Have you set your health goals for 2020? Many people begin a new year with weight loss goals and plans to increase their exercise. While having health goals is a great idea, they can also become overwhelming. People have a tendency to create strict diets or throw themselves into intense workout regiments that quickly wear them down and thus fail after only a month or two.

Health on Female First

Health on Female First

In this article, we will take a look at five simple health tips that will help you feel stronger, both mentally and physically!

1. Get up and move around

Sedentary activities like gaming, reading, and watching television can be fun, and are often needed as a break from our stressful realities. However, try to set a limit to the time you spend on these types of activities, and when possible keep “down time” active. For example, there are some simple exercises you can easily do while watching television! Also, if you have a sedentary job, make a point of getting up to stretch or take a walk every so often.

2. Adopt healthy eating habits

Oftentimes, when people want to lose weight, they will jump into a challenging diet that has crazy restrictions on what they can and can’t eat. While these types of diets may work for short-term weight loss, they are often hard to maintain for longer than a few months, meaning that you will inevitably gain all that weight back. Most experts suggest that instead of diving into the newest “fad diet”, you make critical changes to your eating habits; changes that are seemingly minor but will change your eating habits for the long-term. These types of changes include adding more fruits and vegetables to your plate, reducing your sodium intake, and adding more lean proteins and fish to your diet (read more here).

3. Find enjoyment in exercise

When we think about “getting healthy” we often focus on running or lifting weights. Unfortunately, not everyone finds much joy in these activities. The gym can be boring to some, and if you aren’t enjoying your workout routine, it’s difficult to keep up with it. For this reason, it’s important to find a form of exercise that fits your interests! Consider playing in a recreational sports league or getting outside to bike or hike. Yoga is also a fantastic workout and can even be done at home. Don’t feel ashamed if a certain type of exercise just “isn’t for you”... with so many options, you can always find a workout that you’ll love!

4. Drink more water

There are so many articles out there suggesting how much water one ought to drink every day, but let’s be real – everyone’s body is different! For example, some people have more active jobs and sweat more throughout the day, whereas others may have a very sedentary daily lifestyle. Regardless, drinking water helps reduce headaches, and has also been said to help with acne, constipation, and even kidney stones. In this article, they make it simple; if you’re thirsty, drink water, and if you’re exercising, be sure to increase your consumption of water!

5. Put an end to old addictions

Substance addictions, such as being addicted to cigarettes, alcohol, or even caffeine, can lead to major health issues. Even if you are not actually addicted, cutting back on your consumption of drugs and alcohol can have massive benefits to you physical and mental well-being.

While we all know that substance addictions are bad for your health, we often overlook the damaging effects of behavioral addictions. Behavioral addictions are a set of behaviors that a person becomes dependent on. With behavioral addictions, we come to crave the euphoria brought to us by an experience, and that craving can become dangerous. Take food addictions for example; one is not chemically addicted to eating, but they revel in pleasure brought on by eating, and will overeat until they face the many issues brought on by obesity. Some addictions, like problem gambling, can become financially devastating, leading to increased levels of stress.

If you are dealing with a behavioral addiction, it can be a bit trickier to find help, since most addiction centers focus on substance abuse. However, there are many therapists who are highly qualified to help with such problems, and seeking this sort of treatment is a great way to jump into a healthier future!

Time to take action

Hopefully at least one of these tips resonated with you, but the most important thing is to create an action item for how you will implement the health change that you seek to make. If you have a big health goal for 2020, try breaking it down into smaller goals that you can check off over time, and try not to get frustrated if everything doesn’t always go to plan! With a positive mindset, you are sure to see positive change in the new year.

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