Many people start the New Year with a list of resolutions like finally sticking to a weight loss plan, to get more exercise, to get organized or to save more money. Often times, resolutions fail as people set unrealistic goals. This year, rather than focusing on one thing, try focusing on your overall health. When focusing on your overall health as a long term solution, you can make lifestyle changes that will last longer than a fad diet.
Manage Your Stress and Get Enough Sleep
Stress can take a toll on your body, so it is important you do your best to try to relax. There are a number of techniques that can help reduce stress and promote relaxation, like deep breathing, meditation, or listening to calming music. Try a few different methods and find out what works best for you. Adults should get 7-8 hours of sleep each night. A good night’s rest can affect your health, mood and weight.
For a heart healthy diet, maintain a diet that is low in saturated fats and cholesterol. Focus on eating more fruits and vegetables. Protein sources should include poultry without skin, fish or legumes. For bone and joint health, make sure you are maintaining an adequate calcium and vitamin D intake. It is best to get this from foods, such as milk, yogurt, and salmon.
Not only does regular exercise provide physical benefits like weight loss and increased energy, it can also help improve your mood and promote better sleep. Perform light exercise such as walking for at least 30 minutes 5 days a week. Or, you can perform moderate exercise such as running or bicycling for at least 30 minutes 3 days a week.
Quit Smoking and Limit Alcohol Intake
Smoking damages nearly every part of your body. It is difficult to quit, but important for your health. If you need help quitting, visit smokefree.gov and talk with your primary care physician. Additionally, try to limit your alcohol intake which can help you lose weight, sleep better and reduce stress.
You may want to consult with your doctor or primary care physician before starting a new exercise routine or changing your diet.