This is the time of the year when people make new year resolutions to lose weight to stay healthy, to be active, etc. Whatever your New Year’s Resolution, a healthy and balanced diet combined with a healthy lifestyle will provide many benefits to 2020 and beyond.
Why not kick off the new year with our 20 habits of Wellness challenge?
If you are a breakfast-skipper, I have good news for you! Plenty of healthy, delicious morning meal options are quick, inexpensive, and easy. Try them to have tasty and filling breakfast.
Eat a variety of food
No single food contains all the nutrients we need for them to work at their best. Our diets must, therefore, contain a wide variety of fresh and nutritious foods to keep us going strong.
Cut back on salt
Too much salt can raise blood pressure, which is a leading risk factor for heart disease and stroke.
Reduce Processed food
As Author Michael Pollan says, “The longer the shelf life, the shorter yours…” Foods that are processed usually come in a box or bag and have a long shelf life. These include things like crackers, chips, cookies, cereals, and cake mixes, and they have little to no water content. Processed foods can contain unhealthy fats.
Reduce the use of certain fats and oil
We all need some fat in our diet, but eating too much – especially the wrong kinds – increases risks of obesity, heart disease, and stroke. Industrially-produced trans fats are the most hazardous for health. Replace butter, lard, and ghee with healthier oils such as soybean, canola (rapeseed), corn, safflower, and sunflower.
Limit sugar intake
Too much sugar is not only bad for our teeth but increases the risk of unhealthy weight gain and obesity, which can lead to serious, chronic health problems.
Avoid hazardous and harmful alcohol use
Drinking too much, or too often, increases your immediate risk of injury, as well as causing longer-term effects like liver damage, cancer, heart disease and mental illness.
Don’t skip meals
When you go without food for longer than three or four hours, your blood sugar drops. This can lead to overeating in next meal and feeling too tired to be active.
Focus on the facts
The Nutrition Facts, that is. Don’t let healthy-sounding terms on food labels mislead you. Words like “whole-grain,” “multigrain,” “light,” and “fat-free” don’t tell the whole story. Check the Nutrition Facts label for serving size and calories per serving. Those are the facts, no matter what else the label says.
Make your kitchen healthier
Your success with any goal depends on your commitment to making it easier. Your living environment plays a powerful role here. Today, look at your kitchen and see what changes you can make to encourage your new healthy habits.
Eat a rainbow of vegetables today
The color of a vegetable is a clue to some of the key nutrients inside. By eating a wide variety of colors, you will get a broad range of nutrients. Make sure to fill your plate 50% with vegetables.
Try strength training
Strength training can improve muscular strength, increase bone density, aid in weight management, improve posture and balance and has many other health benefits.
Give deep breathing a try
Take a few minutes right now to sit comfortably and focus on the sensations of your breathing in and breathing out. It will help improve blood circulation and energy levels.
Fit physical activity into your work day
Too much sitting and not enough moving can be bad for our health. So making movement a part of our daily routine specifically during the workday is a great place to start!
Drink 8 glasses of filtered water a day
Drinking enough water maintains fluid balance, which transports nutrients, regulates body temperature and digests food. Proper hydration also promotes healthy bowel movements, keeps our skin clear and flushes toxins.
Try going plant-based for a day
A plant-based diet is a way of eating that emphasizes fruit, vegetables, whole grains, beans, and nuts and seeds over animal products such as meat, fish, poultry, milk and milk products, and eggs.
Schedule yearly checkups/screenings
It’s easier to treat a disease you never get. Find out which screenings you need and when, and take a step for your health this year by setting up an appointment.
Good sleep hygiene
Start today by paying attention to the things you eat and drink in the evening. Make a point of avoiding napping during the day, exercising, and setting a sleep schedule. Make sure to have a sound sleep of 7 hours every night.
Eat with Seasons
Buying produce from local farmers’ markets is a great way to see what’s fresh and seasonal in your area and to make sure you avoid preservatives and other chemicals.
Try not to overload your plate with large portions. Make sure vegetables take up the largest percentage when possible.
Now give yourself a big pat on the back. Take time to feel proud of every healthy change you make in your daily habits. Feel grateful for the new skills you learn. Admire yourself for your efforts and dedication. You deserve it!