From the gym and golf to sleep and diet, these are the best healthy habits for 2024 to make sure that you stick with them long after January is over
The new year often inspires people to make positive changes, especially after enjoying the festive season. Many individuals aim to get healthier and exercise more, as it's a common New Year's resolution to improve one's well-being.
Even though New Year's resolutions are a well-established festive custom, 62 per cent of people believe they are pressured into making them. Despite this, nearly 4 in 10 individuals surveyed intended to make New Year's resolutions for 2023. However, only 22 per cent had successfully kept their promises by the end of February because good intentions can fade without the appropriate mental and physical approach. That's why the key to a healthier lifestyle is taking small, manageable, and sustainable steps that can be easily integrated into busy schedules for the benefit of both the mind and body.
Now that we're in 2024, luxury Surrey hotel and spa, Foxhills has shared a list of the top five healthy habits that people can easily embrace in the New Year to enhance their fitness and well-being. Incorporating just one of these choices into your life is sure to have a positive impact.
1. Join a gym
January is the busiest time of year for gyms, with 12 per cent of members signing up in the first month of the year. There’s no doubt that gym membership is a great way to improve your wellbeing and achieve a healthier lifestyle, whether as a New Year’s resolution or part of a longer-term fitness plan. You’ll find a diverse range of facilities and exercise equipment to cater to all needs along with expert guidance to help you through your fitness journey. So, whether you’re looking for a full cardiovascular workout or a gentler routine, modern gyms allow you to target different muscle groups and goals that enhance all fitness levels.
"From strength-training to group fitness classes, gyms provide options for all ages and abilities"
From strength-training equipment to group fitness classes, gyms provide almost endless options for members of all ages and abilities. Not only that, but the camaraderie, supportive atmosphere, and strong social aspect of a gym can positively impact motivation and keep you going back for more.
You’ll find personal trainers that can devise personalised workout plans, provide nutritional advice, and guide you through your journey. So, joining a gym gives you more than just a space to exercise and work out—it’s a holistic approach to health and fitness that can be easily slotted into any daily routine.
2. Take up yoga
When it comes to developing healthy New Year habits, looking after your mental health can be just as important as boosting physical fitness. The ancient Indian practice of yoga is renowned for its positive impact on mental health as well as its ability to encourage greater physical flexibility and strength. Around 300 people worldwide regularly practice yoga because of the numerous benefits it brings.
Yoga’s various poses, also known as “asanas”, require the use of different muscle groups that over time help to loosen limbs and improve the body’s suppleness. Additionally, the use of relaxing breathing techniques and meditation also makes yoga an effective, mood-boosting method for alleviating stress and calming the mind to support mental wellbeing.
Whether you’re going for the bridge pose or the balasana, yoga is fully accessible and suitable for all ages and fitness levels. So, there’s no excuse for not grabbing that yoga mat and heading to your nearest yoga class or yoga cabin. It’s the perfect solution for those seeking greater inner peace and tranquillity amid the hustle and bustle of daily life.
According to Heather Marriott, Foxhills Leisure Manager, yoga’s appeal is far reaching: “Yoga is not all about physical poses, it includes a wide range of contemplative and self-disciplined practices including meditation, mantra, breathing, and even prayer. It’s incredibly beneficial to our overall wellbeing and one of its great attractions is that anyone can try it.”
3. Learn to play golf
Taking part in any sporting activity is beneficial to both mind and body and can help develop healthy habits for 2024. Whether it’s a daily brisk walk, a home workout, or a local pilates class, finding an activity you enjoy will set you on your path to a healthier lifestyle.
"Golf teaches concentration, encourages creative thinking and is good mild to moderate exercise"
Learning to play golf couldn’t be easier given the abundance of resorts, facilities and courses on offer. While some sports may require a higher degree of physical activity, golf is fully inclusive and can be played by anyone, regardless of age or ability.
Golf can be played at a fast or leisurely pace, and is also a great way to reduce stress. It teaches focus, accuracy, and concentration, encourages creative thinking for different shots, and is a good form of mild to moderate exercise. Not only that, but golf is also a great social sport played mostly with other people which can boost self-esteem and overall mental wellbeing.
4. Improve your diet
We’ve all been guilty of overindulging during the festive holiday season by eating and drinking so much that we end up in a food coma. Changing your approach to diet and nutrition is a popular choice for anyone wanting to develop healthier habits in the New Year and beyond.
Statistics show that 42 per cent of people cited eating healthier as the reason behind their 2023 New Year’s resolution. Consider introducing more fruits, vegetables, wholegrains, and low-fat proteins like fish and lentils into your routine while avoiding sugars and calorific foods and laying off alcohol for a while. There’s no need to do everything at once—in fact, it’s recommended to make small, gradual changes to your diet to form new habits instead of drastic changes you’ll struggle to maintain.
So, if you’re hoping to turn over a new leaf by eating healthier, you could stop grazing between meals, replace unhealthy snacks with nuts and fruit, and create a weekly meal planner for you or your family. Not only will you feel the benefit in the New Year, but your attitude toward nutrition will change for the good.
5. Prioritise sleeping habits
You’ve probably had a few late nights over the festive holiday when the celebrations were in full swing. But several nights of bad sleep can leave you drained of energy, feeling tired and down, and can make it hard to concentrate which could have a negative effect on work.
Like regular exercise and a nutritious diet, good sleep is an essential part of looking after your physical and mental health. It improves your ability to think and concentrate and gives your body the time it needs to rest, repair and rebuild. Sleep also allows your brain to organise information so that when you wake in the morning, you see things more clearly.
"Sleep gives your body the time it needs to rest, repair and rebuild"
How much sleep you require depends on your age, though it’s recommended that 18-64 years olds get between seven and nine hours of sleep per day. Unfortunately, many people don’t focus on their sleeping habits enough, especially during the winter party season. Therefore, establishing a consistent sleep schedule with a calming bedtime routine will have a positive impact on sleep quality so that you’re ready and prepared for whatever the day or week can throw at you.
Adopting some of the positive lifestyle changes mentioned earlier can result in notable enhancements in overall wellbeing and contribute to the development of healthy habits, extending beyond just the New Year and persisting for months and years ahead.
Banner photo: Playing golf is physical and social. Credit: Kampus Production
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