2020 has been a particularly challenging year for many people. With the stress of the COVID-19 pandemic, taking care of health needs can be difficult. Here is a list of five New Year’s resolutions to ensure proper physical and mental wellbeing.
Drink more water
One easy way to improve many aspects of your health is to make sure you are hydrating properly. Drinking enough water is important for optimal oral hygiene, cardiovascular health, body temperature regulation, muscle and joint health, and keeping your skin healthy. As discussed in my Proper Hydration Q&A, ideal water consumption varies by person. However, a great way to be healthier in 2021 is to determine your ideal water intake and make an effort to stay hydrated throughout the day.
Get more sleep
Most adults need 7 to 8 hours of sleep on a regular basis to be healthy and feel their best. However, most of us are very busy and it can be difficult to consistently get enough sleep while balancing work, family responsibilities, and other obligations. Prioritizing a solid 8 hours of sleep every night is a great resolution, because sleep is critical to immune strength, maintaining a healthy weight, reducing stress, and even reducing risk of heart disease and other serious health problems.
Go plant-based one day per week
Resolutions don’t have to be all-or-nothing! A great way to avoid burnout and establish a successful resolution is to set an achievable goal. Instead of trying to cut allmeat out of your diet, start with just going plant-based once a week. This will allow you to step out of your comfort zone, experiment with plant-based meals, and receive the benefits of making healthier dietary choices in a sustainable way. Once you feel comfortable with cooking plant-based meals you can add more plant-based days!
Take a walk every day
With the COVID-19 pandemic ongoing, it’s easy to fall into the habit of staying indoors all day. It is important to schedule time to take a walk outside every day for both your physical and mental health. In addition to being an excellent source of exercise, walking is a great way to break up the work day!
Train for a 5k
While the idea of running a 5k might be daunting at first for non-experienced runners, it is something that everyone can train for and run at their own pace. If you are a beginner, consider starting with a run-walk approach – alternating between running for a few minutes and periods of walking. More experienced runners can go with a more aggressive training plan. If you are unable to run in a formal 5k due to COVID-19, you can plan your own informal 5k. Just pick a date and get started!
No matter what your New Year’s resolution is, remember that the goal is improvement—not perfection. A goal that is too aggressive can lead to burnout and be unrealistic. Instead, focus on achievable goals that can make you healthier than you were last year.