#NewYearNewMe…that’s the trending hashtag every December, as we say goodbye to one year and usher in a new one. We make airy fairy commitments and either forget or abandon them within the first week of the year. Change is difficult but it must not be rushed.
In 2020, don’t pressure yourself. Take the required time to make the resolutions a habit. Only then will you witness genuine transition.
Here are 5 health resolutions to stick to for 2020…and beyond…and how to make them a habits.
Make time for daily exercise
Don’t allow yourself to construct excuses. Substitute half hour of your Netflix time everyday for exercise at home, using simple but efficient YouTube guides. Squat and lunge between cooking, if you must. Carve out time in your day for exercise. During your lunch hour, walk instead of drive. Engage in meal prep so you have more time during lunch to simply go for a long walk and some Vitamin D.
There are many great apps, like Samsung Health and Google Fit, to help you track the amount of physical activity you’ve achieved daily. If you’d like to walk for 2 miles per day, set a target of 4,000 steps, and stick to it. Gradually, you will find yourself increasing your targets as you accomplish them.
Meal prep is key
A busy schedule is one of the top reasons why people choose quick takeout meals, which are often calorie-laden and a contributor to expanding waistlines. Preparing your meals beforehand is both a helpful and healthful strategy for eating.
Amidst hectic weekday schedules, you will be glad you took the time to meal prep. It’s a great tool to keep your healthy eating on track from week to week.
The keys to succeeding at meal prep are to choose a specific day of the week to create a food shopping list and hit the grocery store, choose one day a week to do most of the cooking, and.create a schedule so that you are not deciding last minute what to make and to ensure you have the needed ingredients on hand.
You’ll save both time and money in the long run.
Choose fibrous fruits to snack on
Your body is not a landfill, so stop filling it up with junk. At your next trip to the market, fill up on more fruits and vegetables and snack on those instead of the potato chips and cookies.
What’s even better, is choosing fruits that are high in fiber. These include apples, guavas, kiwi, pears, oranges, and passion fruit. Packed with essential vitamins and minerals, these fruits will high-fiber fruits will quell your hunger for a longer period of time and sustain you.
Bonus tip: Set yourself up for snacking success and to avoid the subsequent overeating and guilt by storing healthy snacks in your purse and/or gym bag.
Hydrate your body
According to Harvard Medical School, a healthy person needs 30 to 50 ounces of fluid per day.
Get yourself a re-usable water bottle and drink more water. It’s extremely beneficial and too easy to add to your daily routine to be overlooked.
Regular hydration enhances your entire body – from energy levels and brain function ( closely related to balancing mood and emotions) to constipation and weight loss.
In this case, as well, you can download an app to help you remember and monitor your water intake. Instead of using sugary drinks, quench your thirst without the excess calories. H20 will keep your skin, joints, spinal cord, eyes, and brain protected. It rids your body of waste through urination and sweat, which decreases the risk of kidney stones and urinary tract infections. Staying hydrated is also essential to keep your muscles strong, lubricated, and energised. How? H20 aids in the transportation of oxygen to your muscles so they are prepared when exerted. Moreover, proper hydration will improve the blood and oxygen flow to your brain as well, boosting your cognitive function and memory.
The benefits are clear, so make the extra effort to increase your water intake now. You will not regret it.
Prioritise your mental health
Mental health is a taboo topic in the Caribbean. People stay away from it, casting aspersions and labels such as “mad” and “crazy.”
Fact is though, mental illnesses do not discriminate. Many people suffer daily with mental illnesses such as depression, anxiety, eating disorders, personality disorders, and post-traumatic stress disorder. In 2019, place your mental health as a top priority, because you can get all the exercise you need and drink all the fruit smoothies, but if you fail to address the matters of your mind and your heart, the effects will manifest themselves physically.
Make time for meditation and quiet reflection. Start each day by clearing your mind and breathing deeply. This helps reduce stress and blood pressure levels, controls anxiety, and improves self-awareness. When you get home from work each day, spend 15-30 mins journaling your thoughts, write them down.
Within this resolution includes goals such as reducing screen time and getting more sleep. Go to bed earlier, switch off the phone and regularise the time you go to sleep and the time you wake up on mornings.
Spend more time in nature, without the Internet. By disconnecting from our mobile devices, we reconnect with the world around us and within us. Research shows that connection with nature makes us healthier and happier people.
This is not to say that these are the cures to mental illness, but they do help in coping with them and impoving general mental health.
Incorporate these practices into your daily life without placing pressure on yourself and you will see them blossom into beautiful habits that allow you reap beautiful and healthy rewards. Let this new year bring you to brand new possibilities.