Every time a new year comes around, people develop resolutions in order to lead a better life. They might decide to stop shopping as much, spend more time with loved ones, or find a way to get more involved in their communities. They might also come up with some ways to be healthier. If you haven’t come up with any health-related resolutions yet, consider adhering to one or more of these seven. All will help you become healthier, both mentally and physically, this year.

1) Exercise More

The number one thing that many resolve to do is exercise more. This makes sense, as it can lead to a healthier mind and body. Exercise is good for the cardiovascular system, as it gets your blood pumping and helps you get into shape. You’ll feel better, will sleep better, and will even have more energy. Weight loss and the creation of more muscle mass are two other positive side effects of exercise. On top of this, it’s great for your mental health. Some believe that exercise can alleviate anxiety and that spending time on the treadmill puts you into a meditative state where your brain begins to relax. To put it simply, exercise is very good for you.

2) Eat a Balanced Diet

A balanced diet is another good way to be healthier throughout 2019. This means that you’ll need to eat more vegetables and lean proteins, and stay away from sugar-filled junk foods and other processed items. Plus, if you start drinking more water and begin to cut back on beverages like soda, you’ll be in even better shape. Follow the food pyramid or food plate (both will work) and stick to whole, healthy foods. Avoiding processed ones will make you feel much better overall.

3) Learn to Relax

Stress can cause a number of problems in your life. People who are constantly stressed out have a large amount of cortisol in their bodies. This leads to fat in the mid-section, which in turn leads to things like cardiovascular problems. You need to learn how to relax and go with the flow more. Learn to say “no” to things that no longer fit into your schedule. Stop burdening yourself with things that you can’t control. Basically, learn how to relax and take a little time off now and then. You’ll feel much healthier both mentally and physically once you do.

4) Take up Yoga

Speaking of relaxation and alleviating anxiety – yoga is good for both. Plus it helps your physical fitness. Overall, yoga is very good for you and can lead to a healthier lifestyle. People practice is because it’s a form of exercise that can make you very limber and in great shape, while at the same time, it helps your mental state, because it’s meditative and relaxing (mentally, anyway.) If you want to become healthier in 2019, then learning how to do yoga and practicing it regularly are good resolutions to make.

5) Balance Your Life

We’ve already mentioned the side effects of stress on your body. Making the resolution to relax more is just the first step. You also need to learn how to balance your life. How much time did you spend with loved ones last year? Were there times when you wished that you had taken a step back and gotten away from your work computer in order to attend your kid’s sporting events or theatrical performances? You need to balance your life so that you don’t keep missing out on these things. How is this a healthy resolution? Well, if you learn how to keep that balance in place, you’ll feel better.

6) Pick up a New Hobby

Hobbies are another good way to stay healthy. This can have both mental and physical effects on you, depending on the hobby that you choose. For example, learning how to crochet or taking up woodworking are mental hobbies (although woodworking is physical as well) while things like playing tennis or golf regularly are more physical. Either way, these healthy hobbies will make you feel better and help you be that much healthier this year. They can really make a difference.

7) Read More or Do Word Puzzles

Reading is a great habit to pick up. It engages your brain, warding off things like dementia and Alzheimer’s. In fact, if you don’t want to read more, then start doing word puzzles. These will have the same effect on you. You’ll learn new things and keep your brain (which is essentially a giant muscle) in shape. Your health matters, so you need to do things that are mental as well as physical in order to feel healthier throughout this upcoming year. Don’t be afraid to do things like read that can help build up your brain.

Author Bio:

This guest article is a work of Paul Swan in support of Samitivej Hospital, Bangkok.