When looking at the most popular New Year’s resolutions, you will often find “lose weight”, “get fitter”, and “eat healthier” among the top-three promises. However, these resolutions have never been as important as they are today, nearly two years after the pandemic began. Indeed, to face the challenges that the new year might bring, you will need to look and feel at your best.
Even if you have not always been able to keep your promises in the past, 2022 is a great year to reach your fitness goals, live a more active life, and boost your self-confidence and wellbeing. We understand how intimidating the whole journey might seem, but there has never been a better time to take the first step and start working on the health, fitness level, and lifestyle you have always wanted to have.
Get started with the tips below!
Start Journaling and Follow a Defined Routine
The past two years have had an unprecedented impact on our lives. Most people had to learn how to cope with working from home, social distancing measures, and travel bans in a matter of months.
While the first months of the pandemic have been traumatic for many, there is now a lot you can do to start feeling more in control of your routine and work-life balance. If you are unsure about where to start, a great way to bring more structure into your life is to start journaling.
By journaling, you can:
- Visualize what you need to do each day
- Use a habit tracker to analyze your lifestyle
- Track your progress
- Highlight what you’re grateful for
- Become more aware of habits you didn’t know you had
- Define your work and private time – especially when working from home!
If you have decided to start journaling, you can find professional planners online or design your own. However, if you have never done so before, don’t forget that it can take you time and some trial-and-error to design a routine that suits your needs.
Exercise 30 Minutes a Day – But Pick Your Activity Wisely!
According to official guidelines by the CDC, you should exercise around 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week, practicing moderate-intensity aerobic activity. However, not everyone is a gym-goer, and you don’t necessarily have to do something you are not a fan of to reap the benefits of exercise.
Thanks to the rise of home workouts and at-home fitness tools and platforms, today, you can practice your favorite sports and activities from anywhere. For example, you might join local walking groups, jog with a friend, try jump rope, or even practice HIIT circuits.
But don’t forget that there are other forms of exercise you might like, including walking in nature, hiking, swimming, or surfing. Just find an activity that keeps you active – you don’t necessarily have to go to the gym to be fit and healthy!
Start Regular Meditation Sessions and Practice Mindfulness
If you are looking to be healthier in 2022, you can’t overlook the importance of focusing on your mental health. Indeed, you will need a positive attitude to keep up with your resolutions and meet your goals. There are several alternatives that allow you to focus more on your mental health, stress response, and emotional wellbeing.
Some of the cones you should consider include:
- Practice daily mindfulness meditation sessions – even 5 minutes a day can help you lower stress levels, increase awareness, and better control your flight or fight response.
- Try body scans and guided meditations – body scans and guided meditation sessions are ideal for beginners and offer enough structure for you to start to build a healthy habit.
- Try sound baths and make the most of singing bowls – singing bowls and sound baths can help you bring balance back to your mental health and emotional wellbeing
- Opt to practice mindful activities – from yoga to Tai Chi, there are plenty of disciplines out there that can help you learn how to focus on your breath, increase awareness, lower stress levels, and practice mindfulness.
- Journaling – Journaling is an important tool to learn more about yourself, visualize your achievements, and focus on what you’re grateful for.
Lastly, don’t underestimate the support and help that an experienced mental health professional can offer you in your journey towards a healthier life.
Spend at Least 120 Minutes in Nature Every Week
Over the past two years, we have all spent an unprecedented amount of time indoors. However, it has never been more important to reconnect with nature, spend time outdoors, and leverage the unique healing and calming power of nature.
Indeed, new studies published in Nature report that spending at least 2 hours a week in a natural environment can help you protect your health, lower the risk of severe and chronic diseases, and help you balance your emotional wellbeing. Whether you only have access to a local park or you can head to the greater outdoors once a week, make sure to find a natural area where you can retreat to.
Create a Healthier Home Environment
Health starts at home, and it is impossible to be healthier and focus on a more active lifestyle if your home environment drains your energy, is an obstacle to resting, and negatively influences your health. Some tips to create a healthier home environment include:
- Redesign your garden and yard to make them more livable
- Swap heavy drapes for lighter curtains
- Let light and fresh air in
- Monitor indoor air quality and humidity levels
- Decorate with plants and natural elements
- Opt for non-toxic paint and materials
If you are looking to design and decorate a home that is healthy and comfortable from day one, look no further than a minimalist style.
Focus on Getting Your Beauty’s Sleep
Focusing on getting enough sleep and bringing balance back into your Circadian Rhythm is essential for health and wellbeing. Indeed, while we are asleep, our body completes tasks and processes that are essential for our health. For example, when you sleep, your body creates new white cells that help strengthen the immune system, fight inflammation, and replenish used energy.
Additionally, if you are pursuing a more active lifestyle, you won’t be able to keep up with your exercise and fitness goals without sleeping at least 7-8 hours per night! Indeed, a good night’s sleep can help you feel less stressed, happier, more motivated, and more energized during the day.
Eat Local, Sustainable, and Unprocessed Foods
Your diet plays a vital role in promoting health and wellbeing. When following a healthy nutritional regime, you can more easily maintain a healthy weight, keep chronic diseases at bay, and enjoy high levels of energy.
What’s more is that when you are getting all the essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals from your diet, you can lower inflammation and pain, boost your confidence, and create a healthier relationship with food.
Of course, the best way to know that your diet is healthy and balanced is to speak to a nutrition specialist. However, some key tips to keep in mind include:
- Opt for unprocessed or minimally unprocessed foods
- Focus on reducing meat or switch to a plant-based diet
- Understand the benefits of eating whole grain and unrefined foods
- Limit your environmental and health impact by opting for local and sustainable food
- Establish genuine relationships with producers and cultivators in your area
- Learn how to cook healthy dishes at home
- Monitor your intake of nutrients, minerals, and vitamins
If your lifestyle does not give you the chance to enjoy unprocessed and home-cooked meals every day, you might consider investing in the best meal replacement shakes that can help you make sure that you are consuming all the necessary nutrients, vitamins, and minerals.
Start Working on the Aspects of Your Lifestyle You Want To Change
Even if you have finally started going to the gym and you are following a healthy diet, it is important to keep in mind that there are some important lifestyle changes you’ll need to make.
Indeed, to help you achieve the level of health and fitness you desire, there are many aspects that need to be taken into consideration. And, entirely revolutionizing your lifestyle is the best way to feel healthier, regain energy, and speed up the process. Some of the best lifestyle changes you need to consider making include:
- Quit smoking
- Reduce alcohol intake
- Reduced processed foods and refined sugars
- Focus on natural products – even for your skincare and house maintenance
- Start taking the stairs
- Cycle to work
- Avoid taking the car
Don’t forget that there are also some lifestyle changes you’ll need to make to achieve specific goals. For example, if you are particularly prone to cardiovascular issues, there are some lifestyle choices that help you reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke. If you are unsure about the right type of choices to make for your lifestyle, make sure to consult expert healthcare professionals. For example, lifestyle medicine doctors can guide you in the right direction!
Extra Tip: Develop a Positive Mindset – And Enjoy the Journey
Achieving perfect health and fitness is not something that happens overnight. Take the first step of your journey today, consult healthcare professionals, and enjoy your journey! Consistency is always the key!