2020 has taught us many things, including the importance of staying healthy and prioritizing self-care. While the start of a new year is a common time for many of us to think about our health goals, the COVID-19 crisis has perhaps made it more crucial than ever for us to maintain our overall health, happiness and safety.
However, maintaining optimal health isn’t just good for our well-being. When we are a healthier version of ourselves, we’re better poised to set ourselves up for success in everything we do (including sticking to our New Year’s resolutions).
Whether it’s getting our regular vitamin intake, catching up on our sleep, pampering ourselves or creating a better fitness regimen, healthy habits are the key to wellness and the start of a new year is a great time to set better health goals for ourselves.
In this article, we’ll review 5 habits for well-being to adopt in the new year.
Take your vitamins
With colder temperatures comes added stress and strain on the immune system. Those of us who live in northern climates will also experience reduced amounts of UVB rays, which lowers our immune response. Combine all of these factors with a global pandemic — and you’ve got a great case for adding proper vitamins and supplements to your daily regimen.
Four critical vitamins you should remind yourself to take daily include:
B-Vitamins: This group of water-soluble vitamins includes B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B5 (pantothenic acid), B6 (pyridoxine), B7 (biotin), B9 (folate) and B12 (cobalamin). While each of these compounds function differently, each of them aid in cell metabolism, promote better immune function and protect the body from sickness.
Vitamin C: This water-soluble vitamin is a trusted antioxidant that offers tremendous anti-viral properties, improves immunity and mitigates viral infections.
Vitamin D: This fat-soluble vitamin helps strengthen bones, helps our body absorb calcium and increases our overall immune response. Since we typically get this vitamin from exposure to sunlight, it’s easy to become vitamin D-deficient during the darker winter months. As such, getting a daily intake of this vitamin reduces our risk of infection.
Zinc: This essential mineral helps the body ward off infections. Known for preventing viruses from adhering to cell walls and helping the body produce more antibodies, it can typically be found in supplements or lozenges.
Find a workout routine you love
We all know that getting more exercise makes us healthier, but sometimes the real challenge is actually enjoying it. To put it frankly, exercise can sometimes be painful, repetitive, boring or difficult to commit to when we’re feeling down, tired, stressed or overwhelmed with work.
Studies have suggested that exercise enjoyment is actually one of the best predictors of how likely we are to stick with a fitness regimen. Some ways to find a workout routine you’ll actually like include:
Properly identifying your fitness goals: Having an objective (such as a goal weight) is a great way to motivate yourself to keep going. Once you’ve got this part covered, you can start picking which exercise types are helping you inch closer to that target.
Picking the best time: While some may get the best results from running first-thing in the morning, others might prefer to break a sweat after work or later in the night. Whatever your preference, you’ll be more likely to stick to a workout routine that suits your schedule and your vibe.
Choosing something you’re good at: Maybe team sports or running aren’t really your thing, but that doesn’t mean you might not enjoy swimming, biking, yoga or other forms of exercise. Everyone is different and there’s never any harm in trying different approaches to find out which you might excel at!
Limit your time with electronic devices
Global online consumption doubled in 2020, where many of us probably found ourselves spending much more time than usual tethered to our screens. Being forced to work, learn and spend more time at home has made it easier than ever before to overdo how much time we spend on our electronic devices.
While these have been strange times, studies show that increased screen time has been linked with lower psychological well-being. The good news is that there are ways for us to gain better control over how much time we spend on our electronics, including:
- Turning our notifications off later in the day
- Taking extended breaks from social media
- Using phone apps that remind us when it’s time to switch off
- Keeping daily activities device-free (such as workouts, creative projects, playtime with kids, shopping and more)
Go to sleep earlier
Many of us have probably also lost some sleep in 2020, but it’s important to remember that getting quality sleep plays a huge role in maintaining proper health and well-being. Going to sleep earlier can:
Improve your immune system: Your body’s cells and proteins are better able to fight off viruses when it is well-rested.
Improve your mood: Poor sleep is often linked to anxiety, depression and other mental health conditions — which can thereby lead to decreased productivity and lower energy levels. Getting proper rest is integral to feeling happy, healthy and productive.
Increased exercise performance: Getting adequate sleep improves our hand-eye coordination, our muscle recovery and our reaction time — all of which are keystones to sticking to (and enjoying) a proper fitness routine.
Treat your body to massages
2020 has been a stressful year — and it should be safe to say that we’ve all earned the right to some quality treatment once it’s safe to do so again.
Massage therapy doesn’t just have to be something you indulge in every now and then. In fact, there are a wealth of health benefits associated with incorporating massage sessions into your regular wellness routine. Some of these perks include:
Relief of stress and tension: Massage therapy has been proven to reduce anxiety, calm nervous tension and slow the heart rate by targeting the circulatory system.
Improve your mental health: Massage releases endorphins, dopamine and serotonin into the bloodstream, resulting in increased relaxation and improved mood.
Improving overall mobility: Massage helps the body recover from injury, in addition to improving overall range of motion and flexibility.
Contact Dcompress Downtown today
We hope you’ve enjoyed this article and are ready to make 2021 a healthier, more promising year.
At Dcompress Downtown, our team of wellness specialists are ready to help you make that happen. Book an appointment with us today and receive $20 off your next service once you provide us with your name, email and phone number. We look forward to hearing from you!