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15 Healthy Habits To Begin In 2017
As 2016 draws to a close the New Year offers us a clean slate. It’s time to start all over: Lose weight (for real this time), eat healthy foods, and get on an exercise routine that you can stay on longer than a week or two.
It seems as though every month there is a new diet craze: low carbs, plant-based, and paleo are a few of the most popular. Exercise options are starting to follow suit. Walking will never go out of style but Pilates has been replaced by yoga and Zumba is holding on for dear life. And food choices change just as quickly – gluten, no gluten, chia seeds, flax seeds, and anytime you can get something with coconut in it (except for a Mounds bar) it’s a good thing.
Here is the reality behind a resolution to finally become fit and healthy – find what works for you and you will be more likely to stick with it. Someone can tell you how healthy chia seeds are but if you just can’t face them, especially first thing in the morning, be easy on yourself, and stick to what makes you feel good.
Here are some ideas for you to try in 2017. Be kind and patient with yourself. Try different things and give them a chance to work. If they make you feel better, you won’t have to be reminded (or convinced) to carry them out on a regular basis. Little by little you will start feeling better and thoughts of returning to your old bad habits will lose their luster.
1. Set up a fitness routine
Don’t get caught up in the latest crazes. Start slowly by taking a 15-minute walk every day. Work up to 30 minutes and as you start feeling better you will soon be looking for ways to challenge yourself and get an even more toned and in shape body. Let it happen naturally.
2. Increase your water intake daily
If you don’t already have a water filter invest in a case of bottled water every time they are on sale. Grabbing a bottle of well-chilled water will quickly become one of the easiest of your new habits. Good tasting ice cold water not only revs up your metabolism, it’s refreshing.
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3. Continue to set goals and revise them as you reach them
Setting goals is only effective if you make them attainable. You may want to lose 10 pounds a week but if you think that is going to happen you are setting yourself up for failure. As you reach each goal treat yourself to a reward that will stand as a reminder of your success.
4. Make sure you include protein for breakfast
Protein is a food group that keeps your blood sugar levels even. Foods in this group also are able to keep you feeling fuller longer so you won’t be so apt to poke around in the fridge where you may grab something to eat that you shouldn’t.
5. Eat more fiber
High fiber bread, whole wheat pasta, and fresh berries are all good ways to add fiber to your diet. And just like protein, you will find that you are full longer.
6. Get a good rest consisting of 7 to 8 hours every night
A good night’s sleep is what helps our body recharge so it is ready to take on new challenges each morning. Do everything you can to unwind at night and try to get your mind calmed down. Put on soft music or try a white noise machine.
7. Cut down as much as you can on sugar and sugar substitutes
The thing about sugar is the more of it you intake, the more of it you want. On the bright side, once you begin to cut down, you’ll want less sugary foods. Be careful which artificial sweeteners you may be using. They are just keeping you in the sugar mode and most are worse for you than real sugar.
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8. Develop an attitude of gratitude
Oprah was a devoted fan of jotting down what she was grateful for every day. She found that even if it was as simple as being happy to wake up, it multiplied her appreciation and happiness tenfold.
9. Take up meditation
Most people are afraid to try meditation because they are afraid they can’t completely quiet their mind. If this is what is holding you back, check online for a guided meditation and sit quietly as you let your imagination be directed away from your daily problems.
10. Make it a point to get outdoors every day
Besides taking in the beauty that nature offers us on a regular basis, being able to get outside for about 15 minutes or so will lift your mood.
11. Keep protein-based snacks nearby at all times
There are many snacks you can keep handy so you won’t be tempted to head for the vending machine. Nuts, granola bars, and string cheese are convenient to pack up as well as a piece of fresh fruit.
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12. Choose a healthy eating plan that works for you
The best plan to follow is the one that helps you lose weight regularly and allows you foods that you also enjoy eating. Everyone knows someone who lost a lot of weight fast while following a crash diet only to gain it all back and then some.
13. Try incorporating yoga into your life
When you think of yoga images of nimble people twisted into a pretzel-like position may come to mind. The truth is hatha yoga consists of simple poses that you assume and work at your own pace. Your body will begin stretching beyond what you have been used to and you will become more supple yet toned at the same time.
14. Check into the routine of “dry body brushing”
Dry body brushing is exactly as it sounds. Invest in a dry hand brush with natural bristles and begin to brush your skin using a circular motion. It is suggested to start at your ankles and work your way up your body finishing up with a shower afterward. Dead skin cells will be removed and you will feel invigorated.
READ ALSO: New Year’s Resolutions That Actually Work
15. Live a mindful life focusing on the moment at hand
There is nothing you can do about your past except to learn from the experiences that were presented to you. The future is not guaranteed so all you have left is the present. Enjoy every moment as you embrace 2017 – Happy New Year!