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Health and Wellness: 8 health resolutions besides losing weight

By Sarah Hilton, RN - Stage Marketing | Jan 8, 2022

Losing weight is a common New Year’s resolution, with 48% of Americans choosing that as their goal, according to http://discoverhappyhabits.com. But when it comes to your health, the number on the scale isn’t the only way to measure your progress. Your ability to focus throughout the day, your increasing desire to eat fresh produce and your ability to keep up with your toddler or marathon-running friend are all ways to gauge your health. 

This year, instead of making a goal to reach a certain weight, consider working towards better sleep, a more flexible diet or a specific fitness achievement. Come December, you will be healthier and feel that sense of pride and joy that comes from accomplishing something great. 

Figure out the perfect amount of sleep for you

Tired all the time? You may be getting too much or too little sleep. According to Vivos, an advanced therapeutic protocol for sleep apnea, “there are many important biological processes that occur during healthy sleep,” so it’s worth it to do what it takes to get the right amount each night.

Try this exercise: Count back 7.5 hours from the time you need to wake up and use that as your bedtime for a week. If you’re not waking up 5 minutes before your alarm, push your bedtime back half an hour. Try that for a week and repeat until you are waking up just a little before your alarm. 

Eat whole, healthy foods 80% of the time

“The idea is simple: Eat healthy meals 80% of the time, and have more freedom with the other 20%,” according to http://WebMD.com. There are lots of ways to approach this, from having a cheat day once a week to adding a small treat to each meal. You fuel your body with colorful, nutrient-rich foods while also allowing yourself the flexibility to have a side of fries with lunch or a slice of cheesecake on date night, no guilt needed. 

Work out five days a week for two minutes

… Or three days a week for 10 minutes or every day for any amount of time. The key here is consistency. Choose something you know you can accomplish, and stick to it!

Run a mile or accomplish another fitness challenge

Finish this sentence: By this time next year, I want to be able to …

You could complete a triathlon, power-walk around your block in four minutes instead of five or do 50 pushups in a row. This goal is all about picturing yourself participating in (and enjoying!) a single event rather than logging a certain amount of exercise throughout the year.

Climb a mountain

Reach heights you never imagined by physically and metaphorically climbing a mountain this year. You can start with a trail that matches your comfort level and go from there. As you practice, you’ll strengthen your quadriceps, hamstrings, calves, glutes, hips and core muscles, not to mention your heart. Imagine how good you’ll feel when you make it to the top of Timp or see the view from Maple Mountain!

Wear out your dog before he wears you out

Some dogs seem to have endless energy, so this goal might feel unreachable. But see how you do! Improve your stamina by changing some aspect of your current fitness routine. “You must change something, be it frequency, intensity, volume, weight, distance, speed, or rest intervals,” said Amanda Capritto, ACE-CPT, INHC, at http://verywellfit.com. You could add a running interval to your walk, have dance parties or try more isometric exercises. Then when you play with your dog, you’ll have more energy to keep up with their neverending game of keep-away.

Ride your bicycle instead of driving

Do you think you could ride your bike instead of driving to work or the store 12 times this year? What about 25 or 50? Pick a number that you think is feasible and get biking! You’ll improve your heart health and lower your carbon footprint at the same time. 

Rind a cool-looking yoga routine and be able to follow along

If you’ve ever wanted to be able to fold yourself into a pretzel or even just touch your toes, this might be the goal for you. Search through YouTube to find a yoga routine that’s a couple of difficulty levels beyond where you are now. Start this week to work on the trickier poses, beginning with variations that are appropriate for your abilities. When December 31, 2022, comes around, pull up that video and see how much you can do!

While losing weight can be a great goal, it’s not the only way to tell if you’re getting healthier. This year, consider working towards better sleep, a more flexible diet or a specific fitness achievement. When you look back at the end of the year, you’ll feel great about what you’ve accomplished.

Sarah Hilton, RN, has 20 years of healthcare experience and serves as Stage Marketing’s director of advisory services.

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