The gyms will be filled come January 2 with well-intentioned people focused on their resolutions for the new year. However, by the end of the month, the gyms tend to clear out. Sad to say, but most resolutions tend to lose momentum as the challenges of daily life interfere.
This year, jumpstart your January by simply going back to the basics with a healthy reset focusing on five basics:
Add More Whole Foods to Your Diet
It really couldn’t be simpler. Instead of reaching for the chips, reach for an apple, banana, carrot sticks, or oatmeal. Processed foods lack many nutrients and include unhealthy preservatives and added fats, sugars, and chemicals. As an added bonus, whole foods require little preparation, besides washing, peeling, and perhaps chopping
Try a New Exercise
Add a new sport or exercise to your routine to keep your workout fresh and fun. Try pickleball, change up walking for running, find a local fitness or dance class, or simply take an afternoon break each day with a brisk walk around the block.
Shoot for a Dry January
Dry January, which is the swearing off alcohol for the month to make up for over-indulgences during the holidays, can be a useful practice if you consider it the start of a healthy new habit that continues throughout the entire year. The health benefits of cutting out, or reducing, your alcohol intake throughout the year include weight loss, improved cognitive function, enhanced sleep, and improved immunity.
Do a Sugar Detox
The best way to reset from all of the holiday cookies, decadent desserts, hot cocoa and alcohol you consumed over the holidays is to do a sugar detox. Reducing your sugar intake leads to a healthier lifestyle. As an added bonus, if you can swear off sugar for 2 weeks, you will curb the addicted cravings. Studies link high sugar intake with obesity, diabetes, and heart disease, so reducing sugar intake is a great step towards a healthier start.
Drink more water! Although fluid requirements vary from person to person, it’s important to consume approximately 11 to 15 cups of water daily. Choose filtered, contaminant-free water whenever possible and supplement with herbal teas and natural juices.
So, instead of focusing on unattainable resolutions that will be forgotten by February, go back to the basics with these five simple resets!
Authored by Zach Meeker, Research Assistant for Midwest Orthopaedics at Rush University Medical Center
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