After the chaos of the holiday season, many people use the New Year to reset, and to set new health goals. We can always decide to make changes to improve our health, and it’s essential to take control of our lives by making those choices.
Now is as good of a time as any, and here are four ways you can jump-start on your health in the New Year.
Eat Health-Promoting Foods in the New Year
One of the most common New Year’s resolutions is to lose weight, but a better choice may be to aim for a healthy diet. Eating more high-quality meats, vegetables, fruits, and grains will flood your body with nutrients that help promote good health.
There are plenty of diets, from ketogenic to Paleo, but the best one for you is the one you will stick with. If you want to avoid picking a specific diet to follow, the best choices to improve your diet are to eat more protein and vegetables, drink enough water, and limit your sugar intake.
Staying hydrated is vital, as the water helps your body to flush out toxins and other unwanted substances from your body. Drinking water throughout the day is essential for good health, and hydration helps prevent constipation, mood swings and helps the body regulate its temperature. When you are hydrated, it can help decrease food cravings and create a feeling of satiety, so you feel full.
Limit Alcohol and Drinks in the New Year
Reducing alcohol has many benefits including weight loss and lower blood sugar. When you stop drinking as much alcohol, you may notice less heartburn and headaches. As you consume alcohol, you consume empty calories, leading to weight gain.
If you are actively trying to lose weight, completely cutting out alcohol is a good choice because drinking alcohol can impair your judgment and lead to poor choices. When you drink alcohol, drink in moderation to limit side effects.
Being mindful of any beverage you consume is a good idea because many people drink a lot of sodas or sweet teas that contain large amounts of caffeine and sugar. When consumption of these drinks is reduced, people often lose weight due to the elimination of empty calories from these beverages.
Exercise More in the New Year
Increasing physical activity can reduce disease, improve brain health, strengthen bones and muscles, increase energy, and aid in weight management. A general recommendation is to exercise at least three times weekly to maintain good health.
If you do not work out regularly, starting out with long walks is an excellent way to ease into exercising. Using a fitness tracker to count your steps can be encouraging, and setting a goal of at least 5,000 steps a day is attainable for most people.
If your goal is weight loss, setting a goal of 10,000 steps daily may help you reach your weight loss goals more quickly. Whether you work out at a gym or walk your neighborhood, increasing your activity will only benefit your health.
Practice Mindfulness in the New Year
Mindfulness practices help people reduce stress, anxiety, and depression while allowing the body to better regulate emotions. Meditation is a great way to get the brain in a healthy state of relaxation, and regular meditation can have long-lasting effects on the brain. Practicing gratitude is another important part of mindfulness, as people who express gratitude are generally happier and healthier.
Optimize Your Health
If you’re confused about where to start your health journey, working with Dr. Leo can be very helpful in getting that jump start for your health in the new year. Dr. Leo has worked with many patients on their journey to optimize health.
Whether you’ve got health issues you’d like help with; or you just want to fine-tune some things, it’s a great idea to work with someone knowledgeable. Give our office a call today to schedule your first appointment. We are located at 6321 Executive Blvd, Rockville, MD 20852, in the Executive office park.