Every year many of us make New Year’s resolutions to make certain changes in our lives. Though we may start out determined, we often fall short of sticking to goals that may be too unrealistic after a few weeks. Be that as it may, you have a better shot of accomplishing all your goals if healthy. With that said, if this is going to be your year to get healthier so you can gain the energy and will to accomplish former and future resolutions, then here are some important healthy habits to start now.
Healthy Habits to Adopt This New Year Starts With Staying Hydrated
Our bodies are composed of cells, tissues and organs that require water to survive and function correctly. Keeping our bodies adequately hydrated with enough water is something that you may think you’re doing is one of those healthy habits you should adopt. Nevertheless, your efforts may fall short from not replacing what you may be losing through sweat and normal body functions like urination and bowel movements. What else to be aware of is prescription medication such as diuretics (water pills) for blood pressure, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), opiates for pain, and certain antidepressants can also contribute to the body losing water.
Without replenishing your water intake, your body suffers on all fronts from the way your heart beats, how food is digested, regulating temperature, etc. as well as brain function. Even being mildly dehydrated makes us pay a price, feeling tired, confused, extra stressed or unable to concentrate. According to the Mayo Clinic and The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, men need about 15.5 cups (3.7 liters) of fluids whereas women should have about 11.5 cups (2.7 liters) of fluids a day.
Though you can get water from fruits, vegetables and other beverage sources, keeping track of how much water stays within your system compared to drinking plain water can greatly vary. Coffee and teas with caffeine can act like a diuretic according to some experts and physicians. Therefore, you may want to try drinking a cup of water to replace each cup, especially if you are a heavy coffee or tea drinker.
Don’t Neglect Your Teeth
Brushing your teeth two or hopefully three times a day is not enough. Don’t neglect the importance of flossing and regular dental examinations and cleanings are another of these healthy habits to start this year. Flossing keeps gums healthy to prevent periodontal disease, namely gingivitis (inflammation of the gums) and periodontitis (inflammation affecting the bone and tissues). Overlooking flossing and dental cleaning done by a dental hygienist can help expose more of your gum. This can lead to greater sensitivity when eating foods to compromising the structure of your teeth to keep them in your mouth. Besides potential of gum disease and tooth loss, you can also hurt your heart from a periodontal infection to developing diabetes from neglecting your teeth.
Monitoring Your Weight Weekly Is Another One of The Healthy Habits to Adopt
Most people have a scale but avoid it, especially when we know that we’re eating badly over the holidays. Jumping on the scale each week helps you know if you gained a few pounds or are maintaining your weight. When you weigh yourself less frequently, the pounds can sneak up on you without realizing it. Instead of two or five pounds that all those holiday cookies, cakes, candies, drinks, and pies may have put on your figure, you could find yourself ten or twenty pounds heavier, which is harder to lose. My advice is keeping your scale in your kitchen or bathroom where you are constantly reminded to step on it once a week. This weekly chore of stepping on the scale helps you more easily manage increases in weight.
Take Sleep More Seriously Is Still Another of Those Healthy Habits to Start
We live in a fast-paced, overworked and stressed society. As a result, we often don’t get as many hours of sleep as we need to be at our physical and mental best. According to sleep experts, we need seven to nine hours. Otherwise, stress levels go up and you’re cranky or depressed. Lack of sleep makes you also prone to more diseases such as hypertension, heart attacks and strokes, type 2 diabetes, and weight gain are just some unpleasant scenarios. Trying to improve your sleep is another of those healthy habits to adopt this year.
Take Cleanliness at the Workplace More Seriously
The workplace can be a dirty place that is prime for breeding bacteria. Think of all those that you come in contact with every day that may arrive to work when sick or fail to wash their hands after using the restroom or picking something off the floor that may have dropped that you may shake hands with or handle something they just touched. Doorknobs, elevator buttons, keyboards, coffee machines, office microwave and refrigerators, vending machines, etc. harbor a cesspool of viruses and bacteria. Therefore, your best defense is avoiding rubbing your eyes, nose or mouth and washing your hands as much as possible. It also helps to wipe down surfaces, particularly when coughing and sneezing starts up at the office.
Reducing Sugar, Sodium and Bad Fats
Sugar, salt and grease do taste delicious. Too much of all three of those can have terrible consequences for our physical well-being and weight. Hence, another one of those healthy habits to start is trying to eat less sugar, sodium and saturated fats while finding wiser replacements.
Instead of as much sugar, fruits and vegetables can help the body better handle blood sugar levels.
Salty snacks or sprinkling to season foods can bring out flavor, but turning to salt-free substitutes like my herb-salt substitute can help. You can also try rethinking salty snacks with alternatives such as baked sweet potato oven fries, air-popped popcorn, cottage cheese to edamame.
Monosaturated fats such as olive oil, canola oil, peanut oils, avocados, nuts, and seeds are healthier fat choices to help the body process energy.
No matter what your resolutions may be for this new year, these six healthy habits to adopt are ones to keep.