As we approach the end of the year, you might find yourself thinking about how you would like to become healthier and happier in 2023. Did you know that 38.5% of American adults set new year’s resolutions every year, with that figure rising to 59% amongst the 18-34 demographic?
The start of the new year can feel like a great time to launch some healthy new habits and get started on the right foot. But how do you decide which resolutions to set? Here are five we think you should make (and three we'd like you to avoid.)
Make: Cook From Scratch
There are so many advantages to cooking from scratch rather than relying on takeout, convenience foods, or restaurants. You’ll have more control over what goes into your meal and be able to keep an eye on your portion sizes. You’ll also save money, since cooking at home is considerably more cost-effective.
Make: Reduce Your Alcohol Consumption
Many of us enjoy a drink or two after work, and we’re not telling you to cut out alcohol completely. But why not cut down on your consumption so you can keep enjoying your favorite drinks without damaging your health? Remember that the CDC recommends no more than one drink per day for women or two per day for men.
You could limit yourself to a maximum of one drink per day, resolve only to drink on two or three nights per week, or restrict alcohol to weekends only.
Make: Find a New Kind of Activity You Love
The key to lifelong fitness is to find an activity you love. If you’re tired of slogging away at the gym or bored of your usual jogging route, mix things up and try something new.
How about joining a sports club, taking a dance class, or trying out a winter sport? Or, if you feel like going completely offbeat, have a go at one of our favorite unusual sports you’ve probably never even heard of before.
2023 may be the year you discover a new passion!
Make: Keep a Regular Meditation or Yoga Practice
Most of us spend a lot of our lives busy and stressed out. We do not make time to pause, breathe, and reflect. Starting a regular yoga or meditation practice (or both) can be a wonderful way to bring a little peace and serenity to every day.
Make: Start Strength Training
Wherever you are in your fitness journey, a strength training regime can help you to progress. Strength training can help to reduce body fat, increase your body’s calorie burn at rest, lower your risk of various illnesses including heart disease and diabetes, and improve your bone health.
There are lots of ways to get started. Book a session with a personal trainer, visit your local gym and get to grips with the weight machines, or check out our guide to lifting weights at home.
You might be a little sore after your first few sessions. This is normal. Don’t forget that our non-compression recovery wear can help you.
Avoid: Lose 20lb
Losing weight is one of the most common new year’s resolutions. And if this is something you need to do for your health, we’re not necessarily saying it’s a bad one. However, being overly rigid or putting a specific rate on your weight loss plans is a recipe for failure.
Instead of focusing on a number, focus on creating small and sustainable habits such as getting 10,000 steps per day and eating at a small caloric deficit. Get your healthy habits right, and your weight will follow.
Avoid: Giving Up Alcohol, Sugar, or Carbs
Cutting out something you enjoy entirely is setting yourself up for failure and possibly even binging on the “forbidden” item. Moderation is important, but eliminating treats or food groups entirely is a mistake.
Instead, aim to eat a balanced diet that incorporates all food groups and plenty of the things you love.
Avoid: Work Out Every Day
Aiming for perfection in anything is a mistake. If you commit to doing something every day, you will feel like a failure the first time you miss a day. This can lead you to giving up entirely, which is the opposite of what you want.
In addition, working out every day isn’t actually good for you. Your body needs time to heal, decompress, and recover after hard workouts, and overdoing it can lead to injury. Instead of deciding to work out every day, make a sustainable plan, try to stick to it, and forgive yourself for the days when things don’t go perfectly.