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Get Healthier Now

5 simple to-do’s to become a healthier you…
 
Sometimes following all those resolutions to live a healthier lifestyle can seem like a huge task. Committing to working out regularly is, of course, good for you, but getting yourself to the gym or outside to exercise several times a week calls for a big shift—even just getting started can be a major hurdle. While you most de nitely should set big goals and commit to improving your well-being, taking baby steps can also put you on the road to success. So we’ve rounded up some top health experts to get their tactics. Tackle one suggestion until it’s become part of your regular routine. Then move on to adding the next one. Before you know it, these steps will be a habit, and you’ll be reaping the reward: a healthier lifestyle.
 
1. Eat more fibre
Besides keeping you regular, getting enough bre in your diet will help you maintain a healthy weight and lower your risk of heart disease and diabetes. Men under 50 years old need 38 grams daily (women need 25 grams every day). Toronto-based holistic nutritionist Pamela Santaluce has two super-simple ways to incorporate more bre into your diet. Top your yogurt, oatmeal or salads with two tablespoons of ground flaxseed daily; this comes up to four grams of dietary fibre (and also four grams of polyunsaturated fatty acids, including omega-3s). Or do as she does, and have bran cereal for breakfast (her fave is Nature’s Path Organic Smart Bran).
 
2. Replace your plank exercise with a hardstyle plank
“Planks are terrific, as they do not require any equipment and can be made more challenging with slight variations to the movement,” says Jennifer Lau, personal trainer and principal of FitSquad Training in Toronto. She suggests swapping five minutes of planking with a 10-second hardstyle plank. “It’s far more effective as it demands complete full-body maximum tension.” If you’re doing it right, it’ll be dif cult to hold for more than 15 seconds, she adds. How to do it: Begin on the floor with your forearms under your head and wrists slightly ahead of your eyes. While maintaining a neutral neck, push your heels away from your head and screw your shoulder blades down. To activate the movement, squeeze your glutes as hard as possible, flex your quadriceps and pull your elbows towards your toes.
 
3. Get 30 minutes more sleep
We know, you lead a busy life. But you’re not very productive when you’re exhausted. So set a goal to go to bed earlier, suggests Santaluce, who is also a personal trainer. “Try heading to bed at least a half-hour before your usual time until your body gets accustomed to it,” she says. Once you commit to doing that, you may find it so rewarding to wake up feeling more refreshed that you’ll feel motivated to make it another 30 minutes earlier, until you’ve reached a healthy and manageable number of sleep hours for you.
 
4. Drink two litres of water every day
Your personal hydration requirements are based on both personal needs and your activity level; however, a good guideline, according to the Mayo Clinic, is eight cups of water a day. Heather Gardner, tness pro and founder of Tribe Fitness in Toronto, recommends her personal trick to drinking a minimum of two litres daily: she has a 30-minute commute to work each day, and drinks one litre on the way to work, and the second litre during her commute home. “It’s a kickstarter for me. I like to divide up my day as a quanti er, setting the goal for at least one litre before lunch and one litre afterwards.”
 
5. Add a little…
Once you’ve gotten into the healthy habit of drinking one litre of water during your morning commute, add a squeeze of lemon to it. “It’s excellent for your metabolism, digestion and for cleansing,” says nutritionist Aly Shoom. Alternatively, she recommends incorporating more cinnamon into your diet. “It helps to balance blood sugar, helping you feel more satis ed and preventing cravings,” says the Toronto-based recipe developer. She suggests sprinkling some onto fresh fruit or adding it to your smoothies.
 

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