Happy New Year! What are your hopes and dreams for 2023? Many of us have high hopes for a healthy, happy year to come. However, progress can be slowed by unhealthy habits that are hard to break. The best way to improve something in our lives is to replace the old habit with something else – something better. Need some inspiration? We’ve rounded up 7 common unhealthy habits, plus suggested healthy alternatives! With a start like this, 2023 is bound to be one of your healthiest years yet!

Ditch: Exercise you dread | Do: Physical activity you actually enjoy

You probably already know that doctors recommend a minimum of 30 minutes of moderate exercise several times per week. Many of us start the year with lofty workout goals, only to drop off within a matter of weeks. This year, let’s quit running if we hate running. Let’s ditch the gym if we dread the gym. Stop and ask yourself: what do I like to do? What physical activities would I like to learn?  Perhaps you’d rather commit to hiking, dance class, or taking up tennis. Life is too short to hate your exercise routine! Once you find what you truly love to do, you’ll see it’s easier to stay committed and active throughout the year.

Ditch: Crash diets and unrealistic goals | Do: Focus on nutrition

Can you guess one of the most common New Year’s resolutions? To lose weight. We all want to be healthy and feel good in our bodies. Unfortunately, popular diet plans that involve intense deprivation or cutting out entire food groups can lead to serious disappointment. Restrictive diet plans are often unhealthy in the long run and rarely lead to long-term results. Instead, let’s focus on nutrition! Let’s consume nutrient-dense, colorful plates of food that give us the energy we need to tackle the day. Curious about a healthy, non-restrictive weight loss plan? Talk to your doctor for help!

Ditch: Ignoring your physical needs | Do: Make an appointment to see your doctor

Do you feel like you spend your days taking care of everyone…but yourself? It may seem noble to avoid prioritizing your own health, but the people that you love want you to be healthy! Let this be the year you make an appointment with your primary care doctor, visit the specialists for health issues that have been nagging at you, and treat your body with care and kindness. Struggling with mental health? That’s just as important! Book an appointment with a therapist (or one of our on-site Social Workers here at our clinics) to talk through things causing you stress and anxiety. Prioritize you!

Ditch: Excessive Screen Time | Do: Rest and Read

Modern life is full of screens – and that may be causing us more anxiety and restlessness than we realize. If you spend all day at your computer, then all night in front of your TV or scrolling on your phone…let this be your sign: give it a rest! Instead, prioritize 8 hours of sleep per night. The blue light from our devices can harm our circadian rhythm, making it harder to fall asleep and have a restful night. If you struggle to fall asleep, try “putting your devices to bed” by 8 pm and reading a book to help yourself feel sleepy. 

Ditch: High-calorie beverages | Do: Drink water

Even healthy eaters can sometimes be blind to the hidden calories inside sugary beverages. Many of us drink all day long, but still end up incredibly dehydrated day after day! Specialty coffee, soda, juices, and other beverages often provide “empty calories” that don’t provide any nutritional value and leave us feeling hungry. Opt to reduce your sugary drink intake and increase water. You’ll be surprised how much clearer you feel! Start the year right by picking out a new water bottle or tumbler that you’ll enjoy sipping on every day, and take baby steps. We’re not saying you have to say goodbye to your favorite soda or sugary latte forever…but every little adjustment will help!

Need any help making your 2023 health and wellness goals a reality? We’re here to talk with you! Remember, every small change toward a healthier future is going to pay off in the long run. Go easy on yourself, and take it one step at a time. Happy New Year!

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