The new year offers a fresh start and an opportunity to reevaluate some of the aspects of our lives, like health and happiness. An intertwining of mental, spiritual, and physical—you could say that good health leads to happiness and also that happiness leads to good health. Below are some healthy habits you may wish to consider adopting as this new year unfolds:
Take Time for What Brings You Joy
Sometimes we get so wrapped up in the demands of our day to day obligations and activities that we are left with little to no time to do the things we enjoy.
Often the things we most enjoy doing get put on the back burner. Maybe the best way to handle this is to schedule time to do exactly what it is we want to do—to actually write it in our calendar and treat it exactly as we would any other appointment. Otherwise, if we don’t make it a priority, then it probably won’t happen!
Spend More Time Outdoors
It’s said that people should aim for at least 20 minutes of outdoor time a day. Even in the doldrums of winter, when the thought of being outside is less than appealing, it’s still important. Fresh air and sunshine are mood lifting—and we absorb vitamin D best by soaking up the sun's rays, which happens even on overcast days.
Time spent outside could involve jogging or biking, but it could also be a more relaxed affair, such as a leisurely stroll around your block or people watching from a park bench.
Being outdoors, especially in an aesthetically pleasing setting like a nature preserve, has been said to reduce blood pressure and lower stress related hormones.
Labeling something a “superfood” is another way to say that it is quite good for you and full of vitamins and minerals. Though most people probably picture fruits or vegetables when they think of superfoods—some nuts, fish, dairy, and legumes are also on the superfood list.
Adding superfoods to your diet can be as simple as including chickpeas in your chili. For a baked potato, you could swap out the russet potato for a sweet potato—or keep the russet, and top it with broccoli. Toss a bell pepper or avocado into your salad you’ve easily added in a superfood. These examples are only to show you that you need not overhaul your diet to incorporate some extra health into your daily life.
Here’s an informative article by the AARP about superfoods, “7 Superfoods to Eat After 50”, which you may find helpful.
Move Around More
Knowing that exercise is good for you is the easy part, but actually doing it is what’s hard. Rather than starting an exercise routine you’re afraid you won’t stick to, you may find the idea of making smaller lifestyle adjustments more appealing.
They can include: parking further away from the store, rather than up front; walking your dog every day, even if it’s just up the street and back; stretching when you wake up each morning; washing your car by hand rather than taking it through a carwash; using the stairs instead of the elevator; riding an exercise bike or doing jumping jacks intermittently while watching TV—these are all examples of small changes that can really be helpful.
After doing a little brainstorming of your own, you are likely to come up with some additional little changes that might work for your lifestyle.
If an actual exercise routine is something you are wanting, and if you’re a senior, you might want to see if you’re eligible for Silver Sneakers through your insurance plan. The Silver Sneakers program essentially provides free gym membership and exercise classes at participating gyms and rec centers, the cost which is covered by certain Medicare insurance plans. You can check your eligibility here.
Learn Something New
Winter is an especially good time to learn something new as more time is spent indoors amidst the gloomier weather.
Whether it’s signing up for Zumba classes, learning to play chess or the harmonica, finding more out about local history, or figuring out how to cook with the instant pot that has been tucked away in your closet— knowledge absorption can keep your brain sharp, keep boredom at bay, and likely brighten your mood.
Maybe you’d like to learn more about heirloom tomatoes or you’d like to learn a foreign language. The idea is just to come up with something that is of interest to you that you would like to know more about. It need not be a huge undertaking or to cost anything, though that’s perfectly fine too.
All of us at Raynor & D’Andrea Funeral home wish you health, happiness, and an all around great 2022!