5 Resolutions for a Healthy New Year

Don't worry, we only listed doable things.


1. Sleep better

Proper sleep is fundamental for good health. To improve your sleep, get 5-10 minutes of morning sunlight outside within 1 hour of waking up (if it's still dark, do it as soon as it's bright). Do this again within 1 hour before sunset. Make sure you get the sunlight directly outside, not through a window. Try to do this at least four times a week. Also: Dim all your lights at night, stop looking at any devices about an hour before bed, and try to go to bed by 11p.m. See more tips on better sleep & the importance of circadian rhythm here

2. Walk more

One simple yet effective way to get moving is walking! Aim for at least 4,000 steps per day (about 1-2 miles), and try incorporating it into whatever you're already doing. For example, take the long way to wherever you're going (and while you're at it, try going a little faster than you normally would). Fight food coma and boost digestion by taking a walk after meals. Opt for stairs instead of elevators. Make it a twofer by going for a walk when you step outside for your morning and evening sunlight!

3. Eat less sugar

We all love sugar. The problem is, it increases inflammation, causes cavities and weight-gain, and disrupts our microbiome. The next time you get hit with a sugar craving, first try slowly drinking a glass of water and wait a while to see how you feel (we sometimes mistake thirst for hunger). If you're still craving, take a moment to gauge how severe it is. If it's very strong, say a ten on a scale of 1-10, it's best to just have a reasonable amount of whatever it is you're craving, because a substitute might only whet your appetite. But if your craving is, say, a six, try slowly chewing on a few nuts or a piece of beef jerky. Give it 15 minutes and see how you feel before going for the sugary stuff. Or, simply consider having something less sugary than more: how about a piece of dark chocolate instead of milk chocolate? Or sparkling water instead of soda?

4. Have more fermented foods 

So many studies show that having several servings of low-sugar fermented foods every day increases our gut microbiome, which greatly helps with inflammatory diseases. It's even linked to improving mental health and mood disorders. Start your mornings with some plain yogurt. Have a swig of kombucha with lunch. Or, best of all, make your own fermented foods at home, like kefir or sauerkraut. Remember: not all fermented foods contain live healthy bacteria, so choose correctly. Also, pickled foods are not necessarily fermented foods.

5. Drink more green tea

Green tea = focus + calm + many antioxidants & health benefits. But some people find it a bit time-consuming or intimidating to brew. Try using a self-straining teapot to simplify brewing. No time for brewing at all? Throw some green tea leaves into your water bottle or thermos and sip throughout the day. See more tips on how to have green tea every day here.


These are just a few practical tips that can help you improve your health and conquer the new year. If it's too much, try starting with just one or two. We all have different needs, and a small improvement is infinitely better than none. Always do what works best for you!


References:

https://www.health.harvard.edu/heart-health/step-up-your-walking-game

https://www.cnn.com/2021/08/06/health/walking-benefits-exercise-wellness/index.html

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41398-021-01309-7

https://med.stanford.edu/news/all-news/2021/07/fermented-food-diet-increases-microbiome-diversity-lowers-inflammation

https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/scitranslmed.aay6218

https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-019-00398-1#ref-CR7

Written by Wild Orchard Info