Who doesn’t want to have a happy and healthy New Year? We hear time and time again that people want to start their new year off right with a load of crazy, and hard to maintain resolutions. A few weeks into the New Year, we sadly realize that those resolutions have been long forgotten. So we decided to write a blog dedicated to giving you 5 useful tips on how to create effective, and easy to implement resolutions to help you on your way to a healthy New Year.
1. A New Year of Eating a Balanced Diet
We all know that eating a ‘more balanced diet’ is a common New Year’s resolution. However, with chaotic schedules, busy kids and long days at work, it can be easy to give up, and eat the fast, cheap and easy option which is almost never nutritional. A poor diet can lead to poor health and studies show that it can even be a factor in many chronic conditions. Maintaining a diet that is healthy can actually help prevent and manage various chronic diseases.
Meal planning and meal preparation is key to staying on track, as one of the leading causes people don’t eat a balanced diet is that it can be inconvenient. This is where a bit of planning goes a long way.
Take one night a week where you can cook all of the meat you will have throughout the week, as well as cutting up fruits and vegetables; make it a family night! Then pack up all of your predetermined meals for the week, as well as a few snacks, and be sure to bring them with you when you have a long day away from home.
2. A New Year of Sleeping Better
There are plenty of reasons why you should put emphasis on getting more sleep, and not just to ensure a healthy New Year. Sleep deprivation can have many negative effects on your health. Research shows that sleep can even play a huge role in the quality of our memory.
Memory impairment is drilled down to two main reasons:
- The first reason is that lack of sleep can make a person unable to focus their attention, meaning they’re unable to learn efficiently.
- The second reason is that sleep has a role in the consolidation of memory, which is crucial to learning.
So for the healthy New Year, we suggest starting slow. Aim to add on 30 minute of sleep each night, work yourself up to 7-8 hours of quality sleep, and help yourself in the process. By this, we mean make some tea before bed (caffeine free), dim the lights to start winding down, and probably most importantly, put away your phone and other screens.
3. A Healthy New Year of Staying Hydrated
Keeping your body well hydrated helps to ensure the integrity of your organs and immune system are in the best shape possible to guard against infections. Make sure to make the water appealing to you so that you actually want to drink it. Buy a cool reusable water bottle that you can take around everywhere. You can even infuse your water with various fruits, roots, or spices to keep you sipping at it all day. There is no set amount of water that is uniformly recommended by any medical society. That said, your thirst is often the best guide as to when you need to drink more water. When you are outside exercising in the heat or in the cold for a prolonged period, it’s wise to increase your water intake.
It may seem like a small goal, but stating hydrated can have drastic effects on your overall health, from more energy to better skin to increased productivity at work.
4. A New Year of Exercise Outdoors
Studies show that our human existence thrives on green spaces, and when we are not exposed to enough of them we can actually become anxious and depressed. “Higher levels of green space were associated with lower symptoms of anxiety, depression, and stress .” Says Dr. Kristen Malecki, University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Get your daily dose of outdoor greenery by taking a brisk walk through the neighborhood, going on a hike with a friend, or even venturing into unexplored activities like Thai Chi, Yoga, and Meditation. These ways of moving the body in a mindful way have shown to decrease anxiety, lessen depression, and boost a more happy mindset and sense of well-being.
Make sure that when you’ve chosen the activities that suit you, and you take a step outside, give yourself a moment and look around you. Take in the scenery, and smell a few roses. Getting a little more in touch with nature is one of the best ways to create a happy and healthy new year.
5. A New Year of Keeping Up with Vaccines
Making sure you have the proper vaccinations is one of the most important ways to guard against disease. This includes an annual flu shot and a shingles vaccine for adults 60 and older, as well as a pneumococcal vaccine for adults 65 years and older. If you have family history of any type of disease, start screenings and doctor recommended vaccines earlier as you may be at higher risk.
At AFC Urgent Care New Britain you can walk right in, no appointment necessary, to any of our walk-in clinics. We are located at 135 East Main Street, New Britain CT 06051. Our locations are open 7 days a week and ready to treat you. You can save time by checking in online and we accept most insurances.