After the busyness of the holidays, many people desire a fresh and healthy start to their daily routines. Setting wellness goals is a familiar habit for many Americans in January. A New Year’s resolution can help promote life-giving changes. New habits and behaviors take time and energy to make them stick. However, you may enjoy a few benefits fairly quickly. For example, when you find the right stress-relieving exercise you’ll engage in this routine more consistently. Exercise and eating well go hand in hand, so one healthy habit often leads to another. Here are a few simple tips to help improve your physical and mental strength in 2022.  


Do weight-bearing exercise. Stimulate bone growth by doing strength or resistance training. Yoga and Pilates use body weight as resistance. It’s also beneficial to have a set of light free weights at home so you can consistently engage your muscles and fit a short workout into your schedule a few times a week.
Eat more produce. Adding extra vegetables to your dinner routine and trading sugary dessert for fresh fruit can increase your daily intake of nutrients. The average person needs about 4 servings of vegetables per day and 3 servings of fruit. One serving of veggies is a half cup of cooked vegetables and one cup raw. Consider having some meatless meals.  Roasted vegetables go great atop freshly cook quinoa and chickpeas. A healthy vegetarian meal includes a variety of vegetables, fruit, whole grains, good fats and plant-based proteins.
Try new spices. Behind every good recipe is well balanced seasoning. Spices are a great addition to a standard kitchen, regardless of your skill level. Basil, parsley and oregano can enhance squash. While regular russet potatoes can take on new form with rosemary, salt and pepper. By expanding beyond your normal spice profile, it’s possible to give plain foods, like root vegetables and chicken, a huge flavor boost.
Add ancient grains to your diet. High-fiber grains improve blood sugar while also reducing inflammation and cholesterol. Many ancient grains are also gluten-free such as quinoa, bulgur, rye, barley, farro, amaranth, and most oatmeals.
Wash your hands frequently. To lower the risk of the common cold and flu, wash your hands consistently. After public outings or trips to the grocery store, it’s best to sanitize your hands and wash them with warm water for at least 20 seconds.
Limit refined carbohydrates. Examples of refined carbohydrates are packaged snacks, crackers, cakes, white bread products and store-bought desserts. This doesn’t mean you have to give up sweet treats. Just choose wisely and make your own treats at home to share with family and friends.   

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