For many people, January is the time of year when they turn over the proverbial new leaf and pledge to work on their health and fitness. If this sounds familiar, you might be wondering about the best ways to get started to set yourself up for a successful and healthy year.
A January challenge can be a great way to kickstart your health and fitness journey. You’ll start building healthy habits, and you’ll enjoy a sense of accomplishment at the end of the month, which can help you to stay motivated.
Don’t worry if you’re just getting started today, and don’t overthink it. Instead, choose a challenge and dive in. Here are a few you might like to try.
Dry January was founded by Emily Robinson in 2013. While training for a marathon, Robinson realized that not drinking alcohol had a hugely positive impact on her physical and mental health as well as her relationships.
The rules of this challenge are simple: abstain from drinking alcohol during the month of January. Just some of the benefits of reducing your alcohol consumption include lowering your risk of various serious illnesses (including liver damage and several cancers), weight loss, better sleep, more energy, and clearer skin. You’ll also save money and you may find that your mental health improves.
Why not swap out your usual cocktail or glass of wine for a fruit juice, mocktail, alcohol-free beer, or flavored sparkling water?
Dry January 2023 is a tenth anniversary edition, so there’s never been a better time to get involved.
Deciding which diet to follow—omnivorous, pescetarian, vegetarian, vegan, and so on—is a very personal choice and can be informed by all sorts of factors including health, ethical concerns, environmental issues, religion, upbringing, and even the availability of various foods where you live.
But however you usually eat, almost everyone could benefit from introducing more plant-based foods into their diet. Plant-based foods help to keep your heart healthy, contribute towards maintaining a healthy body weight, and even lower your risk of some cancers.
Veganuary is a charity based in England and Wales, but welcomed participants from more than 220 countries and territories for its 2022 campaign. The Veganuary challenge involves eliminating all animal products (including meat, fish, dairy, eggs, and honey) “as far as possible and practicable.” Veganuary 2023 is now underway and it’s not too late to get involved.
You may not decide to remain vegan at the end of the challenge, but you’re sure to discover some great new plant-based favorites. You might even find you miss animal products less than you expected to!
Yoga with Adriene: Center
Adriene Michler has been offering free yoga videos on Youtube for ten years and is followed by a community of over 11 million subscribers. For the last few years, Mishler has created 30-day yoga journeys during the month of January. These are suitable whether you are a dedicated yogi or a complete beginner, and many of the poses can be adapted to your level of ability.
2023’s journey is known as “Center” and practices range from 17 to 35 minutes in length. All you need is comfortable clothing, a little space and time, and a yoga mat if you have one.
Yoga offers numerous amazing health benefits. It strengthens and tones muscles, increases flexibility, and contributes to better cardiovascular health. It can relieve stress, improve your mental health, and even help you to lose weight.
As Adriene likes to say, “hop into something comfy, and let’s get started!”
RED (Run Every Day) January
RED originally stood for “Run Every Day”, but RED January is now a broader movement that encourages participants simply to move their bodies every day during the month of January. Founder Hannah Beecham created RED January after noticing the positive impact that physical activity had on her mother, who was recovering from severe depression at the time.
Being physically active is one of the absolute best things you can do for your body and mind. Keeping fit can keep your brain healthy, help you to manage your weight, keep your bones and muscles strong, fend off many common illnesses, improve your sleep, and boost your mood.
To participate in RED January, sign up for free on the website. You can then download your RED January calendar, choose your activity or activities, and join the community to connect with others who are seeking better physical and mental health this month. If you’d like, you can also go the extra mile and raise some money for a good cause such as RED January’s official charity partner, Sport in Mind.
How will you be challenging yourself this month?
Let us know in the comments so that we can cheer you on!