9 Ways to Improve Your Health in 2017
Every year as the New Year’s ball drops in Times Square, many of us pledge to make changes in the New Year whether it is in our love life, work or career. However, unfortunately by February, most of us have given up our resolutions. This year instead focus on living a healthier lifestyle and you will see dividends for years to come.
Here are some surefire ways to make 2017 a year of a healthier you. Check out these 9 ways to improve your health in 2017:
Drink a glass of water first thing in the morning.
The vitamin C in the lemon boosts your immunity and improves your digestion, and the water helps keep you from feeling dehydrated. You will also experience a jumpstart to your metabolism. Drinking water in the morning can also help flush out any toxins out of your body and help you stay full longer so you are not craving snacks between breakfast and lunch. It is a healthy way to begin your day.
Choose an exercise regimen you’ll love.
It is a known fact that exercise is essential for good health, but it can be hard to make time to do it, especially with hectic family and work schedules. In order to ensure that you stick to it, you should pick exercises that you will love doing. Whether it is going to the gym, dance class or doing exercises at home, make sure you enjoy doing it. And start out slow, doing just 15 minute sessions and working your way up to longer and more intensive workouts. If you have a sedentary job, it is also important that you get up and move at least every 20 minutes or so. Research has shown that even if you exercise regularly, a sedentary job can increase your risk for heart disease, cancer and diabetes.
Laugh and have fun more.
Besides lack of exercise, stress can also have a negative impact on our lives. Studies show that long term stress can cause high blood pressure and weaken our immune system making us more susceptible to diseases like coronary heart disease. Exercise, yoga and meditation strategies can help you handle stress better, but it is also important to make time for joy and laughter. Set aside time every day for some “me time”. Soak in the tub or read a book and hang out with family and friends as much as you can. Time is fleeting. The kitchen floor can be cleaned any time; your relationship with your loved ones is more important.
Unplug from your electronics.
Today everyone has a cell phone, and between email, Twitter and Facebook, we are constantly connected to what is going on in the world around us. And while it can be good in some ways, it can also keep us from staying connecting to the people closest to us and can add to our stress. Think about how everyone is always on their phones at the dinner table and how nobody just sits and talks anymore. Staying plugged in all day also keeps us from getting a good night sleep. Sleep experts recommend that your keep your phone out of the bedroom. However, if you use it for an alarm clock like so many of us do, then just make sure you don’t check email after a certain time at night.
Be more mindful of what you eat.
Remember, healthy eating isn’t about starving yourself. If you choose to eat more fresh fruits and vegetables and less processed foods, you will find yourself not only looking better but feeling better too. Do a refrigerator makeover to help. Stock it will healthier options like fruits and vegetables. Have healthy snacks and meals prepped and ready to go so you are not tempted to call for takeout or just grab that bag of potato chips. I know you have Pizza Hut on speed dial.
Eat dark chocolate every day.
While too much sweets is obviously bad for you. Dark chocolate is known to have some health benefits. The flavanol in dark chocolate dilates your blood vessels allowing more oxygen and blood to get to your brain, increasing your alertness. Avoid milk chocolate and choose unsweetened dark chocolate and don’t eat more than one piece a day for to the best results.
Constantly improve your brain.
Learning isn’t just for kids in school. We should always be introducing ourselves to new experiences and new ideas. You are never too old to grow and improve your brain. The more you stay mentally stimulated the less at risk you are for dementia. Studies show that learning a new skills especially a challenging one like learning a second language improves the connectivity between parts of the brain and helps fight the effects of dementia.
Get more sleep.
Everybody really needs at least seven to eight hours of sleep to be able to stay healthy. This is of course easier said than done with our busy schedules. We feel like everything has to be perfect all the time: perfect home, perfect career, perfect appearance. We need to treat ourselves better and get more sleep. Study after study continues to prove that lack of sleep is linked to many chronic illnesses. You deserve better. Try to gradually set your bedtime back to a where you are getting at least 8 hours of sleep. If you find yourself tossing and turning a lot when you are in bed, you may want to consider a new mattress. A good quality mattress and really make a difference in your sleep habits.
Turn your resolutions into habits.
While you might be all gung ho in the beginning of the year to put a whole bunch of changes into place, trying to make a lot of big changes all at once could be overwhelming making it easy to slip up. Make one simple change at a time instead. Once you are sticking regularly to that first new habit, then you can try to add another one. Don’t get frustrated if it seems to take a while to see changes. Slow and steady always wins the race and in no time at all you will be on your way to improve your health in 2017.