After a stressful holiday season or even a healthy one, it’s time to improve your health! At the end of 2022, many people are looking to set a new year’s resolution that will improve their health and wellness.
But there are a lot of considerations to make before you start. What should you do? How can you stay motivated? And what is the best way to improve your diet while maintaining an active, healthy lifestyle?
In this blog post we’ll discuss all these questions so that when 2023 comes around, you’re ready with a plan in place!
How do you improve your health for your New Year’s Resolution?
Improving your health is a noble goal, but it’s also incredibly vague. Your health is comprised of many different functions in your body, including your metabolism, your digestion and elimination, your skin health, your muscles, your endocrine system, and much more.
What exactly about your health do you want to improve? Is it about losing weight after having a baby? Maybe you want to improve the quality of life for a chronic illness like diabetes or high blood pressure. Or maybe you’re looking at improving emotional wellbeing by reducing stress levels through small changes. You’ll find many benefits from improving your health!
In general, there are a number of things you can do to improve your health. Start with
1) clean eating
2) more regular exercise
3) practicing stress management and
4) removing toxins such as smoking or drinking.
These will include a variety of new routines including new workout plans, healthy eating habits, and mindfulness.
It won’t be easy. But the more areas you include in your plan, the more complete your health transformation will be. For example, if you want to improve your health and only make a plan to exercise, then your plan is incomplete. You may gain muscle, but you may find that you still have other health issues.
By focusing on all four areas, your health will improve drastically in many different ways that you will be able to see!
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How do you stay motivated toward improving your health?
Improving your health is not a goal you can complete in a weekend or even a season. This is a long term goal that will take all year or even longer.
So how do you stay motivated through a year or longer of pursuing this goal? First, you can start by committing to improve your health on a specific day.
For example, you could commit to a week at a time then work backwards from there to set goals for the next days or weeks of improvement in order to stay motivated. You can also use short-term rewards as motivators: give yourself something like a new workout outfit that will be waiting for you in your closet if you meet your short term goals.
For the long term, decide what is most important to you when it comes to improvement- weight loss or muscle gain? Write down specific short and long term goals so that every day feels like progress on this journey of health.
If your goal includes removing toxins such as quitting smoking or becoming sober, don’t try to do it alone. It will be a lot easier if you reach out to others for support. Find people in the same situation as you and build relationships that encourage you to be healthier and quit those things that are draining your health from you.
You can also:
1) use affirmations.
2) set up accountability strategies with a friend.
3) invest in a gym membership. (You won’t want to waste money, so you’re more likely to go as opposed to if it is free.)
4) just do it. Don’t wait for motivation to strike.
These strategies will help you stay motivated toward your goal. Improving your health as a new year’s resolution can seem daunting, but when you break it down, commit to it, and stay motivated, it will be easier to stay focused on getting to the end result.
How will you know that your health is improving?
Speaking of the end result, how will you know that your health is improving? Here are some signs that your health is on the mend:
– you can breathe better
– your energy levels improve
– you have a stronger immune system that fights diseases more effectively, and heals quicker. It also prevents illnesses from developing in the first place.
– you sleep better than ever before
– you’re more confident, because you feel better about yourself.
– food tastes and smells stronger than ever before
– your clothes may fit looser
– digestive issues resolve themselves
– your skin looks clearer and has more vibrancy
– you can carry heavier things (your children, for example!)
– you can go up stairs without getting winded
– your joints don’t ache
But don’t be surprised if it takes a month or more before you start to see these changes. Like I said above, this is going to be a long term goal. Healthy weight loss happens at 1 to 2 pounds a week, which means you might start to feel looser clothes after 3-6 weeks.
And it may take 6 months of actively improving your health before you notice that your sleep and immune system are improving.
So if you find this taking much longer than you had anticipated, don’t get discouraged. If you can be consistent for a few months, then it will be easier to see the improvements that you’re looking for. Keep going!
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1. Eat more vegetables
When it comes to improving your health, the first place to start is on your plate. Studies have shown that people who eat more vegetables improve their health exponentially.
This means that it’s more than just the occasional salad or vegetable side dish, but adding them to your meals at least once a day. Add tomatoes and mushrooms to your eggs in the morning. Eat carrots with hummus for lunch, and serve a sweet potato and peas with meat in the evening.
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2. Drink more water to improve your health
The first step to improving your health is by drinking more water. It sounds simple, but it can be difficult for people who have a hard time remembering to drink enough throughout the day.
To improve this habit, start with a big glass of water first thing in the morning. You can also try carrying a bottle with you and sipping on it through the day.
And make sure it’s water. Soda, coffee, tea, and energy drinks give you tons of sugar and other chemicals that could derail those health goals you have. So stick with water!
3. Exercise frequently
Moving your body is a great way to improve your health. Research has shown that even light exercise can improve or maintain cognitive function, improve sleep and promote weight loss.
– make time for an activity you enjoy (going on a walk, doing yoga) at least three times per week
– try interval training where you alternate between high intensity bursts of energy followed by short periods of rest
– find a buddy for some accountability
If you can’t run or don’t dig yoga, there are tons of options for you. Walk. Rock climb. Hike in nature. Play with your kids!
