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It’s a new year, and with a new year comes those ambitious New Years resolutions. In  the first week of January, we have heard a lot of New Years resolutions from clients- to run a marathon, to eat healthy, to exercise three times a week- whatever it may be the majority of resolutions seem to follow a similar theme… To Get Healthy.

And we think that is great!

Research has shown that little steps in your physical fitness, or changes in your diet dramatically contribute to leading a healthier life. Small changes can have BIG results.

Don’t believe us?

–       Research shows that walking 10 minutes a day decreases the risk of heart attack by 50%.
–       Adding fish to your diet once a week helps lower cholesterol levels in your body.
–       Wearing sunscreen every day decreases your risk of developing skin cancer by 80%.
–       Daily weight bearing activity substantially decreases your rate of bone loss and thus your risk of developing osteoporosis.
–       Within 2 weeks of quitting smoking your blood circulation improves, and your lung capacity increases.
–       Being active for 30 minutes a day decreases your risk of developing type 2 diabetes and cuts your risk of developing certain cancers by 50%.

One of the goals at ALPHA Health Services is to help people engage in an active and healthy lifestyle. Our clients value their physicality, and we work hard to keep them injury free and able to continue to enjoy the activities in their life. Here are 5 tips to start that New Years resolution of general health. Keep these in mind as you start 2014!

1. Take the stairs

It is amazing the benefits from climbing just one flight of stairs has on the body:
– Climbing stairs significantly lowers your risk of mortality when climbing more than 55 flights per week
– Stair climbing requires about 8 – 11kcal of energy per minute, which is high compared to other moderate level physical activities.
– Active stair climbers are more fit and have a higher aerobic capacity
– Even two flights of stairs climbed per day can lead to 6 lbs of weight loss over one year
– There is a strong association between stair climbing and bone density in post-menopausal women
– Climbing stairs can improve the amount of “good cholesterol” in the blood
– Stair climbing increases leg power and may be an important priority in reducing the risk of injury from falls in the elderly
– Stair climbing can help you achieve and maintain a healthy body weight
– Stair climbing can help you build and maintain healthy bones, muscles and joints

So skip the elevator, take the stairs! Make it a habit and your body will thank you!

2. Stand up every hour

More then half of Canadians work at sedentary jobs. The average Canadian sits for 7.7 hours/day. Sitting for prolonged periods of time every day increases your risk of heart attack, and other cardiovascular disease. Make it a habit to stand every hour. Standing is like walking: it increases energy, burns extra calories, tones muscles, improves posture, increases blood flow and raises metabolism. So do yourself a favour- stand up!

3. Drink water

We have all heard this one… yet many of us still do not drink enough water. Your body is composed of 60% water. The functions of these bodily fluids include digestion, absorption, circulation, creation of saliva, transportation of nutrients, and maintenance of body temperature. Fluid losses occur continuously, from skin evaporation, breathing, urine, and stool, and these losses must be replaced daily for optimal health. It is a simple equation, if your water intake does not meet your fluid output, you become dehydrated. Water helps energize muscles, makes your skin glow, makes you feel full, keeps your mind sharp and helps with kidney and bowel function. Be aware of your water intake and try and make it a part of your daily routine. Drink water with every meal, carry a water bottle in your bag, avoid caffeinated beverages and eat more fruits and vegetables.

4. Try fermented foods

Research has now shown that fermented foods are full of good germs that improve overall health. Foods such as sauerkraut, fermented sausages, fermented vegetables (pickles and garlic), cheeses, kimichi and yogurts all bring good germs into our bodies and aid in digestion and contribute to better overall health. So start eating your germs- your body will appreciate it!

5. Sleep

Most of us wish we could sleep more, but sometimes we forget why enough solid sleep each night is critical to health and well being. Sleep is so benefical to general wellness, for your mind, body and soul. Good-quality sleep keeps your appetite hormones in check, cools inflammatory chemicals that promote heart disease and cancer and keeps your weight under control. It allows your body to repair itself, your mind to clear, it fights off illness and improves concentration during the day. Studies have found people who routinely sleep for fewer than six hours a night have a higher risk of dying sooner than people of a similar age who sleep for seven or eight hours a night.

If your New Years resolution involves improving your overall health, try to incorporate the above tips into your daily routine. Little changes lead to big results!

Contact us if you have any questions, or are interested in learning more about becoming healthy and making healthy living your lifestyle! Email at info@alphahealthservices.ca or give us a call at 416 545 1881


– ALPHA Health Services