This time of year is naturally when you might start thinking about ways to improve your physical and mental health. Coming up with some measurable ways to stay healthy is important. Here are some simple tips to have yourself a healthier 2021.
1. Move more.
You don’t have to set big exercise goals. Instead, make a plan to move more every day. You can get specific and plan to walk 20 minutes a day or a certain number of steps. Or, simply plan to move more often whenever you get a chance like taking phone calls standing up or parking farther away from the grocery store lot so you have to walk more.
2. Head outdoors.
Being outdoors and in nature canboost your mood, give you more energy and even lower your blood pressure. If you’re feeling cooped up, get outside for a quick walk or even just to feel some sun on your face.
3. Drink more water.
Getting enough H20 isn’t just important to stay hydrated. It keeps your joints limber and digestive system moving. Swapping in water for sugary drinks like sodas or sweetened teas can even help you maintain a healthy weight. Women should get about 11.5 cups of fluid a day and men about 15.5.
4. Get checked out.
Because of COVID-19, many people have put off non-essential doctor’s appointments or screenings, but it’s important to keep up with your health. Talk to your doctor about any appointments or screenings you shouldn’t miss.
5. Supersize your sleep routine.
Sleep doesn’t just help you feel rested. It keeps you brain sharp and immune system humming. If you find it hard to sleep at night, take steps to improve your sleep like unplugging from electronics at least an hour before bed, keeping your bedroom cool and dark, taking a warm bath before bed and keeping a worries list nearby where you jot down things that are bothering you or you need to do to help quiet your mind.
6. Try meditation.
Take a few minutes every day to sit quietly and focus on your breathing and your body. Meditation doesn’t have to be complicated, but if you want some help learning the ropes, look for a meditation app on the different ways to do it.
7. Cut down on screen time.
Screen time limits aren’t just for kids. It can be healthy to step away from constant social media scrolling. A couple of ways to spend less time on your smartphone is to turn off your notifications and to set up a charging station to keep your phone whenever you’re home instead of keeping it in your pocket.
8. Pick up a hobby.
Hobbies are a great way to stay engaged, learn something new and just do something you enjoy for a few minutes. Depending on the hobby, it can help you exercise your mind or your body—sometimes both!
9. Eat more veggies.
Vegetables are some of the most nutritious foods on the planet. If you don’t eat enough of them (two to three cups), there are plenty of tasty ways to get more into your diet. Make dishes like casseroles, stews, and soups where you can easily toss in the veggies you like most; top tacos with shredded cabbage or carrots; cut up broccoli and bell peppers to dip in hummus; and spread a little peanut butter on celery.
10. Laugh more.
Laughter may not be the best medicine, but it is good for you. It lifts your mood and can even help lower your risk of stroke and heart disease, one study found. So whether it’s watching your favorite comedy or sharing a joke with someone at home, try and introduce more laughter into your life.