Three ways to improve your health in 2020
New year, new you. There’s no better time than now to take a look at your habits, analyze where you’re at – financially, emotionally, physically, etc – and create a plan of action to become a better version of yourself in the upcoming year.
This article is going to focus on specific steps you can take to improve your overall health and vitality to feel better and live brighter in 2020.
Try them out, little by little, and use each suggestion to build upon the last. Pretty soon, you’ll find that leading a sustainably healthy life is easier than you thought!
1) Set yourself fitness goals
‘Working out’ is probably at the top of nearly everyone’s New Year’s resolution list. Unfortunately, many of us fall a little flat of our goals because we try to commit ourselves to a fitness plan that’s somewhat unrealistic given our current circumstances.
For example, you might make a pact with yourself that agrees to go to the gym at least three times per week compared to the one time or two you’d get in there over the span of three years.
Rather than setting yourself up for failure – despite how well intentioned your goals might be – we suggest by starting small and working your way up.
For example, before you go out and buy a $150 pair of Nikes, just pick up some cheap running shoes and get your feet wet first. Otherwise, you might feel a bit hard on yourself if you watch that sleek shoe box collect dust from lack of use.
Make your goals simple and attainable, like “Walk for 15 minutes after dinner”, “Take a lap around the office block at lunch”, or “Run for 0.5 more miles this week than last week”.
Your aim is to get up and get moving – once you’ve started to lead a more active lifestyle, then you can switch gears and set your sights on improving your personal records at the gym. It can also help to get pre workout nutrition crossfit.
2) Assess your diet
Your body isn’t getting any younger, which means your metabolism isn’t getting any faster. If you’re still hooked on processed grains and sugars, you’re going to start having a harder and harder time breaking them down for digestion and might notice they stubbornly start to start to hang onto you in the form of fat.
But cutting out junk food isn’t just something you do for your figure; you need a clean diet to maintain your cholesterol and blood sugar levels and ensure your heart stays in good shape – which also becomes more important with age.
Exercise is a surefire way to improve cardiovascular vitality, but you should also be mindful of how what you consume effects your body from the inside-out. Pro tip: cut out fatty red meats in favor of leaner proteins like salmon and turkey or, better yet, eliminate meat altogether in favor or plant-based protein sources.
Amp up your intake of fruits and leafy greens, scale back on processed foods, switch to healthy snacks, and make sure to get your daily dose essential vitamins and nutrients to promote strong bones.
3) Track your sleep
Too few of us truly appreciate sleep and how vital it is to our overall health. It plays a huge role on our hormone regulation – which effects everything from mood to emotion and stress tolerance – but it also impacts our memory retention, ability to focus, skin cell rejuvenation, and more. When you’re well-rested, you look, think, and feel at your best.
Make it a goal to log eight hours of sleep every night. If Z’s are hard to come by, you might want to download an app that can show you your sleep patterns as well water consumption and exercise stats.
Some apps can even tell you what time you should aim to hit the sheets based on when you need to wake up in the morning backed by scientific estimates of your REM cycle. They’re each about four or so hours long and must be fully completed; waking up in the middle of an incomplete REM stage could make you feel groggy and tired, so try to time it right.
There are so many aspects of health you could focus on this year, from eliminating toxic chemicals in your home and converting to holistic medicine, to meditating regularly for greater mental stability. We think the three areas listed above – exercise, nutrition, and sleep – are most important, so start there and see how you feel.
Photo by Blubel