With the new year now in full gear, many people are hard at work on fresh resolutions (or perhaps still looking for motivation to get started).
Getting healthier is always a top priority for many of us around the new year as we come off of the holiday binge and look forward to summer. “Healthy” can mean different things to different people, but generally, feeling good, looking good and taking care of yourself fits the bill.
From getting more exercise in or finding ways to deal with stress, concrete steps and a little encouragement always helps. The following 15 habits take a broad approach to getting healthier, and prove fairly simple to integrate into your routine. Get started and accomplish your goal of a healthier and happier 2015!
1) Remind Yourself What You Are Grateful For Every Day Gratitude is a powerful tool for attitude adjustment. It can go a long way toward making you feel more positive and satisfied with life overall. People with more gratitude even sleep better at night, according to a University of Manchester study.
2) Practice a Stress Relief Technique That Works Stress is something everyone experiences, whether from work, family, money or other sources. Try a few different tactics to find a go-to technique for when you need to relax.
3) Try to Learn Something New Taking in challenges and teaching our brains new things is good for mental health, especially as we get older. If you’ve had a hobby or new language in mind, what better time than now?
4) Dedicate Time to Helping Others Doing good for others helps us feel better. It’s something many of us know intuitively, and science also supports this philosophy as well.
5) Find a Fitness Program You Like Dread the gym or hate routines? Many fitness experts will tell you that the key to getting fit is finding exercises that you like and find enjoyable. Thankfully, there are so many ways to exercise that you are bound to find ones that you like.
6) Commit to Working Out Three to Four Times Per Week On the subject of fitness, getting exercise not only helps you look better, it boosts immunity, brain health, mood and much more. Working out or staying in shape usually top New Year’s resolutions lists but it can also be one of the harder ones to keep for many people.
7) Take More Steps Another good way to boost your overall activity level to simply walk more during the day. Newer research has shown that sitting all day is bad for health, this can be especially if you have a sedentary job.
8) Replace Soda/Coffee/Tea with More Water Water is essential for health, and not getting enough can make you feel sluggish, bloated and even affect sleep. The average person should drink about 64 ounces of pure water each day. If you are more active or in a drier climate, you may need more water.
9) Follow The Rainbow Principle for Your Plate The more colors of fresh fruit and veggies you eat, the broader spectrum of antioxidants, minerals and vitamins you’re nourishing your body with. Try to make sure every meal has at least a couple colors of veggies, and mix up what you eat regularly.
10) Bring Your Lunch and Snacks to Work Rather than hitting the drive thru or the vending machine every day, try to pack a fresh sandwich, leftovers, or a healthy salad at least a few days each week. Toss in some sliced veggies, nuts, a boiled egg, apple or other quick and healthy snacks to help stave off sweet and salty cravings in the afternoon, too.
11) Cook at Home More Often Beyond lunch, getting meals out may seem convenient, but you are paying for it both in the cost and your health. Take up learning basic healthy meals, and try to gradually reduce fast food trips this year.
12) Take Advantage of Break Times If you get a long lunch at work, put that time to use and make sure you get away from the computer and your tasks for a bit. Savor your lunch, take a walk, use the gym, relax, take a quick nap or catch up on a book. The point is to do something for you! Research shows your productivity will be better for it as well.
13) Get More Sunlight Direct sunlight helps your body produce Vitamin D and also helps regulate your body’s internal sleep-wake clock. Try to get out in the sunshine for several minutes each day, especially in the morning and early afternoon. Even working near a window can help.
14) Stop Watching TV and Using Screens Late at Night Studies show that TVs, smartphones, laptops and even eBooks steal your sleep and affect sleep quality. Higher electronic use in general is also associated with physical and mental health effects. Phase electronics out of your bedroom and wind down with paper books, music, journalling, or meditation instead, for example.
15) Make Sure You Are Getting Enough Sleep Most adults need a minimum of seven hours of sleep to avoid the side effects of sleep deprivation. Track your schedule to make sure you are getting enough quality rest. Sleep is well worth your time if you want to get healthy, as it helps you in the gym, helps you make smarter food choices, helps your mood, and helps you learn. How’s that for multitasking?
You don’t have to include every idea or completely overhaul your routine to get healthier this year. Pick the goals that are most important to you, and start making those small steps to turn actions into habits. Remember, every change for the better is progress. How do you plan on getting healthier this year, or what aspects are most important to you? Share your goals and other helpful tips in the comments. Read more…