New Year is the time for new resolutions. For most, getting healthier is a big goal. After all, the holiday season is the month for indulgent eating, chocolates, and drinking. Going dry for January is just one of the many popular health goals people set for themselves in the new year, but if you want to feel better and live better, you owe it to yourself to do more than that. It’s time to make lasting health changes finally and to do that, and you’ll need to use this guide:
Understand Your Health
The first step is to understand your health and what it needs. This can be as simple as taking an online probiotic quiz to help you determine which supplement is right for you. If you still aren’t happy with how your body feels and know something isn’t right, then go to your doctor to get a blood test. Not only can they use such a test to help screen for a variety of conditions, but they can also be used to determine if you have any specific vitamin deficiency.
If you do, you have one of two options. If the vitamin or nutrient you are deficient in is simply not something you eat often enough, you can shake up changes to your diet. If you swear you eat foods rich in the vitamin you’re missing, then your body may not be as efficient at absorbing it, so a vitamin shot from your doctor may be recommended.
As with anything health-related, monitoring is essential. Get a health monitoring watch to track your heart rate and other key statistics, so you can track your progress (even if it’s in small ways).
These are just a few of the methods that you can use to help understand your health better. Keep in mind that everyone is unique and that sometimes you really need to advocate for yourself to get the treatment or tests done that you need. However, it’s all worth it when it comes to your health.
Make Meals from Scratch
When it comes to making any sort of diet changes, cutting certain foods out is always going to play a part. Adding healthy probiotics to your diet can do wonders for your digestion and how you feel, but if you aren’t combining that with healthy eating, your body won’t get all the vitamins and nutrients needed to thrive.
That’s why you need to cut out unhealthy foods from your diet. This doesn’t mean you can’t ever have an indulgent meal again. Rather, it means to start making things from scratch. You would be amazed at how many unhealthy additives are added to processed foods these days. By making food at home, you can remain aware of the unhealthy additions (like sugars) you’re adding to your meal and limit them accordingly.
More than that, there are plenty of ways to enjoy healthier versions of your same meals. If you love pasta, for example, make your own sauce out of blended up vegetables instead of buying a can from the store. You can add many different items to boost the nutritional content while giving you a similar, delicious meal.
Be Prepared for the Cravings
Unhealthy foods that are full of salts, fats, and sugars are inherently addictive. They light up areas of the brain and taste good. They taste good because they’re fattening, and many people struggle with overeating such items because of an old drive that helped the human species survive when food was scarce.
So, your brain will crave those unhealthy snacks and meals. The good news, is that the cravings do go away, and unlike other addictive substances, there is no dangerous withdrawal. To make this portion of your new health routine easier, simply clear away temptations. In their place, put healthier alternatives.
Work With Your Interests
As for other areas of your health, like your well-being or exercise, work with your interests. If you have never been able to stick with your exercise resolutions, it’s time to stop thinking about exercise like a chore. Working out in a gym or following a video is likely not for you. It’s important to work out what you find interesting instead and go from there. Rather than sign up for exercise classes, for example, learn a new skill.
You can learn how to defend yourself or fight. You can learn how to dance. You can learn how to ride a horse. Skills building engages more of our brains, especially if competitive elements or adrenaline are involved. By finding something that’s fun for you to do and gets you moving, you’ll lead a healthier, better life.
Be Strict with Routine
Routine is where the body is healthiest and happiest. This doesn’t mean you do the same thing every day without fail, but rather you get your body used to certain actions that can help improve your health. If you sleep and wake up at the same time every day, for example, you can adjust your circadian rhythm so that your get tired and sleep deeper when you need.
Eating at similar times every day can also help you eat more regularly and stop mid-meal snacking. Exercise isn’t as exhausting when you do a little every day. Even wellness routines, like your beauty routine or making time to see friends, can be improved by making them somewhat consistent.
None of this means you can’t spice things up or have fun, but when it comes to the essentials in life, try to stick to your routine. Routine makes habits easier to form and helps support the body in the long run.
It’s never too late or too early to start a new routine. If you’ve broken the routine or had a cheat meal, then start again. New years are just a good delineation point, but those who make big changes can do it at any time because it’s the commitment, not the timing, that matters.
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