How to be healthy and happy in the new year. (AD)

Christmas is the time for overindulgence, enjoyment and taking a well-earned break. And when it comes to the New Year, it’s is the perfect opportunity for you to change things up and start leading a healthier lifestyle. How do you go about doing that? Give the following tips a try and find out how to be healthy in the New Year!

1. Try something different in your diet for a healthy new approach

One of the best ways to eat more healthily is to switch up your diet. Eating the same way all the time can be comforting, but it’s all too easy to fall into bad habits or lazy eating. Trying something different can help give you renewed enthusiasm for experimenting, whether it’s trying new global cuisines like Mediterranean or Asian, or going meat-free on certain days.

A really healthy way of eating is veganism. But what are the foods vegans can eat, you ask? Well, in simple terms anything that is not derived from animals or contains animal ingredients can be classed as vegan. That means a plant-based diet, so the foods vegans can eat include vegetables, fruits, seeds, nuts and soya. Oh, and there’s plenty of amazing vegan alternatives to meat and dairy dishes too!

2. Eat a varied diet

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Following on from trying something new, it’s important to make sure you’re eating a varied diet too. It’s easy to reach for the quick option and go for your favourites, healthy or not, but your body is going to thank you when you get a whole variety of foods into your system.

A great approach is to try to eat the rainbow, which means eating a variety of colours of fruit and veg. Generally speaking, different coloured produce contains different minerals and vitamins. By eating a broad range of foods, you’ll be increasing the benefits to your system. It’s also the perfect way to find new favourites, and discover food you love that you’ve never tried before.

3. Reduce your saturated fat, salt and sugar intake for a healthier new you.

Now onto the things you should be avoiding. Foods high in saturated fat, sugar and salt don’t really do anything for your health – anything that’s good anyway. Cut back on fatty meats, biscuits, cakes, full-fat cheese etc. and you’ll reap the rewards.

It’s not to say you can’t still enjoy treats, but if you can find ways to eat healthier version, your body will thank you. This is where baking and cooking really comes into their own. You’ll find it much easier to cut back on the salt, sugar and fat when you’re cooking meals or baking sweet treats from scratch.

4. How to be healthy – Drink more water

Up to this point, we’ve covered all things food, but drinking is every bit as important. When we’re dehydrated we simply don’t function so well, and that includes our internal organs. Drinking up to two litres a day is the general recommendation, and by increasing your hydration you can expect more energy and better focus, amongst other benefits.

Try sipping water at regular intervals throughout the day, rather than gulping down a huge glass in one go. That’ll help keep everything ticking over nicely, rather than swamping your system.

5. How to be healthy – Increase your exercise

A solid exercise routine goes hand in hand with a good diet, and this combination provides you with the best possible boost to your health. Start off slowly and aim to make small increases each week, be it further distances, faster times or heavier weights. Small gains soon turn into huge results in the long run.

If you find motivation tricky, try teaming up with a friend. You’ll encourage each other to go, and probably have more fun together than doing it alone. Dance classes, running, yoga, swimming – there are so many options that are perfect if you’re getting into exercise slowly.

how to be healthy and happy

6. Take time for yourself to be healthier and happier

Physical health is a huge part of general wellbeing, but so is mental health. Mark the New Year by making commitments to take some time for yourself. It could be taking up a new

hobby, practising meditation or anything else that helps you switch off for a while. You’ll feel better for it and everyone around you will be happier too.

It can be challenging to make time in a busy week, but if you schedule some me-time into your daily routine, you’ll be more likely to go through with it. Even just 10 minutes a day can make all the difference.

7. Cut back or quit your vices

Whether it be drinking, smoking, poor eating or some other form of vice you have, cutting back or quitting completely will certainly give your health a boost. In addition to the physical benefits of cutting out drink and/or cigarettes, for example, you’ll get a boost in confidence too, as you’ll realise you can achieve what you set your mind to.

Try these seven steps to be well on your way to a healthier you in the New Year!

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