New year, new you? Easy healthy habits.
January is a great time to set new goals. The challenge for many is executing on that lofty plan. The good news is a “new you” can happen all year long. Rather than aiming for sky-high goals, try focusing on one healthy habit at a time. Once it becomes routine, start a new goal. For inspiration, read on for healthy habits you can try throughout 2023.
Drink up. Increasing how much water you drink is a great way to start the year because water is good for every part of you, from your complexion to your digestion to your blood pressure.
Habit: Keep a glass of water on your nightstand and drink it when you wake up.
Drink down. Decreasing how much alcohol you drink is also a great way to start the year, because alcohol can negatively impact so many aspects of your health and your life – from interfering with good sleep to increasing heart disease to harming relationships. Dry January is a popular way to take a break by avoiding alcohol for the entire month. Don’t limit yourself to January – you can take a break anytime.
Habit: Try “Damp January,” which means reducing your alcohol consumption for the month.
Take steps. Maybe you’ll be successful with an ambitious exercise goal. For those who are struggling, don’t be afraid to start small. Add 10 minutes of walking each day and add more steps when you can. Or add activity to your day by parking further away, playing an active game with your kids or taking up a new sport. Find new ways to move around the home, (use a bathroom on a different floor of the home, do an exercise during a TV commercial, play with a pet or child, dance it out to a favorite song).
Habit: Take a walk at work every day.
Chill out. Prioritize your mental health by paying attention if you’re starting to feel overwhelmed. If you can, take a day off. If you can’t, take a moment. Create some habits that offer relief from daily stressors.
Habit: After a stressful workday, try deep breathing for a few minutes before driving home.
Whip it up. Takeout meals are convenient, but they can be high in calories, sugars and fats. Make it easier to whip up healthy meals yourself by meal prepping on weekends or a day off.
Habit: Double a healthy recipe and use some for dinner and the rest for lunch during the week.
Make sleep sacred. Quality sleep is considered by many as important to your health as nutrition and exercise. Getting good sleep can help you fight infections, improve your heart health – and can even help you maintain a healthy weight. Most adults need seven hours a night.
Habit: Go to bed at the same time every night.
Be proactive. Make an appointment with your doctor for a yearly wellness visit. These are free with most health plans and include the preventive screenings which catch serious health conditions early, when they’re most treatable. It’s also an opportunity to talk about your goals and get some guidance from a health professional.
Habit: Bring a list of health goals with you to the doctor.
Cassie Rothe, FNP - C
Family Medicine - Walk-In Clinic