Top 10 New Year’s Resolutions Your Doctor Will Thank You For

2019 is on its way out- which means that hundreds of thousands of Australians are officially planning their New Year’s resolutions.

The Australian Institute of Management ran a survey involving over 850 respondents and found that 84% of people that planned resolutions, 57% of them completed half of their resolutions, and only 7% did not follow through with theirs at all.

Health Deal has put together 10 healthy New Year’s resolutions health experts actually want you to make and action. A healthier Australia means less pressure on the private and public health system, lower premiums, a more productive economy, happier families and improved bank balances.

Didn’t realise your resolution could make such a huge impact? Yes it does, and you can begin making waves by choosing to live healthier with these New Year’s resolutions. Your doctor will thank you for it.

1. Make time for physical activity

This one is very important. Many people resolve to go to the gym or start running as part of their ‘New Year New Me’ regime but research by the social network for athletes Strava show that many resolutions die by the 12th of January, and this is probably because they’ve set their ambitions way too high.

The key to keeping this resolution is to set realistic goals and expectations. If you’re not a very active person try to start out small and then add to your work-out as you progress. For those that aren’t morning people, try to put aside 20-30 minutes in the afternoon to take a brisk walk. If you’re typically exhausted after work, make time each morning for Yoga/Pilates or take the dog for a power walk.

2. Get enough sleep

Everybody knows how great it feels to wake up after a good night’s rest but sleep is more beneficial to your overall health than you may realise.

Fatigue can a cause lack of focus, memory loss, and a short temper, but the long term effects of continuous lack of shut-eye make you prone to serious medical conditions such as coronary diseases, diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity and can affect your mental health.

Do you really need to watch 7 episodes tonight? No? Then change you’re sleeping patterns with this simple and healthy resolution and get that beauty sleep – you’ll thank us tomorrow.

3. Quit smoking

This one is a no-brainer as its common knowledge that cigarettes put a serious dent in your health and your pocket. Many people see in the New Year with the healthy resolution to kick the habit, if only it was that easy however.

If you’ve had trouble quitting before think of the old adage: ‘If you’re still trying you have not failed.’

If you find kicking the habit an immense effort there are many different methods and programs you can try. Start your smoke-free journey today!

4. Eat more fruits and veggies

If you’ve been meaning to get more fruit and vegetables included in your diet, you can start out by cooking just one extra healthy meal than you already do.

Replace cookies and crisps with fruit for snacks and try not to have dried fruits or fruit juice as a substitute as concentrated forms of fruit sugars aren’t that healthy.

When there is a sudden change in your diet you’re more likely to drop it entirely, so start out small and gradually work your way up to a vitamin-powered you.

5. Drink more water

Everyone knows about the miraculous properties of water, so if you haven’t been getting your recommended 8 glasses a day, keep a water bottle on hand as a reminder to hydrate. Set an alarm on your phone if you need to as part of your healthy New Year’s resolution.

Drinking enough water can improve your mood, flush out toxins, boost your energy and immune system, promote weight loss and improve your complexion among a host of other benefits.

6. Cut down your sugar intake

We usually rely on sugary treats as a quick mood fixer-upper but we all know that too much sugar can contribute to diabetes, tooth decay, and obesity. Start cutting down your sugar with small and simple steps such as opting for oats instead of cereal, fruit and citrus-infused water in lieu of store-bought fruit juice and using honey or maple syrup as an alternative to sugar.

7. Find healthy ways to deal with stress

26% of Australians report having moderate to extremely severe depression symptoms and are feeling more strain on their mental health than ever. These can be put down to pressures from work, lack of sleep and even from constantly checking on our social media.

Stressful situations usually drive us to make unhealthy choices such as binge-eating or consuming too much alcohol. As part of your resolution, find healthy ways to deal with stress as this reduces your risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, depression, and stroke.

Before you figure out how to deal with stress, first you’ll need to identify the reasons behind it. List down internal and external stressors and find healthy ways to combat them such as going for a run, having some quiet time, or practising breathing exercises.

8. Learn a new skill

There is evidence suggesting that learning a new skill as an adult has positive impacts on self-esteem and efficacy. Aside from this, it also fuels our creativity and can help build up our confidence levels.

Learning a new skill takes time and effort but it can help you grow as a person, changes your brain chemistry and studies have even found that learning new skills may help you stave off dementia.

Learning a new dance, how to draw, play the guitar, a new language, meditation, take professional photos or even programming, can improve your overall wellbeing, hold off boredom and may even be a new source of income for you. Include learning a new skill as part of your New Year’s resolution for the benefits it has on your mental health, memory and confidence, and possibly even your bank account. Get learning now!

9. Have regular health checks

Early detection is the key when battling illnesses and the only way to do this is to ensure you’re having your regular check-ups. If you’re due for tests like a cervical or breast screening, a dental check-up, or a diabetes test, get these out of the way as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and kidney disease often have no symptoms.

10. Make time for your relationships

Don’t underestimate the importance of nurturing good relationships and the benefits it has on our general wellbeing. Humans are social creatures and much of our happiness comes from fostering loving and connected attachments and relationships.

So whether it’s planning date nights, eating meals as a family, or having lunch with a close friend, the more that we actively work to cultivate and nurture our relationships, the better it is for our combined mental and physical health.  

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