As the new year approaches, now is the perfect time to start setting healthy goals for yourself. These goals don’t need to be dramatic. In fact, dramatic changes can be harder to maintain over time. Making small changes can help you see a bigger difference in your life, and be easier to maintain for long periods of time. Here are some simple healthy resolutions that you can actually keep.
Drink more water
Water is involved in every type of cellular process in your body, and when you’re dehydrated, they all run less efficiently. Research has also shown that drinking a glass of water right before a meal helps you to feel more full and eat less, and also assists with digestion when food is eaten. Ideally, you should drink between half an ounce to an ounce of water for each pound you weigh every day. For example, if you weigh 150 pounds, aim for about 75 to 150 ounces of water per day.
To start, you may consider switching out one sugary juice or soda for a glass of water each day.
Stretching isn’t just for before a workout. Regular stretching can help to:
- Increase flexibility
- Increase range of motion
- Improve performance in physical activities
- Increase blood flow to muscles
- Improve posture
- Heal and prevent back pain
- Reduce stress
- Calm your mind
Try this easy five minute stretching routine when you are watching TV, waiting for dinner to cook or after you brush your teeth in the mornings.
Try new foods
A great way to experience new healthy foods is to try them one at a time. Rather than running to the store and buying one of everything, take the time to experiment. Pick a new fruit or vegetable each month, and come up with several ways to try it. If you want to try avocado, try it on toast with garlic salt, on tacos as a garnish or make guacamole. The options are limitless, and it’s a great way to get kids to try new things, too!
Go media free
Do you find yourself reaching for your phone at all moments of the day? Set aside a media-free block of time each day to focus on the things that matter. You can start small, such as family dinner each night, and move onto longer times as you see fit. Encourage your children to spend time drawing, playing or reading instead of watching YouTube after school. These small blocks of time will make a big difference in your family’s screen usage.
Cook at home
A great way to eat healthy (and save money!) is to cook meals at home. Not only do you know exactly what you are eating, but you can involve the whole family in preparing the meal. Preparing a meal together also teaches children skills that they can use when they live on their own, such as how to boil pasta or cook an egg. Some of the best family memories are made in the kitchen!
No matter what your goals are for the new year, starting small and being consistent is the key to success.