7 Healthy New Year's Resolutions to Kick Off 2016

Posted by on in Personal Wellness

Are you ready for a happier, healthier version of yourself? Well it’s the time of year again to begin setting New Year resolutions.

People often set resolutions on Jan. 1 and get excited, but lose their motivation and give up before the end of the year. This is why it’s important to set goals that truly impact your life, and what could be more impactful than your health? We’re going to share the top healthy resolutions to set in 2016, and how to achieve them.

Top 7 Healthy Resolutions

  1. Be physically active- Did you know that adults need at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity a week? Exercising has all sorts of benefits outside of losing weight. Staying active actually increases your energy levels and improves your mental and emotional well-being.  Consider joining a gym, taking the stairs at work, walking more, or taking up a recreational sport.

  2. Quit smoking- According to the National Cancer Institute, tobacco contains over 7,000 chemicals, and at least 69 of those cause cancer. Quitting smoking lowers risks of cancer, heart disease, COPD, and improves overall health.

  3. Cut sugary drinks- High sugar intake has been linked to obesity, diabetes, and other chronic diseases. Sodas, juices, and even some alcoholic drinks have high sugar content and are unnecessary calories that should be saved for food intake. Drinking more water can improve your skin, kidneys, and overall health. If you want to opt for taste, try fruit infusions, sugar-free carbonated water, or tea.

  4. Eat Healthier- This is often the hardest resolution to keep. Processed foods are prevalent in grocery stores, and most people are unaware of the actual ingredients that make up their meals when eating out at restaurants and fast food chains.

    • Take a cooking class, or look up recipes to cook more and control portion sizes. Pay attention to ingredient lists at the grocery stores as well—sugar and other unnecessary processed ingredients often find their way into many foods you wouldn’t expect to see them in. This doesn’t mean every once in a while you can’t have a donut, candy bar, or piece of pizza. Everything in moderation.

  5. Get More Sleep- the National Sleep Foundation recommends adults age 18-64 get at least 7 to 9 hours of sleep every day. Getting an appropriate amount of sleep can improve your immune system, energy, memory, and more. There are several apps that can track your sleep to help keep you on a healthy schedule.

  6. Avoid Stress- Unhealthy eating habits, smoking, insomnia, and lack of physical activity are well known factors of stress in some people. There are a lot of different ways to combat stress, but some of them are:

    • Take up yoga – According to the Mayo Clinic, Yoga is a mind-body practice that combines physical poses, controlled breathing, and meditation or relaxation.

    • Use stress balls— Squeezing the ball releases tension, allowing you to relax.

    • Take time for yourself— Scheduling alone time allows you to recharge your brain, reflect, and improve your concentration and productivity.

  7. Maintain regular doctor checkups- A lot of major health issues can be combatted with regular doctor visits. It’s important to get regular checkups from not only general practitioners, but dentists, and any specialists necessary to maintain your health. Prior to the Affordable Care Act, many Americans did not seek preventative care because they did not have insurance, but now millions of Americans have access to medical care. If, for a variety of reasons, you do not have health insurance there may be low cost clinics or urgent care centers in your area that can help you.  

Keeping on Track

Now that you have a list of resolutions to get started for the New Year, how are you going to make certain you complete them?

Getting family and friends involved in your resolutions is a great way to stay motivated. You can also check out different goal-setting apps and strategies to make sure your resolutions stick.

The ultimate tip to keep in mind while pursuing your resolutions is do not get discouraged if results do not show up as quickly as you would like to see them. If you are trying to eat healthier and eat 300 calories over your calorie goal, don’t give up. Acknowledge it, keep going, and eat better the next day.

No matter which goals make it on your resolution list, making a commitment to better your health is a great New Year’s resolution. There is no time like the present and it is never too late to work on a new and improved you.

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