By Liz Johnson

The healthier the start of 2020, the more productive and the more fun the year will turn out to be. Getting healthy is the No. 1 New Year’s resolution. Here are a few tips to make it happen:

Get a Flu Shot

Many pharmacies are making it easy by offering walk-in flu shots. On a personal note, I got my flu shot in November. My husband got the flu on New Year’s Eve. I was sure with all the hacking and sniffling, his illness was heading my way. Well, we’re two weeks into the New Year, he’s on the mend and I’m still kicking with no signs of flu.

Exercise

Getting more exercise tops most people’s New Year’s resolution list. Instead of making grandiose plans, consider small steps you can take that will help. Park a little further out from the store, take the stairs, find a walking buddy to meet for coffee, spend a day in one of Hunterdon County’s hidden gem parks. Or have some fun ice skating or roller blading. Take a few minutes to brainstorm some ideas that will get your blood flowing.

TIP: There are plenty of places in Hunterdon County for exercise. If you’re in need of some community support, check out these Hunterdon Happening List Winners: ASDC CROSSFIT  in Flemington, HealthQuest  in Flemington, Courtside Racquet Club in Lebanon and Hunterdon County YMCA in Flemington.

Health Eating

Eating healthy is another top New Year’s goal. This isn’t difficult in Hunterdon County, where farmer’s markets and organic food stores or aisle are plentiful.  Some grocery stores, such as Hunterdon Happening List Winner ShopRite in Flemington, have dietitians on staff to help you make better choices.

TIP: Hunterdon Happening List Winner Basil Bandwagon, which has stores in Clinton, Flemington and NOW Lambertville, offers nutrition classes. If cooking isn’t your thing, try Hunterdon Happening List Winner The Clean Plate Kitchen in Clinton for locally-sourced, nutritious food.

Mindfulness

Research shows that calming the mind, even for only a few minutes a day, leads to a happier, longer life. It can also help you learn better. Try an app such as Calm to quiet the monkey mind chatter. Or take deep breaths while sitting at a traffic light.

TIP: If you’re new to meditation, check out Hunterdon Happenings List Finalist Yoga Loka’s Meditation Clinic which starts in February in Frenchtown.

Getting Organized

If you’re looking to improve your focus this year, consider a deep clutter clean. Research shows that it will increase your productivity and make it easier for your brain to process information. Simple steps, such as taking a few minutes to clean out a junk drawer, lead to big changes down the road.

TIP:  If organization isn’t your thing, consider hiring an expert such as Hunterdon Happening List Winners Last Minute Care and Services in Whitehouse Station or White Light Organizing  in Lambertville.

Get a Checkup

The doctor is likely the first call we make when we’re sick. When we’re well? What’s the point? For one thing, an annual exam may uncover deteriorating health trends, such as high blood pressure or sugar levels, early enough that they can be reversed. Plus, it helps to establish a good relationship with your doctor should anything more sinister crop up.

TIP: If you don’t have a primary care doctor, look up Hunterdon Happening List Winner Dr. Victor Peng, M.D. in Flemington.

Go to the Dentist

Annual dental exams do more than just keep your teeth clean and sparkling.  Regular cleanings can reduce heart problems and risk of stroke, according to research. Plus, it will keep your breath fresh and prevent tooth loss.

TIP: If you’re in need of a good dentist, try Hunterdon Happening List Winner Bowden Dental in Flemington.

Commit to Drinking More Water

There are all sorts of benefits to staying hydrated with water, from better skin to better functioning organs such as the kidneys or liver. It also lubricates the joints and can lead to weight loss (particularly if you trade water for soda). Experts recommend drinking up a gallon of water a day or more. That may seem like a lot, but keeping a reusable water bottle close at hand every day will make it manageable.

Infrared Salon at Zanya Spa Salon

Ease Stress

Chronic stress can take a toll on your emotional and physical health. It can actually weaken your immune system and lead to fatigue, depression, anxiety and heard problems. This year, make an effort to eliminate stressors in your life. Or at least find ways to cope better!

TIP: Massage can be a great way to relax. Visit Happening List Finalist Zanya Spa Salon in Lambertville for a variety of massage and spa treatments. We suggest trying a session in the full-spectrum infrared sauna. Radiant heat surrounds you and penetrates deeply into your joints, muscles and tissues increasing oxygen flow and circulation.  As a result, there is an array of health benefits.

Get More Sleep

Research shows that lack of sleep increases the risk for obesity, heart disease and infections.  It also impairs brain function. For anyone who has issues falling asleep, here are a few tips:

  • Go to bed the same time each night and get up the same time each morning.
  • Sleep in a dark, quiet, comfortable environment.
  • Exercise, but not right before bedtime.
  • Limit the use of electronics before bed.
  • Relax before bedtime. A warm bath or reading might help.

NOTE: These tips feature many 2019 Happening List Winners and Finalists. To vote in the 2020 Happening List, click here

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