New Year is approaching and it’s holiday time.
While the world is gleaming with beautiful bright lights, it’s time you embraced a healthy change this year and bid adieu to some toxic and unhealthy habits. Why not set yourself some creative health goals for 2018 and pick from numerous engaging activities to stay fit? Here is a list of some interesting, healthy 25 things that you should definitely try next year:
Why: Tobacco causes over 6 million deaths across the globe. More than half of these deaths happened in the USA, Russian, China and India.
There is no shortage of alarming statistics indicating how harmful cigarette smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke is. Almost every country is running campaigns against smoking for environmental and health benefits. Many have even banned it in public areas.
How you can quit smoking: Anticipate problems in your path to a non-smoking lifestyle so inform your family and friends of this huge step. Don’t be shy to ask for help when craving a smoke or feeling anxious. Try Nicotine replacement therapy or Vaping, etc and reward yourself for every non-smoking week to keep a positive mindset.
Walk 9000 steps
Why: Walking gets your blood flowing, boosts your mood, balance and coordination, defends the body against cardiac issues, blood pressure complaints among other conditions, helps lose weight, etc.
How to walk 9,000 steps: Walking is effortless. Just get up in morning, put on your shoes and walk around the house. Walk up and down the stairs or just part your car farther so you walk longer. Make a personal record and walk at least 9,000 steps in two days.
Sleep 8 hours every day
Why: Your body feels exhaustion and needs to recharge the batteries routinely. Experts recommend regular sleep spanning 7-8 hours every day. The phrase ‘beauty sleep’ has done plenty of awareness work and if you need more, consider reading this report.
How can you sleep 8 hours every day: Avoid puffy eyes, early wrinkles, exhaustion with regular sleep and encourage it with a glass of warm milk every night. Switch off your phone post-dinner for real. Decide against late-night television and YouTube and make a habit of being in bed by midnight.
Drink 7 glasses of water every day
Why: Drinking water relieves fatigue, boosts immunity, flushes out toxins, cleanses skin complexion, limits sprains and cramps and accelerates weight loss.
How can you drink 7 glasses of water every day: Drink a glass of water every hour. Keep a bottle on your desk or the table by your bed and re-fill it as it empties. Make a reminder on your phone or just post a stick-it note saying ‘drink a glass of water every hour’.
Practice 10-15 minutes of meditation every day
Why: There is sufficient research backing numerous amazing benefits of meditation. It relaxes your mind, improves focus, lowers anxiety, promotes better memory, creativity and compassion, etc. You can even expect cardiovascular health benefits and stronger immunity with regular meditation.
How to meditate every day: Start your daily routine with morning meditation session spanning 2-5 minutes. Gradually increase the duration and practice different forms to thwart monotony.
Eat 3-5 servings of Fruits and Veggies
Why: Fruits and vegetables are a natural source of antioxidants, fibre, energy, macronutrients, etc. Binging on junk food or processed food triggers obesity and plenty of other disorders.
How can you eat more fruits and vegetables: Ensure that you eat 3-5 servings at least thrice a week. It’s no surprise that colourful, attractive campaigns by fast food and processed food companies lure kids and professionals the most. But make fruits and vegetables thrice a week rule and replace your heavy calorie meals while dining out with salads.
Take 4 stretching and mental breaks
Why: Sitting in the same position for 8-9 hours every day hurts the posture. Inactivity and long hours spent in front of a laptop screen further heighten health issues.
How you can stretch and take a mental break every day: In your 16 ‘awake’ hours, try taking a 10-minute break every 4 hours. Stretch your body do a little warm up and prepare yourself physically and mentally for the agonizing hard work. Follow the rule religiously and work aerobic warm-up sessions into your break and try breathing deeply when stretching.
Eat 2-3 meals and 2-3 healthy snacks
Why: Dysfunctional eating habits like skipping lunch and grabbing heavy dinner or eating only lunch and no dinner can have serious complications. Consider reading this source to understand how frequently you should eat.
How to eat 2-3 meals a day with frequent snacks: Make it a goal for 2018 to accommodate a healthy eating routine. Eat home-cooked 2-3 meals a day with 2-3 snacks. Always eat a heavy breakfast with a light lunch and even lighten dinner. Include salads in your dinner and munch on nuts, popcorn or energy bars during snack time. Reserve high-carb cheats like extra cheesy pizza, extra creamy pasta, calorie-loaded chicken varieties, etc for weekends.
