2016 is well underway and it’s time to check in on those New Year’s resolutions. For those of you who have already slipped up, it’s time to get back on track. And for those of you who have stuck true to your resolutions, good for you. Only eleven months and a lifetime to go! The top five resolutions made by Americans are: lose weight, improve finances, exercise, get a new job, and eat healthier. I’m no finance guru and I’m looking for a new job myself, but here are 8 tips for improving your health, fitness, and happiness this year.
Sleep more. That’s right, I said it. I know, you have a million things to do, and if you want to achieve your goals, you don’t have time to sleep. Well, make time. Studies have shown that a lack of sleep can actually cause you to gain weight and make you crave higher fat and calorie foods. On the flip side, getting the recommended seven to eight hours of sleep a night can help boost your immune system, improve concentration and productivity, decrease your risk of heart disease and diabetes, and maximize your athletic performance. If you aren’t already sold, good sleep can help improve your sex life, so go home and get some sleep.
Make Your Own Meals. While eating out from time to time can be a nice treat, it’s important to know what’s going into the food you’re eating. Many places claim to be healthy, but this may be false advertising at it’s finest. Dinner at a diner can range from 1,000 to 2,000 calories for one meal, and a “healthy” smoothie can easily have over 60 grams of sugar. If you make your meals at home, you know exactly what you’re getting, and you can keep better track of your calories. Many claim that they don’t know how to cook, but if you know how to read, you’re in luck. There are thousands of simple recipes online that are waiting for you to try them out!
Drink More Water. Eight cups of water a day is the minimum you should be drinking. If you are an athlete, you should be drinking significantly more! If you feel thirsty, then guess what? You are already dehydrated. Drinking more water can help prevent headaches, prevent cancer, improve your mood, and reduce joint pain. It can also help you lose weight. Additionally, when you drink water, you feel full, and as a result, you eat less. So grab a bottle of water and bring it with you wherever you go. And please, oh please, get a reusable bottle!
Eat Breakfast. You’ve heard it before, “breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” Yet, so many people still skip breakfast. If you think skipping your morning meal will help you loose weight, think again. Studies show that people who eat breakfast tend to weigh less than those that don’t. In addition to helping you maintain a healthy weight, eating breakfast can help improve your concentration and strength as well as your endurance in physical activities. Even if you’re hitting the beach early for dawn patrol, make time for a quick smoothie or a bowl of oatmeal. It will make a world of difference.
Wake Up Early. Waking up early has a lot of perks; one being that you’ll actually have time for breakfast. Rising in the wee hours of the morning can also help reduce stress. You’ll start your day off with one of the greatest paintings nature has to offer, a sunrise, and then you’ll have plenty of time to get ready and get to work on time. Or you’ll have time to sneak in a workout and start your day off feeling good.
Treat Yourself. While it’s important to eat a healthy, well-balanced diet, it is okay to treat yourself from time to time. Moderation is key. If you want a cookie, have one. Just don’t eat the whole bag!
Find Your Passion. I am an exercise fanatic, but I hate gyms, so I don’t go. Exercise should be fun, not a chore, so find something that works for you. Sure, there may be days when you don’t feel like getting off the couch and you might need a little (or a lot) of self-motivation. But once you’re out there, you should genuinely enjoy what you’re doing.
Find a Workout Buddy. Everything is more fun with a friend! Plus, if you’re meeting someone, you’re much less likely to skip your workout. You wouldn’t want to leave your friend hanging.