10 Surefire Ways to Improve Your Health in 2020
The beginning of 2020 brings with it the promise of change. In this new decade, why not work towards a healthier you?
There so many ways to improve your health in 2020, regardless of your current status. Are you interested in having more stamina to play with your kids? Better cholesterol and blood pressure? Or are you more interested in wellness and stress-reduction? Regardless of your goals, we have plenty of health tips for you in 2020.
1. Get outside.
Being outside has a number of health benefits. It can help with symptoms of depression or Seasonal Affective Disorder by giving you more contact with the sun. It can encourage physical activity through walks in the park or games of catch with your kids.
2. Put down the screens.
These days, many of us can run most of our lives via smartphone. We use apps to talk to friends, order food, and even go to school. Our connection to technology comes with amazing benefits; it gives us access to limitless information and can help us stay in contact with loved ones far away. One thing it doesn’t necessarily do is keep us healthy. Sure, there are apps to help you plan your fitness goals or track your calories. If you are using those and they help you, keep them! But aside from that, the more often you take a break from your screens, the more opportunities you have to get moving. Instead of watching tv, go on a bike ride with your spouse. It might be helpful to tell yourself that you can only watch certain television programs or movies while you are exercising.
3. Walk more.
This is a good idea regardless of your fitness level. If you work in an office, chances are you sit for the entire 8-hour workday, sit during your commute, and then sit again at home. There are many studies showing the detrimental effects of a sedentary lifestyle. So to the greatest extent possible, find ways to walk more. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Park further away. Go ask a colleague a question instead of sending an email. The more you stay moving the better you will feel at the end of the day.
4. Take up a new hobby.
Sometimes we can get stuck in our routines, and that’s not always such a good thing. If you want to improve your health in 2020, try taking a class or joining a new group. Meeting new people and learning something new can do wonders for your brain health. And if the new hobby is a cooking class or kickball team, it can also make you physically healthier at the same time!
5. Stop dining out.
Speaking of cooking classes, you will have a lot more control over what you eat if you make it yourself. Dining out is more convenient for many people, especially those with busy work schedules or no skills in the kitchen. Set a goal to reduce your restaurant visits and instead learn how to cook your favorite meals. You may be surprised when you see what’s actually in some of the food you eat, and it might motivate you to make some healthier substitutions.
6. Drink less.
The data on alcohol consumption can be confusing. Is red wine healthy? Is all alcohol unhealthy? How much is ok? What is clear though is that reducing your alcohol consumption is almost always a good idea. The NIAAA recommends fewer than 6 drinks a week, spaced out over the entire week. Having a glass of red wine with dinner a few nights a week can help you unwind, but multiple drinks a night is likely having a negative impact on your overall health. Try taking part in a no-drinking-challenge to see how you feel.
7. Stop smoking.
While smoking levels have significantly declined over the past few decades, it still remains one of the most unhealthy things you can do to your body. If you are a smoker, your priority should be to cut down and eventually stop entirely. Smoking puts you and those near you at risk for a wide array of negative health outcomes.
8. Practice mindfulness.
Stress can really do a number on your health and wellbeing. When our stress levels are raised, it can hurt our immune system and lead us to engage in unhealthy coping strategies. Some of us overeat, while others undereat or drink more. If you can, try to tackle the cause of stress in your life. And while you’re at it, start learning the practice of mindfulness. Mindfulness, along with meditation, can help you reduce your overall stress levels and approach challenging situations with more readiness.
9. Join a gym.
Sometimes it’s just too hard to motivate yourself to work out at home. If you have a local gym that offers interesting classes or specific equipment that interests you, try it out. Most gyms will let you visit on a free trial membership before committing. During that time, check out the pool, the cardio equipment, and maybe a pilates class. Many gyms also offer personal trainers that can help customize a fitness plan just for you. Working out doesn’t have to be intimidating, and anyone can find ways to keep active.
10. Start flossing.
You may not realize that your oral health can have a serious impact on your overall health. When food and bacteria build up in your mouth, they can lead to plaque and gum diseases like gingivitis. Gum diseases increase your risk of heart disease by allowing bacterial infections to access your bloodstream. If you haven’t been flossing or haven’t been flossing correctly), you should start immediately. Most dentists and orthodontists recommend flossing twice a day to make sure you have thoroughly removed all food from your mouth.
We hope these 10 tips help you find a way to improve your health in 2020 while having fun. It’s never too late to work on yourself, and taking care of your health should always be one of your top priorities.
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