The beginning of a new year symbolizes a fresh start, and for many of us it provides a renewed focus on our overall health and wellbeing. That’s why so many of us set New Year’s resolutions intended to improve our wellness. Turning the page on the calendar gives us a chance to turn the page on old unhealthy habits, commit to being better, healthier versions of ourselves, and look to the future with hope for what’s to come.
Living a healthier life can reduce your risk of illnesses like heart disease, diabetes, and cancer; and it can help to boost your energy, sharpen your memories, and stabilize your mood, leading to a noticeable improvement in your overall health.
If you intend to lead a healthier life this year, check out these tips to help you make simple changes and stay healthy for the long run.
1. Own a pet
According to the American Heart Association, pets can help reduce your stress, improve your mental health, and become more physically active, which can lower blood pressure and cholesterol. Studies have shown that dog owners are more likely to engage in recommended physical activity than those who don’t have a dog.
2. Be realistic about changing your eating habits
Changing how you eat overnight can be daunting, but eating healthfully doesn’t mean you have to starve or deprive yourself. Instead, allow yourself the occasional indulgence, and make one or two healthy changes each week, like drinking fewer soft drinks or eating a salad with dinner each night. Rather than making a sweeping change that can be hard to sustain, you’ll be building and maintaining healthy habits that will last throughout 2023 and beyond.
3. Drink more water
Drink at least 64 ounces of water each day. If you engage in regular physical exercise, you may need more water to stay hydrated. Sports drinks can be helpful to replace salts and provide some sugar if you are especially active. Sodas, energy drinks, fruit juices and adult beverages are a big source of extra sugar. Cut them out, and you’ll cut out a lot of empty calories. Instead, choose water, tea, coffee, or other unsweetened beverages.
4. Prioritize your sleep hygiene
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a third of U.S. adults say they typically get less than the recommended amount of sleep. Poor sleeping habits can raise your risk for high blood pressure, increased stress, weight gain, depression, loss of motor skills, and poor heart health. If you are struggling to maintain good sleep hygiene or are experiencing any of the symptoms of a sleep disorder, it’s important to contact your healthcare provider to determine the best treatment for you.
Schedule an annual check-up
with your provider
There’s no better time than the start of a new year to schedule your annual check-up or any other health screenings you may need. Annual wellness exams and recommended health screenings give you and your provider the opportunity to catch health issues before they become serious, and to avoid any potential complications that arise from delaying care. Scheduling your annual check-up or screening is also a great way stay on top of things like recommended immunizations and any other needed procedures.ν
If you need a primary care provider, Saline Health System can help. Call 501.387.0163 or visit the Find a Provider tab at SalineMemorial.org to get connected with quality care today.