A new year means a new opportunity to start fresh with your health goals. No matter your New Year’s resolution, resolve to live healthier in 2016 by implementing a few new healthy habits into your daily routine.
Here are six healthy habits for a healthier mind and body:
Be active. Exercise isn’t only beneficial if you’re trying to lose weight. It can also improve your mood, reduce stress and help you think more clearly. Long-term, exercise helps to reduce the risk of health problems such as heart disease, diabetes and even some cancers.
Sleep. If you aren’t getting enough sleep, it will begin to show in every aspect of your life. Lack of sleep affects mood and stress levels, and it can lead to weight gain and other health problems like diabetes, heart problems, stroke and more. Even adults need six to eight hours of sleep even night, and you never really “catch up” on lost sleep. So make time for sleep—even if that means cutting something out of your schedule.
Drink more water. Skip the sugary drinks and make a habit of drinking more water. Hydration is one of the most essential aspects of a healthy body. Drinking water helps with calorie control and weight loss, fuels your muscles, clears out toxins in the body that cause skin problems, improves kidney function, fights fatigue and pain, can help prevent illness and even give your brain a boost. You should be drinking about half your body weight in ounces every day (if you weigh 150 pounds, drink 75 ounces of water) but starting with just 64 ounces a day can make a big difference.
Cook more, eat out less. When you cook at home, you have total control over what goes into your food. Restaurant food is generally higher in fat and calories, and may contain other ingredients that can be bad for your health. Cooking more and eating out less also helps to reduce temptations. As an added bonus, eating at home is less expensive, too! Use dinnertime as a time for family bonding. Cook with your children, and take time to teach them the importance of good nutrition so they will develop healthy habits early on.
Meditation: Meditation is an excellent practice for anyone wishing to reduce stress and improve their overall health. Although the exact connection between meditation and stress reduction isn’t clear, researchers have found that people who meditate regularly tend to be more optimistic and relaxed.
Get regular health screenings: When was your last checkup? Schedule an appointment with your doctor to talk about which routine screenings you need based on your age and gender. Some important health screening tests include: blood pressure, cholesterol, mammogram, PAP smear, prostate screening, skin cancer screening, mammogram and colonoscopy.
Make it a goal to develop these healthy habits and make 2016 your healthiest year yet!