In January, we’re inspired to lose some of our luxurious layers, and we promise to commit to the gym at least 4 times a week. We live on leaves and water, which is good for the ‘Jan-U-Worry’ budget, but not for our mental health and happiness. It’s a struggle to stay on track and before we know it, we’ve lost direction – old habits die hard. 😉
Why not skip the whole self-afflicting exercise from the get-go by instead focusing on the small things, which in the long run makes a big difference?
It’s time to sweat the small stuff! Focus on these little changes in 2020:
- Hit the hay earlier
We don’t sleep enough, and it’s taking a toll on our health and happiness.
Here’s how much sleep you and your family need:
- New-borns (0-3 months): 14-17 hours
- Infants (4-11 months): 12-15 hours
- Toddlers (1-2 years): 11-14 hours
- Pre-schoolers (3-5): 10-13 hours
- School-age children (6-13): 9-11 hours
- Teenagers (14-17): 8-10 hours
- Younger adults (18-25): 7-9 hours
- Adults (26-64): 7-9 hours
- Older adults (65+): 7-8 hours
Sleep deprivation has far-reaching harmful effects on our overall health, wellbeing and performance. One of the best things you can do for yourself in 2020 is to try and get more sleep.
- Pull your sweet tooth
It’s hard to resist a piece of Death by Chocolate cake or a gourmet milkshake, but it’s time to take a break from sugar. Sugar might taste sweet, but it has a bitter effect on our beautiful bodies. Research has shown sugar consumption to be a major cause of obesity and chronic disease, one of the most severe being Type 2 diabetes.
Although sugar is addictive, we can cut back on it with small changes to our diets. Reduce the amount of sugar you take in your coffee, swap your sodas for sparkling water and munch on moderate amounts of dark chocolate.
- Take the stairs (or a longer walk)
We tend to avoid the stairs and try to squeeze into the nearest parking bay. It’s either too much effort or we’re too busy to take the time to be more active. Let’s focus on our health and wellbeing in 2020. Remember that you need at least 30-45 mins of exercise per day to stay healthy. If you can’t hit the gym or go for a jog, make small changes to your daily life.
Follow these tips:
- Park far away from work (at least a block away).
- Move around during your lunch break.
- Stretch regularly at your desk.
- Sit on an exercise ball, instead of an office chair.
- Stay hydrated
According to research, the amount of water in the human body ranges from 50-75%. By the time a person is thirsty, they’ve already lost 2-3% of their body’s water. That’s why it’s important to stay hydrated and to drink enough water (even if you’re not thirsty).
For men, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) recommends a total of 13 cups (about 3 litres) of water each day. For women, they suggest 9 cups (a little over 2 litres) of water each day.
Click/tap here to find out how you can spice up your water.
- Stick to home cooking
Lay off the takeaways. Instead cook a healthy meal at home with your family. It’s good for the body and mind. Plus, you’ll save some ka-ching for your next holiday.
Make the last year of the decade count! Make these small changes and set achievable goals for the new year.
“It’s not the big things that add up in the end; it’s the hundreds, thousands, or millions of little things that separate the ordinary from the extraordinary.”- Darren Hardy
- Having a pet at home, makes it even more fun to exchange couch-potato mode for a more active (and fun-filled) daily routine. Grab a leash and take a brisk walk with your favourite furry friend(s)! While you’re at it, why not join dotsure.co.za in lighting up the streets with the upcoming dotsure.co.za Night Walkies event in aid of the Animal Anti-Cruelty League 😉
- 20 ways to be a rocking pet parent in 2020