It happens every year. You make grand plans for the new year, only to become discouraged by the second week of January. You’re not alone! Did you know that only 8% of the population sticks with their New Year’s resolutions?

The problem is that most people try to overhaul their lives by setting lofty goals, but the truth is that simple resolutions can change your life. Not only are small, specific goals easier to manage, but they also give you a sense of achievement and typically lead to the adoption of more healthy habits throughout the year. Here are some simple New Year’s Resolutions that will help you transform your health in 2018.

Start Walking

Walking is one of the simplest, most beneficial forms of exercise. Regular walking can help you maintain your balance, coordination, and weight, while strengthening your bones and muscles. It can also help prevent heart disease, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes! Start slowly and gradually increase your walking time until you can walk 30 minutes per day, 5 days per week.

(P.S. If it’s too cold to walk outside, check out our 30-Minute Indoor Walking Class, beginning January 2018!)

Incorporate Strength Training

Begin strength training for 15-20 minutes, 2-3 days per week. Strength training boosts your metabolism, improves your ability to perform everyday tasks, and even sharpens your mind. It can also help you manage symptoms of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, depression, obesity, and back pain. Strength training can be performed using dumbbells, elastic tubing, stationary weight machines, or even your own body weight. Not sure where to start? Check out one of our beginner-level strength training classes!

Drink More Water

When you’re properly hydrated, it’s easier to sleep, think, and manage stress. Proper hydration may also help you eat less because dehydration mimics hunger. Water requirements vary by age, gender, weight, and activity level. However, a general recommendation of 64 oz. per day is a good place to start. Begin by replacing sugary drinks with water and keeping a large, refillable water bottle on hand throughout the day.

Make Sleep a Priority

If you’re like most Americans, sleep is low on your priority list. However, sleep is essential to stress management, mood regulation, problem-solving, and memory. Sleep deprivation can also lead to overeating by increasing your production of ghrelin, a hunger-stimulating hormone. To avoid the consequences of sleep deprivation, you should aim for 7-9 hours of sleep per night. Begin by scheduling time for sleep and practicing good sleep hygiene, which includes creating a relaxing atmosphere for sleep, limiting screen time prior to bed, and avoiding calorie-laden junk foods in the evening.

Be More Mindful

Try incorporating yoga or Pilates into your workout routine, 1-2 days per week. These mind-body modalities can help you become more mindful, which can improve your body image and sensitivity to hunger cues and feelings of fullness. Increased mindfulness can help you lose weight and keep it off!

Take Advantage of Technology

Not sure where to start? Use VHP’s technology to your advantage! Check out one of our live classes or schedule an appointment with one of our health experts to help you get started. We’re here to help you make 2018 your best year yet!