10 Signs you Should Invest in your Health and Fitness

It's 2018! You made it! Now what? Well, here are some signals about how to commit to the long term investment that is your health and well being!

1. White food makes you feel bloated, sluggish and just overall tired.

The easiest way to lose weight and improve your health? Get rid of the white stuff! Most white foods (bread, rice, pasta, sugar, flour) are primarily made up of refined carbs and empty calories, so cutting them out of your diet, or minimizing them, is one of the quickest ways to shed pounds and improve your well-being. There are a few exceptions to the rule, including egg whites, cauliflower, and fish. Keep these at hand since they are nutritionally valuable.

2. You can't remember when was the last time you had a REALLY good night's sleep.

Sleep affects our physical and mental health tremendously, and many of us do not get enough. (You know you don't!) Lack of sleep adversely affects metabolism, mood, concentration, memory, motor skills, stress hormones and even the immune system and cardiovascular health. Sleep allows the body to heal, repair and rejuvenate itself in a way it simply cannot when a person is awake. Implementing also a massage therapy routine to your life, can also help you fall asleep with much better ease.

3. You count and get stressed about calories and forget about the nutritional content.

While the amount of calories you consume is crucial for weight loss, the quality of your food is often more important (and often ignored). A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that specific foods, not just their calorie content, influence weight gain. You brain will keep looking for those nutrients rather than the calories and it will not rest until its satisfied.

This isn't exactly ground-breaking, but they confirm what we have suspecting and been recommended for years. To stay fit and healthy, fill up on high-fiber, nutrient-rich fruits, vegetables, grains, and lean meats. This will help you avoid overloading on empty calories later, when you're starving.

4. You are angry, cranky, anxious and stressed most of the time.

Stress can cause a myriad of problems, from heart trouble to digestive problems. This should not come as a surprise. What many people do not know is what to do about it, how to manage their stress. Exercise, meditation, massage therapy, spa days, doing what you love, appropriate boundaries, spirituality, being in nature, and enjoyable hobbies all help alleviate the harmful effects of stress on the body. Don't overwork yourself, take breaks (vacations, mini-vacations, days off) days of doing-nothing, days of not using your phone, and surround yourself with people who support you.

5. You also forgot when was your last health check-up.

Get to your doctor for your annual physical just to make sure everything is as it should be. If you have insurance, usually these services are covered, so take full advantage of your benefits. If you are not, please do your due diligence and find community healthy outreaches (Miami offers a lot of them throughout the year) That being said, know your own body so that you are aware when something seems awry. Do breast or testicular self-exams, and get suspicious moles checked out. Get exams regularly even if you are healthy, so that if and when something is abnormal, you know about it and can take action, in conjunction with your doctor.

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6. You give yourself excuses not to exercise, over and over again.
Even if you just get out for a walk a few times a week, exercise is important for being fit and healthy. Cardiovascular exercise helps to strengthen the heart and lungs, strength training helps to strengthen the muscles and stretching helps to reduce the risk of injury by increasing flexibility. Exercise also improves circulation and body awareness, and regular exercise can help combat depression. So, how do you implement it this year? Make it a priority. Many of our excuses revolve around the old: I don't have time. Yes you do have time. If you make it a priority.

So, if you match any of these signs, please remember this: in order to keep a healthy and fit lifestyle, it's important to have some sort of consistency when looking at the big picture result. Make changes one at a time, and don't make too many changes at once or you will risk relapsing into old habits. Making these choices a part of your daily life will help you to reach your health goals. Avoid extremes in any capacity. Exercise moderation when it comes to fitness, food and fun.

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