New Year resolutions can be tough; to make and to stick with. Rather than focus on one big resolution, add smaller changes. Here are some tips for improving overall health and wellness in the new year.
Stay on top of preventive care. This includes regular physical exams, vaccines, blood pressure checks, well-woman exams, and more.
Designate three evenings each week for screen-free activities. Read a book, call a friend, meditate, participate in a hobby—there is so much to help you unwind without staring at a screen!
Remove processed and packaged food from diet. Each day, find a way to eat one more serving of fruit or vegetables than you normally would. You may have more opportunities than you realize!
Add 10 extra minutes of exercise to your day. If you don’t already exercise, aim to get 10 minutes each day. If you do currently exercise, add 10 extra minutes to your routine.
Balance work and home life. Leave work at work and home at home and make the most of your time in both places!
Correct your posture. Work on keeping your back straight, shoulders back and head up, as if you were balancing a book on your head. Avoid slouching!
Get sufficient sleep. Aim to go to bed at a time that allows you to sleep for eight hours at least five days per week.
Skip the salty snacks or sweet treats and go for fruit to round out packed lunches.
Dedicate one night each week to spending quality time with a family member or friend (animal or human!).
Trade your after-dinner dessert for an after-dinner stroll.
Stay in motion. At home, pace, march in place, or sit down/stand up when you’re talking on the phone, folding clothes, or watching TV. At work, get up and shake out your limbs every hour, use the restroom furthest from your workstation, or get up to a relay to message a coworker rather than sending an email.
Don’t drink your calories. For the day, you can easily cut calories if you skip or reduce your soda, juice, and alcohol intake. Choose water instead; it’s calorie-free.
Stay ahead of stress. Whether you’re having an easy or difficult day, plan to spend at least 5 minutes on stress relief, such as a brisk walk, a quick meditation, or deep breathing exercises.
Strive to eat at least two servings of dark leafy green vegetables such as spinach, broccoli, kale, romaine lettuce, etc. each week.
Track your activity! Use a fitness device, app, or pedometer to see how active you are and where you may need to improve.
Take 10 minutes to mentally unwind before getting into bed. Writing about your day in a journal, closing your eyes, and meditating are some great ways to relax.
Try a new exercise. Now’s the time to switch it up! For example, if you’ve been jogging the same route, pick a new one. Switch from the treadmill to the elliptical, take a new fitness class…the possibilities are endless!
Follow the number one rule of respect: Treat others how you want to be treated and mind your manners.
Go outside for a 10-minute daily dose of sunlight. Even on gray days, light from the sun plays a role in your body’s production of serotonin, which helps regulate your energy, mood, and sleep quality.
Try something new each month. Whether you volunteer, join a winter walk at a nature center, or visit with friends, find what sparks your enthusiasm and momentum.