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Top Tips To Feel Healthy In January

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On the JJ Barnes Blog, to improve both my physical and mental health, I check out top tips to feel healthy in January so I can get the most out of 2024.

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Feeling Healthier

January. The month of resolutions, gym memberships, and a collective sigh as we wrestle with the festive hangover and the weight of “starting fresh.” But what if this year, instead of succumbing to the pressure of a complete overhaul, we focused on feeling healthy rather than achieving some arbitrary image of the “new us”? I want to find a way to improve both my physical and mental health, but in a way that is long term sustainable, not a quick fix that I can’t maintain.

Let’s swap the frantic gym sprints for mindful movement, the guilt-ridden salad bowls for balanced, nourishing meals, and the sleep-deprived nights for restorative rest. Forget the rigid goals and embrace the journey. This January, it’s time to cultivate genuine well-being, one gentle step at a time.

With that in mind, sports nutrition experts at Bulk.com have sent over some easy tips to implement in the new year so we can start to feel healthier.

Forget the “new you,” let’s focus on feeling the best you possible. Get ready to embrace a new year that’s all about rediscovering the joy of self-care, the power of small shifts, and the beauty of feeling healthy, inside and out. Buckle up, friends, the journey to a healthier 2024 starts now!

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Top Tips To Feel Healthy In January

1. Walk More

Walking is arguably the simplest and cheapest exercise available to us all. It’s almost entirely free since all you need is a pair of trainers or shoes that you’re comfortable in. Swapping out short drives to the shops or your daily commute is a great way to sneak exercise into your day without really noticing.

Forget the intimidating weights at the gym, and sweaty sprints that (if you’re anything like me) make your knees hurt. Walking offers a low-impact, accessible way to boost your health. It strengthens your heart, burns calories, and tones your muscles, all without putting undue stress on your joints. Plus, it’s free, requires minimal equipment, and can be done anytime, anywhere. Talk about convenience!

Walking is great for your mental health too. Feeling stressed? Walk it off! Walking releases endorphins, those feel-good chemicals that chase away the blues and leave you feeling happier and more relaxed. A brisk stroll in nature can work wonders for your mental well-being, easing anxiety and boosting your mood like a natural sunshine vitamin.

Stuck in a creative rut? Hit the pavement! Walking gets your blood pumping and oxygen flowing, which can do wonders for your cognitive function. The rhythmic nature of walking also acts as a meditation, allowing your mind to wander, connect dots, and spark new ideas. So, lace up your shoes and let your steps lead you to your next creative breakthrough. I’ve found that going for a long walk has helped me break through a writer’s block crisis so many times!

2. Drink Less Alcohol

Over Christmas, I definitely found myself drinking more alcohol than was sensible. From family parties, to celebrations in the pub, or just Christmas movies with a glass of bubbly, booze became a much bigger part of my life than is sensible!

Ditch the sluggish mornings and say hello to a body that’s firing on all cylinders. Less alcohol means better sleep, leading to increased energy levels and improved cognitive function. Your skin will thank you with a brighter glow, your immune system will get a boost, and your waistline might even start thanking you with a less-huggy feel.

Anxiety got you down? Stress making you want to scream into your pillow? Turns out, alcohol, despite its initial numbing effect, can actually worsen both. Reducing your intake can lead to a calmer mind, less anxiety, and improved mood. Think of it as trading in the rollercoaster of buzzes and crashes for a smoother, more balanced mental landscape.

An effective strategy for cutting back on alcohol intake is substituting alcoholic drinks with alcohol-free alternatives. These are not only delicious but also contribute to better overall health, helping to reduce the negative side effects your body feels from alcohol consumption.

It’s not just about the physical and mental perks. Less alcohol means more money in your pocket, more time for the things you love, and a greater sense of self-control and empowerment. It’s about taking charge of your health and well-being, one conscious choice at a time.

3. Eat More Vegetables

Because I’m vegetarian, I am inclined towards eating more vegetables than many, but that doesn’t mean I’m immune to the lure of a quick pizza or plate of chips if I’m feeling both hungry and lazy.

