Resolutions are a time-honored tradition of setting goals and planning for change, and the beginning of the year is a great time to start. While weight loss and quitting smoking are commonly cited resolutions, there are many other goals that can have an equally lasting positive effect on your health. From investing in a comfy pair of mens jogger scrubs to better hydration, if your focus for 2023 is on health and well-being, here are seven resolutions to consider.
1. Move Your Body
If you’re looking to improve your health in the new year, there’s no better place to start than with your physical activity levels. Exercise has innumerable benefits, from reducing your risk of chronic diseases to improving your mental well-being. And the great news is that it doesn’t have to be a chore — there are plenty of ways to make getting more exercise fun. Adding movement and activity to your life doesn’t have to mean going to the gym or doing HIIT workouts. Make a resolution to find something you enjoy and stick to it. Joyful, mindful movement — like walking, biking, dancing, or yoga — can be just as beneficial.
2. Up Your Nutrition
One of the best things you can do for your health is to resolve to eat healthier in the new year. Just think about all the benefits: You’ll have more energy, you’ll be less likely to get sick, and you’ll be better able to manage your weight. Not to mention, eating healthy just feels good! If a complete overhaul of your eating habits sounds intimidating, start by making small changes. Maybe you decide to cook more meals at home or switch from white bread to wheat. Every step counts, and you can build on your successes as the year progresses.
No matter what changes you decide to make, the important thing is that you make them stick. One way to do this is to find recipes that you actually enjoy eating — there’s no point in eating healthy if it’s just going to leave you feeling miserable! You can also look into meal delivery services that offer healthy, pre-prepared meals.
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3. Get More Rest
Getting a good night’s sleep is essential for both physical and mental health. Yet, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), one in three Americans don’t get enough sleep. If you’re one of those people, resolve to change that in the new year. By making sleep a priority, you’ll be setting yourself up for success. Most adults need at least seven hours of sleep each night, so consider making a habit of going to bed and waking up at the same time every day — even on weekends. This will help to regulate your body’s internal clock, making it easier to fall asleep and achieve deep sleep.
You should also create a bedtime routine that helps you to wind down before getting into bed. Try disconnecting from electronics at least 30 minutes before bed and creating a calming environment in your bedroom. That might mean doing something relaxing like reading a book or taking a warm bath.
4. Reduce Your Stress Levels
When you’re stressed, your body goes into fight-or-flight mode, releasing hormones like adrenaline and cortisol. This can lead to a variety of problems, including high blood pressure, insomnia, and anxiety. The good news is that there are simple things you can do to reduce your stress levels. Taking even just 10 minutes out of your day to relax can make a big difference. Try practices like yoga or meditation, or simply take a few deep breaths. You’ll feel more calm and centered, and your body will thank you for it. If you’re stuck in an ongoing difficult situation, consider taking a step back and looking at the bigger picture. Ask yourself: Is this really worth my time and energy? If not, make an effort to let it go in the new year.
5. Drink More Water
Every system in your body depends on water to function properly, and even mild dehydration can sap your energy and affect your mood. That’s why drinking enough water each day should be part of your health-focused New Year’s resolutions. To make sure you’re getting enough water, keep a reusable water bottle on you at all times and take sips throughout the day. You can also add lemon or other fruits to your water for some extra flavor. And don’t forget to keep track of your intake — it can be helpful to set a goal for how much water you want to drink each day.
6. See Your Doctor for Regular Checkups
If you’ve been avoiding the doctor for any reason, make a commitment to yourself in the new year that you’ll seek medical attention when needed. This helps to ensure that any potential problems are caught early and that you stay on top of your overall health. It can be easy to forget to make appointments or to put them off, but by resolving to see your doctor regularly, you can make sure that you stay on top of your health all year long.
7. Develop a Self-Care Plan
Self-care is a vital part of staying healthy, both physically and mentally. Start by evaluating where you’ve been neglecting yourself and then make a plan to prioritize your own needs. You might even set aside specific days or times for self-care so that it becomes part of your routine. Your self-care habits can include anything from taking time to read a book to going for a walk or taking a break from your phone. It can even be as simple as treating yourself to a new pair of scrubs or a quality lab coat when you’ve outworn your work clothes. Your confidence will soar when you look and feel your best, and your mental health will only benefit as a result.
By committing to these health-focused New Year’s resolutions, you can start the new year with a renewed sense of purpose and improved health. Invest in your well-being, and you’ll be rewarded with a better quality of life. Here’s to a healthier and happier you!