As we turn the calendar to a new year, it’s common for many to reflect on the past year and set new goals for improved health and wellness in the year ahead. While goal setting can be a positive step towards self-improvement, it’s all too easy for ambitious resolutions to fall by the wayside as the realities of daily life inevitably get in the way. However, with a thoughtful, sustainable approach and the right support system in place, it is possible to make meaningful, long-lasting progress towards enhancing your health and well-being.
Try Getting Some Movement In
The most common fitness resolution that people make is to move more. It is recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that adults exercise at moderate intensity for 150 minutes a week and strength-train at least twice a week. But if that sounds like a daunting task at first, you can set more realistic goals that you feel more comfortable with. You can begin by going for a 10 minute walk each day before slowly increasing your workout time. Gradually building up to at least 30 minutes of some form of physical activity per day.
Eat 3 Balanced Meals Per Day
What you put into your body each day and the nutritional value that it holds is extremely important for your overall health. Instead of cutting out food or focusing on losing weight, it might be more valuable to eat three balanced meals per day as a more viable lifestyle change. It is recommended by Harvard University’s School of Public Health to fill half your plate with vegetables and fruit, a quarter with protein, and a quarter with whole grains. Your plate can also include a glass of water for hydration and healthy fats, such as olive oil.
Set a Consistent Sleep Schedule
There are many reasons why adults do not get enough sleep. One of the reasons is not having a consistent sleep schedule. As adults, we are no longer required by our parents to go to bed at a certain time. Though it can be fun to go to bed whenever, it can affect how well you sleep. Instead of watching tv all night or looking at your phone before bed, try going to bed at roughly the same time every night. By going to bed and getting up at the same time, you will keep your circadian rhythm on track, helping you fall asleep and wake up more easily. This means no more lying awake at night wondering why you can’t sleep.
As we come to an end of the holiday season and embark on a new year, let’s think carefully about how we can carve out more time and energy to prioritize our health and wellbeing. To make sustainable progress towards our own fitness goals, try to focus your resolutions on achievable lifestyle changes such as eating a balanced diet, moving more regularly, and establishing a sleep routine. Put yourself first by replacing traditional resolutions with a plan that works for you. Whether that means taking the stairs instead of the elevator, going for walks each day at lunchtime, or committing to unplugging from technology an hour before bed every evening. Being your notion of effective self-care incorporates small changes over time rather than unrealistic promises.
For more information on setting realistic health and wellness goals, click here.
Article written by William Graves.