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WELLNESS 10 WAYS TO HELP YOU RECLAIM YOUR HEALTH

Wellness: Life’s complicated, but your journey to better health doesn’t have to be.

 We’ve gathered a bouquet of easy, and sustainable ways to help you reclaim your health, one day at a time.

1 GET LOST IN THE WEEDS

There’s definitely a physical aspect to gardening – all of the squatting, lifting, and carrying involved in yardwork torches lots of calories.

 But that’s not why gardening expertTara Nolan loves it. “It’s very meditative,” explains Nolan, author of Gardening Your Front Yard: Projects and Ideas for Big and Small Spaces. “

Weeding typically sounds like such a bane-of-your existence type of activity, but there’s something really soothing about putting on your gardening gloves, pulling away, and getting lost in your thoughts.”

Studies show that getting out in the garden has a myriad of health benefits, from increasing quality of life to reducing anxiety.

2 BE A POP STAR

Indulge in the nostalgia factor of a Popsicle. There’s nothing like this sweet treat to bring back some of your best memories and cool you down on a warm summer day.

To up the wellness factor, make it homemade. Try blending berries, yogurt and almond milk – basically anything you’d put a smoothie – for a hit of antioxidants, suggests Dr. JessicaCardona, a naturopathic doctor at Kleinburg Integrative Health.

3 DIG IN THE DIRT

Growing your own food can not only save money but is also mentallyand physically satisfying, says Nolan.

“There’s a really great feeling that comes from doing it yourself andconnecting to the earth.”

Plus, you can enjoy lots of delicious dishes made with seasonal veggies, like salads with freshly picked lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and herbs.

Whatever Nolan doesn’t grow, she picks up at a local farmers’ market.

4 DIVE INTO A BEACH READ

There’s no better escape than getting lost in a juicy book. Head to your local public library, if it’s open, or download a book if they offer that.

Studies suggest that people who read books have longer lives than nonreaders.

 Keeping your brain active also helps you fend off cognitive decline as you age.

 Join a book club – it’s great motivation to keep up these healthy habits and meet new people.

5 HIT THE TRAILS

Going for a walk or taking some deep breaths of fresh air at your local park or hiking trail stimulates your parasympathetic nervous system, says Dr.Cardona.

Spending time in the great outdoors helps reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and stress, according to a number of studies.

These long-term effects on well-being are more reason than ever to leave your office at lunch and find some green space.

6 DANCE SOLO

There’s nothing quite like working up a sweat while listening to some tunes.

 Blast your go-to Spotify playlist solo or invite some friends over for a dance party.

Music is known to have many therapeutic benefits: Research shows that listening to your favorite songs can help your functional brain connectivity and has powerful beneficial effects on your overall health.

7 GET YOUR GREENS

Delicious and nutritious cold-pressed juices can blow your weekly grocery budget.

But that doesn’t mean you need to miss out on these antioxidant-packed refreshments. Use your blender to make your own green juices by simply mixing your veggies (try kale, cucumber, and

celery) with some crushed ice and an apple, suggests Dr.Cardona.

Plus, there’s plenty more fiber that your juicy counterparts are missing. (Down them right away from or freeze them into ice cubes for quick smoothies).

8 EAT THE RAINBOW

If there isn’t a lot of color on your plate, you’re not getting the

The biggest bang for your food buck.

 The brighter the fruit or vegetable, the better – color indicates that the food is rich in phytochemicals, which keep your body healthy.

Different colors provide different benefits, so aim for diversity.

9 PRACTICE SAFE PILLOW TALK

When it comes to good sleep hygiene, you know the basic rules: Keep your room dark, cool, and free of electronic devices that can wreak havoc on your circadian rhythm.

But here’s something new to add to your list: your topic of choice for late-night conversations. According to Dr. Robert Rosenberg, author of the Doctor’s Guide to Sleep Solutions for Stress& Anxiety, talking about serious subjects before bed is a no-no.

Whether it’s a solemn phone call with a friend or a late-nightlife with your partner, a heavy conversation can disrupt the quality of your

sleep.

 “Confrontations lead to a stress response, causing your adrenal glands to produce cortisol and adrenaline,” he says. “This is the exact opposite of what you want if you’re trying to fall asleep easily.

 In fact, once your body starts producing these stress hormones, you can’t wave a magic wand and get them to return to normal levels.”

10 GO NUTS

Here’s yet another reason to spread almond butter on your toast or sprinkle walnuts on your salad: Both contain melatonin, the hormone that regulates your sleep/wake cycle and helps you sleep soundly.

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