by Aliah Mae Alzona
Boy, does time fly! Are we really about to say goodbye to the first month of the new year?!
Towards the end of 2021 most of you probably already had New Year resolutions listed in mind.
1. Drink Plenty of Water
Because water takes up almost 60% of our whole body and carries vital nutrients and oxygen to our cells, it is absolutely necessary for us to stay properly hydrated. Dehydration can cause unclear thinking, changes in mood, overheating body temperature and can lead to constipation. Drinking at least 4-6 cups of water and less sugary drinks gradually throughout the day is the way to avoid it. As someone who has always struggled with staying properly hydrated, my favorite way to force myself to drink fluids is putting fresh fruits and vegetables to add flavor to my water.
TIP: To ensure you are drinking water every day, incorporate it at the beginning of your morning routine, at the end of your night routine, as well as before every meal. You can track your water intake using a reusable water bottle that you can drink and refill throughout the day.
2. Commit to a Healthy Diet
Eating healthy does not mean tracking your calories every day or giving up your favorite foods. You can and should eat a variety of different foods like vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts, lean meat, eggs, and cheese as long as you understand how to eat them in moderation. Understanding what your body truly needs helps boost immunity, strengthen your bones, and lower risks of diseases.
Committing to a healthy diet is more so breaking old eating habits and forming new ones rather than starving yourself through crash diets and completely changing your meals. You can consider changing your potato chips to nuts and fruits, substituting canned foods for fresh meats, and cutting down overly sugary and salty foods. In the end, the “best” diet for you is the one that makes you feel your best and the one you feel will help improve yourself in the long run.
TIP: Instead of using a calorie tracking app that tells you what you can and can’t eat, keep a food diary to help you become more aware of what you are consuming.
3. Sleep Well
Your body is actively working during sleep! Throughout your whole life, sleep has played and will continue to play a vital role in both your physical and mental health. Sleep directly affects the way you think, react, work, learn, and get along with others. Therefore, it is important to get the proper amount of sleep to maintain a healthy relationship with yourself and the people around you.
Have you ever noticed a change in your behavior and attitude for no obvious reason? When that happened, did you consider the amount of sleep you got the night before to be the reason why? Nobody knows your own body better than yourself so think about creating a sleep schedule that works for both your body and your busy life (7 hours a night is recommended!).
TIP: Follow a healthy nighttime routine: read, meditate, journal, do your skin care, and avoid using your phone before going to bed. This can improve the way you sleep at night to calm your mind.
4. Exercise and Stretch
When it comes to improving your physical health, exercising is the number one thing that comes to mind. Exercising doesn’t have to be so tiring and difficult, you can easily make it fun and enjoyable. Doing any physical activity is better than doing none. It doesn’t matter what activity you do, you just have to keep your body moving.
Some easy physical activities include:
- Daily walks with your dog
- Hiking with your friends
- Biking around the neighborhood
With that being said, it is very important to set realistic goals. Oftentimes people get ahead of themselves and put too much pressure to lose an excessive amount of weight in a short period of time. But people often forget that exercising is supposed to be a mood booster, making you feel happier, more relaxed, and less anxious. Stretching has the same effect and it helps your mind feel more peaceful and at ease.
TIP: Set an alarm to go off every hour as a reminder to move around for a minute or two. Getting at least 150 minutes (two and a half hours) of exercise a week should be the minimum.
We hope these simple tips remind you that visualizing success is setting small attainable goals rather than making a long list of unrealistic ones. Baby steps like these help you maintain a well-balanced lifestyle, which is what sustainability is all about. So, be sure to look after yourself in all aspects of your life and don’t be afraid to rewrite your New Year’s resolutions and start fresh!