NU Year, NU Standard, NU You!
Cheers to you if you are still keeping up with your NU Year's resolution, but for those of us who failed to keep January dry, avoid processed foods, and hit the gym consistently, you aren’t alone.
Millions of people walk into the new year with great intentions but poor execution. And it’s not your fault. Were you prepared for success? Probably not.
But here’s the deal, healthy hair comes from a healthier you, so we are more than happy to provide the tools you need to achieve your wellness goals. That’s the core of what we are all about—spreading the necessary understandings of hair maintenance for optimal hair wellness. We are setting a NU Standard for a NU and improved you.
So…Why is “Dry January” a great idea?
Many lifestyle choices can contribute to hair loss. For example, while alcohol consumption temporarily lowers the release of cortisol (your stress hormone), over time, excess consumption can cause inflammation, worsen skin conditions, lead to dehydration and nutritional deficiencies, and cancer. In addition, the result is dry, brittle hair more prone to breakage or full blown hair loss from chemotherapy. But, of course, we don’t want that for you, so here are 5 tips to help you consume less alcohol in the coming months:
- Don’t keep alcohol at home - this is an easy way to avoid reaching for that nightcap at the end of a hectic day.
- Opt for lunch/breakfast dates instead of dinner ones - if you are trying to avoid the pressure of alcohol consumption on a date, push it to earlier in the day and trade the usual cocktail for coffee or tea.
- Stay occupied - if happy hour is a frequent habit, trade the bar for an activity that keeps you busy, like going for a sunset bike ride, practicing an instrument, constructing/creating something, or taking an evening workout class.
- Avoid people who drink excessively. It’s hard to kick a bad habit while surrounded by people with no intentions of kicking that bad habit.
- If you drink to reduce stress levels, try other coping mechanisms, such as disconnecting from technology, reading a book, writing in a journal, listening to guided meditations, taking a nap, or getting a massage.
So…Why should I avoid processed foods?
Let’s be honest. For the average Busy Queen on the go, processed food is the ultimate convenience. Why spend hours cooking meals from scratch when you can pop open a protein bar?
Well, that protein bar is likely full of an obscene amount of sugar that a home-cooked meal would be less likely to contain. So avoiding processed food is another way to avoid foods that contain too much sugar (and, in some cases, too much salt).
And why does it matter? Excess sugar consumption can cause hair loss, and too much salt and fat can disrupt blood flow to the scalp (which can ultimately disrupt hair growth). So how can someone with a busy schedule consume less processed food? Try these 5 tips:
- Stock up on healthy, filling “whole food” snacks like nuts, fresh fruit, veggies with nut butter or hummus, and hard-boiled eggs. A handful of nuts is the perfect nutrient-dense snack on the go.
- Avoid the aisles of the grocery store where processed snacks are usually found.
- Plan - making a large meal on a day off and freezing portions of it will come in handy when you need a healthy meal but don’t have time to prepare it. Hate planning meals? Invest in a meal kit that does the planning for you.
- Drink water instead of juice, soda, or sweetened beverages.
- Eat more vegetables! Something as simple as substituting your morning toast with sautéed spinach may help you feel fuller longer, and consuming more vegetables, in general, can curb unhealthy cravings.
Why should I exercise?
Healthy hair growth stems from several factors, including hormones, nutrition, blood circulation, gut health, and stress levels. Exercise is known for improving the absorption of essential vitamins and minerals in your diet and improving circulation, digestion, and mental health.
Unfortunately, most people use weight loss as their primary motivation for maintaining an active lifestyle, but this should never be the goal. Why? Once people reach their goal weight, they stop working out, and activity should always be a part of your routine regardless of weight. So how do we suggest keeping exercise a part of your daily routine? Try these 5 tips:
- Instead of going to a gym, bring the gym to you! If you have a smartphone, computer, or smart tv, you can access hundreds of equipment-free workouts in the comfort of your home via several different YouTube channels, the Nike Training Club app, and Adidas training by Runtastic. Many yoga and workout apps are also available on iOS and Android.
- Start small. Maybe working out every day is a bit extreme if that isn’t something you enjoy. But adding a 30-minute workout to your routine a few days a week will do wonders for your physical, mental, and hair health.
- Find a workout buddy! It is always easier to complete a task you aren’t excited about when you have a friend to help hold you accountable.
- Get it out of the way early—if exercising is not your favorite thing, you are more likely to procrastinate and avoid getting started. But if you work out first thing in the morning, your body will get used to wanting to wake up and break a sweat.
- While dogs are an added expense, adding a furry friend to your family is a brilliant way to increase activity. Dogs require frequent walks to use the bathroom and love to play. Repeatedly throwing a ball may not be your favorite workout, but your arms will appreciate your efforts.
With every new year, we all look for ways to improve our journey and raise our standards. We are never perfect, but we consistently evolve to be our best selves, starting from the inside out. We forgive ourselves when we fail but don’t settle for failure. We settle for optimum wellness and nothing less. Nourish. Treat. Care. Cheers to a NU year and setting the NU standard for a NU you!