Losing weight is at the top of the list for most resolution-making Americans this year. Unfortunately, more than half of those people will fall short of their goals within the next six months. Instead of the usual (and near impossible) “lose weight” goal, consider making some of these goals to improve your overall health. And who knows? Maybe you’ll lose some weight along the way.
1. Get outside
A breath of fresh air can sharpen your mind and boost your mood, especially if you’re suffering from winter-induced cabin fever. Consider visiting the breathtaking ice castles in Midway and ice skating at the quaint outdoor rink across the street. Or, simply bundle up and build a snowman with your kids or some friends. Worried about the infamous Utah County inversion? Check the current levels before you go out here or download the UtahAir smartphone app here.
2. Eat your veggies
Getting your greens in the dead of winter may seem challenging, but you’ll be surprised how much better you’ll feel when you do what mom always said: Eat your veggies. La Nay Ferme in Provo grows a variety of organic produce year-round. Purchase what you’d like from the market or buy a CSA share and get a box of fresh produce every week.
3. Catch more Zs
According to the National Sleep Foundation, sleep is just as important to your health as diet and exercise. Consider improving your sleep with a good mattress. Not in the market for new sleep gear? Give your beauty sleep a boost by hitting the sack half an hour earlier.
4. Cook healthy dinners at home
According to a study by Massive Health, people who dine at home eat 12.7 percent healthier than those who dine out. Plus, home-cooked meals are easier on your wallet. Invest in a good cookbook with delicious recipes that are simple enough to whip up even when you’re not feeling like Martha Stewart. Our go-to is this cookbook by the popular Our Best Bites bloggers, BYU alumnae Sara Wells and Kate Jones. The recipes are family-friendly and foolproof.
5. Stimulate your mind
Keep your mind sharp with community classes from a local university or community center. UVU, Thanksgiving Point and community centers like the new Provo Rec Center offer classes on topics such as cooking, finance, language, relationship, fitness and computers.
6. Meet up with friends
A study by Brigham Young University found that having a good social network boosts your survival chances by 50 percent, while having few friends affects your longevity as much as smoking 15 cigarettes a day. Make it a goal to get together with friends at least once a month. A few hot hangout spots perfect for chatting and munching are Decadence Cafe in Orem, Dear Lizzie Boutique and Bistro in Highland, Craving’s Bistro in American Fork and its sister (literally) company, Craving’s Alisha’s Cupcakes in Pleasant Grove.
7. Listen to music
Listening to music improves your workout, aids in memory loss and may even alleviate chronic back pain, according to a study from Austria’s Salzburg Hospital. While you’re listening to music, why not make it local? Utah Valley is bursting with musical stars who are making their name in the world, including Mindy Gledhill, Ryan Innes, Fictionist and Imagine Dragons.
8. Stress less
Massage lowers stress hormones and boosts immunity — not that you needed an excuse to get one. One of our favorite spots for a guaranteed-great massage is Remedez in University Mall.
9. Eat more ice cream
Yep, you read correctly. This American staple often gets a bad rap as junk food, but in actuality, it is a low GI (glycemic-index) food, meaning it releases sugar more slowly than its high GI sisters, like pastries and soda, so it keeps you satisfied longer. Also, the milk in ice cream contains essential nutrients and vitamins like calcium, iodine and potassium.
10. Play more
According to Psych Central, just because we grow up doesn’t mean play is any less important than it was when we were kids. And that doesn’t mean competitive play, as in sports. Release your inner child and start a snowball fight. Better yet, stay warm while you play with the plethora of toys at Blickenstaff’s at the Riverwoods.