Better Living

Healthy Goals for the New Year

It's never too late to set yourself on course for healthier habits
BY Derek Markham TIMEDecember 26, 2021 PRINT

It’s that time again. With the new year comes another New Year’s resolution, which is often viewed as something to be stated and then ignored. However, giving up so quickly may be doing yourself a disservice. One of the best ways you can take advantage of the resolution season is by focusing on your health. So, if you’re willing to give a resolution a try, here are four health goals for the new year.

Reduce Anxiety

Anxiety may be a helpful motivator in small amounts, but it can cause substantial harm if it flares up too often. Beyond the negative mental ramifications, it may also affect your physical health. You could develop issues such as insomnia and headaches. If anxiety is affecting you, reducing it is an excellent goal for the new year.

There are several ways to go about this, so you’ll need to experiment until you find one that works for you. One popular method is meditation, which calms the mind and can create higher self-awareness. If your anxiety stems from your thoughts, you may want to speak with a therapist. Mindfulness and self-reflection are also helpful. Diet and exercise can affect anxiety as well.

Become Fitter

Getting fit, in terms of your overall health, has little to do with body image. In fact, if you start thinking that way, it could be detrimental to your mental state. Instead, fitness involves improving your bodily health in both the short and long term. In the short term, physically active people are more energized and have stronger muscles and bones. In the long term, a fit body can protect you against diabetes, cardiovascular problems, some types of cancer, and even Alzheimer’s.

In order to achieve your peak fitness level, you’ll need to find a workout routine. Don’t settle for the first option that you see online. Since everybody is different, you may benefit more from another type of exercise. Just be sure that you perform it on a regular basis. If this is a particularly hard habit to get into, look for any form of physical activity you enjoy, such as sports, hiking, or landscaping your yard. The key is consistency.

Sleep Better

Not everyone can get a fulfilling amount of sleep each night. Whether it’s due to a hectic schedule or insomnia, you may not be able to achieve seven to eight hours of restful slumber each night. This can become debilitating, especially if it happens regularly. Since a lack of sleep reduces your brain function and energy level, it’s been linked to higher obesity levels. It can also lead to depression and inflammation.

If you’re experiencing sleep deprivation, don’t sweep it under the rug. Solving this problem could make your daily life far easier to handle. Crowded schedules can be tough to work around, but your health is more important than anything else. Make time to sleep. If the issue is insomnia, trouble falling asleep, or poor-quality sleep, read up on good sleep hygiene, sleep apnea, and how to create good conditions to sleep. You may also want to try aromatherapy, which can encourage relaxation. If problems persist, you should consider seeking medical advice or expert help.

Choose the Right Diet

Knowing what and when to eat can be a struggle. However, discovering the best diet for you can dramatically improve your health. Similar to physical activity, good eating habits can reduce your risk of illness and obesity. This doesn’t mean that you should follow the first diet that you find. While many tips should be heeded by everyone, you’ll need to personalize your regular eating habits.

First, consider your dietary restrictions. For instance, vegetarians need a diet that allows for nonmeat sources of protein—beans, soy, nuts, and so forth. If you have food sensitivities, those also need to be factored in. Next, be sure that your diet is full of whole foods, vegetables, and has few processed foods. Vegetables are low on calories and high in nutrients.

You may also want to change your eating times. Intermittent fasting, which involves a cycle of fasting and eating, has shown results in healthy weight loss. One of the best forms of intermittent fasting is to limit your eating to a window of eight hours each day, then not eating during the other 16 hours.

Making a change when it comes to your health can be hard. Doing so often requires that you change a significant aspect of your lifestyle. However, if you have unhealthy habits, it’s also crucial to undertake healthy changes to avoid sickness. So if you want to get healthier, 2022 might be the year to keep your resolution.

I’m a freelance writer, available for content creation, editing, and proofreading. I can advise and help implement social media strategy for green and sustainability businesses, and I enjoy the conversational nature of engagement with readers and customers. I’m full of ideas and off the wall thinking, and can help you with your business ideas and strategy.
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