A new year brings with it the hope of a new beginning. Many of us use this time to make resolutions that will improve our health. That’s the easy part. The tough part is keeping these promises:
• Lose weight - An annual resolution for many, losing weight can be a great way to improve your health. It is important to consult with your physician before beginning a diet and exercise plan.
• Quit smoking – This is another popular resolution and its health benefits are countless. Seek the support of family and friends as you quit. Your physician may also be able to prescribe medications to help you kick the habit.
• Reduce stress - It is important to recognize your stress triggers – job pressures, financial matters and family issues are common stress triggers. Once you identify what causes your stress, you can take steps to control it.
• Get more sleep - With hectic schedules and other distractions, achieving this goal can be difficult. Try turning off all electronics one hour before bedtime in order to give your brain time to “wind down” for the night. Also, go to bed and wake up at the same times every day to help your body establish a sleep routine.
• Be active – This is a great way to lose weight, reduce stress and be heart healthy. Being active doesn’t have to mean spending countless hours on the treadmill. Go for a walk, take the stairs instead of the elevator or clean the house for a good aerobic workout.
• Inform yourself - It is important to take stock of your medical history and plan any medical tests that you or your family members may need. Early detection can be the key to maintaining your health. Your physician can recommend the appropriate yearly tests.
In order to achieve any of these resolutions, you have to make living a healthy lifestyle a priority.