Happy New Year! 2018 is among us and what better time to start making little changes into your daily life that will definitely contribute to bigger changes. It can be immensely difficult to start your healthy journey by making drastic changes, so I’m not telling you to join a gym in 2018 nor telling you to entirely change your diet, just incorporate some or all of these habits and you’ll thank me later 😉
Get up early!
Kind of obvious, but my biggest downfall. This is a habit I also want to improve in 2018, if you know me you’ll know how bad my sleep routine used to be in the first couple of years of University. Although in the last few years it has improved due to being out on placement and having to wake up early as well as being stricter on myself.
I try and wake up at a reasonable time each day, around 8 or 9ish whether I have classes or not and even at the weekends. It doesn’t always work and I lie in, but I motivate myself to try again the next day. It’s important to get enough sleep in order for your body to recharge and to ensure you’re productive throughout the day. So make sure you’re going to sleep at a reasonable time and gradually create a sleep pattern that works well for you.
Be more active!
If your news year’s resolution is to join a gym then that’s great! But you don’t have to join a gym to be conscious of your health or transform yourself either. Try to incorporate active movements in your daily life, go for a walk on your lunch break or between library sessions, walk to places more if you can or simply walk around the house/up and downstairs. If you don’t feel comfortable joining a gym, many have free classes anyway, from yoga to circuit training that can be useful to build up confidence as well as getting you moving. You’ll only stick to something if you enjoy it, so if you like swimming or running or biking or simply dancing, then do more of that in 2018!
I’ve found the use of resistance bands and ankle weights very useful on days where I don’t feel too great or feel like stepping out the house. Put on your favourite playlist, a comfortable outfit and find a space you can do some light stretching, squatting, and core strengthening quick workouts. Literally home workouts have been my life and will continue to do so whilst proving you do not need a gym to define and sculpt your body, whilst gaining strength.
Drink more water!
The benefits of water are limitless but still underrated. During my school days I remember I wouldn’t need to use the bathroom all day for 6 whole hours, purely because of the lack of water I used to consume. Nowadays you will not see me without a water bottle (I even asked for water bottles for Christmas lol). I try to drink at least 3 litres but again don’t always succeed, but try not to leave the house or start any work without a bottle next to you, you’ll most likely end up just grabbing it. Perhaps tally how much you’ve drank or there’s so many water tracking apps to help you too, set small targets! If you’re a person that drinks no water then start by drinking a litre a day and gradually increasing it.
Cut out irrelevant foods/drinks!
This is a broad subject and probably the one we struggle with the most, so maybe start 2018 by picking one thing (food or drink) you’ll be able to cut out nearly completely from your diet. Make sure to set realistic goals so don’t go for something you can’t live without, instead reduce the amount you have of that first. For example I decided to cut down on drinking fizzy drinks (as I never really loved them anyway) therefore they were irrelevant to my diet so I switched them for soft drinks or mostly water now.
In relation to food, I haven’t cut out anything completely from my diet but reduced a lot of foods and ingredients. For example I try not to eat or at least buy anything with trans-fat and palm oil, whilst reducing my consumption of animal dairy products, fatty meats such as pork, pastries, fried foods etc. What’s been beneficial to my lifestyle is eating pretty clean during the weekdays and then on weekends, I would allow myself to eat anything I wanted without binging or having a whole ‘cheat day’.
These are just a few small habits that you can incorporate into your daily lifestyle in 2018. It really doesn’t matter how big or small these changes are as long as you’re consistent. Here’s to a healthy year!