New Year’s resolutions – we jump into January with the best intentions to live better and be healthier. But by the end of the first week, 1 in 4 of us have thrown in the towel and most by the end of the month. Goals that are too vague, broad or lofty are hard to meet. If you’re looking to improve yourself this year (but can’t face another list of unmet goals), try these realistic health resolutions for 2023.
8 Realistic Health Resolutions
Go to bed earlier
The National Sleep Foundation recommends 7-9 hours of sleep each night and most adults are not getting enough sleep. Simply moving your bedtime up by 30 minutes every other week will help close that gap. Also, avoid caffeinated beverages later in the day and limit your screen time at least 30 minutes before bed.
Drink more water
Fast Fact: Your body is 60% water! Not drinking enough water has been associated with earlier aging and increased risk of chronic disease. To increase your water intake, replace at least one non-water beverage per day with a glass of water.
Find an exercise you actually like and gradually increase physical activity
Setting a goal to be more active is a great resolution for 2023 since staying active improves brain health, decreases risk of disease and strengthens bones and muscles. Not surprisingly, studies have shown that people are more likely to engage in activities that they enjoy. So, try some new forms of activity to find what you like. Gradually increasing the duration and intensity of the activity – and the number of days you participate – is a more realistic way of initiating this important habit.
Rest your brain
Do you feel like every hour of your day is scheduled? Finding quiet time in the hustle of your day will decrease stress, increase your cognitive functioning and creativity, and improve your mood. Turn off your device. Shut off your computer. Close your eyes and sit quietly. Just 10 minutes of quiet time each day has health benefits. Start once per week and build from there. Note: multitasking is not permitted during quiet time!
Limit take out food
This health resolution is good for you physically and financially. If you eat take out food more than a couple of times per week, you are likely consuming extra calories, fat and salt – and you are definitely spending more than cooking at home. Try to limit take out to once per week.
Include fruits and vegetables in every meal
A diet rich in fruits and vegetables can lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke, prevent some types of cancer, lower risk of eye and digestive problems and have a positive effect on blood sugar, which can help keep appetite in check. So when Mom said “Eat your fruits and vegetables!,” she wasn’t wrong. If you’re already conscientious about nutrition, adding in fruits and vegetables with every meal may seem like a low bar, but if you’re starting from scratch this is an attainable goal you can build on.
Be kind to yourself
We can be our own worst critic. So, for 2023, try showing yourself some love! Positive self talk is associated with greater resistance to illness, improved cardiovascular health and decreased risk of dying from cancer. It also helps to increase coping skills & will likely help you to achieve your health goals. Don’t beat yourself up for not completing your to-do list. If you have an unproductive day, give yourself credit for doing the best you can and try to do better tomorrow.
Keep preventive care appointments
Remember, preventive care is self care! Of course, we are here to see you when you’re sick or have a problem, but we also want to see you when you’re well. Get your annual exam, consult your Provider for appropriate age-related screenings and make 2023 the year to stay ahead of the game.