Most New Year Resolutions are tired and overused. Lose weight, stop smoking, drink more water – we’ve heard them all before. Plus, statistics show only about 8% of people who set New Year resolutions actually accomplish them. That means there’s a big chance your New Year resolution idea will fall flat fast.
While setting a New Year resolution is an excellent idea, think outside the box this time around. Setting new goals is more than about losing weight, a new year brings new opportunity to make overall changes to your health and wellness that can create a greater impact on your quality of life, even catapulting it to the next level.
Not sure what we’re talking about? Here are our top New Year resolution ideas for both physical and mental wellbeing:
1. Increase Exercise
From the “duh” files, did you know that regular vigorous exercise can increase your expected life span and reduce your risk of dying from heart disease, cancer, and other causes? A recent study from the European Society of Cardiology shared their supportive findings on the subject – specifically in women. Not only that, exercise can help with weight loss, boost energy and mood, reduce stress, and increase focus.
But since we already know that exercise is good for you, what happens to our bodies if we don’t partake regularly? We can extrapolate quite the opposite – lack of exercise leaves us susceptible to the negative effects stress, inflammation, and environmental toxins have on our bodies. Coping with stress can be as simple as exercising more (amongst other things listed below).
If you’re someone who’s not a fan of working out, you’re not alone. Easing in to a new activity is the way to go. Start by finding an activity you enjoy doing – because if you don’t like it, you won’t do it; then figure out how many days you can seriously commit to exercising each week, 30 minutes is fine. Start with the minimum required to see results. If you can exercise only 2 days per week, great, start there! Once you have your New Year Resolution plan, write it in your calendar. Then follow through. The hardest part is the first step out your door.
2. Reduce Inflammation
Inflammation can rear its ugly head from so many different causes! Pinpointing the exact reason is not entirely possible, however, reducing known inflammatory contributors from your diet and lifestyle can help reduce the amount of inflammation you may be experiencing tremendously.
The usual suspects include stress, smoking, exercising too much, not eating enough, lack of sleep, and the like. But did you know that your (animal-based) protein powder might be causing inflammation too? That’s because some people have sensitivity to certain milk proteins, like whey.
When you ingest a protein that your body is sensitive to, it releases antibodies that tell your body to produce histamines that protect you from infection. When there’s too much histamine circulating, inflammation is the result. Some common symptoms of whey sensitivity include skin issues (rashes, bumps, irritation, eczema), hives, bloating, gas, nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, stuffy/runny nose, and asthma-like symptoms. More serious symptoms include cancer, heart disease, and stroke.
If you feel you’re sensitive to whey or other dairy proteins, simply swap them out for plant-based options like PlantFusion protein powders. This is an easy way to reduce inflammation quickly. Try swapping dairy milk for high protein plant-based options like soymilk or plant-milk blends available at your local grocery store. When it comes to yogurt and cheese, there are plenty of plant-based options – just be wary of protein content – they tend to be lower; that’s why reading labels is always important.
3. Increase Protein
Most Americans think they eat a lot of protein. The reality is they’re probably not eating enough! That fact makes eating more protein an excellent New Year resolution idea. So how do you know if you’re not getting enough? Did you know the RDA for protein intake is 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight? To figure that out – take your body weight and divide it by 2.2; then multiply that number by 0.8. The answer is how many grams of protein (on the lower end) you need per day. While counting grams is fine, you can also tell you’re lacking protein by certain characteristics of the body – think brittle hair and nails, feeling weak in or out of the gym, and a lack of energy. Not only will increasing your protein intake solve those issues, it will also keep you full and satisfied after a protein-rich meal, make building muscle easier, boost fat loss, and help in the wound healing process too. Women’s protein needs are the same as men; base your needs on your body weight and activity level. If you are more active, eat more protein.
You can increase protein AND decrease inflammation with excellent plant-based sources including lentils, chickpeas, a number of grains (quinoa, farro, rice, etc.), beans, plant based protein supplements including PlantFusion protein powders and ready-to-drink shakes, nuts and seeds, as well as nut butters.
4. Reduce Stress
Sometimes it feels like we are always going to be riddled with stress – and that may be the case for most. That’s why it’s uber important to implement daily stress-reducing tactics in to your routine. Think you’re not stressed? Watch out – stress can show up in many ways including an inability to lose weight, low energy, insomnia, headaches, getting sick frequently, and even anxiety or depression. Work on finding things that help you reduce stress – think exercise, reading, or even 10 minutes of meditation per day. Whatever works for you, make it a priority to take steps to reduce stress every day. Coping with stress can even be made easier by supplementing with ingredients like Ashwagandha, l-theanine, magnesium, and rhodiola which have all been shown to help the body fight off damaging free radicals from stress that cause inflammation and wreak havoc on our system. Certain supplements contain all of these like PlantFusion’s new Inspire for Women, making it easy to get complete nourishment AND reduce stress.
5. Nurture Beauty from the Inside Out
Nourishing inner and outer beauty is a unique New Year resolution idea you can feel good about. Make it a point to focus on good-for-you foods like fruits and vegetables that are chock-full of vitamins, minerals, fiber and water that all have an impact on the look and feel of your skin. Vegan collagen is an excellent addition to your beauty routine too! While protein for women can help you keep trim and fit, vegan collagen builders help your body maximize its collagen potential resulting in less wrinkles, and a more youthful appearance. PlantFusion’s Vegan Collagen Builder should be at the top of your supplement shopping list this year!