If you’re looking to hit the ground running with that New Year’s resolution, a great place to start might be to think about how maintaining balance and optimizing performance within your body can help you achieve your goals.
Everything your body does requires energy; and that energy is generated inside your mitochondria, your body’s cellular power plants. If you want your organs, tissues and systems to be working at full capacity, it makes sense to embark on a health strategy that enables your mitochondria to thrive – so that you can too.
As always, a bit of preparation can go a long way in helping you get ahead. So we’ve summarized four easy goals to help you get the most out of yourself and the New Year.
1. Get moving
Don’t worry - we’re not talking about completing a 6 mile run every day here. A simple 30-minute walk to get the blood pumping is all it takes to get moving. According to a recent study, exercise improves muscle health by renewing mitochondria. Along with the right food, mitochondria transform proteins, fats, and sugars into the fuel that the body needs to live. So, by getting the blood pumping you are helping fuel your mitochondria to support additional energy production.
It’s important to also remember that starting small and slowly increasing your endurance can help you keep up and enjoy all the little things in life – like keeping up with the kids.
2. Eat well
Easier said than done right? We might like sugary donuts, candy and other sweet treats, but these foods force our mitochondria to burn through a great deal of junk — generating free radicals as they go — before useful nutrients can be siphoned out. Eliminating sugary foods is essential for keeping your mitochondria healthy. Mitochondria need the right nutrients to turn the food we eat and the oxygen we breathe into energy. So, feeding your mitochondria is super important.
We’re all a little harsh on ourselves from time to time. A goal reset at the start of the year is often where we are most critical of what we could have done better during the previous year. Take time to breathe and practice a bit of self-care and mindfulness.
Try meditating in the morning or evening for 5-10 minutes, to help promote relaxation, refocus and clarity. Meditation has been practiced for thousands of years to build internal energy, self-regulate the mind in some way or simply contemplate. Most recently its use has become widespread to help cope with the stresses of modern life, making it a great way to practice self-care when you are time poor.
The older we get, the less natural antioxidants our bodies produce. But what does this mean for those New Year goals? We need antioxidants because they neutralize free radicals and help prevent the onset of oxidative stress, which can cause random and potentially serious damage to our cells. Essentially antioxidants help our bodies generate energy, as well as helping to build natural resilience and reduce the risk of developing serious health issues associated with free radical damage. All vital for hitting that New Year resolution to get fit and be healthy in 2020.
The good news is that antioxidants can be found in some foods. You can boost your antioxidant levels naturally with nuts, berries, whole grains, fish and dark green vegetables. So, it makes sense to incorporate these foods into your diet heading into the New Year.
You can also look for supplements to boost your antioxidant supply. Given that mitochondria are exposed to over 90% of the free radicals your body generate, it makes sense to give them as much of the right antioxidant as possible. This is why it’s important to use a mitochondria-targeted antioxidant supplement, such as MitoQ – which is absorbed by the mitochondria at highly concentrated levels.
Whatever your New Year goals are, be sure to get out there and do more.
Remember it doesn’t have to be much, but every little bit counts to support your mitochondrial health.