A new year always gives us the opportunity to reset. To let go of the past and start over. To set new resolutions for ourselves, resolutions that can bring us notable improvements in the quality of life. Health is undeniably an essential component of a good life. We need to be healthy in order to enjoy life.
At the beginning of each year it’s important to set new goals to better ourselves both physically and mentally. We all aspire to lose weight, to have lean muscles and simply be fit. But it’s not all about the body. We need to also take care of our emotional and mental wellbeing. We need to challenge our minds and keep them sharp, to reduce stress and find inner peace.
Here are 10 resolutions to guide us in the right direction in 2022.
Walk 30 Minutes Each Day
Walking is one of the most beneficial exercises you can do. It’s free, it doesn’t require special skills, it’s low-impact and can generate a multitude of health benefits. Among many others, walking for 30 minutes each day can help us prevent cardiovascular diseases, lose weight, boost our immune system, strengthen our bones, ease depression and improve our mood.
If you want to maximize your walking sessions, it’s a good idea to start keeping track of your activity. You can easily do this with a pedometer app like our own ActivityTracker. This way you’ll be able to see relevant fitness stats (the number of steps taken, calories burned, distance covered or active time) and see if you’re meeting the recommended guidelines. At the same time you’ll have the chance to set your own goals and find the motivation to remain active.
Sit Less at the Office
Prolonged sitting at a desk is a serious thing and can unfortunately cause a series of medical conditions. Too much inactivity can lead to neck and back pain, to a dangerous increase in your blood sugar levels, to weight gain and heart disease.
In order to improve your health, you need to find ways to be more physically active at the office. For instance, you can take the stairs instead of the elevator, have walking meetings, opt for a standing desk if possible, get up and go outside if you receive a call or simply take a break from sitting at certain set intervals.
Hike in Nature
One of the best resolutions you can make is to spend more time in nature. Going for a hike, every time your schedule allows it, can do wonders. Not only for the body, but for the mind and soul as well.
Physically speaking, hiking is a great whole-body exercise. It can help you boost your cardiovascular fitness, build muscles, strengthen your bones, improve your balance and burn calories. At the same time, taking a hike can have a truly positive impact on your mental wellbeing. Connecting with nature can help you clear your mind and let go of your worries, decrease stress and anxiety.
Make Exercise Fun, not Burdensome
Setting resolutions is not a problem. Keeping them is. One of the best ways to stick to a fitness resolution is to discover a physical activity that you truly enjoy. If exercise becomes fun and you look forward to it, you significantly increase the chances of sticking to your routine.
For instance, if your goal is to lose weight it’s not mandatory to go to the gym, particularly if you’re not a fan of working out in front of other people. You can progressively lose weight by engaging in other activities to your liking, such as brisk walking or running in the park. You can also take up a sport which you weren’t doing before and find enjoyable.
Make Dietary Changes
Nutrition plays a major role in maintaining optimal weight and staying healthy overall. In order to enjoy good health it’s not enough to be physically active. You also need to make smart nutritional choices and embrace a balanced diet.
Make a plan and incorporate fruits and veggies in your daily meal schedule. From time to time, try to replace red meat with fish. Cut back on sugary drinks, alcohol and junk food. Avoid as much as possible packaged food, as it contains lots of additives, nitrates and other harmful elements. Instead try to cook more at home.
Sleep is fundamental to your health. Not getting enough rest at night may increase the risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, weight gain and diabetes. It’s understandable why you need to make sleep one of your priorities in 2022.
But how can you improve your sleep? Well, there are numerous ways. Reduce blue light exposure from electronic devices in the evening, avoid heavy meals and caffeine late in the day, avoid long naps in the afternoon and try to create a sleeping pattern (go to bed and wake up at approximately the same time).
If it’s a new year, perhaps it’s time to try something different. Something that can positively influence your emotional wellbeing, such as meditation.
Meditation comes with numerous benefits. Practiced on a regular basis, it can help you properly manage stressful situations, reduce anxiety, eliminate negative thoughts and emotions and become a kinder, more patient and tolerant individual. Medically speaking, meditation may help control chronic pain and asthma, decrease blood pressure, reduce the risk of heart disease and improve sleep.
There’s no need to worry if you haven’t practiced meditation before. You can easily find online classes or mobile apps that will ease you into the learning process.
Keep your Brain in Shape
Your body is not the only one that needs to be in shape. You also need to take care of your brain. Keeping your brain active is a great way to keep it healthy and young.
You can do a wide range of things to challenge your mind. Read a captivating book, listen to insightful podcasts, solve a Rubik’s cube, do crossword puzzles or jigsaw puzzles. You can also continue to stimulate your brain by developing new skills, such as learning to cook or playing a musical instrument.
Improve Work/Life Balance
Spending too much time at the office, doing overtime and generally being absorbed in professional matters can seriously harm you. It can be harmful to your physical and mental health and it can damage your relationship with your family and loved ones.
It’s truly important to make family time a priority in the new year. Don’t take your work with you at home, schedule after-work family activities, set up family reunions instead of video calls, take vacations and just spend quality time together.
Reduce Screen Time
It’s almost impossible to avoid screens and monitors today, particularly since many jobs involve the use of a computer. In addition to the working hours, we also tend to spend more and more time in front of the screen when we get home. We constantly use our smartphones and PC’S for entertainment purposes.
Spending less time on our devices can help us improve our mental health. According to a study conducted by the University of Pennsylvania, limiting our social media use to 30 minutes a day can decrease anxiety, depression, loneliness and aid us rest better at night.