Three New Year’s Resolutions that will Create a Healthier You
Many of us use the beginning of a new year to take stock of our lives and look for ways in which we could be living more healthful, prosperous and enjoyable lives. For those of you who have improving your health regimen at the top of your list, here are three ways to accomplish your goal.
Exercise both mind and body
We all know physical exercise is important for optimal health. But it can’t be overstated – exercise is one of the most important ways to keep both body and mind in shape. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), exercise can help maintain health in a number of ways:
- Weight control
- Reduces your risk for cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and some cancers
- Improves mental health and mood
- Strengthens bones and muscles
- Increases your chances of living longer
Keeping this resolution doesn’t need to be overly taxing. A recent study from the University of Sydney discovered that swapping just one hour of sitting for walking each day decreases your chance of early death by 12 to 14 percent. And exercise helps more than just the body. A study conducted at the University of British Columbia showed that physical activity can slow cognitive decline.
While you’re at it, consider exercising your mind by learning a new skill. A study conducted at the University of California, Berkeley suggests that not all people who develop beta-amyloid deposits – a destructive protein association with Alzheimer’s disease – go on to manifest the symptoms associated with Alzheimer’s and suggests that people who spend a lifetime involved in cognitively stimulating activity have brains that are better able to adapt to potential damage.
Eat more healthfully
Like exercise, eating well benefits both the body and the mind. According to the CDC, good nutrition can help lower the risk for many chronic diseases, including heart disease, stroke, diabetes, osteoporosis and some cancers. The US Department of Health and Human Services estimates that unhealthy eating and inactivity cause between 310,000-580,000 deaths every year, more than any other single cause. Here are some tips on how to eat a more healthful diet:
- Load up on fruits and vegetables.
- Reduce your intake of processed meats.
- Trade in “bad” fats for “good” ones – switch from trans fats and fatty red meats to olive oil, avocados, fish and walnuts.
- Eat foods rich in Omega-3 fatty acids such as wild salmon, sardines, herring and flax seeds.
- Reduce the amount of processed sugar you consume.
Get more sleep
Sleep is essential for optimum health. Numerous studies have demonstrated the importance of sleep for forming memories, reducing depression, and maintaining both emotional and physical health. Another benefit of sleep is that it may allow the brain to flush out toxins. A study conducted by the University of Rochester Medical Center in New York discovered that “sleep changes the cellular structure of the brain.” The study found that the space between brain cells in mice increased during sleep, allowing toxins to be flushed out. In a separate study, researchers at the University of California, Berkeley discovered that poor sleep can cause of buildup of beta-amyloid deposits. The bottom line: A good night’s sleep is essential for maintaining health.
Need support in keeping these resolutions? We can help!
If you or a senior relative have a chronic medical condition that makes it hard to move around, or do your regular activities around the home, our Home Health services can provide in-home nursing/physical therapy that can improve your mobility and quality of life, making it easier to stay physically active. Our registered dietitians can help provide menus tailored to your taste and nutritional needs. Our private duty homecare professionals can go grocery shopping and help in meal preparation as well as assist with exercise routines. We’re here to help ensure your health and well-being throughout the year.