As we leave behind a year marked by a pandemic, 2021 brings new opportunities to be more proactive in maintaining our health.
Here are seven changes you can make to be a healthier you in the New Year.
1. Cut back on alcohol
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), excessive alcohol use can be linked to chronic diseases and other serious problems including high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke, liver disease and digestive problems.
But even casual drinkers can see some health benefits to cutting back on booze.
If you’re not ready to commit to an alcohol-free lifestyle, try a brief hiatus like Dry January.
2. Get better sleep
A good night’s sleep gives us many important health benefits. It lowers our stress level, gives us energy and even boosts our immune system.
But many of us struggle to shut down at the end of the day. Here are four tips for getting better sleep.
3. Practice gratitude
Mental health is just as important as physical health.
Studies show that feelings like gratitude and thankfulness are associated with happiness, and writing about those feelings can boost your mood.
Get started with a gratitude journal.
4. Improve your home office ergonomics
In 2020, many of us spent more time working from home.
But a workspace that doesn’t accommodate proper ergonomics can be a pain in the back. Poor posture can lead to issues with muscles, nerves, tendons, joints, cartilage or spinal discs.
Get tips for setting up a smarter home office space.
5. Quit smoking – this time for good
Let 2021 be the year you finally give up cigarettes.
The fact is that many smokers will try to quit several times before they are successful, but there are certain techniques that evidence shows will increase your odds of success.
Read these six proven tips to quit smoking for good.
6. Take a soda break
Too much sugar can lead to health problems like obesity, diabetes and heart disease.
And soda is one of the leading culprits for adding sugar to a person’s diet. One 20-ounce bottle of regular soda contains about 65 grams of sugar. That’s the same amount as you would consume eating six glazed donuts.
Read these tips for No Soda November – which can be applied to any month of the year.
7. Stay up to date on vaccinations
In 2021, most Americans are also likely to have the opportunity to receive a vaccine against COVID-19. Read up on the available vaccines so you’re prepared when your family has the chance to receive one.