healthy habits

Start the New Year Strong with Healthier Habits

12/31/21

Are you looking to start the New Year off on the right foot? If so, consider making healthier habits a priority. Making small changes in your exercise, diet, hydration, sleep, and mental health can have a big impact on your overall well-being. We’ve got some hot tips to make those habits stick!

Set Realistic Goals
goal setting

Another important factor in adopting healthier habits is setting realistic goals. Don’t aim for perfection – strive for progress instead. If you are trying to lose weight, or quit smoking, set weekly goals for yourself in smaller increments. It’s less daunting than staring at a poster saying you need to lose 50 lbs.

HOT TIP: Share your plans with one other person for accountability and give yourself a small reward each week when you complete your goal.

Start Exercising (More)
exercise at work

Whether you are a regular exerciser or not, chances are your activity may have fallen off a bit over the holidays. Exercise is one of the best ways to keep your body healthy and fight disease. The American Heart Association recommends 150 minutes of (at least) moderate intensity aerobic activity each week along with two days of strength training. Work up to the minutes and intensity bit by bit each week.

HOT TIP: Get those extra steps in by parking farther away at the store, booking a walking date with a friend or co-worker, or buy a walking desk to get steps in all day while you work.

Eat Healthier
Healthy salmon dish

One of the most popular New Year’s resolutions is to eat healthier. But where do you start? No matter which diet you pick, one of the best ways to stay on track is to meal plan. (This is also a good money-saving tip if that is one of your goals this year!) Planning in advance allows you to put together balanced meals instead of relying on fast or prepackaged food that is often higher in calories, sodium, sugar, fat, and processed additives.

Successful meal planners often pick a day to plan recipes and shop, and then one or two days a week to prep those meals in advance. That way, the food is ready to go making you less apt to sneak to the drive-thru. While selecting your new way of eating, don’t try to change everything at once. Work towards incorporating healthier choices each week.

HOT TIP: Don’t have time or the energy to meal plan? Let Foodom help! We have hundreds of recipes and cater to several different diets and health restrictions. Select dishes for the week on our website, then schedule one of the chefs in our Foodom community to cook them for you! They will cook, get your meals packed up in your fridge, and clean the kitchen when they are done! Check out the dishes and diets available: www.myfoodom.com/product-category/dishes

Drink More Water
drink water

Most people know that drinking more water can help improve mood, flush out toxins, increase energy levels, aid weight loss and keep your digestive tract moving. Even with that knowledge, many of us are dehydrated on a daily basis. On average, we need 8 to 12 cups of water per day, adding more for days you exercise or are out in the heat. Adding more water to your day doesn’t have to be boring though! There are plenty of fun ways to enjoy a glass of H2O including adding fresh lemon, orange, mint or cucumbers, drinking herbal tea, or sipping on seltzer water.

HOT TIP: Pay more attention to how much you’re drinking by marking a tumbler with lines for ounces and download one of many available apps that let you track water consumption.

Get More Sleep
phone in bed mental health

One healthy habit that is often overlooked is sleep. If you want to optimize your health or lose weight, getting a good night’s sleep is one of the most important things you can do. Some obvious tips include not taking a late nap, getting to bed at the same time every night, taking a warm bath, and not drinking caffeine late in the day. But did you know that drinking alcohol can negatively affect your sleep by disrupting melatonin production, and can cause snoring or aggravate sleep apnea? Cut out alcohol for a few weeks and see if it makes a difference!

HOT TIP: Stop scrolling two hours before bed. The blue light that phones and computers emit can keep you awake. If you can’t break that habit, download the f.lux app to combat blue light at night and switch to blue light blocking glasses, available in prescription and non-prescription.

Make Your Mental Health a Priority
hiking for a healthy mind

We’ve been in a pandemic for two years now, and it’s taken its toll on all of us in one way or another. The suggestions above, exercising more, eating healthier, and getting more sleep are all a nice foundation for mental health, but sometimes we need more. Take steps for self-care, like enjoying a bath, doing a crossword puzzle, tending to a garden, journaling, meditating, or reading. Talk to a trusted friend or family member about your feelings or book an appointment with a therapist to work through tough times.

HOT TIP: If you’re feeling stressed, try taking a social media break. Visit a nature spot that’s a bit off the grid so you can enjoy the peace of the forest, mountains, or the ocean. It’s refreshing and will force you to disconnect.

We hope these tips will help increase your healthier habits in 2022. With gradual effort comes gradual progress, so stick with it!

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