9 ways to start the year healthy, wealthy and wise

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Start the year healthy, wealthy and wise. (Photo: Getty Images)

If you’ve promised yourself to step up your wellness habits in 2020, we’re here to support you. And since feeling great means taking care of body, mind and spirit, and reducing stressors (hello, money worries!), we’ve culled treasures to bolster you in all areas.

Some of us have a hard time putting ourselves first. It helps to remember that taking care of yourself benefits everyone around you — not just because it will give you more energy and keep you in a good mood, but because healthy practices are infectious. Here are some great places to start.

Brooks Womens Adrenaline GTS 19 Running Shoe

Brooks Womens Adrenaline GTS 19 Running Shoe. (Photo: Amazon)

Whether you’re a runner, walker, hill-climber or wanderer, a good pair of running shoes can transform your exercise session — even your commute. Offering comfort and stability, these cushioned Brooks sneakers are a treat for feet that will help propel you on to the trails or track.

Shop it: Brooks Womens Adrenaline GTS 19 Running Shoe, $100 (Was $130), amazon.com

Viva Naturals Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil

Viva Naturals Organic Coconut Oil (Photo: Walmart)

We don’t usually think of skin as an organ, but it is — the body’s largest organ, in fact. What you put on it matters. Going au naturel with moisturizer — with, say, organic coconut oil —brings down your overall toxic load (the chemicals you consume or are exposed to in everyday life).  Natural oils take a minute or two to soak in, so you need to be a wee bit patient; they don’t evaporate because they don’t contain alcohol, as most moisturizers do. Store at room temperature.

Shop it: Viva Naturals Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, $15, walmart.com

Women & Money (revised and updated), by Suze Orman

Reading about personal finance is not fun, but if anyone can make it lively, it’s Suze. She has a way of talking straight without giving you a headache, and the updated version of her classic Women & Money is a must-read. Short and (not quite) sweet, it can be consumed in a single session. You’ll close it feeling like you can face whatever might be stirring in your money world with strength and resolve.

Shop it: Women & Money, $17, walmart.com

Hugger Mugger 65 in. Exercise Ball

This classic physio ball has so many applications, we’re not sure where to start. But one of our favorites is as a chair to replace the slouchy one at your desk. You’ll sit up straight, engage your core, enjoy an open feeling across your chest and indulge in the broad support of a wide base. For more active fitness, an exercise ball makes ab work more entertaining (lie back with hands behind head and elbows wide, then lift the upper body toward the ceiling). And it holds you while you arch your back for a delicious release when you’re done.

Shop it: Hugger Mugger 65-inch Exercise Ball, $25 (Was $30), walmart.com

Nike Element Dry Half-Zip Running Top

Nike Element Dry Half-Zip Running Top. (Photo: Amazon)

This silky Nike workout top makes a great layer for that uphill hike or for a chilly yoga studio till you get into the flowy warmth of your practice. Long cuffs with thumb holes elevate the cool factor. Warning: Nike activewear is vulnerable to teenage thievery, so if this goes missing, check your daughter’s dresser (it’s likely an inside job).

Shop it: Nike Element Dry Half-Zip Running Top, $72, amazon.com

Meditation 101 series with Cyndi Lee

It seems the No. 1 resolution, whether for New Year’s or any other new leaf time of year, is to learn to meditate. Launching a meditation practice that sticks is largely about finding the right inspiration. Cyndi Lee, founder of the legendary Om Yoga, once of New York City, has inspired thousands with her smart, playful instruction and insight. She gets how to talk to beginners — what obstacles we all wrestle with and what we need to stay motivated. Lee makes it easy to meditate, and you won’t believe the difference in your life once you start.

Shop it: Meditation 101 series with Cyndi Lee, $20 (Gaia meditation app, free), amazon.com

Jade Harmony Yoga Mat

Owning the right yoga mat for your body makes practicing that much more appealing — and likely to happen. The Jade Harmony enjoys great popularity because it has a just-right level of grippiness (as in, your hands won’t slip in downward dog, but you can easily roll over toes to transition from Chaturanga to upward dog). Plus, it comes in a range of rich but not blindingly bright hues. Make it last by wiping down after sweaty practices and keeping it out of extreme cold (don’t leave it in the car in January) and strong sun.

Shop it: Jade Harmony Yoga Mat, $80, amazon.com

Hanes Women’s EcoSmart Sweatpant

Hanes Women’s EcoSmart Sweatpant. (Photo: Amazon)

It’s not shallow to want to look as good as you feel when you’re working out! These affordable and comfortable sweatpants from Hanes are likely to become your go-to weekend wear. Flattering and fashion-cut, they’re the pants you can confidently slip into for Saturday morning errands that will also help you keep your promise to hit the gym or catch a class in the afternoon.

Shop it: Hanes Women’s EcoSmart Sweatpant, $6.50, amazon.com

Becoming, by Michelle Obama

From her happy (but in no way privileged) childhood on Chicago’s South Side to life after the White House, our beloved former first lady has had a life like no other. In this memoir, she shares not only her story but the real-world wisdom that has come from her unique path. Start the year happier and more grateful with this delightful, eminently readable book. You’ll be so glad you did.

Shop it: Becoming, by Michelle Obama, $28, walmart.com

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