For many of us, the start of a new year is a way to take stock of our habits — the good and the bad — and understand where we want to improve and the new goals we want to reach. Prioritizing your mental and physical well-being is essential to living the year to its fullest.
The choices we make on a day-to-day basis impact the way we feel inside and out. The choices we make surrounding our meals, movement, and lifestyle play an integral role in maintaining a healthy and balanced life.
If you’re looking for ways to incorporate healthier patterns into your regular routine, this blog can help. Use our guide to help you find ways to introduce new and better habits to start the year off right.
Your First Meal
You’ve likely heard friends and strangers alike talk about the importance of breakfast. The reality is that breakfast truly is the most important meal of the day. Fueling your body at the start of your day with a healthy and nutritious meal not only kick-starts your metabolism — it also gives you the energy to tackle the rest of your day.
When it comes to preparing a balanced breakfast, try to incorporate a mixture of complex carbs, proteins, and healthy fats — think whole wheat toast with an egg and avocado or whole-grain oats and fruit with Greek yogurt. There’s no reason why healthy meals should have to sacrifice flavor and enjoyment.
Embracing Mindful Eating
With the demands of modern life, from school to work, raising families, and trying to take care of our mental health, it can be challenging to pay close attention to what we’re eating — that’s where mindful eating becomes even more important.
Mindful eating involves paying attention to what we’re consuming and focusing on the senses we experience when we eat certain foods. It means eating without distractions and being present, which allows us to enjoy the meal we’ve prepared and helps us recognize hunger and fullness clues. These clues help us avoid overeating and promote better digestion.
Moving Your Body
When it comes to our physical health, movement is key. Regular movement should be a core part of everyone’s daily routine. Being physically active offers a wide range of benefits, from improved brain health to stronger bones and muscles, improved mental health and much more.
Incorporating movement into your day doesn’t have to mean sticking to a strict gym regime. Physical activity looks different for everyone and can be completely customized to your needs and abilities. In some cases, simply going for a walk on your lunch break or after dinner can help your heart health.
If you’re looking for new, fun ways to move your body, consider looking for classes you can take in your area — you’ll likely find anything from gentle yoga practices to high-intensity workouts. Incorporating exercises you enjoy will help you stick to this new-year goal.
Water and daily hydration is a fundamental part of a healthy lifestyle. Our bodies need to remain hydrated to ensure our bodies and digestive systems can safely function, and our circulations and temperatures are regulated.
Hydration can come in many forms. For some, plain water is adequate enough. Those engaging in lots of physical activity may require additional protein added to their hydration to help restore their muscles. Companies like DrinkChakra.com understand those needs and create delicious protein powders infused with Asian-inspired flavors to bring some life and fun into their customers’ hydration journeys. It’s all about finding what works for your lifestyle.
The recommended amount of water intake can vary for men and women — with men over 19 typically recommended 3.7 liters per day and 2.7 liters for women over the age of 19. Even if you’re unable to meet those numbers some days, getting as much water as you can in a day will help you look and feel your best.
Getting a Good Night’s Rest
We don’t often get the rest we need in a night to operate as our best selves the following day. The reality is that sleep is essential to our physical, emotional, and mental health. Sleep experts recommend 7-9 hours on average to help our bodies relax and restore — but quality is just as important as quantity.
A good night’s rest means abstaining from electronics before sleep and crafting a regular bedtime routine — whether that means enjoying an herbal tea or reading with a warm light before bed. When you give your body ample time to rest, you’ll feel more energized and ready to handle the stresses of the day.
Stress is unavoidable, no matter what our days look like. However, chronic stress can significantly impact our physical and mental health. Finding ways to reduce stress throughout the day can help lower blood pressure, relieve muscle tension, and simply add to a more enjoyable day overall. Consider incorporating relaxing activities such as yoga, journaling, or medication into your day — in as small or large doses as you can. Even if you can only commit to 15 minutes per day, you’ll notice the differences.
Create Healthy Relationships
In many cases, we’re responsible for our mental and physical well-being, but it’s important to understand the impact the people around us have. The relationships in our lives can significantly contribute to the way we feel on a daily basis.
It’s important to surround yourself with people who make you feel good and who support you. Whether these relationships are strictly face-to-face or you’re maintaining relationships with friends and family virtually, a strong network is a pillar of good health.
Start the New Year Off Right
Whether you think of them as resolutions, goals, or daily implementations, it’s important to prioritize your health in as many ways as you can. Use these tools and tips to take a closer look at your habits and find ways to be healthier for both your body and mind.
Published by HOLR Magazine.