Home Gut Lifestyle 8 Holiday hacks to boost both your mental and physical health.

8 Holiday hacks to boost both your mental and physical health.

by previlli
Staying healthy this year over the holidays seems more important than ever before.  As we are contemplating the perfect gifts for your friends and family, it is also important to remember to be kind to ourselves by prioritizng health and wellness.  The following 8 tips will help lower stress and improve both mental and physical health.

1. Try something creative

Studies show that creative arts can help us to relax, fight stress, and may even have some benefits similar to meditation.  In fact, coloring isn’t just for kids anymore.  Coloring for adults has become one of the biggest new hobby trends in the United States.  Why is coloring the latest creative craze? 

  1. You don’t have to be a great artist or creative genius to color.  Anyone can enjoy coloring. 
  2. This is an activity the whole family can do together.
  3. Coloring can help your brain relax, similar to entering a meditative state.
  4. Coloring can help you push out negative thoughts.
  5. Focusing on artistic details can help increase mindfulness.
  6. Coloring is a great way to unplug from technology.
  7. This hobby is portable and can easily be transported with you wherever you go. 
  8. Coloring is inexpensive.

This is a great gift for the holidays that can both help your loved ones find a new hobby, but also improve motor skills, reduce anxiety, improve sleep, and take a break from their technology.  Reducing stress has a positive impact on the gut bacteria, which can change the bi-directional communication along the gut-brain axis, improving your coping skills and sleep quality. 

2. Get moving

“Sitting is the new smoking.”  Mayo Clinic doctor, James Levine also clarified, saying, “Sitting is more dangerous than smoking, kills more people than HIV, and is more treacherous than parachuting.”   Especially, as we find ourselves leaving our homes less frequently, it is important to be proactive about exercise.  Studies show that while exercise is good, it can’t offset the metabolic consequences of sitting for 10 hours.  The cure to sitting isn’t exercise.  It is getting up and moving our bodies at least every hour.  Extended periods of sitting increase your risk of obesity, back & neck pain, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, deep vein thrombosis, Alzheimer’s, dementia, anxiety, depression, and early mortality.  Setting the timer to remind you to move or stretch every 30 minutes, converting your desk to a standing desk, or parking further away from the store, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or just walking to the furthest bathroom can help you convert your sedentary life into a more active lifestyle.   More movement will reduce your risk factors for chronic illnesses, increase metabolism, and improve GI function.

3. Drink more water

Do we really need 8 glasses of water per day?  The truth is that the need for 8 glasses of water is not necessarily substantiated in the scientific literature.  It is clear that water is not just critical for optimal bodily functions but is also necessary for survival.  So, how much water should we drink?  It is different for each person.  The amount of water you need is dependent upon your environment, health conditions, and exercise level.  If you feel thirsty, you are not drinking enough.  The 80% of working Americans do not drink enough water.  Not drinking enough can be a cause of challenged bowel function, weight gain, and fatigue.   Studies show that drinking water can alter the intestinal lumen pH, which can also have a profound impact on your gut microbial community.

4. Taste the holidays using small servings and small plates

Food is usually plentiful during the holidays, and it’s hard to pass up the opportunity to try new dishes and tempting treats.  A great holiday hack for better health is to limit your portions instead of limiting your dishes.  Try what appeals to you but try much smaller portions.   Think of eating this time of year more like a tasting menu than an all-you-can-eat buffet.  Additionally, studies show that people just eating their food served on smaller plates consumed less calories than those who ate off larger plates.  Besides helping to avoid holiday weight gain, another perk to eating smaller portions is less digestive distress such as bloating, gas, and constipation.

5. Chocolate

Don’t feel like you must forgo chocolate while on your best behavior this season.   The key to chocolate’s potential health benefits lies in dark chocolate.  The compounds in chocolate have been shown to regulate stress hormones, stabilize your metabolism, and lower blood pressure.  Dark chocolate makes you healthy and happy, isn’t it great? The polyphenols in chocolate have been shown to be beneficial to gut and microbiome health.

