While it may take some willpower to switch up your habits, making healthy New Year's resolutions is easier than you think. Start the year on the right track when you implement these expert-recommended new year health resolutions to help you look and feel your best.
1. Stay Hydrated
It's well understood that hydration is important for overall health, which is why you should make it a priority in your daily life. Every system in the body benefits from sufficient hydration. But if your water content drops below normal levels, it can cause symptoms of mild dehydration like fatigue, headaches, muscle cramps, and dry mouth.
But how much water should you be drinking per day? While it depends on factors like level of activity and climate, as a general guideline 124 oz of fluids a day for men and 92 oz for women is recommended, according to the U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.
An easy and affordable way to stay on track with your water drinking goals is to invest in a high-quality, durable stainless steel water bottle like the bestselling Iron Flask. The double-walled vacuum insulation keeps drinks cold for hours and the spout lid makes it easy to stay hydrated with its fast delivery system and drip-free design. Make hydration fun by personalizing your water bottle with decorative stickers and decals.
2. Exercise Regularly
Included in our list of News year's resolutions, health and fitness go together like peanut butter and jelly. According to the CDC, exercise is one of the best things you can do for your health, making it an essential part of your healthy New Year's resolutions. Similar to staying hydrated, regular extra exercise helps every part of the body, from brain health and weight management to reducing your risk of heart disease and strengthening bones and muscles.
For healthy adults, the Department of Human Health and Services recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of high impact exercise. These guidelines also suggest spreading this exercise time throughout the course of a week. But don’t worry if you can’t keep up. Edward R. Laskowski, M.D. of the Mayo Clinic points out that even small amounts of exercise can add up quickly to boost your health.
To get started with this New year's resolution to get healthier, simply map out your goals and schedule in your cardio every day; use an exercise routine that works for you and your healthy New year's resolutions.
3. Get Quality Sleep
Another one of our new year health resolutions we recommend is getting plenty of restful sleep. According to Dr. Abhinav Singh, medical director of SleepFoundation.org, getting adequate sleep has many health benefits. It allows your body and mind to recharge, helping you to ward off diseases and maintain brain health.
In contrast, not getting enough sleep can cause impaired function, inability to focus, and difficulty retaining memories. As Dr. Singh explains, a healthy diet and balanced lifestyle should be enough to help ensure you get plenty of sleep. But for others, a chronic lack of sleep can be a sign of something more serious like a sleep disorder or an unhealthy work/life balance.
4. Maintain Social Connections
While all of these New year's resolution health tips are vital, the list wouldn't be complete without mentioning the importance of feeling connected to others. Supported by eight decades of research, happiness researchers have found that people with strong friends and family networks report happier and more satisfying lives.
The study found that the reverse is also true for people that feel disconnected and lonely. As Dr. Waldinger, Director of the Harvard Study of Adult Development explains, loneliness is toxic and harmful to your health. "People who are more isolated than they want to be are less happy, their health declines earlier in midlife, their brain function declines sooner, and they live shorter lives than people who are not lonely," he says. So go ahead and stay hydrated, eat healthy, and keep your social calendar full, whether it's online or IRL.
5. Healthy Eating
Another essential part of your New year's resolution, healthy eating can make all the difference in overall health and wellness. The best diet for optimal nutrition has always been a hotly debated topic, but drawing from hundreds of scientific studies linked to reduced rates of heart disease, Alzheimer's, cancer, type 2 diabetes, and other conditions, professors from the Harvard School of Public Health regard the Mediterranean diet as the healthiest choice.
It might be hard to resist your favorite junk food at first, especially if you have a particular weakness for processed foods, but maintaining a healthy diet doesn’t have to be painful. With a colorful variety of food on the menu, like vegetables, whole grains, legumes, olive oil, fish — plus a small amount of meat and dairy — the transition into a Mediterranean diet can actually be enjoyable.
6. Daily Practice of Mental Stimulation
While healthy eating, adequate sleep, and regular exercise help keep the body in good shape, brain health is just as important in disease prevention. When deciding on a New year's resolution, healthy habits should also include a variety of mental stimulation. Studies show that brain plasticity continues as we age, which supports the idea that mentally stimulating activities can help maintain cognitive function and delay a decline in brain health.
Activities like reading, playing musical instruments, taking classes, and word puzzles all require mental effort, which in turn, stimulate new connections between brain cells to build up a reserve that protects against future cell loss.
7. Stress Management
The key to a happy and healthy life is being able to manage stress so that it doesn't cause any lasting damage to your overall well-being. Researchers have found that short-term stress can actually boost the immune system, but chronic stress suppresses it, which can lead to illness over the long term.
Managing stress is easy when you incorporate daily stress-busting activities like positive self-talk, deep breathing, and meditation into your routine. Try to find your happy place, even for just 10 or 15 minutes — whether it’s gardening, playing with your kids or pets, working on an art project, or going for a bike ride.
8. Regular Dental Care
It might seem obvious but dental care is still important enough to mention. Along with regular dental cleanings every six months, dentists recommend flossing every day, which is actually linked to a reduced rate of heart disease.
Another dentist-recommended tip is to drink with a reusable straw, which is better for the environment and also protects the enamel from coming into direct contact with harmful acids and sugars from drinks. At Iron Flask, our best-selling stainless steel water bottle comes with a built-in reusable straw made with durable BPA-free plastic. Our replacement lid sets also include extra straws and cleaning brushes, making them easy to keep clean and sanitized. With your kitchen stocked with extra reusable straws, you'll always have one handy for protecting your beautiful pearly whites.
9. Organic, All-Natural Bath & Body Products
For your checklist of New year resolutions, health and wellness should also include self-care. There are many benefits to using organic, chemical-free bath and body products, but the most important is your health. In fact, there is a growing body of research that shows the link between cancer risk and the combination of different chemicals in small amounts over time.
This year, revamp your self-care routine with products that are USDA certified organic and have "natural fragrance" or "fragrance-free" on the label. Natural products will also make your skin and hair softer, as they don’t contain common drying agents like sulfates and sulfites, which are found in many top brands of moisturizer, lip balm, and conditioner.
How to Keep My Healthy New Year's Resolutions
If you're wondering how to keep healthy New year's health resolutions, try changing your perspective. Instead of goals, think in terms of systems — this will help you succeed by encouraging you to organize your life in a way that supports your New year's resolution to get healthier.
With the right systems in place, like keeping a schedule for exercising, self-care, mental stimulation, and healthy eating habits, keeping your new year’s resolutions will become part of your everyday routine. Happy New You!