21 Health Hacks for a Healthy Core 4

You’re going to get a gym membership… and actually go this time. You’ll eat balanced meals. Sign up to volunteer. Save money. Quit smoking. Stress less. Travel more.

The New Year resolutions are in. If you go down the list, you may notice that most of your resolutions revolve around living a healthier life (and we at Harbin Clinic are super big fans of living a healthier life).

One of the best ways to reach your wellness goals is to improve your Core 4: your blood pressure, your blood sugar, cholesterol levels and weight range. Making small changes to enhance your Core 4 can bring about big health benefits.

So, in the spirit of healthy resolutions - and keeping in mind it takes 21 days to form a habit - we’ve developed 21 simple health hacks for you to work into your daily routine and help you soar into a new year with a stellar Core 4.

Ditch the salt. Substitutes such as garlic, onion powder, cumin or paprika can reduce blood pressure levels.

Eat more celery. Incorporating celery into your diet helps lower blood pressure. Why? Celery contains phthalides that relax blood vessels.

Add cinnamon to your beverage. As little as ½ to 1 teaspoon of cinnamon lowers both blood pressure and blood sugar levels.

Say yes to garlic. Garlic contains allicin, a substance that lowers blood pressure and relaxes blood vessels.

Stretch it out. Calming exercises such as yoga and simple stretches help ease blood pressure levels.

Skip the rolls. Foods that are high in carbs and processed sugar (pastries and breads) make your glucose levels climb.

Have an avocado. Healthy fats like avocado and even coconut water slows the release of sugar into your bloodstream and keeps levels from skyrocketing.

Decaffeinate. Swap coffee for herbal tea for happy glucose levels.

Catch some Z’s. Sleep deprivation raises your ghrelin levels. Ghrelin is the hormone that tells your body you’re hungry.  Seven hours of restful sleep a night helps your glucose levels.

Take a walk. Light exercise such as walking lowers blood sugar.

Go nuts! Walnuts, pecans, almonds and pistachios have been shown to lower bad cholesterol levels.

Have a cup of green tea. Studies show green tea increases good cholesterol levels.

Eat a bowl of oatmeal. Oat fiber found in oatmeal and whole grain cereals promotes healthy cholesterol.

Kick the habit. Your HDL (good cholesterol) levels increase the moment you quit smoking. We know it’s not easy, but we have a free workshop to help with that.

Ditch the donut. Foods high in trans fats such as margarine, popcorn, cakes and biscuits have negative effects on cholesterol levels.

Choose a smaller plate. Dinner plates measure 11 to 12 inches, but choosing a smaller sized plate helps control portions.

Park farther away. Snag any chance you can to get in more steps and exercise for a happier number on your scale.

Eat before you shop. Going to the grocery store hungry increases the likelihood you’ll impulse-buy fattening foods.

Fill up on fiber. Eating fiber-rich veggies like broccoli during lunch can fill you up and keep you full until dinner.

Hydrate to lose weight. Skipping carbonated sweet drinks at meals and drinking water instead cuts sugar and calories.

And last but not least…

Don’t skip your annual wellness check up. Your primary care physician can help you know your Core 4 and work with you on ways to improve your health. In search of a physician? We have them all over Northwest Georgia. Call 888.427.2461 to book an appointment.