The new year is just around the corner — and that often means reflecting on the year that’s just past, and setting new resolutions for ourselves. Instead of just saying ‘I want to lead a healthy lifestyle’, here are 5 simple habits that you can adopt in 2024 so that you can lead a healthier, happier new year.
5 Health Resolutions for 2024
Practising gratitude can boost both your mental health and your physical health. A study showed that participants who kept a gratitude journal, in which they wrote about the things they were grateful for, had lower levels of inflammation and better heart rhythm. This could be due to the effect of lower stress levels, as gratitude helps us to manage and cope better in stressful times.
To start with, just write down 2 to 3 things that you’re thankful for every day. It could be something as simple as having a nice cup of coffee with a friend or spotting a dog on the way to work. This will help you achieve better mental wellbeing, which in turn, leads to better physical health.
Be more aware of your screen time
Despite how important our screens may seem, excessive screen time can have a negative impact on your health. Spending too much time on your phone has been found to increase the risk of obesity, diabetes, sleep problems, loneliness, and depression.
The first step towards reducing your screen time is to be aware of how many hours you’re spending on your phone and the apps that you’re spending the most time on. You should also try to minimise looking at your phone 30 minutes – 1 hour before sleeping, as the blue light can affect the quality of your sleep.
The next time you’re sitting down for a meal, take a moment to appreciate the different flavours in each bite, and pay attention to what you’re eating. Mindful eating has been linked to improved digestion, reduced over-eating, and an overall positive impact on your emotions and mood.
When you’re mindful about your meal, you may experience more vivid flavours and this can enhance your enjoyment of what you’re eating as well. Mindful eating can also help you make healthier eating choices — you tend to be more intentional about what you put on your plate, such as opting for more vegetables and whole foods, rather than reaching for processed snacks.
Make time to move more
While it’s important for you to get sufficient physical activity throughout the week, it’s equally important for you to avoid sitting still for too long. Over the years, research has shown that long periods of sitting down can increase your risk of chronic conditions. This is because being sedentary slows down your metabolism, impeding the regulation of blood sugar and blood pressure levels in your body.
No matter how busy you are at work, try to take regular breaks to move around. For example, make a point to have 5-minute movement breaks every hour (this can be a good way to help your mind reset as well, if you’re facing a challenging task). Get up and stretch your legs in a nice stroll around, or do some simple stretches to get your blood moving around your body.
Schedule regular health checks
We all know that prevention is better than cure. Even if you feel perfectly healthy, regular health check-ins with your doctor and health screenings are important as symptoms may not be evident until it is too late.
There are different types of screening tests that are recommended, depending on your age and gender. We’ve made it easy to get screened by curating health screening packages, based on what you need the most. Singaporean citizens are also eligible for subsidised health screenings at our DA clinics, under the Screen for Life programme.
Ready to get started on your health resolutions for the year? You can speak to a doctor anytime on the DA app, if you’d like more support and guidance on how to achieve your health goals.