Healthy Habits for the New Year
As the last week of January approaches, it is a good time to think back on your New Year’s resolutions. Some of you may not have made any resolutions for the New Year, but it’s not too late! Realistically you can make a resolution at any time of the year. Why not start right now? What have you got to lose? Here are some easy healthy habits you can adopt in this New Year.
It is important when creating goals to be consistent. Adding in flossing to your daily brushing routine will keep your teeth healthy. According to the American Dental Association, “Only 50% of American’s floss daily, and 18% don’t floss at all.” Even after brushing, particles of food and bacteria are left between and on your teeth. (You will be amazed how much is left behind by your toothbrush!) If food and bacteria are left in-between your teeth it can cause cavities and tooth decay.
You’ve probably heard the “drink more water” advice many times throughout your life. Maybe water is a bit boring for your taste buds, but the benefits of drinking lots of it are amazing. Getting proper hydration throughout the day not only aids with digestion, but increases circulation throughout your body. This miracle drink is also vital for the function of your organs, and without it your body wouldn’t function properly. Sometimes it’s the “getting yourself to drink more water” part that isn’t the easiest. Try carrying a water bottle with you at all times. Making the water visible and accessible is key. You can also try jazzing up your water with fruit. Squeeze a lemon in your water for flavor, or slice up your favorite fruit. Oranges, raspberries, lime, and mint leaves are delicious things to add to your water bottle.
According to Health.com, getting more sleep can have drastic (and awesome) effects on your body. Getting more sleep can improve your memory, curb inflammation in the body, and give you more energy. Having a sleep schedule will help your body improve in all of these areas. Set a “bed time” and stick with it. Bed time isn’t just for little kids!
A study presented in 2003 at the American Heart Association’s annual conference showed that breakfast-eaters are less likely to be obese and are also more likely to have good blood sugar levels. They also found that breakfast-eaters are less likely to be hungry later on in the day. Eating breakfast will also increase your energy if you eat something high in fiber, like certain cereals, Bananas or oranges, and muffins or toast. There are so many options. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.
After exercising for a long period of time, some exercises begin to seem mundane. Try something new in 2016! There are so many options to get your body moving and your heart rate up. Kickboxing, step aerobics, spinning, water jogging, and yoga are just a few examples of classes you could try. Keep in mind, change is good!
Staying dedicated to anything is an art. According to numerous sources, it takes well over 21 days to form a habit. Some individuals said it took over 66 days to make something feel natural or automatic. This means, you need to stay dedicated to your goals in the New Year. It’s too easy to jump out of your goals and give up after a couple of weeks, make it a challenge for yourself! Cross off the days on your calendar, and keep track of your progress. It will be fun.
It seems like a simple concept, right? Mayo Clinic presented information reguarding positive thinking. “Health benefits that positive thinking may provide include: increased life span, lower rates of depression, lower levels of distress, greater resistance to the common cold, better psychological well-being, reduced risk of death from cardiovascular disease, and better coping skills during hardships and times of stress.” While researchers are still unsure why positive thinking causes increased health benefits, it is good news for those of you that already think this way! There are several things you can do to improve your outlook. Try identifying your areas that need change, acknowledge them and move forward. Practicing positivity daily will help you form a habit.