I love how the New Year for a lot of people is a time where they focus on living a healthier lifestyle. Unfortunately something that also happens is you can easily feel compelled to try new diets, new gyms, or new supplements. I think it’s important to know that to be healthy you don’t have to spend extra money. I’ve listed eight tips to be healthier in the New Year and besides the cost of food, they are all free.
Eight tips to be healthier in the New Year:
Eat more plants
If you’re looking for a way to eat healthier in the new year, how about focusing on eating more vegetables? I always try to add at least one vegetable to my meals. Lately I have been loving salads with potatoes, avocado, a roasted veggie and a source of protein. If you struggle with liking vegetables,I’ve been there. I was the pickiest of eaters and hated almost all vegetables until a few years ago. Just keep trying them, try different ones, try different ways of preparing them (hands down my favorite way is roasting), and try different seasoning and flavor combos. You’ll eventually find some you like, and I promise it’s worth the trial and error process.
Prepare food at home
Want to save money and eat healthier? Try cooking more food at home. I love going out to eat as much as the next person, but I also love cooking my own food. When you cook food at home, you have so much more say on what goes into it. It also saves time. Instead of going somewhere to get food every day, you go to the grocery store once and can prepare food at home. Also, try not to look at food as something dreaded. I get not everyones into cooking elaborate meals (I mean my meals are far from elaborate), but I look at cooking as a time where I can be in the zone and relax. I love putting on music or a podcast when I cook to make it more enjoyable.
Drink more water
I’d say this is the easiest thing to do to be healthier. If you have a hard time drinking water, make sure you get yourself an insulated and reusable water bottle. Fill it up and carry it with you everywhere you go. If you don’t like the taste of water, you can try adding different flavored drops in it. Aim to drink 64 ounces per day, or 8-eight ounce cups.
Something i’ve worked on and off to incorporate into my life is meditation. It’s intimidating to start with, you’re not sure what to expect or how you’re going to “shut off” your mind for even five minutes. What I will say is that it’s worth a try. While I don’t meditate every day, or even every week, when I do take the time to do it I always feel calmer afterwards. Sometimes when I meditate I can zen out really easily but other times I can’t calm my mind, but I stick with the five or so minutes of my meditation and am always happy I did. If you’ve never meditated before, I would recommend starting with a guided meditation app. My favorite is Simple Habit because they have a lot of free meditations on various topics and varying lenghts. Deep breathing is something so simple that I used to never think about. Now when I’m stressed or just need to reset i’ll take a few deep breaths and I honestly feel so much better afterwards.
Yoga and stretching
One of my favorite things about yoga and stretching is that 1. you can do it for free and 2. you can do it anywhere. Don’t get me wrong, I love going to a good yoga class, but I don’t always love (or have the money) to pay $10+ for each class. Cue- yoga Youtubers who make amazing yoga videos you can follow along to. My favorites are Yoga by Candace and Yoga with Adrienne. I also love the flexibility of yoga because there are sometimes I want to exercise, but don’t want to go to the gym or be around people (true introvert problems) so I can just lay down my yoga mat in my room and do yoga. For yoga and stretching you can follow a video or routine or you can do whatever feels right in the moment. I like to do both depending on how I’m feeling.
Find exercise you enjoy doing
I think with the media these days it can be so easy to fall into the trap of “oh I should be doing _____ type of exercise because everyone else is”. It seems like every few months a new type of exercise is trendy. While that’s great, it’s also important to do what you enjoy the majority of the time. I never want people to look at exercise as something they dread doing. Maybe at first you might not look forward to exercise, but once you try different workouts/styles of exercise you can start to focus on what you get out of the exercise. I know personally for me I love lifting weights, yoga, and walking. If you don’t currently exercise, I would recommend starting by incorporating walks into your routine. Then from there you can experiment with other forms of exercise.
Go for a walk
I don’t know why but I used to never think of walking as exercise. Not only is walking great physical activity, it always helps me mentally. There’s just something so mind clearing about a walk. I used to never go out of my way to walk, of course I would walk when I had to, but I didn’t see the value in walking. Now I love getting to walk, even if it’s around campus. I love getting to take Rocky exploring, but even when I don’t have Rocky I’ll just walk around my apartment complex in the evening and listen to a podcast to clear my head from the day and get some movement in.
Get Enough Sleep
Sleep is KEY for a healthy lifestyle. I know whenever I don’t get enough sleep, I’m lazier the following day and sometimes even crave more junk food. I know it can be hard to get enough sleep, but I believe it’s something that needs to be prioritized. Obviously, that doesn’t mean I get eight hours of sleep every night but I try my best. I really want to get into a night time routine to help me sleep better, but for now my main thing is to get off my cell phone and diffuse lavender essential oils.
I hope these tips are helpful! If you have any tips, I’d love to hear them!
Thanks for reading!