By Dr. Janet Seabrook
Welcome to 2018! It’s a year we have never seen before and a chance to start some healthy routines while getting rid of a few not so healthy ones. The problem with New Year’s resolutions is that they sound so formal, and we often abandon them once we have “cheated” on a diet or “slid” back into an old habit. Instead, let’s call them “lifestyle adjustments.” That way, even if you aren’t always consistent, you can start over without the remorse.
Here are six suggested healthy lifestyle adjustments for 2018:
- Drink more water – It’s not as easy as it sounds, but drinking water is one of the easiest ways to positively impact your health. It increases energy, relieves fatigue, promotes weight loss, cleanses toxins out of the body, improves skin complexion and much more. So the next time you start to reach for that soda, juice or sugary energy drink, swap it out for a tall glass (or even jug) of H20.
- Go to bed! – Your parents were right way back then, and they’re still right! We need more sleep to be the best version of ourselves. This year, try to ensure that you go to bed around the same time and get at minimum 6-7 hours of sleep each night. It is during sleep mode that your body restores itself. Sleep has even been said to spur creativity, encourage longevity and improve your memory, and who doesn’t want that?
- Up your intake of fruits and veggies – We all know that “nature’s candies” are good for us. They supply our bodies with nutrients and can help reduce the risk of heart attacks, strokes, cancer, and even early death. To make this lifestyle adjustment a bit more interesting, add a fruit or vegetable to your diet that you’ve never eaten before. Research its benefits and try it in a new recipe! Have some fun while doing right by your body.
- Exercise – Get moving! This one is a no-brainer. Any movement is good movement. Take daily walks or join a local gym where classes are offered. Mix it up by trying a new type of exercise such as water aerobics or spinning. The more creative you get with your workout, the more fun it can be!
- Identify one unhealthy habit, and work to kick it. – We all have something that we need to do less of or quit altogether. Whether it’s smoking, drinking or working long hours, etc., make a concentrated effort to cut back for the sake of your health. A great way to get started is to identify an accountability partner who has similar goals, and encourage one another regularly to make the identified lifestyle adjustment.
- Schedule your medical exams – As a physician, it is my duty to recommend that you stay on top of your health. Even if you have no symptoms or diagnosed illnesses, it is always wise to get an annual check-up. So go ahead and get your appointments scheduled this month while it’s fresh on your mind. Staying in tune with your body is one of the best lifestyle adjustments you can make.
If you are already doing any or all of the above, congratulations, you are ahead of the game. Now challenge yourself to take these lifestyle adjustments to the next level, and share these important tips with your family and friends. Have a healthy New Year, and remember your health matters!
Follow Dr. Janet Seabrook on Facebook, Twitter and Linked-In for more information about health and wellness.