If one of your resolutions is to increase health and wellness in 2019, there are many ways you can do this. “Wellness” doesn’t have to mean hitting the gym five days per week, but of course, it can. However, the best resolutions are lifestyle changes you won’t have much trouble sticking to. Wellness can often entail making lifestyle changes that are relatively easy and enjoyable. If you need some tips figuring out which wellness resolutions to adopt this year, here are seven to get started:
- Update that old mattress. Everyone is going to need a comfortable mattress if they want to maximize their sleep hygiene. Americans are chronically fatigued and pride themselves on getting as little sleep as possible. Updating your mattress can help soothe back pains, but you need to make certain you get the right mattress for your needs and goals.
- Swap out the first cup of coffee for warm water and lemon. You don’t need to quit caffeine entirely, but if you want to start your morning with a healthy beverage, then warm water and lemon is a great choice. It’s good for oral health and also kick-starts your metabolism. Just make sure you don’t drink, eat, or brush your teeth for 30 minutes after the lemon water. If you still need a caffeine fix, your next beverage can always be coffee. The warm lemon water can also help wean caffeine addicts off their addiction, though.
- Go on a brisk walk at least once per day if you can. Exercise doesn’t need to be a treadmill or dumbbells. Simply getting outside and going on a fast walk can be refreshing and counts towards your 150 minutes of exercise per week. If you struggle with an afternoon slump, getting outside and starting the blood pumping can be a better aid than caffeine. Plus, most Americans are too sedentary. You might want to try setting an alarm to remind yourself to get up and move.
- Focus on weight-bearing exercises as activities of daily living. Weight-bearing exercises are important not only for building muscle but also increases bone mineral density. Bones naturally get more porous with age, which is why elderly people are more prone to breaking bones than their younger counterparts. In addition to a healthy diet, weight-bearing exercises are a must because they can help keep bones dense. Things like walking down a hill or stairs are great forms of exercise.
- Minimize screen time. Ironically, there are apps that track how many times you check your phone and can give you regular updates. Merely knowing how often you’re looking at your phone can be a great motivator for doing it less. However, this isn’t going to work for monitoring television or devices that don’t have these trackers. Technology addiction is a real thing, with centers dedicated just to this issue. You probably can’t escape screens entirely, but doing your best to minimize looking at them is a great start. Some families are going tech-free for a set timeframe each day or one day per week.
- Drink more water. Water is one of the healthiest items you can add to your wellness list. Start by swapping out one beverage per day for water. Water is also often what your body is craving when you think you’re hungry. If losing fat is part of your goals, drink eight ounces of water before eating and wait 20 minutes. If you’re still hungry, that’s a true hunger cue and not your body being confused by thirst.
- Read a real book. If you realize you haven’t read a book in a while, or you’re always reaching for your e-book, it’s time to reconnect with the real deal. Set a realistic goal—you don’t have to read a book per month. Joining a book club can help, and there are many online if making an in-person meeting isn’t for you.
Wellness includes all aspects of your health, not just physical. However, the physical elements don’t always look like what you think. It can include increasing flexibility by adding a yoga class instead of yet another session on the spin bike. It can mean eating more whole foods rather than depending on pre-packaged items. In many cases, it can mean eating more and not less. It might mean getting outside and gardening instead of feeling like you have to make that session at the gym.
When you find wellness activities you enjoy and look forward to, it’s a lot easier to make them part of your life.