With the new year on the horizon, many of us have started looking at our health goals again. In the midst of the pandemic, it only makes sense that our 5-day-per-week gym routine floated to the wayside. After all, most of us have been trying to stay afloat during this stressful time. Putting some of your hard-to-achieve goals on the backburner is expected during times of intense struggle. But now that the new year is almost upon us, it might be time to consider these health goals again.
2020 opened the door for us to look at ourselves, our goals, and our relationships with others. As we go into the next year, ask yourself what you want from your health goals. Do you want to lose weight? Or do you want to be healthier and have more energy? Studies have shown that exercise is one of the best ways to manage stress. Defining what we want is just the first step to making our health goals achievable.
That being said, let’s take a look at some of the best ways to improve your health in the new year.
1. Change up your diet
One of the best ways to get more energy and boost your health is by following a healthy diet. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you need to nibble on a piece of lettuce for every meal. Simply integrating healthier foods into your current menu can help you start making better choices each day. When you look at your current diet, is it supporting your needs?
Think of this less as “dieting” and more like bolstering your current eating habits with healthy alternatives. Serious diseases are linked to poor diets while healthier eating habits support mental health, physical health, and healthier choices in the future.
Try to add more vegetables to your diet to gain essential micronutrients and fiber. For example, this can be easy to do if you limit your whole sandwich to a half sandwich and then supplement the meal with broccoli, beans, or a side salad. You’ll still get the delicious taste of the sandwich and feel full at the end of your meal.
You can also try healthy meal kits. These food delivery orders measure out ingredients to reduce waste and support the idea of a healthier portion size. In fact, many people struggle with their weight not because of what they’re eating but because of how much they’re eating. Check out online reviews to see which meal kit works best for you. Just be sure to go to a legitimate source when you sign up. Estimates say that more than four billion data breaches occurred in the first half of 2019 across the globe. Relying on a verified source will keep your body — and your wallet — healthier.
If you’re stuck trying to figure out a better diet, you can always try talking to your doctor for more information. Switching up your diet isn’t easy and relying on a professional can take some of the pressure off.
2. Get more exercise
Exercise is essential if you want to lead a healthier lifestyle. Getting your heartrate up can promote cardiovascular health and prevent a slew of health problems later on. While we all might know the benefits of exercise, actually putting exercise into action is a little tougher. So, what are some of the best ways to exercise more?
Here are some of the most simple ways to inspire exercise in your everyday life:
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
- Park further away from the store when you need to go shopping.
- Start with basic exercise routines, like squats and planks to work up the courage to do more later.
- Get an “accountabilibuddy” to keep you accountable for workouts. Virtual workouts are a great way to connect with friends during this stressful time.
- Surround yourself with exercise-related content to spur on your journey. If you’re being reminded of sports and cool exercises to try on social media, you’ll be more likely to do it yourself.
There’s no secret formula to exercising more, but these tips are a great place to start.
3. Get outside more
Getting outside has been proven to help your mental health. After all, living a healthy lifestyle is more than just hopping on the treadmill every once in a while. If you truly want to live healthier, supporting your mental health is also key. Getting outside is great since it promotes physical health while bolstering your mental health with greenery, socialization, and other new stimuli.
Of course, it’s important to still practice social distancing when you leave the house and meeting up in large groups is a no-no until numbers start to decline again. When you go outside, where a mask, avoid groups, and watch where you step. Tree roots and uneven sidewalks can easily result in an ankle sprain, especially if you’re exploring somewhere new. Even mild ankle sprains can take 10 days to heal on average. Indulge in the outdoors, but be sure to be safe when you venture outside.
4. Try new things
Have you ever thought about trying something new but said no because you were too intimidated?
Trying new things can be great for your mind and body, especially if they’re related to exercise. But even trying new food can expand your horizons and lead to a number of other healthy decisions. Try going ice skating for the first time or check out the new vegan restaurant that opened in town. You might be opening the door for new experiences in the future.
5. Go to those appointments
Going outdoors and visiting medical centers is the last thing people want to do in the midst of a pandemic. But attending those doctor’s appointments is more important than ever, especially if you want to better maintain your health. Try to go to the doctor at least twice a year to monitor your health. If you can’t go to the doctor, most urgent care centers are able to see patients every 30 minutes. This is a great alternative if you need immediate healthcare services.
Getting healthy takes time and effort. After all, that’s why most people start to track their progress when the year first begins. Rely on these tips when you want to make 2021 the healthiest year yet.