As we approach the end of 2019, our minds are focused on the upcoming season’s holiday festivities. For many, this is a season of indulging in hot chocolate and Christmas cookies while letting health and fitness goals fall by the wayside. This holiday season, we challenge you to make a couple resolutions a little bit early this year. To get you started, read on for 7 health-focused resolutions to make to yourself this holiday season.
Belly-breathing is taking deep, intentional breaths. This action keys our brains to relax, which reduces stress. To do a belly-breathing break, no matter where you are, just focus on your breathing. Let all the air out and then deeply inhale. Exhale, then repeat. The benefits of a belly breathing routine are relaxation, reduced stress and improved sleep.
Speaking of sleep, getting more—and regular—sleep improves your health. To create a concrete goal around sleep, decide on a specific time to go to sleep. You can choose to go to sleep 30 minutes earlier than usual, or choose a designated hour to go to sleep each night. Combining enough sleep with a regular sleeping schedule decreases your chance of a multitude of health concerns.
The third health-focused resolution is simple: walk more. Walking is one of the easiest ways to naturally include movement into your daily routine. Walk to the coffee shop, take the stairs rather than the elevator, stroll a few more laps around the store—increasing your steps each day not only gets your body moving, but it can clear your mind as well. Something like an evening walk through your neighborhood is a healthy habit to integrate into your nightly routine.
In the same vein, being aware of what you’re drinking can easily increase health benefits. Drinking more water is a good place to start. When you’re thirsty, drink some water. Carrying a water bottle around during your day keeps water accessible, so consider keeping one with you. As you drink more water, consider reducing your soda and alcohol intake. While these do not need to be cut out completely (though they could be), decreasing your intake allows you to get rid of some of the excess sugar and calories that comes with these drinks.
To pay attention to your food and to vary up your menu, try incorporating a vegetable at every meal. Whether this is in the form of a salad or just some cut up carrots and celery, a vegetable at every meal expands your food choices. Instead of completely cutting out “bad” (but enjoyable) food, adding a veggie to the meal adds color and health to whatever you’re eating.
Adding just 10 minutes of movement to your day is a stepping point into a healthier lifestyle. While suddenly exercising wildly may be a little too much for your body, adding 10 minutes of exercise to your day is a gentle and accessible way to begin. Consider options like picking up an active hobby (think hiking or Frisbee) or joining a walking group in your neighborhood. If you have access to a gym or a pool, hop on the treadmill or swim some laps.
Setting aside time each day to write down what you’re thankful for allows your mind and body to rest and reset. Incorporating journaling (on paper or on your phone) into your routine gives you some time to take care of yourself each day, improving both your physical and mental health.
Last but not least, set up an appointment with your chiropractor. Regular adjustments keep your mental and physical health in check. At Van Ness Chiropractic, Drs. Van Ness, Parkin and Sabri offer services that benefit your body and your life. To schedule an appointment, click here or call (847) 842-8070 today.