Well, 2022 is officially over, and 2023 has started! I'm excited to see what the new year holds, and today, I've collected a list of 8 Ways to Live a Healthier Year! So, let's get started!
1. Prioritize Sleep
Your body needs time not only to rest and recharge but also to do important work like learning new things and solidifying memories.
Adults should get at least 7 hours of shut-eye each night. If this is a challenge for you, it probably means your circadian rhythm is off. The good news is fixing it isn't that hard; just make sure you go to bed and get up at the same time every day. Pretty soon, your body will catch onto the pattern.
If you still have trouble sleeping after resetting your circadian rhythm, it could be that you need a magnesium or melatonin supplement.
2. Walk More
Walking is not only good for your physical health but also extremely beneficial to your mental health as well!
On the physical front, walking supports your immune system, reduces joint pain, and makes it easier to maintain a healthy weight.
On the mental health front, walking can combat symptoms of depression or anxiety, especially if done outside!
3. Spend Time Outside
Spending time outside is so important for our mental health. Our bodies were made to absorb the natural light outside, which is also a natural mood booster. In addition, bird songs are soothing, and slowing down to smell the roses may be just what you need to ease your stress. In fact, an expanding body of research shows that time spent outside can:
Improve our cognition
Increase attention span
Lower risk of mental illness
Increase empathy and social connectedness
You can combine this with other healthy habits, like your daily walk. Ideally, aim to spend time in areas with lots of trees and/or water, as green and blue are the most soothing colors.
4. Eat More Plant-based Foods
Try to incorporate more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and legumes into your daily meals. This might look like having a cheeseburger salad instead of the burger or making your own bread instead of buying it.
It might be helpful to keep a produce bowl on your kitchen counter so you can grab things as a quick snack, too. Plants are full of the vitamins, minerals and other nutrients we need to keep our bodies working optimally. So. making sure you get plenty of them in will help improve your overall health.
5. Drink More Water
Getting enough water helps your body flush out waste and keeps your joints lubricated while acting as a shock absorber for your spine and helping your digestive processes.
Dehydration is the main cause of headaches. migraines, and the inability to think properly. When you become dehydrated your body pulls water from your brain because your brain is 78% water.
The average adult needs at least 64 ounces of water daily, though the best amount to shoot for is half your body weight in ounces.
6. Reduce Alcohol Intake
Reducing the alcohol you consume does a lot for you, especially if you drink a lot. By reducing your alcohol consumption you:
Lower your risk of high blood pressure, depression, and other conditions
Decreases symptoms of those conditions
Help your body better absorb nutrients
Improve your sleep and minimize fatigue
Support your liver health
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that men have two drinks or fewer each day, while women stick to a max of one drink per day. To help yourself out here replace the alcohol with water or herbal teas; it's not the same thing but it's a whole lot better for you.
7. Quit Smoking/Vaping
Does this come as any surprise? Smoking is bad for your heart and lungs, and it's also bad for your longevity. Long story short, if you want to live a longer, healthier life, kick the habit.
As you're figuring out how to be healthier, don't turn to vape. It may be less 'harmful' in one sense than cigarettes but it is just as addictive and the moisture from vape that goes into your lungs is also very harmful.
Smoking is one of the hardest daily habits to ditch. Fortunately, the CDC and the American Lung Association have resources to help.
8. Take a Break from Electronics
Screen time takes its toll. In fact, studies directly link it with lower psychological well-being.
Fortunately, the reverse is true. A digital detox can:
Improve your sleep
Boost your focus and productivity
Reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety
Support real-life social connections (see the point above)
You could try going off social media apps for a while and see how you feel. But if you want to incorporate this into your healthy habits, carve out time each day when you're screen-free. For better sleep, maybe make that the last hour before bed.
There you have it, 8 Ways to live healthier this year! What are you doing this year for a healthier lifestyle? Let us know in the comments below!