5 Healthy Habits for the New Year and Beyond
The start of the year tends to spark many people into action, whether it’s getting fit, learning a language practicing a sport. It’s also during this time when many people adopt healthy habits, with some people sticking to them longer than others.
There’s something especially appealing about starting fresh on New Year’s, but that doesn’t mean you should put off making changes in your life until then. There’s no time like the present – if you keep putting off making changes, you’ll never get to enjoy the fruits of your labor.
Healthy habits are kind of our thing here at 8fit. Our philosophy is that making small changes in your day-to-day life can add up to significant results. Establishing manageable goals is critical for keeping up your morale during your journey, because if you always set yourself up for failure, you may end up losing motivation and feeling frustrated.
Instead of going all in at the beginning of the new year and burning yourself out by February, we recommend taking the slow but steady approach. Let’s take a look at what healthy habits we’re passionate about. Try incorporating them into your life whether it’s in January or October – you can benefit from these healthy habits anytime!
5 healthy habits worth adopting
Like we said before, it’s never the wrong time to begin adopting healthy habits. The point is to actually start doing something, no matter how big or small. Habits take time to become normal, so if something feels difficult at first, remember that it will soon become routine. Below are some of our favorite healthy practices, in no particular order.
1. Drink plenty of water
Hydration is a must when it comes to getting fit, and we can’t stress that enough. Water aids in digestion, it transports nutrients and it also helps regulate your body’s temperature.
Looking to lose a few pounds? Switch out your sodas for water and you’ll cut a significant number of calories and sugar out of your diet. Also, if you have trouble with portion control, water can help fill you up, especially if you drink a glass before meals. If you think you’ll miss the fizziness of soda, try the sparkling variety or try your hand at homemade infused water.
2. Read more
Take a break from your screen and curl up with a good old-fashioned book. It’s never too late to learn something new, and reading is a great way to do that. The best part is that, unlike in high school, you can choose to read any book you want. Reading is a great way to disconnect from modern stresses and take time for yourself, and it’s the perfect activity for winding down before bed.
3. Walk it out
Incorporate as much walking as you can into our schedule. Whether that’s by parking a couple of blocks away from your job or by taking a daily lunch walk, there are plenty of opportunities to add more walks into your day-to-day life.
Note that this doesn’t have to be an extreme increase in the amount you already walk. Research shows that even a small increase in the amount of walking you do in a day can make a difference. So, why not add a little more walking to your routine?
4. Keep a journal
Journaling doesn’t always have to be a “dear diary” sort of deal. Make it work for you! Some examples include bullet journaling, where you write down a few words in bullet format as if you’re taking notes. Noting down little tidbits about your day in bullet form can be a great way to reflect on what went well or what went wrong during the day without having to concern yourself with crafting full sentences. It’s also an excellent way to keep records for the future and look back on memories of the past.
You could also keep a gratitude journal where you note down one or two things a day that you’re grateful for. Doing this can help you look on the bright side of life instead of always placing focus on the things in life you’re not happy about.
5. Meal prep
Whether you want to lose weight, gain muscle or maintain, meal prepping is a great way to ensure that you eat healthy food every day while also saving time and money. Just an hour or two on the weekend can set you up for a week of delicious, healthy food that’s ready to take out and eat whenever you feel like it.
It’s up to you how far you want to go with your meal prep. Some people like to prep every meal of the week including snacks all at once, while others prefer to play it by ear, instead of prepping only the basics like grains and pasta to leave more possibilities for choice and variety during the rest of the week.
For this latter strategy, you could make a big batch of plain pasta at the beginning of the week, then each day you could combine it with something different, say your favorite salad or heating it up with vegetables and tomato sauce.
6. Track your exercise
Promote the maintenance of healthy habits by logging when you exercise and what you did. Doing this can help you keep track of what you’ve done throughout the week and can encourage you to stay accountable. Just the simple act of writing things down can help you feel proud of what you’ve done so far and also encourage you to keep adding to your notes.
Better yet, track your workouts digitally using 8fit’s fitness tracker. Simply log any activity you do, whether it’s swimming, playing soccer or going for a run. You can also log the meals you eat and, by subscribing to 8fit Pro, you’ll benefit from hundreds of recipes and heart-pumping workouts.
Make healthy habits that last a lifetime
It takes time for new habits to stick, but once they do, they’re hard to break. For example, once you make a habit of exercising at certain times during the week, you may feel strange when you miss a session. Eventually, the new practices you adopt will become second nature, and you may find it difficult to let them slide. Just try to be patient and enjoy the ride!