At the start of every year, people always seem to have fitness resolutions- to work out more, eat better, or drink more water. While that’s important, it’s also just as vital to resolve to have a healthier year in terms of mental and emotional health as well- it’s just not something we talk about as openly when we broadcast our goals.
There are plenty of little hacks you can implement throughout the year that are relatively easy to ensure you’re staying fit as a fiddle in all arenas of your life! Here are our top 4:
Preventative exams like physicals are covered by insurance because of the Affordable Care Act. Take advantage of your health insurance and see your doctor. A physical is a great time to bring up random problems that may seem unimportant. You can also get your blood work done to see if you’re lacking in any vitamins or minerals. They might be able to explain why you feel lethargic more often or if your Vitamin D levels are too low.
Preventative check-ups are supposed to find problems while they’re still easily treatable. Delaying a regular check-up can exacerbate a problem and end up costing you more time and money.
Many of us get in our own little bubbles of work and family time, and plunk our butts in front of the TV after a long day of work. We also notice, as we get closer to our 30’s, or we have to move for work or graduate school, that we don’t find and form friendships as easily. Either we get too busy with our nose to the grindstone or our friends start pairing up with families of their own to think of- and we find we’re lonely or isolated without realizing it.
People don’t talk about this much, but it’s important to schedule in time for social events and to join clubs. It may feel weird at first, friendships “should” come easy- but as we get older, it takes effort just like anything, but the payoff is rewarding.
Treat it just like dating, you have to sometimes get out there with websites geared to help you find people with similar interests and it may feel awkward, but there’s nothing to be ashamed of! We have written ways to find friends in a new city, but you can use it even if you’ve lived somewhere awhile.
When it comes to your health, many people just think of their physical body. But your mental health is just as important. Whether you’ve been feeling blue lately or notice yourself snapping at people more often, getting a mental health check up can be a great idea.
A good counselor or therapist can help you work through issues like anxiety and depression and tell you if medication is a good idea. You might have to go to a regular doctor to get suggestions on specific medications, but a therapist will usually be able to see if you just need a few sessions or if a chemical imbalance is to blame.
No one likes going to the dentist, but doing so can save your life. Medical problems often manifest themselves in your teeth first, and your dentist may be the first to spot them. Plus, your dental insurance covers a biannual cleaning, which can catch issues early.
For people who hate going to the dentist, keep this in mind. The more you put it off, the more of a hassle it’ll be to go. Many dentists insist on an initial appointment before a cleaning if it’s been too long since your last one. Plus, the longer you wait, the more likely you’ll have to pay for bigger issues like cavities and root canals.
If you’re struggling to work out on a regular basis or hate your running routine, this is the year you commit to finding a workout you love. I believe that anyone can find something physical they enjoy doing, whether that’s playing tennis or kickboxing. Many studios offer a trial pass so you can test a new workout a few times before you commit to a monthly membership.
Think about what stops you from working out. Do you lack motivation? Try taking a group class with your friends. Do you feel awkward dancing in a Zumba class? Give weightlifting a try. Not sure if you’re doing your workout correctly? See if a personal trainer is right for you.
With options including yoga, barre, judo, pole fitness and more, finding a workout you love will be easier than you think.
Being healthier, truly healthier incorporates mental, emotional and physical wellness. Drink water, but also, drink in some activities that stir your soul this year, or spend some time with a counselor to ensure you’re taking the time needed for a healthier year.