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Take the New Year's Healthy Lifestyle Challenge

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Healthy lifestyle changes for the New Year

Getting healthy is a popular New Year’s resolution, but what does that even mean? If it makes you picture a perpetually growling stomach and plates covered with nothing but lettuce and rice cakes, you’re not alone. The effort (and the sacrifices) that go into lifestyle changes can feel intimidating.

Making a few simple changes is the first step in creating a healthier lifestyle for yourself. We’ve put together a healthy lifestyle challenge with seven boosts to help you achieve mental, physical, and emotional health in the New Year. Download our monthly tracker to help you along the way.

Setting healthy goals

Getting healthy isn’t about comparing yourself to someone else. When it comes to setting healthy lifestyle goals, there’s really only one rule: you do you. Use these questions to help set achievable, actionable health goals.

•    Why do you want to get healthier? Be specific!
•    What lifestyle improvements do you plan to make?
•    What kind of support do you need?
•    How will you measure your progress?

Get more sleep

Let’s get real: When was the last time you slept for a full 7–8 hours? Sleep (or lack thereof) affects your mood, concentration, digestion, and a whole lot of other things you might not have realized, like skin breakouts and even hydration. The National Sleep Foundation recommends a bedtime routine and cool bedroom to help you catch a healthy sleep.

Fresh food

Fresh foods – fruits, vegetables, meats – are packed with nutrients, whereas processed foods are packed with saturated fats, salt, added sugar and empty calories. Healthy food is crucial to a healthier lifestyle.

To make it easier to avoid sugary temptations and salty snacks, always shop with a list. Avoid the middle aisles; the good stuff tends to be around the perimeter of the store, while the processed foods live in the middle. It also helps to shop after a meal, so that an empty stomach isn’t guiding your choices.

Drink more water

Hydration is important for healthy organs and a healthy immune system. You can get some of your daily water intake from eating fresh fruits and vegetables, but you should also drink up.

A great way to reach your daily water intake goal is to use a container with a specific measurement, like a 1-liter water bottle. The Mayo Clinic equates eight glasses to 1.9 liters of water, so drinking 2 full bottles a day is an easy way to check off this step.

Get active

Sitting on your backside all day is hazardous to your health – besides contributing to obesity, chronic pain, and aching muscles and joints when you eventually stand up, it’s also considered a leading risk factor in global general health. Yikes!

Get up and move around at least once each hour. (This should happen naturally if you’re drinking those two liters of water a day!)

Work out more this year

Working out doesn’t have to be all about bodybuilding and gym selfies (not that there’s anything wrong with that). The World Health Organization recommends 150 minutes of moderate exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise each week for adults aged 18-64.

“Moderate” and “vigorous” mean different things to different people. The important thing is to get your heart rate up, and to use all of your muscle groups. You can lift weights, run, or play a sport, but you can also try dancing, throwing a ball with your kids, or even power walking around your neighborhood or through the mall.

(You might want to keep something on hand for the first few weeks of aching muscles, like BENGAY® Cold Therapy Gel.)

Reduce stress

Stress happens – and avoiding it is sometimes just about impossible. How you manage it is what’s important to maintaining mental and emotional health, not to mention preventing the impact stress can have on your body’s systems. Exercise, deep breathing, and practicing mindfulness can help you address and manage feelings of anxiety and worry.

For an extra stress-relieving boost, take a soothing bath with scents targeted toward stress relief. We recommend AVEENO® Stress Relief Body Wash with lavender, chamomile, and ylang-ylang oils.

©Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc. 2018

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