The coming in of another year also tends to bring a time when we look back on the past, but more importantly, forward to the new year ahead. It’s a time to consider the changes we want (or need) to make and resolve to follow through on those changes. Here are some suggestions for healthy changes you might like to make in 2018.
Getting a blend regularly of cardiovascular training (for the heart and lungs), strength training (for the muscles and bones) and flexibility (for the tendons and joints) will keep your body young, minimise the risk of many lifestyle diseases, boost your self-esteem and pump your body full of energy. Exercise doesn’t have to be a formal activity, you just have to move!
Avoid fad diets and foods labelled as “fat free” or “low fat.” Instead, enjoy foods that are whole, clean and full of nutrients. In addition, ensure you are drinking enough water as every system in your body depends on water.
You might feel “fine” on five hours of sleep, but your body probably disagrees! If you want to be truly healthy, allowing your body to repair after a long day of breaking down, you need some shut eye. Adequate sleep is a key part of a healthy lifestyle, and can benefit your heart, weight, mind, and more.
Laughter really is great medicine, especially when it comes to managing stress. Laughter decreases the release of stress hormones, while increasing the release of ‘feel-good’ endorphins. Laughter has also been shown to increase our body’s natural killer cells and antibodies that act as a line of defence against foreign substances that might otherwise impact our immune system.
Maintain Brain Health
When it comes to keeping healthy and fit, living a mentally active life is as important as regular physical exercise. Just as your muscles grow stronger with use, mental exercise keeps your mental skills and memory in tone. Stimulate your brain with board games, cards and puzzles. Read a book, magazine or newspaper. Sing a song, play an instrument or learn a new language. These brain-challenging activities increase blood flow to establish more connections between brain cells which stimulates brain cell growth.
Connect With Others
Everyone needs to feel loved and supported. Talking, sharing, being in touch with others who have active and involved lives gives us a feeling of purpose. Sharing with friends helps enhance happiness and lessen sorrows. Helping others is a simple, human requirement that fulfils many basic emotional needs for both the helper and the helped.
Now is the time – happy New Year and happy new you!