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16 Wellness Tips For 2016
 — Part 1

Written by S.O.

Posted on January 18, 2016 at 4:53 pm

2016 beach
Whether or not you made any resolutions for this year, there are always small steps we can take to improve our general health and wellness. Here we have the first half of our 16 tips for the new year!

1. Steam Me Up, Scotty

Are your sinuses driving you crazy? Try boiling some water and adding 3-4 drops of pure peppermint oil. Pour it in a heat-safe cup and guide the steam into your nostrils with your hand. You will be breathing free and clear in no time at all.

2. Balance Ball Basics

Weighted balance balls are inexpensive and versatile exercise tools. You can use them for core strengthening by doing exercises like lifting the ball with your feet, or you can sit on them and do sit-ups, using the weight of the ball to anchor you down. You can also simply sit on the ball, using your core to bounce lightly while working on your computer.

3. Jazz Up Your Water

If you’re not a fan of good old H2O, it can be hard to get your daily intake. Flavored sparkling water is a nice alternative – there are no extra calories, just extra bubbles. Alternatively, you can skip the bubbles and try adding some zest with a couple squeezes of a lemon and a pinch of natural sweetener like Stevia.  Another trick is to cool your water in a freezer-friendly bottle until it is icy but not fully frozen, making it refreshingly crisp.

4. Cardio For Your Brain

Exercise is not just important for your body. There are so many activities out there to keep your brain in tip top condition. Some examples include playing speed and memory games, which you can find on a number of brain game apps and websites, doing Sudoku or crossword puzzles. Drawing is an option that provides a creative outlet, while also giving your brain a nice power-jog.  Another classic is reading, and the availability of audiobooks makes it easy to multitask.

5. Plan For Takeout

You will find yourself hitting up the drive-thru less often if you designate a Family Takeout Night once every couple weeks or so. Write it on the calendar and make sure everyone sets this day aside for takeout and movies or family board games. It will bring everyone together, give you something to look forward to, and most importantly it can cut down on those impulsive drive-thru trips.

6. Trick Your Tastebuds

Find healthier alternatives to your favorite guilty pleasure foods, such as using mashed cauliflower in place of mashed potatoes. Your favorite flavorings like chives, pepper, light mayo or butter go a long way. Craving cookies? Make them with oats and brown rice flour in place of white flour, with honey to sweeten instead of sugar. You can even use dark chocolate chunks. You can still have your indulgence without sacrificing flavor.

7. Power Down

Put down electronics for a few internet-free intervals throughout the day. Unsurprisingly, medical experts are noticing a trend of addictive tendencies toward social media. Several studies on this topic have been done in the last few years, one of which deduced that compulsive social media attendance can cause changes to some of the ‘reward pathways’ of the brain, causing similar behaviors to drug addiction.

8. Change It Up

Doing the same workout regimen time and again can become monotonous which may deter you from exercising. Varying your approach to physical activity is one of the best ways to maintain interest. Try attending a different group fitness class once every week or so.  If you normally work out alone, bring a friend to make it a social experience.

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