It’s finally here! The Year that seemed to last a lifetime (2020 in case somehow we aren’t on the same page here) has finally ended, and with hope and hindsight, we turn towards the coming months to ask ourselves, Who will we become now that the world has changed? Well, considering the past 12 months have been an exercise in living in a strange and uncertain world, we should probably begin 2021 healing our bodies and souls from the stress and more than likely horrible habits that we’ve picked up during the year that will not be named. Although healing and rehabilitating our poor habits might be the first step, it is an important one. So let’s begin with 15 ways to Start the year off Healthy in 2021.
Morning – Start your Day by finding balance and energy
From the moment we wake up, our body is trying (as quickly as we are) to begin functioning again at top level. Those sleepy eyes and slow thoughts are more than just the cosmetic effect of sleeping (bed head not included). Waking your body up and nourishing your soul are two of the most important things anyone can do in the morning. So, give your body and your soul what it needs.
- Drink Water Immediately: Make sure to drink a glass of water first thing in the morning. Your body is dehydrated from being asleep and is crying out for something to replenish some of those fluids lost while sleeping.
- Get your heart Pumping: Walking, Jogging, Calestentics, pushups, Yoga, whatever the case may be, adding at least 10 minutes of exercise to your morning routine will help your body to engage your nervous system, expel adrenaline, as well as raise your heart rate to a higher beat so that your internal systems can begin to work more efficiently.
- Find your Center: Each morning as you begin your day, take five minutes to engage in mindful meditation. There are many ways to do this, but the most important thing to remember is that reducing your stress and ridding your mind of these elements of your life for only a short few minutes a day will leave room for the stress that the day to come may include. Finding the best way to handle these unknowns is often found in how you are unpacking the stress that you are currently experiencing.
Exercise – Your Journey to Health begins with the first step
No journey can begin without taking the first step. For 2021, taking the first step, and many afterward is a good way to begin a healthy fitness regimen for the new year. Certainly, there are those of us who never paused our workout routine, but for many, myself included, starting this journey of healthy habits needs to start somewhere, why not simply. Managing expectations is part of the 2021 lifestyle, but in totally different respect – Tell yourself what you can do, as opposed to what can’t happen. Build positivity into your daily routine, no matter where you are on the journey.
- Take up Walking – Walking for 30 minutes a day will not only bring your heart rate up a tick but will also increase your metabolism. As your heart rate rises, your body will begin to call on the glucose in your cells to be burnt away to create energy for your body to continue to move. The longer your heart rate engages in this behavior, the better your body will function all-around. You will feel less tired and more engaged in your life.
- Try a new exercise – Sure, we all have our favorite go to’s when it comes to choosing an exercise that agrees with our lifestyles, however, there are a vast amount of different training methods and exercises that will help your body to engage muscle groups you may not have originally thought about. For example, give the rowing machine a try to increase strength in your core and upper body, or take on some yoga classes to help limber up your limbs and strengthen your center.
- Train Harder – There is no shortage of benefits to increasing the work your body needs to not only maintain good health but also strengthen your muscles to be in even better shape! Include three days of resistance or strength-building exercises each week into your normal exercise routine. This will help you stay healthy, and get into even better shape!
Mealtime – Making Healthy Decisions will Give your body Better Fuel
Eating better is one of the main items found on many lists of New Years Resolutions. But, how does one do that exactly? For many during the 2020 Pandemic, food delivery, takeout, and otherwise terrible food decisions were made, because, let’s face it, there wasn’t very much else someone could do to entertain themselves. In 2021 however, we should begin to focus on the benefits that enjoying healthy food can lend us, and how making simple changes to our diet will benefit us in more ways than just the reflection in the mirror.
- Eat more Fruits and Veg: Each day, you should eat at least one more serving of a fruit or vegetable than you normally would. Since we were tiny, we have always been told to eat our vegetables. Now that we are grown, this advice is more important than ever. Not only will vegetables and fruits provide our bodies with proper minerals and nutrients to remain healthy, but will also provide our body with natural sugars and proteins we need to continue living healthily.
- Eat Less Protein: Eating a balanced diet is as important as increasing the number of fruits and veg we consume each day. Eating an unbalanced diet strong on meat and protein will have some benefits, however, our bodies will be yearning for the nutrients that protein won’t provide. A good rule to abide by is: During each meal, fill half your plate with fruits and veggies, quarter whole grains, and a quarter protein.
- Drink a Glass of Water Before Dinner: Not only will you be replenishing your liquid needs, and refreshing your mouth, tongue, and digestive system with the essence of life, but drinking a glass of water before dinner will help balance out how much food your body craves before sitting down to a large meal. Your body will become satiated more quickly, driving down the amount of food you will consume, as your appetite will be appeased more quickly, causing you to consume the right amount of calories more easily.
- Be Grateful – Mealtimes often represent a few moments a day that we have put the momentum of the day at rest, pause to enjoy a meal, and decompress from the events of the day. A great bookend to the day is found by running back through the events of you have lived and be thankful for a few things small or large that have occurred throughout the day. These little moments of joy can be significant reminders of the constantly evolving nature of your life – and finding the good, even in the mundane, can be more beneficial to your overall spirit and health than even the best workout. Be grateful, there is always a reason.