10 New Year’s Resolutions for Your Health

Nearly half of all adults make a New Year’s resolution. From eating more kale to training for a marathon, many resolutions have the same goal: improving your health. While wanting to make a positive change in your life is an excellent objective, many New Year’s resolutions fall to the wayside.

To set yourself up for success, take time to understand why you want to make a change and live a healthier lifestyle. Being clear about your motivation helps you focus on not only the end result, but also the journey required to get you there. Here at Central Jersey Family Physicians, Michelle Tomlinson-Phelan, DO and Catherine J. Schiano, DO can build a customized wellness plan for you. In the meantime, here are 10 New Year’s resolutions to help you get started on a healthier you in 2020.

1. Practice mindful eating

Have you ever sat down in front of the TV with your dinner or a snack and then realized you’d eaten everything without even noticing? When you don’t pay attention, it’s easy to overeat.

Resolve to practice mindful eating so you enjoy your food more and notice when you feel full. Eat more slowly, and pay attention to your meal — that means no eating while you’re watching TV or on your phone.

2. Drink more water

You get water from foods you consume, but it’s also important to drink water throughout the day to stay hydrated. Dehydration can bring on headaches, lethargy, and worse. Make sure you always have water on hand to drink whenever you feel thirsty. If you’re drinking more water, you also might find yourself reaching less often for soda or other sugary beverages.

3. Try meditation

Dedicate time in your day to clear your mind of thoughts and worries. Meditation can help you handle stress, which helps manage its effects on your mental and physical health, and also help you sleep better.

You don’t need any special equipment to start, and just a few minutes a day can bring about wellness benefits. Some people find guided meditations make it easier to stay focused. Smartphone apps for meditation and mindfulness can help you get started.

4. Take more steps during the day

These days, almost everyone has a smartphone or device that can count their steps. Make it a goal to take more steps — even 500 more each day can make a significant difference for your health. If you really want to push yourself, try and walk the recommended 10,000 steps per day

There’s easy ways to achieve this goal. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, park farther away, or walk around while you’re talking on the phone. Increasing your activity goes a long way to improving heart health.

5. Stop smoking

Quitting smoking isn’t easy, but the health payoff is huge — even if you’ve smoked for many years. The benefits you experience by quitting start just a few days after you take your last puff. Some successful quitters recommend buying yourself something special with the money you save by not buying cigarettes.

6. Be grateful

Write down one thing you’re thankful for each day. Even if you’re going through a tough time, it’s helpful to remember the things you do have. Being grateful helps you be happier, and research shows that people who journal gratitudes sleep better, exercise more, and are ill less often.

7. Go to sleep earlier

The National Sleep Foundation recommends that adults get 7 to 9 hours of sleep a night, but many adults don’t get that much. Sleep is an important time for your body to rest and repair itself, and lack of sleep can lead to everything from headaches and crankiness to more serious conditions. 

For a successful resolution to get more sleep, try consistently going to bed 15 minutes earlier than you usually do. Keep moving your bedtime up until you’re getting the recommended amount of sleep each night.

8. Wear sunscreen

Wearing sunscreen regularly is the best way to protect yourself from developing skin cancer. Even in the winter and on cloudy days, sunscreen is important. Find a moisturizer or makeup foundation with SPF, and wear it every day to make this resolution a part of your routine.

9. Find a workout you enjoy

Getting at least 30 minutes of exercise a day is important for a healthy lifestyle. How you get that activity is up to you, but instead of forcing yourself to do something you don’t enjoy just because it’s healthy, try different workouts — on your own or with friends — to determine what you like.

10. Say no

Prioritize what you need to do each day. If you have a task that isn’t as important, or someone asks you to do something that isn’t critical, say no. Fight overcommitment and the stress that comes along with it by being selective about what you spend your time on.

Choosing to make a New Year’s resolution for your health is a great first step. To learn more about healthy changes to make in your life and creating a customizable wellness plan with one of our doctors, schedule an appointment by contacting our office at 732-257-1171.

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