Each year, we wrestle with setting resolutions for a better New Year. An effective and healthier way to approach New Year’s resolutions is to consider small lifestyle changes that reflect healthy living instead of setting a general resolution such as “eat healthier,” “lose weight,” or “workout more.”
Take your pick of the 22 tips below to set yourself (and your family) up for a successful and healthier you in 2022!
- Move More: Commit to 20 minutes of movement a day.
- Quality Sleep: Try reading a book, listening to a podcast, or meditating to help get restful sleep.
- Drink MORE Water: Generally speaking, men should drink 3.7 liters a day and women, 2.7 liters a day. Of course this will vary based on your size, needs and level of physical activity.
- Incorporate Fluids + Fiber: Prevents constipation, helps lower cholesterol, improves blood sugar levels and helps keep you fuller longer.
- Don’t “Diet:” Restrictive diets may cause changes in your hunger and satiety hormones, which may also cause stronger cravings for high caloric and sugary foods.
- Incorporate Healthier Options: Instead of “dieting,” identify new foods to incorporate into your diet that are healthy, fulfilling, and have added benefits. The MIND diet recommends including whole grains, leafy greens, berries, nuts, beans, colorful vegetables, wine, fish, lean poultry and olive oil in your diet.
- Change It Up: Instead of sandwiches for lunch, try making grain or legume bowls like a MexiCali bowl or Mediterranean Bowl, which incorporates fresh veggies, healthy grains and protein.
- Try a Seaweed Salad: Seaweed is rich in antioxidants like carotenoids and flavonoids, which are known to combat disease-causing free-radicals.
- Try Plant-based Proteins: Protein-rich foods include tofu, tempeh, edamame, lentils, chickpeas, peanuts, quinoa, chia seeds, hemp seeds and beans.
- Ask About Available Alternatives: Dairy-based sauces can be swapped out for alternatives made with cashews, which are a nutritional powerhouse nut packed with protein, monounsaturated fat, iron and magnesium.
- Lessen Alcohol: Eliminating alcohol intake all together has proven to provide better sleep, weight loss, reduced risk of certain cancers and diseases.
- Spice It Up: Spices not only add flavor to your food, but many, like ginger, turmeric, cinnamon and sage, offer health benefits too!
- Supplement: Collagen is the new supplement to consider adding to your diet if you’re looking for some added protein and joint health benefits. It’s easy to add in to your coffee or smoothies each morning.
- Add Oats: Increase your whole grain consumption and fiber intake by adding oats to your smoothies.
- Allulose: A new, natural alternative sweetener that tastes like table sugar. Allulose is a monosaccharide absorbed by the body but not metabolized. It is around 1/10 of the calories compared to table sugar and is considered diabetes-friendly.
- Mindful Cooking Methods: How you cook your food affects the overall nutrition consumed. Healthy cooking methods include: steaming, stir-frying, roasting, poaching, blanching and grilling.
- Make Your Sweets Count: Switch out milk chocolate for dark, which is high in antioxidants. Or try turning to fruit-based desserts to satisfy your sweet tooth.
- Get Your Gut Health In Check: There is a direct correlation between our gastrointestinal system and the brain. Foods for better brain function include: nuts and seeds, coconut, fatty fish, dark chocolate and fermented foods.
- Focus on the Positive: A positive mindset will help you feel more at ease and appreciate all the good around you.
- Mood-Booster Foods: Try “happy brain” snacks to boost serotonin and dopamine. Probiotic-rich yogurt with berries or a trail mix with cashews and dried tart cherries make for great snacks.
- Know Your Numbers: Don’t forget to schedule physicals and regular checkups with your healthcare provider to stay informed of your current health.
- Join the YMCA! We are here to help you make 2022 your best year yet! We support individuals and families by offering a holistic wellness experience that fits your personal goals, lifestyle, needs and preferences. Whether that means a gym with childcare availability, a variety of group fitness classes, personal training, team sports, access to state-of-the art equipment, pools, tennis courts and more, the Y is here to help. We also offer healthy living programs that cater to specific needs such as weight loss, blood pressure monitoring, diabetes, cancer support and adaptive wellness to name a few. See a list of our healthy living offerings by clicking here. Some are complimentary services and open to the public. Just ask us how we can help!