It’s that time of year! Everyone has made their New Year resolutions and promised themselves that this year is really the year. Many people set their sights on goals such as eating healthier, exercising more, or simply becoming a better version of themselves. These goals have merit to
them—eating well and exercising at least 150 minutes a week, or 30 minutes for 5 days per week, have been shown to have a myriad of physical benefits according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC). These include reduced risk for cardiovascular disease, maintaining a healthy weight, better management of chronic health conditions, and improved functioning in daily activities. Moderate exercise can be done by almost anyone. Going for a walk, doing yoga, or riding a bike are all forms of exercise that produce these benefits, and that many people have an enjoyable time doing.
What about the psychological benefits of creating these healthy habits? Engaging in physical activity has been shown to reduce overall stress levels in adults, and lowering stress is something we can all benefit from. In addition, it has been demonstrated that after just 10 minutes of physical activity people tend to feel an improvement in their mood. Eating a healthy diet allows people to feel more energized, less sluggish, and improve concentration and attention. Some studies have even found that reducing consumption of processed foods has been linked to lowering levels of depression and anxiety.
Knowing the benefits of exercising and eating healthy isn’t enough though. Most people understand that these are things that they should do, yet they just can’t seem to find the motivation or energy to stick to their resolutions.
So, how do you learn to follow through with these newly made plans?
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