The New Year brings about a time when people want to make healthy changes in their lives. At N4L, we always support people wanting to take their first step on their health journey. In fact, we have a blog all about how to get started on goal setting!
Generally speaking, people tend to think weight loss is the answer to everything, especially becoming healthier. It’s a common misconception that once a person gets to their goal weight, they will be happy. Drastically changing your diet and shedding pounds for satisfaction isn’t a successful strategy for a bountiful life - it's always best to add more to your life than to take away.
So instead, we want to provide 10 tips for a healthier life without dieting!
- Get Enough Sleep. By sleeping more hours during the evening, you can enhance your life by effectively doing nothing (isn’t that the best kind of lifestyle change?)! It’s recommended that most adults get about 7-9 hours of sleep per night. Catching more zzz’s can reduce stress, help maintain a healthy weight, boost the immune system and even improve mood.
- Try Meditation. Believe it or not, turning your mind off can help you accomplish more! Meditation has been shown to improve sleeping patterns, reduce stress, control anxiety, and even decrease blood pressure. All of these are related to a healthier lifestyle and state of wellbeing.
- Drink Plenty of Water. Water is incredibly important for all bodily functions. It helps regulate the body’s temperature, maintain brain function, flush of toxins and aids in digestion. Did you know that our body prompts us when we’re thirsty but we often ignore the signs? Your brain has a built-in mechanism that compares how much water we need with the amount of water we’re currently drinking and lets you know when you’re instantly hydrated. When you’re running low on water, you feel thirsty. Some other signs include headaches, changes in heart rate, and increased hunger. So, just remember to drink the water and let your brain do the rest!
- Reduce Screen Time. As much as technology improves our lives, too much of a good thing can be problematic. Spending a lot of time on a screen can lead to eye strain, sleep disturbances, and even depression. To control your time online try to set limits on electronic devices, turn off notifications, and create time in your day designated as a “no phone” zone. This no phone time can lead to a healthier state of mind because you have more time with your thoughts, free of highlight reels or photoshopped images.
- Enjoy More Fruits and Vegetables. You’ve probably heard you should fill half your plate with fruits and veggies so that you can “eat the rainbow.” That’s because fruits and vegetables are filled with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. All of these nutrients keep the body functioning optimally and at its best. Some simple ways to add more nutrients in your day is keeping a fruit bowl in the kitchen for easy healthy snacks, stocking the fridge with pre-cut fruit and veg to mix into pasta, rice, stir-frys, or smoothies.
- Add More Movement. Exercise is an important component of staying healthy and sustaining a long life. Not everyone loves to go on a six-mile run or take a high-intensity spin class, however, there are some easy ways to incorporate more movement into your daily routine. Try taking the stairs instead of the elevator, park further away from the store, or ride a bike or walk to a nearby destination especially in warmer weather. All of the extra steps and movement will really add up!
- Eat More Fiber. Fiber is a non-digestible nutrient that is crucial for maintaining healthy digestion and lowering cholesterol. It is found in whole grains, nuts, seeds, fruits, and vegetables. The average American only eats 10 out of the recommended 25-38 grams of fiber per day. Luckily, increasing fiber consumption can be easy! Switch up your pasta dish with chickpea or lentil noodles, aim for a fruit or veggie with each meal, opt for 100% whole grains, or sprinkle hemp seeds and nuts on a salad.
- Start Journaling. All aspects of health are important, especially mental health. Writing down your thoughts and feelings can be a great way to reduce stress and manage anxiety. By journaling you have the ability to track your emotions day by day and prioritize what is truly affecting you.
- Try a New Hobby. Adding a new hobby can help reduce screen time and might even help to incorporate movement throughout the day. It has been shown that learning a new skill can improve brain health. So adding a new activity might be a great way to improve your mental health and overall well-being!
- Spend Time with Loved Ones. Having healthy relationships can improve your overall health. Spending time with those you love can boost happiness, improve self-confidence, increase your sense of purpose, and even encourage healthy habits while shying away from negative emotions and thoughts.
We hope these tips help you be the best you can be this new year!