It’s that time of year! Many people are reflecting on the last 365 days and thinking forward to the next. Have you set any New Year’s Resolutions for 2019? Did you fulfill your resolutions for 2018?
One of the best things you can do is to simply resolve to stay healthy, without the fad diets and unrealistically ambitious expectations. If you can follow these five steps, you’re on the right track!
Get 8 Hours of Sleep
Researchers conducted a study in 2013 which proved that lack of sleep affects immune systems. Our bodies release cytokines while we sleep, which are proteins that we need more of when we are sick or stressed. Simply put, your body can’t fight or recover from illnesses effectively if you’re not getting enough sleep, which for adults is seven to eight hours per night.
Sleep affects our mental and emotional health, too. A 2005 poll indicated that many people with depression and anxiety were also sleeping less than six hours per night.
60% of our bodies are made up of water, so it’s no wonder that drinking more water is an essential key to staying healthy. Staying hydrated is good for your skin, joints and muscles, body temperature and cardiovascular health. Water also helps to cleanse the body through your kidneys, excreting waste in the form of urine, not to mention preventing kidney stones and urinary tract infections.
Plan Your Exercise
As a general goal, it’s recommended that you get about 30 minutes of moderate exercise per day, but that can vary depending on your goals and lifestyle.
Heading to the gym after work may sound like a good idea the night before, but factor in a long day and traffic and your plans may completely change when it’s time to follow through. Plan your workouts for the week in advance, and schedule them during a time where your obligations won’t be compromised. It’s said that it takes 21 days to build a habit, so with enough consistency, you should be able to incorporate exercise into your regular routine, just like showering and flossing… okay, just showering.
If you decide that you want to cut out unhealthy food and drinks from your diet in the new year, that’s great—but keep in mind that moderation is key. It’s okay to treat yourself every once in a while, especially if it prevents you from that “forbidden fruit” binge mid-diet.
According to Dietary Guidelines for Americans, moderate alcohol consumption is considered to be up to one drink per day for women and two per day for men.
Specific calorie recommendations vary depending on an individual’s age or weight. Remember that there is no “one size fits all” formula when it comes to diet and exercise, so take some time to figure out what’s best for you.
Get Regular Check-ups
Of course, sometimes it requires more than just good habits to ensure that your body is functioning properly. Regular check-ups are important, as they can inform you of any lifestyle changes that need to be made or prevent potential diseases from progressing and causing further damage. In some cases, such as with cancer, early detection makes all the difference between a cure and a long battle.