Another year gone, another year to start fresh on a healthier you! If you’re looking to make changes to your lifestyle, whether big or small, there are plenty of ways to get started!
The most common New Year’s resolution is losing weight and being healthier. This is a great goal but it’s very generic and broad, which is why many people struggle with keeping this resolution throughout the year. Breaking down the broad goal of losing weight into smaller, more achievable goals and gradually making your way up is more reasonable.
How do you get started? Think about one thing you struggle with when it comes to health habits? Do you sit too often for work? Set an alarm once every hour to stand up and stretch or walk around for 10 minutes. This is one example of a goal you can set for yourself!
Check out these additional scenarios and suggestions for small goals to set:
Feeling “bleh” throughout the day and not sure why?
Try to limit screen use-set times for yourself to watch TV or scroll through your phone.
Set timers to make time for self-care throughout the day. Even if it’s 5 minutes-close your eyes and practice these breathing exercises to take a break and relax. Take a bath, read a book-anything you enjoy!
Get more sleep. Try to go to bed 30 minutes earlier, then 1 hour earlier, and so on. Setting a strict sleep schedule for yourself has great benefits for your overall health. You will notice a big difference in how you feel when you wake up!
Looking to eat healthier?
Eat less sugary foods. Trade a cookie for an apple, banana or grapes-all have natural sugars for that sweet tase you’re looking for!
Drink more water! Start small with 1-2 bottles of water per day or limit the amount of sodas/teas you drink. Challenge yourself and see how much water you can drink in a day!
Add vegetables or fruits to your meals. Remember, start small-replace a side dish with one vegetable in one meal each day.
Keep fruit stored in the house instead of desserts. Try ordering food online instead of buying snacks on impulse at the grocery store so you’re more in control of what’s in your cart!
Want to exercise more?
Hard day at work? Instead of stress eating, get up and move! Find some beginner yoga poses to try, do some sit ups or jumping jacks, or run up and down the stairs. Move for 10 minutes to exert that stress out of your system. Physical activity helps relax muscles and relieve tension in the body. The mind and body are closely linked, so when your body feels better, so does your mind!
Make exercise fun! Blast your favorite song and dance; this burns a lot of calories! Design a 30-minute circuit full of exercises to challenge yourself. Find fun exercise videos on YouTube and try something new-palates, dancing, or kickboxing.
Set a schedule and stick to it! Whether it’s waking up early in the morning before work, during your lunch, or after dinner before bed-choose a time to exercise and get into the habit of doing it every day! You can start small and exercise 2-3 days per week and increase the number of days as you wish!
Do chores around the house. Challenge yourself and complete a household task that you’ve been holding off doing: scrub the floors, vacuum the entire house, or clean out the garden.
Starting with one small goal at a time and accomplishing them can help inspire you to continue setting goals for yourself, leading to a healthier lifestyle! There are also plenty of local programs that can help you set goals for yourself and get on track towards a healthier lifestyle.
You can also find inspiration through WellSpan Health’s Winter STREAK program! This FREE, virtual wellness program takes place from January 8th - March 29th and is open to anyone who wants to participate. It features six workshops, tips, and many resources to help you keep up a “streak” of healthy eating, and physical and mental well-being activities. Participants of the program can learn about physical activity, healthy eating, and stress management during the winter months, and earn prizes along the way. New to the program this year is the Family Corner as well as a Spanish resources page.
WellSpan Health’s Virtual Get Healthy Now program begins on January 4th and can help you learn how to live a life of good health and balance. In this 6-week program, participants are provided with the necessary tools, tips and support to get started on a journey towards a healthier life. Register here.
The Healthy Eating Adventure is another local opportunity for individuals to take a “new leaf on life”. Maximize your health with plan-based eating and learn how to shop, prep and cook healthy and delicious meals in 28 days. You can also enjoy five weekly Eat-and Learn potluck dinners! The next Adventure begins on February 7th. Find more information at healthyeatingadventure.org.
Visit healthyfranklincounty.org for more resources.