Coming up with ways to improve your health and the motivation needed to see a plan through is a challenge. New Year’s resolutions that involve getting healthy can be difficult to stick to. However, some resolutions will have a significant positive impact on your well-being if you can focus on their payoffs and integrate them into your lifestyle.
5 Fewer Alcoholic Drinks
Drinking alcohol makes driving and other activities dangerous, but even in a controlled setting it can have detrimental health effects. Excessive drinking, which is defined differently for each person, has been tied to strokes, hypertension, depression, memory loss and even certain cancers. Cutting back on your intake of alcohol in the New Year will help your chances of avoiding these and other health problems, while also keeping you safe should you choose to get behind the wheel.
4 Reduce Stress
Stress has numerous health effects, including a negative impact on mental and emotional health. Make a New Year’s resolution to find stress-coping strategies that work for you. Set aside time to get enough sleep, seek help at work or home when tasks feel overwhelming, and do your best not to take on more than you can handle in your schedule. It might take time to get used to a slower-paced lifestyle, but the reduction in stress will set the stage for a healthier future.
3 Set a Fitness Goal
Along with diet, fitness is another key aspect of a healthy lifestyle. Set a fitness goal as part of your New Year’s resolution. If you’re not used to much physical activity, set a goal of exercising daily. If you’re already active, make it a goal to perform a specific task, such as running a 5K or participating in a team sport by the end of the year. Different sports and activities will have different effects on your body; some will help you gain muscle and boost your metabolism, while others will burn fat and improve your overall cardiovascular health.
2 Manage Your Diet
Going on a diet as a New Year’s resolution can be a reaction to unhealthy eating around the holidays, but also a chance to improve your overall health. Eliminate foods that include trans fats and monitor your diet to prevent weight gain. Limit salt, sugar, and fats and replace them with nutrient-rich foods, including ample vegetables and fruits. Weight loss will not only improve your appearance but also reduce your chances of heart disease, diabetes and joint pain.
1 Quit Smoking
Quitting smoking is one of the best, healthiest resolutions you can make. Smoking is linked to heart disease, lung disease and cancer. It also harms skin health, reduces your sense of taste and harms those around you through second-hand smoke. Aids such as nicotine patches and gum may help you finally kick this habit, which will give your body a chance to start naturally repairing the damage done by smoking.