It’s that time of year again! Time to make new resolutions. You may be frustrated with the idea of making new resolutions because they may never pan out. This is why making achievable, relevant resolutions for your health needs is important. Here is our list of the top 5 healthy resolutions you should make and keep!
When it comes time to make new years’ resolutions, most people default to “lose weight,” but this resolution may be preventing you from reaching your actual health goals. This resolution can cause people to follow unhealthy fad diets or participate in reckless exercise routines. These short-term changes do not help people reach their health goals. Rather they discourage people and can contribute to unhealthy habits.
When making your new years’ health resolutions, there are four factors you should consider. First, make sure your resolution is specific. Something like “lose weight” does not specify any goal or game plan. Additionally, think of something that you can measure. For example, “exercise for 150 minutes each week” allows you to keep track of your goal. Your healthy resolutions should also be both attainable and relevant to your lifestyle. If you live in a very warm climate, something like “becoming a black-diamond skier” may not be feasible or relevant to your environment. Here are some examples of specific, measurable, attainable, and relevant goals:
- Eat one serving of vegetables with each meal.
- Get 150 minutes of moderate exercise each week.
- Get at least 7 hours of sleep each night.
If you’re looking for some resolution inspiration, look no further. Here are five baseline health resolutions you can use to build your list of new years’ resolutions!
1. Get Regular Exercise
Regular exercise can make all the difference in your health. The CDC cites that physical activity can improve neural health, reduce your risk for cardiovascular disease, and strengthen muscles and bones. Most doctors recommend being active for at least 30 minutes daily, with at least two days of muscle-strengthening activity per week. Going for a walk or run, participating in exercise classes, or swimming are just a few examples of ways that you can get active during the new year.
2. Drink More Water
Studies show that adequate hydration improves heart rate and blood pressure. About 60% of the human body is made of water. Drinking water also helps the liver with detoxification. The liver’s job is to remove toxins from the body, and water is one of the most important ways it does this. According to the U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, most men need approximately 15.5 cups of water each day, and women need 11.5 cups each day.
3. Focus on Quality Sleep
The amount of sleep you need varies as you age. Toddlers need approximately 10-13 hours of sleep each day, including naps, while adults need about 7 hours. Getting the right amount of sleep is important for your mental and physical health. Establish a regular bedtime and wake time to better regulate your sleep schedule.
If you struggle to fall asleep and stay asleep at night, reduce your afternoon caffeine intake, especially as you get older. Additionally, reducing screen time at night can help you have a more restful sleep.
4. Eat Right
Eating well is a great healthy resolution. First things first, make sure you’re eating enough throughout the day. If you find yourself getting hungry at a particular time each day, start planning a balanced snack for that time. Additionally, having a protein-focused meal in the morning can keep your blood sugar stable throughout the day and keep the hunger pains away. The American Heart Association recommends eating four servings of fruit and five servings of vegetables each day for optimal heart health.
5. Make your Annual Check-Up Appointments
Making and going to your doctor’s appointments can be painful, but it is a very important part of maintaining your health. These doctor’s appointments help you stay up to date on your vaccinations and can help prevent disease. Add making your annual doctor’s appointments to your new years’ resolutions list to ensure you are doing everything you can to live a healthy year. Be certain to properly prepare for your appointments. Here is a brief list of appointments to consider making:
- An annual check-up with your primary care doctor
- Two dental appointments with your dentist
- An annual eye exam with your ophthalmologist
- A well-woman exam with your gynecologist
Make your healthy resolutions today and take one more step toward a healthier you!
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