Many of us see the beginning of the new year as a clean slate and a great time to set big health goals. But after the new year excitement has worn off, it’s easy to get discouraged and lose sight of our objectives when we have a lapse in achieving these goals or they are harder to reach than our expectations had led us to believe, even after putting in the work we thought was necessary to achieve them. This can lead to a pause in working towards improving our overall health and wellness.
The good news is every day is a new chance to try again. Whether you want to improve your physical health, mental well-being, or both, we can incorporate many simple changes into our daily routines to reach optimal wellness. Below are some top healthy habits you should consider picking up.
Move your body every day
Getting up and moving our bodies throughout the day is vital, as physical activity is essential to maintaining good health. According to a study published in The Lancet, lack of physical activity is one of the leading risk factors for global mortality. But incorporating enough movement into our daily routines can be challenging.
One way to make exercise more manageable is to break it up into “exercise snacks,” which are brief bursts of physical activity throughout the day. And studies show that these bursts can add up to significant health benefits, including improving your metabolic health, raising endurance and maintaining or increasing muscle mass. For example, a study in the Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport found that performing six one-minute stair-climbing breaks throughout the day can improve cardiovascular health and fitness.
Try and limit screen time
Spending too much time in front of screens can negatively affect our physical health, including eye strain, poor posture and disrupted sleep patterns. And higher levels of screen time can be associated with poorer mental health outcomes, especially too much time on social media. A study published in the Journal of Affective Disorders found that excessive social media use is associated with higher levels of depression and anxiety in young adults. While it may be challenging to eliminate screen time, limit your exposure as much as possible by taking breaks every hour, using blue light filters on your devices and avoiding screens before bedtime.
Support the immune system with systemic enzymes
The immune system protects our bodies from harmful pathogens like bacteria and viruses. Still, various factors can compromise its effectiveness, including stress, aging and poor lifestyle choices. Systemic enzymes are vital in maintaining a healthy immune system because they support multiple physiological functions by breaking down toxins and proteins that could harm the body.
By increasing the number of white blood cells, these enzymes help fight infections and maintain a healthy balance of immune cells, which can keep our body functioning at its best. They can also help reduce inflammation, promote circulation, aid in tissue repair and improve digestive health. While systemic enzymes can benefit your health, you should speak with a healthcare professional before use, especially if you have a medical condition or are taking medication.
Advocate for workplace wellness programs
A report by the World Health Organization found that workplace wellness programs can reduce absenteeism, increase productivity and improve employee morale. In addition, a study published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine found that employees who participated in workplace wellness programs had lower healthcare costs and fewer hospitalizations than non-participants. Workplace wellness programs can include things like healthy eating initiatives, fitness challenges and stress management programs. If your workplace doesn’t have a wellness program, consider advocating for one.
Maintain a healthy balance of indulgence
While it’s important to focus on healthy habits, it’s also essential to allow yourself some indulgences from time to time. Whether it’s a piece of chocolate, a glass of wine or a Netflix binge, allowing yourself to partake in guilt-free indulgences can help reduce stress and improve your overall mood.
Incorporating these healthy habits into your daily routine can help to promote overall health and wellness for everyone. Whether you’re looking to improve your physical health, mental well-being, or both, making these minor changes to your daily habits can have a significant impact. So, start small and build from there, and here’s to a happy, healthy life!
Author: Justin Marsh is the Founder and CEO of Arthur Andrew Medical, a leading manufacturer of enzyme and probiotic-based dietary supplements, headquartered in Scottsdale.