It’s February 10th. How are your New Year’s resolutions coming?
If your eyes are darting towards your untouched running shoes, that stack of takeout boxes, or an unopened gratitude journal, don’t sweat it—you’re in good company. Apparently, January 19th is the day that people are most likely to abandon their wellbeing-related New Year’s resolutions.
For all of us quitters out there, here’s the good news: 2020 offers up infinite chances for us to (gently) tweak our lifestyles while shelving the guilt that “all-or-nothing” New Year’s resolution culture often hoists on us.
So before you splurge on that $1,700 exercise bike, let’s remind ourselves that reaching our health goals, whatever they are, is best achieved by taking small, slow, and sustainable steps. And remember to keep it fun! Focusing on what you find joyful, exciting, or delicious is a surefire way to stick with any lifestyle change.
Here are four simple tips to incorporate into your wellness routine in the year ahead:
Was getting more exercise part of your 2020 vision board? If you’re struggling to hit the gym when the TV is calling, or if you really don’t want to leave the house this winter (we live in Canada, I get it), look for ways to incorporate small bursts of physical activity into your existing habits. For example, you could spend your next binge-watching session doing some gentle stretching. Or instead of starting your morning by scrolling through social media, try turning up Spotify and dancing around your bedroom for a few minutes. I promise, you’ll arrive at work in a much better mood.
If you’re craving a more formal exercise routine, try synchronizing your workouts with a friend. A study published by the British Journal of Health Psychology showed that working out with a gym buddy improved performance. Plus, you’ll have someone to encourage you if you fall off the wagon.
Switch Up Your Meal Prep
Meal prep has been a buzzword for years, but even this popular practice can get awfully tiring. After all, who wants to eat the same thing every night?
Pro tip: instead of making five identical servings of the same dish next Sunday afternoon, try separately preparing and storing a mix of versatile ingredients like sliced bell peppers, marinated tofu, and cooked lentils. When Wednesday night dinner rolls around, you can repurpose the assembly-ready items in the fridge to make quick and easy basics like veggie stir-fries and burritos. You can also use one of the many free meal prep apps to suggest new combinations of the ingredients you’ve got handy.
To further spice up your routine, supplement your prepared meals with easy snacks like fruits, chopped veggies, or dairy-free bites throughout the day. They’ll keep you energized, especially when that 3pm energy crash rolls around.
Follow Your Gut Feeling
Did you know your digestive system has its own nervous system? That's why taking care of your gut is an excellent way to keep up with that "mind-gut connection" and boost our digestive health through plant-based foods and probiotics.
To support daily gut health, and help you fulfill a healthy, plant-based diet, fill your fridge with the new almond-based offering from Activia®* (available in peach-hibiscus or vanilla-cinnamon flavours. Yum!)
Each serving is non-GMO Project certified, and is a source of fibre, gluten-free, kosher, and dairy-free , they’re suitable for every diet, and their newly-launched single-serve cups make healthy and convenient snacking an absolute no-brainer.
Try A New Twist On Mindfulness
Meditation is now a billion-dollar industry, but that doesn’t mean you have to go book a luxury mindfulness retreat to receive its benefits. There are hundreds of apps that make your mindfulness practice as ingrained as checking Instagram. Some offer daily micro-meditations that you can easily incorporate into your lunch break, while others provide a personalized experience, with meditations geared towards insomnia, depression, and everything in between.
If you’re really struggling to clear your head after a frantic day at work, try scaling back your expectations. Spending the evening focusing intently (yet gently) on the veggie pasta dish you’re cooking can be just as beneficial as sitting in lotus pose for an hour.
*Activia® products have more than 109 CFU Bifidobacterium lactis per serving, a probiotic that contributes to healthy gut flora. Activia® used under lic., © 2020 Cie Gervais Danone. All rights reserved