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Healthy New Year's Resolutions that are Easy to Keep

Healthy New Year's Resolutions that are Easy to Keep

Maintaining healthy New Year’s resolutions should be everyone’s goal for this year. While staying home to prevent the spread of COVID-19, many of us may have become sedentary or noticed unwanted weight-gain. Losing weight is one of the most popular resolutions year after year. Many people start off strong, but unfortunately lose motivation or regain weight by mid-year. To reach your goals and maintain good health, it is better to set smaller, more attainable resolutions.

Healthy New Year’s Resolutions

Healthy New Year's Resolutions

#1: Get 30 minutes of exercise every day

According to the several health authorities, adults should aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic exercise each week. This can be broken down into 30 minutes of exercise for five days in one week. Aerobic activity should engage several large muscle groups and can be done continuously for at least 10 minutes at a time with a break between each set.

Getting exercise each day is important even if you are not looking to lose weight. Aerobic exercise improves cardiovascular and respiratory health. In addition, physical activity can boost your immune system response and metabolism. All of these are great reasons to get up and get moving in the new year.

#2: Update your wardrobe

Online shopping has hit an all time high in the past year and there are no signs of slowing down anytime soon. With all the sales and discounts available both online and in the stores, it is always tempting to go on a shopping spree. Instead of your next OOTD, pick your outfits for the year.

To provide motivation and set a tangible goal, try buying clothes in a few sizes smaller than your current size. With diet and exercise, you will be able to fit into your new outfits perfectly. In addition to having something to wear right off the bat, achieving your goals will boost your confidence.

#3: Fix your coffee habit

Now, coffee isn’t entirely bad for your health. There are many health benefits of coffee, including lowing the risk of heart disease and diabetes. Not to mention the caffeine in coffee wakes you up and increases your metabolism which can help with weight-loss goals.

However, these are the benefits of a cup of brewed coffee with minimal additions of sugar and cream. Ordering from coffee chains or cafes everyday means that the coffee beverages and blends you are drinking are loaded with sugar and fat. Of course, this is not ideal if you are trying to maintain healthy New Year’s resolutions.

If you can’t start your day without a caffeine fix, here are some tips to make your drink healthier:

  • Select a smaller size drink
  • Ask for sugar-free syrup or sweetener
  • Try brewing coffee at home using freshly ground beans (these have more flavor and caffeine than instant)
  • Sprinkle some spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, or cocoa powder
  • Swap full-fat milk or cream for skim milk, almond milk, or unsweetened soymilk

Healthy New Year's Resolutions

#4: Cook at home

If saving money and losing weight are on your list of resolutions this year, then this is a good tip. Doing things like meal prepping or simply cooking more meals at home saves on money and calories. You may even want to consider taking up gardening as a hobby to have fresh fruit and vegetables to cook at home.

Meal prepping for three to five days in advance makes healthy eating more convenient, especially if you are busy during the week. Aside from saving time, preparing your own food at home helps you control your portions and calculate your macronutrients. Fast food and instant meals generally are high in fat, sodium, and preservatives. These can negatively affect your health and make you gain weight.

Plus, cooking at home can serve as a creative outlet and family bonding opportunity. If you have kids, teaching them what is healthy at a young age will benefit them in the long run and make dieting at home easier for parents. Try looking up Japanese “bento box” recipes to give yourself ideas for your meal prep designs. If cravings strike or you just want a change of pace, there’s no problem going out to eat or ordering delivery a few times per month.

Healthy New Year's Resolutions

#5: Save up for a vacation

Lastly, after a year spent in community quarantine with travel restrictions, a vacation on the beach or in another country is a much needed change of scenery. While traveling and tourism are not back to the old normal yet, there is no harm in planning ahead.

Selecting a dream destination and planning an itinerary are tangible goals. Select a tentative date and calculate how much you need to save for the trip. In addition, if one of your goals is to get in shape, having a place to show off your new look also serves as motivation.

Key takeaways

Setting healthy New Year’s resolutions does not need to be a go-big-or-go-home scenario. Remember that consistency is key. Taking small steps and creating a concrete goal are better than vague resolutions. If you are currently overweight or have never done a diet and exercise plan, it is best to speak with a doctor before starting a new program.

Learn more about Healthy Eating here.

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Sources

SMART Goals – How to Make Your Goals Achievable, https://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/smart-goals.htm, Accessed December 29, 2020.

Losing Weight, https://www.cdc.gov/healthyweight/losing_weight/index.html, Accessed December 29, 2020.

10 Behaviors for Healthy Weight Loss, https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/10-behaviors-for-healthy-weight-loss-2018102415074, Accessed December 29, 2020.

12 Tips to Help You Lose Weight, https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-weight/12-tips-to-help-you-lose-weight/, Accessed December 29, 2020.

Selecting a weight-loss program, https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/educational/lose_wt/wtl_prog.htm, Accessed December 29, 2020.

How to make your coffee shop order healthier, https://www.nm.org/healthbeat/healthy-tips/nutrition/how-to-make-your-coffee-shop-order-healthier, Accessed December 29, 2020.

Maintaining weight loss, https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/maintaining-weight-loss, Accessed December 29, 2020.

Global Recommendations on Physical Activity for Health, https://www.who.int/dietphysicalactivity/physical-activity-recommendations-18-64years.pdf, Accessed December 29, 2020.

Aerobic vs anaerobic exercise training effects on the cardiovascular system, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5329739/, Accessed December 29, 2020.

The compelling link between physical activity and the body’s defense system, https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2095254618301005, Accessed December 29, 2020.

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Written by Stephanie Nicole Nera, RPh, PharmD Updated Jan 04
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