The beginning of a new year always brings the promise of new opportunities, experiences, and the chance to implement new habits after the relaxation and indulgence of the holiday season. As many of us faced unseen challenges and uncertainties in the last year, committing to maintaining good physical and mental health is one of the most positive things you can do for yourself in 2022. While it can be difficult to make drastic lifestyle changes, adopting a few new healthy habits can have an overwhelmingly positive impact on your mind and body.
With this in mind, we would like to share our top five healthy habits to adopt in the new year.
1. Don’t Skip Breakfast
You may have heard the phrase “eat your breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper”.
As the first meal of the day, breakfast should be filling and nutritious, as it will impact your body, and brain function, and determine how you feel all day.
Additionally, a sizeable and healthy breakfast will prevent you from splurging on excess snacks or fast foods throughout the rest of the day that are often lacking in nutrition and can hurt your wallet. The ideal breakfast contains a healthy serving of protein, fat and carbs- a piece of toast will have you hungry by 10am.
2. Add more variety to your plate
Whether you’re back in the office or working from home, many of us are lacking some of our daily fruits and vegetables after living on a diet of cookies and chocolate over the holiday period. This month, try to fill your plate with new vegetables and fruits, or experiment cooking them in new ways. Consuming enough whole grains, fruits, and vegetables will help to fulfill your body’s vitamin and mineral requirements and help stave off energy-depleting conditions like vitamin D and iron deficiency. If adopting a healthier diet is one of your resolutions this year, check out Homed-IQ’s Cholesterol & Lipids Test and Anemia Test to check whether specific dietary changes are needed to boost your iron or lower cholesterol.
3. Rest Up
Doctors recommend that adults have at least seven hours of sleep a night. Adequate sleep boosts your immune response and enhances your mental health. A full night’s sleep is also associated with improved memory, exercise performance, productivity, and preventing weight gain. Moreover, maintaining a healthy sleep and wake cycle, avoiding caffeine, and shutting down your electronics before sleep will allow you to fall asleep more easily and improve the quality of your rest.
Getting more sleep is one of the easiest healthy habits to implement that provide you with loads of health benefits. Challenge yourself to go to bed and wake up at roughly the same time this January- you may be surprised to feel the boost in productivity and mood that a good sleep can bring.
4. Incorporate regular movement into your day
Regular exercise is positive for both your mental and physical health, and often something that can get forgotten during long, cold winters. Get creative with home workouts this January and aim to exercise 30-minutes daily. This could be a walk or run in your neighbourhood, online exercise video, or a new class at the gym. Regular exercise boosts your metabolism and keeps you fit. It also builds your cardiovascular (heart) and muscular health and is known to boost mood.
Regular exercise is also an excellent opportunity to go outside and get your daily dose of vitamin D. Vitamin D deficiency is particularly common during the winter months, where a lack of sunlight and poor weather mean that people are not often exposed to UV rays. To ensure you’re on track, Homed-IQ’s Vitamin D test allows you to check your levels from home and make the lifestyle changes necessary to obtain enough vitamin D.
In addition to exercise, try to move more during your daily activities. Some ideas are standing while working, walking to the store or work, or scheduling moments to move and stretch throughout the day.
5. Stay Hydrated
Another easy to implement habit to start in 2022 is staying hydrated. Drinking enough water can prevent headaches, boosts the metabolic system, improves concentration, and allows all body systems to function optimally.
Apart from drinking water to stay hydrated, you can consume fruits and veggies with high water content, like watermelon, strawberries, peaches, oranges, or cucumbers.
From the Homed-IQ team, we wish you a prosperous, healthy, and happy new year. By adopting healthy habits and taking control of your health through home testing initiatives, we aim to help you achieve your best health yet in 2022. Click here to view our complete test portfolio and learn more about how home testing can benefit you.