A new year is upon us, which signifies a fresh start for many people. If you’re looking to adopt a healthier lifestyle and make 2022 your best year yet, it’s important to set realistic and attainable goals to ensure success.

Take a look at these simple and healthy resolutions that can boost your mental and physical health and well-being.

New Year, New Healthier You

1. Eat more whole foods.

Perhaps the easiest and most beneficial way to improve your physical health is eating more nutritious whole foods. We recommend implementing a wide variety of vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, whole grains, and fish into your diet. These whole foods have been proven to significantly reduce heart disease risk factors, body weight, blood sugar levels, and decrease your risk of certain diseases, such as type 2 diabetes. If you’re not used to eating these foods, including vegetables, start by adding one serving to your daily diet.

2. Break a sweat.

The CDC claims that more than 60% of adults don’t get enough of the recommended amount of physical activity, and roughly 25% aren’t active at all. If you’re just getting started on a fitness routine, aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity every day or 150 minutes per week. For example, take a brisk walk or bike ride around the neighborhood. If it’s too cold outside, why not take an at-home fitness class? Several programs allow you to break a sweat from the comfort of your own home. You may also want to consider joining a gym where you can strength train or join classes. Fortunately, many gyms offer discounted prices during the new year.

3. Get enough sleep.

It can be tough to get enough sleep every night between our digital devices, stress, children, and other factors. As a general rule of thumb, adults should get at least 7 hours of sleep every night. Try going to bed just 15 minutes earlier each night. Once those 15 minutes become routine, keep adding another 15 minutes until you reach your goal of seven or more hours of sleep each night. If you’re struggling to fall asleep, make sure to keep your bedroom cool and dark. Also, minimize screen time as you get closer to bedtime.

4. Reduce screen time.

Many of us are dependent on our phones, tablets, and other digital devices, which can cause depression, anxiety, and disrupted sleep patterns. Set a goal of cutting back on the time you spend scrolling through social media, checking emails, or playing computer games. Start with a small goal of 15 to 30 minutes a day of putting your devices away. Engage in another productive activity you enjoy, which may include reading a book, cooking a meal, or doing some yoga.

5. Cut back on alcohol.

While small amounts of alcohol can fit into your diet, indulging too much too often can lead to health issues and prevent you from achieving your goals. If you need to limit the amount of alcohol you drink, try setting a drink limit for the week. We also recommend replacing alcohol with a fun mocktail.

6. Practice Meditation and Mindfulness.

When dealing with chronic stress, anxiety, and depression, mindfulness paired with meditation is one of the best gifts we can give ourselves. The benefits of mindfulness and meditation are far-reaching and powerful. They include:

  • Lowering stress hormones, such as cortisol
  • Strengthening relaxation responses
  • Improved focus and concentration throughout the day
  • Improved sleep

7. Drink More Water.

Drinking enough water throughout the day may seem like a chore. However, there are ways to make it a bit less painful. First, set a daily water intake goal of at least eight 8-ounce glasses per day. Make sure to record your progress to motivate you to achieve your goal and make it a habit. Keep a reusable water bottle near you as a visual reminder to drink water. Also, consider adding lemon, cucumbers, or berries to your water for extra flavor.

8. Spend more time outside

Spending more time in the great outdoors can improve your mental and physical health by alleviating stress, improving your mood, and lowering blood pressure. Make a goal of walking outside during your lunch break, hiking on weekends, hitting the ski slopes, or simply soaking in the beauty of Utah’s landscape.

9. Take up a new hobby.

It’s common for our hobbies to become a low priority due to busy schedules and lack of motivation. However, research shows that people with hobbies are less likely to suffer from stress and depression. The new year is a great time to choose an activity that gets you out and about while helping you feel happier and more relaxed.

10. Schedule an Appointment at Premier Family Medical

The new year is the perfect time for new adventures, new beginnings, and a new chapter. And there’s never a better time to start your healthy lifestyle than the present. If you haven’t received a medical exam in a while, it may be time to visit Premier Family Medical. We provide patients with a variety of medical services, including urgent care, weight management, blood work, and more. To make an appointment, you can text, email, or call your office from the location page or login to your portal account. Your medical care is our top priority.