Many of us resolve to have a healthier year on January 1, but sometimes, big resolutions feel daunting. As the founder of wellness retreat program Escape to Shape, I have learned the importance of balance, including when making lifestyle changes. No matter what your New Year’s goals are, just making a few simple changes each day can put you on the right track to keep up with your resolutions and improve your health. Here are a few tips to get you started in 2017:
- Add meditation to your mornings to reduce stress and improve focus. Even five minutes a day of total silence can help you start on the right foot. Sit in your favorite chair or lie on your bed, and just breathe. If you want to start a more regimented practice, try the app Headspace or Tonglen meditation to begin.
- Switch up your workout to challenge your body in new ways. If a stronger, fitter body is your goal, adding even 1 new workout a week to your routine can transform your body. If you’re a kickboxer, try a barre-based workout to stretch your legs. If you like to spin, try a yoga class to increase your flexibility.
- If you want to improve your diet, consider adding anti-inflammatory spices to each meal. Inflammation has been linked to arthritis, heart disease, and even cancer, and adding a few common spices to your diet can make you feel better in your everyday life. Turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, garlic, cayenne all not only add tremendous health benefits, but are high on flavor as well! Try drinking tea made with real ginger, or adding turmeric, cinnamon, and/or cayenne pepper to your morning lemon water (another great way to start the day)!
- Aiming to look brighter, rested, and refreshed? Add ingestible collagen to your beauty routine. Collagen is the most abundant protein in our bodies. Collagen powders are a great way to boost metabolic functions and detoxification, and may also help the skin retain moisture and appear plumper and younger. Find a brand with no added sugar and a minimum of 2500mg of collagen for best results.
- There’s a reason doctors recommend 7-9 hours of sleep for most adults: the way you feel while you’re awake depends in part on how well you’re sleeping. If your resolution is to be more productive, more focused, and less stressed, start the night before. Set an “anti alarm” an hour before bedtime, and find a ritual to help you relax. One change can truly produce results, whether it’s journaling, starting that new book, or committing to drinking a nightly cup of tea – try valerian, which has natural sedative properties, or chamomile or lavender to distress. –Erica Gragg