This time of year, everyone is thinking about all the changes they can make to make the New Year the best ever. If you’re not sure how to improve your health – and your life – in 2016, we’ve got some of the healthiest resolutions you can make right here. Your health is about more than losing weight and hitting the gym; make sure your resolutions help you improve your physical, mental and emotional health.
Any list of New Year’s resolutions wouldn’t be complete without a little weight loss. Shedding those pounds isn’t just about vanity either; obesity increases your risk of countless diseases and conditions, including diabetes, heart disease and hypertension. If you’ve been wanting to shed a few – or many – pounds, make 2016 your year.
Saving money might not seem like a resolution for your health, but finances are a huge trigger for stress, which in turn has a major impact on your overall health. This year, focus on saving a little more than you have in years past. Having a “rainy day” fund will help you feel less stressed when it comes to your finances.
If you’re like most Americans, you’re just not getting enough sleep. But you should be. That’s because sleep deprivation increases your risk for many conditions and diseases, and can make you feel stressed out, depressed and even anxious. If you get more sleep, even your immune system stands to improve, as sleep is linked to your ability to fight off colds and other ailments. Shoot for eight hours of sleep a night, or more if you feel your body needs it.
Cut Back on the Booze
A little glass of wine for dinner might be your favorite way to unwind, but this year, try cutting your alcohol consumption – for your health’s sake. Believe it or not, consuming alcohol has been shown to encourage overeating and has been linked to weight gain. This year, limit yourself to a few drinks per week.
If you want to do something really good for yourself, take some time to do something really good for someone else. When you volunteer for a good cause, you’ll reap the benefits of making a difference in someone else’s life – and getting an emotional boost. Your mental and emotional self will love the effects of selfless service.
Connect with Others
If you want to increase your emotional health in 2016, look to your friends! Staying in contact with family and friends can help you achieve better health. According to research, a lack of social bonds can have detrimental effects on your health, while connecting with others can actually improve it. So call that old high school friend or organize a family reunion this year!
If you smoke, this year is definitely not the first year you’ve considered quitting. But the bottom line is that smoking increases your risk of countless diseases, including cancer, emphysema, heart disease and other serious conditions that could destroy your health and even kill you. This year, nip that “butt” in the bud. Hey, you’ll likely even save some money on your life insurance or health insurance premiums by checking that “non-smoker” box.
Get Some Schooling
Guess what? You’re never too old for school. And if you’ve always wanted to learn a skill or trade, make 2016 the year you do it! Your health will thank you! Studies have shown that adults that go back to school have better memory skills and a decreased risk of Alzheimer’s. Not to mention you stand to further your career or finally do that thing you love.
Getting healthy in 2016? Tell us how you’re doing it!