How to get healthy in the New Year
With the New Year right around the corner, you, like us, are already chalking up plans on how to live healthier in 2021. You’ve probably identified the gym you want to go to and paid your annual fees in advance. You’ve bought new gym gear and you’re all set to burn those calories. But by the second week you’re out of breath, out of motivation and you could not give a damn about your New Year Resolutions.
If that sounds all too familiar, know that you aren’t alone. The thing is you cannot just turn on the ‘living healthy’ switch one day and expect that your body and mind will allow for it. You have to start slow, start small, be patient, and importantly, be consistent. It will take some weeks for you to begin seeing some changes in your body and months before others see it too.
The key to remember here is to start from a point of acceptance. You cannot just hate your body so much that you want to get rid of it and have a new physique. That may work for a short while but it’s never a good idea to start from a point of self-hate.
That being said these are five mantras to live by for a healthy life not just in 2021 but also beyond.
1. Wake up early
There aren’t enough ways to say this and no number of times is too many to emphasise the importance of waking up early. Several studies have stressed on the benefits of waking up early and getting a full night’s rest. Ideally you must try and get at least seven hours of sleep every night but every person’s requirement varies; the idea is to be well rested by the time you wake up in the morning. This means cutting down on that Netflix binge or eating late. Just think back to the time you would wake up to go to school or college. Surely, you can give it a shot again?
2. Avoid crash diets
Just as there’s no switch to ‘living healthy’ there isn’t a switch that will help you change your dietary habits overnight. Sure, several people are able to, say, go on a GM diet or a cabbage diet but any sudden change in your diet is bound to affect your body in some way or the other. Instead of starting off on some fancy diet plan, start by eating your dinner on time. If you’re able to have dinner by 8 pm, it should give your body enough time to digest the food before you hit the bed by, say, 10 pm. Which means you can easily be up and about by 6 am and start your day.
3. Drink enough water
Drinking a glass of warm water is said to increase your metabolism. It also aids digestion. Studies have revealed that having 6-8 litres of water every day makes you feel more alert and less bloated. It also helps in releasing toxins from your body, helps cleanse your blood and get better complexion. How many litres of water you drink can vary from person to person but a minimum of six litres is advisable.
4. Exercise (but also generally stay active)
Spending an hour in the gym or just taking a walk in the part in the morning can be more helpful than you can imagine. Apart from the obvious effects it has on your body – of burning calories right at the beginning of the day – it also has physiological effects. You are likely more chipper and more prepared to take on the day. An hour of morning workout can help you stay active throughout the day, which is just as important as working out. The more active you are, the healthier you will be.
5. Strive for improvement
It’s easy to start comparing your progress with that of someone else. While this may push you to some degree, know that comparison won’t take you very far. This isn’t a race where you have to finish before your fellow runner. The only thing you should do is compare your performance today with your performance yesterday. Instead of striving for perfection, strive for improvement.