At the beginning of every year, we find ourselves thinking about making lifestyle changes and getting healthier. The phrase, “A New Year, A New You” comes to mind. So often, we think that we have to make big changes or do everything at once. We sign up for a gym membership and throw out all our junk food but after a few weeks, we are back to our old bad habits. So why not try something new – lifestyle changes that can are very simple, can be done a little at a time, and that you can keep doing for a lifetime. You will be pleasantly surprised at the very easy changes that can pay off with very big results.
Get More Sleep
What could be simpler than getting more sleep? It is free and you already know how to do it! Don’t have time you say? You can’t afford to skip sleep. Getting enough sleep is one of the true magical elixirs and a key to healthy living. You need to get between 7 and 9 hours every night. The health benefits of sufficient quality and quantity of sleep are incredible. You will feel better, think better, be better able to handle stress, and so much more. Your mind and body need this precious healing time to recharge and restore. And if you are not convinced of sleep’s amazing health benefits yet – did you know obesity is tied to insufficient sleep? It is and you have a seriously significant likelihood of weighing more if you sleep less! Here’s a no-brainer weight loss choice: would you rather frantically diet and workout or simply get a bit more sleep. I’m voting “Team Sleep” all the way.
Drink More Water
What if someone offered to sell you an organic drink that would make you look younger, make your skin glow, and basically lubricate your whole body and make everything work better? Wouldn’t you jump at the chance to buy this super product? Well, you can get this liquid miracle in your own home, right now out of the water tap! Drinking more water is one of the easiest lifestyle changes that you can do today. Water is truly one of nature’s miracle workers and a key to a healthy body. Why not make it even easier to get enough water by using water filters to get the safest and best tasting water at a minimal cost.
Yes, you read that correctly. You can eat more and be healthier and I’m not talking about broccoli or kale (unless you like them). Instead of marking some foods as bad and off limits (which makes them irresistible, by the way), find new ways to make them healthier. Rather than removing french fries from your menu, try making them in your new air fryer with a fraction of the oils and fat of fast food fries. Or try using a spiralizer to cut up and jazz up fruit and veggies and make eating them a colorful and fun adventure. Make eating more fun and focus on savoring a few good items rather than mindlessly eating a box full of junk.
Of course, you do need to move more and sit less but that does not need to be painful. Seriously, I’m not talking about joining a serious cross-something gym and doing burpees and lunges and pull-ups or running a marathon or other such craziness. But yes, you must get your body going and moving at regular intervals for it to function properly. Again, remember small steps (literally) are what works and they do add up. Taking a break every hour and walking around the office or house will work wonders. Research is showing that constant sitting is almost as bad for you as smoking. So move it! And why not try a fun way of getting more movement in your life by trying out a more dance party style exercise class like Zumba? The music makes it fun and learning the steps is also a workout for your brain. Or try taking a yoga class or meditating; another great way to stretch both your body and your mind. If you need motivation and are goal orientated, a fitness tracking watch or a fitness app can make it easy to remember to get up and move. It is fun to challenge yourself to get x steps a day and track your steps to a healthier you.
The overall health benefits of keeping your mind fit and agile are as significant as keeping your body in shape. And again, this does not have to be something boring but can be a lot of fun. How about learning a new language to get your brain moving. Or learn how to quilt or sew. Tune into your inner artist and try painting or crafting for a creative outlet. Read more, learn to play bridge, work on crossword puzzles, do Sudoku, or play Candy Crush. Remember, just as little steps add up when exercising the body, so do all these baby brain steps add up when challenging the mind.
Be More Positive
A healthy mindset is also as important as a healthy body. Rather than focusing on what is wrong in your life, try focusing on what is going right. Practice an attitude of gratitude. It may sound like Pollyanna but training your mind to look for the good in life will actually make you happier and healthier and the people around you will be happier too. Create positive change in your life and the world.
Have More Fun
As you may have gathered from reading the prior steps, life is really better if you are enjoying yourself and having fun. Healthy living does not have to be spinach, sit-ups, and pain. You will have a better life if you are doing what you like, and what works best for you. Stress is bad for you and your heart, so learn to relax and bring more joy into your life.