Can you believe 2016 is nearing its end? We’ve had a fantastic year at We’ve Got Your Back, and have helped lots of people transform their lifestyle for the better. There are several things you can do to make sure your health is the best it can be, and they are simple habits that can really make a difference. Read on for six health resolutions to pick up before 2017 begins.
6 New Year’s Health Resolutions
Resolve to Stand More at Work
Surely, you’ve heard about standing on the job–perhaps you even have co-workers who do so. The workplace is where you spend a bulk of your time during the week, so it’s important to be comfortable and practice healthy habits. Those who transition to standing tend to feel more focused, productive, energized and alert in the office after making the switch. When employees remain upright while working, they see the following six great benefits:
- Increased Overall Health and Wellness: Workplaces where employees stand generally spend less money each year on health and wellness costs and workplace injury compensation. Standing workers tend to have fewer medical expenses, visit the doctor less often and also enjoy increased metabolism and energy. Because of all this, they are more likely to be satisfied with their jobs.
- High Brain Power: Standing during the day is a great way to get blood moving throughout your entire body, including a crucial organ: the brain. The increase in blood flow in your mind can increase your cognitive skillsand abilities, helping you easily work through difficult problems and improve decision making.
- Increased Productivity: You can only get so many tasks completed each day, but amazingly, those who use a standing desk have shown to be capable of completing more work than their seated counterparts! Standing at work dramatically improves productivity by allowing workers to focus while giving them the freedom to move their body, such as legs, arms and shoulders, more than you can when seated.
- Higher Rates of Creativity: Standing at work can improve your brain power and productivity, and it also can help get creative juices flowing, leading to higher rates of innovation on the job. A new standing outlook can actually help you think of creative, outside the box solutions, and encourages fresh, new ideas during the brainstorming process.
- Lower Rates of Obesity and Heart Disease: According to a recent study, “Prolonged sitting has been linked with many health risks, including obesity, heart disease and diabetes. So it’s not too surprising that standing workers exemplified better health habits, including decreased sedentary time and physical discomfort, as well as higher steps and burned calories.” Workers who make the switch also see a lower rate of obesity-related illness, lower risk of high blood pressure and less chronic back pain.
- A Longer Life Expectancy: Simply cutting the amount of time you are sitting at your desk by approximately two hourscan make a difference and increase your life span, making the standing desk a must-have for your office.
2. Resolve to Eat Breakfast
Although many people report not feeling hungry in the morning, it’s important to eat at least a small breakfast to get your body going. There’s a reason breakfast is named the way it is; you are breaking your food fast from the previous night. By not providing your body with nutrients as soon as you rise, you risk a lower metabolism and many feel less energy than if you were to eat a small meal. Eating breakfast is also a great way to avoid snacking in the afternoon! When you start the day on the right foot, you set yourself up for great choices later on.
Resolve to Drink More Water
Water is essential for human life; we often neglect the importance of this life-giving resource. How many glasses of water do you drink each day? While there has been conflicting research on how much water each person needs to consume each day, there is consensus that most Americans don’t drink enough of it. Water impacts every part of your body; in fact, these major body parts are mostly made up of water:
- Muscle consists of 75% water
- Brain consists of 90% of water
- Bone consists of 22% of water
- Blood consists of 83% water
Here are just a few of the countless benefits you’ll receive from drinking an adequate amount of H2O:
- Increased energy
- Protected joints and muscles
- Lower toxins in the body
- Increased happiness and positive mindset
- Improved skin complexion
- Water helps your body maintain balance
- Water regulates your body processes, like digestion, circulation, temperature and absorption of nutrients
- Lower rates of fatigue
- Boosted immune function
- Prevents cramps and strains
- Improved kidney function
It’s also important to know that you also intake water through the food you eat, which leads to our next New Year’s resolution: eat more fruits and veggies.
Resolve to Eat More Fruits and Vegetables
Did you know a whopping 90 percent of adults don’t eat enough fruits and vegetables each day? It can be hard to eat the recommended amount, but every little bit helps. To turn this into your New Year’s healthy habit, here are some tips for healthy snacking from MyPlate:
- Make vegetables more appealing by including a tasty, yet healthy, dip like yogurt, light salad dressing or hummus
- Blend fresh or frozen fruits into an afternoon smoothie
- Cut up your vegetables into bite sized spears for easy snacking; instead of sticking to traditional veggies like carrots and celery, try branching out to bell peppers, broccoli, cauliflower or cucumber
- Pack a small side salad as an afternoon pick-me-up meal
- Grab a bag of dried fruits and mix with nuts for an easy trail mix on-the-go
Resolve to Exercise More Often
Instead of making a New Year’s resolution to lose weight, why not resolve to exercise more often? Likely, you’ll see a decrease in weight due to the increased activity, but choosing to be healthier is better than simply aiming to shed pounds. Here are three body benefits exercise brings you:
- Increased Lung Function:As you work out, your lungs receive extra oxygen. Cardio activity sends signals to your vital organs, encouraging them to function better and causes your lungs to open deeper, helping you to breathe easier.
- Quicker Metabolism:Sweating helps your body feel more alert and awake, and helps your body regulate its essential functions.
- Reduced Risk of Alzheimer’s:Memory loss diseases, such as Alzheimer’s, can be improved with regular cardio activity. When working out, chemicals are produced in the brain which increases hippocampus function; where you store your memory.
6. Resolve to Relax
Stress is normal, but it’s also something that more than 115 million people experience every year. Unfortunately, if not managed properly, it can be a silent killer. You will encounter circumstances in both life and on the job where your patience is tested or you are frustrated with a situation. However, you don’t have to let it get you down! We recommend trying the following tactics to feel more relaxed:
- De-clutter your space: Being surrounded by stacks of papers may be what’s making you feel overwhelmed. Organize your space and you’ll begin to feel more relaxed and at ease.
- Get a clear headspace: If you’re feeling overwhelmed by a big responsibility at work, sometimes pushing through it is not the most efficient way to get the job done. Step back and take a 5-10 minute breatherto focus on calming down and finding inner peace. It can also be helpful to go for a walk and get a breath of fresh air.
- Try active meditation: Sitting still and silently isn’t for everyone, and isn’t realistic in most circumstances when your patience may be tested. However, active meditation techniques like crocheting and knitting, coloring or doodling are all proven ways to relieve the tension.
- Spend time with animals: Not only are they cute and loveable, many people enjoy increased productivity and wellness when friendly Fido is allowed to be present on the job. If your workplace allows pets, fantastic! If not, consider asking your boss to weigh the benefits.
- Laugh often: Surround yourself with friends, family and those who make you laugh! Laughing helps you let loose, relax and feel less stressed out.
- Disconnect from technology: The ability to stay in contact with anyone around the world is amazing, but it can also cause stress and anxiety. Within reason, try distancing yourself from social media accounts, emails and texts to truly feel relaxed.
- Drink tea: Drinking this warm herbal beverage is another proven way to reduce stress; the best ones are mint, ginseng and black tea.
Making healthy habits will increase your overall well being and enhance your life; these six resolutions can fit into anyone’s lifestyle. From all of us at We’ve Got Your Back, we wish you a happy, healthy and productive New Year!