A New Year always calls for New Year’s Resolutions. This is the perfect time to leave the past behind and set fresh goals for ourselves, goals that can help us make our lives better. Some aim to make behavior changes and learn new skills, others to start eating healthier and exercising more. Resolutions can take diverse forms, but the objective is the same: to increase the quality and length of our lives.
In this article we’re going to focus on what we can do to change our health for the better in 2021. Here’s a list of 10 health resolutions for the New Year that can bring generate important physical and mental benefits.
One of the best things you can do for yourself is to simply move more each day. Walking is an easy form of exercise and, yet, truly rewarding for both the body and the mind. Done for 30 minutes on a daily basis, it can help you lose weight, prevent a series of diseases, strengthen your muscles and bones, as well as efficiently combat stress and anxiety.
To make the most of your walks download a pedometer app like our own ActivityTracker. This way you’ll be able to know exactly how much you’re walking instead of guessing, to set various goals for the steps taken, distance walked or calories burned and track your progress at any moment. At the same time it’s a great way to stay motivated and reach and even surpass your initial fitness targets.
Mix your Fitness Activity
If you want to really stay fit this year, try to engage in several fitness activities. It may be tempting to stick to a single one you fully enjoy, but if you want to obtain great results you’ll need to overcome that temptation.
Variety is the key. Mix aerobic exercise like walking, hiking and running with some strength workouts, such as lifting weights, doing push-ups, sit-ups, squats or planks. Also do not neglect flexibility exercises such as lunges and stretches, because they can actually prevent a series of injuries.
Replace Soft Drinks with Water
You probably know it by now: soft drinks like soda, coke, lemonade or energy drinks aren’t exactly healthy. All these beverages contain added sugar or various types of sweeteners, are quite high in calories (a 330 ml can of coke has 140 calories) and provide absolutely no nutritional value. On the contrary, drinking periodically these beverages can lead to weight gain, teeth problems and an increased risk of diabetes and heart disease.
The best option for your health is to replace this sugary drinks with water. As opposed to soft beverages, water contains no calories, no sugar and, truly, important, it helps you stay hydrated. According to research, drinking lots of water each day can have a positive impact on your body fat and overall body weight. If you can’t make the switch completely, try at first to limit your soda consumption and gradually make progress.
Reduce the Alcohol Consumption
One of the efficient things you can do to stay healthy this year is to limit your alcohol consumption as much as possible. A glass of wine during dinner won’t do any harm, but going overboard will. Drinking excessively will have a huge impact on vital organs such as the heart, liver and pancreas and will also affect your brain and how it functions.
In addition to maintaining your organs in good health, drinking less alcoholic beverages will also help you maintain your weight. If you didn’t know it, wine, beer, whiskey and other spirits contain an important amount of calories that can become visible on your waistline if you overdo it.
Eat More Fruits and Veggies
An important health resolution is to make a change to your diet. Start eating less processed foods filled with harmful preservatives and additives and incorporate more fruits and vegetables into your daily meals. This won’t be easy and will require some effort, but it will most surely be beneficial to your health in the long run.
Fruits and vegetables are an excellent source of vitamins, minerals and fibers your body needs to function properly. At the same time they are quite low in calories and saturated fats, salt and sugar, making them an integral part of a healthy diet. It’s also worth knowing that eating fruits and vegetables on a constant basis can reduce the risk of cancer, diabetes or heart disease.
This is probably one of the most difficult resolutions to keep. Indeed, quitting smoking can be cumbersome for life-long smokers, but the health benefits that come with it are truly amazing. Letting go of tobacco means a lower risk of cancer, of lung and heart disease, better blood circulation and a stronger immune system.
Moreover, stopping smoking equates to more energy, improved smell and taste, healthier teeth and a fresh breath and of course a longer life. And that’s not all. As you probably are aware, smoking is a bad and rather expensive habit. Quitting can help you make significant savings. According to WalletHub, smoking costs Americans a minimum of $27,000 a year and $1.4 million over a lifetime.
Get More Sleep
Getting enough sleep at night is crucial. Not only for the body, but for the mind as well. A good night’s rest will help you improve your concentration and productivity, boost your immunity and fitness level, as well as prevent weight gain and depression.
Don’t know the necessary amount of sleep you need? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends adults between 18-60 years should sleep 7 or more hours per night in order to function properly the next day.
Try a New Activity
Every now and again it’s advisable to break the routine and do something you’ve never done before. One of the exciting fitness resolutions for the New Year can be to try a new activity.
It can be something you’ve wanted to do, but never had the courage. Or something you’re barely familiar with. It doesn’t matter, the important thing is to take the plunge. Whether it’s signing up for Pilates, joining a Yoga class or trying to see what Zumba is all about, go ahead and do it. Both your body and mind will appreciate the novelty.
Reconnect with Nature
From time to time, we need to just disconnect from technology and reconnect with nature. Even though it may seem inconceivable, it’s important to step away from our electronic devices and get back in touch with nature. Even if it’s just for a while.
Studies have shown that spending time in nature can have a truly positive impact on our overall health and wellbeing. Walking through a forest or going for a hike in a green environment can have not only physical benefits, but also mental. We become less stressed, less anxious and more at peace with ourselves after a nature immersion.
Improve Mental Wellbeing
Improving your mental health and wellbeing should always be one of your New Year’s resolutions. Being healthy mentally can help you deal with stressful situations in an effective way, adjust easier to changes, make smart choices or be more productive from a professional perspective.
There are several ways you can improve your mental wellbeing. Develop stronger and closer relationships with the ones you love, practice gratitude, be helpful and kind to others less fortunate, ask help when you need to, do something you enjoy periodically.