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Healthy Habits for the New Year

Laura Nicolescu, Co-Editor-In-Chief

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New year, new you. Well, at least for the first week or so. But how about this year, we find some healthy habits that stick? There are many hobbies and activities out there that promote a healthy lifestyle, some of which we may not have paid attention to.

Yoga, for example, has the reputation for hippies practicing trippy spiritual stuff and cranking themselves into pretzels for no reason. But the idea behind yoga is to explore your limits, not strive for some pretzel-like perfection, as to get in tune with your body and your inner self.

Yoga has countless benefits, both physical and mental. It can increase flexibility, increase muscle strength, improve respiration and boost energy, lessen back pain and headaches, aid in mental clarity and sharpness, relieve chronic stress patterns, relax the mind, sharpen concentration. And no one’s asking us broke students to pay for yoga classes; programs on YouTube, for example, are completely free. Besides, us girls can finally use those yoga pants for something other than getting dress-coded.

Meditation is another healthy habit that requires only a comfy seat and a willingness to slow down and focus on our breaths. Meditation has numerous benefits for emotional well-being: it reduces stress, improves concentration, lessens anxiety and worry, lessens depression, increases memory retention and creative thinking, and improves immune system and energy levels, among other things.

Exercising in any way you can or have time to is a crucial habit to adopt, even if it’s the only habit we manage to stick to in the new year. Regular exercise helps prevent or manage a wide range of health problems and concerns, can help with weight loss, is good for your muscles and bones, can help skin health, can help brain health and memory, can help with relaxation and sleep quality, and can make you feel happier and increase your energy levels.

Healthy eating can be a part of our new healthy lifestyles as well. Students are known for their reliance on coffee, for example, but there are ways to get your caffeine fix and improve your health simultaneously. Tea, although it contains less caffeine than coffee, makes up for it in health benefits instead. Tea contains antioxidants, may reduce risk of heart attack and stroke, helps with weight loss, lowers inflammation levels, and can increase memory, focus and concentration.

Trying out other de-stressing practices, such as aromatherapy, can also help us reduce anxiety and stress. Other health benefits of aromatherapy include its ability to ease depression, boost energy levels, speed up the healing process, cure headaches, boost cognitive performance, strengthen the immune system, reduce pain and increase circulation.

No matter what you choose, set up a support system, get motivated, set attainable goals and welcome new ideas. With determination and an open mind, all of us can make these and other healthy habits stick in 2018.

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Healthy Habits for the New Year