The holidays are over, and now all of us are looking to make some positive health changes in the new year, so many people make New Year’s Resolutions! I would like to challenge to NOT to make a resolution!  Instead, make a “New Year’s Revolution”!  A resolution implies that you are going to suddenly make a complete radical change from your previous habits.  This usually does not last past February. If you plan a “revolution”, you intend to diligently and methodically make small changes which become habits and progress to bigger changes. By the end of 2022, you will have a whole new set of healthy habits!

Gradually move to a whole food plant-based diet-This is by far one of the most beneficial changes you can make for your overall health! The plant-based diet has been shown to reduce inflammation, boost the immune system, reduce risk of diabetes, heart disease, and certain cancers, reduce risk of dementia, and many more!

  1. An easy place to start is with “Meatless Mondays” to give you a chance to try out some meatless main dishes! But opt for whole foods rather than “meat substitutes”!  Each month, add another “meatless” day to your week and gradually you will be progressing toward a fully plant-based diet!
  2. Try adding a fruit or vegetable to each meal! Adding food is much easier than taking away food from your diet!
  3. Take note of how you feel! Most people notice improved energy, cognition, athletic performance, and sleep!  That’s encouraging!

Let’s go for a walk! You don’t have to start January killing yourself in the gym!   Studies show that a regular brisk walk can significantly improve your health!  Walking can help you trim your waistline, prevent diabetes and heart disease, strengthen bones and muscles, increase energy, improve cognition, memory and sleep, strengthen immune system, and reduce stress.

  1. Start by choosing one day per week to walk for 30 minutes, then gradually increase the length of your walk, the number of days that you walk, and the speed of your walk! This is a great time to relax your mind and listen to music, enjoy an audiobook or educational podcast, or simply meditate in the silence!  It will become addicting and your body will begin to crave that “me-time”!
  2. Get up every hour and take a lap around the office, up the stairs or outside for a few minutes! These small efforts will add up to overall health and will make you feel better as well.

Drink Up! Water is necessary for almost every chemical reaction in your body. To keep your metabolism running efficiently, we need between half to one ounce of water per pound of body weight daily depending upon your activity level and climate. If you’re not a water-drinker, increase your water intake slowly and let your body adapt!

    1. Some studies show that starting your day with 8-14 oz of water will help boost mood, increase mental performance, and help with weight loss efforts and improve overall appearance of the skin. Start by replacing your morning juice or milk with water or start with just 8 oz of water and gradually increase to 14 oz as your body gets used to this! Then go for your coffee to reward yourself!
    2. Drink 8 oz of water before meals. This will help you feel full faster and eat less as well as aid in digestion.
    3. Replace your sugary sodas or juices with flavored water enhancers or tea in between meals. There are numerous health benefits of lemon water and tea to make it a win-win!

If you start small, be consistent, and increase your efforts gradually throughout the year, you are guaranteed to look, feel, and BE healthier by 2023!   So ditch those unattainable “New Year’s Resolutions” and resolve to work toward a health “Revolution” in 2022!

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