Here we are with a new year and a new decade upon us and we know many of our family, friends, and clients are wishing for a new start in various areas of their lives. While you can start a new goal or lifestyle at any time, there is something about the fresh page on a calendar that makes it easier for some. If you are looking to renew healthy habits, here are suggestions health experts have for where to start and how to reach your goals.
Smart Eating Habits
Food is a large part of the day for many Americans. We gather around the table for fellowship, we pass endless choices on our commutes to and from work, and we are inundated with advertisements for food in our media. With this saturation in mind, we can make tweaks and adjustments to make better choices. By eating breakfast each day, you are setting yourself up for success. Even a small breakfast can jumpstart your day and help you make better decisions later. Throughout the day, plan for good choices involving a variety of fruits, vegetables, and lean protein. If you are planning on eating with friends or stopping for a meal while running errands, know options that you can rely on for healthful eating.
Maybe running an ultra marathon or climbing Mount Kilimanjaro isn’t on your bucket list for this year, but moving on a consistent basis should be. The recommendation for maintaining a healthy lifestyle is 30 minutes, 5 times a week. However, if you are looking to lose weight you may need to adjust that amount for a higher frequency. By starting with simple goals, like “run/walk for 20 minutes a day”, rather than “run a marathon in two months”, you are more likely to gain a habit that can be life changing. Once your habit is in place, you can evaluate what large goals you may want to achieve or what other fitness activities you may want to try. And Edward Laskowksi, Doctor for the Mayo Clinic, reminds readers, “Reducing sitting time is important, too. The more hours you sit each day, the higher your risk of metabolic problems.”
Get More Rest
This may seem counter intuitive to the habit above, but they go hand in hand. Both your body and your mind need the chance to reset and rebuild. By getting adequate sleep, your brain is able to process through much of the day. Additionally, your musculoskeletal system gets the chance to repair and rest in preparation for the next day. The suggested target is to get 7 to 9 hours of sleep at night and for those hours to be as consistent in the same time frame as possible. Let your phone work for your sleep instead of against it by setting an alarm for bedtime in addition to your waking time.
Go See Your Doctor(s)
As adults, we often let our doctor appointments and checkups get pushed back in favor of more preferred activities. If it’s been awhile since you checked in with your primary care physician or any specialists you may have, go ahead and make an appointment to see them as soon as possible. Many get sheepish if it’s been years since they’ve followed up with doctors or doctor’s orders, but getting in with a renewed and fresh start is better than continuing with a bad habit.
Each of us at Integrity Urgent Care Clinic has goals for the New Year as well and knows that some of these goals involve ongoing work and recommitting from time to time. For additional health issues, come see us from 8am-8pm, no appointment needed. We are here to serve you, your family, and loved ones.