If you love your body, do you really need to change anything in 2017?
That time of the year is upon us once again - the whole ‘New Year, New You’ mindset where we focus on our weaknesses and things we need to improve on in the year ahead. According to studies, the most common new year’s resolution is to lose weight. But this isn’t always realistic - in fact only 8% of people actually achieve their New Year’s resolutions.
If you’re happy with your body, do you really need to set weight loss goals for the year ahead? There are other alternative resolutions to set in order to improve yourself in 2017 - try some of these healthy resolutions.
1. Reduce stress
Modern life is full of stress triggers - long work hours, lack of sleep, and poor diet. And while a little stress is part of life and won’t hurt us, chronic stress can increase your risk of many negative conditions: insomnia, depression, obesity, and heart disease to name but a few.
Meditation and yoga can be extremely beneficial in reducing the effects of stress - simply taking a deep breath has been shown to lower cortisol (the stress hormone) levels and cause a temporary drop in blood pressure.
2. Spend more time with friends
Friends can help make your life last longer - science says so. A recent study found that nearly people with a large network of friends outlived those with fewer friends by more than 20%.
This may be due to the fact friends help ward off depression, make you feel good about yourself, and offer support when times are hard. One thing you can do to improve your life this January? Give that old friend you haven’t seen lately a call for a coffee. Have a lunch date with the girls from your yoga class. Your body will thank you for it.
3. Cut back on alcohol
Drinking too much affects the brain and the body - increasing the risk of depression, memory loss, liver and heart disease, and cancer. New alcohol guidelines suggest that there is no safe limit for alcohol consumption, suggesting that even the occasional weekly tipple could raise the risk of diseases such as bowel cancer. This doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the odd glass of wine - simply take steps to ensure you have several drink-free days a week so that your liver can repair alcohol related damage.
4. Eat small - and often
Don’t wait until the new year to introduce better eating habits. Instead, make these habits a part of your everyday life. Making sure you eat breakfast everyday and drink plenty of water (at least six to eight 12-ounce glasses a day) can be a good start - but one of the best things you can do is eat small and regularly.
Why? When you go longer than three hours without eating, you stress hormone cortisol begins to rise, which signal for the body to start storing fat in the abdominal region. People who skip meals have the most raised cortisol levels of them all.