Keep 2019 interesting with these health challenges

Keep 2019 interesting with these health challenges

by Eunice Chua 10 Jan 2020

As we begin to approach the middle of the year, it's not uncommon to see the enthusiasm of others wane a little. What used to be a gung-ho attitude towards making lifestyle changes slows down and many tend to lapse back into sedentary patterns. Be it due to accomplished or failed goals, a faltering 2019 can quite easily be jazzed back up into the limelight. Try adopting one of these health challenges for a change, if you haven't already done so:


1. Cut sugar from your diet

Alcohol abstinence is a common new year resolution. Why not take it a step further and do your body even more good by reducing the amount of sugar you consume too? We all know alcohol is bad for our bodies – we’ve been through enough nasty hangovers to know that we should cut back on drinking. The sugar in the products that populate the snack food aisle may not produce such immediate side effects, but they are definitely bad for our bodies. Challenge yourself to a less or even no-sugar diet to restore your health and start paying extra attention to food labels. Your body will surely appreciate the sugar purge!


2. Try the Whole30 diet

New years are always great occasions to start on a new diet. They are also the time that sees the highest failure rate. If being swept up by trends and fads is not your thing, the structure of the Whole30 diet just might appeal to your sensibilities. Abstaining from all kinds of processed food takes discipline, but the Whole30 diet will be extremely rewarding both mentally and physically. Upon the successful completion of 30 days, you can transition to a more long-term nutrition plan that's still built around whole foods.


3. Eat fruits daily

We’ve been taught since young that an apple a day keeps the doctor away, but some diets have made us turn away from fruits that supposedly contain high amounts of sugar. Let 2019 be the year that you bring fruits back into your daily diet. Despite their sugary nature, fruits are rich in essential vitamins and nutrients too. The health benefits of fruits are too good to ignore so do make it a point to have two cups of fruit every day. Alternate between low and high-sugar fruits, such as berries and bananas to limit sugar consumption.


4. Plank everyday

The plank is one of the simplest core exercises you can do that also trains your balance and helps you improve your posture. Planks are easy to do anywhere because you don’t even need equipment or special attire. Commit yourself to a daily plank challenge and have a goal in mind, like the duration you would be able to hold a plank for by a certain date (e.g. a five-minute plank within a month's time). The daily movements you do to get yourself there will be a great exercise in resilience and discipline.


5. Incorporate mindfulness into your daily routines

Mindfulness is the key to achieving wellness – only when you’re fully immersed in the activities you’re doing can you truly benefit. To keep your mind focused, try incorporating daily meditation exercises. Just five minutes of mindful meditation when you focus on your breathing and actively push distracting thoughts aside will help you stay calm and grounded in the moment. Additionally, make it a point to take this mindfulness and use it to develop a quality sleep schedule. For some people, the middle of the year can be a peak work period, so getting enough rest is crucial for healthy stress management.


Wellness is a lifelong journey but you will always need to incorporate some challenges to spark new motivation and refresh yourself from routines that can get dreary. There's still plenty of time before 2020 rolls around, so make the most of it and take your quality of life one step further!