Setting huge goals in the new year can set you up for failure. Making unobtainable resolutions to run ten miles a day or to lose 50 lbs. is a waste of time. Instead, start sensibly and make gradual dietary and physical changes to guarantee success. Get your new year off to a great start with these 8 easy-to-follow health tips!
- Replace unhealthy soft drinks with water. This simple swap will keep you better hydrated while you cut calories, sugar, sodium, and caffeine. Frequent soda drinkers can avoid tooth decay, too, so it’s a win-win situation.
- Wear an activity tracker to keep count of your steps and to encourage you to get up and walk more often. Set small personal goals and slowly increase the number of steps you take per day.
- Swap out desserts for fruit. You will still get the same sweetness your taste buds desire; however, you will be cutting back on calories and on unhealthy ingredients associated with processed foods or baked goods. Plus, you’ll be feeding your body plenty of healthy vitamins and nutrients.
- Eat a salad three to five times a week. Change up the lettuce and types of vegetables and proteins you add to keep it interesting. Watch out for heavy, chemical-laden salad dressings and opt for oil and vinegar or light and healthy options instead.
- Eating a well-rounded diet is a great way to make sure you are getting adequate nutrients from food. However, many of us fall short of eating proper varietal diets. Taking a multivitamin is generally a great way to make up for nutrients lacking in our normal eating patterns. Be sure to check with your doctor before adding vitamin supplements to your diet to avoid interactions with medications and to understand what products are best for you.
- Being fit consists of a maintaining a healthy body, mind, and soul. You can exercise and eat right, but you still can’t achieve total health if you ignore your soul. Regular gentle exercises, such as yoga and meditation, increase mindfulness and help to reduce stress and anxiety responses in the body.
- Being in the presence of trees is a Zen eco-therapy commonly practiced in Japan. “Forest bathing” is the name for this Japanese practice, in which people go outdoors in a forest to find peace and promote good health. It is surmised that being surrounded by phytoncide, an oil emitted from trees and plants, leads to better health. Whether it be a forest scene or seascape, spending time in nature is an enriching spiritual experience that is bound to promote calmness and tranquility.
- Adopting a dog is a big commitment, but there are many benefits of pet ownership. According to numerous studies, pet owners generally live longer and healthier lives than people without pets. While reasons are often disputed, pet owners are generally more physically active. So, consider walking your pet, adopting a dog if you don’t have one, or offer to take your neighbor’s dog for regular walks instead.