Making resolutions is a self-improvement tradition that often has us filling the first of our year with big goals that wear us out after just a week or two. Take a break from those complicated resolutions and instead try resolving to take up one of these simple daily habits. Add a few more over time and you’ll be on your way to completely resetting your health this year!
1. Floss your teeth
Dentists recommend that you floss at least once a day. Why? Because the food you eat (particularly sugary stuff) doesn’t all make it to your stomach. Much of it gets trapped between your teeth and slowly feeds the cavity-causing bacteria that live in your mouth. Brushing isn’t enough to reach those tight spaces, but flossing will keep the tooth decay at bay and a healthy mouth is important for overall wellness. Try a nifty flossing tool if you find plain floss difficult to manage.
2. Drink water
Water is one of the major building blocks of your body and drinking it should definitely be at the top of your list when it comes to daily health practices. The current recommendation is to drink around 9 cups of water daily for women, and 13 cups for men, but the amount can vary depending on activity level and climate. Keep a pitcher of water in the fridge to have quick access to it, and if you find it hard to meet your quota with plain old tap water, try adding fruit (lemon slices are perfect!) or a sugar free flavoring like MiO.
3. Take a walk
The word “exercise” can be hard to swallow – so don’t use it. Find some physical activity, however small it may be, and start doing it. If you can’t think of anything you enjoy, walking a little each day is something practically anyone can do, and it can be really enjoyable if you walk in a favorite location or at a favorite time of the day. Anything you can do, no matter how small, is better than nothing.
4. Use sunscreen
In an age of tanning beds and beach-going, wearing sunscreen isn’t the most popular of health resolutions, but it’s one of the most important. Being in the sun for more than just 15 short minutes requires sunscreen. SPF 15 or higher applied every couple of hours (more often if you are in water) you are in the sun is the best way to properly protect your skin from sun damage and cancers.
5. Use a smaller plate
If you find diets and calorie counting difficult, this may be the solution for you. Eating from a smaller plate helps to control portions without requiring any extra thought. Take things a step further by filling half of that plate with veggies!
6. Turn off your screens before bed
The data is pouring in! Staring at our screens at night – whether they are phones, tablets, computers, or anything else – seriously disrupts sleep patterns. This means that because of the “blue light” emitted by our devices we are getting less sleep, the sleep we get is lower quality, and our health is taking a hit. Turn off your screens at least an hour (preferably two) before bed. Your tired brain and eyes will thank you!
7. Schedule a check-up with your doctor
I know, I know. It’s time consuming. It costs money. Maybe it’s even a little scary for you. But getting basic health checks at least once a year and talking to your doctor, particularly if you have any concerns, is one of the best things for your overall health. Blood pressure, weight, and heart rate can give clues to lots of issues that you may not notice in your day to day life. Do yourself a favor and make an appointment today.
8. Say “yes” to you
Health can often be addressed best from the inside out. Your mind is one of your most important assets, and if it becomes unwell, the rest of you is at risk. Don’t forget to take time out from the day-to-day and treat yourself. Take a bubble bath. Go for a bike ride. Hug someone you love. Do something you love. Take care of you.
Kayla Lilly is a photographer, writer, wife, and mama making a house a home in eastern Idaho. She met her mister while working at an amusement park and married him a year later after deciding there was no way to live without him. The amusement has continued as they’ve added three kids and a passel of pets to their lives while finishing college and starting a photography business. Drawing inspiration from the whirlwinds of marriage, parenthood, and the media, Kayla blogs at Utterly Inexperienced, and spends the rest of her time chasing chickens, organizing junk drawers, diapering toddlers, and photographing everyone willing to step in front of her lens.
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