For all of us, New Year’s has a certain significance – it represents a renewed commitment to a healthier, more fulfilling and more rewarding life. And possibly a fresh start after all that holiday eating. But, why wait until New Year’s to commit to a few simple wellness resolutions that will not only help you increase your energy levels and stay fit during this busy holiday time, but that will also help you organize and budget your time more efficiently? Here are four healthy resolutions you can make before New Year’s.
1. Eat more antioxidants and take your vitamins.
Antioxidants and vitamins are essential for the correct functioning of your body, and each one has its own vital role. For instance, antioxidants prevent free radicals from taking their toll on your body, as it is known that pollution and the chemicals we inhale on a daily basis can not only speed up the aging process, but they also increase the risk for different types of cancer. Besides this, antioxidants will also help you purge all the toxins that accumulate in our bodies after abundant holiday eating - you'll feel lighter, better and healthier! You can increase your intake of antioxidants by simply eating more fruits and veggies - pomegranates, oranges, spinach and other dark, leafy greens.
Vitamins give your body the proper nutrients it may be missing for optimal performance. Vitamins C, E, D and A are a great place to start to promote energy, bone health, heart health and more. You can reduce the risk for heart disease, prevent and reduce inflammation and fight infections all by taking a multivitamin or additional recommended supplements.
When your defenses are down because of stress or a busy schedule (both common things during the holidays), it's important not to wait to make this healthy resolution!
2. Practice portion control.
This can be a tough one during the holidays, but now is the perfect time to resolve to practice portion control. With all the treats and rich foods around, it can be tempting to just throw your healthy diet out the window, say "Next year!" and pile your plate with more mashed potatoes, have a second helping of pie and eat five cookies instead of one. No one's saying don't have that peppermint brownie - just remember that the key to enjoying yourself and not completely derailing your diet is portion control. Have one and savor it. Use a smaller plate. Limit yourself to one trip through the buffet or snack table. Worried that you can't trust yourself? Ask a friend or family member or your date to help you remember that you've already had something.
3. Schedule your exercise.
Packed calendars of parties, get-togethers, kids' programs, errands and shopping mean that the first thing to go is often exercise, unless it's scheduled in with the rest of your responsibilities. Take a good look at your calendar for the rest of the year and see where you can fit in even a half hour every other day - and then write it in! Carry this resolution to schedule your exercise into the New Year. There's only a few weeks left of this year, so flip the page and schedule in your workouts for the first few weeks of January, too. You'll feel good knowing you've made time for yourself and that you don't have to worry about squeezing exercise in each day - it's already planned!
4. Don't say yes to everything.
If you're mentally and emotionally exhausted, the above resolutions will be impossible to uphold. It would be great to host your family's holiday dinner, plan a New Year's Eve bash, bake goodies for your officemates and kids' classrooms, give gifts to the mailman, your stylist and your dog trainer, but it might not be a healthy decision to do all of this. Don't lose sight of maintaining your peace and sanity during this busy season. Be reasonable with what you can actually do and what the most important tasks are, and then be gentle with yourself as you let things go. Resolve to do this in January and beyond and you'll have a happier, healthier new year!