5 Healthy Habits to Bring into the New Year
New Year’s resolutions are nothing new, but the tired old promises we’ve made to ourselves in the past need a revamp! Read on to learn about 5 healthy habits we should all be taking with us into the fresh new year.
5. Track Your Health and Activity
No matter how tech-savvy you are (or aren’t), there are options to track your healthy choices. Try a few apps to see what’s right for you—what makes sense with your lifestyle and how much you like to update. For the super techy, plenty will sync to wearable devices and alert users when they’re missing or achieving a goal. If you’re more the analog type, pick up a small notebook or sketch pad that you can designate for your daily or weekly notes. Not only can these be valuable records to share with your healthcare team, knowing that you’ve got a log to fill out can be great motivation to skip that second helping of holiday pie!
4. Maximize Food Groups
Along the tracking line, an easy way to better fuel your body is to maximize your usage of food groups. Include a handful of greens or a quick salad with that lunch sandwich. Grab a piece of fruit when you’re feeling snacky. Pair fruit with a small serving of dairy, like a piece of string cheese, to increase absorption of the vitamins in both! Whether it’s a few baby carrots, some spicy peppers, swapping a sweet potato for a white potato, or whole grains and healthy fats like avocado or nuts, try to add a little color to everything you eat.
3. Get a Checkup
When is the last time you saw a healthcare professional when you weren’t sick? It’s important to have a baseline for your normal ranges because vitals like healthy blood pressure and resting heart rate and even temperature are ranges and can be different for even the same person as they age, become more or less fit, experience an illness or injury, etc. Find a primary care physician that you can talk with openly and honestly about your health; don’t wait until you’ve got an emergency to find out that your blood pressure has been creeping up—forewarned is forearmed! If you’re already established with your providers, the new year is a great time to verify the date of your next checkup and any other routine tests.
2. Group/Community Support
Your primary care physician is just one part of your healthy community. For a long time, fitness experts and nutritionists have recommended finding an accountability buddy (or two or ten). Talk to friends and family, join a group in person or online where you can share your progress and setbacks as well as support others in theirs. Being in touch with others who are also working on health and/or fitness goals is also a fantastic way to get great tips and ideas for better eating, fun activities to keep you moving, and ways to push through the plateaus. Involve your health care team so that they can help you both set and pursue your goals safely.
1. Communicate Better with Your Healthcare Team
What was the result of that blood test? Did you ever hear back on the labs your doctor ordered? It’s easy to forget and assume that no news is good news, but staying on top of your results, much like getting your normal levels like we mentioned before, is a crucial way to be your own best self-advocate. Also, most health information isn’t shared between providers—even if they’re within the same system or the same building. Some providers are connected, but you can’t rely on your entire healthcare team being able to easily communicate. HIPAA guidelines require that all of your health records be made available to you, so if you’re not sure ask your provider.
New Year’s resolutions are notoriously abandoned by February but cultivating some healthier habits and strengthening your support team can be done in small steps throughout the year. Here’s to a healthier you in 2021!