The start of a new year is a great time to make healthy lifestyle changes, give up bad habits, and improve your well-being. It’s no wonder that many Americans celebrate the New Year by resolving to get healthier. The most popular New Year’s resolutions include getting more exercise, losing weight, and eating healthier. While only a small percentage of people keep their resolutions, there are steps you can take to get healthier in the year ahead and achieve your health goals.
In this blog, we will discuss seven healthy resolutions that you can keep. We will provide tips on how to set realistic goals, strategies for success, and techniques for staying motivated. Implementing these resolutions can positively impact your overall health and well-being.
Lose Weight and Keep it Off
A resolution to lose weight is one of the most important steps you can take toward better health. Losing five to ten percent of your body weight can help lower your risk of chronic health conditions, such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and high blood pressure. While fad diets may help you lose weight fast, you’re more likely to experience successful, long-term weight loss if you have a goal of losing about one to two pounds per week.
To lose weight and keep it off, it’s important to eat healthy food, get regular physical activity, and follow these ten weight-loss tips that work:
- Keep a food diary to track your eating habits
- Eat a balanced diet that includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and healthy fats
- Cut back on added sugars, saturated fats, and processed foods
- Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated
- Get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity each week.
- Strength train at least two times per week
- Get enough sleep to help regulate your appetite and metabolism
- Find a form of exercise that you enjoy and make it a regular part of your routine
- Surround yourself with supportive friends and family who can help you stay motivated
- Find a registered dietitian or weight loss counselor to help you make a plan.
To keep motivated and stay on track with your weight loss goals, try setting reminders for yourself, such as putting a reminder on your phone or setting the alarm for meal times. Make sure to reward yourself for your progress, and don’t be too hard on yourself if you slip up.
Eat a Healthy Diet
Healthy eating involves both what you eat and how you eat. Getting your recommended servings of fruits and vegetables daily is important because fruits and veggies are low in calories and fat, high in fiber, and rich sources of vitamins and minerals. Foods that contain fiber keep you feeling full, which helps you lose weight.
Eating too fast can cause you to overeat, so slow down and chew each bite carefully. Turn off the TV, put your phone away, and enjoy the textures and flavors of the meal. As you eat, it can take your brain up to 20 minutes to get the message from your stomach that you’re no longer hungry, so stop eating before you feel full.
To make healthy eating a habit, try planning your meals, and keep healthy snacks on hand for when you’re on the go. Keep a food diary to track your progress and make adjustments as needed. Find a registered dietitian or nutritionist to help you make a plan that works for you.
Sit Less, Move More
Going to a gym daily may not be a realistic goal if you last exercised a while ago. Resolving to add more physical activity into your daily life is simply more attainable. An easy way to become active is to sit less and move more. Park farther away from the entrance to the grocery store, take the stairs instead of the elevator, and exercise while you watch TV.
Physical activity has some health benefits, so if you have a few minutes, you have time to exercise. Finding time for fitness when you’re busy is easier than you may think. If you have limited mobility, find out how to exercise in a chair.
To make physical activity a habit, try scheduling it into your day like any other appointment. Start small and gradually increase the intensity and duration of your exercise. Try different forms of physical activity until you find something you enjoy.
Schedule an Annual Checkup
Seeing your primary care doctor each year and taking advantage of your preventive care benefits can help you stay healthy. Regular checkups and preventive screenings allow your doctor to identify minor health issues before they become bigger problems. And treatment is often more effective when an illness is detected early.
Be sure to visit your doctor yearly for a regular checkup, even if you feel healthy. To ensure you schedule your checkup, try setting a reminder in your phone, calendar, or planner. When you make your appointment, schedule your next checkup simultaneously so you won’t have to worry about forgetting.
Take Steps to Reduce Stress
Managing stress is important in taking care of yourself and maintaining good overall mental and physical health. If your stress is getting out of control, simple activities like practicing breathing exercises, going for a walk, or listening to music can help restore calm to your life. Chronic stress affects your health and well-being, so explore healthy ways to relieve stress.
To make stress management a habit, try setting aside time each day for a stress-reducing activity. This could be as simple as taking a few minutes to breathe deeply or walking. Try different stress management techniques until you find what works for you.
Get More Sleep
Good quality sleep boosts your immune system and promotes emotional wellness by giving your mind time to rest and recharge. Establishing a relaxing bedtime routine, limiting screen time before bed, and creating a quiet sleep environment can help you get the sleep you need. If you suffer from insomnia, take steps to reduce stress and follow these nine tips for better sleep.
To make sleep a priority, try setting a consistent bedtime and wake-up time, and stick to it as closely as possible. Avoid stimulating activities before bed, such as watching TV or using your phone. Create a relaxing bedtime routine, such as reading a book or taking a warm bath to help you relax.
Create a Plan to Stop Smoking
Smoking harms nearly every organ in the body and is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States. Quitting smoking can have immediate and long-term benefits for your health.
To quit smoking, try creating a plan that includes a quit date, strategies for dealing with cravings, and a support system. Nicotine replacement therapy, such as gum or patches, can help reduce withdrawal symptoms. Medications, such as bupropion and varenicline, can also increase the chances of quitting successfully.
In conclusion, the start of a new year is a perfect time to make healthy lifestyle changes. Implementing these seven healthy resolutions can positively impact your overall health and well-being. Remember to set realistic goals, make a plan, and stay motivated. Remember that change is not always easy, and slipping up is okay. The important thing is to get back on track and keep moving forward.
Another key to keeping you resolved is to make them a priority. When you prioritize your health, you are more likely to stick to your resolutions. This means setting reminders, scheduling your daily resolutions, and making them a part of your daily routine.
Finally, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Whether it’s a registered dietitian, nutritionist, personal trainer, or counselor, having someone to support and guide you can make a big difference.
Ultimately, the most important thing is to have fun and enjoy the journey. The new year is a great time to start fresh and make positive changes in your life. With the right mindset and a little effort, you can achieve your health goals and make this year your best.