Sticking to your New Year’s resolutions may seem challenging, but it’s actually simpler than you think. By knowing how to get rid of bad habits, you make room for positive patterns that could benefit your overall health. The best part is, eliminating unhealthy habits requires only a few small changes to your diet and lifestyle. Whether you’re looking to incorporate more vegetables into your diet or get better quality rest, these five tips will prevent bad habits from ruining your health goals for 2023.
Warm your feet to lower blood pressure.
Keeping your blood pressure in the healthy range prevents wear and tear on arteries, halving your risk of heart disease and stroke. But if your readings have been creeping up, warming your feet quickly brings them down fast! A study published in the MGM Journal of Medical Sciences reveals that soaking your feet in warm water for 15 minutes daily can trim 24 points off your blood pressure in just a week. How? When warmed blood travels up from your feet to your heart, it prompts the release of nitric oxide, a chemical that signals arteries to stay relaxed and open.
Knit a bit to trim your waistline.
Losing weight is one of the most popular 2023 New Year’s resolutions — and quickly quashing between-meal munchies can help speed weight loss. To cut your urge to snack, take a break to knit, color, scrapbook, or do any other creative project whenever you’re tempted to nibble. Scientists studying out of the UK say doing a fun activity that requires focus and precision and uses the small muscles in your hands pushes food images out of your consciousness to erase a craving in three minutes.
Start a ‘movement’ jar to exercise more.
If your goal is to stay strong, healthy, and independent, exercise can really pay off. And paying yourself can make you more likely to exercise. So say University of Pennsylvania researchers, who found that even tiny financial rewards (like tossing a dime into a money jar each time you exercise) provide a bigger motivational boost than any other strategy studied. Tip: For best results, reward yourself every time you’re active — whether you take a brisk stroll, play with your grandkids or sweep the snow off of your porch.
Sprinkle this to eat more veggies.
If eating lots of healthy vegetables is on your list of goals, put your saltshaker back on the table. Previous research says adding a dash of salt to cooked veggies can double your intake since sodium stimulates key sensory nerves that make vegetables smell and taste sweeter. More good news: Researchers studying out of France reveals that flavoring vegetables with salt does not increase blood pressure in healthy women.
Snack on pistachios to get more Zzzs.
Regularly getting a great night’s sleep will help you stay clear-headed, energized, and happy — and it will supercharge your immune system as well. Yet many of us just aren’t sleepy at bedtime because our brains are still go-go-go, and that neural activity blocks the release of sleep-inducing melatonin. Now, research published in the journal Nutrients suggests a simple way to bring on sleep in as little as 30 minutes: Nibble on one ounce of pistachios (that’s about 50 crunchy kernels) in the evenings. Turns out these nuts offer rich stores of an easily absorbed form of melatonin.
This content is not a substitute for professional medical advice or diagnosis. Always consult your physician before pursuing any treatment plan.