Improving your health should be job #1 in the New Year. We offer health and wellness tips to help you make healthy resolutions that will stick.
January is a fresh start, a clean page for getting health habits back on track after any holiday indulgences. In all the festivities, it’s easy to eat more than we intended, partake in more cocktails than usual, and fall out of our customary fitness regime. Time to get back in the health groove.
If health & wellness goals are among your planned resolutions, you’re among the roughly 45 percent of U.S. adults who make New Year’s resolutions. Resolutions run the gamut from saving more money to becoming a better person, but some of the most popular resolutions focus on health & wellness goals.
Here are just a few of the reasons our Members gave when asked what motivated them to made resolutions to improving their health:
• “I saw a picture of myself and decided it was time to do something.”
• “I went for my routine checkup and my doctor told me I was pre-diabetic”
• “I want to be around to walk my daughter down the aisle”
• “I’m turning 50 next year. The party’s over, time to get serious about my health”
• I can’t face another winter huddled & cold in doorways to have a smoke. I give up, I need to quit”
One way to get started and to boost your motivation is to put things in perspective. This 10-minute video by Dr. Mike Evans does just that. In fact, we like to kick off every new year by watching it again.
For more on motivation, see our prior post: The motivation factor: Keeping your 2016 health & wellness resolutions.
If wellness is among your resolutions, we suggest four steps on your path to improving your health:
Be more active. Add 10 or 15 minutes of activity to your day. It could be by taking the stairs or taking a brief walk during lunch or exercising a few minutes before your shower every morning. A mere 10 to minutes a day would add up to a big part of the recommended guideline of 150 minutes a week.
Eat healthier. Add one serving of a fruit or vegetable to every meal. You can’t have too many fruits and vegetables. Another goal would be to fill half your plate at each meal with fruits and vegetables instead of meats, grains or dairy. Fruits and veggies are fewer calories than most other foods.
Get more sleep. If you frequently get less than 7 or 8 hours of sleep, try this: add 10 minutes of extra sleep to your day each month until you work up to an hour more. Sufficient sleep is not just important to your health, it can help reduce stress, improve your moods and sharpen your thinking.
Get a coach. When you set a goal, it can be helpful to have a Coach. Athletes and performers know this and they seek out the services of experts. If you’re a Member of ESI EAP, why not call a Coach to help you plan a nutrition and fitness regime tailored to your goals and can also help with stress, smoking cessation, weight loss and reducing reliance on alcohol or drugs.
Here are a few more tools to help in improving your health: