08/01/2016 11:09 GMT | Updated 07/01/2017 05:12 GMT

10 Important Lifestyle Changes to Improve Your Health in 2016

In January many people join gyms and go on a diet in an effort to lose weight and improve their health. Do you want to be healthy and happy in 2016? It's actually not about dieting! It's about introducing small changes to your life which will make a difference. And it's not all about food and exercise either. Taking a holistic approach is a better way to start off New Year. Do something different for your health in the new year. Try the following:

Learn to manage stress

Stress can affect your health in many ways so it's really important to manage it effectively.

Get at least eight hours of sleep a night

Getting enough sleep keeps your immune system strong and helps with weight loss.

Replace unhealthy snacks with the healthy ones

What do you snack on? Crisps, biscuits, cakes or chocolate? Why not eating fruits, nuts and hummus with veggies instead?

Be active during your lunch hour

Sedentary lifestyle is dangerous to your health so it's important to be active during your lunch hour especially if you sit in an office all day. Go for a walk or a bike ride but DON'T sit behind your desk ALL your lunch.

Get tested for vitamin D deficiency and supplement if needed

Do you know your vitamin D levels? Most of us are deficient, therefore I highly recommend you get tested. Vitamin D is essential for healthy teeth and bones and for keeping your immune system strong. If you are deficient you risk developing certain illnesses associated with low vitamin D levels.

Drink more water and green tea

Green tea speeds up your metabolism and drinking water 30 minutes before eating can help with weight loss.

Improve your fitness by getting involved in activities you love

You don't have to join the gym in order to be more active in 2016. What is your favourite activity? Cycling, running or walking? Maybe it's time to try something new. Do what you love and you won't have problems getting yourself motivated to exercise.

Buy more natural beauty products

Everyday cosmetics is packed with harmful ingredients and toxins you'd rather avoid if you want to stay healthy. Parabens have been linked to cancer and triclosan is a suspected endocrine disrupter. Better be safe than sorry?

Don't know where to start? Check my favourite natural beauty products of 2015.

Drink lemon water first thing in the morning

There are lots of benefits of drinking lemon water every day but the main ones are to cleanse your liver and to prevent kidney stones.

Soak your nuts

If you eat nuts on a regular basis soak them first. Soaked nuts are easier to digest and more nutrients gets absorbed into your body after soaking. Learn more about why you should soak your nuts here.

So there you have it, 10 important changes you can do to your lifestyle in 2016 to improve your health.

Join me in the new year for a holistic approach to staying healthy - I will be sharing more health articles, healthy eating inspiration, fitness posts and much more to help you be healthier in 2016.

This article first appeared on Be Healthy Now, natural living and healthy lifestyle blog.

Petra Kravos is a healthy living blogger passionate about healthy eating, nutrition, cancer prevention and natural beauty. You can follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Bloglovin.