We’re now a little over halfway through January, and many Americans have resolved to live healthier in the new year, but studies show that nearly 80% of new year resolutions fail. The challenge is that people often set idealistic goals for their health but forget to implement strategies to help them achieve those long-term goals. To help you stick with your 2021 resolutions, we put together ten habits to help you stay motivated and achieve your health and fitness goals this year.
Drink more water.
Water is essential for every organ in the body. It helps flush out toxins, keeps skin healthy and glowing, and even aids in joints’ lubrication. However, despite all the incredible benefits of drinking water, nearly 50 percent of adults do not drink enough water.
How do you know how much water is enough? We recommend you aim to drink half your body weight in ounces. For example, if you weigh 150lbs, you should aim to drink 75 ounces of water each day.
Cook more healthy meals at home.
Studies show that diet accounts for 75 percent of health and weight loss changes. While we’ve all been eating at home more during 2020 because of the pandemic, many of us have opted for take-out instead of home-cooked meals. Restaurant meals tend to have significant hidden calories in the oils, butter, or sauces that make our favorites taste so delicious.
Instead of opting for that quick take-out or delivery order, make an effort to start replacing some of those meals with home-cooked ones. Investing in a fun, healthy cookbook can make cooking seem like less of a chore and help you discover some new, homemade favorites.
Bring more colors into your diet.
Some of the most nutrient-rich foods are the most colorful ones, and they all lie in the produce aisle of the grocery store. By filling your plate with fruits and vegetables from the various colors of the rainbow, you can help ensure you get an increased supply of vitamins and nutrients that keep us healthy and energized.
One of the biggest struggles that derail health and fitness goals is moderation. Becoming healthier is often about a lifestyle change, something that should be managed long-term. However, removing all your favorites cold-turkey can leave you with cravings and frustrations as you work towards your health goals. There are even studies that indicate crash dieting causes people to gain more weight back than their initial weight loss.
If keeping things healthy and moderation are a challenge for you, try to implement an 80/20 or 90/10 rule. This is where 80 or 90 percent of your diet throughout the week is healthy, and that 20 or 10 percent leaves you room to indulge in your favorites now and then.
Implement more physical activity into your everyday. The good news is, by improving your diet, you may find yourself with more energy to be more active. Setting aside just 30 minutes of your day for physical activity can make a tremendous positive impact on your health.
Like crash dieting, starting with a regimen of exercise that’s too intense can cause you to waiver in your goals. Instead, try to find something that feels more like a hobby than exercise. Perhaps it’s a fun dance class or mountain hiking. By finding something you enjoy, you’re more apt to continue working towards your fitness goals.
Explore the outdoors.
Sunlight is proven to provide a wide variety of health benefits that can improve mood, energy, and concentration. Additionally, our bodies absorb much of our required Vitamin D through the skin from sunlight. This is good for the bones and immune system. Careful not to overdo it, though, and protect yourself from overexposure by utilizing sunscreen.
There are so many opportunities for outdoor activities in the Phoenix area, and we have incredible weather this time of year, so why not take advantage of the great outdoors?
We live in a time where we’re all incredibly connected to our technologies. This has become even more prominent as many of us have spent most of the last year working remotely from home. Staring at screens constantly creates very real fatigue, contributing to eye strain, neck and back pain, and even headaches.
Setting aside some time to disconnect can provide incredible benefits to your mental and physical well-being. Whether it’s to spend time with family and friends over a board game or good conversation or work on a non-digital hobby, taking a few hours of screen vacation each week can help you with your health goals.
Improving your sleep habits can lead to incredible leaps in your overall health. Sleep deprivation is a very real issue today, and can be a massive contributor to fatigue, anxiety and depression, and can even make you susceptible to a weakened immune system.
Try setting up a nightly routine for yourself each night to unwind and destress. Try turning off the screens, which can stimulate the brain, and try reading a book, journaling, or planning out the following day. By improving your sleep habits, you’ll wake up feeling better rested, ready to take on the day ahead and all the goals you have set out to achieve.
With a new year underway, now is a great time to evaluate your progress, stay motivated, and continue implementing those lifestyle changes you need to achieve your personal health goals.