The beginning of every year is characterised by New Year’s resolutions. Some failed resolutions from the previous year are recycled in the hope that a new year will produce a new you. How about this year you make a resolution you might actually keep and that your body will thank you for?
Here are some possible resolutions that can help bring about a new you:
Cut your stress levels — Although mild stress typically doesn’t have long-term effects on the body, chronic stress can cause or worsen conditions such as insomnia, depression, obesity and heart disease. So how can you successfully reduce stress? Start small by getting more sleep, exercising and spending time with family and friends.
Get more sleep — Not only does getting seven to eight hours of sleep per night have positive benefits in regard to mood and physical appearance, it can also strengthen consolidation of memories. On the other hand, lack of sleep has been shown to be related to increased risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes. Start by implementing a “winding down” routine every night. This will lead to more quality sleep.
Cut your alcohol intake — Moderate alcohol consumption, especially red wine, can have positive health benefits, but excessive drinking can increase the risk of liver and heart disease, hypertension, stroke, cancer and mental health issues. Cut your alcohol intake through small, controlled increments. For example, try drinking only on social occasions as a start.
Pack lunch or eat at home more often — It’s easier to control the quality and quantity of the food you eat when you prepare it yourself.
Set a fitness goal unrelated to weight loss — You heard me right! Instead of focusing on trying to lose weight, set a goal to increase your running distance or attend two group exercise classes per week. As you achieve your goals, reward yourself and try to stay on track. You may even be pleasantly surprised by some weight loss.
To find out more about how to achieve your rehabilitation goals, contact a health care professional at Align Wellness Studio.
Kristina Maxwell is a doctor of physiotheraphy at Align, a wellness studio with an integrated approach to physical rehabilitative treatments and preventative care.