If You Do One Thing This Year...
These easy-enough resolutions will change your body and your life.
Without a doubt, there are some big-picture resolutions on your 2014 to-do list. But, according to some of the sharpest minds in health and fitness, making small changes can reap life-changing rewards. We asked several top experts to name the single practice they'd have their clients implement, and they provided some surprising, inspiring answers. Here, a roundup of the healthy habits that will change your body this year.
(1) Wake up with water. "Having a glass of water as soon as you wake up before you do anything is very empowering. It sets the tone of healthy action habits throughout the day. It's the catalyst for taking back control of how you look and feel." —Perry Nickelston, DC, NKT, SFMA
(2) Eliminate your sensitivities. "A down and dirty elimination diet would be to get rid of gluten, dairy (including eggs), soy, sugar, processed foods, corn, alcohol, and tomatoes—basically eating real “clean” food for 3 weeks. At the end, you would introduce one food at a time and eat that food for three days and be honest with yourself on whether or not you have a reaction, which could be anything from gas and bloating or any GI complaint, to fatigue to joint pains, brain fog, etc. If you do, it needs to go. Detecting and eliminating that sensitivity will change your life." —Dana G. Cohen, MD
(3) Eat slowly. "Increase awareness of what you're eating, and one way to do that is by simply slowing down your eating." —Dr. John Berardi, co-founder, Precision Nutrition
(4) Focus on belly breathing. "Breathing is pretty darn close to a magic bullet of health and improved performance, especially in the stress-ridden, fast-paced life that the majority of us live in today. I would recommend that everyone at the end of the day lay face down, put their forehead and on the top of their hand and take 5 deep breaths in the nose and out the mouth. A 5:1:5 ratio (5 seconds in, 1 second hold, 5 seconds out) is good. This is a very effective way to calm the nervous system down, promote relaxation and the added bonus is engaging your diaphragm which is critical for stability." – Alex Zimmerman, Equinox Tier 4 National Manager
(5) Move every single day. "There is no such thing as a 'recovery' day where you do nothing but sit on the couch. Though you may not be in the gym daily, just do something active that you enjoy—like playing some basketball or soccer, or practicing your tennis serve. Make a game out of it, and it won't feel like working out at all." —Josh Stolz, Equinox Tier 4 Coach