How To Develop Healthier Habits In 2022 How To Develop Healthier Habits In 2022 West Suburban YMCA

How To Develop Healthier Habits In 2022

Erin Whitten

Jan 24, 2022

January is a time of reflection for many, and often people’s goals are straightforward: they want to improve their lifestyle. It can be a daunting task, but New Year’s resolutions do not have to be drastic life changes like a new diet or exercising multiple times a day! Instead, take advantage of small, specific lifestyle changes that are easy to follow through with, as over time they can make a significant impact on your physical and mental wellbeing!

Here are five small lifestyle changes that can make a big difference in your health.

1. Drink More Water

Your body is about 70% water and drinking enough of it is vital for optimal health. Not only does water keep you hydrated, but it also regulates your body temperature and helps absorb your body’s nutrients. Do not wait until you are thirsty to hydrate. If you do feel thirsty, you may already be dehydrated! You might find it easier to drink more water if you keep a water bottle with you when you are on the run or at work on your desk. You will be more likely to stay on top of your hydration if it is accessible and in plain sight.

2. Regulate Your Sleep Schedule

These days a regular sleep schedule can be difficult, but ask yourself, when is the last time you slept seven or eight hours a night? Realistically, many of us do not reach that amount, however getting a little extra sleep is key to maintaining good heart health. Did you know, when your body is short on sleep it can reduce your body’s production of hormones that suppress appetite, which can contribute to weight gain? Catching 7-8 hours of sleep consistently can be hard, however by incorporating naps under 45 minutes if you are tired during the day, or even going to bed a half hour earlier, you will catch up on your ZZZ’s in no time at all.

3. Start Your Day With Breakfast

Ever wonder why breakfast is called breakfast? Eating breakfast ‘breaks the fast’ you have put your body through during sleep, allowing your glucose supply to replenish and your energy to boost! A healthy, nutritious breakfast should consist of a serving of protein, a high-quality whole grain, and 1 to 2 fruits or vegetables. This can be easily prepared the day before, with yogurt parfaits and granola or even steel-cut oatmeal with fruit!

4. Set Limits For Social-Media

Have you ever considered doing a digital detox? While social media can have its benefits of connection and togetherness, especially in times of a pandemic, too much time can quickly become unhealthy. Completely disconnecting is almost unrealistic these days, however by taking small steps in that direction, such as creating a personal rule of no phones in the bedroom, no phones the first hour of your morning, or no phones after dinner, can make all the difference.

5. Be Patient With Yourself and Your Goals

Not being able to see instant results is one of the most discouraging things about achieving a healthier lifestyle. During times of healthy transitions, be sure to remind yourself that you are taking a step in the right direction! You cannot make progress by doing nothing. Like everything in life, remarkable things can take time. By following these simple changes, you are one step closer to meeting your goals in 2022!