Here we are in 2019 and I’m still scratching my head wondering where 2018 went! With that being said, what better time than the beginning of a new year to learn how to develop new healthy habits that will stick with you for a lifetime. I know I always want to live a healthier life, what about you? Let’s dive in to 10 must-do ways to improve your health in 2019. You’re just a few steps away from a happier, healthier you!
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Tip #1 To Improve Your Health – Set a Schedule To Help Hold Yourself Accountable
If you don’t plan healthy meals or a designated time to workout, you may be less likely to actually cook a healthy meal or get a good workout in. Chilling on the couch with pizza will sound much more enticing in the moment if you haven’t planned your healthy meals/exercise.
Creating a meal plan and grocery list are two great proactive ways to ensure you’ll have healthy food and meals to consume throughout the week.
Another great way to stay on track with your health goals is to use a monthly goal tracker. You could track your workouts, a specific fitness goal, the number of times you eat veggies each day, really anything! By using a goal tracker you can visually hold yourself accountable on working towards your health goals.
Tip #2 To Improve Your Health – Relax and Rejuvinate for Better Mental Health and Clarity
I’m a third grade teacher. It is the best job I’ve ever had and also the most exhausting. I know “self-care” has gone a little overboard among millennials and the year 2018, but I will say that relaxing and de-stressing in some way is very beneficial for mental health and clarity.
On the last day of school before Christmas break, I felt like I had nothing left in me, yet I had 22 hours of travel, including a red-eye flight, to prepare for the following morning at 5am.
I honestly almost had a mental break down. My husband came to the rescue with a bath bomb and a hot cup of tea. (He’s the BEST.) I cannot tell you how much better I felt after relaxing for a half hour and simply stopping the rat race of the millions of things I had to do.
There are countless ways to relax and unwind. A friend of mine recently tried a float tank and swears by it. She said she felt like a new person after.
For me, a hot bath almost always does the trick. And prayer. Talking to Jesus and dumping my stress on His shoulders is extremely helpful when I feel overwhelmed. I’m so glad He promises us that we don’t have to carry our burdens alone.
Do what works for you to unwind and relax. Just make sure you actually do it. You’ll feel a million times better if you allow yourself to de-stress when needed.
Tip #3 To Improve Your Health – Get a Gym Membership or Create Your Own At-Home Gym Space
Alongside eating healthy, getting active and moving your body is vital to improving your health in 2019. Exercise increases blood flow, strengthens your muscles, burns extra energy, improves your ability to sleep restfully at night, creates endorphins, and more. Why WOULDN’T you want to do all those amazing things for your body?
I highly recommend signing up for an affordable gym membership (this link leads to the gym I currently have a membership with – I get no money for any clicks to this link, I just really love my gym and it’s so affordable so I want to share the option with you all) or creating your own home gym on a budget. If you are motivated and can stick to running/biking/exercising with just your body, that works too! However, if you are unmotivated, it would be helpful to have a gym membership you are committed to or a gym in your home you can use easily.
Tip #4 To Improve Your Health – Pick One New Healthy Meal Each Week to Try to Keep Yourself Excited to Eat Healthy
I find that eating healthy becomes more difficult when A) I don’t know what I’m making for dinner after a long day at work and B) I don’t have healthy food in my kitchen.
There are plenty of ways you can conquer both A + B. For starters, it’s so helpful to make a dinner menu and grocery list for the week so you can know exactly what you’ll be making for a healthy dinner each night and you’ll have the ingredients for each meal right there in your kitchen.
However, even the same healthy dinners on a constant rotation can get old, so I recommend using a healthy dinner recipe board on Pinterest, a healthy cookbook, or a meal service like HelloFresh to switch up your healthy meals each week and keep things interesting. My husband and I recently tried 2 weeks of HelloFresh. While I wouldn’t pay for the meal service monthly (it’s too expensive in my opinion) it was great using their promotion to get 6 meals for free. And in my honest opinion, the meals were DELICIOUS! You can try free meals from HelloFresh if you’re a first time user – just use my link and get $40 towards your meals.
Tip #5 To Improve Your Health – Try a New Active Hobby To Motivate Movement
If you’re anything like me, you might get bored going to the gym for every workout. Whenever I don’t feel like working out, or don’t have a gym nearby when I’m traveling but would still like to exercise, I do any type of outdoor activity I can. Anything like running, hiking, paddle boarding, biking, or an activity that will get your heart rate up is a great substitute for a gym workout and can honestly be way more fun!
