Everyone loves an opportunity to change and grow, right? I know I do. A new year is the perfect time to try new things, love yourself, and most of all, take care of your health.
Studies have shown that less than 25% of people actually follow through with their New Year’s resolutions after only 30 days, which is why I don’t do resolutions. Only 8% of people accomplish their resolutions.
So instead, use 2019 as a clean slate to start over and remind yourself that you and your body are important. Small changes over time lead to massive results that will make you feel amazing.
Plan to exercise:
Exercise is so important to improve our overall health, but it’s also a great way to de-stress and give yourself something else to focus on. If you’re someone who already works out regularly, think about changing up your workout to be more targeted in the new year.
Figure out what type of exercise makes you feel the best – the most rejuvenated, restored, and vibrant. If you aren’t used to exercising daily or even weekly, start slow and find something you love.
Take a pilates class, try out biking, running, or even just walking on a treadmill. Experiment at the gym and find what makes you feel your best.
Setting up a strategic plan to exercise will keep you more motivated to actually do it. Once you get into a weekly routine, it won’t feel like a chore, but instead, a fun activity you’re doing for yourself.
For me, I schedule my workouts on my calendar, just like any other appointment. I know if it’s not on my calendar, it’s probably not going to happen.
Don’t be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone either. Exercising at home is also valid for those who don’t want to drive or have kids at home they need to be with.
Going for a run using a running pace calculator will help you pace yourself appropriately – especially if you plan on training for a competitive race. Overall, any exercise matters and is positively improving your health!
Pay attention to how food affects your body:
Our bodies are extremely intelligent and always tell us when something is wrong or not sitting right. A great example of this is food poisoning. If we eat something expired or bad for any reason, our body will make us sick to get rid of the food.
Same goes for other health conditions. For example, if you are experiencing fatigue, constipation, weight gain, and muscle weakness, you might be experiencing Hypothyroidism.
To help combat this, you can actually change your diet to improve your thyroid health. Blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries contain iodine, selenium, and Vitamin D, as well as other nutrients that are high in antioxidants. Chicken is another great food to eat to improve your zinc intake. While eggs and nuts provide healthy amounts of selenium.
Introduce bone broth into your diet on a more regular basis. The liquid broth is chalk full of vitamins, minerals, protein, amino acids, collagen, and glycine; all used to help the body repair itself.
Bone broth may also aid certain ailments like: IBS, anxiety, celiac, auto immunity, muscle cramps, and so much more. Do your research and think about what you’re actually putting into your body this year – it may be helping or harming you more than you think.
According to a recent study done by the NPD Group Inc., 82 percent of meals Americans eat are made at home. They also reported that in 2018, the total number of restaurant visits were at their lowest point in 28 years. This really surprised me in a good way!
This goes to show that people are staying in more and spending the time to cook meals. By cooking more, we allow ourselves to unwind and also be more conscious of what is actually in our food and how it’s prepared.
You have the freedom to do whatever you want and add or substitute healthy alternatives to make your meal healthier for you. Another reason why cooking our meals is so beneficial is it prompts us to make our own decisions about portion control.
Oftentimes restaurants serve you a bowl the size of your head for dinner which can trick us into trying to finish our entire meal when we might already be full. While preparing meals at home, we can divide up what we aren’t going to eat and even package it for another day during the week.
Meal prepping is another craze that seems to be more and more popular. Pick one day during the week where you cook a larger amount of food and save it so you have multiple meals for the remainder of the week. This is a smart way to save time and budget yourself if you tend to spend more money on food.
Relax your body:
Everyone has rough days. Your feet are tired, you have a pounding headache, and can’t seem to de-stress. Coming home and relaxing is not a bad thing, in fact, our bodies need it, just like we need sleep in order to function properly.
There are so many simple ways to combat stress and anxiety. This includes: taking a hot bath, meditating, reading a book, napping, participating in some form of exercise, eating better, and unplugging from all devices.
De-stressing is also about finding what makes you calm and turning that into your happy place or a fun hobby you can always turn to for comfort.
Some people enjoy meditating and focusing on various breathing techniques while others turn to cleaning as a way to clear their mind and relieve anxiety.
Make it a point to recognize when you’re feeling anxious or stressed and make sure to handle that first before anything else – a clear mind is better than a cluttered one.
Improve your sleep:
One of the easiest things to do for your body this year is improve all aspects of your sleep. With a few simple tweaks, you’ll be waking up feeling refreshed and ready to take on the day. Start right at the foundation of your sleep; your mattress, pillows, and blankets.
If your mattress is consistently giving you pain of any sort, look into buying a new one. Along with this, evaluate your pillows and if they maybe have gone flat, hold in dust, or are not providing you with the proper support your head and neck need. Now check your sheets and blankets.
Find what material you prefer, whether it be something flannel that keeps you warm or a jersey material that feels breathable and slightly cooler.
Next, move on to your bedroom environment. Is there light peeping in every morning disrupting your natural sleep cycle? Do you end up tossing and turning in the middle of the night? Now is the time to fix it!
Buy darker blackout shades at your local store and eliminate all other sources of light in your bedroom, including TV’s, alarm clocks, laptops, and phones. These lights can disrupt your sleep and keep you from reaching a REM cycle.
Last but not least, create a sleeping schedule. This means picking a time where you plan to wind down and get ready for bed. Keeping this time consistent is how your body will automatically know it’s time for sleep – therefore allowing you to fall asleep quicker and deeper.
Dim your lights, maybe listen to soothing music, or read a book to quiet your mind and show your body it’s time to fully relax.
What are you doing for your body this year?