Processed foods are dangerous, as it can become easy to consume hundreds of calories in small meals. Vegetables are generally much bulkier and less calorie-dense than other foods, they’re also full of essential fibre, vitamins, and minerals.

Filling up your plate with plenty of vegetables can be an easy way to control your calorie intake without feeling like you’re eating less. It can be hard to improve your diet without feeling hungry, but by bulking up your plate with veg you’ll still feel like your stomach is full. Sweet potatoes, broccoli, carrots, and brussels sprouts are among the most filling and lowest-calorie vegetables, consider filling up your plate with these.

Transform leftover roast vegetables into creamy, delicious soups. Roast carrots, sweet potatoes, and butternut squash, then blend them with a touch of broth and spices for a warming and satisfying lunch. Blend up steamed broccoli with cream cheese and Parmesan for a rich and comforting dip for your veggie sticks.

Boost your pasta sauce with veggie power! Finely chopped carrots and zucchini disappear into tomato sauce, adding sweetness and nutrients without compromising taste. Pureed roasted cauliflower makes a creamy base for a healthier Alfredo sauce, while blended beets can even add a vibrant color and earthy depth to your bolognese.

Remember, it’s all about small changes. Start with incorporating just one or two veggie additions into your favorite dishes, and you’ll be surprised at how easily they become second nature. Before you know it, you’ll be a veggie-blending pro, boosting your health and enjoying delicious food all at the same time!

4. Avoid Secret Sugars

Sucrose, fructose, and dextrose are all scientific names for different types of sugar, easily missed by the undiscerning consumer. You might also see high-fructose corn syrup, barley malt, and molasses hidden in the ingredients list, which are all just sugars in a different form.

What’s more, natural sugars are presented as being much less unhealthy, but they’re all still just as calorie-dense and potentially harmful. Watch out for products filled with fruit juices and honey which claim to be a healthy option but can have just as many calories in.

Ketchup, barbecue sauce, even salad dressings – these seemingly savory staples can be sugar bombs in disguise. High fructose corn syrup, maltodextrin, and other sneaky names for sugar can be hiding in every spoonful. Pay attention to the “percent daily value” for added sugars. Aim for foods with 5% or less, and remember, serving sizes can be deceiving.

5. Start Exercising Slowly

The hardest part of exercising regularly is often not getting started but having the strength to maintain a regular routine. This is often due to aches and pains, which can be much worse after taking a Christmas break.

To avoid overworking yourself at the beginning heart rate-based workouts can be a great way to ensure that you’re only pushing yourself as hard as you’re ready for. Start your exercise plan with a frank and honest assessment of your fitness to avoid injuring yourself.

At-home exercise videos are an excellent way to get into fitness in a comfortable and convenient way. There are also many great apps and online services to help guide your fitness journey.

Finally, don’t forget to stretch! Stretching is essential to avoid injury and to reduce the amount of aching you’ll feel in the days after exercise, consider following a stretching tutorial online after every exercise session.

Immunity Booster at Leaf of life wellness

My Top Tips

  • Move your body, but do it with joy. Find activities that make you smile, not sweat. Walk in nature, dance in your kitchen, cycle with a friend – let your body move in ways that feel good.
  • Nourish your body with colors and textures, not just numbers. Ditch the restrictive diets and embrace the rainbow on your plate. Fill your meals with fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein – your taste buds and your body will thank you.
  • Rest is not a luxury, it’s a necessity. Prioritize sleep, carve out quiet moments for meditation, and embrace the power of doing absolutely nothing. A well-rested mind and body are the foundation for a healthy you.
  • Connect with loved ones, not just social media. Share a meal, take a walk, have a conversation that doesn’t involve screens. Nurturing your relationships is essential for emotional well-being.
  • Celebrate small victories, not just grand goals. Did you walk an extra mile? Did you choose a salad over fries? Did you laugh until your belly ached? These are all victories worth celebrating!

This January, let’s rewrite the narrative. Let’s ditch the pressure and embrace the journey. Let’s move, nourish, rest, connect, and celebrate ourselves, one gentle step at a time. Remember, feeling healthy isn’t about achieving perfection, it’s about finding a rhythm that works for you.


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