All week my kids have been talking about their New Year resolutions, something they’re strangely fascinated with. One child wants to make it his resolution to try new foods, another wants to continue practicing her drawing skills, and my third child, who really doesn’t have any concept of the whole resolution idea, wants to make more time to play with her Barbie dolls. I think they’re all perfect resolutions to make because any resolution, a promise to do an act of self-improvement for a fresh new year, is a positive thing.
The resolutions my husband and I made for this year are a little different than the kids, all with the goal of making our 2017 more healthful. Last year, our lives were filled with a lot of changes, some anticipated and some unexpected, but all of them left us with a strong desire to increase our health, reduce stress and make some new goals.
If your goals for 2017 include making changes to make you more joyful and filled with health, you’ll see that even small changes can really add up.
1. Take the stairs. Avoiding escalators and elevators can seem like such a small thing, but just by taking the stairs, you can burn 45 calories or more.
2. Park further away. I saw it during the holiday season, traffic jams in the parking lot due to people trying to find the closest space to the store opening. By parking further away, and walking a little extra, you’re getting your heart rate up and working your muscles.
3. Drink more water. I am not a big fan of drinking water, but I’ve noticed that when I make it a priority, I always feel better and look better. There are so many health benefits, and it’s not too difficult to keep this simple resolution.
4. Meditate. It’s such a simple thing, you’re really just giving your thoughts uninterrupted attention, and yet it can do so many things from your health. This article outlines 8 ways meditation can improve your health, including reduction in stress and slowing the aging process.
5. Quit soda. Cutting back on cola can make a big difference in your hydration and number of calories you take in daily. Switching it out for water, even the fizzy kind, will help you reduce empty calories and increase your hydration.
6. Eat more vegetables. This resolution is high on my own personal list for 2017. While we do pretty well for making sure we eat vegetables, we’ve seen a marked reduction of the greens on our plate that I blame on being too busy. We’re going to up our vegetable game and try new ones also! Check out One Green Planet for their tips on getting more vegetables into your diet.
7. Reduce processed foods. This resolution may not seem simple, but I’m not saying you need to get rid of all processed foods, but even just reducing the amount you’re eating can put you on a healthier track. Processed foods are full of chemicals, large amounts of chemicals, and they’re void of any nutrients or vitamins, making them pretty useless in terms of food. Check out these for some eye-opening information on the ways processed foods impact your health.
8. Control food portions. Ah, those pesky food portions. Sure, you want to eat a whole plate of mashed potatoes and gravy, but controlling your portions (understanding how much calories are in each food and getting a good balance of nutrients and vitamins), you’ll be on the road to healthy weight management. Check out these 6 tips for controlling your portions that won’t leave you feeling deprived.
9. Eat more antioxidants. A few years ago, antioxidants were the big buzzword, and for good reason. Antioxidants are found in things like blueberries, green tea and dark green vegetables, and can help fight against ailments and diseases like Alzheimer’s and cancer.
10. Floss more. Dental health always seems to take the backseat when we talk about overall health and wellness, but this year you’ll want to break out the floss! It’s not just one of those things dentist tout that aren’t important, in fact, flossing can reduce your risk for all sorts of health issues and it doesn’t take a whole lot of effort to increase your dental health game.
11. Get over your fears. I named 2016 “the year of the dentist” because I made it a goal of mine to get over my long-standing fear of the dentist. It caused so much anxiety that I didn’t want to live with it anymore or pass on my dental fear to my kids. While it’s not always “simple” taking small steps to reduce your fears and anxieties can have huge benefits for your overall health and happiness.
12. Get a physical. So, it’s been a while since you’ve been to the doctor and had a full physical work-up, but making that your resolution for the year can help your health dramatically. It’s simple because all you need to do is make the call and attend the appointment and you’ll better understand where you are in terms of overall health.
13. Quit smoking. Make 2017 the year you finally kick the habit and quit smoking and you’ll see health benefits like you couldn’t imagine. You’ll feel better in nearly every aspect from and quitting now could end up saving your life. There are many outlets that you can seek to quit from mediation to support groups and nicotine patches which can all help make you smoke-free for the New Year.
14. Wear sunscreen. Taking care of your skin isn’t always on the top of our minds, but with skin cancer slowly on the rise, take charge of your risks now and wear sunscreen! I am obsessed with sunscreen and wear it every day, but it’s not as challenging as it sounds since many moisturizers or makeup has sunscreen already in the ingredients. Make it a part of your morning routine and you’ll protect your skin from the harmful UVA/B rays.
TapGenes Take Away: New Year Resolutions don’t have to be intimidating. With simple changes, you can make a huge impact to your health.