New Year’s Resolution: Health tips for 2022
Is your new year’s resolution in full swing, or has your enthusiasm waned already? Don’t be too hard on yourself; resolutions are hard – it takes time to build good practices and turn them into habits.
The best thing to do is ease yourself into your resolutions slowly – and perhaps make one positive change at a time instead of doing a full 180 all of a sudden.
Eating for health
The festive season has brought weeks of family time lounging, decadent meals and irresistible treats. It may mean that your first resolution of 2022 is fresh and healthy eating.
A health professional from EatingWell says the most important thing to note about health changes is to set realistic expectations and start with minor adjustments that can build over time.
Being healthy is not only a physical alteration. Your mental and emotional well-being fits into the same bracket. To reach your physical goal, your body and mind need management.
In the same breath, each individual is different, and the healthy changes they choose may not have the same effect on you. Here are some simple ideas and suggestions to keep you healthy in 2022 and beyond.
Try adding a few more servings of fruit and veg to your diet. Perhaps replace one meal a day with a healthy, nutrient-dense salad or smoothie. Whether your goal is to lose weight, gain weight or maintain weight and health – eating a well-balanced diet is the first step.
A healthy change does not necessarily mean cutting out the foods you love. Eat-in moderation, and add more plant-based foods.
Plant-based foods can reduce your cholesterol and stabilise your blood sugar. Plant foods contain loads of vitamins and minerals which are favourable to your immune system.
Try to eat one plant-based meal a day or even a week, and instead of luxury treats, choose fruit and vegetables as snacks instead. Your meat and dairy portions can be cut down a bit and replaced with more plants.
Speaking of steps, getting your body moving a few times a week is a great habit to have. You can join a gym or fitness crew to ensure that like-minded health-orientated folks surround you – this helps keep you motivated to stay in the game.
Virtual exercise classes
Some people are still not comfortable going outside to exercise. If that is your personal choice, it does not mean that working out is out of the question at all!
Gyms and fitness centres have begun to put forward live virtual classes. Additionally, many apps and websites offer online streaming fitness classes for a small monthly fee if you are not a gym member. YouTube is also filled with virtual exercising classes free of charge. You can do yoga, aerobics and much, much more. You can even surf the web for some guided meditation and breathing classes to follow for more relaxed days.
Meditation can seem intimidating to some people, but learning how to breathe mindfully is a form of meditation, and that doesn’t seem too challenging, right?
Start by taking a few long and deep breaths through your nose, into your stomach and then exhale out of your mouth. You can try this when you wake up in the morning. The morning’s silence allows you to pay attention to your breathing and how it makes your body feel.
Mindful breathing is also helpful if you feel overwhelmed during the day. The breathing exercises can start as a few minutes every day and progress as time goes by.
The pandemic may have kept you inside your home for a long time – so much so that you have forgotten the benefits of taking a daily walk. Whenever the weather permits, go outside for a walk – and just take in the fresh air and the sun on your face (lovely vitamin D).
Taking a walk can last for a few minutes and turn into something much longer if you wish. Walking helps to circulate blood in your body and is advantageous for your heart and muscles.
Regular sleep patterns
Sleeping is a natural luxury that many people neglect because their lifestyles are hectic. However, a regular sleeping pattern should be a priority, positively impacting your physical and mental health.
Sleeping and waking up at a reasonable bedtime are part of a regular pattern. Once you have decided what bedtime you will stick to, put your work away, switch off the television and put your phone far away. Set your alarm for every day to get into the rhythm of waking up at the same time. Soon, you’ll wake up at this time automatically.
- Avoid using your cellphone, laptop or tab – and stop watching television when you are in bed. The light from these screens can affect your sleep. Make it a rule to steer clear of all devices for at least an hour before bedtime. In place of electronics, read a book or listen to calming music.
- Sleep in a dark room. Even better, allow for the possibility of natural light coming in in the morning. This will wake you up naturally.
The sleeping pattern you choose may take time to adjust to, but it can help you feel more rested.
Don’t give up
Going off track or feeling discouraged when starting your new year, the new me’ regime is perfectly normal. A consistent, healthy lifestyle takes time. As much as you want to see immediate results, you have to be kind to yourself and realise that you will see results over time – stay committed and you will reap the benefits.
If you have questions regarding a new health plan for 2022, reach out to your healthcare provider for assistance.