2015 is a little more than a week away, and it’s around this time that most Americans start to take note of their health and craft resolutions to improve it.
Maybe your primary goal is to lose weight, or maybe you’re just striving to be an all around healthier person. Whatever it is, here are 15 healthy living tips you should seriously think about adopting in 2015.
1. Download a fitness app
Fitness apps are a great way for tracking goal progress. Define your health goal and find an app that will help you meet it. Even if you don’t have a specific goal in mind, fitness apps can help you be more mindful of how much you’re moving and/or eating; giving you an overall picture of your health.
2. Get eight hours of sleep
Not only do you feel better after a full night’s rest, your body is actually healthier. Your blood sugar levels are controlled, which lowers your chances of diabetes; your brain and memory are at their peak, and your risk of heart disease decreases.
3. Drink more water
When you’re thirsty, instead of reaching for that sugary soda, drink water. Not only will it cut out sugar and calories, but you’ll feel more energized. Not to mention your body’s kidneys and digestive system will work more effectively.
4. Find an exercise hobby
You’re never going to exercise if you dread doing it. Find an activity you enjoy and look forward to doing. A few ideas: yoga, martial arts, rock climbing and soccer.
5. Strive to eat a fruit or veggie with every meal
It’s an easy way to make sure you are getting enough. You might even consider sneaking them into the main course for a new twist on an old favorit
6. Get outside
It’s a proven fact: going outside makes you happier. There’s just something about being surrounded by beautiful scenery in the shining sun while breathing in fresh air that is relaxing. Bonus points if you’re doing something active.
7. Take a class
Whether you want to utilize your Post 9/11 GI benefits to go back to school and earn a degree, or take a class to learn a fun new skill, spending time in the classroom can increase your cognitive abilities and decrease your risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
8. Reconnect with friends
Now you have the perfect excuse to call up that old buddy. People with strong social ties are healthier and live longer. If you can do something active together, like hiking, all the better.
9. Don’t diet, just eat
If you’re hungry, eat. When you skip meals, your body slows down its metabolism to conserve energy. You also end up binging when you finally do eat again, consuming more calories than you probably would have if you had just eaten a small, healthy snack
10. Strive to create grocery lists
When you have a list of everything you need while grocery shopping, it cuts down the time you spend meandering the aisles, as well as the temptation to put high-calorie, sugary snacks in your cart. You also save more money when you only buy what you need. It’s a win-win situation all around.
11. Add variety to your meals
Strive to eat at least three different foods with every meal. Instead of just eating grilled chicken for lunch, eat grilled chicken on a salad with a side of fruit.
12. Stomp out emotional eating
It’s human nature to turn to food when we’re down. Sugar gives us a temporary mood boost, but it’s just that – temporary. Eventually the sad feelings will return and you’ll still have the calories. Find ways to cheer yourself up that aren’t associated with food. Even if you just curb your emotional eating 50 percent of the time, you should see some sort of weight loss.
13. Move more
Find ways to move more. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, park farther away from the grocery store and consider turning that morning business meeting into a walking one. These small movements will all start to add up.
14. Quit smoking, cut down on alcohol
We all know how bad smoking is for our health, so we’ll skip the guilt trip, but if you haven’t quit yet, you really should consider trying. If you slip up, don’t beat yourself up too hard. Studies show it can take multiple attempts to quit before you’re successful.
As for alcohol, it’s packed with calories, and too much can increase your risk of depression and memory loss. Chronic heavy drinking can lead to liver failure and heart disease. Moderation is the key.
15. Eat breakfast
Breakfast is known as the most important meal of the day for a good reason: it refuels your body, improves concentration, keeps you happy and reduces your chances of overeating at lunchtime. No more excuses – strive to eat breakfast every day; even if it’s just something small at your desk
No matter what your personal health goal for 2015 is, adopting a few of these tips can help ensure you accomplish it.
From all of us at Veterans Alliance, we hope you have a happy (and healthy) New Year!