I love the beginning of a new year, a fresh start, a time to focus on myself and my health. There is something about the beginning of a new year that brings many of us back to the path of living a healthier life. I've found that the simplicity and easy are vital to making any changes in life stick. I've never been a fan of diets, but instead believe in choosing healthier eating and living. So here are a few simple ways to be healthier in the new year.
1. Drink more water- Water makes an incredible difference in how we feel each day. If you struggle to drink plain water, try adding lemon or lime juice (which have cleansing benefits)s or try sparkling mineral water or herbal tea or freshly squeezed juices. Just beware of drinks that appear to be healthy alternatives to soda but are actually high in sugar such as flavored sports beverages.
2. Move every day- It's easy to get caught up in the expectation that moving every day needs to be a focused workout at the gym or an hour-long class. Be realistic with what your body and schedule will permit; the goal is to set yourself up for success and to feel good. While I do attend yoga and spin classes most days of the week, some days the best choice is just to take my dog on a good 20 minute+ walk.
3. Take time to breathe- This is one I have been focusing on over this past year, and it has made a massive change in my life, helping me to better deal with (and in some cases even completely release) stress and anxiety. If you find yourself upset, spinning, or just stressed out and overwhelmed; take a few minutes to yourself and focus on your breath. Big inhales, and big exhales feeling your belly rise and soften as your inhale and exhale. Allow your shoulders to soften and your breathing to return to normal.
4. Eat more real food, especially fruits and veggies- Creating a healthier lifestyle can become overwhelming. There are so many opinions and diets out there on what you should and shouldn't be eating. After attending nutrition school, I can tell you it all comes down to eating real food to be healthier. Real food meaning it comes from the Earth, it is created naturally (not by man). There are no ingredients or every ingredient you can recognize as real food. Real foods are packed full of the nutrients our bodies are craving in order to run like a well-oiled machine. Keep it simple by merely adding fruits and veggies to meals and snacks.
5. Make quality connections, building up your support network- Love and belonging are basic human needs, when our basic needs are not met we do not perform nor feel our best. This has a direct impact on our immune system and health. Having a support system is not about the number of friends and family members, but instead feeling internally connected to someone or something greater in the world.
These are just a few ways to be healthier in the coming year. What is your best simple health tip? Leave a comment below with how you are staying healthy this year.