So Christmas and New Years has been and gone, and if you’re anything like me, you’ve overindulged to the max!
I’m not keen on resolutions, diets or cutting things out. Especially in January. January is depressing enough – why make it worse by cutting out wine, chocolate or anything else that brings you joy!
For me, I feel it’s not about eliminating things from your life or diet, or cutting out things in the short-term (which a lot of people do – cutting out booze, going on a crash diet etc). It’s about introducing healthy habits to benefit your long-term health and happiness.
So these are the top five habits I’m going to introduce in January to ensure I have a healthy and happy 2014 and beyond:
1. Start Yoga Again
I love yoga. I used to do it on a regular basis, but they put the prices up massively and I was too tight to pay it! I then joined a gym that had yoga classes, but in order to get on them you had to wake up at 6am a week and a day in advance and register for your spot which was very annoying. So I quit that gym when my contract expired.
However, now I have joined another gym – one that my two friends are members of too, and they have four or five yoga classes a week, all at times I can make and apparently you just need to rock up ten mins before. Perfect!
2. Start Jogging Again
I used to HATE jogging. I ran the Great South Run back in 2008 and hated every single minute of the training and the run itself. But I managed it (non stop in 1hr 48mins). As soon as I crossed the finishing line I vowed never to run again (unless I was being chased by an axe-murderer).
Then I turned 30, and something changed. I have read that older people (it upsets me to be in this category now!), actually find jogging easier than the young-uns. Either way, I know quite like it. I was running a couple of times a week with friends in the summer and autumn, but it’s just too cold and dark to do it in the winter. So as well as the yoga, I’m going to start running on the treadmills. So come the spring I’ll be able to spring back into it!
3. Continue Juicing
I love my new juicer. At the moment I have a juice most days. However in January I’d like to boost this to at least one juice every day. I also want to try new recipes rather than sticking to this one (which is fabulous – but variety is the spice of life!).
4. Start the 5:2 Diet Again
Again, this is something I used to do. If you’ve not heard of it (where have you been? Read this.), it’s basically where you limit your calories to about 350 or so for two days a week. The idea is that when you feed your body every day, it’s constantly growing and building new cells. But doesn’t have time to go back and repair any dodgy cells. So by limiting your intake to the bare minimum on two days (not consecutively though), you give your body a chance to go back and make the fixes it need.
It’s been proven to reduce your risk of cancer, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, risk of diabetes, as well as aid in weight loss. If those benefits aren’t enough of a selling point then I don’t know what would be!
It’s also surprisingly easy once you get used to it. I normally skip breakfast, have a low fat soup for lunch and a small child’s dinner with salad in the evening.
5. Drink More Hot Water & Lemon
I drink quite a lot of tea and coffee (as do most people), but I do try and keep them decaf. I’ve been drinking decaf for the last few months and although I’ve not really noticed a difference, it must be healthier than drinking bucket loads of caffeine. I was never one to really react to caffeine in any major way, but cutting it out does have health benefits.
But I want to take this one step further and drink more hot water and lemon. There are loads of health benefits of doing this; lemon helps your digestion, boost your immune system and cleanses your system (see this article for more info). Plus I tend to drink a lot of decaf caramel lattes. Cutting out the sugar and dairy will probably help clear my skin and stop the dreaded tummy bloat (which I’ve been getting a lot of recently).
So there we have it. My top five ways of kick starting some healthier January habits. Do you do any of the above at all? Let me know in the comments.