5 Healthy Goals for 2018
The new year is a perfect (and popular) time to reflect and set new goals. Every January, one in three Americans resolve to better themselves in some way. Eating less and exercising more are common New Year’s resolutions. While these are excellent goals to have, they’re not the only way to improve your health in 2018. In fact, there are many ways to get healthier that have nothing to do with diet and exercise. Check out these five healthy resolutions, and see which of them holds the greatest benefits for you.
1. Get moving… and not just to the gym
Movement is directly linked to health and happiness, so start moving for at least two and a half hours each week. Fitness experts have determined that walking 10,000 steps a day can help you trim fat and prevent type 2 diabetes. So start taking the stairs and park at the back of the parking lot. Take a lap or two around the track, or, if it’s too cold, the mall. Put down your phone for twenty minutes a day and clean your house. Get moving outside to increase your vitamin D consumption. Play with your kids or dog in the backyard, join a local kickball league or take an outdoor yoga class. Walk or ride your bike to work. However you choose to get moving, you’ll notice a spike in your energy and mood.
2. Stress less
Everyone stresses out about stuff now and then, and a little stress can even increase your energy. But chronic stress can increase your risk of — or worsen your existing — insomnia, depression, obesity and heart disease. Stress can be a result of working long hours, not sleeping enough, not working out, eating poorly and not spending time with family and friends. You can reduce your stress by making relaxation, sleep, socializing and breaks part of your daily routine. You can even reduce stress by having a good laugh, so call a funny friend or tune in to a sitcom. Another good practice for reducing stress is meditation. It will clear your head and promote a sense of calm and well-being. And meditating doesn’t take long. As little as five or 10 minutes can help, and you can find some inner peace on your sofa, in the car or at the office.
3. Drink more water
Your body is 60 percent water. Therefore, if your water intake is not equal to or greater than your water output, you can become dehydrated. When you’re dehydrated, it can negatively affect essential bodily functions like digestion, absorption, circulation, saliva creation, nutrient transportation and body temperature maintenance. Water can energize your muscles, keep your skin looking good, support your kidney and bowel function and help you manage your weight. It can also improve your overall health, reduce the frequency of your headaches, lift your mood, boost your immune system and help you perform better during your workouts. While the prescription of eight glasses of water a day is now outdated, you do need to replenish your body’s fluids regularly throughout your day. If you’re feeling thirsty, drink. And, if you feel like your having trouble getting enough water, try these tips:
- Have a glass of water with every snack and meal.
- Try adding healthy flavorings to your water.
- Eat more fruits and vegetables, which contain plenty of water.
- Keep a full water bottle with you in your car, at your desk or in your bag.
4. Get more sleep
Poor sleep habits can increase your risk of developing type 2 diabetes, contracting a cardiovascular disease, experiencing a heart attack and suffering from depression. Sleeping well, and enough, can help you lose weight, increase your energy, strengthen your immunity, boost your memory, help you think more clearly and even make you happier. If you suffer from chronic pain, or acute pain from a recent injury, getting plenty of sleep can also help alleviate your pain. Try to sleep for at least seven or eight hours each night. If you can’t get enough sleep at night, try taking a 20- or 30-minute nap during the day.
5. Stop smoking
Even if you’ve tried this resolution before (and have relapsed), know that most smokers make multiple attempts before successfully quitting. While there are obvious health benefits to kicking this habit — including reducing your exposure to cancer-causing substances, lengthening your life, improving your lung function, boosting your heart health and getting better sleep — a major benefit of quitting smoking is all the money you’ll save. Call 1.800.QUIT.NOW to access free resources to help you quit, including quit coaching, a quit plan, educational materials, referrals and information on how to find more assistance in your immediate area.
Get some help staying healthy in 2018
If you’re thinking about creating some healthy New Year’s resolutions and would like some professional help planning them, schedule an evaluation with Onward Orthopedics today by submitting an online form or calling one of our friendly Patient Care Managers at 210.880.3823.