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4 easy New Year’s resolutions that will leave you happier and healthier

4 easy New Year’s resolutions that will leave you happier and healthier

Time flies! It’s already mid-January, and just a few weeks after setting out into the fresh and shiny new year, nobody’s been to the gym despite the new membership. And all those other worthy resolutions are out the window too.

According to recent research into the psychology behind resolutions, there are very good reasons for why we fail to keep these well-meant promises to ourselves: we’re not actually ready or prepared to change our habits, or we set the bar too high and are too hard on ourselves.

Most resolutions are health related, and your resolve to do anything will be helped if you’re feeling fit and healthy. So, if you’ve found you’re already struggling to stick with your good intentions of January 1st, but don't want to fall at the first hurdle, we have some easy tips for making 2018 not just a happy but a healthier new year!

Keep fit and keep it fun 

So, you’re looking to lose weight or get in shape but find yourself lacking motivation, or find that the gym is lacking in atmosphere, then why not join one of Amsterdam’s many jogging or inline skating groups instead? You’ll find them via apps like MeetUp.

Across the different quarters of the city, often in the evenings or weekends, there are groups to suit everyone. New parents are often seen jogging through the Vondelpark pushing buggies: you’ll find details of those kind of groups on expat site Amsterdam Mamas.

A small workout like this, at a regular time in the week, with like-minded people and at a low cost, can help make working out something to enjoy rather than endure. And you’ll have new fitness buddies to help motivate you to keep going and, more importantly, keep coming back.

Eat well

Healthy eating seems obvious, but when you’re tired at the end of the day, or rushing home after a late shift, it’s sometimes easier said than done. Add a regular online shopping list that you can reorder and tweak if / when necessary. Or make things really easy for yourself and order a readymade dish of your liking at a company that offers inspiring and healthy recipes, such as Amsterdam-based Bilder&DeClerq.

And when it comes to what foods to choose, balance is the keyword in "a balanced diet". It is commonly known that no matter how effective a fad diet may be to begin with, it’s hard to stick to a diet with strenuous restrictions. Instead, use your common sense. Allow for a few treats, but eat primarily lots of fresh fruit, veggies, water, whole grains, and less meat.

Healthy teeth make a healthy body

Dental health can be one of those things that you know you should pay a bit more attention to, but all the other demands of a bustling life can leave you postponing and postponing that essential visit to the dentist.

However, we all know of the importance of good dental hygiene, and you might have read the research about the relationship between periodontal disease and our systemic health. In other words: the effect that gum disease has on cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, the immune system and pregnancy.

Leading dentist Maarten Vaartjes, owner of Tandarts Jordaan on the Westerstraat says: "Often people postpone the first dental visit for a lack of time or out of fear for the dentist. At Amsterdam dentist Tandarts Jordaan, we focus on building the confidence of our patients and working together towards the prevention of future problems. Often, it’s the combination of making small and easy changes that will bring the best results".

And then, when you have finally decided that it is time to schedule that first visit, make sure you choose a dentist that is easy to go to. Choose a dental practice that caters specifically to expats.

Sleep deep 

And last but by no means least, having given your teeth a thorough clean, get a good night's rest. In 2017, the Nobel prize in Physiology or Medicine was won for research concerning “deep” sleeping.

Research shows that almost 15 percent of Americans do not get a restorative sleep. We have come to realise that sleep, the quality of sleep and the lack of sleep have an enormous effect on our general well-being, our productiveness, happiness and our overall health.

Sleep scientists at Harvard University tell us that a good sleep has a positive effect on memory, wakefulness (obviously!) and brain-ageing.

Tips from the American National Sleep Foundation for making sure you´re getting the sleep you need include:

  • Keep a fairly regular bedtime
  • Have a relaxing sleeping environment
  • Avoid stimulants such as heavy meals, caffeine and screens (TV, laptop etc.) in the run-up to sleep
  • Exercise!

Resolutions don't have to be difficult to be worthwhile. Keeping them simple and achievable makes for a greater chance of success, and success breeds the motivation to continue; and that, surely, is the reason we make resolutions in the first place.

Located in the historic centre of Amsterdam, Tandarts Jordaan dental care offers exceptional facilities and hygiene practices, skilled and experienced multilingual staff, personalised customer care, opening hours to suit your busy schedule and transparent pricing. For more info, contact them:

Maarten

Author

Maarten Vaartjes

Maarten Vaartjes is a dentist and co-owner of dental clinic TandartsJordaan, located in Amsterdam centre. Trained in both Amsterdam and New York Maarten and his staff combine international high end...

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