Eat nuts and start resistance training: 5 wellness tips for a healthy week ahead

Strength training pays off years later, a new study finds. (Getty Creative)
Resistance training pays off years later, a new study finds. (Getty Creative)

Hello, health and wellness readers. My name is Kaitlin, and I’m here to share all the tips you need to live your best life this week. To start: Check out your horoscope and take a peek at your local forecast, which is likely to predict a scorcher this week. Then scan the tips below to see what small changes you can apply to your life. (Hint: It could be as simple as cracking open a bag of pistachios.)

🚴 Wear a bike helmet

Your head is worth saving — just ask Gordon Ramsay, who recently shared on Instagram that he was involved in a gnarly cycling accident. (The resulting bruise, which the chef said made him look like a “purple potato,” is a sight to behold.) Here’s why it matters to you: Ramsay said he believes his bike helmet “saved” his life — and he may be right. According to a 2018 analysis, helmets reduce head injury by 48% and cut the total number of killed or seriously injured cyclists by 34%.

Here’s what you need to know about getting a proper helmet:

  • Look for a sticker indicating certification by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

  • Make sure there are no cracks, dents or worn-out straps or padding.

  • Avoid hand-me-down or secondhand helmets. They adapt to the head that wore them, meaning your fit may not be ideal.

  • Ensure that your helmet has a snug fit and that your head does not move around inside.

  • The chin strap should be tight enough to allow only one finger between the buckle and chin, and you should feel the helmet pull down when you open your mouth.

  • Helmets should also be replaced within five to 10 years of purchase or sooner, subject to guidelines from the manufacturer.

🥜 Go nuts!

Nuts get a bad rap for being high in calories, but new research from the University of South Australia says they can actually be a great part of a weight loss plan. The study found that adding nuts to calorie-controlled diets actually helped people lose more weight. Researchers say that nuts — which contain healthy fats, protein and fiber — curb hunger, which can prevent people from overeating. So what will it be: Cashews? Walnuts? Almonds?

💪 Resistance train now, reap benefits later

Dread lifting heavy at the gym? It could pay off in the long run, according to a new study. The study, which included recently retired adults among its subjects, found that participants who resistance trained with heavy weights not only significantly improved their leg strength but also maintained this strength four years later. Think of hitting the weight rack as an investment in your future self, who will thank you for not skipping leg day.

🚶‍♀️ Walk more, hurt less

There are so many reasons to take a daily walk — but if you wake up with a throbbing back, you can add one more to your list, per a study published in the Lancet. Walking for 30 minutes a day five times a week helped participants with lower-back pain remain pain-free for nearly twice as long as those who didn’t follow a walking plan. Grab your Stanley tumbler, cue up your favorite podcast and get to stepping.

🍵 Stop adding milk to matcha

Your matcha latte is very Instagrammable — not to mention delicious. But if you’re mixing dairy milk with your green tea powder, you may be missing out on some of the health benefits. Milk can hinder the body’s ability to absorb catechins, which are natural antioxidants found in matcha that help protect your cells, improve heart health and may aid in weight management.