READ MORE: No, Exercise Without Diet Won’t Help You Lose Weight
4. Give up smoking for good
Quitting smoking can be difficult, and you may have already tried. But it’s worth it to improve your health in the long run.
The first week is the hardest, but after that you will feel better and be more energetic. And the health benefits of quitting smoking include:
* Fewer coughs and chest illnesses
* Less risk of heart disease, lung cancer, stroke
* Reduced breathing difficulties (which improve asthma)
* Lower chance of developing mouth or throat cancers.
That is a huge improvement on your health.
5. Focus on fiber
Fiber is the stuff in your food that doesn’t break down, and it helps with digestion. One of the easiest ways to improve your health is by adding more fiber-rich foods into your diet.
Fiber also helps keep our cholesterol levels down, and it can prevent constipation or hemorrhoids as well.
So how much should you aim for? Aim for around 30 grams a day from food sources like fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes.
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6. Try Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting has become more popular in recent years. Basically, it involves cutting your food intake to a certain time frame and then fasting for the remaining part of the day.
Many people use the 16/8 method, which means that you eat only during eight hours of the day and fast for sixteen hours, part of which is overnight.
So for example, you may wake up at 6:00am and don’t eat anything just yet. Eat your lunch at 11:00. Then you can have a snack in the afternoon, and eat dinner around 6:00pm. Then stop eating at 7:00pm for the night. Turn in at 10:00pm for a full 8 hours of sleep.
Intermittent fasting has many health benefits, including weight loss and increased energy.
7. Get enough sleep
Sleep never gets enough credit for all the good it does for our health. Sleep can improve learning, improve mood and improve memory.
Sleep deprivation can cause problems with attention span, problem solving skills and the ability to memorize information. It’s no surprise that sleep-deprived doctors make twice as many mistakes in surgery than their well-rested counterparts.
Sleep is also important for our physical health. It can improve recovery after a workout, keep blood pressure lower and improve glucose control. Studies have shown that sleeping less than seven hours per night increases the risk of death by all causes from 13% to 18%. For people over 65 years old, this increase is even more dramatic (from 16% to 26%).
If you’re finding it difficult to improve your sleep, try setting a bedtime and sticking with it. Make sure the room is dark before going to bed, turn off screens at least 60 minutes before bedtime and avoid caffeine after noon. And if all else fails? There’s always melatonin!
Meditation can also do wonders for your health. It can improve your immune system, lower blood pressure and improve heart rate. It also has the potential to reduce stress, anxiety and depression.
When you first try meditation, make sure you find a comfortable place where you won’t be disturbed by anything or anyone. Sit upright in a chair, on the floor or even cross-legged. Keep your back and neck straight but not rigid, close your eyes and relax every muscle as you breathe deeply for three to five minutes.
Start with short sessions of meditation each day, and consider using mala beads.
9. Practice your favorite self-care regularly
Self-care can improve your health in numerous ways. It can improve your mood, improve your immune system, improve sleep quality and duration, improve your mental health symptoms, and especially reduce stress levels. When our stress levels are high, our health will be negatively affected.
The following are some practices you might want to include in your self-care routine: journaling/art therapy, spending time with friends and family, reading for fun (not related to your work), taking a bath to relax, playing music, or even laughing.
Choose one or all of these practices, depending on what suits you best!
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10. Drink alcohol in moderation (or not at all)
Alcohol consumption is expected in social situations, but drinking in moderation is important. It’s also worth noting that not drinking alcohol at all has been linked to a longer life expectancy than moderate drinking, according to a study published in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs.
Alcohol consumption can also lead to weight gain – which in turn increases the risk of high blood pressure, heart disease.
If you’re someone who is struggling with a dependency on something, whether it be a substance or a behavior, I recommend you seek professional help from an addiction therapist.
11. Cut the sugar
By cutting out sugar, you’ll improve your health in a lot of ways. Sugar is linked to obesity and tooth decay, not to mention energy crashes and blood-sugar problems. Most people don’t even realize how much sugar they’re consuming because sugar is packed in everything, from pasta sauces, to granola bars, to yogurt.
If you’re craving something sweet then try having some fresh fruit or make yourself a smoothie with plain (unsweetened) Greek yogurt instead!
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12. Alter your mindset to improve your health
None of this is possible without a healthy mindset. When you think healthy, you can be healthier. One way of doing this is by taking a few minutes every day or week to meditate on positive thoughts or words of affirmation like “I am healthy. I am strong.”
If you need convincing that your mindset needs a change before setting your new year’s resolution to improve your health, then check out this video. Dr. Joe Dispenza explains exactly how mindset works… and it can change your life.
This blog post is only scratching the surface of what you can do to improve your health, but we hope that these 12 tips will help get you started on this new year’s resolution journey.
Improving your health in 2023 is a big goal and should be taken seriously. But when you break it into smaller pieces, it becomes more manageable. Don’t forget that seeing the kind of improvements you are hoping for may take a while – so stick with it!
Which one of these tips have helped most with improving your own personal wellness?
And don’t forget to get a jump on your health for the next holiday season!
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