Are too many sweets, too few visits to the gym, and too many sick days reminders that it might be time to stock your wellness arsenal for the New Year? Getting on the path to better health doesn’t have to be painful. It just starts with simple, yet smart, steps.
Adopt a Clean Diet
Is your diet dirty? The New Year is an ideal time to clean it up. How?
- Choose foods in vibrant hues: Your plate should be covered with richly colored fruits and vegetables, which often means the antioxidant levels are high. From kale and spinach to blueberries and pomegranates, colorful fruits and vegetables not only taste great, but they may help boost your immune system. Whenever possible, buy organic or grow it yourself!
- Banish bad fats: Trade artery-clogging saturated fats found in butter, ice cream, and whole milk for heart-healthy fats found in fish, nuts, and healthy oils. Try to avoid trans fats as well as they are very unhealthy and could spell trouble for your heart.
- Pick powerful proteins: Healthy protein choices include wild salmon, poultry, beans, and quinoa. Though it’s high in protein, red meat should be limited as it’s associated with various health risks. If you do opt for meat, choose lean, grass-fed beef.
- Say no to processed foods: Sure, they’re convenient, but processed foods are often filled with multisyllabic ingredients that can be detrimental to one’s health. Simple test: Can you pronounce the ingredients? If not, don’t buy it.
Engage in Regular Exercise
Whether you enjoy swimming, cycling, running, or simply walking, getting regular exercise not only fires up feel-good endorphins but can help you stay well and possibly live longer. To stick with exercise, choose an activity that you love. If it’s hard to stay motivated, consider working out with a friend, spouse or significant other. When you have accountability, you’re less likely to ditch your workout plans.
Get Enough Sleep
If you find yourself longing for a caffeine IV drip because of insufficient sleep, it’s a good idea to evaluate why you may be lacking restorative rest. Keeping the temperature in your home in a relatively cool setting may help your sleep improve. Also, try to restrict caffeine consumption to the morning hours as drinking caffeinated beverages too late in the day can keep you wide awake.
Avoid electronics time as the artificial light from these gadgets can make it hard for your mind to shut down for the night. Keeping a sleep routine such as getting to bed at the same time may help as well.