January will be here before you know it. Many women like to use this time to set goals for self-improvement in mental and physical health. To start down the path towards a healthier and happier you, follow these healthy habits for the new year.
1. Get Active
According to the American Heart Association, only one in five adults and teens get sufficient exercise. They recommend 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise during the week. So, one of your healthy habits for the new year should be setting a regular exercise routine. Find an activity or class that you look forward to can help stick to your fitness goals.
2. Stay Hydrated
Dehydration can lead to headaches, skin problems, lack of energy, and mental fog. Make an effort to drink enough water. There are apps and special water bottles that can remind you to drink throughout the day, or you can set an alarm on your phone to remind you until it becomes a habit.
3. Step Up Your Oral Hygiene Routine
You make think that you are taking good enough care of your teeth by brushing twice a day. But many people don’t floss regularly, if at all. The American Dental Association recommends cleaning between your teeth daily using floss or another interdental cleaner. This can help prevent cavities and gum disease by removing plaque. And don’t forget to see your dentist for a cleaning and check-up every six months, or at least once a year.
4. Eat Right
One of the best healthy habits for the new year you can pick up is eating better. That doesn’t have to mean a highly restrictive diet, but some simple changes can make a difference. Get most of your nutrients from whole foods instead of processed ones. That means whole grains, lean proteins, fruits, and vegetables. Limit things like fast food or other guilty pleasures to no more than once a week.
You should also focus on eating at the right times during the day. Make sure to eat breakfast, even if it’s something small. Have some yogurt or egg whites for protein and whole grains or fruits for fiber. This will prevent you from getting too hungry before lunchtime. Stop eating a couple of hours before you go to bed. This can help prevent becoming too hungry and help with digestion.
5. Get More Sleep
When making your list of healthy habits for the new year, make sure you put getting enough sleep near the top of the list. Being well-rested is important for many aspects of mental and physical health, and most adults don’t get the 7-9 hours recommended the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends for adults between 18 and 60 years old.
If you’re having trouble sleeping you can try improving sleep hygiene by:
- Removing electronic devices like phones, and even the TV from the bedroom
- Keeping the bedroom quiet, dark, and at a comfortable temperature
- Going to bed and waking up at the same time each day, even on weekends
- Being physically active during the day
- Avoiding big meals, alcohol, and caffeine for a few hours before bedtime
6. Set Realistic Goals
When the new year approaches, many of us fall into the trap of making big resolutions. While trying to make big changes is admirable, it can set you up for failure. Instead set a series of smaller, more realistic goals. It’s more likely you make progress this way, and you can still achieve your greater goal if it’s broken up into smaller pieces. This can be a good strategy for things like healthy weight loss and fitness goals.
7. Practice Self-Care
Take time to care for yourself mentally as well as physically. We often focus on caring for others and our own needs get pushed to the side. Set aside to do things to improve your mental health and center yourself. Practicing all of the above habits are essential for self-care. Finding someone to talk about your feelings with is also important. Self-care might also mean saying no to things so you don’t get rundown. Overcommitment is a problem for many women.
8. Make an Appointment with Your OB/GYN
To start the new year off right, make sure you are seeing your OB/GYN regularly for preventive care. The physicians and staff at Raleigh OB/GYN Centre have decades of experience providing women with full-scope obstetric and gynecological care. Call our Raleigh, NC office at (919) 876-8225 to make an appointment.