New Year’s resolutions are nearly impossible to keep for a variety of reasons, not least of which is the time of year they occur. The year begins in the dead of winter, the middle of cold and flu season, when the skies are dark and dreary and bed blankets especially warm. The likelihood that you can motivate yourself to fight the blizzard to reach the gym four times a week is as low as the outdoor temperatures.
Yet, just a few weeks after New Year’s, the sunlight is bright and the flowers blooming, heralding the beginning of the warm seasons. With change in the air, now is the perfect time to seriously commit to your yearly resolutions. If you are committed, here are four habits to kick before summer sets in, allowing you a few months of feeling fulfilled before winter comes once again.
Your body is more than 60 percent water, so when you don’t drink enough water in a day, bad things happen. You likely experience dozens of symptoms of dehydration without realizing it: dry skin, fatigue, fogginess, dry mouth, constipation, and more. Worse, you might misinterpret your body’s pleas for water as hunger, as thirst and cravings for food are commonly confused. Simply by increasing the amount of water you consume, you will feel more awake, more focused, and more full.
Many people find it exceedingly difficult to drink water in the winter. Because most Americans prefer water iced, a chilly drink is the last thing you want during the cold season. However, now that temperatures are heating up, you have a better chance of ending your dehydration habit and increasing your water intake. You probably know the rule about eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day, but that one-size-fits-all estimate isn’t sufficient for most people. Instead, you might find it easier to carry around a liter-sized water bottle and fill it up two to three times every day.
Cigarettes are major stress-relievers. Not only does the nicotine calm your jittery nerves, but a well-timed smoke break can get you away from a hectic environment for a few moments of peace. Yet, going outside for a smoke break during the summer is one of the worst experiences known to man: Venturing into the muggy heat to fill your lungs with dry, burning smoke is not something you want to relive.
Before the summer sets in, you can start to quit tobacco once and for all. Disposable e-cigarettes are handy tools that can painlessly wean you from nicotine, and reusable vaporizers are satisfying replacements if you can’t imagine quitting nicotine for good.
Leave the Indoors
So many of your favorite things are inside: computers, televisions, refrigerators. Yet, the warm weather will only last so long, and by staying cooped inside you are robbing your body and mind of some amazing opportunities.
The outdoors is the perfect environment for some much-needed springtime exercise. Instead of sticking with your regular gym routine, you can reinvigorate your workouts by moving them outside. Biking, hiking, jogging, and walking give you the chance to explore your surroundings and break a sweat. Usually, your body has more energy in the spring and summer, when the sun is high, and you should capitalize on it with some extra training.
Another way to see more of the outdoors is to garden. Though what you can plant will differ depending on your regional climate, most places have the right temperatures for artichokes, Brussel sprouts, broad beans, leaks, and so much more, not to mention the beautiful flowers that love the warmth and sunshine of the season. Spring is the season for new growth ― for you and for your plants.
Stop Late-Night Binging
In the depths of winter, your body wants to put on weight to keep you warm and safe until spring. Throughout the cold months, you might experience more hunger than you are used to, causing nightly cravings for unhealthy food. Now that your body is no longer concerned with making it through the winter, you are responsible for kicking that late-night binging habit.
Many doctors admit that binging isn’t an easy behavior to stop. However, with determination and mindfulness, you cut out those nighttime calories. Here are some smart steps toward killing your need to binge:
- Eat breakfast. Eat a big, nutrient-rich meal first thing in the morning instead of filling up on junk at night.
- Eat regularly. Your body should know when to expect food so it can properly prepare your metabolism.
- Sleep well. Lack of sleep often increase’s the body’s desire for unhealthy foods. Plus, by getting to bed sooner, you might sleep through your cravings.