Healthy Habits for the New Year

health and wellness

The new year brings fresh starts and fresh opportunities to make resolutions about improving our health and wellness. Sticking to those resolutions can become challenging. Developing a healthier lifestyle will ensure both your health and wellness will improve, as well as your productivity levels increasing. Let’s look at some healthy habits which will assist in meeting this goal:

  1. Stay hydrated: When dehydrated, your body sends out all kinds of mixed signals: hunger, dry eyes, sluggishness, and constipation. The most common recommendation is to drink six to eight glasses of water each day. However, there are additional factors to consider: climate, level of physical activity, illness, breastfeeding mothers, etc. The important thing to remember is by the time you “feel” thirsty, you’re already reaching a level of dehydration. The key is to constantly drink water throughout your entire day.

  2. Drink Green Tea: Green Tea is loaded with nutrients that can reduce inflammation, prevent cell damage, and even fight certain types of cancer. It can also lower your risks of diabetes and cardiovascular disease.  Drinking green tea can help your metabolism, aiding in weight loss. Its stimulant effects can enhance brain function. Studies show it may even assist in warding off viruses such as influenza; and lower your risk for infections. Skip adding milk to your green tea since it’s been shown to reduce the antioxidant value of the tea.

  3. Walk away your worries: When you’re feeling particularly stressed or down in the dumps, lace up those sneakers, and get to stepping! Walking regularly provides stress relief, mood enhancement, bone and muscle strengthening, improvement in coordination and balance, and helps maintain a healthy weight. It’s also been known to waken the anti-aging process and possibly help repair damaged DNA. You don’t have to walk a marathon. A simple 20-minute brisk walk will provide you with the benefits you seek. It’s also a great stress reliever!

  4. Build Muscle: Light weightlifting can do a world of good. Utilizing lighter weights with more repetitions doesn’t strain your body like traditional weight lifting. Most weight lifting injuries occur from heavy weights being dropped or by using incorrect form. By using light weights, you’re providing enough of a challenge to work those muscles with a much lower risk of injury. Light weightlifting will improve strength, endurance, and appearance.

  5. Listen to your Tummy: Don’t eat till your full. Eat until your hunger subsides and then stop eating. There is a difference. By taking small bites, and drinking water in between bites, you’re giving your body time and ability to send the signal to your brain that your stomach has reached a level of comfort and no longer requires food. We have a bad tendency of eating past this point, until we feel “full”, meaning we can’t comfortably eat another bite. When we get to that point, we’ve already overeaten.

  6. Cheat but don’t defeat: It’s okay to splurge occasionally and have dessert. Just don’t over do it. It’s even okay to have a cheat day when you feel that craving for a cheeseburger and fries. Just don’t let that cheat day turn into day two and then into a cheat week.

  7. Rest: Finally, the single most important thing we can do for ourselves is to ensure we’re getting enough sleep. Most adults need 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night. Without adequate rest, our bodies and our brains are not able to function at full capacity. Sleep deprivation can start a plethora of issues from relationship dysfunction, depression, premature aging, memory problems, and even increased risk for diseases such as stroke and heart disease. Rest and relaxation are crucial to your overall health and wellness.

As you make these small changes and time your progress, you’ll start noticing how much better you feel, physically and emotionally. These habits may also encourage you to seek out additional healthy habits to add to this new lifestyle. We encourage you to do what is best for your physical and mental health and wellness. When you’re ready to book a massage to help with relaxation techniques for you and your staff, we’ll be happy to oblige! We look forward to hearing from you. In the meantime, enjoy your new happy and healthy habits!

Written by: Gunnar Thelander

Gunnar leads Massage Kneads & Wellness as CEO. Gunnar's educational background entails a BS in Exercise & Sports Science from Texas State University, and an MA and Ed.D. from Nova Southeastern University in Organizational Leadership. He has been a teacher and coach for all individuals in living a healthy, balanced lifestyle to maximize your life in every area. He is currently OSHA certified to speak in areas of Health and Safety in the Workplace, Ergonomics, and a trainer in First Aid/CPR.

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