With festivities rolling in and cold winds arising, we start to make those New Year’s resolutions once again. There is nothing wrong with this tradition, but there are a few problems worth noting. First off, resolutions rarely get translated into reality. Secondly, goals like getting in shape and staying healthy are a challenge during the boisterous time of feasting.
Nevertheless, postponing change is precisely what you want to avoid. After all, healthy living is not some unpleasant and tough endeavor. You can start with baby steps, proceed at your own pace, and make choices that empower you.
Forge mental sturdiness
A combo of lifestyle and attitude changes is what deals a killing blow to the unhealthy person you want to leave behind. And it all starts with the right mindset.
Namely, learn to practice self-awareness on a daily basis. Examine your thoughts and break negative recurring loops. Tell this to yourself: I am in control and I wield the power to reinvent myself.
Just bear in mind that wishful thinking doesn’t make it so. It is just one step on a long journey. Therefore, the next one is to set tangible, realistic and measurable goals. For instance, you can aim to improve your physical health, shed some calories, sculpt your body or enhance your mental health. Maybe you want to achieve all these things, which is totally fine.
Adopt healthy nutrition
You’ve heard it a million times before, but it’s worth repeating: your eating habits play a vital role.
Merely counting calories is not your top priority. Instead, create a balanced diet packed with nutritious food. You cannot go wrong with fresh wholesome food, vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. Avoid overly processed, sugar-ridden, and canned food like the plague. Also, increase the intake of omega-3 fatty acids, which are proven to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Additionally, abide by the rules. Stop eating out that often. Never skip a breakfast and make sure it is loaded with protein. Cook at home any chance you get and carry your meals to work.
Engage in physical activity
Another staple of health comes in the form of exercise. It boosts your overall health, busts stress and makes you feel better in your own skin.
Here, one of the most common mistakes people make is imitating others and following fads. If you are doing exhausting workout every day and end up feeling miserable, you are not doing it right. Crowded and sweat-soaked gyms are not for everyone, you know.
You need to find something that you dig, an activity that is fulfilling and rewarding. The options are virtually limitless, from riding a bike to your office to dancing in your room. A growing body of scientific evidence suggests that even 10 minutes per day bring significant, long-term health benefits. As long as it makes you stay active and happy, it does the trick.
Furthermore, embrace a proactive approach to your health.
Regular doctor visits are not something people look forward to, but they are paramount to keeping various health issues and conditions at bay. And don’t wait for symptoms to kick in. Pick a doctor you are comfortable with and schedule medical checkups (especially blood pressure). By taking action today, you steer away from serious problems down the road.
While at it, take time to pamper and invest in yourself. You shouldn’t neglect a single part of your body, including your skin. Buy quality skincare products such as a hydration serum that will make your skin look radiant and smooth. This is a nice way to reward yourself after reaching a certain milestone.
Cherish sleep and rest
Finally, it is time to restore order to your sleeping habits.
Sleep is the silent warden of good health and it also affects your energy levels, functionality and mood. On the other hand, sleep deprivation is linked to a wealth of issues such as fatigue, depression and forgetfulness.
For most people, around eight hours (or somewhere between seven and nine) per night is the sweet spot. You can also throw in some 30 minutes of afternoon napping to be more rested.
Try to go to bed at roughly the same time every night. Banish technology from your sleeping chamber because it only makes you feel more awake. Invest in a quality pillow and a sleeping mattress to improve the quality of your sleep. Finally, darken your room and learn some relaxation techniques to drift away to dreamland effortlessly.
Before the glitter and rowdiness of the New Year take hold, take a moment to rethink your ways. Beyond everything else, you need to prioritize your health, no excuses. To improve it, unlock the power of small daily choices and habits that add up in the long run.
Focus on eating better, getting enough shuteye and being more active. These three aspects of a healthy lifestyle are closely intertwined and dependant on each other. Nurture their synergy to recharge your batteries. Have a fresh start in 2019!
By Peter Minkoff