With a new year, comes a fresh start, and if you are ready to take charge of your health, there has never been a better time to start! Focusing on your health is not easy and there are so many places that you could start. It can get overwhelming! If you need help starting slow and easy, start with these 6 ways to focus on your health for the New Year.
When you think about your health and your New Year goals, you might only think about your physical health, such as how much water you are drinking, how much weight you have to lose, and how you look in the mirror. One thing that most of us do not consider – but is just as, if not more important – is our mental health.
Mental health is so very important when we look at the big, whole picture, but it is often forgotten about. Not anymore! Make it a goal to prioritize your mental health in 2022. I promise that it will improve your overall health and wellness, for not just this year, but for years to come, as well.
Get outside! You hear it all the time, but how is it a health improvement? Getting outside is actually very beneficial for many reasons and is one of the simplest ways to focus on your healthy in the new year. The sun helps with your vitamin levels, your mood, and more. It’s truly so important to spend quality time outside, as much as possible
It’s funny because on one hand, we hear so much that we need to limit our sun exposure, but on the other hand, Vitamin D is such a critical part when it comes to overall health and wellness – especially immune health. In fact, Vitamin D is involved in calcium absorption, immune function, and protecting bone, muscle, and heart health, as well. There are many functions for it and having good levels is very important.
But some people warn that synthetic Vitamin D actually acts as a hormone in our bodies and not so much like a vitamin. So, what are we supposed to do? Get natural sources of Vitamin D, from the sun! Make sure that you are making outdoor time a priority in your everyday life – whether it’s outdoor workouts or simply enjoying the outdoors for yourself and your whole family.
Add in dry brushing
Another aspect of health that most people don’t think much about is lymphatic health. Your lymphatic system is a network of vessels which lymph drains from the tissues into the blood. This can help remove toxins and buildup from your system. The good news? There’s an easy way to start moving your lymphatic system more, and that’s dry brushing. It comes with other benefits, too. It has a long-standing list of benefits including increased circulation, smooth + exfoliated skin, detoxification through lymphatic drainage, and improved appearance of the skin.
Increase your greens and consider herbs
Increasing your veggie intake and perhaps adding herbs is another of the simple ways to focus on your health. With each meal, try to add in at minimum, 1-2 vegetables, if not more. Ideally, you will want to focus on vegetables that are in-season and local, which will give you the biggest bang for your buck when it comes to health and wellness.
Greens such as collard greens, kale, radish, Brussel sprouts, mustard greens, and more, are also great for natural hormone health. Why? Because vegetables that are in the brassica family can help increase the protective 2-OH (the protective estrogen metabolite pathway) and decrease the 16a-OH and 4-OH (which can act as a breast tumor promoter) estrogen metabolite.
Another tip? Try adding in herbs! For example, milk thistle is liver protective, anti-fibrotic, and it is used for various liver diseases. Dandelion root is another one that is great for a healthy liver. It is liver protective, anti-inflammatory, and has anti-diabetic properties. A few others that you might want to consider? Turmeric, licorice, and chamomile!
Reduce exposure to microplastics
According to a 2020 study, “to date, there is a considerable lack of knowledge on the major additives of concern that are used in the plastic industry, on their fate once microplastics dispose into the environment, and on their consequence on human health.”
We know that there are numerous negative impacts that plastics are having on human health, yet for some reason, we still use it so often. If you can, try to limit your exposure by drinking filtered water, vacuuming regularly, eating whole foods, saying “no” to plastic water bottles, making kitchen swaps, and choosing cleaner household brands.
Get back to your workouts
If you have a goal of getting stronger, losing weight, or feeling better about yourself this year, you absolutely need to get back to working out. It’s truly one of the best ways to focus on your health in the new year.
If you aren’t sure where to start, my biggest recommendation is to find a tribe that will help you meet and exceed your goals, such as the amazing CrossFit gym in Nashville, CrossFit Solid Orange. They opened in 2016 with an emphasis on helping people keep coming back that had trouble sticking to a workout program in the past.
Their members are consistently successful at achieving results because they connect you with another member that shares your same goals. Also, they make workouts effective, and FUN! Don’t worry, though. If workout out at a gym, or if CrossFit is not for you, the big picture is that you get yourself moving, no matter if this is at a gym, hiking a mountain, or in the comfort of your home. Whatever works best for you, is what you need to focus on! 🙂