The new year is an opportunity to reset your life, refresh your mind, and get clarity on your goals. Like most people, this is a time to work on your health, both mental and physical. Since your health is at the center of your life, prioritizing it will set you up for success in other areas.
Setting goals and being determined to reach them is the first step to achieving optimal health in the new year. However, suppose your goals are highly restrictive and unsustainable. In that case, you’re more likely to draw back as early as the second week of January.
If you’re looking to kick up your health for the new year with habits you’ll actually stick to, here are four simple strategies to get you started.
Focus on eating more whole foods.
The most effective and sustainable way to improve your overall health in the new year is by eating whole foods. These include vegetables, fruits, legumes, whole grains, fish, nuts, and seeds. Whole foods are excellent sources of vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals that your body requires for optimal health.
Changing your diet isn’t an effortless task, especially if you’ve previously struggled with unhealthy eating habits. You should start small by setting realistic goals that you can easily follow through. For example, begin by adding a serving of your favorite veggies to your daily meals, or swap a pack of chips for an apple as a snack.
To stick to your healthy eating patterns, make whole foods readily available at home. Keep your refrigerator stocked with fresh fruits, veggies, and cooked whole grains. You can also put some fruits in a bowl and place them on your kitchen counter. This way, you’re less tempted to go out and buy convenience foods.
Drink more water.
A simple health kick for the new year is staying hydrated. Drinking water does more wonders to your body than merely quenching thirst. Every cell, tissue, and organ in your body needs water for optimal performance.
Your body requires water to regulate its temperatures, flush out toxins, lubricate joints, maintain electrolyte balance, improve the complexion of your skin, and so much more. Drinking about six to eight glasses of water a day is a reasonable goal and will keep you hydrated.
However, this may not be easy, especially if you have a busy schedule or dislike the taste of water. Here is how you can boost your daily water intake;
- Carry a reusable water bottle with you all the time
- Drink one glass of water when you wake up and before you go to bed
- Flavor your water with cucumber, lime, strawberries, or lemons
- Set reminders to drink water using an app, sticky notes, or the alarm on your phone.
Get adequate sleep.
Want to improve the quality of your overall wellbeing this new year? Start by getting enough, high-quality sleep. Whether your goal is to reduce stress, maintain a healthy weight, or improve your work performance, your sleep patterns will play a significant role.
Your body needs about seven to nine hours of sleep to recharge and power your mind so you can wake up feeling refreshed. Insufficient sleep will make you grumpy and foggy, lower your mood, and increase your risk of certain diseases.
To get adequate sleep this new year, try implementing these simple lifestyle habits;
- Establish an evening routine to help you relax, unwind, and prepare for bed.
- Set a realistic bedtime and wake-up time, and stick to it every night, even on the weekends.
- Put away electronic devices like your phone and laptop at least an hour or two before bed.
Move more, sit less.
Staying physically active will help you maintain a healthy weight, improve your memory, and protect you against chronic diseases. You don’t have to go to the gym every day. Going for a short walk around your neighborhood, a jog, or taking the stairs instead of the lift are some easy and accessible activities you can do daily.
Aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise a day, for five days a week. You can break your activity into small chunks of time during the day, depending on what suits your lifestyle.
If your joints hurt when you move, then consider adding a scoop of Joint Vibrance to a cup of hot water or your favorite fruit juice and drink. This will help reduce the pain and enhance your flexibility.
Most people keep their health goals for only a short time. However, choosing to build easy and sustainable habits that you can stick to will help improve your overall health and wellbeing in the new year.