10 Healthy Habits to Pick Up in the New Year
Heading into the new year typically signifies the beginning of a fresh start, especially after indulging in the holiday season. For many, this means kicking bad habits to the curb and working towards building new, healthy habits in their place. When it comes to setting healthy goals, look inward on what you’d like to improve on. Whether it’s drinking more water each day or cutting down on snacking, there are small, achievable goals that can be extremely rewarding if you stick with them! We’ve put together some healthy New Year’s resolutions to help kick-start your healthy new habits!
1. Consider Not Just What You Eat, But How You Eat
Don’t just think about what you’re eating, but how you are heating. Are you sitting down and relaxing? Are you distracted as you eat? Are you truly enjoying and savoring each bite, chewing thoroughly? Are you stopping when you’re no longer hungry?
These considerations can make a huge difference in mindful eating, which makes you less likely to overeat and be more aware about what you’re consuming. Building on this practice will allow you to develop an awareness about what your body needs!
2. Work In More Whole Foods
If you heed just one of our healthy New Year’s resolutions, let it be this one! Eating more whole foods is one of the simplest ways to improve your health. Whole foods include fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts, fish and whole grains, all of which offer nutrients that allow your body to function like a well-oiled machine. The more of these foods you are able to work into your diet, even if it’s a slow process, the better you will feel. Plus, studies have shown that whole foods can lower your risk for stroke, diabetes, and heart disease.
Not only is it great for your mind and body – eating whole foods from local sources is great for your local community and boosts sustainability!
3. Try to Sit Less
Sitting is the new smoking! Did you know that sitting too much can be linked to a higher risk of mortality? Making it a goal to sit less and move your body more is an extremely attainable healthy New Year’s resolution that can be custom tailored to your routines. Simply look for ways to be more active in your day, such as taking an afternoon walk or stretching while you watch television. If you’re looking for good habits to pick up, this is one of the best – while it may seem small, you’ll find this will offer huge benefits over time!
4. Practice Daily Gratitude
Mental health is just as important as physical health, so don’t neglect it! Reflecting on the good parts of your life can help you stay mindful and positive. An easy way to do this is by taking a moment each day to reflect on what you are grateful for in your life – it can be something as small as a day of nice weather.
5. Get a Good Night’s Rest
Sleep is essential to health, especially as we age! According to the National Sleep Foundation, those aged 65 and older should be getting no less than 7-8 hours of sleep per night to maintain peak wellness. Having trouble falling asleep or staying asleep? Try these tips:
- Decrease screen time an hour before bed
- Reduce light pollution – use low lights
- Cut down on caffeine
- Plan to get in bed at a reasonable hour
- Keep your thermostat around 68 degrees for optimal sleep
6. Prioritize Self-Care
Taking care of yourself is essential for your overall health. Working in time for self-care can make a huge difference in how you feel – whether it’s taking a brisk walk in nature or attending your favorite weekly fitness class, make it a priority. Investing in yourself will help you be the best version of yourself!
7. Spend More Time Outdoors
Spending time outside is another simple goal that is beneficial no matter where you live, though we are admittedly lucky to live in a place as abundant with beautiful nature as Maine! Getting outside can help you lower blood pressure, relieve stress and elevate your mood. Try taking a weekend hike, go cross-country skiing, or simply take a walk around the block with a friend (or your dog!)
8. Cut Back on Alcohol
This is one of the most important good habits to pick up! While alcohol in moderation isn’t detrimental to health, indulging too much or too often can impact your overall health and wellbeing. If you are looking to cut back on drinking, try limiting it to a reasonable schedule, such as only having a drink on the weekend or only having a glass of wine when you go out for dinner. Setting limits for yourself can help keep you on track while also creating space for the occasional treat, if you want it!
9. Try Out a New Hobby (or Rediscover an Old One!)
Don’t let old passions fall by the wayside! Practicing hobbies that you love not only make you feel happier but can even help you live longer. Make one of your healthy New Year’s resolutions to pick back up on a passion you’ve loved, or try something new that you’ve always wanted to try. That’s what retirement is all about, isn’t it?
10. Schedule Regular Doctor’s Visits
This may seem like common sense, but getting regular exams by your primary care doctor will help keep you in optimal health. Staying on top of your healthcare allows you to live with less stress, knowing that regular screenings and blood work can spot potential concerns early.
OceanView at Falmouth
OceanView at Falmouth is an active retirement community that encourages healthy senior habits and active living all year long! We offer a variety of cottages and apartments that are equipped with 24/7 maintenance and a 100% refundable entrance fee, allowing you to leave the stress of homeownership behind. Not only that, OceanView also offers nearly endless options for you to expand on your physical and mental health, making your healthy New Year’s resolutions easy to accomplish! From personal training with our fitness team and an all-season salt water pool, to healthy and delicious dining options, we make it easy and fun to learn, play, socialize and be your best self.
To learn more about our active retirement community at OceanView, please contact us today!