By the time the New Year rolls around, many of us are feeling far from our best. We’ve pushed our bodies to the limits when it comes to how many roast potatoes and glasses of Baileys we can manage and exercise hasn’t been at the top of the to-do list in the cold weather! Cue the new year health resolutions!
New Year health resolutions you can stick to!
This is exactly why so many people around the world like to start the New Year with a health kick. Whether it’s shedding those extra festive pounds or finally signing up for a gym membership, a healthier lifestyle change is a wonderful way to welcome in January.
However, one of the worst mistakes is to make resolutions you simply can’t stick to. Don’t set extreme goals for yourself that you’re unlikely to fulfil. If you don’t get enough exercise in December, then it’s unlikely you’ll be running marathons in March! So, the best kind of New Year resolutions you can make are small, easily achieved changes which will make a dramatic difference to your health – the way you look and feel – over time.
Here are just a few health resolutions you might like to consider introducing into your life for 2017:
Start your day with a good breakfast
By now, we’ve all heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. The most sensible change you can make to start 2017 is to start your day the right way. Not all of us have the luxury of free-time in the mornings, and if you’re rushing to get out in time for work or dealing with a house full of kids, opting for a quick bowl of sugary cereal or even skipping breakfast altogether can seem like the only option.
Getting a nutritious meal in the morning is actually easier and faster than you could have imagined. It’s essential to get as much energy as possible to make sure you can keep going all day without any energy slumps or unhealthy cravings. Some great options include whole-wheat English muffins with egg whites, yoghurt and fruit or brown toast with healthy toppings such as tomato, mushroom or avocado.
Make this one change in 2017 and you’ll find yourself feeling fuller, more alert and energetic throughout the day.
Find as little as 10 minutes to exercise every day
Getting more exercise is one of the most common New Year’s resolutions; in fact many reports show a high spike in gym membership enrolment in the first few weeks of January. The problem many of us face is that after the initial excitement and determination of the New Year have worn off, spin classes and intense cardio sessions become just one more chore we’d rather not do.
If you’ve never been a keen keep-fit fanatic, try to introduce a simple work-out routine into your day. Whether you get out of bed just ten minutes earlier to do a quick work-out, fit some exercise into your lunch break or go for a jog after work, you’ll find that even a minimal amount of daily exercise will make a massive difference to your weight, mood and overall health. In addition to this, small amounts of activity are much easier to stick to, meaning you won’t struggle to stick to this resolution.
Work on getting eight hours sleep a night
You might be surprised to learn that getting plenty of rest is just as important as keeping active. Not only can a full eight hours sleep every night leave you looking good, feeling refreshed and much more energetic throughout the day, studies have also shown that there are much greater health risks connected to a lack of sleep.
Poor sleeping patterns have been linked to obesity and Type 2 Diabetes. An in-depth investigation into sleep called The Rest Test found that those who got a full eight hours sleep every night found it easier to maintain their weight, had better heart health and even reported experiencing higher levels of productivity.
If you’d like to make eight hours of sleep every night one of your New Year health resolutions in 2017, there are plenty of steps you can take. Try to make sure you go to bed around the same time every night. This will encourage your body to set its own internal alarm clock, sending you to sleep and waking you up at the same time every day. It can also help to switch off sources of bright, artificial light a few hours before you turn in for the night, so try switching the laptop for a good book.
Try to cut out processed food
Eating healthy is one thing we’d all like to aim for. With so many diets and conflicting advice out there, it can seem impossible to pick a healthy diet plan and stick to it. One small change that will make a massive difference to your overall health and weight is to cut out processed foods. Avoid fast food chains, crisps and fizzy drinks and you’ll notice a difference within the first few months of 2017.
Take time out for your mental wellbeing
One of the most overlooked forms of health is mental health. As well as celebrations and festive fun, Christmas and New Year can bring on massive amounts of stress. This makes it the perfect time to make a promise to yourself that you’ll take better care of your mental wellbeing.
This can be as simple as treating yourself to some alone time once a week. The benefits of taking time out to care for yourself will amaze you as you start to feel more calm, relaxed and better equipped to handle stressful situations. If mounding pressures have been giving you concerns about your mental health, and causing you to feel anxious or depressed, book an appointment with your GP and seek advice.