Jumpstart your health in January
Now that the decadent days of feasting and celebration are behind us for another year, it’s a good time to start thinking about making some healthy changes. Grand resolutions are well intended, but often hard to stick with. A far better idea is to commit to small, achievable goals that will help jumpstart your health and set you up for a great new year ahead!
We’ve come up with 7 simple ways to get your health back on track in 2015:
- Take time for yourself. It’s easy to get caught up in a whirlwind of activity, particularly when you live in a busy household, but always remember to set aside a few minutes every day to do something you love that restores your mind and body. Self-care is very important because it helps restore the mental and physical energy we need to continue caring for others. Commit to finding at least 15 – 30 minutes a day of uninterrupted time that’s just for you.
- Eat more fruits and vegetables. We all know we’re supposed to have 7 – 10 a day, but we don’t always meet that target. Make it a priority to get those
healthy, fresh foods into your body every day by thinking outside the box. Cut a banana up and put it on your hot or cold cereal in the morning, keep a bowl of cleaned veggies in the fridge and fresh fruit on the counter for quick snacks, double up the amount of vegetables in your soups, casseroles, sandwiches, pizza and pasta recipes; grate or puree vegetables into meatloaf, burgers and pasta sauces; and try more vegetarian recipes.
- Exercise with your friends. It’s easier to stay motivated and it can be a lot more fun when you exercise with a buddy or two. Try mall walking together if it’s too cold to go outside, or get a bunch of friends together and try an aqua fit class at your local recreation centre. With a built-in cheerleading squad of like-minded friends, you may be more apt to stick to your exercise goals.
- Floss your teeth. Take that extra few minutes at least once a day to floss
your teeth. Not only will it remove plaque that brushing alone can’t reach, but it will also help prevent gum disease and cavities. For more information and flossing tips visit Mouth Healthy.
- Cut back on caffeine. Caffeine is a powerful stimulant that can disrupt your sleep, exhaust your adrenal glands and create an acidic state that may aggravate those who suffer with acid reflux, according to Dr. Frank Lipman, Founder of Eleven Eleven Wellness Center. 2 If you drink multiple cups a day, cut back your intake by drinking decaf coffee, herbal tea, or another healthy drink. For tips on cutting back and dealing with any possible withdrawal symptoms, visit Health.com.
- Meditate. According to Emma Seppala, Ph.D., there are 10 scientifically
proven benefits to meditation.3 If decreasing anxiety, stress, depression and inflammation; and increasing memory, attention and life satisfaction sounds good to you, check out this 10-step beginner’s guide to meditation from Stop and Breathe.
- Eat less meat. In addition to meatless meals being a little more budget
friendly, according to the Mayo Clinic eating less meat can have a protective effect. Limiting red meat and emphasizing fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains and healthy fats has been shown to reduce your risk of heart disease and other chronic conditions. Consider starting a “meatless Monday” rule in your home, and try one of these delicious
vegetarian recipes from Healthy Eating.
Even small changes can make a big difference, so look at January as fresh start and consider incorporating some healthy habits into your life.
Happy New Year!