New Year’s Resolutions can tend to feel like fads that only last a couple of weeks. It is important to use this new year as a motivation to improve your health. Out with the not-so-good habits, and in with the new. Instead of setting unrealistic expectations for your New Year’s resolutions, try to set smaller goals that all lead in the same direction.
While you are taking this month of the new year to reflect on your health and make some positive lifestyle changes, we would like to help you identify where to begin. Through diligent research, we came up with some recommendations on how to kick off the new year with wellness resolutions top of mind. Check out these tips on how to improve your sleep, exercise, diet and mental health habits to achieve your main goal of improving your overall health.
Get a Good Night’s Sleep
Health includes not only our body but our minds as well – the way we handle our emotions, attitudes and stress. All of these factors can be affected by our sleep. Poor sleep has been linked to obesity, lowered immune function, and memory problems. Avoid bright lights and handheld electronics as they will increase wakefulness. You want to train your brain that bed is a place for sleep, not a thinking spot.
Exercise As Often As You Can
Exercise is not only essential for weight management and physical health, but it also improves mood and sleep patterns. Our muscles are movers for our body, in every movement we perform. Sitting upright, running, walking and working all require the use of major muscles. Strength training is recommended at least two times per week, with multi-joint exercise included. Strength training can be performed using one’s bodyweight, free-weights, machines, bands or other methods. Each training session should include three to four sets of four to eight exercises.
Keep Your Relationships on Track
Our relationships can affect us in larger ways than we might realize. Studies have shown that people with strong relationships live longer than those who stay isolated. Helping others out by volunteering or giving them comfort when they need it can also boost your life expectancy.
Optimize your intake of healthy nutrients by consuming a wide variety of colorful fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds. The low-caloric density of a plant-based diet can aid in achieving and maintaining a healthy body weight. Setting a goal to eat a combined five to seven servings of fruits and vegetables per day and planning ahead with meals for the week are great ways to kickstart a plant-based diet.
Monitor Your Mental Health
Having a sense of security contributes to wellbeing by lowering levels of anxiety and fear, which have negative impacts on health. Knowing our purpose in life calls us to examine our passions and values, as well as the way that we can serve the needs of the world. Our purpose is where we find meaning, and it can improve our physical health, lengthen our lives, and improve our relationships with others.
Make Improving Your Overall Health a Reality This Year
Wellbeing is a dynamic process, with each aspect influencing the other. Notice that when you flourish in one area, you tend to do well in the others. Take a few minutes several times a day to intentionally relax, disengage or unwind to break the cycle of stress, improve your mood and attention, and set a more positive tone for the rest of the day. Instead of setting unrealistic New Year’s resolutions, set one main goal of improving your health. This way, you can set smaller goals each month in each of these categories to lead you in the right direction, while celebrating your victories along the way.
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