Every year, millions of people make healthy New Year’s resolutions to lose weight, quit smoking, exercise regularly, and more. Unfortunately, more than 80% of people abandon these resolutions before March. Why? More often than not, people make lofty resolutions that are unsustainable, difficult, or highly restrictive. In short, they set themselves up for failure.
But what if there were a simple way to make resolutions that are not only good for your health but also easy to follow long-term?
Three Healthy New Year’s Resolutions
Change your life one day at a time, by making incremental healthy changes throughout the year, such as:
- Choosing whole foods
Instead of overhauling your diet at the beginning of the year, resolve to make one small change at a time. You can begin by adding one green leafy vegetable to your dinner plate every day. Once that becomes routine, you can try swapping out one unhealthy snack for fruit each day. Once you’re comfortable with those changes, replace your daily soft drink or sports drink for a tall glass of water infused with your favorite fruit. Continue making small incremental changes like these throughout the year to improve your overall health and reduce your risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
- Move your body more
On average, most people sit much more than they should. Instead of shocking your body off the couch or desk chair with an intense exercise regimen in January, take smaller steps throughout the year to achieve your goal. You can start by taking short 15-minute walks at lunch. Once that becomes part of your daily routine, you can add in a brisk 30-minute walk in the evening after dinner. Before you know it, you’ll be looking for fun nature walks to take on the weekends. Walking regularly increases circulation, improves metabolism, and boosts your energy. Once your body gets acclimated to daily movement and exercise, you’ll be ready to add in additional aerobic exercises or even weight training.
- Get more quality sleep
Sleep is an essential part of your mental and physical health and perhaps one of the easiest resolutions to keep (as long as you make it a priority). Taking time for self-care tasks like sleeping helps you avoid illness, maintain a healthy weight, reduce stress, improve mood, and think more clearly. The Premier Family Medicine Physicians at Pomona Valley Health Centers (PVHC) recommend 7-9 hours of restful sleep per night for adults. If you need help getting to sleep, try decluttering your room, turning off all electronics at least 1 hour before bed, investing in black-out curtains, and keeping your thermostat between 60-67 degrees Fahrenheit. If you can’t make all of those changes at once, try turning off your electronics at least 1 hour before you plan to go to sleep. The blue light emitted from your smartphone, tablet, or computer retrains the production of melatonin, the hormone that controls your circadian rhythm (sleep-wake cycle).
It’s important to take care of your health needs, but healthy New Year’s resolutions don’t have to be overwhelming or “all or nothing.” Having an off-day now and then is okay and doesn’t equal failure. Remember that each day is a new opportunity to start again.
Try taking small, incremental steps for your health in 2022. If you need personalized help getting started on your health journey, talk to one of our Premier Family Medicine Physicians at PVHC. Call 909-643-8838 or go to MyPVHC.com to schedule an appointment today.