Resolving to take on new and better practices, routines, and habits for daily living at the start of New Year makes sense for a variety of reasons. The New Year is a natural marker and starting point for new and improved behaviors; after the indulgences of the holiday season, it feels good to make healthier choices; and with everyone else at it, there is a renewed focus on fitness and nutrition. Below are ten tips to help start the New Year with health and happiness and to see it through until the next.
Eat Your Colors
1) Prepare one or two servings of raw veggies or fruit to take to work or school. Eat these as snacks instead of chips or cookies. Choose a red, green, and orange colored snack combination one day and a yellow, blue and purple the next. When it comes to health, eating a well balanced diet that includes the recommended servings of grains, lean protein, healthy fats, dairy and produce is an easy start in the New Year. Many find that following the recommendation to eat the rainbow is a good one.
2) For those who tend to focus on red meat, think of white meat alternatives such as chicken, turkey or pork. Regardless of the type of meat, choose lean cuts and opt for grilling or marinating versus frying and breading.
3) Take tip number two to the next level and think of pink or orange protein sources. Ahi tuna and salmon provide protein and healthy fats. They tend to cook quickly and are easy to grill as well.
Make Exercise A Family Affair
4) Once the healthy eating has begun, compliment it with some physical activity and exercise. This can be a great way to get in quality family time as well. Have some fun family competition in a game of touch football, a game of HORSE, or on a rainy or cold day, with the physically active games on the home gaming system
5) For families with younger children, plan family nature walks to get the kids walking and keep them entertained, or plan bike trips to local destinations such as the library or farmer’s market. Those with older children or no children join the gym together and have fun trying new workouts, classes and machines.
6) See the doctor for an annual physical and check up, each member of the family. Discuss any questions regarding fitness and nutrition. Eating well and exercising are great forms of preventative medicine.
7) Keep immunizations up to date. Talk with your doctor in step 6 and follow doctor’s orders.
8) Be true to your beliefs and values and take care of the soul, just as the heart and body are taken care of as well. For those with a faith tradition, attend services as a family. Maybe try a new service at a different worship center or just a different time at the family’s house of worship.
9) Incorporate new forms of spiritual well being such as a yoga class or meditation.
10) Say thanks. What better way to stay happy than to realize something good each day and to say thank you for it.