2 hours of no phone before going to sleep
Why: Your phone may be an extension of your life but have you considered the amount of time you spend on your phone? It hurts your eyes, brain, makes you anxious, lethargic and promotes inactivity. Evenings must be distraction free, reserved for family, friends, good wine, some introspection and maybe even some reading.
How to turn your mobile phone off two hours prior to going to bed: Just do it. Don’t think, don’t let ‘what if my boss is calling me’ or ‘I might miss a serious phone call from family’ thoughts cloud your mind for even a second and just turn it off. Get a landline number and your friends, family and colleagues can call your landline when needed. This way, viral videos, memes, parodies, blogs won’t hook you and rob you of sleep.
Use this time for an energizing walk instead.
Minimum 20 minutes of exercise every day
Why: If joining a gym or practising specific routines for hours is out of the picture for you, consider 20-minute quick routine at home. It will give your mood the boost it needs, gets your heart rate up and improves your blood flow.
How can you practice at least 20 minutes of exercise every day: Jumpstart active living with 15 minute short workouts every morning and burn fat consistently. Jogging for 15 minutes or doing planks, lunges, squats every morning with little warm-up stretching in beginning will help your body kick start the day with energy. Gradually, you can increase the time and workout for longer.
Avoid fast food and takeouts
Why: Fast food is a packaged poison that makes you old, weakens immunity and makes your appearance dull. The number of saturated fats and variety of preservatives and artificial ingredients not only insult your taste buds but also abuse your body’s need for nutrition.
How can you avoid fast foods and eat healthy: Make it your yearly goal to minimize your takeout and fast food consumption and get help when you crave the fat. Rope in a healthy eating partner and keep a fast food and takeout diary. Chew nuts, eat cereal, fruits for fibre and macronutrients and make it your everyday fight to minimize your fast food consumption.
No processed foods
Why: Loaded with unhealthy amounts of sugar, artificial ingredients (preservatives, flavours, colourants, etc), refined carbohydrates, etc, processed foods contribute to obesity excessively.
How to avoid processed foods: Take a keen interest in what you put inside your body and adopt good kitchen habits. Start cooking your own quick, healthy meals (Consider Jamie Oliver for guidance). Avoid the temptation of unhealthy canned sauces and try to make yours with real cheese, milk, vegetables and spices.
Enjoy soothing bubble baths once a week
Why: Bubble baths are seriously underrated in terms of health. Certain bath salts, when used with the right combination of warm water, can really relieve some skin conditions. Not to mention, they are relaxing and help the body alleviate physical as well as mental stress.
Hot baths even help relieve muscle stress and help you get better sleep.
How to enjoy soothing bubbles baths regularly: Just go home, fill your bathtub with sufficient hot water and dive right into it. Invest in some good bath salts (skin type friendly) to get the luxurious, cathartic experience.
Improve your mental health with drawing or painting
Why: Drawing and painting are great ways of expressing creativity that a lot of people choose to suppress in this corporate, fast-paced world. They help you illustrate your emotions creatively, improve your communication levels, give you insight while also restoring your emotional capacity.
How to improve your mental health with drawing and painting: Give yourself abstract topics like happiness, pleasure, sorrow, nature, etc and paint whatever comes to your mind. No need to judge the strokes or the technique. Just focus on letting exhibiting your feelings without words. Do it once a week and try cool shades like pink, blue, green, brown, etc for a calming effect.
Walk your dog every day
Why: Dogs need exercise for the same reasons as you do. It’s good for their body and it gives you another excuse to get some air and refresh your mood. Moreover, you can bond with your dog and train him/her with long rewarding walks.
How to walk your dog every day: Promise your dog at least 30 minutes of activity in morning instead of letting him take a dump in your backyard. Set an alarm and sleep early so you can wake up early. Make a routine and eventually, your body will automatically wake up when it’s time for walk-in morning.
Run at least once a week
Why: It’s amazing to your heart, lungs, kidneys, brain and every part of your body. It keeps you active, young, refreshed, happy and boosts your stamina.
How to run at least once a week: First of all, make up your mind and then set the schedule. Take out 2 hours on your Sunday morning and start with a slow-paced sprint/jog. Eventually, build the pace and just go exploring a new route around your house. Follow the routine every weekend and gradually, adopt the habit throughout the week.
Perfect beginner level asanas (Yogasan)
Why: Age old remedy for the bones, Yogasan is particularly great for joint health. If you are facing flexibility issues, muscle sprains, decreased mobility consider Yogasan.
