Start Fresh in the New Year
Do you have big goals in mind for 2018? Maybe run the Route 66 Marathon (Oklahoma) … hike through the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest (Georgia) … or trek the Grand Canyon (Arizona). Often these big dreams start with the smallest of healthy habits.
Whatever your goals, we’ve come up with a list of small habits that are a synch to incorporate into your daily routine. They’ll have you moving more and feeling great!
- Move More: In addition to exercise, it’s important to move throughout the day. Doing this is easier than it sounds—simply take it one step at a time. By taking a flight of stairs you can burn around 10 calories versus only 1.5 waiting for the elevator. Set reminders to get up and stretch, visit a coworker’s desk rather than sending an email, or park your car far away for a few extra steps.
- Take Deep Breaths: Stop and take a long inhale, hold it, then slowly exhale. How do you feel? Did your shoulders drop and your mind become clearer? Deep breathing should be a part of our everyday busy and hectic lives. Taking deep breaths activates your lymphatic system, which can help to fight off colds and flus by strengthening your immune system. Not to mention, doing this is a natural and always accessible stress-relieving activity.
- Exercise 10–15 Minutes at a Time: Your busy schedule just lightened up! It’s recommended to exercise 43 minutes each day, but the good news is you don’t have to do it all at once. Walking, stretching and light weight lifting are great ways to break up your 43 minutes of exercise into easy 10–15 minute intervals. This can help support bone health, heart health and weight management.
- Get 7–8 Hours of Sleep: It may not seem like much beyond counting sheep but getting your z’s (about seven to eight hours) is super important! While you sleep, your body produces and releases hormones that fight infection, repair cells and build muscle tissue. It also has positive implications for your mental health, as lack of sleep has shown to increase risk of depression. To ensure a good night’s rest, turn off screens before bed, avoid naps and caffeine after three o’clock and stick to a consistent sleep schedule.
- Meditation & Yoga: Many of us strive to be thoughtful, in-the-moment people but our constant go-go-go lifestyle makes this difficult. Luckily, all you need is a few minutes to meditate. By taking a breather, you can come back to any situation refreshed and clear headed. Apps like Pause and Headspace can help guide you through some quiet time while simultaneously debunking the notion that being on your phone “takes you away from the present moment.”