We know your health is important to you and your family, so what better way to kick off the New Year than by making a pledge to live healthier?
By making small changes in your daily habits, you can pledge to start the New Year on your way to better health and happiness.
At the start of each year, many people are resolving to eat healthier so they can lose excess weight gained over the previous year.
In addition to feeling better physically, eating healthier and reaching a healthy weight will also make you feel better mentally.
Choose Whole Grains
Whole grain products are “complex carbohydrates” which means they have more fiber, vitamins (specifically, B vitamins), and minerals than
refined, or white, products.
Read the ingredient list to make sure the first ingredient is 100% whole grain or whole wheat.
Skip the Sugar
Sugary foods and drinks are often said to have “empty calories”. A 12oz can of cola contains about 150 calories, and 40 grams of sugar.
Choose foods naturally low in sugar and opt for water, low fat milk, or unsweetened tea as a beverage.
Practice Portion Control
Learning what a healthy serving of food looks like and training your body to be satisfied with that amount will allow you to eat the foods you love and stay at a healthy weight.
Check out the
portion size graphic
and see how your portions measure up.
Exercise wherever you are able that fits in to your time and budget.
Select a place and time to exercise and stick to it.
Keep your routine on track by reminding yourself of all the benefits of exercising.
Recruit a training partner during the New Year to help you stay motivated.
Make it quick in the Beginning
Don’t get discouraged trying to complete long workouts in the beginning. Have a preplanned workout that can be done in a little time still providing a lot of great benefits including building cardio and burning fat.
Incorporate interval workouts like Hiit and tabata that can be done rather quickly.
Increase Mindful Awareness
Mindful awareness is becoming aware of things we think and do automatically. This awareness changes our reality in the moment and can help us change patterns of thinking and being long-term.
Take some time after waking up to “become aware.” Bring awareness to daily routine activities, such as brushing your teeth or washing your hands. Start by practicing being “in the moment” for a few minutes at a time and increase as you get better.
Practice Gratitude and Living in the Moment
How many special moments are you missing because you are always looking for bigger or better? Gratitude and living in the moment will change your outlook and will present you with opportunities that you never knew existed.
Practice gratitude in short spurts throughout the day. Be grateful while you wait…standing in line or stuck in traffic. Pick a prompt to remind you to be grateful. You can even write down 3-5 things everyday (or night) that you are grateful for.
Increase Mindful Meditation
Mindful meditation is the act of focusing our attention on specific thoughts or sensations. Mindfulness techniques play a role in mindful mediation. Think of this as a concentrated, time limited, focused effort.
Practice mindful meditation for 5 minutes at least twice per day. As you get better, increase your minutes to 10, then to 15 once per day.
Improve your Sleep Environment
The sleep environment is simply the space in which you attempt to sleep.
Once you have a consistent routine of where and when you go to sleep, practice improving the environment. Keeping the temperature between
65-75 degrees is ideal, wear comfortable sleeping clothes, remove all bright electronics and eliminate noise before you fall asleep.
Stick to a sleep schedule
This is a healthy sleep habit that helps to regulate your body’s internal clock and could help you fall asleep and stay asleep for the night.
Try to set a consistent bed time and wake up time that you can follow 7 days a week.
Improve Healthy Habits before falling asleep
Alcohol, cigarettes and caffeine can disrupt sleep. Also avoid eating large meals for two to three hours before bedtime as the digestion alone can make it hard for you to fall asleep
Avoid alcohol, cigarettes, and heavy meals at least 3 hours prior to bedtime.