Published: 01/03/2016 - Updated: 12/27/2017
Author: MSc. Miriam Reyes
The New Year is a great opportunity for starting fresh, for leaving bad habits behind, and for starting again with better positive energy. Of course, you can’t forget about your health in all this. Often times New Year’s resolutions focus on improving health.
Stop smoking, exercise, lose weight…all of these resolutions are on the way towards better health. Even though you may not always follow through with your New Year’s resolution, it’s always great to try again, and this year might just be the year to do it.
It’s not all black and white
Most of the times people let go of their resolution for some reason or another. They “fail”, but the truth is, caring for health isn’t just black and white. What I mean to say is that just because you can’t follow through on one day, it doesn’t mean you need to drop it completely. Whether you believe it or not, small decisions can make a difference in health. So get ready! And more forward with the determination you need, even when you haven’t been able to follow your resolution 100%.
Integrate your activity in your day to day routine
Even though everyone wants to make a radical change in their life, leaving behind bad habits from last year, it’s best to start with small changes. For example, avoid using the elevator and escalator. Park a little further from your work, or walk to work if possible. Get out to take walks. These activities often times are easily integrated into your daily life, and they will help you to become a more active person. As you begin to feel more confident, you’ll be able to start a daily exercise routine based on your preferences, but don’t give up on small changes.
Avoid fad diets
This might be one of the most common resolutions: to lose weight. But even though losing weight is good and healthy, fad diets aren’t always the best options. The reason being is because often times these diets are quick diets that aren’t balanced, and therefore lead to insufficient nutrition. They don’t always cover your nutritional needs, because these types of diets are often times restrictive. They make you go hungry which is why you can’t stick to them for a prolonged period of time. And what’s worse, they’re generally followed by a ricochet effect which not only makes you gain the weight back that you had lost, but even more.
Cook at home more
Cooking at home is becoming less and less common these days. Especially in homes where family members have a lot of work obligations, and little remaining time for cooking. Junk food or processed food is becoming more and more common in households today. This food often times is not the same quality of food prepared at home. Cooking your own food gives you more control over the nutritional quality of your diet because it allows you to make healthier choices. It also allows you to change up the ingredients in your diet. Try to cook with fresh food and lots of vegetables. When cooking, you can also choose cooking methods that don’t require as much oil or fat, like boiling, grilling, etc.
Learn to relax
We’re all under a lot of stress in today’s world. Practically all of our attention is almost always focused on something, not only on work. We’re constantly connected to technology and can’t relax. Often times this stresses us out and causes a certain type of anxiety. That’s why it’s a good idea to learn to relax, taking time for yourself. This will prevent and fight exhaustion. Try to disconnect for at least a few hours. During that time, do something that is relaxing, like taking a bubble bath, getting a massage, walking, etc. You could also practice yoga, breathing exercises, etc.
Put an end to disorder
Organizing things can help you feel more comfortable, optimistic, and it can reduce stress. Living in a disorderly fashion can create apathy, it sucks out your motivation and energy, which is why you should start the year by organizing your house. It’s also a good idea to get rid of what is no longer useful to you. Once you’ve finished, you’ll feel renewed and ready to start the new day, and the new year.
Say goodbye to bad habits
Bad habits, like smoking, eating sweets, etc., can be very destructive. Often times we intend to drop these habits with the New Year, but it’s important that you know how these habits are harmful, and that it’s just better to say goodbye to them. Plan out a strategy for getting rid of them. For example, if you’re used to only drinking sweet drinks, drink only half of what you normally would. Try to stop smoking, or cut your smoking in half. Then you can progressively remember that small steps may seems insignificant, but they can make a big difference. Continue your rhythm, and soon you’ll reach your goal. But don’t give up on dropping these harmful habits.
Happy New Year!
Revised by: Dra. Loredana Lunadei on 12/27/2017
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