It’s almost time for the new year — and you know what that means. It’s time to make that resolution list, and if you’re like most, you probably include a few health-related items.
However, there’s no need to add “run a marathon” to your to-do list. Small, everyday changes often have a more substantial impact on your overall well-being than grandiose goals. Try these eight health tips this year and watch yourself improve without a ton of extra effort.
You know you need to watch your diet, but what about your beverage choices? If you rely on sugary soda, you aren’t doing your waistline any favors, and excessive alcohol use contributes to many diseases while putting you on the slippery slope toward abuse.
If colas are your nemesis, invest in a pitcher and some fruit to make infused water. If it still isn’t sweet enough for your taste, monk fruit sweetener has zero calories or glycemic impact.
Not every American flosses daily as they should, which could have them running to the dentist more often. Cavity-causing plaque builds up more easily in the spaces between teeth and can also spur gum disease.
Worse, when mouth bacteria enters your bloodstream through infected gums, it ups your other health risks. One large study published by the National Institutes of Health found that these germs contribute to developing Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia. Yes, flossing is a pain, but less than two minutes daily can freshen your breath and keep you healthier.
When it’s time to try something new, does your eye always gravitate toward the most fattening item on the menu? To increase your culinary variety, try a new plant-based dish every month.
There’s no reason to restrict meatless Monday to one day a week. Ample evidence suggests that you should consume foods like red meat no more than once or twice weekly to slash health risks. You won’t miss a beef burger when you chow down on a chipotle quinoa sweet potato version.
Unless you are a die-hard HIIT instructor, you probably get weary of logging the same five miles on the recumbent bike each time you hit the gym. Make 2021 the year you find new techniques you’ll love.
Try a new regime each quarter — it’s as easy as taking a class you never tried at the gym. If you don’t have a membership, you can find a fitness app that offers various workout styles and lengths.
Ultraprocessed foods are problematic because they offer tons of salt, sugar, additives and white flour. The last ingredient is trouble because manufacturers strip the nutrients and fiber during manufacturing, leaving you with a sticky gut glue that offers empty calories and little else.
Instead of completely tossing out everything in your pantry, make one substitute each day. Replace that snack bag of chips with a handful of nuts or some carrots with hummus. Instead of getting french fries with your sandwich, opt for apple slices.
Family hobbies can bring you closer and improve your relationships with your spouse and children. From gardening to DIY, there are tons of things you can do.
Do you love camping out and watching the night sky? Invest in a telescope and some astronomy books for the holidays. Are you as musically inclined as the Von Trapp family? You can all learn to strum the ukulele or choose different instruments to make an impromptu band.
Meditation is an ideal way to manage stress. You can use techniques like mindfulness anytime and anywhere. Guided recordings can help you recover from anything from social media addiction to anxiety.
When you make your weekly schedule in your planner, set aside 15 minutes daily to practice. Doing so right before bed can help you clear your mind and get better sleep.
Electronic devices mimic the blue light the sun emits — which has told humans to wake up since the days of early man. Is it surprising that researchers discovered this wavelength could keep you up tossing and turning twice as long as softer hues?
Before the new year, redesign your bedroom to make it more conducive to sleep. The first step is to remove electronic devices — set up a charging station in your kitchen and invest in a standard alarm clock. Nondigital models work best for those who awaken at night and stare at the numbers.
Go wild with pillows — if you’re a side sleeper, placing one between your knees helps align your back more comfortably. If outside neons or noise disturb your beauty rest, soundproof your ceilings and walls and upgrade your window coverings.
You don’t have to resolve to run a marathon to benefit your well-being. Daily small and sustainable changes work best — feel better by trying these eight health tips in the new year.