Just recently I vacationed to Panama and didn’t have a gym where I was staying to use for my workouts. Fortunately, a very sweet and generous neighbor I met at my condo let me use her paddle board so I got plenty of exercise on the mornings I’d take her board out for a paddle. I also hiked in the jungle, walked on the beach and swam a lot, which was better than nothing!
There’s no excuse to not workout.
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Tip #6 To Improve Your Health – Get More Sleep To Feel Better Energized and Active
Sleep is of utmost importance to your health and overall well-being. Adequate sleep will help you maintain a healthy weight, lower your risk of heart disease and diabetes, reduce stress, improve your mood, have a clearer mind, and more.
However, it doesn’t help to just know how beneficial sleep is. You have to actually get sleep in order to reap the benefits.
There are many actions you can take to ensure you get a good night’s sleep. Try a few of these tips to start getting enough restful sleep each night.
Tip 1 – Create a bedtime routine
Tip 2 – Eliminate phone time before bed
Tip 3 – Go to sleep and wake up around relatively the same time
Tip 4 – Don’t workout too close to bedtime
Tip 5 – Limit caffeine after noon
You may not need to pay attention to any of the above tips if you’re able to fall asleep easily and stay asleep. However if sleep is troublesome for you, try the tips above and see which ones work best for you. You’ll find which steps are most beneficial and you can apply those to your normal everyday routine.
Tip #7 To Improve Your Health – Eat the Rainbow for Better Overall Health
It’s actually insane how many health benefits fruits and vegetables provide for us. Just check out this article and try telling me you DON’T want to eat the rainbow to provide your body with all the nutrients and benefits that fruits and veggies supply.
If you’re not used to eating fruits and veggies in your meals, start by just adding in one fruit and one vegetable per day. Once that feels normal and doable, incorporate more!
Tip #8 To Improve Your Health – Reduce Processed Food For Better Overall Health
“Tastes so good, doesn’t leave you feeling so good.”
That’s my motto with processed food and junk food in general. On the other hand, healthy food can taste really good AND leave you feeling good too.
I’m not saying ditch junk food altogether. I will never say no to a free cookie. 🙂 However, I also make sure to eat healthy 80% of the time. And at the very least I portion control if my meal isn’t as healthy as I’d like it to be.
Tip #9 To Improve Your Health – Eat Less Sugar for Better Immunity, A Lower Risk of Disease, and Increased Energy
There are many ways sugar can wreak havoc on your health. For starters, sugar is probably the culprit of your favorite pair of pants digging into your waistline more than they did before the holidays. Even worse, it can cause serious health issues such as heart disease and diabetes.
While sugar may taste great, it does nothing great for your health.
I won’t tell you to stop eating sugar altogether because then I’d be a hypocrite. (I love a good dessert now and then). However, it will be extremely beneficial to your health if you drastically reduce how much sugar you intake each day.
If you crave sugar on a regular basis, I’ve heard amazing things about the Whole30 diet. The purpose of the 30 day diet is to retrain your body how to function without being dependent on sugar. The energy and mental clarity people feel after completing the 30 days without sugar sounds absolutely phenomenal. And the best part is they don’t have to take some pill or spend thousands of dollars to achieve feeling great again. It’s all through the food you consume into your body.
Tip #10 – Drink Lots of Water For Better Physical Performance, Healthy Digestion, and More Energy
According to this article, and many other scientific studies on the internet, water has many health benefits. The moral of the story is, drinking more water can’t hurt, it will only help. (unless you drown your body by drinking too much water, but let’s not be ridiculous).
I have to really limit my water intake during the day when teaching because I can’t go use the bathroom whenever I want to. And I almost always get a headache by the end of the day because I haven’t drank enough water.
However, on those rare days I have specialists (aka bathroom breaks for teachers) perfectly scheduled throughout my day and I am able to drink as much water as my little heart desires, I feel more energized and I don’t get a headache.
Water increases your energy, helps digestion, gives you glowy, hydrated skin, and much more. Drink up people 🙂
And That’s a Wrap!
There ya go! Ten fresh ideas to motivate your healthy lifestyle in 2019. Let me know in the comments below which health tip you’re going to apply to your lifestyle first. For me, it’s going to be eating less sugar. Wish me luck 🙂
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