7 Steps to a Healthier, Happier You in 2022

Millennial Magazine - happier you

As a new year falls upon us, we usually spend a bit of time reflecting on things we’ve achieved in the last year and what we want to accomplish going forward.

For a large percentage of the population, this involves getting fit, eating well, and focussing on our future happiness. If you fall into this category and are looking for suggestions on turning your goals into reality – read on.

Here are 7 steps to a healthier, happier you in 2022.

Maintain a Healthy Weight

Being overweight can lead to joint pain, heart problems, and a host of other related medical conditions, so if you need to lose weight, there is no time like the present. If you get better results being accountable to someone else, find out if there are any slimming groups in your area. Most classes take place weekly and, as they regularly monitor your weight, can help you stay motivated and focused.

If you prefer doing it under your own steam, you can find thousands of recipes online for healthy but tasty meals. Apps such as My Fitness Pal or Chronometer can help you count calorie intake and are very useful to track macros and other analytical data.

Losing weight isn’t easy, but with a bit of planning and lots of willpower, there is no reason you can’t achieve your weight loss goals.

Take Regular Walks

Walking not only helps you burn extra calories but is brilliant for your general health and well-being so, if you don’t do much at the moment, it might be time to step things up a gear. It is a great all-around exercise that is not only free and easy to do but isn’t particularly strenuous either.

It’s a great way to catch up with friends, spend time with the family, or why not grab a pair of headphones and head out for a long walk yourself. As little as 30 minutes a day could make a big difference to your health, so it makes sense to incorporate it into your daily routine.

Annual Health Screenings

None of us want to consider the idea of having an underlying health condition, but the bottom line is that it can and does happen to thousands of people across the globe every single day. Annual health screenings will not only give you peace of mind but minimize the risk of a serious condition going unnoticed.

For example, according to Integris Hospital OKC, over 140,000 cases of colon cancer are reported every year in the U.S alone, many of which could have been treated more successfully had they been discovered earlier. Early diagnosis typically means earlier treatment and thus a far greater chance of diagnosing and fixing any issues that arise. So, if you don’t already have annual checks carried out, it’s something to consider.

Avoid Processed Foods

We all lead busy lives and, this alone can make mealtimes even harder. Whether cooking for yourself or a large family, preparation takes time, so it’s way easier to reach for a ready-made meal that will taste delicious and be ready in under 30 minutes.

The issue with this is that processed foods are full of salt, sugar, and loads of other nasties that are really bad for our health. The World Health Organization even classes processed meats such as sausages and hot dogs as a Group 1 carcinogen!

Instead of taking the easy route, consider meal planning and include an abundance of fresh vegetables, legumes, nuts, and seeds into your diet. These are some of the most nutritious foods you could ever have, and knowing in advance what you intend to eat on certain days will reduce the risk of you grabbing something convenient from the freezer.

Healthier food choices will lead to more energy, clearer skin and can also do wonders for your mental health, so what have you got to lose?

Set Realistic Goals

Personal goals are a great way to keep you focussed and active and help you on your way to a healthier, happier you, but you must be realistic about it. Working towards a goal that is not achievable may not only cause upset but can also be very demotivating.

Figure out what you can realistically accomplish and work towards those targets and goals. As you complete one, recognize your triumphs and commend yourself for it before moving on to your next set of goals. The more successful you are, the further you will push yourself and the happier you will be.

Treat Yourself to a Makeover

Whether you fancy a new hairstyle, want to experiment with new make-up looks, or feel it’s time for a closet overhaul, a makeover can do wonders for your self-esteem and can also help you push further towards your goals.

Treating yourself to new clothes, changing your image, or just pampering yourself a little can change how you feel about yourself and give you a boost of confidence. We should all be able to look in the mirror and be happy with the reflection looking back at us. If you don’t yet fall into this category, you might be surprised at how differently you will feel just taking a bit of time to focus on yourself and nothing else.

Are You Getting Enough Sleep?

You may not realize this, but it’s super important that we all get around 7-9 hours of deep sleep each night and many factors play a part in achieving this. Blue light can stimulate our brain function and disrupt sleep so, instead of using a phone or tablet to relax, grab a book or listen to an ASMR podcast.

If getting to sleep isn’t an issue, but you wake every hour, consider what may be causing it. Drinking too much liquid before bed can lead you to wake in the night to visit the toilet. Alcohol can do the same but can also prevent you from falling into a state of deep sleep.

The more rested you feel, the more focussed you will be and the more eager you will be to tackle the day ahead.

What do you think?

Written by Eileen O'Shanassy

Eileen O'Shanassy is a freelance writer and blogger based out of Flagstaff, AZ. She writes on a variety of topics and loves to research and write. She enjoys baking, biking, and kayaking.

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