Many of us think about resolutions a lot prior to January. Sometimes whole discussions are held regarding last year’s resolutions compared to ones you and others are making. Then ultimately the topic comes up whether or not you will stick to a resolution. Amidst all the ideas being thrown around, the simplest lifestyle or health choices may be overlooked. Instead of setting a lofty goal that may be difficult to stick to, consider one of these ten simpler changes to improve your lifestyle and make 2015 a healthier year.
1: Eat Slower. Eating foods fast can lead to consuming more calories. It takes approximately 20 minutes for the brain to signal that you feel full. Taking your time will also aid in digestion due to thoroughly chewing your food and help even out your meals improving energy levels throughout the day.
2: Make Time for Breakfast. Hitting the snooze button one too many times can lead to skipping that first important meal of the day. Even if you have just some yogurt or a piece of fruit, your body will have something for energy to begin the day with. Eating a healthy breakfast improves cognitive abilities and mood.
3: 10 Minute Power Napping. Energy drinks and alternatives may give a quick boost; but try a ten minute nap to cut back on the sugar in energy drinks, or the crash/side effects that can happen after energy pills.
4: Enhance Your Mood. Focus on gratitude over complaints. Take the time to notice the good things that happen to you and thank those who bring you more happiness. Your mood will improve and will lead to healthier choices. Being surrounded by other positive people can also improve mood as well as provide positive reinforcement for healthy choices.
5: Read More. Studies have shown reading reduces stress and increases mental activity. And reading non-fiction will increase knowledge and exercise your memory. This can be as simple as reading an article or two in the paper to starting a novel and reading just a chapter a night.
6: Stick to a Set Bedtime. Setting a routine for getting to sleep greatly improves the effectiveness of falling asleep on time and getting better sleep. In addition, try turning off all devices 30 minutes prior to allow yourself some mental peace. Limiting the glow from electronic displays can help along with quieting the room.
7: Moderation Instead of Deprivation. Being healthy doesn’t have to deprive us of desserts or other things we enjoy. If you moderate the quantities and treat yourself, you can still have a healthy life style and treat yourself now and then as well.
8: Drink More Water. This may be greatly overlooked. The CDC claims 43% of Americans drink less than 4 cups of water per day. An extra cup of water in the morning will help kick in your metabolism and allows better digestion with meals. If you’re looking to lose weight, having a full glass or two with meals will help you feel fuller and cut back on extra calories.
9: Walk More. One of the simplest changes you can make if you don’t have much time for exercise is to increase the amount of walking you do. This will help increase blood flow and heart rate. Park farther from buildings, take the stairs, or take a walk around your home or office during breaks.
10: Think Small. Making large changes to your life style or habits can seem very daunting. Change a single simple thing, or a few small changes. Focusing on small changes or adjustments to your lifestyle are both attainable and rewarding. These smaller decisions are less stressful and will have a positive impact on your health.
Once you’ve made even the slightest change for a healthier lifestyle, more opportunities will be available to continue down that path. Before you know it, your lifestyle for 2015 will be the healthiest yet.