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2023: Fresh Starts

Tap into that extra motivation you’ve got kicking off this new year and live your life a little bit better…

By Karen Kwan

Switch to sustainable gear

New Zealand’s outdoor apparel brand Kathmandu has just launched in Canada, and its NXT-Level jacket is both stylish and warm enough for our winters. Plus, it comes with a unique feature: it’s biodegradable. As part of Kathmandu’s commitment to fighting apparel waste, the jacket is designed to biodegrade in a biologically active landfill without oxygen. So, for example, after about 646 days, the synthetic fill biodegrades by 93.8 per cent. It’s a guilt-free winter wardrobe fix.

Go on a well-being streak

When it comes to fitness, it’s often pushed as “no pain, no gain.” But this full-out approach can be discouraging (and lead to injury). Put your well-being first with the award-winning Gentler Streak app for your Apple Watch. Gentler Streak helps you find your personal balance between fitness and rest by recommending daily workouts that help you maintain your healthy activity levels.

Get your veggies

Including more greens (and the entire rainbow of vegetables) in your diet can be both simple and delicious. You can’t help but feel empowered to make quick and delicious plant-based meals with the new cookbook from Jeanine Donofrio: Love & Lemons: Simple Feel-Good Food: 125 Plant-Focused Meals to Enjoy Now or Make Ahead. From the Spring Pea Fritters with Whipped Feta to the Eggplant Sheet Pan Shawarma, these recipes are guaranteed to become part of your regular rotation.

Balance your day

To stay healthy, you should get up and move periodically throughout the day: 40 minutes is the amount of moderate to vigorous physical activity you need to do daily to balance out 10 hours of sitting still, according to a meta-analysis published by the British Journal of Sports Medicine. Here’s a simple way to remember that if you’re stuck at a desk during your workday: program a note in your calendar that beeps every hour to remind you to get up and stretch.

Sleep well

Adults need seven to nine hours of sleep a night. Three simple things you can try to improve your sleep routine:

Add some plants to your bedroom: Certain plants can help you get a better night’s rest. Golden pothos, for example, are good for purifying the air in your bedroom as you snooze, while the scent of jasmine as you fall asleep has been shown to lead to more restful sleep.

Use a weighted blanket: A recent study conducted by researchers at Uppsala University in Sweden found that using a weighted blanket may result in more melatonin being released. Melatonin is a sleep-promoting hormone produced by the brain, which makes you less alert and makes you desire sleep.

Write down your to-do list for the next day when you go to bed: A study published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology found that those who spend five minutes writing this down fall asleep an average of nine minutes faster compared to those who wrote down what they’d accomplished that day.

KAREN KWAN is a freelance health, travel and lifestyle writer based in Toronto. Follow her on Twitter @healthswellness and on Instagram @healthandswellness.

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