Habits to Cultivate for a Healthier, Happier New Year

There’s something special about the start of a new year. We’re rejuvenated with a fresh rush of motivation and a squeaky clean blank slate, providing ideal circumstances for a lifestyle change. In fact, research has shown that the most successful behavior change occurs during times of novelty, but are those resolutions sustainable? If you find that you’re making the same resolutions (does “eat healthier, lose weight” sound familiar?) year after year, maybe it’s time for a primer on how to turn resolutions into habits that stick.

Sun Basket’s Director of Nutrition, Lindsey Kane offers her suggestions on how to cultivate healthy habits that last a lifetime.

Rethink Resolutions and Get Back to Basics

The trouble with resolutions is that they’re tied to a deadline. If our real pursuit is lifelong well-being, it doesn’t make sense to think that a one-year commitment will provide a lifetime of good health. It’s better to use the momentum of the New Year to cultivate habits that you can repeat on a daily basis and maintain for the rest of your life. After all, what we do every day matters more than what we do once in a while.

Too often we overlook the fundamentals of healthy living, and place our faith in “sophisticated” and complex fads, jumping from one program to the next. This year, skip the trends and pay attention to these five basics:

1. Eat 

Real food is energizing, disease-protecting, anti-aging, and mood-boosting—everything we need to live a long, happy life. Colorful fruits and vegetables, fiber-rich whole grains, high-quality proteins, and healthy fats are perfectly packaged with all the vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants, and energy needed to thrive. Yet, studies show an estimated 50 percent of our diet is ultra-processed foods that are devoid of beneficial nutrients, and contain toxic, artificial additives.

2. Drink 

The human body is 65 to 70 percent water, an unmistakable indicator of how important it is to our health. Water plays a critical role in supporting the function of every bodily organ, yet research estimates a striking 75 percent of the U.S population functions in a chronic state of dehydration.

3. Rest

Sleep is our body’s primary opportunity to repair, rebuild, and recharge yet most of us pay more attention to charging our phones. Studies show over one-third of the U.S population is sleep deprived.

4. Move

Our bodies are built to move but each year we become more sedentary. Studies estimate that American adults spend an average of 13 hours sitting each day. Regular exercise promotes sleep, strengthens cognitive function, improves metabolism, relieves stress, enhances physical performance, and supports healthier food choices.

5. Relax

Unplugging on a regular basis has been shown to improve productivity, creativity, energy, performance, health, and happiness. Whether it’s yoga, meditation, reading a book, taking a warm bath, sipping tea, or doing a puzzle, taking time to relax and reset is critical to our health and happiness.

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Artwork by Ekström Design

How We Are Taking Action at HealthKick

Black Lives Matter

At HealthKick, we’re standing in solidarity against racism, injustice and violence, and are committed to taking action to influence change through our mission of empowering all people to thrive through wellbeing, as shared in a statement from our Founder.

Right now, we are listening, educating ourselves, and remembering to give ourselves the space to mess up while we show up, learn and take action.

Each of us has the ability to influence the world through our attitudes and actions, and we are looking at ways we can be better, do better and come together to create real change as people and as a company everyday. 

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Celebrating Earth Day During COVID-19

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There won’t be any large volunteer events to celebrate Earth Day this year, but there are still ways you can celebrate and support our earth in your home and local community.

Ways you can celebrate Earth Day at home in honor of Earth Day:

1. Get outdoors: Working from home can be great, but staying inside all day can get old. Boost your mood, breath in some fresh air by going for a walk or run during your lunch break or in the evening with your family, roommates or significant other.

2. Work in your garden (if you have one): Digging your hands in the dirt is good for both your physical and mental health, don’t be afraid to get a little dirty! Try planting native plants, fruits, and vegetables.

3. Start a compost pile: Composting your food waste will reduce the amount of waste you send to a landfill, and once it decomposes, you’re left with amazing fertilizer you can use in your garden. Check out this article by Grist, Composting 101 for Citydwellers.

4. Go zero waste for one day: Use glass jars, a reusable water bottle, reusable straws, skip the plastic produce bags, try bar soaps instead of bottled cleansers, eat plant based, line dry your clothes, don’t shower (bust just for the day!), and try composting your food.

5. Clean up trash: Take a walk around your neighborhood and take a trash bag and gloves with you so you can clean up any trash along the road or sidewalk.

While Earth Day may feel a little different this year, we can still be proactive for our communities and the planet. Will you be celebrating Earth Day by trying something from our list? Let us know! Post a photo of how you’re celebrating on social media and tag @my_healthkick

 

How you can support local businesses during COVID-19

Fire relief - Force for good

As more people practice social distancing across the country, small businesses are feeling the impact. With National Volunteer week April 19th – 25th, below are some ways to give back to our local communities!

1. Shop locally online: this is a great way to continue to support your local businesses if they are still fulfilling orders during this time.

2. Order food for delivery or takeout from your favorite local restaurant: you are practicing social distancing, taking a break from heating up leftovers, and offering some revenue to a local business who needs it.

3. Rate businesses you love with a 5 star review on google, social media and Yelp: any extra reviews and ratings are a huge help right now as people search for local businesses to order from.

4. Share your favorite fitness studios to your Instagram stories: taking your favorite yoga or HIIT class online? share it to your stories and tag the studio and pass it around to friends!

5. Buy gift cards to use later on: Even though you likely can’t physically buy items from your local stores, many businesses offer gift cards online. This sends the message that you will be shopping with them again in the future once things return to normal!

6. Spread the word: If you know of a business that is still open, or a restaurant offering takeout, be sure to spread the word about what they do to family and friends in the area.

7. Donate online to local charities (below are a few New York options):

Meals on Wheels: In response to the coronavirus crisis, this program is giving home-delivered meals to the elderly. The meals are nutritious and shelf stable. Needs: Financial assistance.

The Bowery Mission: The Bowery Mission is helping people experiencing homelessness. During the coronavirus crisis, The Bowery Mission is taking care of our most vulnerable neighbors. Needs: Financial assistance, Grab & go meals, pre-packaged sandwiches & salads, pre-packaged snacks, Bottled water, Fresh & frozen meat, cans, and cleaning
supplies.

WomanKind: Womankind works with survivors of gender-based violence to rise above trauma and build a path to healing. In response to the coronavirus crisis, Womankind services will transition to phone and email, with the exception of their Residential Programs. Womankind’s 24/7 emergency residences will remain staffed and emergency services will continue. Needs: Financial assistance.

City Harvest: City Harvest is committed to feeding everyone who was relying on them before the crisis, and to meet the increased need as the devastating economic impact of COVID-19 becomes a reality. They are also working hard to ensure that, while schools are closed, children and their families can put meals on their tables. Needs: Financial assistance.

Splendid Spoon: Help them support our first responders and healthcare workers.
They’re offering at-cost boxes of their plant-based bowls and smoothies to fuel our healthcare workers on the front lines.

The unity that comes from tough times is so beautiful, share with us below how you are supporting your local community!