9 Simple Ways to Be Kinder to Your Body in 2014

As the new year approaches, are you planning to make a commitment to a healthier, more fit you? Whether you call it a resolution, a commitment or a goal, the start of a new year can be used as Day One, the day to begin being kinder to your body and improving your own wellness.

Yesterday I read about a survey done by the Life Time fitness company, where they asked more than 1,400 people about their commitments for the new year. Three out of four people (75%) responded that they are committing to improving their overall fitness, diet and nutrition in the new year. (The survey was a tad bit leading since it was given to people who belong to a fitness facility or who have participated in a fitness related event, but let’s go with it for now, okay?)

Let’s say you want to do commit to a healthier you in 2014. Where would you start? Well, the answer depends on where you are right now with your wellness. The truth is that we already know the way to get healthy. It is all about the ways we can get there, and the commitment to make it a lifelong habit rather than a passing trend. In case you are looking for some reminders, here are 9 ways to improve your overall health in 2014:

  • 9 Simple Ways to Be Kinder to Your Body in 2014 1 of 10
    9 Simple Ways to Be Kinder to Your Body

    Are you making a commitment to your health and wellness for 2014? Here are 9 ways to be kinder to your body this year:


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  • Quit Smoking. 2 of 10
    9 Ways to be Kinder to Your Body

    Information about the potential dangers of smoking to your body has been around for ages. There are even warnings right on the package. So how about making 2014 the year that you commit to getting rid of those sticks once and for all? With the money you save on cigarettes you can join a gym, get a new pair of sneakers, or buy healthier food at the supermarket. Try a patch, try an app, go cold turkey, or do whatever will work best for you to make this the year that you quit smoking.


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  • Watch What You Eat. 3 of 10
    9 Ways to Be Kinder to Your Body

    Keeping a journal of your food intake can be a truly eye opening way to see where there is room for improvement. You can write it down on a notepad or use an app to keep track of your dietary intake of calories, fat, sugars, carbohydrates, cholesterol, and more. It will also help you figure out when you might be consuming "empty calories", snacking on foods that do not really make you feel full. This is a terrific way to take small steps that can lead to big results in your overall wellness.


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  • Eat Healthier. 4 of 10
    Eat Healthier

    See, I told you that this is not earth-shattering information. Remember the old saying that you are what you eat? If you eat healthier, you will be healthier. Try switching out the white flour for whole grains. If you absolutely cannot survive without that favorite snack food, reduce your portion sizes or look for a healthier version. If you are not drinking enough water, switch out that soda or sugary drink for water instead. If you aren't eating enough fruits and vegetables, find ones that you love or hit the juicer instead. If you want to revamp your way of eating entirely, try a Mediterranean diet, which has many scientifically proven health benefits. There are so many ways to make a commitment towards eating better for a healthier you.


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  • Get Going. 5 of 10
    9 Ways to Be Kinder to Your Body

    We already talked about how the start of a new year can be a great "Day One", but if you really want to commit you do not have to wait for a new year to begin. Any day of the year can be Day One. However, if the new year is your Day One, why not start immediately? Take a walk. Buy a journal. Clean out your pantry of the unhealthy foods and replace them with healthier alternatives. Join a gym or contact a nutritionist. Register for a Commitment Day 5K fun walk/run event (being held in 34 cities across the country) on New Year's Day at or go to to find events in your area. Why not start on that commitment to wellness right now?


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  • Exercise More Often, Better, or More Efficiently. 6 of 10
    9 Ways to Be Kinder to Your Body

    Improving your fitness is, again, all a matter of where your fitness levels are right now. If you do not exercise at all, then figure out where you would like to start, whether it is by walking around the neighborhood, swimming, or enlisting the help of a friend or trainer. Our bodies are capable of so much more than we often give them credit for, so give it a chance. If you are an adrenaline junkie who loves the gym, you can set a goal to take yourself to the next level in 2014.


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  • Go to the Doctor. 7 of 10
    9 Ways to Be Kinder to Your Body

    So many people avoid their annual physical and OBGYN appointments. They might shrug and say they just don't have the time, but often the real reason might be fear. Even people who are in excellent health might avoid those appointments under the assumption that everything must be fine with them. As someone who maintains a fairly healthy diet, does not eat red meat, exercises regularly, and still found out that she has high cholesterol, I encourage you to get that annual physical.


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  • Take Vitamins. 8 of 10
    Take vitamins

    There has been some controversy in the news lately about whether a daily multivitamin can really be helpful, so this is an area where you might want to speak with a doctor. Here is how I see it. A multivitamin should not take the place of a well-rounded diet. However, if your current diet is missing essential vitamins and nutrients, then a vitamin or supplement might be helpful for your overall wellness and making sure that your body is working on all cylinders.


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  • Get the Right Amount of Sleep. 9 of 10
    9 Ways to Be Kinder to Your Body

    This "right amount" is going to vary from person to person. The amount you need to feel refreshed can be related to your eating habits and fitness routine, so you may find that you need less sleep once you are improving those areas of your wellness. However, if you are feeling sluggish even after exercising more and eating better, your sleep habits may be the issue. And if you rely on caffeine to make it through the day, perhaps you should consider getting more rest instead. You might also find yourself eating less when you are well-rested than when you are tired and might mindlessly turn to food for that boost of energy.


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  • Make Yourself a Priority. 10 of 10
    9 Ways to Be Kinder to Your Body

    This is where the commitment part of the plan really comes in to play. It is commendable to want to have a healthier you and to set health and fitness goals, no matter where you are on the spectrum. Yet sticking with it for the long term is where people tend to fall off the resolution wagon and begin the self-sabotage spiral. My advice is to take small steps or take them one at a time so that you will be more likely to stick with them for the long term. If there is something that has been holding you back, this is the time to tackle it head on. It takes a while to make a change into a habit, so be kind to yourself along the way!


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Please note that this post is intended to share information and ideas, as well as to create conversation. Please consult a medical professional before making changes to your lifestyle.

Jessica also recently wrote:
9 Tips for a Less Stressful Holiday Season
How to Get Your Holiday Calorie Burn On
The Big Misconception About Coffee & Health
Food Allergy Talk with the Super Nanny: 7 Tips for Staying Safe at Holiday Parties
Taking an Antidepressant? How Exercise Could Help Combat Side Effects
Science Proves Celebrities Actually Influence Our Health Goals
What Dwight Howard Can Teach Kids About Nutrition
10 Steps to Achieving Your Health Goals in 2014

Read more from Jessica at  And be sure to follow her on Twitter too!
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