The New Year, New Me: Onto a Healthier Lifestyle
The balls have dropped; it is time for new year’s resolutions again. Some people enjoy the annual tradition of setting a goal on January first. Others argue it is a waste of time because most resolutions fail by mid-March. Despite the grim statistics, there is a logic to jumping on the new year’s resolution bandwagon. On dates like New Year’s day, birthdays, and even Mondays, people are extra motivated to tackle their goals because they feel like they can turn the page on previous failures.
If you are thinking about making new year’s resolutions to live a healthier lifestyle, keep in mind that they need to be specific, realistic, and long-term. New year’s resolutions are easy to make but difficult to accomplish. You must prepare and plan to turn your resolution into an actual solution. There is no easy magic button to press to keep a resolution. Do not worry; we have got you covered. Here are a few easy steps you can take this new year that will for sure help you accomplish the health improvements you wished for.
1. Keep It Moving
Making a resolution to sit less and move more is an attainable goal that can be customized to your lifestyle. Many people sit more than they should, whether because of a sedentary job or simply being inactive. Too much sitting can be harmful to one’s health. Let us start small – for example, if you work at a desk job that requires long periods of sitting, set a goal of going for a 15-minute walk at lunch or taking a five-minute walk break every hour.
2. Eat and Drink Healthy
Experts advise limiting processed foods and sugar-sweetened beverages, particularly those with added sodium and sugar. As they are linked to an increased risk of fatty liver, heart disease, obesity, insulin resistance, and cavities in both children and adults, so cutting back on them is a good idea. So we start with consuming less red and processed meats, reducing sugary drinks, saying a big no to alcohol and smoking, increasing our intake of plant-based foods such as olive oil, nuts, and seeds, and choosing water over sugary beverages. While quitting cold turkey is always an option, gradually reducing your intake may kick your habit for good.
3. Get Sufficient Zzz
Sleep is an important component of overall health, and sleep deprivation can have serious consequences. Sleep deprivation, for example, may increase the risk of heart disease, weight gain, and depression. Simple ways to improve sleep hygiene include limiting screen time before bed, reducing the light in your bedroom, cutting down the caffeine, and going to bed at a reasonable hour.
4. Add Some “Me Time”
Self-care is not selfish. It is, in fact, necessary for optimal health and well-being. Engaging in self-care may require some planning for people with busy schedules and limited time. However, the time investment is well worth it. Self-care does not have to be difficult or time-consuming. It could be as simple as taking a bubble bath once a week, going to your favorite weekly yoga class, getting a spa appointment, preparing a healthy meal for yourself, meditating, going for a walk in nature, or sleeping an extra hour.
Regular medical examinations are essential for a variety of reasons. Regular blood work and necessary screenings can help detect potential problems before they become more serious. Though the frequency of your doctor’s visits is determined by various factors, including the type of medical care you receive, your age, and your medical history, most specialists advise seeing your primary healthcare provider at least once a year for a checkup.
Though most new year’s resolutions are only kept for a short time, the healthy resolutions listed above are long-term ways to improve your physical and emotional health. So let us start today with small baby steps to a better tomorrow.
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