Happy New Year everyone! I hope that you all had an amazing holiday season filled with memorable times with family and friends.
The new year is here which means new beginnings. Many of us have set resolutions however approximately 80% of New Year’s resolutions fail by February. There are many reasons for this but when it comes to health goals, people tend to set all-or-nothing goals (ex: cut out sugar completely) instead of making small, incremental lifestyle changes. Goals that are too lofty or ambitious are a setup for failure.
I want to make 2018 my healthiest year yet and I would like to help you do the same! Check out the tips below to help jump-start 2018 the right way to achieve better health.
Schedule your check-ups
There are a number of health maintenance activities that you need to help you stay healthy. People will often say that they feel well so there is no need to visit the doctor. This is wrong! Routine health maintenance from your primary care provider keeps you in tip-top shape while looking for problems before they start. If your provider does discover a health problem, early detection maximizes your treatment options and success.
- Schedule your annual physical from your primary care provider
- Schedule your biannual dental exam
- Get an eye exam (especially if you are diabetic, this needs performed annually)
- Ladies, schedule your annual gynecologist visit and mammogram
- Make sure you are up to date on vaccines
This is not an all inclusive list but it is a great place to start!
Wash your hands
The best way to prevent the spread of disease is to wash your hands. There are many germs crawling around this time of year!
Make sure you are washing your hands correctly every time:
Make better diet choices
Most of us probably indulged a little too much over the holiday season (cookies, sweets, wine, appetizers!). Now, it is time to get our diets back on track to prepare for our summer bodies!
It might be tempting to take on a fad diet (such as Bulletproof coffee, Keto diet, etc.), however, these are not recommended as they do not teach healthy habits. Making small, gradual changes will help you develop healthier habits in the long term. Read more about different types of diets here.
The Mediterranean Diet is receiving a lot of buzz about its numerous health benefits, namely cardiovascular and brain health. Check out this infographic to see what is included:
I know that increasing exercise is easier said than done.
If you are not already an active person, start slow and gradually build up activity.
Walking is the best exercise. At this time of year, you will find many people who walk around the mall for exercise.
Adults should aim for 150 minutes of physical activity per week (try for 30 minutes 5 days per week). Many gyms offer discounts for New Year’s!
It’s never too late to quit! Quitting smoking offers many benefits to lung and heart health even if you have smoked for a long time.
Read more about how to quit smoking here.
Get enough sleep
In general, many people do not get adequate sleep. Of course, there are many reasons for this.
Adults need at least 7 hours of sleep per night. Children need even more.
Read more about how to get better sleep here.
I hope that you enjoyed this round-up of healthy habits to focus on for 2018. You do not need to be perfect right now– try incorporating small changes gradually. By the end of the year, you will feel and look great!
What is your New Year’s resolution? How will you get there? I would love to hear from you in the comments!
Disclaimer: Information contained in this post should not be substituted for medical advice. If you think you are having a problem, contact your own provider who knows your health history.