein, & healthy fats. Some “general rules of thumb”- Raw/simply cooked vegetables are good; processed foods/simple carbs…not so much. Lean protein is good. But limit red meat, animal fat & hard cheeses. Try to keep portions no bigger than the size of your fist.
- Drink…more water: our bodies are roughly 60% water. Even mild dehydration can negatively impact mood, energy, & metabolism. Proper hydration fights fatigue & headaches, improves metabolism, helps with weight loss & constipation, lowers the risk of certain cancers & heart disease…enough said. Exactly how much is debatable, but 4-6 (8 oz) glasses per day is a good goal.
- Sleep- the benefits are immense: improved memory & learning, lowered stress & blood pressure, reduced inflammation, longevity. How much you need varies by age, but for adults 7-9 hours per night seems optimal. Since quality is as important as quantity, stick to a bedtime regimen; avoid caffeine and staring at bright screens before bedtime.
- LAUGH- research shows that smiling/laughing (even forced), is an easy way to boost your mood, be healthier, decrease stress, and feel better; plus it’s contagious!
So in 2017 let’s resolve to eat, drink, sleep, exercise and be merry!
Every goal begins with Daily Gaines.
Director of Sports Medicine for Athletic Gaines and Contributor to Daily Gaines.