We’ve all made them. And we’ve all broken them. What are we referencing? New Year’s resolutions. Many of us find ourselves setting goals to stop drinking soft drinks, get in shape or possibly even managing our stress better. However, we often put too much pressure on ourselves to achieve our resolutions or begin to slowly (or quickly) forget that we had set these resolutions.
You may not think so, but there are resolutions your doctor wishes you’d make in regards to your health. Some of those goals include:
- Start your resolution early.
- Get more sleep.
- Drink plenty of water.
- Stay active each day.
- Eat a balanced diet.
- Get your annual exam.
Slip Up? Happens to the Best of Us!
It may seem easier said than done, but there are ways to get back on track if you begin to slip. First and foremost, don’t be too hard on yourself if you have the occasional treat or you haven’t been as consistent as you would like.
Healthy life changes can take time and a change of routine. One quick tip to keeping your resolution is to make one change at a time, meaning if you have four resolutions, tackle one at a time. This will make keeping your resolutions easier!
What Are You Waiting For?
It’s not written in stone that you have to begin your resolution on January 1st. If your goal is exercise more, begin eating healthier or do both, don’t wait to ring in the new year before beginning your goal. These healthy lifestyle changes are beneficial to begin right away and waiting until December 31st to make your goal may make you feel rushed. Remember, there’s no time like the present!
Get More Sleep
There are plenty of reasons why you should focus on getting more sleep. Sleep deprivation can have many adverse health effects. Research shows that sleep can play a role in our memory. How? First, lack of sleep can make a person unable to focus their attention, meaning they’re unable to learn efficiently. Second, sleep has a role in the consolidation of memory, which is crucial to learning.
Not only does sleep play a role in your cognitive health, but also your physical health. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, sleep deficiency has been linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, obesity and diabetes.
It doesn’t end there. What if we told you that your safety was on the line when it comes to sleep deprivation? It can be. According to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration, drowsy driving caused approximately 72,000 crashes, 800 deaths and 44,000 injuries in 2013. Men are more likely to drive drowsy than women and almost twice as likely to fall asleep at the wheel than women.
There are many benefits to being active. Whether it’s going for a walk every day or different types of exercise you enjoy, regular physical activity is crucial to maintaining good health. We understand keeping that motivation can be difficult, especially with hectic schedules. Schedule a regular workout time that works best with your routine in order to stay motivated and focused.
It can be easy to fall into an exercise rut early on. Mix up your workout so you don’t become bored with your exercise routine. Try signing up for different classes or an intramural team to make sure you are mixing it up and sticking to your resolutions!
If your goal is to lose weight, step away from the scale. Checking the scale daily won’t give you an accurate read of your weight because body weight fluctuates. The scale is a good way to “check in” on your health and can be a good milestone marker, but it should not be used as a guide. Ultimately a healthy lifestyle change will help lead you to your weight loss goals.
Eat a Balanced Diet
Eating a more balanced diet is a common New Year’s resolution. However, with hectic schedules, busy kids and long days, it can be easy to hit the drive-thru and difficult to eat nutritiously. Often, a poor diet can lead to poor health and the onset of many chronic conditions. Maintaining a diet that’s healthy can help prevent and manage different chronic diseases.
Pack a week’s worth of lunches on Sunday to prevent running to the local fast food joint for a quick and easy lunch. If you’re able to place snacks in a refrigerator, keep fruits and vegetables at work so you’ll have a healthier option than the candy jar if you feel the need to snack. Meal planning and preparation is key in order to stay on track with a healthier diet
Remember, don’t beat yourself up when you feel like you’ve taken a misstep. Did you eat a brownie after dinner? That’s okay. Small rewards here and there can be motivating and shouldn’t be treated as a reason to give up on your resolution.
Get an Annual Exam
The best way to know if you’re staying healthy is to get your annual physical. Your annual exam will screen for any medical issues and assess the risk for future medical problems. It can be beneficial to have guidance when working towards a healthier lifestyle and your provider can provide you with some of the support you need.
UnityPoint at Home Can Help With Your Resolutions
If you require home health care, don’t skip making your resolutions for a healthier life this year! Find trustworthy and reliable adult and senior home care from UnityPoint at Home to help you ring in the new year and begin your journey to a healthier life.