Written By Paisley Hansen / Reviewed By Ray Spotts
As a new year rolls around, millions will turn their attention toward setting health goals. Unfortunately, a large portion of those goals will never be achieved. Don't fall victim to the resolution trap; this year, you can achieve better health. Try these five health tips to start the year off right.
1. Reflect on the Past Year
You may not want to dwell too much on how 2020 treated you, but self-reflection and assessment is a necessary part of moving forward. After all, how can you develop accurate goals if you don't have a good idea of your starting point?
Spend an afternoon revisiting your goals and achievements for 2020. You'll likely find a few goals that were more neglected than others. That's perfectly alright. Now is the time to delve into what went wrong and what you can do to make it right, not to feel guilty.
Armed with this information, develop a fresh set of health goals for the new year. Spread them out so you aren't trying to make a bunch of changes at once. You'll be more successful — and a whole lot less frustrated — that way.
2. Eat a Whole Foods Diet
You already know that plant-based diets are a healthy and nutritious choice. What you may not realize is that as vegetarianism has grown in popularity, so too has the array of highly processed plant-based foods. While these are fine for occasional indulging — not to mention a great way to satisfy a burger craving without eating meat — they should not be an everyday part of your diet.
Aim to eat a variety of plant foods to make a big impact on your health. Your overall eating plan should include plenty of:
- Whole grains (try brown rice, oats and quinoa for an added protein boost)
- Beans, peas and lentils
- Fresh fruits and vegetables (frozen are good, too)
If you want to supercharge your diet and ensure your body is getting everything it needs, try adding a holistic supplement like those from Unify Health Labs by Randy Jackson.
3. Invest in Positive Relationships
People are naturally social creatures. It is vital to emotional wellbeing to have positive relationships and friendships. While much of the research on relationships and mental health involves married couples, there is reason to believe that other long-term friendships can also serve to increase happiness and reduce illness.
Spending time with friends is important, but you should invest effort in developing a positive relationship with yourself, too. After all, the constant demands everyone places on your time make it is far too easy to neglect yourself.
Resolve not to let that happen this year. Put self-care activities on your calendar at least once a week and be sure to follow through with your plans. You might be surprised at how refreshed and recharged you will feel.
4. Keep Stress Levels Under Control
One of the best ways you can improve your overall health is to reduce your stress levels. Stress is directly linked to several serious health conditions, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes and chronic pain. It can also have a serious impact on your gut health. Poor gut health contributes to chronic inflammation and a weakened immune response.
Mindful meditation is one stress reduction technique that offers a slew of other health benefits. It is simple to incorporate into your routine, too. Start with a simple five-minute session each morning and gradually build up from there.
5. Schedule a Physical
One of the best ways to improve your health is to get a realistic picture of where it stands now. Call your doctor's office and schedule a physical. Have routine blood work done to check cholesterol and blood sugar levels.
Discuss any questions or concerns you have at that appointment and, if you have a family history of health conditions, talk about preventative measures that might help you avoid developing them. Even many genetic conditions can be mitigated with lifestyle modifications.
Whether you want to lose weight, control a current condition, or just feel better, you can achieve your health goals this year.
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Paisley Hansen is a freelance writer and expert in health, fitness, and growing young. When she isn’t writing she can usually be found reading a good book or hitting the gym. She loves hearing from readers so feel free to contact her through Facebook.
Founder Ray Spotts has a passion for all things natural and has made a life study of nature as it relates to health and well-being. Ray became a forerunner bringing products to market that are extraordinarily effective and free from potentially harmful chemicals and additives. For this reason Ray formed Trusted Health Products, a company you can trust for clean, effective, and healthy products. Ray is an organic gardener, likes fishing, hiking, and teaching and mentoring people to start new businesses. You can get his book for free, “How To Succeed In Business Based On God’s Word,” at www.rayspotts.com.