As we celebrate the arrival of 2019, my hope for all of you is a happy and healthy year ahead.
New Year’s resolutions to make based on science — and how to keep them. From fitness goals to resolutions focused on productivity or health, here are a few science-supported resolution ideas to help you stay on track this year. The most common New Year’s resolutions tend to be vague goals like losing weight, eating healthier food, or exercising more. But most people don’t successfully follow through on their resolutions — largely because they’re so general and non-specific. That’s where science can help. Using specific, science-backed resolutions, you can boost your chances of successfully transforming your life in the New Year. These are some of my favorite resolution ideas, all backed by recent science. Some have to do with fitness, others with diet or health, and others with boosting productivity (my current obsession). A few are simply intended to help you maximize happiness. You don’t need to attempt all at once, but pick one or two that’ll get you closest to your goals.
To help you lose weight-resolve to fix your sleeping habits!
Some research shows that getting enough sleep makes it easier to avoid cravings for unhealthy foods, keep off excess weight, and that it’s key for psychological health.In the long run, sleep could be even more important: in several studies published in the summer of 2017, researchers demonstrated that after disrupted sleep, individuals had higher levels of proteins associated with Alzheimer’s and dementia in the brain. And as sleep expert Matthew Walker, author of the book, “Why We Sleep,” previously told Business Insider, you really can’t get by on six or seven hours of sleep — the vast majority of people need an average of eight hours a night.To improve your sleep, experts recommend going to bed and getting up at the same time every night, improving your sleep environment, and avoiding screens for at least a half hour before bed, if not longer. If you’re struggling with insomnia, there are science-backed tips for that too.
Resolve to get moving, no matter what!
Exercise resolutions are common, and for good reason. Along with fixing your sleep, little else will have as transformative an effect on your life as working out. Exercise provides such a laundry list of physical and mental health benefits that it’s basically the closest thing we have to a wonder drug. Exercise can improve your heart health, up your sex drive, improve your sleep, and boost your mood. Research has also shown that working out may help keep the brain young, improve memory, and fight cognitive impairment.The trick is figuring out the targeted exercise resolution that’s going to work for you — saying you’ll just “go to the gym (more)” probably won’t cut it.
Make an early morning cardio workout a new habit!
Morning workouts aren’t for everyone, but experts say that if you can get some morning exercise that’ll get your heart going and expose you to some morning sunlight, that’ll kickstart your circadian rhythm, which will wake you up for the day and make it easier to sleep at night. Getting a good amount of cardio exercise is strongly linked to many of the biggest benefits of exercise, and some research suggests that morning is best time of day to work out to lose weight. To provide motivation to actually get out of bed and complete your morning run, swim, or ride, experts suggest working towards a goal (like a race), training with a friend, or adding in an element of competition.