It’s the time of the year when people around the world begin to think about their new year’s resolutions – the things they’d like to do in order to improve themselves and their lives in the coming year. Sometimes, choosing a new year’s resolution isn’t difficult at all; you simply pick a single actionable thing and try to do it.
Other times, though, new year’s goals are a bit more nebulous. The past year has gotten all of us thinking a bit more about our health. You might be wondering what you can do to live your life with greater effectiveness and vitality and how you can eliminate risk factors that might otherwise come around to haunt you later.
So, when you think about your goals for the coming year, is something along the lines of “get healthier” high on the list? If so, you’re not alone – and while that may seem like a goal that isn’t particularly actionable, the fact is that becoming healthier is actually not as complex or difficult as it may sound on the surface. After all, a significant portion of what you think of as your health is simply the result of the little decisions you make every day. Do you want to become healthier in 2021? These are the decisions you need to make.
If you’re a smoker, you already know that smoking is one of the absolute worst things you can do for your health. It’s the top cause of preventable death. Of course, you also know how difficult it is to quit smoking; if quitting were easy, you’d already have done it. What you may not know, however, is that vaping is the perfect alternative for smokers who can’t or won’t quit.
When you vape, you use a device that vaporizes a flavored liquid with nicotine. When you inhale the vapor, you absorb the nicotine through your lungs. Inhalation makes vaping dramatically more satisfying than other forms of nicotine replacement, and that’s what has enabled millions of people around the world to stop smoking successfully with e-cigarettes from companies like V2 Cigs.
Buy Smaller Plates
One of the easiest ways to get healthier is, of course, to not be overweight. Excess weight correlates directly with so many chronic health issues that there’s really no excuse not to try to fix the problem if you know you’re carrying around a few extra pounds. Rather like quitting smoking, though, losing weight is always much easier said than done.
Here’s our suggestion: Buy smaller plates. If your plates are giant and restaurant sized, you’re going to be tempted to fill those plates with generous portions just like they do at restaurants. If you put a sensible portion of food on an enormous plate, you’ll feel unsatisfied and disappointed before you even start eating. One of the easiest ways to lose weight is by not eating restaurant-sized portions when you’re at home, and the easiest way to accomplish that is by buying smaller plates.
Drink More Water
Another easy way to cut your calories is by drinking more water. Drinking eight glasses per day is a great starting point, but you can drink significantly more than that if you want to. Having some water in your stomach when you sit down to eat can help you avoid overeating, and that’s just one of the many benefits of proper hydration. Drinking plenty of water also helps to flush toxins from your system, and it even helps to keep your skin looking youthful and supple.
Improve Your Sleep Quality
People spend more time than ever with their faces buried in screens. You work in front of a computer all day, and when you get home, you spend the night unwinding by watching something on the TV or playing a game on your phone. If you’re not driving, there’s a good chance that you’re looking at a screen. Modern electronic devices are great for productivity, entertainment and communication. One area where electronic devices don’t excel, though, is in helping us get a good night’s sleep. If you have difficulty falling asleep at night – or you fall asleep easily but don’t feel refreshed when you wake up – you would probably find it very beneficial to stop using all electronic devices an hour or two before bedtime. Instead, try reading a book before bed.
Choose Healthier Fats
Fat is delicious, and it can be quite healthy if it’s eaten in the right ratios and proportions. The problem, though, is that our diets often include very high percentages of the wrong kinds of fats such as meat, cheese, butter and mayonnaise. Try substituting some of the fatty foods in your diet with healthier options. Go meatless a few times a week. Try avocado slices in your sandwich instead of mayo or cheese. When you’re in the mood for a snack, try nuts instead of potato chips.
Get Up and Move Around
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle isn’t particularly complicated. Watching what you put into your body, though, is only half of the equation. What you do with your body is the other half. We’re talking, of course, about exercise. Regular exercise strengthens the muscles, bones and cardiovascular system. Finding the time and motivation to exercise, though, is a problem for just about everyone. It’s hard when so many forms of exercise just feel like work. You’ve already spent the whole day working. When you get home, you want to relax!
If you’re having trouble adding regular workouts to your regimen, look for ways to add a greater level of activity to the things you already do each day. If you live in an apartment, for example, you can take the stairs to and from your car instead of using the elevator. If you do the same thing at work, you’re adding hundreds of extra steps worth of activity to your routine each week. When you’re out and about, you can do the same thing by parking further away from stores. If you park at the far end of the lot rather than the near end each time you stop at a store, you’re adding a bit of physical activity to each stop. It may not seem like much, but it’ll add up.