Every new year, you have a blank calendar before you. You have amazing opportunities to choose your dreams, goals and habits. You can also choose to support your health. You can make it a Healthy New Year!
What do you want 2022 to be for you? How can you end 2022 healthier than you’re starting?
Here is a month-by-month guide. Go through it quicker or slower, but use it to hit some of the hallmark goals for a healthy new year. Use this guide as a reference as you set your goals, and then move through healthy habits each month.
One of my favorite things about a New Year is the new beginning. To me, it feels like a gift. A blank story laid out before me, and I get to write the chapters.
In January, take some time to decide what you want your 2022 story to be. Some people might call these goals or resolutions.
I recommend starting with dreams and adventures.
What do you want to accomplish? What dream do you want to make a reality? Is there an adventure you want to tackle?
Write these down. Then, write what you need to change in your life, schedule or habits to accomplish them. Some tips for this part include:
Whatever your goals and dreams, go for it! January is for new beginnings and an optimistic outlook for a New Year!
Believe it or not, one of the best healthy habits you can develop is more sleep!
Sleep is one of the strongest immune-boosters available to you. It can support your immune function through your lymph system and help your body restore itself each day.
In fact, it allows your body and brain to recoup, restore, and fight chronic illness. During sleep, your immune system releases cytokines which both promote sleep and fight illness. When you are awake, your body must do the work of being awake, moving, and maintaining an active brain. This takes most of its resources. When you are asleep, it can do maintenance on your body (1).
Studies have found that sleep also promotes heart health, brain health, normalized blood sugars, and healthy blood pressure (2). What’s more, it encourages healthy moods and mental health, especially in the winter months (3).
That’s a lot accomplished from this one change! To learn tips for improving sleep, check out this article.
Of course, healthy habits have to include a great diet. If you’re ready to really support your health, from head to toe, consider getting into the Keto Zone® this year and adding intermittent fasting.
The best way to get started is to get the book: Dr. Colbert’s Keto Zone Diet Book. You will find how to cut carbs and get into ketosis. Then, continue to follow our posts, recipes, Facebook groups, and more to keep going. You can also join our FREE 21-Day Keto Zone Challenge!
Then, you can take it a step farther and enjoy the benefits of intermittent fasting. Here’s a simple way:
To fast 15-16 out of the 24 hours per day, finish eating at 7 pm each day, and fast with only non-carbohydrate liquids (like coffee) until 10 am or so. Then, utilize Keto Zone eating for 8 hours per day.
There are many documented benefits to intermittent fasting. In fact, study after study has shown that intermittent fasting benefits body systems often affected by aging, including brain health, heart health, and blood sugars (6).
Drinking more water is a simple habit, but not necessarily an easy one. Throughout your day, drink 80 ounces or more water. It’s important to your health!
In fact, one study found that increasing water consumption by 2 liters per day improved skin condition and physiology, even in those who already consumed high amounts of water (7). It can also improve digestive health, reduce incidence of headaches, reduce stressful moods and feelings of overwhelm, and boost metabolism (if you’re drinking ice-water) (8).
Next, you can use ice-water in an altogether different way. Try ice-water showers (or at least a cold blast during your shower). Why?
When your body is exposed to very cold water, it uses brown fat cells to warm itself. These cells are extremely advantageous for metabolism. What’s more, ice-cold showers have been found in studies to activate “white fat” by making it act more like “brown fat”(9). In time, your body will naturally burn more calories the more brown fat you have. Studies have also found that ice-cold plunges reduce sick days (10).
While you may think the only benefit of gardening is the food you harvest, there’s actually many healthy benefits when you put your hands in soil. In fact, studies have found that gardening is a great stress reducer and promotes feelings of calm and well-being (11).
What’s more, gardening is a great excuse to get outside and be active. Take advantage of the time using your muscles and increasing vitamin D production from the sun.
Of course, the harvest is great, too. When you add more greens, herbs, and vegetables to your diet, you consume the same components plants use to grow and flourish, like chlorophyll. You can get these amazing components from your bounty or Divine Health® Organic Fermented Green Supremefood®. Plant compounds are great for plants and humans alike (12)!
