2021 is here (finally!), we’ve taken the time to think about the importance of setting positive, attainable goals and maybe even come up with some. But no list of resolutions is complete without some wellness habits that will help us take a healthier approach to living in the new year. Here are four super simple strategies that you can incorporate into your daily (or weekly) routine that will have you living healthier and happier in no time.
Cut Your Sweetener in Half
Nutritionists, doctors and researchers agree: Sugar is likely the culprit behind many of the largest health problems facing Americans today. But if eliminating sugar from your diet or even reducing it seem like a terrifyingly big task, you’re not alone! Cutting out sugar is incredibly difficult; it can lead to physical symptoms of withdrawal, not to mention blue moods caused by saying goodbye to many of your favorite feel-good foods. So when it comes to sugar, small steps can make a big difference. One that you can take right away: Reducing the amount of sweetener you add to your morning coffee or tea. These AM sips actually deliver impressive health perks when they aren’t loaded with the sweet stuff. So if you typically add two packets of sweetener, try one instead. Or if it’s a spoonful of sugar, opt for just a sprinkle.
Cook One More Vegetable Every Week
Vegetables can be delicious! But if you’re only buying frozen or canned veggies and then heating them in the microwave or in a pot, you’re likely choking down limp produce with little flavor and missing out on the complex and mouth watering flavors and textures vegetables can provide. The simple fix: Each week, try to buy one vegetable in its natural, raw form from the produce section to bring home and cook. (If you already buy vegetables, bravo! Carry on, or even add one more.) You can’t go wrong chopping up broccoli or asparagus to sauté in some garlic and olive oil or roasting Brussels sprouts or cauliflower before tossing them with some Parmesan cheese.
Drink One More Bottle of Water Per Day
You’ve likely heard this one before, but the fact that it’s so crucial means it makes the list again. The vast majority of your body is water—if you’re drinking (and eating, which is where those vegetables come in!) enough of it, you’ll feel clearer and more energetic and all your body’s processes will run smoother. But if you’re missing your quota, you may experience sluggishness, brain fog and even chronic pain as a result. Jumping all the way to eight glasses per day can be intimidating, especially if you’re far below to begin with. Instead, pick a water bottle that you like and can keep with you throughout the day, fill it up in the morning and finish drinking it before you go to bed every night. This will give you the chance to spread your intake throughout the day. Plus, if you’re draining the bottle by 2:00pm, feel free to go for a refill!
Take Five Minutes for Yourself
Mental health is just as important as physical health but it can often fall by the wayside in our go-go-go lifestyles. While 30 minutes of meditation or an hour of yoga per day would be great, these goals may be unrealistic. Instead, start small and take just five minutes every day for yourself. Not five minutes to fold laundry or plan your shopping list, but five minutes to read a book, listen to music or do something else that brings you joy. Even short respites like this can be incredibly rejuvenating for the mind and the body and can help you return to your busy day with more enthusiasm and drive.
What healthy habits are you incorporating in the new year? We would love to hear about them! Tell us on Facebook or on Instagram @powerforlifefitness.