For many people, the New Year brings a renewed sense of commitment to their overall health and wellness. Diet resolutions are made, fitness videos are downloaded, and gym memberships are purchased. Around March, most people fall back into their old habits. Do you know the number one reason cited? – WORK. There is no magic food, drink, pill, machine, or workout program that will provide a shortcut to your optimal health. Your overall daily lifestyle is what’s most important. Since work is such a huge part of everyone’s daily lifestyle, finding ways to incorporate wellness into your routine is crucial. Here are a few health and wellness tips for working toward a healthier you in 2017.
- Embrace nutrition basics. Eating right doesn’t have to be complicated. Forget the fad diets and adopt a clean eating plan including a variety of fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains and try to limit refined sugar. Also, bringing your lunch to work is vital for success.
- Move more. Try and get at least 30 minutes of moderate activity, such as walking, running or weight training most days to assist in weight maintenance and overall health. Stand up desks, under desk bikes, and treadmill desks are just a few ways to take things to the next level and amp up your movement at work.
- Be smoke free. Seek support and talk to your doctor about medications or over-the-counter options that can double your chances of quitting for good.
- Schedule sleep. Make sleep a priority to enjoy a more focused, energy-filled lifestyle. Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep each night and create a relaxing bed-time routine. Change your electronic device settings to “nightshift” mode.
- Prioritize preventive screenings. Many medical conditions can be detected in their early stages by getting preventive screenings and immunizations. Ask your doctor about what screenings are recommended for your age.
- Connect with others. Building a community of people who can help you through life’s ups and downs is a vital step towards happiness and good health. Invest in relationships that provide encouragement and accountability for everyone involved.
- Stress Less. Gratitude has been shown to lower stress, which prevents many other physical and mental consequences. Instead of focusing on what your body can’t do or how you wish your body looked, try expressing gratitude for where you are now and the opportunity to make improvements.
- Work toward or maintain a healthy weight. If you are overweight, work toward losing 5-7% of your weight to significantly reduce your health risks. Studies show that individuals who track their food intake using an app, such as myfitnesspal, or portioned control containers lose more weight and keep it off compared to those who don’t track.
- Set SMART goals. General goals such as “exercise more” are not effective. A SMART goal is Specific, Measurable, Action-oriented, Realistic, and Timely. “I will walk 20 minutes over my lunch break on Tuesdays and Thursdays” is one example of a SMART goal you can implement into your work week.
- Stay positive. Health goals don’t always go as planned. When you face challenges, focus on all of the positive changes you have made no matter how insignificant they seem and get right back on track. Treat yourself with kindness and you will be less likely to give up after one bad day.
This year, don’t let WORK be your excuse– create a healthy life balance and let it be one reason to work towards the best version of you in 2017.