How has January gone for you? Did you make resolutions, and more importantly did you stick to them? When it comes to our health, slow and steady is always best, quick fixes and unrealistic changes and goals very rarely work in the longterm.
Here we share five tips on how to improve your health, and more importantly maintain it throughout 2019.
Set yourself realistic and attainable goals when it comes to exercise. It is much better to find something you already enjoy and feel motivated to do such as walking, boxing, football, swimming or yoga, rather than forcing yourself to do something that you dislike, like joining a gym you won’t go to. For example, if you already enjoy walking, then set yourself a challenge of going a longer distance than usual, or a more difficult route such as on a gradient, or at a quicker pace. When you start to see a difference and see accomplishment on a daily basis then you will stick with your goals and have a more positive mindset. Also remember to celebrate the small wins, just 20 minutes is better than none and if you mess up one day, then thats ok. Don’t let one slip ruin the whole thing.
Our bodies need a variety of foods to get the nutrition they need to survive, so cutting everything ‘bad’ out of your diet, such as carbs or sugar, isn’t necessarily going to be a positive move. Moderation is always the key – cut down, rather than cut out. As an example aim to reduce your sugar intake gradually rather than cutting everything out all at once – drop one sugar in your tea perhaps. If carbs is your nemesis, then rather than removing completely from your diet, just cut back on having carbs in the late afternoon. As soon as you cut back you will realise that you don’t need it as much as you thought and it will quickly become a new habit. Also don’t force yourself to stick to a strict meal plan everyday. Make 3 or 4 small changes in a week, and soon you will start to see a big impact. This way you are not being too strict and making a complete lifestyle change, so more likely to stick to it.
As Christmas and New year have long passed, saying no to alcohol is what many people aim to do throughout January. The issue is that then when it’s February they go back to their old habits. Again, moderation is key. We all know that alcohol can damage you both physically and mentally and certainly has a negative impact on your health overall and bank account. Make sure you have some alcohol free days each week and make it part of your routine, and you will soon see positive changes to your overall health, body, mood and sleep. You will begin to feel more active and alert and will find it easier to concentrate, not to mention loosing weight.
Stopping smoking is a long and hard process and is far more easier said than done. Many smokers aim to quit smoking completely or at least cut down on how much they do smoke but never quite achieve it. Nowadays there are so many different ways which can help you to quit, so it is really just about researching options and finding what works for you and your lifestyle. Not only would it be improving and helping you and your loved ones overall health, but think about all the money you can save.
Stress can have an overwhelming affect on our health so it is important to make positive changes this year to improve your mood and release stress, or at least cope better with it. Everyone is always striving for work life balance, but remember that doesn’t mean allocation of hours, it is more about making time for what makes you happy and feel good. Plus, making sure that stresses at work, don’t get bought home to family time and vice versa. Make time for the things you love, make sure you disconnect from your phone and technology, get outside more, spend real focused time with those you love. You don’t have to climb a mountain or skydive to feel alive and in the now, it could just be settling down with a cuppa and good book. Get a massage, meditate, take a course in something you find fascinating, learn a language or whatever it may be.
The most important thing is to take positive action, focus on the great things in your life and always celebrate the small wins. The truth is happiness and health starts from within!
Lets make 2019 the year for positive mindsets and a happier healthier world.