Staying Active in the DWith the start of a new year right around the corner, the time has never been better to stop perpetuating bad habits and get accustomed to living a healthy lifestyle.

Whether you choose to engage in sports, eat healthier, meditate, or obtain a career you’re passionate about, the start of a new year is a great marker to turn a new leaf and write a new chapter in your life.

While physical fitness courses helped many maintain an active lifestyle in middle school and high school, many people are under the impression that there are no organized leagues for people their age to remain physically active playing the sports they once loved.

Taking a proactive approach to a healthier lifestyle via exercise can lead to a number of benefits including:

  • Maintained and improved flexibility as you age
  • Increased range of motion (which can help prevent injury)
  • Reduced risk of stroke, heart disease, and diabetes
  • Improved memory in elderly people
  • Prevention against osteoporosis and fractures
  • Maintained bone mass
  • Increased self-esteem
  • Improved joint stability

As an avid basketball enthusiast, I can attest (from experience) that the benefits listed above are true.  The longest stretch I have gone without playing basketball (since I learned the game in middle school) is about five months during my sophomore year in undergrad.  I believed that studying during the time I normally played basketball would help me obtain the everso-elusive 4.0 GPA that I had always aspired to achieve.  While I did in fact earn a 4.0 that semester, I moreover realized that I could never go that long without basketball again.  Today, basketball still makes me happier than that 4.0.

Many people are under false impressions that playing sports and taking time out of your schedule to exercise will interfere with the goals you set out to achieve.  However, the added confidence that comes along with exercise and a healthier lifestyle can lead you to accomplishing goals you never deemed possible.

Thus, I have compiled a list of four healthy New Year’s resolutions that will surely rejuvenate your body while strengthening your mind at the same time!

Join a league!

Contrary to popular belief, there are many organized sports leagues that people of all ages can participate in to remain active.  Whether you prefer bowling, swimming, skiing, basketball, or soccer, there is a league for you!

Many of these leagues pair the participants up against partakers in the same age range or same skill range to make sure the competition is fair and fun for all.  If you liked volleyball in high school but never got around to picking up the game, make joining a volleyball league one of your New Year’s resolutions.

Many websites such as Comeback Sports offer a forum for adults to search what organized sports teams are available in your neighborhood.  The site also offers signups for seasonal, coed, and open league sports so prospective participants can connect with other active people who enjoy the same sports.  Participating in organized sports leagues can raise your level of confidence, allow you to network with other adults who love the same sports as you, and help you lose weight while living a healthier lifestyle.

Eat healthier foods.

I recently made eating healthier foods a priority after observing the many healthy snacks and meals my team leader brings into work everyday.

It’s true, I actually began to feel guilty eating ribs or a 10 ounce burger after watching my boss open a Tupperware bowl of freshly cut vegetables and fruit.

Initially, I began to procrastinate and make excuses such as, “I’ll also do that when I get married.”  However, realizing I may not get married until the next decade, I made the choice to incorporate more vegetables and fruit in my diet sooner rather than later.

For example, I start every work day with an asparagus and spinach omelette from the Compuware grill.  This may not seem very healthy to you, but it’s definitely healthier than the Cinnamon Toast Crunch and glazed donut I previously considered breakfast.  I also pay more attention to the labels on products I purchase, so I can better monitor how much sugar I put into my body because diabetes runs in my family.

Make eating healthier foods part of your New Year’s resolution and I’m sure you will feel the difference that incorporating fruits and vegetables into your diet provides.  Find out the appropriate daily serving amount of fruits and vegetables at Fruits & Veggies Matter.

Take time out to meditate.

According to Psychology Today, studies show that the brain waves of meditators illustrate that they are healthier than non-meditators because they shift their brain activity from the stress-prone right frontal cortex to the calmer left frontal cortex.

Meditation helps you practice the art of peace by employing better stress management techniques.  Through meditation, you can find your inner peace or “inner quiet,” according to Paramahansa Yogananda, that can melt away your nervousness and stress.

Yoga is an exercise that employs meditation to strengthen mental and spiritual discipline.  While the meditative practices of yoga are common in Jainism, Buddhism, and Hinduism, the meditation practices are to promote a perfect state of spiritual insight and tranquility while meditating on the Supersoul.  Meditation is an activity you can practice by yourself or by joining a yoga class at your local gym or YMCA.

Pair your skillset with your passion for the perfect career!

In a perfect world, we would all obtain work in the fields we are passionate about or studied to enter during college or trade school.  Yet some people put off their dreams because they are satisfied with the paycheck they receive from a job that has a lower ceiling for growth than a miniature puppy cage.

Take it from me, the time to chase your dreams is now!  Pair your passion with your skillset to reach your goals this year and you will be surprised how much healthier you become from having a career you love instead of a job that stresses you out.

Time waits for no one, so use yours wisely by living a healthier lifestyle this year.  The changes you make will not only better your health, they may set an example for others to follow!



Jonathan Slappey is a writer for Quicken Loans, a company whose clients believe it’s Engineered to Amaze.  Interested in being Amazed by us? Read trusted reviews at our review site.

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