6 Resolutions for a Happy – and Healthy – New Year – Johns Hopkins

This is probably something more appropriate for with first week of January, not the fourth. Better late than never. Johns Hopkins Medicine has some very useful information here.

The new year can be an exciting time, brimming with the promise of fresh starts and new beginnings. It’s also an opportunity to recommit to your health and well-being: Eat better. Exercise three times each week. Drink more water.

group of women doing work out

Photo by bruce mars on Pexels.com

Creating these resolutions is easy enough. Sticking to them beyond the month of January, however, is another story.

Whether the new year has you feeling totally inspired or a tad overwhelmed, Johns Hopkins experts have some advice to help you make – and keep – your healthy resolutions.

1. Practice mindful eating

These days, it’s common to chow down with your eyes glued to a screen, but eating when you’re distracted leads to overeating. Take time to slow down and pay attention to your food, pausing to put down utensils between bites. “When you eat mindfully, it’s easier to notice when you feel full, plus you’re more likely to enjoy the foods you eat,” says Johns Hopkins dietitian and research nutritionist Diane Vizthum.

2. Chill out and rest up

According to Johns Hopkins sleep expert Rachel Salas, M.D., when it’s time to sleep, it’s time to chill – literally. Knocking the thermostat down to 68 degrees or lower before you tuck into bed can help you sleep better. Darken your room by drawing the curtains or dimming the display on your alarm clock to really get those quality Zs.

To read further on this very important subject, please check out my Page – How important is a good night’s sleep?

3. Adopt an attitude of gratitude

Take some time at the beginning or end of the day to reflect on what you’re grateful for. “A daily grateful check-in or keeping a grateful journal is a way to shift your focus and minimize the distorting influence of stress. Reminding ourselves of the small, everyday positive aspects of our lives helps to develop a sense of balance and perspective that can enhance well-being,” says Johns Hopkins psychiatrist Susan Lehmann, M.D.

4. Find 30 minutes a day to walk

Getting the recommended 30 minutes of exercise each day can be as simple as taking a walk. If you’ve got a busy schedule, take three 10-minute walks throughout your day. “That’s 10 minutes before work, 10 minutes at lunch and then 10 minutes after work. Make it fun! Grab a partner at work to get you through your lunch routine. Then have a friend or family member meet you for an evening stroll,” suggests Johns Hopkins physical therapist Stacie Page.

I couldn’t agree more with this one. Please check out my Page – Why you should walk more for further information on the value of walking.

5. Take the stairs

Making small, daily changes such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator may seem minor, but they can make a big difference for your heart in the long run. “Individuals who are physically active are much less likely to develop cardiovascular disease,” explains Johns Hopkins cardiologist Chiadi E. Ndumele, M.D., M.H.S.

Here is another idea with which I agree fully. You can read my first post on stair climbing at Stair-climbing is good for you.

6. Commit to a 30-day fitness challenge

Pick a fitness activity that’s easy and doesn’t require equipment, and commit to it for 30 days. There are many options to challenge yourself: practicing yoga, taking regular walks or joining a fitness class. “Find what motivates you. Whatever you do, make yourself accountable or find an accountability partner. Whether your goal is to lose weight, lower cholesterol or have more energy to play with young ones, you have the power to make a change,” encourages Page.

As always, talk with your doctor before beginning your journey to a healthier you.

 

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Filed under Exercise, exercise benefits, good night's sleep, New Year Resolutions, sleep, sleep aids

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