7 Healthy New Year Resolutions

1. Move More 

Movement makes people live longer. We are made to move, not sit around. Make sure to exercise for 30 minutes every day this year: learn a stretching routine at home, go for a walk, take a spinning, rowing, Pilates, or Yoga class.  Taking a walk, easy jog, or doing some dynamic stretches in your backyard every day is what your body was designed for. Even if it's cold outside, you'll be glad you did it.  In the winter, on weekends, cross-country skiing or snow-shoeing is a fantastic way to burn calories, get full-body exercise, breathe fresh air, and appreciate winter.

2. Get More Sleep

Add an extra half hour by going to bed early. Lack of sleep has been linked to obesity (and inability to lose weight), diabetes, fibromyalgia, and a bunch of other health issues. If you don't sleep enough, your body does not rejuvenate. Sleep researchers say that 1 hour of sleep before midnight = 2 hours of sleep after 12am. 

3. Travel More  

Traveling gets you out of your routine, and makes you examine your life from a different perspective. It can give you new ideas and inspire you to do something new. It is relaxing, rejuvenating, and enlightening.  

4. Eat Healthier 

Good eating habits start at the grocery store. Every time you go shopping for food, make sure to buy at least 2 types of vegetables. If you never find yourself in the vegetable section, eating veggies becomes impossible. You gotta buy them to eat them.

My personal favorite is to juice veggies. My 5-year old son and I make what we call the 'ABC juice' - Apples, Beets, Carrots + a leafy green (spinach, kale, chard). It's an easy way to get a lot of vitamins from food, and it tastes great. You would need a juicer of course. I recommend the Omega J8005 Juicer (found on Amazon for under $260).

5. Meditate 

Start with 5 minutes of just sitting and breathing mindfully. As a meditation instructor, I always tell people that it's not about the quality (at first), but all about getting into a habit of sitting down. After a month of 5-10 minutes of mindful breathing, it becomes harder not to want to do it.

The benefits are incalculable. You'll develop more focus, more patience, more self-control, and become more efficient at everything you do.

First, pick the right time. Morning time, before or after your 15 minutes of exercise is ideal. But night time can work, too.

6. Learn A New Skill

What keeps people young is always being open to learning new things. Keeping your brain active, working out new neuro-pathways, has been linked to preventing Alzheimer's. Make a commitment this week - whether it's a new language, an art class, a musical instrument, or dancing classes. 

7. Get a Massage

Finding a great massage therapist is critical. Subpar/mediocre massage is marginally effective at its best, and may be harmful at the worst. 

A great bodyworker is a muscle-whisperer and tissue-soother. Your body will feel renewed, revived, enlivened. 

Massage removes chronic tension and chronic pain, reduces inflammation, and relaxes the nervous system. It is capable of treating some challenging conditions, often dubbed chronic/incurable such as scarring, neuropathy, and postural imbalances among countless others. 

I recommend a combination of therapies: Deep Tissue, Sports, Neuromuscular Therapy, Thai Massage. Invest this year in finding a therapist who is a muscle-whisperer, who listens to you and your body with their ears and their hands. 

article by Slava Kolpakov