At the beginning of the year, people often reflect on their past and make resolutions or goals. A new year is a fresh start, and this may include losing weight, following a diet, or starting to exercise. Whatever your resolution maybe for the new year, setting healthy habits and sticking to them is important. The YMCA is a great place to start to achieve these goals and resolutions. Here are six healthy lifestyle habits to start in the New Year:
- Move more.
If you have a sedentary job or lifestyle, it can be difficult to get up and moving. Most resolutions revolve around going to the gym, but it doesn’t have to be that ambitious right away. Simply sitting less and moving more is a great and realistic lifestyle habit to start in the new year. If you have a desk job that requires long periods of sitting, go for a short walk at lunch or stand up for a few minutes every hour. Other ways to increase movement include taking the stairs, taking the dog for a walk, or parking farther away than normal.
- Drink more water.
Everyone knows that hydration is a key element to digestion, healthy skin, and regulating body temperature. But for some, it can be boring or repetitive in comparison with sugary drinks. But it doesn’t have to be! Add some flavor to your pitcher with fresh fruit, veggie slices, or herbs. Play around with various combos like lemon basil or cucumber mint. Another way to drink more water is to choose sparkling or mineral water over soda to get that fizzy taste. Watch your health increase with every glass of water you drink!
- Get better sleep.
Research shows that poor sleep has immediate negative effects on hormones, exercise performance, and brain function. There are a few tips to get better sleep at night, such as consuming less caffeine late in the day, reducing blue light exposure at night, and optimizing your bedroom environment.
- Practice self-care.
Self-care is often forgotten in the hustle and bustle of life, and it’s important to take care of yourself. For people with busy schedules, make a resolution to take time for yourself. Signing up for a weekly yoga class, take a bath every now and then, prepare a healthy meal for yourself, go for a walk outside, or find a new skincare routine. Check in with yourself and see where you can improve.
- Eat out less.
Many people rely on convenience foods as a quick meal or snack because they are readily available, but often they have bad ingredients and can lead to increased risk of numerous conditions including heart disease and diabetes. Prepare more foods at home using healthy ingredients; just start by making one meal at home a day to work your way up to building more healthy habits. In fact, research shows that people who cook more meals at home have better diet quality and less body fat than people who eat more meals on the go.
- Try meditation.
Did you know that mediation is an evidence-based way to promote mental well-being? It is particularly helpful for people who have anxiety or depression. There are many books, podcasts, and apps to teach you how to start your personal practice.
At the YMCA of Greater Cincinnati, we care about your overall health and wellness. We want you to achieve your goals, and we offer an unparalleled selection of programs for every age and every level of activity! Check out our programs and join the YMCA to help achieve your goals and healthy lifestyle changes this year.