There are so many great options for exercise and movement. The key is to find one you love, you look forward to, and get your body moving!
If you don’t know what you love, try walking, running, yoga, aerobics, classes, biking, hiking, swimming, lifting weights, or others.
And, if you can, get outside! Whether it’s just a short walk or a ride on a bike, God has given us a huge gift: the outdoors elevate our moods. Not only is any activity good for our muscles, hearts, and brains, outdoor-activity specifically has been shown to improve mood and depression (13). What’s more, if the sun is shining, your body will make Vitamin D, an immune- stimulating vitamin, while enjoying the immune-enhancing benefits of exercise itself (14).
Let’s add a joyful habit. Laughter.
Have you ever wondered why we laugh? Why did God give us this gift?
These, in turn, will encourage healthy immune function.
Interestingly, multiple studies show that the benefits of smiling and laughter are experienced whether it’s real or fake. So, fake it if you need to, and get in a good belly laugh each day.
At least once per year, make sure you feel good about your connections. Far-away friends, local friends, family, and groups.
God has created us for relationships, and they are important for overall health and healthy immune function. In fact, positive relationships can improve your mood and decrease stress. This, in turn, can promote a strong immune system (17).
To maintain relationships even when you can’t always be with each other in-person:
Maintain the relationships that are important to you. It’s good for your health and immune function!
Almost every habit on this list reduces stress. Reducing stress is a foundational health habit that promotes health throughout your body (17). It’s a top habit for your healthy new year
You can take it to the next level. In addition to healthy daily habits, add nature’s best stress relief.
It’s Hemp Oil. Hemp oil, specifically nano-particle oils like those in Dr. Colbert’s Nano-Science Hemp Oil, promotes health across the body’s systems.
It is a broad-spectrum hemp oil that is organically grown, vegan, and GMO-free. In terms of health, Hemp Oil has been shown to support healthy, stable moods (18), promote stress relief and normalized cortisol levels, support comfortable, healthy joints (19), encourage healthy sleep habits (20), promote healthy skin with fewer irregularities and blemishes (21), support healthy brain and nervous system functions (22), and encourage healthy cardiovascular functions and normalized inflammatory actions (23).
What an amazing oil for overall health and stress!
Stretching and maintaining (or improving) flexibility can literally change your body and your life.
Amazingly, just 3-5 minutes of stretching can be enough. Stretch in the morning or before bed. Believe it or not, as you gain flexibility in your spinal cord, you’ll improve your posture, range of motion of your limbs, and support cardiovascular health.
There’s more. It turns out that trunk flexibility directly represents the flexibility of your arteries. As crazy as it sounds, researchers have found that poor trunk flexibility is associated with stiff arteries. This means that keeping your body flexible enough to touch your toes means better artery health and blood pressure (24).
If you’re interested in your health, let gratitude and optimism rule. One great way is to start (or restart) a gratitude journal. You may have started one during the Thanksgiving and the Holiday Season in previous years. Or, this idea may be new to you.
Gratitude journals, focusing on small daily blessings, are powerful. Being grateful is associated with better mental, emotional, and physical health and immunity (25).
To start a gratitude journal, first simply get a pen and a paper, or a journal. Next, write 5-10 “gratitudes” per day. They can be big or small things. You can write them throughout the day, or at the beginning or end.
It’s time to let gratitude rule. Choose to focus on simple gratitudes each day as one of your new year lifestyle habits.
Prayer is not a last-ditch effort for health or spirituality, but a foundation for your relationship with God. It also affects your mental health, physical health, and entire well-being.
In fact, prayer releases control from you and gives it to God. It helps change your heart towards any stressful situation, even if the situation itself doesn’t change. And lastly, it allows you to focus on the truth. God’s truth is that He is with you in any circumstance. That nothing is too big. And, that He will walk with you through it.
The act of prayer has shown to increase certain helpful neurotransmitters, such as dopamine, which help promote a state of relaxation, focus, motivation, and well-being. Studies have shown that it reduces anxiety and stressful moods (26).
A focus on prayer and your relationship with God is a great way to start and end every year (and every day).
Healthy New Year! Decide what you want in 2022, and go after it. Then, add healthy habits throughout the year as you work towards your dreams!