As the end of the year approaches, our attention turns to New Year’s Resolutions. And millions of us around the world will take on a hefty challenge of completely overhauling our nutrition and exercise in January, in a bid to get healthier.
Well, one thing we know for certain is that smaller changes are more sustainable. And while we’re all for people making huge lifestyle changes if they can stick with them, our personal staying power is far better with little changes that can fit more easily into your life. With that in mind, here are four tips for small changes that could improve your health in 2021.
Drink Less Alcohol
It might be unrealistic for those who drink socially to cut alcohol out altogether in the long term. But switching a few alcoholic drinks for soft drinks can make a positive difference.
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A few ideas of ways you could do this:
- Don’t drink in the house – set a rule that you only drink when out with friends
- Switching every other beer on a night out for a non alcoholic beer. Some of them taste just as good as the real thing
Whichever way you do it, cutting down alcohol intake will be a positive thing for your body.
Eat Less Meat
January is “veganuary” when hundreds of thousands of people attempt to go vegan for a month. And in fact, some statistics suggest as many as 7% of the population is now permanently vegan.
That’s quite some figure.
And a vegan diet is not, by default, “healthy.” There are plenty of vegans who are not experiencing a balanced diet as well as many who are.
If you’re a fully fledged meat eater, then going vegan (or even vegetarian) might be quite a tall order.
But cutting your meat intake down could have a positive impact on your health. The over consumption of meat has negative impacts on the environment. And eating too much red meat can cause a range of health issues including high blood pressure and cholesterol.
So how about making small changes like taking an extra day of the week meat free? Or switching out red meat for poultry on most days you eat meat?
Think about small and manageable changes rather than huge lifestyle and diet overhauls.
Get to Bed 15 Minutes Earlier
Sleep is one of those highly underrated functions that so many of us skip in part. It might be unrealistic to get a full 8 hours every single night (especially those of you who are parents to young children – we feel you!). But try making a small change like going to bed 15 minutes earlier every single night.
If you get even 15 minutes more sleep each night in 2021, that will be 91 and a quarter more hours of sleep you get over the course of the year. And 15 minutes is manageable, right?
If you’re not someone who is able to get into the gym regularly or simply not someone who has ever enjoyed exercise, then getting active might seem like a daunting prospect. But a brisk walk every single day could have significant health benefits for you including improved stamina and heart health.
Maybe walk to the shop instead of driving or park a little further away so you have to walk the last part of your journey. Even getting out to walk around the block one day if you have nothing else planned could make a difference.
Small and Stick-With-Able
The key to any lifestyle change you make it to make it one you can sustain. And while a complete overhaul of your diet or fitness regime might well be incredibly good for you, you will only see long term benefits if you can actually stick with it in the long term. So why not make 2021 the year that your resolutions last?
Lisa Eclesworth is a notable and influential lifestyle writer. She is a mom of two and a successful homemaker. She loves to cook and create beautiful projects with her family. She writes informative and fun articles that her readers love and enjoy.