5 Tips for Improving Your Health in the New Year
Now that a new year has rolled around, you probably have started making a laundry list of things you want to accomplish over the next 12 months. While we’re sure whatever you’ve added to your resolutions will positively impact your life, we have to ask: have you made a plan for how you’ll take extra care of your health this year?
From improving your diet to changing up the way you keep moving, here are some great ways to prioritize your health in the new year!
Start with Your Diet
We all know it to be true — the food you eat has a huge impact on how your body functions. Eating the right foods can help lower your risk for chronic illnesses, such as diabetes, high blood glucose levels, and obesity, give you more energy, and improve physical and mental function. On the contrary, eating less healthy foods can increase your risk for chronic illnesses and leave you feeling lethargic.
Especially if your diet is lacking certain vitamins and nutrients, start to include healthier options in your daily meals, such as:
Seeds and nuts
You should also aim to limit or cut certain foods and beverages out of your diet, such as:
Soda and other sugary drinks
A sedentary lifestyle can lead to a number of health issues, especially for older individuals. Especially if your career or need for isolation requires you to remain seated for long periods of time throughout the day, it’s essential that you make choices to stay active throughout the day.
If you’re stuck at a desk all day, aim to get up and walk around for a few minutes every hour, so your muscles and joints stay limber. You can also use your lunch break to go for a walk or do some at-home exercises.
As long as your doctor determines that it’s safe for you to start a new exercise regimen, consider prioritizing exercises such as:
- Strengthening exercises, such as weightlifting
- Cardio exercises, such as jogging or cycling
- Flexibility exercises, such as stretching or yoga.
Get More Sleep
If you find that, no matter how much coffee you drink, you feel groggy or irritable throughout the day, it may be because you’re not getting enough sleep. Not only does a lack of sleep leave you feeling mentally and physically drained, but it can also put you more at risk for health issues, such as heart disease or diabetes.
Here are a few ways you can work to get a better night’s sleep:
Put Down the Devices: About an hour before you plan on falling asleep, put away your phone or laptop so the blue light they give off doesn’t interrupt your circadian rhythm.
Invest in a Better Setup: If your mattress is worn or your pillow doesn’t properly support your head, you may not get a comfortable night’s sleep.
Limit Caffeine: Drinking caffeinated beverages too close to bedtime can keep you awake and prevent you from falling asleep at a reasonable time.
Prioritize Your Mental Health
Your overall wellness isn’t just influenced by your physical health. Your mental and emotional health play a big factor in your health as well. Don’t ignore feelings of stress, anxiety, depression, or other emotions — address them to improve your state of mind and life.
Take time this year to prioritize your mental health. This can be done in many ways, including:
Taking mental health days from work
Performing more self-care activities such as journaling or getting a massage
Allowing yourself to decline social invitations if you’re not fully feeling up to it
If you’re struggling with poorly-impacted mental health, speak to your doctor about what can be done to address your issues.
Manage Your Chronic Illnesses
When you’re living with a chronic illness, such as diabetes, high cholesterol, or heart disease, there are steps you have to take each day to maintain good health. If you have let certain diagnostic tests or diet plans fall by the wayside, make this the year you take charge of your health and get back on track with your care.
Family Physician in Asheville
PrimeHealth Asheville is a small, patient-centered concierge medical practice in Asheville dedicated to providing excellent individualized care in an atmosphere of warmth and compassion.