Healthy Habits Challenge
Now that December is over and life has calmed down slightly, it’s time to focus on YOU and healthy lifestyle choices. The anticipation of a new year, we always want a new fresh start and implement new routines. A lifestyle choice is a personal and conscious decision to perform a behavior that may increase or decrease the risk of injury or disease.
Healthy lifestyle choices in our everyday lives can benefit us both physically and mentally. Choosing healthier habits can lead to a longer, happier life. Plus, it will lower the risk of chronic illness. Such as making healthier choices isn’t easy with so many temptations and distractions that can steer you away from positive and healthy daily habits. Here are some ideas to help you stay track and start acting on healthy lifestyle choices.
Eat fruit for dessert
Fruits make excellent desserts! They contain vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that your body needs, making them better health all-stars! You can even drizzle a little bit of dark chocolate, sprinkle some cinnamon, or even make a smoothie pop.
Eat dinner at home
When you prepare your meals, you have more control over the ingredients. By cooking at home you can ensure that you and your family, eat fresh, wholesome meals. This can help you to look and feel healthier, boost your energy, stabilize your weight and mood, and improve your sleep and resilience to stress.
Eat beans instead of meat for dinner
Replacing red meat with beans results in rapid improvements in blood sugar and cardiovascular health. Thanks to their high fiber content, beans may help support digestive health, curb appetite, slow the rate of digestion, and stabilize blood sugar levels following a meal.
Drink only water with lunch or dinner
Getting enough water every day is important for your health. It plays a key role in many of our body’s functions, including bringing nutrients to cells, getting rid of wastes, protecting joints and organs, and maintaining body temperature.
Choose a whole grain instead of a refined grain
Whole grains offer a “complete package” of health benefits, unlike refined grains, which are stripped of valuable nutrients in the refining process. Try to make half your grains whole grains substitute a whole-grain product for a refined-grain product. For example, eat 100% whole-wheat bread instead of white bread or brown rice instead of white rice.
Eat vegetables as a snack
Everyone loves a good snack. Choosing vegetables as a snack is the healthiest snack. Veggies are so low in calories, you can eat quite a few with very little consequence. This makes snacking feel better and more satisfying than ever. Pair them with hummus or guacamole to enhance the flavor.
Get 30 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity
This type of activity, like brisk walking, should make you a little out of breath. It can be broken down into shorter segments too. Start slow and build yourself up!
Skip TV and go for a walk
Break that binge-watching habit! The more we sit, the harder it is to get moving again. Take advantage of the cooler weather and get some fresh air too!
Get 8 hours of sleep at night
It is well-known just how important sleep is for rejuvenating our bodies. Much of the research points towards 7-8 hours as the ideal amount.
Stand More and Avoid Sitting and/or Being Stationary
Sitting in a chair for too long can be the source of many illnesses. Simply standing up for a few minutes can reduce the risks. For those of you that work at a desk all day, if you can take a couple of minutes to walk and stretch.
Processed sugar can lead to weight gain, which could be the source of certain illnesses. Sugar has no essential nutrients and is bad for your teeth. Fructose in sugar can lead to liver damage and can cause insulin resistance, which can cause type 2 diabetes. Recognizing how much sugar you eat helps you determine how much sugar you need to cut out of your diet.
Appreciating and loving yourself directly increases your level of confidence and quality of life. A decent amount of loving yourself can help you focus on daily activities and help you commit yourself to these activities.
Meet New People
Socializing and meeting new people can increase your daily expectation and give you the chance to meet those who will connect with you, ultimately leading to life satisfaction. Increased life satisfaction can help you have a healthier life!
Find Activities You Enjoy
Activities you enjoy make your everyday enjoyable, will help you commit more to the activity, and make you feel like a part of a group. You can try out running, drawing, yoga, biking, hiking, playing an instrument, listening to music, reading a book, or anything else you enjoy!
New Year’s Eve is a festive time celebrated around the world with friends, family, and fireworks. The holiday season is full of long-standing traditions, but our favorites always tend to center around eating. Read more in the full post below!
Krupa is our onsite registered dietitian and she is available to help Gatorcare members achieve a healthier lifestyle! It’s not about dieting or counting calories but rather building a healthier relationship with food.