As the new year rolls around, there are quite a few things on our minds. Some of the thoughts include, "I hope 2016 is better than 2015," and "I pray One Direction gets back together." While I don't know the answers to many upcoming thoughts and questions, I do know something: 2016 is the perfect start for finally getting healthy. Being healthy may seem like a new trend, but I think it's safe to say it's a trend that is here to stay. Getting healthy can be difficult, especially for the typical college student, but there are hundreds of small ways to improve your mental and physical health, and these changes can last a lifetime. So, in honor of 2016, here are 16 ways for you to start getting healthy.
1. Set goals! By setting a goal you are better able to stick to a game plan- and you feel a greater sense of accomplishment after, too.
2. Educate yourself -- then make a plan. Yes, Pure Barre seems to be the greatest new workout trend- but is it the best workout for you? Everyone has a different body so make sure to educate yourself about available options before you find yourself in too deep.
3. Eat fruits and vegetables. I know it sounds simple, but some days go by where it's not as easy as it sounds! A personal goal I have is to eat at least one fruit and one vegetable per day. It's an easy goal, but it still feels great to meet.
4. Find stress coping mechanisms. For me: water coloring. For my roommate: boxing. Everyone has a different way of dealing with stress, so I encourage you to find a way to deal with stress that is positive because it will improve your mood and can burn a few calories (or help your mind relax), too!
5. Drink water. Our bodies have a huge proportion of water- a proportion that we need to keep in order to have glowing skin, a healthy digestive tract, energy, and more! Water is the key to success and I hope that in 2016 you will drink copious amounts.
6. Give compliments. I know what you're thinking- how can giving others compliments make me healthy? Hear me out. By giving compliments to others you are practicing kind gestures, ones that make others feel better and give you a warm fuzzy feeling in your stomach, too. And you never know what friendships, connections, and more could develop. Mental health is important, too!
7. Treat yourself. Speaking of mental health, treating yourself is a great way to ensure mental sanity. I don't mean treat yourself to an entire Cheesecake Factory cheesecake. I mean treat yourself to a manicure one weekend, to a nice home-cooked meal another. Spend time treating yourself and getting to know yourself because you are the most important of all.
8. See your doctor. So many health problems can go undiagnosed without a doctor's help because the symptoms do not seem to be life-threatening. However, by getting checked for things such as diabetes, arthritis, and more, you are ensuring your safety and future health- something that is extremely important in the long run.
9. Invite a friend to get healthy with you. By having someone by your side you will always be accountable for one another and there is much less of a chance to mess up.
10. Find a new hobby. By finding something you enjoy doing, you're able to spend your time in a more productive way and able to find a new sense of happiness and source of joy. What's better for mental health than that?
11. Watch YouTube videos -- and try that. I'm a big believe in YouTube yoga videos to help me learn new poses or just to hear the voice of a new instructor. By watching videos online, you're able to try workouts you may not do in a room full of other people.
12. Learn about food and then make your choices. There is so much information out there about the "best" kind of diet, but is there one? If you educate yourself on different types of food you are able to make the best selections for you.
13. Make a food log. A lot of doctors really appreciate you doing this- especially if you have health issues. By writing down what you eat and what you feel afterward, you're able to adjust your diet to one that makes your body look and feel it's best -- something we all strive for.
14. Prioritize. If you're a student- be a good student. If you're a worker, be a good worker. If you're a father, be a good father. Take on the current role you're in and your life and flourish in it. This will alleviate stress and allow you to learn what is most important to you in life -- a healthy lesson that we all need to remember every once in awhile.
15. Buy yourself some workout clothes. I'm a huge fan of this because once I buy myself a nice workout outfit (loving Athleta and Lululemon) I am more likely to show it off at the gym, on a hike, or anywhere I'm working out. This inspires me to get fit and enjoy wearing the outfit as much as I can and it is a great motivator for being fit.
16. Remember to love yourself! While you're trying so hard to change physical and mental aspects of yourself, remember that you are who you are for a reason. You have the most perfect body for you, the most perfect mind, too. You were made to be this way, and by trying to get healthy you need to remember you are just trying to find the best version of yourself. Try to remember that fitness is a journey and not a destination and to love yourself along the way.
I know it sounds like a long road ahead, but you have 365 days to accomplish all of this! The road to health is long and treacherous, but it is one with many rewards. So get a friend, get out there, and do your thing (in your new outfit, I may add). I know you have the ability to find the best version of yourself in this new year.