2018, a new chance to make this year a happy and healthy New Year. This year, we want to help you make a list of resolutions that you can actually stick to. No matter how excited we are when creating our new and sensational resolutions, one reason that we so often let them go a few weeks into the New Year is the underlying reason we made the resolution. Make sure that you are creating these resolutions for you, your happiness, and your health and we promise they will be infinitely easier to stick to. Below are out top 5 ways to kick off a healthy New Year.
Sleep or lack thereof, is often the underlying cause of many of our health issues, including stress and anxiety, weight gain and low immunity. But especially after the holidays when we’re recovering from unsettled bedtime routines, it can be extremely hard to stick to a good sleep schedule. So for the healthy New Year, we suggest starting slow. Aim to add on 30 minute of sleep each night, work yourself up to 7-8 hours of quality sleep, and help yourself in the process. By this, we mean make some tea before bed (caffeine free), dim the lights to start winding down, and probably most importantly, put away your phone and other screens.
2. Eat a Better Diet in the New Year
We all know that eating a ‘more balanced diet’ is a common New Year’s resolution. However, with chaotic schedules, busy kids and long days at work, it can be easy to give up, and eat the fast, cheap and easy option which is almost never nutritional. A poor diet can lead to poor health and studies show that it can even be a factor in many chronic conditions. Maintaining a diet that is healthy can actually help prevent and manage various chronic diseases.
Meal planning and preparation is key to staying on track, as one of the leading causes people don’t eat a balanced diet is that it can be inconvenient. This is where a bit of planning goes a long way.
Take one night a week and do these simple steps:
- Cook all of the meat you will have throughout the week
- Cut up all of your fruits and vegetables
- Pack up all of your predetermined meals for the week
- Don’t forget to pack a few snacks as well
- Bring them with you when you have a long day away from home.
Make it into a fun family night of cooking, play some music, and make it a resolution no one wants to give up.
3. Hydration is Key in the New Year
Staying hydrated sounds simple enough, right? But most of us are actually chronically dehydrated, and we don’t even realize it. And consuming caffeinated beverages won’t help create a healthy new year. One of the leading reasons that people simply don’t drink enough water is that it is inconvenient to do so. We suggest that you go out a buy a liter water bottle, which can be found at any supermarket, and carry it with you wherever you go. You won’t have an excuse not to stay hydrated.
Another issue that people tend to have with drinking water is that they don’t like the taste. There are so many things that you can do to fix this:
- Start your healthy new year by infusing your water with lemon
- Infuse it with mint leaves, ginger, or tumeric
- Pretend you’re at a spa, and put some fresh cucumber slices in it
- Find fruits that are in season and toss them in
There are countless different flavors that you can make your water, you’ll be running out of your new favorite beverage in no time.
It may seem like a small goal, but stating hydrated can have drastic effects on your overall health, from more energy to better skin to increased productivity at work.
4. Start Exercising Outside for a Healthy New Year
Studies show that our human existence thrives on green spaces, and when we are not exposed to enough of them we can actually become anxious and depressed.
“Higher levels of green space [in a neighborhood] were associated with lower symptoms of anxiety, depression, and stress [in the members of the local community].”
-Dr. Kristen Malecki, University of Wisconsin-Madison
This is also another easy resolution to implement into your daily life. You don’t need go for a weekend hike over a mountain; simply taking the dog out for a 15-30 minute walk is a wonderful place to start. On days that you may have more free time, take your dog to the park, or go for a walk with a friend. Involving someone else in the process is one of the best ways to create accountability, which we all need from one time to another. Your outdoor activities do not need to be confined to walking however; why not try yoga or meditation? Practices such as yoga and meditation have been found to boost quality of life and increase our sense of well-being.
Most importantly, when you’re doing your outdoor activity, make sure to take a moment and look around you. Take in the scenery, and smell a few roses. Getting a little more in touch with nature is one of the best ways to create a happy and healthy new year.
5. Schedule Your Annual Exam for the New Year
And finally, the best way to start your healthy New Year and the best ways to discern your health is to schedule, and get your annual physical. Your annual exam will screen for any medical issues and assess any possible risks or future medical problems. It can also be beneficial to have assistance when working towards a healthier lifestyle and a qualified nurse, or doctor will provide you with some much needed support.
Wishing everyone a happy and healthy New Year. You can find us at 179 Talcottville Road Vernon, CT 06066 or reach us by phone at 860-986-7600 where we are open 7 days a week.