A fresh year is a great time to implement dietary changes known to be important for health. Getting five servings of fruits and vegetables is a great goal to begin with when starting a healthy diet. Additionally, choosing high fiber protein based snacks and minimizing processed foods should be a priority. To maintain a healthy diet, it’s important to monitor your carbohydrate and calorie intake on a daily basis. Lastly, staying hydrated with water is a key element to good health.
During the New Year, focusing on your personal health should be at the top of your list. This includes making time for exercise. It doesn’t need to be rigorous, especially right at first, but a good goal to set is to work your way up to 45 minutes four-to-five days a week of increased heart rate. This can be a brisk walk in the beginning and increased to a jog or a run/walk hybrid over time. Strength training, including core building such as sit-ups, can be done at home and should be mixed in with the cardio.
Preventive health should be a main priority for 2018, as well as the healthy lifestyle recommendations above. Health screenings are crucial to maintaining your health. Depending on your age, you might be due for cholesterol, diabetes and/or cancer screenings. Cancer screening tests are based on your age and your personal and family history but may include breast cancer, colon cancer, cervical cancer and/or prostate cancer. Talk to your family physician as soon as possible about what screening tests you may be due for so you can check those important studies off your list.
Getting a good night’s rest directly impacts health and well being. Getting enough good quality sleep effects job/school performance as well as health; including the immune system’s ability to fight disease. The recommendation for adults is to get a minimum of seven hours of sleep each night. For babies, children and adolescents this requirement is more. Sleep hygiene and requirements for your child should be discussed with your primary care provider during the next well-child visit.
Identifying with an activity outside of work or school is important for emotional and physical well being. This can be a sport such as basketball, golf, or swimming, or a hobby such as playing an instrument, painting, or reading. Connecting with one or more activities you are passionate about is a great way to relieve stress and will also enhance performance in other areas of your life.
Many factors contribute to overall health and wellness. The above recommendations are proven ways to enhance health and prevent illness. Here’s to a happy and healthy 2018!
Dr. Kathleen Brite’s background is as extensive as the care she provides. As both a practicing and a teaching physician at Bayless Integrated Healthcare, she’s abreast of the latest advancements in treatment and patient care trends and serves children and adults using a truly integrated model. She is especially interested in community medicine and is committed to eliminating barriers so that quality healthcare is accessible to all. For more information about Dr. Brite and Bayless Integrated Healthcare, please visit www.baylesshealthcare.com.