Each year, thousands of people decide to make a fresh start after the holidays.You might make a goal to save money, be kinder, spend more time with family, or lose weight.This year, you might decide to make your health a priority.As you focus on your health, you reduce your risk of certain disease, injuries, and illness.
Consider the following New Year ‘s resolutions when making your goals for the upcoming year, and reap the benefits of better health as a result.
1. Reduce Your Sugar Intake
When the New Year rolls around, you might decide to go on a diet to lose weight, but have you ever considered changing your eating habits to just benefit your health ? Most people eat too much sugar, and they can develop health problems as a result.The most common problem from a high sugar diet is the onset of type 2 diabetes.
The best way to treat diabetes is to prevent it from ever developing in the first place.If you are young, change your habits now so you don ‘t have to worry about failing health later. If you’
re older or already have a pre – diabetic diagnosis, now is the time
for increased vigilance.
Cutting out sugars can be easier than you think.Begin with drinking water or unsweetened tea instead of soda or juice.Try not to add sugar to your morning coffee.Gradually reduce how much sugar you put on oatmeal or grapefruit.Make meal selections based on protein sources, and save desserts
for special occasions.
Try to aim
for 100 calories or less of added sugar each day.To put the caloric amount in perspective, one teaspoon of table sugar has 16 calories.The right amount of sugar
for your body could be found in just six chocolate sandwich cookies.
As an added bonus, you might even lose some weight, even if that’ s is not in your resolutions for the year.
2. Increase Your Activity
You might see more people at the gym than ever before when January comes.Everybody has the goal of increasing their activity
for weight loss.However, increased activity should actually be your primary goal so you can reap the long – term health benefits.
Exercise,for example, is one of the key ways that women especially protect themselves from the development of osteoporosis.If you do impact or weight – bearing workouts in your younger adult years, you will have better bone structure as a senior with fewer mobility problems.Once women reach menopause, they are at an even higher risk for bone loss.
If you have not been active at all, the thought of working out regularly might seem impossible.However, you can start very small. Go for a walk around your block every day for a month before you even think about buying a membership to an exercise program.
Other beneficial forms of exercise that are good
for beginners include barre classes, swimming, tennis or badminton, step aerobics, or weightlifting classes.Remember that weightlifting is just as important as cardio workouts;
weight – bearing exercise is especially effectivefor long – term bone health.
3. Go to Bed Earlier
Hardly anyone needs an excuse to get more sleep, but more and more adults push through tiredness in favor of getting more work done or enjoying leisure activities.However, rest is directly linked to better long – term health, including reduced risk of chronic illness and short – term sickness.
Persistent sleep loss can increase your risk of heart disease, diabetes, kidney disease, and stroke.Loss of sleep also amps up your appetite, which can lead to overeating.When you don ‘t get enough sleep, your immune system will suffer, so you’
ll get sick more often and have a harder time overcoming illness.
Some people feel like sleep isn ‘t as important after they’
ve reached adulthood, but seven or eight hours of sleep a day is still optimal–even
if you can think of doing something better with your time.
To get more sleep, try going to bed a little bit earlier as your goal for the New Year. Aim
for the same time each night, and get your body used to the new schedule by trying to wake up at the same time each day, even on the weekends.
4. Get Up to Date
Finally, make it your goal to get your medical needs updated.Children follow vaccine schedules to make sure they are always protected from disease, but some adults don ‘t realize they also need vaccinations every so often to maintain their immunity. Ask your doctor if you need to get routine vaccines, like tetanus or rubella.
You also should start tracking when you need to have regular screenings
for health issues. For example, women should have mammograms to screen
for breast cancer at age 50 (or earlier if there is a history of breast cancer in the family).Your doctor may recommend other tests and screenings as you age.
If you’ve been putting off a visit to the doctor, use the upcoming year to get up-to-date on your health. For more information on making this year work for your health, contact us at Stellis Health.