6. Read a good book

Reading a book is becoming a lost art.  Set your phone down, escape your computer’s blue light, take a break from your TV, and find the pleasure that comes from curling up with a good book.  Right before bed can be a great time to do a little reading.  It can help us slow down, facilitate relaxation, and promote deeper sleep.

7. Listen to Holiday music

Many of us associate this time of year with certain songs.  Listening to this music can help us remember previous happy holidays and can be relaxing and de-stressing.  Music can often go with us wherever we go and can help us get through long workdays, household chores, or a challenging work out.  Studies have revealed that even your microbiome can be affected by music.  New research shows that noise exposure altered the gut microbiota and increased negative traffic along the gut-brain axis by accelerating age-related neurochemical and inflammatory molecules.  So, this holiday season, relax both you and your gut microbiota by listening to your favorite music of the season.

8. Take your Previlli

This holiday season, help protect your gut health, support optimal immunity, and increase metabolic energy by taking Previlli.*  Previlli provides extra nutritional support for an active lifestyle and healthy gut.  Previlli is an all new approach to gut health that works at the level of the gut mucosa.  It supports specific foundational and structural elements of the intestinal barrier and lumen environment to encourage optimal performance for both you and your microbiome.*  Previlli helps to create and maintain the best possible home for your microbiota.  Good for you and good for your bacterial guests.

References

  1. Amazing Benefits of Coloring For Adults. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.colorit.com/blogs/news/85320388-amazing-benefits-of-coloring-for-adults 
  2. Madison, A., & Kiecolt-Glaser, J. K. (2019). Stress, depression, diet, and the gut microbiota: human-bacteria interactions at the core of psychoneuroimmunology and nutrition. Current opinion in behavioral sciences28, 105–110. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cobeha.2019.01.011 
  3. Sitting is the New Smoking. (2020, September 15). Retrieved from https://www.startstanding.org/sitting-new-smoking/# 
  4. Allen, J. M., Mailing, L. J., Niemiro, G. M., Moore, R., Cook, M. D., White, B. A., Holscher, H. D., & Woods, J. A. (2018). Exercise Alters Gut Microbiota Composition and Function in Lean and Obese Humans. Medicine and science in sports and exercise50(4), 747–757. https://doi.org/10.1249/MSS.0000000000001495 
  5. How much water do you need to stay healthy? (2020, October 14). Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/water/art-20044256# 
  6. Hansen, T.H., Thomassen, M.T., Madsen, M.L. et al. The effect of drinking water pH on the human gut microbiota and glucose regulation: results of a randomized controlled cross-over intervention. Sci Rep 8, 16626 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-018-34761-5 
  7. Peng M. (2017). How does plate size affect estimated satiation and intake for individuals in normal-weight and overweight groups?. Obesity science & practice3(3), 282–288. https://doi.org/10.1002/osp4.119 
  8. Tsang, C., Hodgson, L., Bussu, A., Farhat, G., & Al-Dujaili, E. (2019). Effect of Polyphenol-Rich Dark Chocolate on Salivary Cortisol and Mood in Adults. Antioxidants (Basel, Switzerland)8(6), 149. https://doi.org/10.3390/antiox8060149 
  9. Frazier, K., & Chang, E. B. (2020). Intersection of the Gut Microbiome and Circadian Rhythms in Metabolism. Trends in endocrinology and metabolism: TEM31(1), 25–36. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tem.2019.08.013 
  10. Faraut, B., Andrillon, T., Drogou, C., Gauriau, C., Dubois, A., Servonnet, A., Van Beers, P., Guillard, M., Gomez-Merino, D., Sauvet, F., Chennaoui, M., & Léger, D. (2020). Daytime Exposure to Blue-Enriched Light Counters the Effects of Sleep Restriction on Cortisol, Testosterone, Alpha-Amylase and Executive Processes. Frontiers in neuroscience13, 1366. https://doi.org/10.3389/fnins.2019.01366 
  11. Cui, B., Su, D., Li, W., She, X., Zhang, M., Wang, R., & Zhai, Q. (2018). Effects of chronic noise exposure on the microbiome-gut-brain axis in senescence-accelerated prone mice: implications for Alzheimer’s disease. Journal of neuroinflammation15(1), 190. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12974-018-1223-4 

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* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease

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