New Year, New You

  • By Premier Family Medical
  • 07 Jan, 2017

Health goals for 2017

Life is complicated and everyone has plenty of things to manage; relationships, jobs, health, finance, and family usually top the list. It can be difficult to balance everything, especially when it comes to health. The primary key to a long, healthy life is the lifestyle. A healthy lifestyle is the things you do every day to maintain good health. Some of the important things to focus on are diet, sleep, exercise and managing stress.

Many people find it hard to achieve and maintain a healthier life. However, it pays off in a bigger way. With a positive attitude and small improvements, you may be surprised by how easy it is to achieve. Diet, exercise, sleep, and managing stress are things that you can control and should focus on. To kick off 2017 here are a few simple healthy lifestyle goals you can add to your list of resolutions.  

Healthy Diet

•  Eating a lot of vegetable and fruits - Focus on consuming about five servings of vegetables a day, whether raw or steamed. Fruits are also essential, and with this combination, you can reduce the risk of cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. 

•   Controlling the food portion - It's easy to get carried away and eat till you are stuffed.  Eating till you are "full" can sometimes be more than your body actually needs.  Controlling your portion size is an important step to a healthy diet.  It allows you to still eat the foods you love, just not as much of it.  Here are some tips to avoid portion size pitfalls.

•   Water consumption - Every person should try drinking at least six glasses of water per day. This is because water is essential to the whole body.  Water helps in carrying nutrients to the cells and flushing toxins out of the organs.

•   Eat at home or pack a lunch  - It's much easier to maintain a healthy diet when you are in control of the food you eat and how you cook it.  Eating at home or packing a lunch will help you avoid the fast food choices or over-sized portions that come from eating out.  Try meal planning at the start of each week to keep yourself on track.

Exercise

Daily exercise is crucial for a healthy lifestyle. It helps by normalizing blood pressure, improving eyesight, lowering cholesterol, improving lean muscles and improving bone density.

•   Cardio - A ten-minute cardio routine every day will make a difference.  Cardio doesn't always mean running.  You can dance in your room without having to go to the gym or sign up for dancing lessons.  You also don't need equipment like a treadmill, stationary bike or elliptical to get in a cardio workout.  Here is a great cardio workout that doesn't require any equipment .  

•    Strength Training -  Don't forget to include strength training into your workout routine.  You can use your body weight by doing push-ups, squats, pull-ups and other simple exercises.  Weight machines at your gym can also help you target specific muscles you want to strengthen. Building your muscles will help your overall fitness and wellness.

Healthy Sleep 

Sleep is vital for good health. For you to get a good night’s sleep, try adding these tips to your daily routine.

•   Figure out how many hours you need for a satisfied sleep. Make a daily sleep schedule of what time you sleep and wake up to regulate sleeping hours

•   Avoid caffeine before sleeping as this makes it difficult to fall asleep.

•   Avoiding watching TV, looking at phones/ computers/ tablets, or reading novels in bed.

•   Monitoring food consumption as some food can induce sleep while others make it hard to sleep.

Stress Management

There are techniques you can follow to reduce stress, especially chronic stress, and this helps in improving daily functioning. Some of the tactics to manage stress are:

•   Connecting with others - Social interaction helps you to avoid overreacting to internal and external activities that might add to the stress.

•   Making time for fun activities - "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy," and very stressed.  Make time for the things you enjoy.  This helps in keeping the mind distracted from the stressful factors and allows you to refocus on what's important.  

•   Meditation - This technique helps in decreasing anxiety, improving cardiovascular health, and getting a greater relaxation capacity. If you don't have a meditation technique you can find great guided meditation resources online.

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