When sedentary or unhealthy routines become habitual, your mental and physical health likely suffers the consequences.
Make a change to your life by committing to add more beneficial behaviors. The additions do not have to be drastic to make a significant impact on your health. Consider adding some healthy habits to your lifestyle by promising to incorporate these positive actions to your list of New Year’s resolutions.
If your idea of unwinding after a day’s work is shacking up on the couch and binging your favorite shows, you may be inviting dangerous health risks. A study by the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center reveals that binge-watching television can increase the risk of developing deep-vein thrombosis or a life-threatening blood clot. Before settling in for the evening, try to add a moderate or intense workout into your routine. A study by the National Institutes of Health shows that mental health can be directly affected by regular exercise. Symptoms and disorders like anxiety, depression and a negative mood are proven to be reduced through physical activity while improving your self-esteem and cognitive functions.
According to the American Heart Association, adults should meet these guidelines regarding physical activity.
• At least 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity.
• Add moderate- to high-intensity muscle-strengthening workouts at least twice per week.
• Spend less time sitting — even light activity can offset some risks involved with a sedentary lifestyle.
If you’re new to a physical routine, consider hiring a personal trainer to show you the ropes, or team up with a friend who will hold you accountable.
Cut out the junk food that makes its way into your diet. Instead of snacking on foods that are high in sodium or fat content, consider adding superfoods like broccoli, leafy greens and lean proteins. Get creative in the kitchen with new and exciting recipes to avoid falling into old bad eating habits. You can meal plan for the week and use a calorie-tracking app to keep a log of your foods.
Committing to a healthier lifestyle won’t happen overnight just because the calendar year changes. You will need strict determination to alter the behaviors that may already be developed. Remember to take it slow while your body learns its new healthy routine.