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New Year, improved you: Health hacks to kick-start the New Year

Cassey Maynard

4 minute read
Cassey Maynard exercising

New Year’s resolutions have a bad rap, and that’s because they’re often overwhelming, unrealistic and unachievable. More often than not, resolutions are linked to getting fit or losing weight; and those goals are way too broad.

When setting your health-focused resolutions for the New Year, the key is to start small and manageable. You want to feel like you’re kicking goals all year long because that’s what will keep you motivated. With that in mind, here are my top five health hacks to start your new year strong.

1. Just move

You don’t need to join an expensive gym to get fit. There are so many different ways to move your body that don’t cost a cent. Get out in the sunshine during your lunch break, try a walking meeting with your team or consider a morning stretch session. Just include some kind of movement every day to lift your vibes and make your body feel good. To get started, here are my top five ways to get active – no gym membership needed!

2. Eat the rainbow

Commit to adding an array of colourful veggies to every meal, and try to see them as the energy creators of your day. To make your plate packed full of even more goodness add a little protein (fish, chicken, falafel or red meat) and some healthy fats too (nuts, seeds, avocado or coconut/olive oil). For inspiration, check out nib’s range of healthy recipes.

A woman tossing a salad in a kitchen

3. Chill out

Stress has become the norm these days, and we really need to combat the pain it causes on our body and mind. It’s time to SLOW down! One way to do this is by including a few micro meditations in your day. These should only take a few minutes, but they’ll make a huge difference to your mood, mental state and even your productivity.

You can easily download a meditation app to help or just practice deep breathing. When you have a few minutes, try my 3 x 8 method. All you need to do is take a deep breath in for eight seconds, hold it for eight seconds then breathe out for eight seconds. My favourite place to do this is at the traffic lights; it can take you from stressed to calm in a few moments.

4. Get off your phone and connect with people in real life

I’m setting you the challenge of making this your main focus for the year – I promise you won’t regret it! From Skype meetings to dating apps, we live in a world that is so heavily controlled by a screen, and we need to get that real connection back to keep a healthy mind. Instead of a phone call to your mate, why not organise a proper catch-up? Rather than ordering your dinner in via an app, why not go for a walk to pick it up?

Include some kind of movement every day to lift your vibes and make your body feel good

5. Create a consistent night-time routine

Rapid eye movement (REM) sleep is the restorative part of our sleep cycle; it’s where all the good stuff happens and we’re not getting enough of it. To increase your chances of a good night’s sleep, ditch all screens at least an hour before bed, diffuse some lavender oil or drink a camomile tea for a little night-time zen.

6. Feed your soul

It’s important to do something every day that makes you happy. This might be different for everyone, but it’s so important to do it with no guilt attached. A long walk with a friend, a bubble bath, a glass of wine… Whatever is it, do it with a smile.

About the author

Cassey Maynard is one of Sydney’s most recognised fitness experts and health advocates. Also known as The Energiser, Cass (@cassey.maynard) is passionate about energising people’s lives through health and fitness in a playful, fun and educational way.

For more articles by Cassey, check out The Check Up’s dedicated section.

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