No matter the season you are in or the age you’re at, it’s never too late to add healthy habits to your daily routine. And what perfect time then to kick them off at the start of a new year?! Afterall, it’s no surprise that we humans like to take any opportunity to wipe the slate clean and make a fresh new start. For some, this may include an exercise regimen or eating better. For others, it could mean making a commitment to enjoy more quality time with friends and family. And to the many, it may include getting more sleep! Whatever you resolve to do, here are six ways to to live a more healthy and full life all year long.

You don’t have to be the world’s greatest athlete to get up and move more. But, if you want to be happier and healthier, adding more fitness and working on getting stronger will help you age better, keep you from injury and leave you feeling more positive overall. If you aren’t sure where to start, don’t know which fitness goals to set, or need help planning the best routine for you, connect with our team at Apex Physical Therapy to meet with one of our expert therapists for a personalized plan!

There is plenty of scientific research out there that tells us how important getting enough good sleep is to our overall health. And the reality is, when you don’t get enough sleep, you don’t feel your best, your memory is not as sharp and you miss out on the many benefits that sleep offers, which includes keeping extra weight off, and reduces risks of chronic disease and aging.

We’ve all heard the old adage: “You are what you eat.” And when it comes to practicing a healthy lifestyle, then there must be major importance placed eating a clean and healthy diet. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), “Vitamins and minerals in the diet are vital to boost immunity and healthy development. A healthy diet can protect the human body against certain types of diseases, in particular noncommunicable diseases such as obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, some types of cancer and skeletal conditions.” Eating well will not only make you feel a lot better, but is also a major investment in your future.

According to Harvard Medical School Studies, “Good connections can improve health and increase longevity.” Even more so, the studies have shown that individuals who have satisfying relationships with friends, family and within their community are happier and have fewer health problems. Be more social and you will be happier. A great place to find great relationships is right in your community.

Cooking classes, language courses, music lessons… Perhaps this is the year for you to finally learn “that thing” that you’ve always wanted to learn.  According to the Association for Physiological Science, adults who are productively engaged in learning new skills show improvement in memory compared to those engaged in social activities or non-demanding mental activities at home. So don’t wait to kick off that new project you always wanted to try. This is also a great way to enlarge your social circle.

We all know that when we GIVE BACK, we feel amazing. Sometimes the healthiest thing we can do for ourselves, is to focus on others. There is no shortage of causes, organizations or people to help. Furthermore, According to Greater Good Magazine and a “Social Capital Community Benchmark Survey,” overseen by researchers from Harvard University, those who gave contributions of time or money were “42 percent more likely to be happy” than those who didn’t give. Psychologists have identified a typical state of euphoria reported by those engaged in charitable activity. They call it “helper’s high,” and it’s based on the theory that giving produces endorphins in the brain that provide a mild version of a morphine high.

Giving thanks can transform your life. According to Psychology Today, when people are proactively grateful, they have stronger relationships, better health, reduced aggression, enhanced empathy, sleep better, improved self-esteem, and are mentally stronger. Practicing counting our blessings brings great peace and health into our lives.

Good health is the foundation of everything that we want to do in life. So here’s to kicking off the new year in a fresh way by making our health a priority. If you want more tips, connect with the Apex Physical Therapy team for a consultation for a personalized plan!