The festive season is a time for indulgence on food and drink, with big dinners, boxes of chocolates, and mince pies causing us to pile on unwanted pounds.
But the new year gives us a chance for fresh start and accomplish the things we haven’t quite got around to, whether it’s making that trip you keep dreaming about or making yourself feel better with a healthier lifestyle.
To help kick off 2019 with a ‘new year, new you’ ethos, we’ve put together five tips that will help you get in a healthy grove for the year ahead.
Introducing more fruit and veg is a great way to improve your health and diet. In recent years many people have taken to plant-based diets, although the prospect of going vegan or doing away with meat altogether may be a struggle for some. Adopting a flexitarian diet is a simple way to get you eating more greens and getting better nutrition, while allowing you to enjoy a tasty steak or bacon sandwich now and then.
Not only does it allow you to be flexible with your food choices, it can also help with weight loss and potentially reduce your chances of cancer and diabetes. It can also open your eyes to new recipes which you can add to your repertoire.
Say no to the booze
Dry January has been something that people have taken to help drive a health kick. The drink is often flowing during Christmas with many of us getting more than our fill! Going teetotal in January could see you improving your sleep, increase your energy levels and help you lose weight.
Research from charity, Alcohol Change, has shown that from reducing alcohol intake in January, you’ll also cut down on drinking throughout the year. You may even find that you’ll save some pennies which you could put towards treating yourself for your dedication to going sober throughout the month.
Cut down sugar
We’re surrounded by sweet treats during Christmas, with boxes of Celebrations, Milk Trays and Quality Street always in arm’s length. As much as we enjoy it, sugar intake can be damaging to our health, with weight gain, diabetes, high blood pressure and dental issues some of the effects.
Reducing the amount of sugar in your diet is an effective way in helping your health. With reduced risk of some of the aforementioned health problems, the reasons to cut down on sugar speak for themselves. Looking at sugar free alternatives, more fruit, and less fizzy drinks and sugar-free teas and coffees are just some of the options to help you cut down on the sweet stuff.
Exercise is extremely important to us. It helps reduce the risks of major illnesses such as heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and cancer, whilst is also improves our sleep, reduces our waistlines and increasing energy levels.
You can start off slow and gradually build it up, and you don’t have to worry about joining up to a gym. There are simple exercises that you can do at home such as press ups, crunches step ups, and head outdoors by going on walks or runs. Why not give it a try and see how it helps you.
Improve your sleeping routine
This may not seem very significant, but sleep can have a great effect on your body and how your mind functions. Healthy sleep has been associated with boosting immunity, weight loss and mental health, so there’s a host of benefits to you with more sleep in the new year.
One of the ways you can improve your sleep routine is by creating a sleep schedule, to help you regulate your body clock and can eventually help you staying asleep better during the night. Relaxing bedtime rituals such as yoga, as well as making sure you have a comfortable mattress and pillows can also help you start 2019 on a healthier note.