The New Year’s holiday is a time of new beginnings. We reflect on years past, consider our successes and failures, and make plans for a bright future. But New Year’s resolutions have a notorious reputation for being unrealistic goals that usually fall by the wayside before February. This year, why not commit to building habits that will bring happiness and well-being? Toast to your health in 2014 with some of these New Year’s resolutions!
With work, family, bills and other daily pressures, stress has become just another part of life we’ve learned to accept. But chronic stress can lead to a variety of health problems. In fact, according to a recent study performed by the American Psychological Association, 77 percent of Americans experience regular physical symptoms caused by stress. Symptoms included fatigue, headache, upset stomach, muscle tension, change in appetite, teeth grinding, change in sex drive and dizziness (Source: Statisticbrain.com). Don’t let stress get the better of you in the New Year. Explore options to help you unwind, such as yoga, meditation, and relaxation techniques.
Exercise is one of those things we know we should do, but somehow it always gets put on the backburner while we attend to more pressing needs. The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services recommends in its 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans that adults should perform 2.5 hours of moderate intensity aerobic physical activity every week for substantial health benefits. That amounts to just 30 minutes of activity five days a week. If 30 minutes is too much to handle at first, try working three 10-minute segments of activity into your day. Remember, every minute of exercise counts. Doing something is better than doing nothing!
Get Adequate Sleep
In this busy day and age, adequate sleep is considered a luxury more than a necessity. But in addition to leaving you groggy and unable to focus, lack of sleep takes a real toll on your health. Sleep loss can lead to premature aging, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, weight gain and depression (Source: WebMD). This New Year, commit to getting those much needed Zs. You’ll be able to think more clearly, focus on work and family, and enjoy life to the fullest!
Sure, it’s easier to swing by the drive-thru for a bacon cheeseburger than it is to pack a grilled chicken salad for lunch. But convenience food is typically laden with sugar, fat, sodium, and preservatives. Clean eating – which is a term used for eating whole foods in their most natural form – consists of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes and lean proteins. It also comes with the added benefits of strengthened immunity, increased energy, better sleep, increased mental awareness and healthy weight (Source: Toned & Fit). Commit to clean eating in 2014 and reap these amazing benefits!
Ring in the New Year by vowing to take better care of yourself. Integrating healthy habits into your life is a resolution you can stick with and be proud of. So raise your glass to a healthier you, and start 2014 with a bang!