A new year signifies a fresh start with many of us promising to get healthier at the start of January.
However, more often than not, the goals we set are too restrictive or difficult to sustain - leading most people to break their resolutions within a few weeks.
Get the next 12 months off to a good start by incorporating these 10 simple lifestyle changes that can make a big difference.
Start your morning with a cup of hot water and lemon
Adding morning lemon water to your daily routine before your coffee and breakfast is an instant energizer, because it hydrates your body after a long nights sleep. Plus, the lemon loads the drink with vitamin C which is great for helping prevent colds and flu.
Drink a glass of water after each bathroom break
Whether it’s because we’re too busy or simply don’t like the taste, most of us don’t drink enough water. Form a subconscious habit by drinking a cup of water right after you return from the bathroom. You’ll soon find yourself doing it almost automatically without having to think about it.
Eat the rainbow
Slowly and consistently add a variety of colored fruits and vegetables to your food intake. This will boost your day-to-day health by nourishing your body with nutrients, vitamins and minerals. If you’re not used to eating vegetables, start by adding one serving of your favorite veggie to your diet every day, and build from there.
Always have healthy snacks on hand
When healthy food is near, it’s easier to forgo cravings and keep your energy levels consistent (goodbye 3pm slump). Blend smoothies during the weekend and freeze them to pull out each morning as an afternoon snack or have great go-to snack on hand – like nuts, seeds and popcorn.
Sit less, move more
Whether due to inactivity, too much driving or desk jobs - most people sit more than they should.
Look for ways to incorporate small bursts of physical activity into your existing habits. Take the stairs instead of the elevators, park further from your office, enjoy a quick stroll during lunch – just move as much as you can.
Get more quality sleep
Getting a good night's sleep is one of the most important things you can do. This year, focus on improving both the quantity and quality of your slumber. Simple tricks include decreasing screen time before bed, cutting back on caffeine or setting a nightly bedtime at a reasonable hour – and sticking with it.
Spend more time outside
Find more ways to incorporate nature into your daily routine to help relieve stress and elevate your mood. Even if it’s just walking around your back yard bare foot, taking your dog for a stroll after work or a quick visit to your local park – just remember the sunscreen!
Taking time for yourself is imperative for optimal health and wellbeing. Especially for caretakers such as parents and healthcare workers. Make sure to plan some (uninterrupted and guilt-free!) time every week for good dose of self-care, even if it’s simply taking a bath or getting an extra hour of sleep.
Boost your positive thinking
Increased positivity can help you be happier, less stressed, and even healthier. Get into the habit of saying two positive things for every one negative thing you say, keep a gratitude journal or nominate a gratitude accountability partner – texting each other every morning the thing you’re most grateful for that day.
Visit your doctor
Your mother was right when she said “prevention is better than cure”. Most experts recommend seeing your primary care physician at least once a year for a full checkup. Having regular blood work and necessary screenings can help spot potential problems before they turn into something more serious.
Reaching wellness goals, whatever they are, is best achieved by taking small, slow, and sustainable steps. And remember to keep it fun!