Considering that 2020 was probably one of the worst years we have experienced, we thought it appropriate to put together four 2021 New Year’s Resolutions, for your health, that we believe is extremely important and will hopefully make 2021 a better year. But remember, there are many great resolutions to decide on and options that might be more specific to your needs. We recommend that you sit and plan your resolutions/lifestyle changes, break your end-goals down into smaller goals, create action plans and set timelines to achieve these goals and share your goals with someone that can keep you accountable.
So here we go, our top four 2021 New Year’s Resolutions!
Drink Plenty of Water
It is easy to understand why drinking plenty of water is so necessary when considering that two thirds of the human body is made up of water and that many bodily processes require water to be executed. According to the U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine men should consume 3.7 ℓ of fluids per day and women 2.7 ℓ of fluids per day. This can include water, other beverages, and food. With 8 glasses of clean water per day still being a good goal to work towards. Benefits of staying hydrated and drinking enough water include:
- Strengthens the Immune System by helping the body function, eliminating toxic substances from blood and allows for optimal functioning of cells, tissues, and organs.
- Improves Heart Health Research shows that drinking 1 glass of water 1 hour before going to bed every day can prevent a stroke or heart attack. Furthermore, people who drink 5 or more glasses of water per day has a 41% less chance of dying from a heart attack than those who drink less than 2 glasses of water per day.
- Slows Down Aging by keeping the skin hydrated and reducing the appearance of wrinkles, improves energy levels and keeping joints well lubricated.
- Assists with Weight Loss. Water helps reduce harmful toxins and waste products which helps increase metabolism and in turn to lose weight. It further acts as an appetite suppressant, reducing cravings.
Ways to make sure you are reaching your water goals could be setting a reminder on your phone, carrying a large water bottle with you during the day (or a smaller bottle knowing you need x amount of refills) and drinking a class of water before all meals.
Move Every Day
Research shows that 30 minutes of light to moderate exercise per day reduces your risk of cardiovascular disease by 24%. General guidelines for exercise are 150 min a week of moderate aerobic activity and at least 2 sessions a week of strength training. For weight loss purposes one should increase aerobic activity to 300 minutes per week. Remember that it doesn’t need to be in the form of ‘gym’, it could be dancing, gardening, house cleaning or going for a hike. Benefits of daily activity include:
- Weight control
- Improved health and reduces disease
- Mood Upliftment
- Higher Energy Levels
- More peaceful Sleep
Get Enough Sleep
The major factor that determines how much sleep you should get is your age. Newborns need 14 – 17 hours of sleep per day. Teenager between 8 – 10 hours per day. And adults between 7 – 9 hours per day. Studies have also shown that people who go to bed earlier are happier, have reduced risk of disease and can manage their weight easier. Further benefits of getting enough sleep include:
- Better weight control. People with a short sleep duration are 55% more likely to develop obesity.
- Good sleepers tend to eat fewer calories. Sleep deprivation causes abnormal appetite hormone secretion which can cause poor appetite regulation.
- Good sleep improves cognition, concentration, productivity, and performance.
- Getting enough sleep improves your physical performance.
- Reduced risk of heart disease and stroke.
- Reduces risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
- Poor sleep is linked to depression.
Reduce Screen Time
Unfortunately, our daily activities will involve some form of screen, whether it be a computer, laptop or cell phone screen. And it is, unfortunately, a necessary part of modern life. But this screen time does affect us in various unexpected ways. It is linked to obesity, irregular sleep, behavioral problems, and impaired social skills. Make sure that you aren’t spending too much time in front of a screen and not neglecting other parts of your life, by trying the following:
- Keep screens out of the bedrooms.
- Plan how much television/screen time you have each day.
- Prioritize unplugged, unstructured activities.
- Don’t use screen time as a reward.
- Create technology-free zones such as during mealtimes.
It is also important to remember that a healthy lifestyle doesn’t have a start or a finish line. Even though these are labelled as “2021 New Year’s Resolutions”, any time is a good time to start making changes.
“Be the change”