Now that we’re several months into 2017, one thing is inevitable – most people are giving up their New Year’s resolutions. After a few weeks (or maybe a full month) of committing to losing weight, building muscle, writing a book, or renovating a kitchen, most of us have let these ambitions settle to the bottom of the list – until next January.
Because health is generally one of the most common areas that people strive to improve every year, we’ve decided to develop this blog post to inspire you to re-ignite your own healthy routine. Whether you’re already in the shape of your dreams or you have a long way to go, these six activities can help you improve your health as 2017 continues.
1. Commit to a regular exercise routine
Exercise is one of the most important elements of a healthy lifestyle. As more and more professions involve excessive sitting, it’s become apparent that sitting is as bad as smoking for our health.
Fortunately, you don’t have to commit to ten hours in the gym every week to be healthy. Here are a few different ways that will help you develop a regular exercise routine:
- Get a gym membership and go 3 times a week: If you want to go the traditional route, purchasing a gym membership can be a great way to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Simply spend 30-60 minutes at the gym, 3-5 times a week, and you’ll maintain a decent level of physical health.
- Join a sports team: If exercising on your own isn’t fun, consider joining a local community league for basketball, baseball, etc. For the competitive type, sports can be one of the best ways to incentivize regular exercise.
- Pick up an active hobby like biking, rock climbing, hiking, fencing, skiing, yoga, etc.: If you aren’t that into team sports, find another activity that you would enjoy, and do it on a regular basis. Not only do these activities help you stay healthy and build social relationships, they also allow you to develop a new skill.
- Do a daily 7-minute workout: The 7-minute workout is an exercise routine that consists of 7 one-minute workouts. The idea is that you do as much of each exercise as you can within one minute. For anyone who doesn’t have a lot of time, this is a great way to begin the process of getting into shape – after all, anyone can spend 7 minutes on their health. There are several free apps that make this workout a breeze to complete.
2. Whenever possible, take the path less traveled
Do you work on the third floor of your building? Why not take the stairs. Do you walk through airports regularly, why not skip the moving walkway and just walk?
As humans, we’ve done a great job of finding ways to make life require less effort. While this can be good for productivity, it’s often harmful for our health. By finding ways to deliberately force ourselves to exert effort, we can substantially improve our overall health.
3. Drink more water, and less of everything else
Meanwhile, most other beverages have a very negative impact on our health. Despite how much we may love them, soda, juice, and alcohol all have a negative impact on our overall health. And even with the jury out on coffee and tea (without sugar), these beverages are still not as valuable or essential as water.
How much water should you drink every day? Take your body weight and divide it in half – that’s how many ounces you should drink every day. In other words, if you weigh 200 pounds, you should drink 100 ounces.
4. Be deliberate about what you eat
Food is fuel for your body. Have you ever put the wrong type of gas/oil mixture in your lawn mower – or been in a car that requires premium but was filled up with regular unleaded? The engine starts having serious issues!
The same goes for our bodies. When we eat meals that are processed – or are simply unbalanced – it has a tremendously negative impact on our health.
And, because each person’s metabolism is slightly different, you can’t create a sweeping statement on exactly how someone should fuel it to maintain maximum health.
However, we do know that natural food (fruits, vegetables, and nuts) are very healthy, meat can be beneficial in moderation, and anything processed has an overall negative impact.
Meanwhile, gluten has also become processed enough that many people have allergies. If you find yourself always groggy, consider taking a two-week break from gluten (bread, pasta, wheat) to see if that improves your energy level.
5. Find an accountability partner and/or process
Staying healthy isn’t easy – but it’s a lot easier with an accountability partner or process.
If you want to exercise daily, avoid potato chips, etc., find someone else to either do it with you, or to at least make sure that you follow through on your goals. When we are accountable to people, the added pressure can make us more likely to complete our objectives.
Another option is to create an incentive for yourself. Perhaps you don’t allow yourself to watch TV until you exercise. Maybe you allow yourself to go on a vacation if you go six months without soda. By creating incentives for yourself, success has a reason – which can be a tremendous motivator.
How will you improve your health this year?
The five activities above are just a few broad ways to improve and maintain your health. The reality is, there are plenty of things you can do – big and small – to stay healthy.
While health is important for our own physical well-being, there are many other reasons to stay healthy as well. In fact, being healthy improves your income, lowers your expenses, and improves your productivity. It also gives you the ability to better serve your family and friends.
Finally, as Christians who believe that our body is the temple of Christ (1 Corinthians 6:19), health is of the utmost importance. When our health is inhibited, we have a harder time worshiping and serving. God encourages us to be healthy because he knows that it will make us the happiest we can be.
What can you do today to begin living a healthier life for Christ?