5 Healthy Habits For The New Year
Let this new year be your empty cup to fill with growth, love, and gratitude.
2023 is coming in fast! It's time to think about healthy habits for you and your family. Let's go over five simple ways you can intentionally choose to increase your family's social, emotional, and physical well-being this new year.
1. New Year, New Gratitude!
Adding gratitude time is one of the easiest things you can do this new year to increase your physical and mental health!
Wait…physical health, too?! How does saying things I'm thankful for help physical well-being?! Research shows that regularly taking the time to be thankful can have huge benefits such as:
Promoting heart health
Strengthening the immune system
Helping to regulate stress hormones
Reducing fear, anxiety, and depression
Training our brain to think positively
Enhancing the brain signals responsible for happiness
Practice It: You can make gratitude a daily healthy habit this new year for your family by simply having a few moments to share what you are thankful for before or during your meals together, on your way to school, or during your bedtime routine.
Maybe your family will want to keep a gratitude journal instead, where each person expresses themselves in written form. It can make for a great keepsake! Both ways are beneficial for your mind and body.
The more you practice thankfulness, the easier it will naturally flow throughout your lives. It's similar to speaking affirmations over yourself and your children; it cultivates peace and love.
2. New Year Food Swaps
Choosing healthier foods is a common new year resolution people make. Making huge, drastic changes to your family's diet can be overwhelming, stressful, and time-consuming, which can make it easier to go back to old ways!
Starting small with smart food swaps can set you up for success in making long-term changes.
Swapping these not-so-healthy foods for healthier options this new year can benefit you and your family's heart, brain, gut health, weight, immune system, and more.
Swap ultra-processed vegetable and canola oils for nutrient-dense extra virgin olive oil and coconut oil
Swap refined white sugar with maple syrup or honey as sweeteners
Swap refined pasta with chickpea or lentil pasta
Swap processed fruit juice with fiber-filled whole pieces of fruit, or homemade fruit smoothies
Swap sugar-filled cereals with overnight oatmeal
Swap sucralose and aspartame artificial sweeteners with monk fruit or stevia
Also, adding one new superfood at a time will allow you to experiment with it during the week to find your favorite way to serve it this new year.
3. Move More This New Year
Staying inside more during the winter can make it more challenging to get in the days worth of physical activity (without bouncing off the walls!)
YMCA instructor Cheri Earnhardt lends a smart suggestion to families who need to move more this new year. She tells us to set a timer for every hour and complete a 90-second routine to boost your heart rate and energy levels.
Here's an example of a round of simple, family-friendly exercises you can complete during that 90 seconds that works your major muscle groups:
10 jumping jacks
10 leg lifts
Imagine if you do this routine every hour for 10 hours a day. That equals 100 reps of each workout move that can boost confidence and build strength!
4. New Year Healthy Breakfast And Snack Habit
One thing our bodies rely on after a long night of fasting is good food fuel to boost our brain power and jumpstart our metabolism. What we eat affects our brain functioning, so it's essential to keep clean and healthy foods around the house to choose from.
Planning and prepping the day ahead for meals and 2-3 snacks your family will have each day can give you time to choose healthier options instead of rushed, conveniently packaged items that can add harmful ingredients.
If you're looking for somewhere to start with meal planning this new year, Healthy Family Project offers a free downloadable meal planner with inventory lists, tips, and resources for healthier meal planning habits.
Keep this in mind when meal planning: foods with fiber, healthy fats, and protein promote a healthy body and digestive system while also helping you to stay fuller longer!
Picking one area of food choices to start improving can gradually help you change your eating habits for the better. For example, we chose breakfast since it's the first food of the day and snack time since without satisfying snacks, you or a family member may experience the dreaded "hangry" emotion.
Here are a few healthy breakfast and snack ideas to try this new year!
Breakfast -paired with a serving or two of fruit:
A nut butter and banana sandwich
Veggies and hummus
Trail mix with nuts, seeds, dried fruit, and dark chocolate chips
You can check out our post on more healthy breakfast recipes, and feel free to share with us your favorite go-to!
5. Healthy Vitamin Habit
Our food supply is supposed to provide us with essential vitamins and minerals we need to be healthy and strong. But due to soil conditions, food processing, and unhealthy ingredients, each family must make their own decision on supplementing their diet regimen to ensure their family gets what they need nutrition-wise.
Thankfully there are many family-friendly supplements on the market now to choose from. If you're thinking about adding vitamin and mineral supplements this new year, make sure to research the brands you might want to invest in. Always check the ingredient list for added sugar, artificial food dyes, and other unhealthy ingredients that shouldn't be in a health supplement.
Here are a few examples of supplements you may want to consider adding to your daily routine:
Probiotics like Mary Ruth's
Sugar-free, non-GMO Hiya Multivitamins
If you're looking to learn more ways to optimize your immune system this new year, check out our blog post on immune support tips!
We want to hear if your family has any New Year resolutions!
Comment below or join us on Instagram and let us know your top 3!
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