How to practice Yogasan: Try these basic level poses for better respiration, recovery, cardiac and cardiovascular health, healthier metabolism, etc:
- Vrikshasana (Tree Pose)
- Trikonasana (Triangle Pose)
- Naukasana (Boat Pose)
- Tadasana (Mountain Pose)
- Kursiasana (Chair Pose)
- Adho Mukho Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
- Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)
For best results, practice a posture for at least 30 seconds and breathe deeply throughout. Just take 20-30 minutes in morning every day and relax in the balcony or the garden while practising these asanas.
Explore a trail, go hiking
Why: Working out inside the closed walls of a gym may get monotonous but hiking will give you the change your mind needs. Your lungs crave fresh air and eyes seek a discovery of the new land. Hiking will help you satiate your desire for exploration and activity. According to research, hiking helps alleviate stress, anxiety, prevents ageing, and gives you a very real experience.
How to hike: Pick a nice, moderately windy weekend and put on your hiking shoes. Get a map, food, water, tent, knife and everything else you need for a cross-country hike. If it’s your first time, consider hiking with a group or guide.
Minimize time spent on screens
Why: Everything is digital. Individuals of different age groups spend anywhere between 4 hours to 10 hours every day looking screens. The damage it does to your eyes and the stress it puts on your body is extensive.
How you can minimize time spent on screens: Try limiting your social media browsing, viral content (especially videos) viewing and mindless content consumptions (BAN Cracked.com and Buzzfeed.com for real).
Why: How to not let your mental health suffer while pressure at work and home mounts? Stay inspired.
Motivated state of mind not only keeps you confident but also sparks creativity and boosts energy.
How to stay inspired: Motivate yourself every day with positivity (Not just self-help books but by noticing miracles of life around you and appreciating them). Spend some time alone, look for creativity among others and appreciate art and inventions. Contribute to your happiness by seeking inspiration from larger-than-life examples, teachings into wisdom and aged advice.
Practice Self Defense
Why: Crime rate is witnessing a significant splurge and finding new dimensions (cybercrime). Women and elderly especially need to practice self-defence as it won’t only give them peace of mind but also help them when a need arises. Self-defense will help you feel more independent and strong so practice it every day with a cardio or aerobic routine to maximize the benefits.
How to practice self-defence: Classes available almost everywhere with women being the focus. So, you can sign up for classes or watch some videos online and work out an active routine to practice the basic moves at home.
Why: Famous advocates of simple and active life, numerous motivations speakers seldom use cars and ride bicycles to commute instead. You don’t have to make such a huge lifestyle change but riding a bicycle every day or even twice a week can really accelerate your weight loss efforts. It boosts cardiac health, immunity, stamina, flexibility and keeps you young.
How to cycling: If you don’t own one, buy one or just rent one. They are fairly cheap and great for the heart. Most people know how to ride a bicycle and if you don’t, learn it from a friend. You can go cycling every morning or every weekend.
Disown toxic habits
Why: Toxic habits like binge eating, emotional eating, sodas and colas, late night drinking games, excessive cheese and takeouts don’t only affect your health but also reduce immunity. Toxic habits aren’t just limited to overeating or poor eating. Believing latest health fads that stress your internal organs is just as toxic as late night drinking.
How to disown toxic habits: Start with acceptance and make a list of all of your toxic habits and try to give them up one by one. Don’t end up rewarding yourself excessively on having given up a habit.
Why: “Worrying means you suffer twice-Newt Scamander”
Stress ages you and not in the ‘wine’ way. Stay cheery and positive without letting stress hurt your day.
How to stress less: In 2018, stress less with healthy anti-stress activities:
- Sufficient sleep
- Healthy Breakfast
- Avoid Nicotine, Caffeine, alcohol
- Healthy communication
- Time management
- Be proactive
- Enjoy physical activity
Enjoy the sun
Why: Sunlight can prove to be really cathartic, especially when you haven’t enjoyed a nice warm morning in ages. Sunlight even kills bad bacteria, helps counter skin disorders, lowers blood pressure, cholesterol, cleanses the blood and purifies blood vessels, boosts oxygen content in blood and is amazing for thwarting depression.
How to enjoy the sun: Apply sufficient sun-block and just take a walk or sit in a park on a nice winter evening.
So, this was the list of top 25 things you should try next year. Now, and don’t back down without having made a decent effort if you really want to get fit.