As the new year makes its entry, we must review the year gone by and take conscious steps to discard our unhealthy habits and move towards a healthier, fitter lifestyle. Here are seven simple, straightforward ways to get on track towards optimum health in the new year.
1. Get enough sleep.
Good sleep helps you stay energetic and also boosts your immunity. Take steps to get to bed earlier at night. If you can’t sleep early, try relaxing with soothing music, a warm bath, yoga practice and minimise your cell phone usage during the night.
2. Adopt the anti-inflammatory diet.
Chronic inflammation is now known to play a central role in the development of heart disease, many cancers, and Alzheimer’s disease. Poor diet is perhaps the main contributor to chronic inflammation. Healthy foods like fruits, vegetables, sprouts, lentils, whole grains are part of the anti-inflammatory diet. Processed and fast foods like burgers, pizzas and red meat should be avoided to reduce inflammation in the body.
3. Eat healthy snacks.
Snacking throughout the day is actually a good idea, as it can help keep blood sugar levels and energy steady – which leads to improved mood, better productivity, and more effective appetite control. But instead of unhealthy snacks like potato chips and samosas, eat healthy snacks like dry fruits and nuts like raisins, almonds, cashews, pistachios, and peanuts.
4. Practice breathing exercises like pranayam.
Simple breathing techniques like pranayam offer an effective way to help lower your blood pressure, calm a racing heart, or settle an upset digestive system. Proper breathing has a direct influence on emotional states and moods. When you’re upset, you breathe rapidly, shallowly, and irregularly, but you can’t be upset if your breathing is slow, deep, quiet and regular. At first, the effects are subtle, but they will gain power the more you repeat them.
5. Fitness: Consider a personal trainer.
If you’re really committed to getting into shape in the coming year, a personal trainer can get you off to the right start and help you optimise your fitness routine. If you plan to do strength training, you’ll need a trainer to learn the correct form so that you won’t injure yourself.
6. Drink warm liquids.
Drinking warm liquids can help you increase your metabolism and stay healthy in winters. Hot drinks also flush out the toxins, including fat deposits, circulating in your body, which improves blood circulation. Muscles relax as well, also aiding in better blood flow.
7. Volunteer to help others.
You can volunteer to feed the homeless, help people with terminal illnesses, and contribute to clean up the environment. Helping other people including your family members can give you a lot of personal satisfaction and happiness which in turn will boost your health.