The beginning of the new year is one of the best times to start fresh with new habits and reset goals. Starting the year off with good health habits will help you be able to do more of what you love, experience new things and spend quality time with your loved ones.
Add these seven ways to healthy habits to your list of resolutions for the year ahead.
You should prioritize getting enough sleep every night to both make you feel good and have a positive impact on your physical and mental health. Adequate sleep is necessary to help your body fight infection and supports the metabolism of sugar, reducing the risk of diabetes. If you need to, adjust your routine so you get plenty of shut eye—7 to 9 hours of sleep daily is a good rule of thumb. Make going to bed by 10 p.m. one of your new year’s goals to reap the benefits all year.
Cooking meals at home not only a healthy habit, but it is a fun activity that often brings people together. Strive to include fruits and vegetables on half of your plate, so fill your cart with a variety of colours when grocery shopping. Say “yes!” to red, orange and green vegetables. They’re not just pretty—a colourful plate means you’re receiving more of the nutrients you need for good health. Complement this food group with whole grains and lean protein options.
It may be difficult at first, but making progress on a new hobby can be rewarding and feel amazing. Becoming comfortable with what is out of your comfort zone is good for your brain and memory. Go out and try that something you’ve always wanted to try. Your excitement will help you stay committed and better overcome the learning curve as your confidence grows. Some new activities to try could be taking a learning a new game, try a new type of exercise or discovering a foreign language.
In this fast-paced world, perhaps carving out time for peace and quiet has become one of your life priorities. Add spending time in nature to reflect internally or simply enjoying your environment to your to-do list. Go for a bike ride, walk around your neighborhood with a loved one, or sit in your backyard or the park. Research has shown that spending time in greenspace has an array of health benefits. These include a reduced risk of type II diabetes, cardiovascular disease, premature death, preterm birth, stress and high blood pressure.
Become proactive about your personal wellbeing and schedule an annual appointment with your primary care physician. Be sure to discuss any changes to your family health history, behavioral and lifestyle habits. This will give your doctor the chance to detect high blood pressure, high cholesterol and other problems early on. Your visit will also give you the opportunity to ask any additional questions you may be have.
Hearing loss can happen gradually, so it can be difficult to detect yourself. Hearing loss is more common than you may think—one in three adults ages 65 to 75 experience hearing loss. If you’ve found yourself asking others to repeat themselves more than usual or struggling to follow along with conversations, it may be time to take action. How often should you have hearing tested? We recommend getting an exam once a year, especially if you’re 60 or older. Ensuring you include a hearing exam in your annual routine is an easy way to ensure you hear life to the fullest. If you have, or develop, a hearing loss that can be treated by a device, you’ll be able to treat it before it progresses.
Did you know dental hygiene is an integral part of staying healthy? Visiting your dentist regularly will allow you to treat and prevent oral health problems like cavities or tooth loss. Limiting the amount of sugary food and drinks you consume are healthy habits that can protect teeth, along with brushing and flossing. As you kickstart the new year, call your dentist and make an appointment.