5 healthy New Year’s resolutions anyone can keep!Blog Health News 31st December 2020 Enquiries & appointments
Our New Year celebrations will be different this year, and our resolutions will likely follow suit with a focus on health and wellbeing as important as ever. To help, we’ve put together a list of five simple, healthy, and sustainable goals that anyone can try!
1. Sit less & move more
With many people confined to their homes, and recreational facilities closed for long periods of the year, achieving a healthy level of physical activity has been a challenge in 2020.
Sitting may sound harmless, but doing too much of it is associated with an increased risk of heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, hypertension and more.
So, what can be done to combat all the sitting we do? Simply, just standing up and moving. Standing up or walking for about five minutes of every hour of sitting can help reduce your risk of heart disease, and improve health. If you have a desk job that requires long periods of sitting, make a resolution to go for a 15-minute walk at lunch or to get up and walk for 5 minutes every hour.
Take it further by finding an activity that you enjoy, as you’ll be more likely to stick to it. For example, a walk, jog, or bike ride before work, or swimming at a pool that’s on your way home, are simple and sustainable exercise resolutions.
2. Get more quality sleep
Sleep is an essential part of overall health, and sleep deprivation can increase your risk of weight gain, heart disease, and depression.
There are many reasons why people don’t get enough sleep, so it’s important to focus on your schedule and lifestyle to determine the best ways to improve sleep quantity and quality.
Set yourself a resolution to get better sleep by following these basic principles:
- Decrease your screen time before bed. If you don’t like silence then try something relaxing like soothing sounds or a non-stimulating audiobook
- Make the environment in your bedroom right for sleep – too much light or noise can prevent you from falling asleep or staying asleep, and the temperature of the room is also important
- Cut back on caffeine, especially in the evening as the effects can last for over 6 hours.
- Maintain a regular sleeping pattern – you’ll feel much more refreshed and energized if you go to sleep and wake up at the same times every day than if you sleep the same number of hours at different times. This helps set your body’s internal clock and optimises the quality of your sleep.
3. Limit screen time
We look at our smartphones at least 50 times a day, for an average of 2-3 hours a day. Throw in computers for work and televisions for downtime and you can see how many of us spend too much time looking at electronic devices. Not only can this affect your sleep and your physical health, but too much screen time has been shown to negatively affect your mental and emotional wellbeing.
Setting a resolution to cut back on the time you spend scrolling through social media, watching TV, or playing computer games may help boost your mood and enhance productivity.
4. Drink more water
When the brain is fully hydrated, it works optimally. A hydrated brain helps you think faster, focus for longer periods of time, improves cognitive ability, and increases creativity.
You can increase your chances of sticking to this resolution with a few simple steps:
- Buy a water bottle. Having a water bottle with you at all times will encourage you to drink more.
- Eat your water! Plenty of fruits and vegetables contain water and will help to hydrate you. Cucumber for example, contains 96.7% water.
- Drink a glass of water after each bathroom break, this way you will be able to easily develop a routine.
- Add fruit to your water. Do you think water tastes boring? Then adding fruits like raspberries or orange slices to your water will encourage you to drink more.
5. Consume fewer convenience foods
Research shows that people who cook meals at home with fresh ingredients have a higher quality diet and less body fat than people who eat more convenience foods.
You can also make this one fun by adding in a challenge of cooking and eating a new recipe every week. This resolution will help you cut back on your consumption of convenience foods, plus you’ll benefit from enjoying healthier ingredients and sampling a variety of different foods.
Plan your meals in advance to reduce the likelihood of reverting back when you don’t have the ingredients in your fridge. Not only will planning your meals reduce waste and save money, but you’ll be far more likely to stick to your resolution and develop a long term healthy habit!