5 Achievable New Year Resolutions for a Healthy 2019
Along with celebration and festivities, the first week of the new year is generally laced with introspection and staunch resolution making. Resolutions can, unfortunately, put you under pressure to make big, life-changing decisions. But this does not have to be the case. In fact, individuals who start small are likely to stick to their resolutions much longer. Here are a few small, but impactful, ways you can pledge to stay healthy in 2019.
Keep that water bottle close
When your body doesn’t get the water it requires, it is unable to perform several crucial functions such as flushing out toxic wastes and maintaining body temperature. Dehydration can cause you to feel tired, unable to focus and can affect your mood. It is generally a good idea to drink about 2-3 litres of water every day, irrespective of whether you are thirsty. If you are in a warmer climate, you will have to drink a little more water than this to make up for what you lose through perspiration.
Spend 30 minutes every day exercising
This does not have to necessarily be in the gym. Choose your workout. Anything that gets your heart pumping counts. You can try walking, or dancing, or gardening, or doing household chores. If you’re just starting out, you can start small with a brisk walk around your neighbourhood. If you spend lots of time at work, try squeezing in a walk around the office during your free time. Aim for 30 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise at least 5 times a week. Moderate aerobic exercise includes brisk walking, swimming, or dancing.
The key here is to take it slow. Do not attempt to completely eliminate unhealthy foods within the first week of the year. Start by reducing the amount of junk food you consume. Then, replace unhealthy carbs (white flour or sweets) with healthier variants such as brown rice and whole wheat. Include fibre-rich foods like fresh fruits (bananas, apples, guavas, oranges) and vegetables (carrots, beetroots, lentils, sprouts) in your diet. You can replace unhealthy fats or saturated fats (deep fried foods and fatty meats) with unsaturated fats such as nuts and fatty fish (mackerel, sardines, tuna). Be mindful of your snacking habits. Do not overindulge, especially when it comes to fast food.
Reduce your sugar intake
Unlike other essential nutrients, your body doesn’t actually require processed sugar as it gets this from the carbohydrates you consume. Hence, restrict yourself to natural sources of sugar such as those derived from fruits. Do not abruptly stop your sugar intake, however. Instead, work towards reducing it gradually. You can start by reducing your intake of sugar-rich foods such as biscuits, cakes, and sweets. As an adult, you should not have more than 6 teaspoons of sugar per day.
Get good quality sleep
It is easy to deprive ourselves of sleep by spending too much time at work or by getting caught up with other responsibilities. Besides causing lethargy and a lack of focus, sleep deprivation can seriously impact your immune system. A lack of sleep can also increase your chances of developing diabetes, hypertension, depression, and obesity.
This year, vow to get seven to eight hours of good sleep every night. This can be achieved by specially allotting time to your daily activities and following a schedule with discipline.
Remember to progress at your own pace
Whatever you decide to take up as a resolution, remember to progress at your own pace. Give yourself the time to adjust to your new routine. To make it easier, it is advisable to take your resolutions a week at a time. For instance, start by exercising two times a week or by reducing the sugar in your tea by one spoon in your first week, and gradually proceed to increase that number. This way you are likely to stick by your resolutions longer.
If you find yourself losing enthusiasm, remind yourself of why you started in the first place. Examining the intention behind your resolution is crucial because it will help you find the motivation to continue.
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