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8 Healthy Habits to Start in 2021
Here are 8 ways to start 2021 off on the right foot, and make this your healthiest year yet!
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New year, new you! We love a fresh start and if getting healthier is one of your 2021 resolutions, here are some simple ways to get that ball rolling. Resolutions take time and commitment, so start small. Choose one of these ideas and once it becomes a habit, move on to the next.
Eat a Healthy Breakfast Every Day
If you’re a breakfast-skipper, it’s time to put an end to that unhealthy habit. We’re sure you’ve heard the expression, “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” While there are some newer diet trends that suggest skipping the meal, there are tons of studies that point towards breakfast-eaters having better overall health. Studies have shown that breakfast-skippers are more likely to be overweight and have diabetes, heart disease, and high cholesterol. Find some healthy breakfast options that you enjoy and integrate them into your daily diet. Some of our favorites? Oatmeal topped with blueberries and almonds, a veggie and avocado omelet, and greek yogurt mixed with almond butter and strawberries.
Focus on Fruits and Vegetables
Let food be your medicine. When you consume fruits and vegetables you are feeding your body the nutrients and vitamins it needs. Make it a goal to have fruits and vegetables throughout the day. We love these kale chips from YUM as an afternoon snack. Have fun in the kitchen experimenting with new vegetable recipes like this one for winter squash and check out this article how to use up fruit before it goes bad.
Integrate Exercise into Your Daily Life
The American Heart Association recommends 150 minutes of moderate activity or 75 minutes per week of vigorous aerobic activity. That comes out to just 2.5 hours per week. If you take about 20 minutes per day to integrate exercise into your daily life, you’ll be making huge strides in your overall health. There are tons of free online workouts you can do at home. Or, get outside! Jump rope, jog, or go for a walk. All of these activities will build toward that 150-minute goal.
Give Yoga a Try
Yoga is an accessible way to get in your daily exercise and it goes beyond breaking a sweat. Yoga has been shown to improve your mental health along with your physical health. If you have any aches and pains, yoga moves can offer much needed relief. From beginner to advanced, there are yoga classes online that will work for you.
Practice Portion Control
Weight control is not just about what you eat, but also, how much you eat. Many packaged goods contain multiple servings so be wary of this when you check nutrition labels. For a good general rule of thumb, use your hand! For each meal, women should have one palm-sized serving of protein (chicken, beef, pork, etc.), while men should have two. A serving of carbs like rice, quinoa, or pasta, should be one cupped handful for women, and two for men.
Form a Consistent Bedtime Routine
Sleep is vital to good health. The American Sleep Association recommends 7-9 hours per night. You’re more likely to hit this mark if you go to sleep and wake up around the same time every day. For better sleep, try and shut down electronics at least an hour before bed, reduce your caffeine intake in the afternoon, and keep your bedroom temperature somewhere between 60-68 degrees Fahrenheit.
Drink More Water
Stick to the 8x8 rule and try and get 8 8-ounce glasses of water per day. Your body is 60% water and keeping your body hydrated is important for a variety of reasons. It aids in digestion, detoxification, and will help you feel energized. Water also helps you feel full which can be a useful tool for weight loss.
Cook More at Home
When you cook meals at home, you know exactly what is going into your body. Restaurants often use tons of added oils, sugars, and other not-so-great-for-you ingredients. Studies have shown better health in those who cook more meals at home. There’s also the added bonus that it will save you money! To get started, check out all of these delicious recipes from YUM.