There’s more to health than losing weight. In fact, a lot of people overestimate the repercussions that weight has on health. Sure, staying within your recommended weight range can help you steer clear of heart disease and diabetes, but skinnier is not always better. And when it comes to making lifetime changes healthy resolutions for the new year should go beyond weight.
Instead of focusing on the scale, our bodies benefit more when we work on keeping our hearts healthy, our muscles strong, and our diets clean. A more effective way to combat cardiac diseases is to avoid trans fats and fit in cardio 2 to 3 times per week. Our bodies stay look and feel younger when we maintain muscle mass with exercise. Finally, one of the best healthy resolutions we can commit to is to eat more nutritious foods.
Our bodies, our hearts, and our minds will thank us!
These 10 healthy resolutions for the new year have nothing to do with weight, yet they’ll leave you a healthier, fitter, better-rounded person by the end of the year.
1. Meet your 10,000 step goal every day.
Staying active throughout the day is a better way to keep your heart healthy. It’s more effective than crazy workouts and limiting diets.
You can be a little flexible with this goal. If you work a sedentary job, aim to take 70,000 steps during the week instead of focusing on individual days. This allows you to make up steps during the weekends!
Check out these ideas for fitting in more steps throughout the day.
2. Get your daily servings of veggies.
Generally, people get better results when they focus on adding healthy habits, rather than eliminating bad ones. Instead of cutting out your favorite foods this year, aim to fit in the recommended daily servings of vegetables. For a 2,000-calorie diet, experts recommend 4-5 servings of veggies per day. A serving of vegetables can be 1/2 cup of broccoli, a handful of baby carrots, or a side salad full of healthy greens.
If you want some new ideas on how to serve veggies, check out our recipe for Cauliflower Fried Rice. It’s a delicious side dish that pairs well with almost every dinner recipe.
3. Eat more lean protein.
Another way you can focus on creating healthy habits rather than eliminating bad ones is eating more protein. Your body needs the amino acids in proteins to build stronger muscles, yet many of us don’t get enough protein.
Skinless chicken breast, turkey, egg whites, and fat-free Greek yogurt are all excellent sources of lean protein. Vegan sources of protein include beans and tofu. Check out these easy and tasty Protein-Packed Recipes.
4. Make sleep a priority.
Many of us only get enough sleep to function. However, you might actually become more productive if you prioritize sleeping.
Sufficient high-quality sleep can help you be more productive throughout the day, handle stress better, make more nutritious food choices, and even maintain a better mood. The average adult needs about 8 hours of sleep per day, but this can vary between individuals. Aim to get the amount of sleep that works the best with your body.
Additionally, to improve your quality of sleep, you might consider banning electronics 1 to 2 hours before bed and stopping snacking 2-3 hours before bedtime.
5. Go to your favorite workout class twice per week, every week!
For many people, classes are more fun than individual workouts. Consequently they can commit to classes more readily.
Zumba, yoga, and kickboxing take the focus away from weight loss. Instead, they’re about watching your body accomplish more and more every week. If you go to a yoga class twice per week, every week for a year, you can be doing headstands by this time next year!
6. Improve your flexibility and mobility.
You can improve your flexibility and mobility with low-impact workouts. Low impact workouts strengthen joints and muscles without putting too much strain on your body. We have a Low-Impact Fat Blaster that’s great for getting in some cardio. You can also try at-home yoga workouts to improve flexibility and mobility.
7. Cut back on sodas and other sugary drinks.
Sodas aren’t the only sugary drinks to avoid. Fruit juices and most flavored drinks are packed full of added sugar. Even vitamin waters and hydrating sports drinks far exceed the amount of sugar you should be consuming in a single drink (or in the whole day!).
You don’t have to cut out all sodas and juices overnight. Instead, focus on slowly reducing the number of sugary drinks you have. For example, you can commit to having only two sodas per week. You can also choose to drink soda only when eating out, not keeping any at home. These small changes can have a big impact on your health and they pave the way for even bigger changes ahead.
8. Complete a self-defense course or sign up for kickboxing.
You probably don’t think of self-defense as a fitness commitment, but you can burn a ton of calories while learning how to punch correctly. Additionally, knowing how to defend yourself is an incredibly useful skill, especially for women that walk alone to work, gym, or school.
If you don’t find any self defense classes near you, you can try kickboxing. It will still teach you about basic punches and kicks. Check out this simple Boxing Workout you can do for practice.
9. Drink more water.
Water is the foundation of all life. You need water to keep your body working properly, and unfortunately many of us don’t get enough water.
There are many health benefits that come with drinking water. You’ll eliminate toxins and flush out bloating. Additionally, water can help clear your skin and even reduce junk food cravings. If you don’t like drinking plain water, try adding lemon or slices of orange. This flavors the water and makes it extra refreshing!
10. Make at least one of your daily meals from scratch.
Prepared food (whether it’s from a restaurant or the frozen aisle) is often made with cheap fats and sugar that make it taste good but have little nutritional content.
While not all prepared food is bad for you, you can still improve your health (and your budget) by committing to preparing at least one of your daily meals from scratch. This means chopping all the ingredients, cooking, and seasoning yourself. Look for recipes that go easy on the oils and sugars. If you’re working with a busy schedule, try making a large batch of food once or twice per week and freezing the leftovers..
Browse our list of recipes for some great and healthy meal ideas.
However you choose to do it, what matters is that you make the year count! We hope these 10 healthy resolution ideas have provided you some inspiration and that you’re ready to make this year YOUR year!