2024 is almost here and many people are looking to make a New Year’s resolution that will improve their health and wellness. But “wellness” as a whole is such a broad concept that you might not know exactly where to start. Should you begin with cleaning up your diet or signing up for the gym? Should you go vegan or just commit to vegetarian Mondays? Must you completely stop drinking or can you practice alcohol moderation? What’s the best and most realistic way for you to achieve your health goals in 2024? Here are a few tried and true steps to get you started.
Keep It Simple
What exactly about your health do you want to change or improve? Maybe your goal is learning to better manage a chronic condition, like diabetes, without letting it affect your social life. Maybe you want to lose weight after having a baby. Or maybe you are looking to become more mindful about your drinking or smoking habit.
Generally speaking, there are a few things you can do to improve your health, such as:
Start Eating More Vegetables
Eating a diet rich in fresh vegetables and fruits is known to reduce the risk of many leading causes of death and illness, including type 2 diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease, and even some cancers. Despite this, only 9% of adults in the US eat the recommended amount of veggies.
When it comes to your health, your plate can make the biggest impact. Make sure to load it up with vegetables at least once a day. Instead of snacking on a bag of chips, try eating carrots with hummus. Add mushrooms and tomatoes to your eggs for breakfast. Have a green smoothie for the mid-morning case of the munchies. Your body will thank you.
Move Your Body
Exercising is another pillar of a healthy lifestyle. Plenty of studies show that even light exercise – like yoga or walking – can lower your risk for depression, type 2 diabetes, stroke, and some cancers.
If you want to become fitter, improve sleep, or boost cognitive function, make time for an activity you enjoy at least 3 times every week. It doesn’t have to be weight training or running – it could be going camping with your kids, hiking in nature, or going for bike rides with your buddy.
But What Are Shaping Up to Be The Trendiest Healthy Habits & Lifestyle Changes of 2024?
Some emerging health and wellness trends expected to grow in popularity in 2024 include:
- Going “sober curious”: More people are experimenting with non-alcoholic beverage options and alcohol-free bar/restaurant events. Cutting back on alcohol is becoming more mainstream.
- Hybrid/flexible workouts: Blending home and gym routines with options like virtual classes, smart home gyms, and wearable tech.
- Outdoor fitness: Taking advantage of parks and natural settings for activities like bootcamps, trail running, rock climbing, hiking and cycling.
- Functional strength training: Using resistance exercise to build full-body capacity and prevent injury versus just aesthetics.
- Stress-busting therapies: Practices like meditation, breathwork, adaptive yoga, nature immersion and mental wellness apps will grow.
- Plant-based everything: Plant-centric diets, protein alternatives and eco-friendly/ethical eating choices gain appeal.
- Future food tech: Innovations like 3D printed meals, AI-designed recipes/menus, and lab-grown proteins will emerge.
- Personalized nutrition: Based on your individual DNA and lifestyle, personalized nutrition plans can help you eat the right foods for your body.
- Intermittent fasting: This eating pattern involves regular short-term fasts, which can have a number of health benefits.
- Wearable fitness trackers: These devices can help you track your activity levels, sleep patterns, and other health data.
- Mental health apps: There are a number of apps available that can help you manage stress, anxiety, and other mental health conditions.
- Community fitness classes: These classes can be a great way to get exercise and socialize at the same time.
As 2024 approaches, the focus shifts to holistic wellbeing beyond fad diets and boutique fitness. Sustainable, flexible and mind/body nourishing habits are in.
Practice Alcohol Moderation (or Give Up the Habit Altogether)
According to the latest Dietary Guidelines, drinking alcohol in moderation means having 1 drink or less in a day for women and 2 drinks or less in a day for men. If you are of legal drinking age and choose to drink, doing it in moderation is key to protecting your health. To make sure you are drinking in a way that doesn’t compromise your health, consider sticking to these tips:
- Choose low-sugar drinks such as spiked seltzer, light beer, or dry wine instead of cocktails and sweet wine.
- Do not drink on an empty stomach.
- Set a limit for 1–2 drinks per occasion.
- Drink one glass of water before each alcoholic drink.
What’s The Relationship Between Cutting Back on Drinking and Losing Weight?
Reducing alcohol intake is commonly associated with weight loss. This is because alcoholic drinks are high in “empty” calories that provide little nutrition. Just a few beers or glasses of wine can add hundreds of calories per day. When alcohol is cut back, these excess calories are eliminated.
Additionally, alcohol lowers inhibitions which can lead to overeating while intoxicated. It acts as an appetite stimulant. Alcohol also impairs the metabolism of other foods consumed, leading more calories to be stored as fat.
By removing these excess alcohol calories and curbing these related tendencies, studies show most people automatically lose weight without any other diet changes. The fewer drinks consumed, the greater the weight loss effect. Moderating alcohol is an easy lifestyle tweak that jumpstarts healthier nutrition habits.
How CheckUp & Choices Can Help With Alcohol Moderation
If you think your drinking habits are adding to your health concerns, consider taking this free 10-question screener to evaluate your behavior around alcohol.
CheckUp & Choices is a clinically-validated, self-help program designed to help people determine whether a change needs to be made and find the motivation to do so. The program has helped thousands of heavy drinkers reduce the intensity, quantity, and frequency of their drinking.
This is a two-part program:
Step 1: The CheckUp: This test takes 30–40 minutes and allows you to analyze your drinking/drug use and receive personalized (and 100% confidential) feedback.
Step 2: Choices: This is a self-guided 3–12 month program where you’ll learn practical tools to moderate or stop your alcohol/drug use.
We always suggest starting with the free quiz to help you get an impression of the program before you sign up for the CheckUp, however, we do offer a rock-solid money back guarantee to take the risk out of trying. For any questions or concerns, you can reach out to us online.