A new year often signifies a fresh start for many people. For some, this means setting health goals, such as losing weight, following a healthier diet, and starting an exercise routine. But why not shake things up in 2021? Here are four healthy resolutions you may have not thought about but can have a lasting effect in 2021 and beyond.
Start making self-care a priority.
2021 is your year to make a change and do something for yourself every single day. Self-care includes anything you do to keep yourself physically, mentally and spiritually healthy. Practicing self-care does not mean you are choosing yourself over your loved one. It means that you are simply being mindful of your own needs, so you are better able to support the people you care about.
Engaging in a self-care routine has been clinically proven to reduce or eliminate anxiety and depression, reduce stress, improve concentration, minimize frustration and anger, increase happiness, improve energy and more. From a physical health perspective, self-care has been clinically proven to reduce heart disease, stroke and cancer. Spiritually, it may help keep us in tune with our higher power as well as realize our meaning in life.
Self-care doesn’t have to be elaborate or time-consuming and it comes in a variety of forms. It can simply mean taking a long bath every week, attending your favorite weekly yoga class, preparing a healthy meal for yourself, going for a walk or getting an extra hour of sleep.
Drink more water.
Make drinking up to eight glasses or 64 ounces of water each day a priority in 2021.
Keeping hydrated is crucial for health and well-being, but many people do not consume enough fluids each day. Water makes up a significant percentage of our body’s composition and is one of the major building blocks that sustains life. Since water is a natural liquid, it’s a much healthier choice than carbonated or high-sugar drinks like sodas or juices.
Water promotes cardiovascular health, aids in digestion, relieves bloating, keeps muscles and joints working as well as helps cleanse toxins from your body. Staying hydrated also helps balance your blood sugar, helps relieve headaches and promotes healthy skin. If you don’t drink water every day, your body could experience dehydration which could cause tiredness, slow brain function, irritability, dryness and high temperature.
Drinking water as part of a healthy diet can help promote weight loss. Studies have shown that drinking water helps boost metabolism and makes you feel full, minimizing hunger and calorie intake. If you pair drinking eight glasses of water with water-based foods like cucumbers or fruit, you could reap the benefits of a healthy, lean diet.
Get more quality sleep
Sleep is an essential part of overall health as regular exercise and eating a balanced diet. Sleep deprivation can lead to serious consequences. Sleep powers the mind, restores the body and fortifies virtually every system in the body. Proper rest sets you up for your best performance.
Scientific research makes clear that sleep is essential at any age. The National Sleep Foundation guidelines advise that healthy adults need between seven and nine hours of sleep per night. Babies, young children, and teens need even more sleep to enable their growth and development.
There are many reasons why people don’t get enough sleep, so it’s important to determine the best ways to improve sleep quantity and quality. Decreasing screen time before bed, reducing light in the bedroom, cutting back on caffeine and getting to bed at a reasonable hour are some simple ways to improve sleep patterns.
Visit your doctor and dentist annually
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. When it comes to your health, it’s true. While spending an hour or two at the doctor and dentist each year when you have no issues may not be your idea of a good time, annual visits are essential to maintaining good health.
Experts recommend seeing your primary care physician as well as your dentist at least once a year for a checkup. Seeing a doctor regularly is a vital investment in your health as they can catch problems early when they are more treatable. Annual check-ups allow doctors to monitor a patient’s health and compare their wellness to their last visit. Management of chronic diseases also becomes more effective, as the physician has a better understanding of the patient’s health history. This can prevent more serious complications, thus leading to fewer medical and emergency room visits. Altogether, regular doctor visits lower the patient’s overall healthcare costs.
New year’s resolutions should be exciting and inspiring, yet realistic. Why not try an unconventional healthy resolution this year and see the difference it can make on you in 2021 and beyond?